Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Rode An Elevator - TWICE!

From self preservation to brave determination.

Watching Session Four of Beth Moore’s DVD series on Esther for the third time today, that sentence began to penetrate my thoughts.

Self preservation. An instinctive tendency to protect oneself from harm.

Beth said that we can protect ourselves right out of our callings. We are our own biggest obstacle in overcoming fear.

Fear.

That nasty four letter word that has plagued my life.

Beth said we might be just one brave decision away from our destiny.

For almost 48 years my life has been motivated and manipulated by fear. Every decision has passed through a grid of anxiety. Almost every time, without fail, I have chosen safe and secure.

Can’t go skiing with my family for fear of falling.
Hate being on the boat for fear of drowning.
Refuse to speak up in a group for fear of appearing foolish and not being accepted.
Won’t sit near the front for fear of a panic attack.
Never get in elevators for fear of being stuck or cables breaking.
Don’t stand when speaking for fear of fainting.
Miss out on travelling for fear of flying.
Not booking an airline flight for fear of crashing or hijacking.
Terrified of animals for fear of being bitten.
Didn’t participate in sports when young for fear of being injured.
Awake all night in thunderstorms for fear of lightning striking.
Nervous of every Dr’s appointment for fear of a life-threatening diagnosis and terminal illness.

My list just goes on and on. Each fear breeds another fear. I believe many were taught to me as a child, but that's another story.

This morning Beth encouraged us not to deny the reality of fear, but to deny it’s authority or victory over us. With every decision there is always, ALWAYS, a possibility to be brave. We will never be in a fearful situation where God doesn’t offer us the courage of His presence.

Proverbs 3:10 speaks of the wife of noble character. Beth explained that the original Hebrew word for ‘noble’ used here is an army term that means ‘brave’. A woman of valour who can find? Proverbs 31 is about a courageous woman. Oh, how I want to be a P31 woman.

Funny, I write that and it makes me laugh. Years ago God placed it on my heart to be a P31 Woman. I always thought it meant I needed to move to the States and be part of the P31 Ministry. Thinking now…maybe not.

Ambrose Redman said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the judgement that there is something more important than fear.”

In His Word, God calls us often to “take courage”. It’s like He has it there, in His hands, available, and He is encouraging us to just reach out and receive it.

Beth said that we decide how good our story is going to be. My story up until this point, although peppered with some profound moments because of a few right choices, is more a lullaby than a symphony. I might only be one good decision away from the most important step in my destiny.

With tears pooling in my eyes, I silently bowed my head.

Father, I long to know what it’s like to live without being held in the tight fist of fear. Lord, from this moment on I want to choose courage. Will You place before me an opportunity today to choose to be brave? Give me strength to live. Really live.

Today was a great day to utter those words. Dad had a repeat of the procedure that began our horrific journey last year. As both my sisters were unable to accompany my parents today, one due to illness and the other due to commitments, the responsibility of their care fell to me. The day went amazingly well. The Lord sent Dad’s favourite nurse from last time to care for him. The surgery went well. It was time to take Dad home. All patients being discharged must leave in a wheelchair. We needed a wheelchair. They were on the main floor. We weren’t on the main floor. It’s pretty much impossible to get a wheelchair up the stairs or on an escalator.

Elevator.

Me on an elevator.

Me and a wheelchair alone on an elevator.

Lord, You know I’m terrified of elevators. I climb multiple flights of stairs and avoid them like the plague. You are extending courage.

Joy…take courage. Take courage.

With each step those words walked before me.

There is never a situation where I cannot choose to be brave.

Me and a wheelchair alone on an elevator.

Doors close.

Surrender.

Pushing a button.

Rising.

Falling.

Up and down.

Trusting.

Doors opening.

Smiles.

Confidence.

Laughter.

Victory.

Faith.

I rode an elevator - twice today.



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9 comments:

On Purpose said...

With tears in my eyes, joy in my heart and my very breath going deeper...I am celebrating with you my friend. For you are His beautiful daugther and He so loves on you in such a special and intimate way...Oh girlie...thank you so much for sharing this with me toinght.

Praise the Lord!

Sharon Sloan said...

That is great, Joy! Your confidence is in Him!

I am not a big fan of elevators -- so I can see you in there with the wheelchair! Courage indeed!

Praying for your dad.

Warmly,
Sharon

Zoe said...

Yay! My warrior princess sister! I'm gratful we are kindred spirits. I can't think of a sweeter and more JOYFUL person I'd like to be when I grow up.
Ride on sister!

Andrea said...

Dear Joy, What a wonderful post to read today (I came to it from Zoe's Proverbs 31 devo)! I am with you in that struggle against fear and anxiety, for I have it, too, and can totally relate. I know the Lord will not ever leave us, so He's with us in all we go through, but there's no denying those feelings of dread, etc., when they come. I have the same issue with elevators as you do - and have overcome it at times in the past couple years - but still it comes and goes. I celebrate your victory in there with the wheelchair! Just take one step at a time each day - don't have to conquer every fear on your list (I, myself, have no interest in flying).

The Lord is faithful and compassionate toward us in our fears, so don't be discouraged. Remember, He Himself said, "...for apart from Me you can do nothing," (John 15:5).
Love, Andrea

lisasmith said...

Joy--Yaay for you, I get the verse immediately "He who has been trusted with little (like riding elevators) will be trusted with much. Greater things, my friend, greater things...like you said, I want to live more than!

Chef Diane said...

Great post my friend. You know what else hit me with this. You rode that elevator out of love for dad. You knew he needed something and you didn't let your fear stop you from getting it for him.

Maybe the lesson here for us is "can we face our fears with the same faith for ourselves as we do when we do when we face them for the benefit of another?"

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Again, way to go my friend. Does this mean you're booking an airplane for a visit? Wish I was there to walk this road with you, but then again, I think you're doing great on your own with Jesus.

I'm not a fan of heights either, or dogs... But I am a fan of Jesus, and he is, indeed, our peace for every step of the journey.

~elaine

Lori said...

Oh Joy, Just loved this post! I could just about hear your heart pounding at the thought of entering that elevator! :)

This week I read in my homework from my Beth Moore Bible Study, "Have you noticed that God often requires us to leave our comfort zones to answer our calling?" She went on to say that if we consider ourselves to be a Christian, according to Romans 8:30, we must consider ourselves called! No amnt of comfort is worth missing the greatest adventure humankind can experience.

Oh Dear Father, Thank you for bringing dear Joy into our lives! What a blessing she is to all of us! Hugs my friend, Lori

~Grace and Peace said...

That's a huge step of faith, Joy! I'm also afraid of dogs for the same reason (childhood trauma). Like Chef Diane said, you did it out of love for your Dad. God blessed you for it. I'm so happy for you!