Tag Archives: fear

Radio and a Revelation

cat with self esteemOkay, so last week was a very busy, very draining week. I was here in Grand Rapids, MI, mourning the death of our family matriarch, Auntie Margaret, separated from the remainder of my grieving family by thousands of miles… and missing them like I never thought possible. I was feeling nothing but the funk.

I was NOT inspired or ‘feelin’ it at all and felt a bit pressured to be radio-ready in less than an hour.
I am part of a group of fabulous women known as the FreedomGirl Sisterhood and we do a weekly blogtalk radio program, ‘FreedomGirl Sisterhood Radio’. These women are brilliant, godly, and are not easy to hide among. I’m sure the topic of the program, Self-Esteem and Self-Worth, had me heading for the doors, too! I just LOVE talking about self-esteem (sarcasm ON). Oh yeah. Pretty much any sort of touchy-feely, ‘look into my eyes and tell me how you love yourself’ moments are very uncomfortable for me and cause me to want to go sit in the corner and color in my adult coloring book. 
Anyway, on that gloomy day my friend and FreedomGirl Sisterhood radio co-hort, Shelly and I arrived at the recording studio. I quietly whined to her about how I felt like such a failure as a writer and how I’d probably never come up with another good idea for a book and that it’s all too hard, and blah blah blah… 
I never was able to finish my whining because I was rudely (just kidding!) interrupted by the head FreedomGirl, our fearless leader Pastor Dawn Scott Damon, who came bounding into the room. We were all headed out to do ministry related things after the recording, so we dove right in to the program. We did the open, then Dawn began teasing our topic before we opened it up and began sharing. 
Who knew that sitting right there in the first 10 minutes of recording the program that I was going to have a revelation!! Woo hoo! Isn’t it just like God to quietly step in to that place of void and insufficiency and cover us in the vulnerable moments? Seriously, people I have struggled my entire life with self-esteem/self-worth issues and I didn’t think I had anything to contribute to this radio show. 
But I listened intently as Dawn asked what the difference was between self-esteem and self-worth. Hmmm, I thought… that’s a good question. We batted that around a little bit as Dawn gave her answer. Her answer changed my entire perspective and gave me freedom to feel okay with liking who I am because of the way He sees me! Yay! 
Okay, so here’s my revelation:
Self esteem is pretty much performance based – the things that we do or say. Beginning when we are very young, our parents and caregivers teach us and esteem us when we demonstrate what we’ve learned. We are esteemed by those who work or study with us. We are held in high esteem in our churches and social circles. People really like us and what we do. It’s an ego thing. Self-esteem is really a circumstantial thing, in that its dependent on the accolades – which will eventually die down, and people will stop telling us that we’re fabulous…and eventually we’re left with just ourselves. Self-esteem is really a FEELING and oftentimes nothing more.

Oh, but self-WORTH… self-worth is based on only the TRUTH. Self-worth is really almost a foundational thing… a gut thing. A KNOWING that you and I are a worthwhile human being… that God made you and I and because of that ONE thing alone, we ARE truly worth it! Self-worth knows how to answer the door when doubt and confusion knock. They answer with the TRUTH  about WHO God says I am. That’s why its not circumstantial. Self-worth is based on TRUTH. And truth NEVER changes. Its always the same! Yay! 
Wow. There is freedom right here… truth is always freedom. I will tell you that doing radio that day was awesome. 
Listen to the podcast tonight at 8pm at www.blogtalkradio.com/freedomgirlsisterhood
and hear the FreedomGirls talk about the difference between self-esteem and self-worth.
Don’t miss it!

Truth Slam

UrbanDictionary.com defines the term ‘poetry slam‘ as

 

“a type of poetry, usually a competition, expressing the personal story and/or struggle of the poet, usually in an intensely emotional style.
Very powerful, sincere, and moving.”

 

Now I’ve seen many a poetry slam and have always admired the courage and guts it takes to get up in front of a group of mostly strangers and lay all your ‘stuff’ out there for all to judge. I  don’t think I could actually DO that – do you?

 

For me anyway, when I feel wobbly and shaky, and the committee chatter from my broken parts (i.e., the voices that talk at us or the words/names that are thrown at us in our heads) is loud and chaotic, that I need to have my own slam…


truth signsla
m!

 

Its been confirmed by multiple sources, including myself, that I am in a funk. I have been in a really gnarly place lately. I’m talking abouta very familiar, very unwelcome place where I spent too much of my life in years past, trying to convince everyone including myself that I was doing just fine, thank you very much! I was a woman that worked hard,  loved my family and friends, and thought that if I just kept pluggin’ things would get better… somehow, some way.

 

But they never did. They became worse with each passing year, until I was obsessed about how to die. I believed and listened as the lies were flung around inside of me in the dark. And they all said the same thing: 

                             

 

You are worthless. I hate you. You don’t deserve to be alive.

 

 

 

The lies were so entrenched in my soul and my spirit that I bought them hook, line and sinker. I was broken, feeling hopeless and was losing the battle to stop hurting myself with my words and actions…
I simply couldn’t find a way to hang on any longer.

 

Then I learned about the POWER of Truth:
 

God.
And there you have it.  Simply God.

 

What I have learned is that God sees the big picture and knows the whole story from beginning to end. I do not.

  – Truth is the greatest weapon I have.  It’s what kills lies.

 


TRUTH kills lies!

 

All of the destructive, soul killing lies that bounce around in my head – wildly out of control –
are DEAD as soon as TRUTH is thrown into the mix.

 


It’s called FREEDOM. Truth really DOES set us FREE!!

 

 

 

So when those lies start running around causing trouble, I need to remind myself to remember the TRUTH.

And the truth is what God says it is. Period.

Truth that tells you that ‘you are LOVED unconditionally, to the moon and back, by the Creator of the Universe!

 

Truth that SEES me, and yet beckons, ‘Come to me with your weariness and burdens and I will give you REST,’ and ‘Whosoever will, let her come…’

 

Truth that tells me that He is who He says He is! I am who GOD says I am! The head and NOT the tail!

 

Truth that willingly climbed onto a tree and chose to love me like no one else ever would.

 

Its right HERE…when I’m in this place of regret and remorse and shame, that I find this immovable, unrelenting TRUTH… and it brings FREEDOM!
                                             
What about YOU? Are you bound by something and its keeping you from God’s best?

Are you struggling to get & stay FREE from something?

What do you do in those moments?

 

Grateful.

The calenLove Letters from the Edge: Meditations for Those Struggling with Brokenness, Trauma, and the Pain of Lifedar confirms what I suspected when I woke yesterday morning: it was the official publishing date, June 1, 2014, of my first book – or any book for that matter!

Wow. No, really. WOW. WOW! How the heck did THIS happen? What the heck? Exactly WHO the HECK do I think I am?

I actually feel the urge to let myself giggle – just let that almost hysterical giggle that is bubbling up inside of me just SPILL OUT! Loudly. For a long time. I mean, who would have thought that I would be doing THIS? It really is a miracle whether you know it or not.

 

So am I. A miracle. A grateful miracle.

 

Let me cut to the chase, ok?

Not too long ago I was soul-sick and dying. Right there in front of people, I was bleeding out, gasping for an unrestrained breath, and grasping at anything that had the potential to ‘fix’ me. I needed something, anything, that would help me make it through the next moment, day or year without shooting myself or stepping out in front of an 18-wheeler barreling down the highway. 

So grateful that the God of the universe listens to His people when they pray – and that prayer really DOES change things… and PEOPLE!

 

 Love Letters from the Edge: Meditations for Those Struggling with Brokenness,
Trauma, and the Pain of Life

is the name of my book.

It’s co-authored with my friend and mentor, award-winning author Shelly Beach.

It’s not a ‘comfortable’ book because it deals with trauma.
And brokenness. And doubt. And hard questions.

 

But the name of the book speaks of love letters because after women give voice to the pain, lament and trauma of their life – God responds with words of TRUTH and LOVE. He speaks words of a Father who loves His children… most especially the wounded, sick and broken among us. He writes a love letter in response to our pain and questions – and still calls us His very own and continues to love us more than anyone ever will.

If you know someone who is struggling to ‘get it right’, but no matter what she does or how many promises she makes, she just can’t stop doing the things that harm her and cause her to walk in shame, she needs to know that there is HOPE. HOPE for wholeness and healing.

Hope for a good life when trauma, not symptoms, are processed.


Hope. Because there is God.

 

Check it out at www.LoveLettersFromtheEdge.com

 

Don’t buy the lie!

fearisaliar

Befuddled.

That’s what I am. 
Today is one of THOSE days.

I don’t know what God was thinking when He placed the gifts inside of me that He did! It seems like lately I battle this sinking feeling that I am not going to be able to pull it off! Must it all be so hard? Not that things need to be easy… they don’t. But how about just not so hard? 
 
Yesterday I told my BFF that I’ve been fantasizing about just dropping everything that I am involved in – and just walking (or running!) away into the sunset. Forever.  Yep… I am having moments of wanting to quit.
 

But all I really am is AFRAID.

 
Afraid of failing. And that fear of failure causes me to want to run. I don’t want to embarrass God. 
 
I don’t want to be afraid of saying the wrong thing or of offending people. I don’t want to get in the way of whatever plan God has for the people who will see/hear me speak.
 
Simply because of time, I worry about not being able to do everything I am supposed to be doing: speaking, writing books, blogging, producing, singing, etc…
 
All I have ever really wanted is to be a successful Christian – a Christian who is rooted and grounded, who knows how to utilize the weapons of warfare; a strong woman of God who isn’t tossed around or taken by surprise by any of the adversary’s wily tactics. 
 
That’s where I’m at today. Relax, my friend… I am NOT quitting. I just feel like running away – but I have choices today. I can make the choice to listen to the lies that say I will be an embarrassment to God – or confront that lie with the TRUTH about how God sees me: I’m the apple of His eye, y’all!
 

Today, I can choose to listen to His voice as He whispers in my ear and tells me that He is so tickled by me that He sings over me!

Wow. I make God sing!
 
Today I know that it doesn’t matter what the situation LOOKS like. It doesn’t matter what I see, what I hear, what I smell, what I touch or what I feel. I know that He sees me as His beloved daughter and that He couldn’t possibly love me (or you) anymore than He does at this very moment!
 
With your whole heart and both feet, step into the position that God has placed you in! Don’t buy the lie and let fear paralyze you and keep you from using the gifts that God has placed inside of you.

He loves you like crazy and you make Him smile!

 
Zeph. 3:17: The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Facing Fear

fear

Well, here goes (gulp). My first official blog post, on my first official blog. Who’da thunk it?

With my book coming out soon – my publisher and writer friends tell me that I need to be more active on social media. Hence, the blog. And let’s face it – this blogging thing is quite the hit nowadays. So, here I am!

But it never fails that seconds after I think about writing this blog, my anxiety explodes like fireworks on the Fourth of July. Ok, well maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I DO feel dread. And cold fear. And that’s no exaggeration!

Truth: I grapple with fears about my writing. 

I’m a former hermit who valued privacy and solitude above all else for the majority of my 50+ years, and today I’m pulling back the drapes, throwing open the windows and letting you see who I am. So yeah, today’s significant for me.

Today I am ready to own my message and tell you I have important things to say.

I invite you to listen in because I believe the things I’ve learned are significant. We all share the same struggles. If God can coax a middle-aged (but pretty darned cute) self-avowed hermit into the world of social media, imagine what He can do for you.

This moment has been a long time coming, and I fought it with everything I had–especially for the last four years of my life.

The Pointer Sisters said it better and with more soul than I ever could; today I’m officially coming out–I’m coming out of hiding.

If you don’t know me personally, allow me to leave you with a glimpse of who I am:

  • Above all, I’m a Christ follower. When I say that, I mean I have on-going daily conversations with Jesus (God), and pretty much every decision I make happens only after I’ve spoken – then listened (or tried to listen) – to God. Cover to cover, I believe what the Bible says, even the parts I may not like or fully understand.
  •  I’m honored to be the daughter of some of the best people I know — my amazing parents. They made me the very grateful eldest sibling to eight of the most amazing humans walking the planet. My nieces and nephews (over 20 of them now) have taught me many things over the years – but mostly how to love like I never knew I could.
  • Grandparents. One of God’s biggest blessings is the relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. I had THE best grandfathers EVER, and my grandmother is still a beautiful, sweet woman who is finally letting people wait on her a little bit now that she is 90. I want to be like her when I grow up — to have her grace and her energy!

Today I’m inviting YOU to join me on my journey. I want to share life-changing (and at times, fun) things with you, and I am excited to learn valuable things from you too!

I have a question for you… and if you would be so kind and answer the two questions as honestly as you can. Comment only on the subject matter please.  Please put your answer below

As I mentioned earlier, I struggle with fear regarding my writing (and other things too). What’s one thing you find yourself struggling with? And how do you handle your fears?

Thanks for your patience as this blog takes shape. And thanks for stopping by! I’m hoping you come back often.