Tag Archives: anxiety

Let Go of Tidy Faith 

I am not a neat freak. At least when it comes to our home, my bedroom, and my hairstyle.tidy faith large

Unfortunately, I can be a perfectionist of presentation when it comes to my faith.

When life presents difficult moments, moments when I doubt God’s provision, I cling to this concept of tidy faith. When exhaustion, discouragement, and loneliness settle in for a siege on my soul, I cling to truth of Scripture as my life-line. I busy myself with life-giving tasks that remind me I am not defeated. I pray, hard. This is absolutely the appropriate response in difficult times… save for one missing piece: acknowledging the distress.

Recovering perfectionists like myself would never say out loud that we have it all together, but we try to present such confidence in our faith.

Tidy Faith skips the relational step of crying out to God: this hurts! It jumps straight to the part where we preach truth to ourselves (which, of course, is crucial). However, we should not pursue the strength to move on without acknowledging the need for an intimate outpouring of our hearts to God. (Psalm 62:8)

tidy faith

Messy Faith provides this avenue for intimacy with God. He is inviting us to just be real with Him for a change.

Tidy Faith is a breeding ground for false humility. False humility is, in fact,  pride. Often, I think so lowly of my struggles that I assume God does not care about these little battles. Because I am still thinking of myself, albeit negatively, my pride is still on full display. I rewrite first Peter 5:7 to say “cast all your cares on yourself, Becky, because they are too insignificant for God to be concerned.”

Messy Faith gets me thinking about God’s greatness, His kindness… His closeness to invite me, with all my own small problems, into His embrace. With eyes on Him, I can experience the true humility required to let go of presentable faith. Engaging in messy faith gives me permission to be real and honest with my emotions and discouragement. God says that He cares(!), so we should be humble, messy enough to cast all our cares on Him!

messy faith

Tidy Faith upholds a sense of respect and honor towards God. It drives us to worship Him instead of complaining about our distress. While this perspective is necessary and admirable, I believe God wants more than respect and honor. Many of the Psalms exemplify the reality of messy faith. To cry out in anguish, question the Almighty, and lay all burdens of woe at His feet, and still proclaim His faithful lovingkindness. God desires intimate relationship in the untidy moments of despair.

Messy Faith gives us that intimacy.

I should note that we cannot remove faith from the equation. It is tempting to simply allow ourselves to be messy, but we must not let our emotions run rampant, trampling down truth so it can’t heal our hearts. Trust is a choice that should not be confused with emotion.

Can we let go of Tidy Faith.

Can we embrace a messy faith which acknowledges pain, uncertainty, and discouragement?

Could we welcome a wild-haired faith, which brings all the real feelings of a fractured heart to the feet of our Savior?

Dare we champion a disorderly faith which, before moving on to strength-getting and onward-marching, relishes those uncomfortable moments where Jesus meets us, right where we are?

Campfire Check In:

How do you let go of Tidy Faith?

Join me in #40fasts with author Alicia Britt Chole’s book 40 Days of Decrease. Day 5 challenges readers to fast from Tidy Faith, the inspiration for this post.

 

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

Fear Factor Friday: What are we afraid of?

Instead of posting about fears today, I’d like to ask my readers a very important question:

What do you think causes the greatest anxiety/fear in people today?

I look forward to addressing each of the answers you provide. Keep your eyes open every Friday for our war on anxiety!

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

Fear Factor Friday: Worship leaves No room for Worry

My beautiful little sister is getting married tonight. Fear has the potential to encircle this day as a great enemy of joy. The bride could freak out over little details or all the coming changes. The mother of the bride might worry things won’t go as planned. The groom may be scared of the father-of-the-bride (just kidding). The wedding singers might fear losing their voice (that would be my husband and I).

We are all facing a “fear factor” this week. Your factor might be a subtle flutter in the back of your mind. Others might be a convincing ache in the pit of her stomach.

I have explored a lot on the subject of fear here on my blog,

God’s Word has several promises regarding fear. Today, I am dwelling on this one:

Image

I hope this truth upholds all members of the wedding party today. My prayer is that we do find a sacred joy in the covenant union between my sister and her husband… a reflection of Christ and His commitment to us! With all this joy and worship of Him, we won’t have room in our hearts or heads to worry or be anxious.

What does it mean for you to exercise your spirit of power, love, and self-discipline over anxiety? Share with us below!

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

Fear Factor Friday: Faint Not

Today’s fear factor is…

World-scares.

The following is from my journal from last September:

After listening to the news, I was absolutely struck with fear for the near future. The announcer was talking about Syria, Russia, homosexual persecution, economic risks, and the potential for WWIII. I’m not sure how the persecution of homosexuals* fits into the rest of the news story. Perhaps it was my confusion that led to more uncertainty. I ended up visiting my husband at the office and dumping an emotional speech about anxiety on him.

My fear was not that our country will fail or that we wont have the comforts and cash we so love. I am aware that God can use both of those to draw the people of the USA closer to Him.

My fear is that I will not suffer well. I will not hold up hope. My soul will grow weary and faint in the midst of difficult times. I will be so focused on my trouble that I will not be a light to others.

Remembering this day, now almost a year later, I realize that world-scares will come and go. Sometimes they are monumentally frightening, other times they fade with the next news show. The challenge from a few weeks ago, regarding “Love vs. Fear,” reminds me again to dig deeper roots into love. (1 Corinthians 13)

I can “bear all things” when I remain in love. 

Before we move on to tackling another facet of conquering fear, let us take “selah” and meditate on this concept: to live from a foundation of love. Take captive that spirit of fear. Look to the cross for truth, grace, and power. Then urge your soul again to “Faint not, but keep up in love.”

20130912-104019.jpg

View the music video of this encouraging song, “Faint Not” by Jenny & Tyler:

 

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0

Fear-Factor Fridays: Grace Finds Me

Last week we tackled being rooted in fear, which produces the fruit of anxiety, insecurity, etc.

Hopefully, we are all striving to be rooted in love instead of fear. Still, a valid question many of us are asking is: “How do you get rid of fear?”

My husband and I debated on whether fear is a restrainable emotion or uncontrolled state of mind. Eventually though, we brought the question back to the Bible.

“To get rid of fear, we must look at the cross,” Shane affirmed.

The cross is where Jesus power was greatly displayed. His power over sin and death is certainly stronger than fear as well.

Also, the cross gives us perspective of God’s grace. So even when our fears seem more persistent than the truth of God’s power, His grace meets us there.

20130912-092158.jpgAs Matt Redman sings, “Your grace finds me…”

My prayer today is this:

“Lord, I am so grateful for this truth: it is your grace that carries me today through every fear that dares to plague my thoughts. In every scenario–Your grace will find me! Someday, I will find the strength to walk in the confidence of your power. Until then, I am ‘breathing in your grace, and breathing out your praise.’ Thank you Savior for this victory–not over– but through the minefield that is my thought-life.”

I echo this prayer over you my friends, my family, my sisters. You might not be struggling with fear in your thoughts, but perhaps it is temptation, uncomfortable situation, a heart-heavy calling, or finding strength to share the gospel with a friend. Look to the cross for a victorious perspective. Sing this truth and let God carry you through it:

 

“It’s there in the newborn cry
It’s there in the light of every sunrise
It’s there in the shadows of this light
Your great grace

It’s there on the mountaintop
It’s there in the everyday and the mundane
There in the sorrow and the dancing
Your great grace

Oh, such grace

From the creation to the cross
Then from the cross into eternity
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

It’s there on a wedding day
There in the weeping by the graveside
There in the very breath we breathe
Your great grace

Same for the rich and poor
Same for the saint and for the sinner
Enough for this whole wide world
Your great grace

Oh, such grace
There in the darkest night of the soul
There in the sweetest songs of victory
Your grace finds me
Yes, Your grace finds me

So I’m breathing in Your grace
And I’m breathing out Your praise
I’m breathing in Your grace
Forever I’ll be
Breathing in Your grace
And I’m breathing out Your praise
I’m breathing in Your grace
For our God, for our God

Yes, Your grace finds me.”
Matt Redman, “Your Grace Finds Me,” 2013

Follow Campfire Grace: its like a smore: you like it, you share it.
0