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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

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Just a way here to express some roots underlying the fear struggle. I am always so glad when i see others discussing themselves personally on their blog. it is hard at times to decide what is good to share and may minister to someone and what is just a bit tmi. The attitude and motive behind the sharing hopefully comes through though, especially to any who are moved by something that hits home for them, I guess the Holy Spirit is quite capable of doing that eh??

As I think about my history of having fear, I came up with these 2 words to help articulate it. Because so many places the Bible says not to be afraid, and i still am afraid, therefore I fail God and feel unworthy. Because in the parable of the talents the one who buried his talent is chastised and anything he had was taken away from him, and because I think in some ways i have buried my talents due to fear or lack of confidence, therefore i too will have whatever i do have taken away. Because Jesus says He is the vine and we are the branches and we must abide in Him to bear fruit, and I so often fail to abide in Him, therefore I do not bear fruit and am unworthy. Because it says let him who doubts expect to recieve nothing from the Lord, and i have had those times of doubt and such, i am to expect nothing from the Lord.

There are other examples but i think I spelled out the diagram of what happens in my mind,heart and soul. Again, I lay all this out as a way to express my fear struggle, not to say this is what i am always experiencing 24/7. Because i do believe God is real, Jesus is Lord and Savior and He is in full control i am able to even post on this blog and seek to deal with my struggles. He always provides hope even in the darkest moments. I just want to lay out all my deepest pain so i can share and both give comfort and be comforted by any who I interact with on here. God has been good since my rough night the other night, as He always is. I just do go through a lot of times where I am overwhelmed by the fear,shame and pain inside and when i am so, it is so tough to turn and rejoice in Him, although often i still try.

So, do you have some because....therefore issues in life?? Does what i share hit home or do you think I miss the boat somehow?? All comments desired, except spam.


At 3:10 AM, Anonymous mariam said...

Hi Robert

Don't be afraid to see a cousellor, if you are not already. It seems as if you are really struggling. I've seen counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists and right now I am seeing a coach. Didn't usually help :) because my depression was very situational but it didn't hurt either. There are Christian counsellors, who combine spirituality with CBT. Just from an outsider's point of view, who doesn't really know you, your current anxieties and fears seem go beyond normal worries and seem disproportionate. This is not you being a coward or unworthy Robert. This is about something which seems to have a hold on you and you might need help to deal with. I hope I am not speaking out of turn. As I say, I don't really know you or your situation - but you seem to be in a lot of pain.

Becoming a Christian has truly freed me from many fears. I have never been really afraid of death. Even when I was an athiest I accepted it. I did really fear the death of my child and my faith has made that possibility easier to accept. I am also much less afraid of the truth. Before I was a Christian I lied a lot because I thought if anyone knew the real me they wouldn't like me. Now I have much more courage to live in the truth because I realize how short this life is and how living with integrity in the most joyous thing we can do.

Jesus also says that the meek shall inherit the earth, that the poor in spirit are blessed, and that if we bring our burdens to Him He will give us rest. He also talks about the widow whose offering of one penny was greater than that of those who offered much more because it was all she had. God does not expect more from us than we can give. We are all "unworthy". Fortunately God loves us anyway and is tenderly compassionate towards us.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Mariam- you are not speaking out of turn at all. i have seen a few counselors since I was 18. I was seeing one and we were making progress and he was killed in a car accident. I agree with you my struggles run deeper than the norm. I think i pile upon myself because i have had counseling, I have sought to be a counselor myself as well as a minister, yet here I am with the pain and struggles i have written of. I wish i could find the way to let go of my fear by His help, I am not sure why i seem unable to. I always appreciate your words and your encouragement.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Gail said...


"saw" you over at 'Tears Behind The Smile -' Wonderingsoul's blog. Thought I would come by and say "hi" as one fellow truth seeker to another. Over at my blog - "knowYOurItrs" it is all about such a journey my post dated 9/4/08 is kinda a 'tell-all' if you are interested.
Anyway it is so nice to meet you.
and may I add

"courage looks straight ahead
faith looks up
and shame looks down

love Gail

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous mariam said...

I am sure your have heard the story about the two wolves. A Cherokee elder tells his grandson: "There is a terrible fight going on inside me, between two wolves. One wolf is evil and ugly. He is angry, fearful, warlike, greedy, self-pitying, sorrowful, regretful, guilty, resentful, selfish, mean and arrogant. The other wolf is beautiful and good: He is friendly, joyful, peaceful, loving, hopeful, just, fair, generous, true, compassionate, grateful and noble. It is a terrible fight they are having and sometimes I fear it will tear me apart."
The grandson looks to the elder, in self-recognition and fearfully says, "The same two wolves are fighting inside me grandfather. But which will win?"
The elder says "The wolf that you feed."

St Paul says: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

I have often seen the first quotation on the walls of counsellors' offices. Rarely the second, although they say the same thing. The key in the first story is that it is not about fighting the ugly wolf. We will always lose that fight. It is about feeding the good wolf and starving the bad one.

One of the essential features of cognitive behavior therapy whether it is being used to treat depression, anxiety, trauma or even just helping someone through a temporary crisis is the practise of positive affirmation and positive action. This means everytime a negative thought pops up in your head you starve it by turning away from it and practising a positive thought or action. Feed the good wolf.

Our brains are wired so that thoughts follow along the path of least resistance. If our natural inborn chemistry or negative experiences cause us to automatically think negative thoughts, new thoughts will automatically go down those paths. So that neural pathway becomes more and more heavily ingrained. The negative pathway becomes not just that path of least resistance but sometimes it feels as if it is the only path. Now there are some cases where only medication can repair this. However, when you practise positive affirmations what you are doing is path-breaking in your brain. Laying down a new path for thoughts to follow. Of course, at first, all your thoughts will still want to continue down the well-worn path. So you must steer them back down the positive path. Of course this change doesn't happen overnight or even over a year and if your brain chemistry or negative life experiences mean that the positive path is always uphill there will always be that tendency in our brains to follow that easier path even if it takes us to a dark place where we get lost. All God really wants from us is our attempts to stay on that upward path. He knows it is harder for some than others. Some are striving ahead, the chains dropping and becoming lighter as they go; some are crawling and some are just lying on the path with their hands bleeding from the effort of gripping the ground to keep from falling off.

You believe you are unworthy, Robert. I believe I am unworthy. Any way we look at things we will always fail to be the people we "should" be, the people God means us to be. But it does not matter what we think. It does not matter what the ugly wolf is telling us . God thinks we are worthy of his love. So worthy that He was willing to die for us. We are worthy of God's love, Robert. What greater worth is there than that? Take that, ugly wolf!


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