I Don’t Think I Fear . . . Until {Book Club}

Today we finish What Women Fear by Angie Smith as we explore three final fears:

Fear of God’s Plan for My Life

Fear that God Isn’t Real and

Fear of God

Just some fluffy stuff here at the Velvet Ashes book club. HA! During the spring and fall, we bring it, don’t we :)?

As Danielle said in the session video of the Velvet Ashes Retreat, we don’t tend to think of ourselves as fearful women. Instead, we are the brave ones. And I go along believing this lie and patting myself on the back, living in minor delusion-ville believing that this book is for YOU or HER.

Until.

Until someone makes an innocent comment that pokes at a part of my heart I didn’t think would respond like she took an AK-47 and shot about 50,000 bullets into me. It was so innocent and not meant to hurt and it is MY issue, not hers.

I do not tend to think of myself as afraid of God’s plan for my life. Are there parts I wonder about? Sure. Will I die overseas? Will my family members “back home” have experiences that I wish I could join in? Will my children (here I’m channeling you) grow up closer to other TCKs than their flesh-and-blood cousins? Will I get to be at friend’s weddings? Hold their babies before they can walk away from me? Have to rely on family to care for aging parents?

Want to know the comment that cut me to the quick? Probably.

I was talking to someone overseas and my book Looming Transitions came up and she said while she is a stayer, she does get tired of all the goodbyes.

Doesn’t look all that cutting, does it? As I said, this is my issue and people don’t need to walk on egg shells around me wondering what is going to internally set me off :). I am trying to be better at noticing my internal reactions and pay attention to what is going on behind them.

Her comment touched on Fear of God’s Plan for My Life. I used to be the stayer. That was me for years and years. I am actually quite happy in my life, until a little comment makes me wish for a different identity than I have. When did I become the “leaver?!” I prefer being the stayer.

This chapter had several places I marked:

“There were moments when He could have changed it all . . . I didn’t give up hope, but in the bright sun, where the grass withered and the tears fell, I had to face reality. My plan was not God’s plan. And quite frankly, I liked mine a whole lot better.”

The Bible is littered with stories of people who believed they had a better solution than the one God was offering to them. What we notice upon reading these stories is that the Lord doesn’t respond the same way to each one; it seems that individuals who plead their case to Him while expressing a genuine desire to remain in His will have influenced His response.”

It is a comfort that God is not always the same. It can be maddening! Yes. But I like that God doesn’t respond to my situation or your life like a formula. Instead, it is a relationship. As Angie said, these statements that God is in control ring different in a greeting card store, than at a graveyard. I just got a prayer update from my church and a beloved member died unexpectedly today. Another friend is facing a health situation that has had me in tears on and off all week.

As I say almost every week, I just looked at the word count and I need to move this along or we will be here all day! In chapter 9, Angie explored the fear that God isn’t real. We know this can happen to people, even people in our line of work. We looked at experiencing a faith crisis on the field {an interview}

And we also talked about the fear of the Lord during the retreat. Did you read this article about the fear of the Lord? What did you think of being in awe of the Lord?

I’ve barely scratched the surface, let’s talk more in the comments. Next week I’ll be sharing the next seven—yes! seven—books we’ll be reading. Good times are before us :).

Amy

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9 Comments

  1. Elizabeth April 26, 2016

    “I don’t think I fear, until . . . .” Yes! I don’t think I fear, until insecurity blind-sides me. Again. And I have to go back to God with questions. Again. And I have to lay down my pride. Again. And I have to look to Him alone for security. Again. Just like I always should have been doing and thought I was doing until something insidious had sneaked into my heart. Again.

    So yeah. I relate to Danielle’s statement!

    Also just a note of support and sisterhood to anyone doubting in their faith today. I, like Caitlin, had a months-long crisis of faith on the field. Just want to say that nothing is wrong with you if this happens to you! You can get through this season, but please please please be patient and gentle with yourself as you navigate your way through it. If that’s you today, sending you lots of love!

    1. Amy Young April 27, 2016

      Elizabeth, such wisdom here. Be gentle and patient. And lots of love.

  2. Monica F April 26, 2016

    “There were moments when He could have changed it all . . . I didn’t give up hope, but in the bright sun, where the grass withered and the tears fell, I had to face reality. My plan was not God’s plan. And quite frankly, I liked mine a whole lot better.”

    This quote really hit me.  Being in the midst of transition, I find that I’m very sensitive and tender toward the comments other people (family, friends, supporters, team mates) make about our transition.  Although the majority response to our transition is incredibly encouraging and supportive… I feel there are times I need to justify ‘the change in direction’, or explain over and over again how ‘hard it is, but how we are following His lead’.  Even a year ago I couldn’t have imagined the ‘bend in the road’ our family is on.  Our work and focus hasn’t changed, but the way we are going about it is different, and sometimes I’m really sad that it’s not the way I had planned it to be.  On the other hand, there is joy and anticipation BECAUSE it’s not the way I had planned it to be! Does that make sense?  Even in the security of knowing we are seeking after Him, and following His lead… I still find myself concerned with others expectations (or do they even have them??).  I have to center myself in Him the moment I start worrying, comparing, or justifying.  His plan for me is not His plan for everyone else.  Thanks for sharing Amy. 

    1. Amy Young April 27, 2016

      “Does this make sense?” YES :). It’s funny how strong the ideas/plans we have are. It’s GOOD that they are strong, that our commitment is strong — it’s just when the plan changes and we have to explain it (to ourselves and to others), I wonder what idols I may have in my own life. Even as I type this, I’m wondering what inadvertent ones I have. To be a person of commitment and loyalty, yes. But this is a good reminder to be aware that anything can turn into an idol. Sorry, I’m babbling to myself 🙂

  3. Jenilee April 27, 2016

    I totally relate to the extra sensitivity… especially to comments, even small ones. This just happened to me and it stung. Hurt. Made me fearful of continuing. And I’m not normally quite so sensitive! This book has been very good for me to read. In normally thinking I’m not all that fearful to realizing that I just might be more than I think…

    1. Amy Young April 27, 2016

      Jenilee, I think you and Monica are on to something … to tune into when we are extra-sensitive and follow the thread back. What’s behind it?

  4. Aliyah April 27, 2016

    Yip pretty true – we like our plan better sometimes but God’s plan is so much better. I learned that this year after being all excited about my first book coming out, I hurriedly spent hours awake writing my second. I didn’t want to lose this momentum thing I thought was happening. But when my publisher called and told me they liked the book but would only be making a decision in October, I stood on what felt like the Greenwich Meridian timeline. With one foot in my world and another in Gods world. In that moment peace filled my being, I had been unhappy for weeks, walking my way wanting them to make a decision in my time. But then through those words “October” I heard God tell me, I am giving you space dear one, you need to rest and there is more life I have in store for you. That was Feb and I can tell you I surrendered in to God’s plan and boy am I living! I hardly felt like I was living anymore, fear was driving me and a whole lot of lies. I am more aware then ever that God really does have a better plan and its better then the one I had for myself! Aliyah

    1. Amy Young April 27, 2016

      Isn’t it a great gift when we are allowed to see behind the curtain and the provision behind a plan change. Enjoy resting and the space to reset! 🙂

  5. Ellie April 28, 2016

    Well you know that I couldn’t keep reading this book because it was too much for the stage I’m in at the moment (many/most things are too much at the moment) but I still like to read the posts! Looking forward to seeing what the next 7 books are! (Dunno if I’ll be up to reading them yet, but some day!..)

    Definitely in a stage of “wow, not what we were planning God” and seeing all the people in the bible who had that experience too. Sometimes my problem is seeing just how long many people had to wait for God to “rescue” them from their situation in the bible (Joseph springs to mind often..) Good to hear other people’s stories of thinking/working this through too.

    Really like this quote:” it seems that individuals who plead their case to Him while expressing a genuine desire to remain in His will have influenced His response.”

    Helpful for me thinking about my relationship with him at the moment.

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