Just Show Up 365 (Day 97) Fuel the Fire
Today is a new day…but not exactly the way I thought it would go. I woke up this morning with a little burning ember deep within my soul waiting to be fed by the wind of the Holy Spirit to ignite into flames! Even as I said the rosary this morning the image of tongues of flames igniting the Holy Spirit within them replaced my weariness with hope.
During our final Cornerstone Bible study sharing day the hope increased as I listened to testimony after testimony of how God reached through the Book of John to inspire, console, and encourage these women. One woman made the observation that at first it was a bit superfluous to have John call himself ‘the beloved disciple’. In the beginning she felt this to be a bit pompous! However as Christ softened her heart and gave her new eyes to see she realized she too was His beloved. We are all meant to have the privilege and honor of calling ourselves Christ’s beloved disciple. *sigh*
And then another wise woman spoke up and shared a personal revelation that was quite enlightening. She mentioned how interesting it was that these twelve (well by this time eleven) strong burly men, many fishermen that were tough and rugged, could be found hiding behind locked doors once Jesus had been crucified. But once Christ came to them and bestowed upon them the wind and flame of the Holy Spirit they suddenly had it in them to remove the lock and spread the message to all ending in martyred death. She said, isn’t it amazing that the gift of the Holy Spirit replaces the capital F of Fear with the capital C in courage? Isn’t that awesome? Then our RCIA director leaned over and said ‘And you can replace the F with fortitude’. Ah, yes, fortitude – (definition – mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously). There is not one piece of this life puzzle that God doesn’t fit together.
The day was offering me so much substance I was certain I’d feel the ember within rising into a raging fire of love, understanding, joy and courage. But that is not the case. It seemed there was a more combustible fuel soaking my ember and by the time I got home for no reason other than to face reality the ember exploded into anger, frustration, anxiety and the ultimate calling card of the enemy – fear (with a capital F). What made it worse was that I didn’t want to feel this way, I wanted the courage with a capital C! I wanted to feel not caught in-between an onslaught of tears and the need to hold it all together.
When Neal was first diagnosed last October I wanted to cry…I knew I needed to cry…but I couldn’t. I had to be strong. When I wanted to tell God ‘NOOO, THIS IS NOT COOL AND I’M DONE WITH THE CROSSES!’ I kept silent because Neal was determined to say, “God, I accept this cross and whatever You have in mind.” So, I never cried. When Neal isn’t suffering through an ‘attack’ it is real easy to ignore that he has the disease because he never complains. Now that I come home and try to help him stop the flow of the IV and have him cry out because I pulled to hard and the needle hurt I freeze and stop helping all together. He’s complaining because he hurts but I don’t want him to hurt. I don’t want him to have another attack so soon when so many others don’t have them for years in-between. I don’t want to go through anything else.
And now I’m crying
And apparently whining. I’m sorry. This is so not me. Not at all.
I’m good. In my crying spurt I went straight to Psalms and opened it up to Psalm 34 trusting He had a message for me, and He is faithful:
When the just cry out, the LORD hears and rescues them from all distress. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed. Many are the troubles of the just, but the LORD delivers from them all.
What is that definition of FORTITUDE again? Mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously. Yes, I get it.