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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Sunday, January 04, 2009


We search for them all the time don't we??? We want them,especially for the really tough things. Funny how when we get them though so often they seem to not be the ones we wanted or hoped for. We may reject them or refuse them. Are answers ever enough??

I seek to share my whole self on here, for various reasons. A huge reason because i feel I CAN here in a safe way. I can share as much or little as i want and can get feedback from any number of people who may agree or disagree, be friend,foe or indifferent. It is a very heartening experience having this place to be myself on.

One of my most exasperating issues within myself has been my fear of death. I have posted many many times in various ways on it. I think it began after my dad died but i honestly cannot say for sure. I went to catechism and Roman Catholic Church from around 5 to 12. I took what i learned in catechism very seriously and I think I believed God was good and along with Jesus made sure ultimately that everything was ok and would have a happily ever after ending in Heaven. Having my dad die messed with that inside me. There is a difference between hearing about someone die and experiencing the death of a parent or child or sibling I believe. The hard thing for me has been the emotional agony of it, as opposed to the theology and reality of it.

We all die. We all will die. Somehow the disobedient choice adam and eve made way back in the beginning caused physical death to happen. I fully believe Jesus came as a human, lived a life where He was fully human, tempted as we are in everyway, stayed sinless and perfectly obedient to God the Father, was crucified, died, was buried and then resurrected and went into heaven. Jesus defeated death. I struggle with my own defeat of it. Believing in Jesus gives all who do so eternal life. I have what ifs though. I have felt guilty and ashamed to have these what ifs, especially after seeking to be even more deeply committed to God and wanting to be a minister. I think i have some kind of issue with myself over seeking to be a minister, like I should have known I had the inner demons which caused my failure years after making the commitment and placing myself ina position where my choices affected other people as well.

Why have i had fear??? Is fear emotion?? Thoughts?? A state of being?? The apostles were on the boat in a horrific storm and Jesus stood up before them and calmed the storm, He also chided them for having little faith and letting fear get the better of them. This i think pains me the most. Why have I let fear be so strong and huge in my life?? Why has fear been like a black cloud that causes me to cower and hide, hoping it will eave me alone, instead of boldly staring it down and standing firm in faith, trusting God is there with me at all times???

I guess it goes even deeper. Why have I had such a hard time standing emotionally and mentally strong in faith in God??? I can read His Word and say yes i believe it all. I can talk to other believers or nonbelievers and say yes i believe Him and all He says He is. I believe ultimately He is who He says He is and will bring all things to a good end forever,in His timing. I also see how people have suffered. I saw how my mom went through such grief over losing her lover and soulmate. I see the various sufferings of people,nations,.both from natural and manmade causes. After my dad died, i asked my mon one night, *so are you going to leave too?* I thought death could happen anytime to anyone, especially someone i cared about and loved very much. I felt like somehow i did something to make my dad die, like somehow i could have been better or something so he wouldn't have. I have struggled with survivors guilt in a way, wondering why i am still here, especially when i have made so many foolish choices and still do so, even with all I have learned and gone through.

Answers. God Himself, in Jesus, is an answer. Wanting God as opposed to wanting something from God, maybe that is one of the best answers of all. Although wanting Gods help and His protection, His love and peace, as well as other good things from Him who created us, that can't be a bad thing can it??? How do I let go of this fear of death??? Am i addicted to it somehow like it is a way to tell God i am so weak and hurting please don't give me anything like my dad went through??? I HAVE a weak heart, that is just as bad as cancer isn't it??? Maybe i AM going through similar stuff as my dad, and handling it as he did. I know I will continue to seek, to share, to struggle. I am thankful so many are alongside me doing the same. Please share however you like. Questions and wonderings can also be good answers.


At 6:22 PM, Blogger Aphra said...

Hi Robert,

I came via Barbara's blog.
This post really resonated with me. I've been thinking about these things a lot recently.
How old were you when your dad died? Is it ok if I ask why he died?


At 3:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess we just have to get to that place where we know that we know that we KNOW, we as Chsristians WILL have eternal life. We Will live and NOT die! Then the fear will go.

Remember, years ago I used the term "fear" as being
F alse
E vidence
A ppearing
R eal

I really cannot give you any advice I haven't already given you in the past or you haven't heard before.

Keep hangin' in there!

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Hi aphra- thanks so much for stopping by!! I was 8 when my dad died, he was 30. he died of skin cancer which spread throughout his entire body. I love barbara and her blog, so cool to meet you.

Janice you lil miraclegal- yes I know i need nothing new added from you my friend. I guess i just need to come to the place of accepting the true reality He is always here no matter what fears or feelings try to make otherwise and that He loves me with all my weaknesses and failings. So happy to be in touch with you again and to see your vibrancy!!! Keep it going buddy!!!

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto what Miraclegal said. I don't know how to help you Robert except to be here as your friend. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to lose a parent but I do realise that one day I will find out. Perhaps then, and only then, will I truly appreciate what you have gone through all these years.

Of course you were only a child while I will be an adult and I think that will mean a very big difference in how I cope with the inevitable. Many blessings to you my dear friend.

At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We lost a daughter two years ago. I guess it's something we all deal with, and I know it's not over, it'll come again.

There's hope and beauty still in life, pain makes it all the sweeter when the treasures come.

At 6:24 AM, Blogger Aphra said...

30 is very young to die:( Especially from skin cancer- was it not detected early enough for treatment? (My husband worked at a Cancer Clinic before his Breakdown)

At 6:48 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Gypsy girl- ah thank you special friend!!! I know losing a parent is never easy no matter what age when it happens I know good things will happen this year and journeying on down lifes road along with you is one of them!!! much love sweet lady

beetlebabee- so sorry for your loss!!! I hope tons of caring tlc were given you by loved ones and close friends you are so very right on about life always being filled with joy as well as the pain ty for coming by here

aphra- he had a few surgeries as well as radiation done doctors had told him he had a window period where if the cancer didnt return, he would be free of it, right before that deadline hit they found more cancer :( ty so much for asking aphra

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Cathy Weymouth said...

Hi Robert! I can't remember if I have shared this with you already or not - so bear with me!

I heard a teaching about fear and faith from Henry Wright that has always stuck with me. Here's my paraphrase: Both fear and faith demand to be fulfilled... there is a push or force causing each to become a result. But (un)-fortunately, not both will come to it's inevitable end as you can walk only one road OR the other. You cannot walk both.

So one of the best ways to fight fear (of death or anything) is to say, "I can choose the path of fear OR I can choose the path of faith. I can't walk both paths in this topic. And since both demand to be fulfilled, I choose faith - as I would rather that be the one with the outcome!"

It's a conscious choice of faith over fear, made over and over again when Fear tries to raise it's ugly head.

Sounds a bit simplistic, but it works for me! "Get behind me, Fear, I am choosing Faith!"


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