An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Longhorn and The Silent Enemy


This weekend I went to Austin to go to the University of Texas vs. Texas Tech football game. It was a wonderful time visiting with Price, his friends, and the friends I went with. The crisp autumn breeze made the game almost picture perfect.
      My mom turned 75 last month. This was a good picture of her holding her 51 year old baby!
      Below is my latest article that appeared in the Kerrville Daily Times. Hope you enjoy it!



                                                                    
The Silent Enemy
Kerrville Daily Times 
October 28th, 2011
Kathleen Maxwell

                                                                                 

      I was with a group of people recently and as we were talking, a lady began to talk about different fears she had. She was talking about them as if she were proud of her fears. As I listened, I had to think of how far off base society has gotten from God’s intention for us. 
      Numerous times in scripture, God instructs and warns us not to play with fear. Isaiah 43:5 says,”Do not be afraid, for I am with you;” When we walk with God, we have the opportunity to step beyond ourselves knowing we are not alone. The problem is most of us entertain fear like it is a guest in our house instead of treating it like it is trespassing. Fear has robbed me too many times of opportunities.  
      Most of us do not go around talking about fears we battle, but I think fear is a silent enemy that whispers way too often in our ears. I believe fear is doubt and unbelief and doubt and unbelief is not trusting God. We were created to trust and walk with God. Fear’s main goal is to cause us to doubt the goodness of God and His love for us.
     One of the main things fear does is try to keep us down and from reaching our potential. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I have come that you may have life and life to the full.” A fear filled life is not a full one. I can testify to that! For many hears I struggled with a fear of rejection, fear of looking stupid, fear of what others thought, fear of failure or making a mistake, just to name a few. For the longest time I thought I was the only one that had this battle. I now know many others struggle also.
     God created us to be courageous because we are made in his image. He is not the least bit afraid of anything or anybody because He knows his power is supreme. He is confidant in who he is and wants us to be the same way. My thought is that is easier said than done!
      When God called Joshua to lead the others into a wonderful life and what he had promised,  God gave Joshua specific instructions over and over again to be strong and courageous. He knew they would have to battle against their inadequacies to step into a better life. Joshua 1:7 he says, “Be strong and very courageous.” Next he command Joshua and said, “Only be strong and courageous.” Being strong means to stand your ground.God had given the people a wonderful opportunity but they had to hang on to the place they were blessed with and not be intimidated by the giants. One thing I have learned in life is that walking with God, he frequently takes us out of our comfort zone just like he did Joshua. I firmly believe if we are going to fulfill our destiny we are going to have to step on our fears and follow the words written in Joshua. We have an opportunity to walk in rightousness, peace and joy but we will have to stand our ground and believe that we deserve these gifts because God says.
     Another fear I have had to face, is a fear of rejection. There is risk in loving others and being in relationship with people. One thing for sure, at some time in life, all of us will face the fear of rejection. What I have discovered is if we are ever going to be someone who makes a difference, we will have to battle fear of being rejected. I love the words of Isaiah 41:9 which says, “You are my servant; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 
     We see in this scripture that we are chosen and accepted. Believing that scripture and walking in it makes you powerful to overcome rejection. It sounds simple but it actually takes a retraining of our mind and healing of our heart when rejection or exclusion arrows are thrown at us. 
    What about a fear of looking stupid? Who likes to look like they lack intelligence? No one, if we all answer honestly. The truth is we all have things we need to learn, and the best way to learn is to ask questions. Often times we feel if we ask a question, others will think we are stupid. Wise people are those that listen and ask questions. Sometimes the best thing we can say is “I just don’t know” and admit our need to learn.
     Fear of making a mistake can keep us from reaching our potential. There is risk with stepping “out there” and risking making a mistake. Actually, often times our greatest mistakes can be our best teachers. Don’t let a fear of making a mistake hold you back.
     I have a new job working with young people that have encountered major obstacles in their lives. They are establishing new life patterns and that is hard work. They are also working on their education and learning to serve others. What they are learning takes time to master. I am passionate about helping them and others discover their potential and value.
     Scripture says in Isaiah 35:3, “Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, Be strong, do not fear; your God will come. he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” I believe it is imperative that I cheer and motivate these young people and strengthen them to help them overcome. Encouragement breeds courage.  All of us need it. Especially those that find themselves in the ashes of life. Harshness and insensitivity  never encourages people.
    I want to challenge you to examine your life and see what fears you need to be set free of. Fear is bondage and Christ has come to set us free. I believe it is time we learn to stand up on the inside and become the confident men and women God intended. Will you join me in not tolerating intimidation and fear?

Kathleen

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