It's amazing to me how as soon as I complained about having no ideas last week, now I'm posting every day this week. I think it's because I don't have a pastor right now. There's nobody I can talk with about this as much as I need to who really understands how I feel. So you are my counselors. You are my therapy. Thanks for listening.
I mainly want to respond to some comments from yesterday's post today. Rather than actually copy and paste quotes, which would take a lot of space, I'll try to summarize each comment and respond accordingly. If you think I misinterpreted your comment, please say so.
My sister basically encouraged me to give my fears to God. I believe in that, but I need verses. Are there Bible verses that specifically tell us to give our fears to God? If so, I'd like to see them. In my Bible, all I see are a whole lot of specific examples of believers being told not to fear, and there being consequences when they do. How many times did Jesus accuse his own disciples of having little or no faith because of their fear? Many, many times. Until someone shows me otherwise, I think the only way to get past fear is to learn to trust God. If we pray for that, God will help us with it, for sure. But in order to really learn to trust God, I have to get to know him better, and that takes time.
(Tia Rebholz posted in comments: One of my favorite "do not fear" verses is 1 John 4:18:
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love." )
Thanks for that scripture, Tia! That's one I had forgotten. And there are so many translations, sometimes the way you remember a verse isn't the way it's worded in the version you're searching. So I missed that one yesterday. Thanks for your prayers and your friendship these many years. More years than either of us would care to admit. At least we've still got our looks! :-)
I continue to reconnect with loved ones, which helps a lot. Yesterday I had a great conversation with one of my oldest friends, and another with one of my newest. On Tuesday, I had the most amazing heart to heart conversation with my friend Tony Koch. He's Nicki Morgan's brother, whom I reconnected with last week. Their family means the world to me. I'm still overflowing from that conversation.
Our social calendar is completely ridiculous. Ridiculous, but normal. By March 5th, we will have had social engagements every weekend for 6 weeks. It's wonderful, and I really need the contact, but we're getting pretty tired. We have exactly one Saturday open from now until April, and we're keeping it that way. We need to slow down.
I also want to ask everyone here who believes in prayer to pray for my friend Sandi Labo today, who I've mentioned here before. Her dad passed away, suddenly and tragically, three days after we met, and she's been on my mind ever since. Today is her dad's birthday. He would have been 68, only eight years older than me. That really brings it home. Today will be very tough for her.
It might have been a mistake to post today, given how tired I am. I might come off more negative than usual. When I don't sleep well, I'm not myself. I can't concentrate, and I find it hard to care about anything. So I might feel like my tone is too down in this one when I reread it tomorrow, but this is how I feel today. Not great.
I realize that when someone reads through this journal in one sitting, which new readers still do, it's going to come off very inconsistent, almost hypocritical. From day one since I started this journal, I've been at peace, and almost been smug about it. Now I'm tied up in knots because of one phone call, which may turn out to be nothing. But while the peace may be gone temporarily, the joy is still there. I want to talk about joy soon, because this is the first time in my life that I've really experienced it for a sustained length of time. Joy isn't based on circumstances, like happiness. It springs from within, in spite of circumstances.
No matter how this turns out, I may not have peace in the midst of this storm right now, but I do have joy. And I have you. Thanks for bearing with my ups and downs. I don't have a church home right now, but I have you. I don't have a counselor right now, but I have you. You're amazing. I couldn't do this without you.