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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

There’s been a lot going on lately.  In the midst of the roller coaster I’ve been living, I’ve been slowly working my way through Henri Nouwen’s The Inner Voice of Love.  Last night I was brought to tears as I read and re-read “Let Jesus Transform You.”  This is good stuff folks, a window into my soul in the words of Henri Nouwen:

You are looking for ways to meet Jesus.  You are trying to meet him not only in your mind but also in your body.  You seek his affection, and you know that this affection involves his body as well as yours.  He became flesh for you so that you could encounter him in the flesh and receive his love in the flesh.

But something remains in you that prevents this meeting.  There is still a lot of shame and guilt stuck away in your body, blocking the presence of Jesus. You do not fully feel at home in your body; you look down on it as if it were not a good enough, beautiful enough, or pure enough place to meet Jesus.

When you look attentively at your life, you will see how filled it has been with fears, especially fears of people in authority: your parents, your teachers, your bishops, your spiritual guides, even your friends.  You never felt equal to them and kept putting yourself down in front of them.  For most of your life, you have felt as if you needed their permission to be yourself.

Think about Jesus.  He was totally free before the authorities of his time.  He told people not to be guided by the behavior of the scribes and Pharisees.  Jesus came among us as an equal, a brother.  He broke down the pyramidal structures of relationship between God and people as well as those among people and offered a new model: the circle, where God lives in full solidarity with the people and the people with one another.

You will not be able to meet Jesus in your body while your body remains full of doubts and fears. Jesus came to free you from these bonds and to create in you a space where you can be with him.  He wants you to live the freedom of the children of God.

Do not despair, thinking that you cannot change yourself after so many years.  Simply enter into the presence of Jesus as you are and ask him to give you a fearless heart where he can be with you.  You cannot make yourself different. Jesus came to give you a new heart, a new spirit, a new mind, and a new body.  Let him transform you by his love and so enable you to receive his affection in your whole being.

I’ve been walking lately through some of the refining fires of the process of transformation by Jesus’ love.  How is Jesus working to transform you?

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I’ve been journaling a lot through this Lenten journey.  What I have lacked in “blogging” I have certainly accounted for in pages upon pages of internal reflection during this time.  I think it’s been healthy.  Here’s a glimpse at where I’ve been so far:

Tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent – a time for returning to God, a time of preparation for Christ’s death on the cross, and a time for emptying ourselves of those things which hold us back from a deeper relationship with Christ… I am so excited to see how God will use the extra time and energy in my spiritual and relational walk.  I am anxious to see what he has planned. (2/24/09)

I’m not so sure this would be such a big deal if others didn’t make it so dramatic…I haven’t felt it yet, but I half expect to experience at least some phase of loneliness during this thing. (2/25/09)

I’m finding that it’s really easy to make this whole deal into some over-dramatic pity party about how I’m completely cut off from civilization, blah blah blah.  I’ve tried to blame it on other people being over-dramatic, but I must admit that I have committed much of the dramatization myself…I’m really experiencing a considerable amount of FREEDOM… I’m praying for the endurance to run this course and to finish it better than I started it. (2/26/09)

If I spent half the energy I do on wondering what everyone else might be doing right now actually seeking to understand what God is up to right now… there would be freedom… I could potentially feel much more connected to what God is already doing around me and could thus become more connected to His mission and will.  (2/28/09)

I’m sure Satan is lurking and just waiting for my guard to drop – I pray that it will not! (3/1/09)

While there are certainly challenges in a culture that is so chained to the internet, the blessings have already far outweighed any “suffering.”  It’s hard to put into words the ways in which things have changed.  There’s a sense of freedom that I love. (3/3/09)

I continue to anticipate the ways that God will continue to provide provision, pardon, and protection in this season. (3/4/09)

I know that I can’t place my self worth in what other people do or say, yet I found myself doing exactly that on several occasions today… I’m in a position where I’m forced to face these feelings… No more escape.  No more running.  Just some real honest reflection about what’s really going on here.  Where do I get my self worth?  To whom am I really connected?  How do I face feelings of loneliness?  What do I do about it?  Where do I instinctively turn?… The breaking isn’t fun… the truth is, though, that we need the brokenness to experience the healing and restoration.  That is the hope that we look for in the resurrection.  (3/5/09)

It’s raining right now.  Well, it just started raining.  It always rains, doesn’t it?  I don’t really want to be around anyone, but I feel really lonely… God is definitely humbling me in this Lenten journey.  It’s not glamorous.  It’s not supposed to be glamorous.  I don’t want it to be glamorous.  (3/6/09)

The breaking – the tearing – the destruction of the old for the sake of new life.  I feel it… I feel it in my soul and I feel it in my bones.  Little by little God is tearing me down – peeling away the layers upon layers of selfishness, of pride, of fear, of insecurity – slowly working His way into the depths of my soul.  It’s a painful process.  My failures and insecurities are being revealed.  (3/8/09)

I feel like a complete and total failure… I am terrified for the rest of this week.  I feel disconnected from people.  I am worn out from awareness of my insecurities… I’m incredibly frustrated with myself – for being selfish, for acting defensively out of anger, for getting angry with people, for not putting enough into my school work, and for failing at doing the things I am most passionate about. (3/9/09)

Thy will be done.  Use me as you will.  Be my everything. (3/11/09)

I do find it interesting that God does not simply offer rest for the weary, but he commands it. (3/12/09)

I feel like I am learning so much lately – and not just head knowledge… but heart knowledge… It has included breaking, and humility, and heartache… I know that God is up to something big in me, and I’m excited to see it as it continues to unfold.  (3/13/09)

Tonight I am completely and totally exhausted.  I need rest – the deep kind of rest that revives the soul.  This process of breaking down has been a challenge unlike any I have experienced up to this point.  I have become raw in the process as my own flaws and insecurities and fears have been brought to the forefront.  I have been reduced to tears, and anger, and humility.  And now I am longing for restoration.  I’m aching for the hope of the resurrection.  I long to rest in Christ – to know that I belong to him and that I am loved. (3/15/09)

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