233 – Focus on His Presence

 233 – Focus on His Presence, not Fear

November 19, 1986

Fear brings a fight-or-flight response. In my case, I pretty quickly go to panic. Fears can be real or imagined.

Here is the list I had in my journal on this day. It is a continuation of the previous blog:

*fear that I am losing the boys and I’ll not regain ‘control’ once they get distracted 

*fear that they will grow up and be weird

*fear someone will see the house messy

*fear the boys will be seen by others while they are fighting

*fear I will not be able to get Daniel playing happily with the toys and I will lose the boys’ interest in the school work while I am helping him

*fear people will see all of us as we really are, so often at odds, it seems.

Often I recognize the moment the fearful thought comes to me and I find myself going with it instead of holding every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

9pm After my half hour walk, I had a good time praying with Dan. I heard myself saying: “I let go of the boys, I just want to be in Your presence, Jesus.” WHAT PEACE CAME TO ME!!

Could this be the missing link?? Please continue to speak, Lord…. what comes immediately to mind is the book about George Mueller, which I began reading last night. As a newly saved believer, when he focused on his girlfriend and was infatuated with her, he had no communication or peace or presence of God. The moment he turned away from her and chose God, God was there. Is that what happens to me, Lord? Please speak to me!

10:30pm I love these verses, thank You!

In Thy presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11

God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved.; God will help her when morning dawns. Psalm 46:5

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. Psalm 95:2

232 – Sorting Out My Fears

232 – Sorting Out My Fears

November 19, 1986

Let us function in love and brotherly kindness in our home! You are my only hope. There is less friction than ever, but sometimes I want to SCREAM.

I do not want cover everything over and just learn how to COPE!  HEAL ME DEEPLY! I want my reactions to be in love and kindness.

Dan discovered the book Inner Healing by Paula and John Sandford. I stopped at the library at Elim to pick it up before my Prophet’s class last night.

My challenges:

*the boys being disobedient—specifically: playfully disregarding me but enjoying each other!

*boys playing too rough and hurting each other

*Daniel being fussy and distracting us from schoolwork

*the stress of trying to keep to our school schedule

*focusing on the messy house

*anger at not having more food, toys, socks for the boys, personal time for me.

I was praying, and this verse came to my mind: When I am afraid I will put my trust in Thee. Psalm 56:3.

Hmmmm…the root of my anger seems to be FEAR—

I sought the Lord and, He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

to be continued on blog 233!

227 -Something Was Not Right

227 – Something Was Not Right

November 3, 1986

Suddenly something was not right with our home group leader. This man had seemed normal and stable. He was well liked. He did well in his classes at the Bible school. Dan admired him. And then one day he seemed to have a break with reality. There was a terrifying episode at the school and it was a very sad event on campus when Jimmy had to be restrained and taken to the hospital. An expanse of prayers went out for both Jimmy and his wife Josie.

Jimmy and Josie shared the two-story Victorian house with us in the village of Livonia, twelve miles from the school. They lived in the smaller one-story parlor, to which had been added a bathroom and a very small kitchen. We shared a connecting door at the base of the stairs. The door was kept locked in order to keep the two residences completely separate and private. (And to keep little boys from running back and forth.) Jimmy and Josie were second- year students and we, of course, were first-year students. They were in their 40’s like Dan and I.

From my journal the next day: Josie came over early this morning to discuss with us her intention of committing Jimmy to an institution. Jimmy was not in agreement and was still not acting in his right mind. We could hear him yelling and objects crashing thunderously. I was crazily worried that he would come bursting through our adjoining door.  

Dan had left for work hours before, and fear came over me big time. The boys helped me gather our school books and cheese and crackers and juice boxes we hurried up the stairs and locked ourselves in the boys’ bedroom! We did not get anything done. We huddled together and sent up some pleas to God to save us and to  protect Josie.

Several hours later Josie let us know that the ambulance had taken Jimmy to a facility. We were all badly shaken. We comforted Josie as best we could. She drove over to the hospital to sign papers then went to the school to talk to the administrators. She ate dinner with us that evening.

I found out two days later that one of the Elim women who led a prayer group on campus, fully aware of Jimmy’s mania, but not aware of our plight that day, had felt strongly to pray for our protection on Monday morning. On Wednesday she came to our house to encourage me and showed me in her journal that her prayers for that day included our names!

Thank You, Jesus! I am so grateful. Joan’s prayers were probably the reason I was not wildly over-reacting to the distress I heard and the distress I felt! Thank You for putting our dilemma on Joan’s heart.

Thank you for delivering us.

Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. Psalm 91:14-15

The fervent prayer of a righteous (woman) accomplishes much! James 5:16b

219 – Pity Party

219 – Pity Party

October 14, 1986  -early Tuesday morning, day off school

All I see is their faults and mine – noisy gongs and clanging symbols.

What will God do to revive our love??

I see that I am closed to accepting help. In many ways I am trying to do it all myself.

Relax, Georgann, let loose. Let the Body of Believers, work.

I cannot see God as Big Enough to orchestrate my kids going with other kids (although no one has asked but Leslie, who invited them to a worldly movie (groan)).

And so I carry this burden of bringing up four boys alone day after day.

My desire is that Dan be more available.

But do I just need to let go and let God get more involved? — and ask for some relief?

Actually—Vivian (new neighbor who moved into Josie’s part of our house) babysits every Tuesday night and Angela babysits every Friday night.

Chris Pletcher, age 13, comes over and plays GI Joes and runs around with them outside with them once a week and Nicole comes and helps with Daniel once in a while, too.

It’s just a pity party… giant groan….

217 – Through the Holy Spirit, Like Jesus

217 – Through the Holy Spirit, Like Jesus

October 8, 1986

Thinking of my heaviness, harshness, at times.

Praying, pleading, for positive attitude.

Having just finished Isaiah and begun Jeremiah last night, reflecting on the fact that God so often seems negative, terrible, full of laws and penalties, unyielding, even mean—we’re a lot like that, aren’t we, Father?

But then came Jesus and the New Testament—the new covenant.

THAT IS WHERE I WANT TO LIVE.

How can I? I ask myself – and I hear:

by the power of the Holy Spirit like Jesus did!!

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit… Luke 4:1

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. Acts 10:38

I choose Your abundant life, Jesus Christ. You are my Lord, Jesus. Let me serve You today. Let me serve my children with kindness in the fullness of Your Spirit.

213 – Narrow, Then Steeper

213 – Narrow, Then Steeper

October 3, 1986

It was so easy to follow You when I was a new Christian. Walking on the narrow road was such a blessed experience in comparison to the wide and wicked one I had been trodding. For a time, I felt so loved, almost pampered, by You. Seeking You had few distractions. I was set determinedly to please You, know You, and be abandoned to Your will.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14

But the way, 12 years later, has become much steeper. Each day is an Everest. I am so emotional and impatient with myself, I have been saying—“could this be the way? Surely my Lord could not expect this of His darling daughter.”

The circumstances seem to be beyond my ability to cope. The self-control needed becomes so painful to exert. Gently, I am praying—let me act gently, lovingly with my sons, my husband, and my friends. Make my feet like *hinds’ feet for these high places. Give me opportunity and the heart for prayer time with You. My Lord and My God. Thy Will Be Done.

*referring to Hinds’ Feet on High Places, by Hannah Hurnard–an allegory about Much Afraid on her journey through the Christian life with its perils, challenges and trials. The way is sometimes treacherous but she is transformed as she pursues her goal to know Him and to reach the High Places of Faith. I could identify with her timidity and tentativeness.

209 ~ I Was Afraid is No Excuse!

209 – ‘I Was Afraid’ is No Excuse!

September 20, 1986

Matthew 25 contains the parable of the talents:

The servant says: Lord, I knew you to be a hard man…and I was afraid, and went and hid your talent…. 24-25

For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have in abundance…. 29

I see this means that God has given each of us talents to use for His purposes and His glory, but fear and self-consciousness, mixed in with laziness and distractibility wreak havoc on good His plans.

Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest, p 111, says: ‘Never say, I can’t. Never let limitation or natural ability come in. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be manifested in us!’

My prayer:

Holy Spirit, Your conviction is so penetrating. I am undone, humbled. There is no argument, no self-justification of inability which can stand against You and Your call.

You have been raising my self-esteem (actually, my identity of who I am in Christ) so that I could receive this word today. You have been working Your word and Your presence into me, so that my self-esteem is tied with you and who YOU ARE and not who I am.

Impart, I ask in Jesus’ name, the WISDOM I need, the LOVE I need, the PEACE I need.

I rebuke FEAR in Jesus’ name.

I am seeing that most of the fear is an excuse from my lazy nature—’if I cover myself with fear, surely He’ll see and not ask any more of me because I am already so overloaded!’ Deceitful heart—be quiet!!

202 ~ I Threw Myself On the Lord

202 – I Threw Myself On the Lord

July 18, 1986

During my early morning walk I prayed to be able to have discernment about the enemy’s tactics and have victory over my flesh when I find myself rising up and taking the enemy’s bait! And did I ever need that prayer….

The boys were across the street hanging out with their friends. Dan and I went to Beulah’s to pick up the kids so we could take them to the 4-H meeting. The ladies were gossiping, actually slandering someone. Praise God I kept out of it.

Then at the school where the meeting was, I became fearful and angry about something.

Then after we got home, sorrow came upon me because I had no car to use to get Dan a birthday gift.

Then disgust because the flour canister had a huge ant in it so I could not bake for him.

I THREW MYSELF ON THE LORD, CRYING OUT TO HIM FOR HELP,

Loneliness and lack of control over my life, overwhelmed me.

I almost called Karen for prayer support, because I don’t even have a prayer partner here! –amazingly, restraint came because it would have been a very unwise use of money to make the long-distance call across the country!

BUT GOD SAVED ME! without my calling anyone.

Peace came from God. My problems disappeared. We (the boys and I) would accept what we could not change and make do.

Then my mom called! GLORY! Someone who would understand!

Then my neighbor, Janet, came over and offered me her car!!

So I piled the boys in to the car and we went to the store and bought what we needed.

I had a major personal victory, and God worked mightily on my behalf! BLESS YOU, LORD!

The impact: self pity, a victim spirit, fearfulness, anger, loneliness, overwhelmingness—none of those things interfere with my relationship with the Lord if I just turn to Him and throw myself on His always-available mercy and grace.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16

201 ~ Wearing Ourselves Out

201 – Wearing Ourselves Out

July 17, 1986

We have been praying that God would tell us by His Spirit about Dan keeping this job he has been working at this week. He leaves the house at 5:30am (we get up at 4:30) and gets home at 5:30pm. We eat dinner and watch the news, he reads to the boys from the Bible story book, and after we put them to bed we are in bed by 9:30.

I believe I’m hearing from God through my Bible reading. Moses was sitting alone all day as judge over the people from morning to evening. His father-in-law saw that was happening and said:

“The thing that you do is not good. Both you and this people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.” Exodus 17:18

We just went though this unbalanced lifestyle when Dan had full responsibility over building the church. He worked extremely long hours and I had the boys extremely long hours. It became too much for both of us.

Is this the right job for Dan??

Later: A check from Life Center arrived. $1,100!! Tom Ballard called and said pastor took up a special collection for us. PRAISE GOD!!

Is God saying He is our Provider and to trust Him with another job??

199- Asking God for Help

199 – Asking God for Help

July 15, 1986

Exodus 16:4 The Lord said to Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in my instruction.

I was encouraged in reading about God providing for the Israelites…so I asked God for an invitation out to dinner because I needed one more meal in the week’s menu.

Janet came by unexpectedly with a bag of groceries that will carry us through this week and into next, saying, “the Lord told me– as I was walking through the store asking Him who could use this, and this, and this—that YOU could!”  Janet has been such a faithful friend to us!

July 16

Exodus 17:1-7  [The story of water coming from the rock—after Moses took the people’s complaints to God.]

This story led me to something in my life: the three younger boys would be satisfied to play here at home, I think. But Tim is restless and wants friends his age and more things to do.

So – I bring this complaint to You, Lord.

I have no ideas, no car, no money, no friends to call on. How can I help my son?

And I rebuke fear.

Exodus 17:8-16 [The story Moses interceding for the people during the battle with the Amalekites.]

I will intercede on Tim’s behalf. I will pray about this. 

Many times, just like this, the Bible is my guide. I write down a verse or many verses while I am reading. Often God ‘speaks’ to me and answers my questions and gives me advice. It’s pretty amazing… It’s a relationship that is built day by day.

Little did I know that within a few weeks, Tim would be a first grade student at the elementary school across the field. It wasn’t my choice, but it answered my prayers. Did the Lord lead me to intercede for Timmy so that I would be a bit more prepared for what was going to be happening. I wouldn’t be surprised.