Sunday, April 18, 2010

When your world crumbles ... maybe?

Being a Princess Warrior for Christ is an amazing thing. Yet even royalty can experience trauma, trials, and tribulation. God's Word tell us we will indeed experience troubles in this fallen world. Life happens. Sometimes hard stuff comes from our enemy, other times, it's the consequences of our sin, and oftentimes it is simply life as life happens. Ultimately, the solution is the same: Cling to Christ.

Recently, I promised you another entry about the Alice in Wonderland movie, however, this was not what I'd planned to post, but I believe God knows what He is doing and exactly what I'm supposed to share. So ...

One thing that I am very clear about when speaking, counseling, and sharing with others is the importance of being honest and transparent. In other words, we need to "tell on ourselves" and allow what's real to be seen. Hiding never solves anything. Faith and friendship does.

I have been informed that there is a 50/50 chance that I will no longer have a job after June. My "day job" is funded by a grant, which means without the funding, I am off the payroll (to put it plainly). I love this job. I love helping others find success and hope. To top things off, this job has great insurance and benefits, something not easy to find anymore. Second issue -- my family is unable to afford our home and will likely be moving. Finally, my precious mother, who lives with us, has been experiencing health challenges. She is my best friend. I cannot imagine my life without her. I've been worried, depressed, and struggling this past month.

Do I think my problems are greater than anyone else's? Absolutely not. I share them with the hope you will pray for our King's favor and provision for my family. But, more importantly, so we can examine the importance of faith during trying times. Times when tears come easily and fears run rampant. Times when the future seems bleak and it's difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Times when God is moving on our behalf, in unexpected ways, behind the scenes, but when He seems so far away.

Alice, in Alice in Wonderland, experienced a major crisis of faith. She ended up in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar inhabitants, some that wanted to help her, others who wished to destroy her. The helpful ones were a bit odd, to say the least. Her greatest support came from a hatter gone mad. Through most of the story, our dear Alice was not only lacking faith in herself, but had little faith in those around her.

Through a series of insane events, Alice slowly learns to trust The Hatter and his unruly group of misfits. Even though the enemy seems much bigger and badder, Alice finally embraces her calling and has faith that she will prevail. Moving forward is no longer an option; it is her destiny.

We, too, can end up facing circumstances that are beyond our control. Bad things happen. Life happens. We can end up frightened, fumbling, and freaked out. Believe me. I know. I've been there a lot lately. Like Alice, we can choose to fight or we can run, hide, and hope it will all just "go away." I hate to admit that I've done some hiding and hoping I'll wake up and everything will be okay in the morning.

Unfortunately, life usually doesn't work like that. We have to act. We have to believe. We have to keep dreaming. And, most importantly, we have to trust and have faith in God. He promises to give us a hope and a future, and as Carrie Underwood's latest song so perfectly states: This is our TEMPORARY HOME. We can rest in the knowledge that there is a whole new world that awaits us. This is a temporary place, an eternal home with Christ is our ultimate destiny.

I've discovered several practical steps that are helping me walk through this process of change.

1. Speak God's truth. Speak Scripture aloud, proclaiming God's promises. This works great when the negative thinking and fearful thoughts become overwhelming.
2. Pray. Continue to talk to God about everything. He says we can approach Him with freedom and confidence. King David talked to God about everything, good and bad. We can too.
3. Worship. That's right. Keep praising Jesus. This is the hardest step for me. I feel phony singing praises when I'm quite frankly a little mad at God and my circumstances. But when I do it, well, it works. I am encouraged and find just enough faith to continue on.
4. Enlist others. Thankfully, I have people in my life that will listen to me vent and who understand my fears. Dealing with life alone isn't what God wants for us. Healthy relationships are crucial in a crisis. In fact, they're key to a successful life.
5. Take action. Do little things that help your situation. For example, talk to a financial counselor if you're struggling with making ends meet. Start looking for a new job before the current one is history. Continue to take care of the basics like good self-care. Get enough sleep, eat right, and exercise. (I haven't been as diligent with "the take care of self" part) But now that I've "told on myself," I better get busy!

Like Alice, in her Wonderland adventure, we must suit up and show up for our lives, even when our world is crumbling beneath our feet. Who knows? Maybe it's not really crumbling at all. Maybe God is going to take us to a whole new level of living. Maybe it will actually end up better.

No matter, as followers of Christ, and Princess Warriors, we can rest assured that in the end, it will be for our benefit. God knows what's best for His children. Let us continue to Cling to Christ, one step and a prayer at a time.

Saturday, April 3, 2010