Hello everyone! I am back. The flu is for the birds! Lots of catching up to do!
Today, I want to talk about trust and fear and how they can get mixed up when it comes to heart issues. We also have to be all in or all out when it comes to trusting in God for anything in our lives. Fear affects our ability to trust God in many ways. I want to use an example in my life to drive home these points today. God is so good to gently show us what is going on in our hearts and peel the layers back one at a time so as to not overwhelm us.
I had no idea how fearful I was when it came to money until this past weekend. My marriage was fraught with the financial challenges that come with being married to a man who had uncontrolled bipolar 2 disorder. I didn’t even know at the time what I was dealing with where his spending was concerned. I just knew I could not keep up and eventually I shut down – something I have learned is my default. I shut down, withdraw, and hide. I hide my emotions about the situation and I hide the situation from any and every one as much as I can. I will tell you that approach didn’t do much to fix the situation either. It just dug our financial hole deeper. I think it was there before I even married my late husband because I have seen it before in my life, now that I know what I see. I believe his erratic behavior only made it worse. I was using it to cope and survive what was going on in that marriage.
After my husband died, I did not realize it, but this type of survival damaged my trust in God when it came to money. I’ll be honest, my trust of men when it came to money was damaged all around. I was projecting the fear and insecurity of the lack I experienced in my marriage on to the person of God. In Him, there is no lack. In fact, I was so afraid I stopped giving 10% of my income to my local church, something I have always done because I wanted to, not because I had to or felt compelled. Believe me, I don’t believe in a celestial exchange system at all, however, for me, the 10% tithe is a matter of the heart and trust. I promise this will not be a blog about giving tithe or how to give your money to anyone, that is between you and God. I want to make a point today about where my heart was for a long time. I was living in fear in this area of my life and not trusting. I was treating Jesus like my late husband who He is not and who He never could be. Do you see what I’m getting at here? I got my trust wrapped up in my fear and lost all trust in the process. This shut down/withdraw/hide (and while you’re at it don’t trust) has been my fear/survival mechanism that Jesus has been trying to heal for quite some time. I would not have called it that even a week ago but He knew what it was all along. He has been very patient as He always is with us! He has always loved me anyway. He was simply waiting for me to be ready to see.
I have a new outlook where money is concerned now which will be helpful in my next marriage. The next guy and I will be on the same page from the start. What I ask him to share with me financially, I will in turn share with him. There will be equal responsibility. The stories will make sense and the ends will line up, however, I am not afraid anymore. I don’t have to shut down, withdraw or hide. I don’t have to give up on trust. I can tell you that strategy might help you survive but long term, it messes up your heart, and your ability to love and trust another person much less God. It’s taken me all week to write this because I needed to think about how I was going say this without sounding like this was about money, it’s not. This was all about trust. Trust I had wrapped up in fear and lost along the way. I needed to chew on this for a few days to see exactly what God wanted me to say and to think about the magnitude of the heart work He is doing in me. I am so very thankful!
I will ask you what I asked myself, are there areas of your life where you don’t or can’t seem to trust God? Are there people you don’t trust even though they have given you no reason to do so? If you can answer in the affirmative to both of these questions, search your heart and find the source of your distrust and fear. Ask God to help you and show you. The source may come from a place you least expect or a place you know well. I am not going to say this type of heart work is easy or comfortable, it is not. What I can tell you is that as you let Jesus peel back the layers of your heart and heal you there will be a freedom like you have never known. As He cleans cobwebs, cuts chains and pulls up roots, He will replace those things with life and love. He has done this for me and He will for you too! All you have to do is ask! Matthew 7:7-8; Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Love, Elizabeth