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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, October 03, 2010

Perfect Love

Feeling the pain of not *getting it* again. Mariams comments make so much sense and reflect my beliefs as well, but my feeling/experience so differ. What keeps me from experiencing Gods perfect love?? Why is there a fear of punishment still??? Is it because all the stories in the OT about God judging people with death??? Is it because I have the calvinist views inside that say I may not be elect and not know it??? A mixture of all kinds of things??

How do I just believe and trust God period??? Sounds so stupid when i write that as i have been living my life since 16 doing that, seeking to best i knew how. This goes back to my question about what is *being human*??? Jesus places the bar at a height impossible for us to ever reach right??? Wasn't that the whole purpose of the Law?? To show us we could not do it??? ever??? So,why are faith & obedience made into a newer version of the law then??? If we don't have enough faith or obedience we may lose our salvation. UGHHHHHH!!!!

Repenting is a change of mind/direction. But, we all commot habitual sins right?? We confess them and repent again and again. We have times where we doubt any of its real right??? Just going crazy inside myself wanting to be free to just trust and have the attitude of gratefulness no matter what, even if God slays me or has me go through various sufferings. I guess its so hard because this has been what i have sought to avoid and made that decision deep deep inside after my dad died. I pray to have this trust and sure enough the old tapes start to roll and my fear thoughts appear- *gonna die*, *gonna suffer real bad* , your heart is gonna stop and your gonna be buried and never escape feel suffocated forever*

These are the thoughts that cause the feelings that torture me. God tells me to trust Him and know these things are not true!!!! i believe Him, so why do I struggle alot with believing Him and acting like these thoughts are true and real?? Help me God to experience trust and give it to You with my entire being!!!


At 2:52 AM, Anonymous Mariam said...

I addressed some of your questions in another comment to the previous post.

I think I have told you this before, that as an atheist I did not really fear death. Oh, of course we all have an instinctual fear of pain and death. If we didn't humans wouldn't have lasted long. However I didn't lose any sleep over it. I didn't believe in an afterlife as such. I thought upon death our bodies went back to the earth and our soul, if we had one, well I wasn't sure what happened, but I didn't think it was bad. My notion of death was peaceful.

It wasn't until after my sister's death at a young age, after a troubled unhappy life, that I started to hope and wish that we were more than just a bag of chemicals, that there might be some sort of afterlife that made up for pain and suffering. I found her death profoundly depressing because I didn't believe in anything beyond ourselves and the whole thing seemed such a waste. Imagine how depressed I would have been if I believed in Calvin's God then, because there is no way my sister would have qualified for heaven in any of the traditional church views. In my wishful thinking mode I wanted to believe she was finally happy and at peace in a beautiful place.

But when I faced the spectre of my daughter's possible death at her own hand, I was lost. Death no longer seemed peaceful. It seemed like a siren calling her to hell. Even though I still didn't believe in God I was more and more convinced of an afterlife, one in which she would wander forever lost and in pain. I even thought that if one of her suicide attempts succeeded I would have to follow her because I couldn't bear the thought of her all alone on the other side. That is when I chose faith - because life (and death) without a reason, without a loving God, no longer made sense. Perfect love casts out all fear. I no longer fear Death because I believe in an all-loving, all-merciful father God who will pursue us to end of eternity until we finally understand His purpose and His love for us.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Mariam- I so thank you for both responses you gave me. I love the deep well you draw wisdom and caring from my friend!!! You are pretty right on for the most part in how you see where i got to where i am. I do agree with you about God being who He says he is in His Word.I just somehow have twisted some things as far as certain levels of faith & obedience I need to be at that i dont see myself being at and so it creates a huge tailspin in my thinking and feeling. In somplest of terms, i still have a lot of emotional immaturity I hold onto, since perfect in the Bible means mature.I dont understand why for all this time i have not broken free from my immature ideas in certain areas.I do thank you very much again for what you shared, I had a lil epiphany today at work thinking it over and realized fear is not a *thing*, it is a reaction and response that can be defused. i just need to immerse myself in the reality Gods love and grace FOR ME are not linked to behavior. I have no trouble doing that for OTHERS but find it near inpossible to do for myself.

At 1:04 AM, Anonymous mariam said...

Just remember God's "Word" is Jesus, who was with God in the beginning. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Bible tells us what men thought about God but Jesus through His life and death and love tells us who God is. So, yes God tells who He is in his Word, and his Word is Jesus.

It is great that you realize that fear is just a reaction your body is having to your thoughts. It is not some separate monster that invades you. You probably have more panic chemicals and fewer soothing chemicals tha other people so you have to work on addressing that imbalance. You can, indeed change that reaction you have to your thoughts by first changing your thoughts. When you have a fearful reaction realize that is what it is and don't panic. Don't try and find outside reasons for it. Ride it out and think about the thoughts that started the downward spiral - the trigger. This is what depression and anxiety are about. Something we might not even be aware of triggers the reaction or something triggers the reaction that we know is silly and so we look for others reasons for why we are feeling the way we do and think about those things and become more depressed and anxious. Sometimes my daughter and my brother-in-law even appear to make things up to explain why they are hiding or extremely depressed. They don't know why they are fearful or sad and they need to find and explanation. Sometimes they even believe it themselves.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Mariam- yes so true. Even if somehow the Bible disappeared, Jesus IS Gods Word!!!

I cal sure relate to your daughter and bro-in-law sounds like. I think i do have an overload of the chemicals which induce fear response. Does your daughter take anti-anxiety or anti-depressant meds?? Just curious as i sure have many times when the feelings/thoughts just happen out of nowhere or lurk under the surface and decide to strike without warning.

has your daughter struggled with feeling guilty or ashamed for having this issue and not getting past it?? That is a big roadblock for me because my mind and heart KNOW what Gods Word says and who He is....yet the fear struggle remains. I wish I could be on automatic pilot like my bodily functions that are. i dont have to think about breathing i just do it. Wish i could just DO fearlessness and free from it!!

At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Mariam said...

Hi robert

My brother-in-law is paranoid schizophrenic so that is a bit different. However i don't think it is that easy to pidgeonhole. Before he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, he suffered from extreme anxiety and depression which was untreated. Over time I think it developed into psychosis. Even now it is extreme anxiety that pushes him over the edge into psychosis. During stressful times the doctor doubles his anti-psychotics.

My daughter does take both anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds and has also been prescribed anti-psychotics at times. Like her uncle when she gets too stressed out she has a tendency to step outside reality and imagine things and go into dissociative fugues. She takes her meds fairly regularly now but it was a long difficult journey convincing her to take them. Even still she has periods of times when she is too depressed to take them or too paranoid to take them and then things go very badly.

Yes , she feels guilty and ashamed. She isn't particularly religious so she doesn't share any of your fear of God and Hell. She often speaks (to my sorrow) as though death would be a relief. It isn't death she fears - it's life. However when she is in a particularly anxious or depressed state she often does things she is ashamed of and then lies to cover it up and then becomes extremely anxious someone will catch her in a lie or fins out what she has done and this provokes more crazy behavior and down the spiral we go.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Robert said...

Mariam- hope you come back and see this my friend i just now saw you responded!!! I totally agree with you it can't be pigeonholed. I can relate to what your saying your daughter goes through, even though she doesnt share same religious views as me, Life is scary, fully agree with her there, especially when you feel you lack coping mechanisms. Please tell her someone in the blogger world relates and wishes her peace in the journey. Thanks so much for sharing Mariam. Huggsss


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