Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

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Shazam Your Potential

Supergirl

What do you want to be for the rest of your life? Even typing the question gives me heart palpitations and brings back flashes of college tours, applications, and the dreaded selection of a major. There’s an urgency and finality to the inquiry that applies pressure. There’s an underlying fear we can miss our potential. But is that possible?

Yes and no.

My husband had his twenty-fifth high school reunion this past weekend, and several people mentioned in conversation that they still didn’t know what they wanted to be when they grew up. Did these people dodge the question, what do you want to be for the rest of your life? Did they choose incorrectly and are now looking for a do-over? Or did they outgrow their original answer and are now looking for the next level in the game of life?

It reminded me of the movie Shazam. Without ruining the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, Shazam is about a boy who suddenly obtains superpowers. He, unfortunately, doesn’t know which superpowers he holds, so his buddy puts him through a series of hysterical tests to discover if he can fly, punch through concrete, shoot lasers with his eyes, or teleport. However, as the hero tries to figure out what he is capable of there is an antihero who is trying to stop him before he reaches his full potential.

Sound familiar?

1 Corinthians 12:4-11 says, Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful: wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. All these gifts have a common origin but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what and when.

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We all have giftings given to us by God. We’re each given different ones at different times. I can’t say if I would have made it as a writer twenty years ago. I had to develop some of my other giftings (like knowing who I am in Christ Jesus) before I could take on the next adventure. Also, like the characters in Shazam, we are our strongest when we use our powers together as a team: encouraging each other, praying for one another, and lifting each other up. We need our team around us because there is a bad guy, Satan, who is trying to keep us from utilizing our superpowers. He’ll do nothing short of lying, deceiving, and stealing to keep us from reaching our potential.

Can we miss out on our purpose? Unfortunately, yes. The devil has been around for a long time and is good at his job, but don’t fear. The one who is in us [the Holy Spirit] is greater than the one [the devil] who is in the world (1 John 4:4). We must not be afraid to test our superpowers. We must step out in faith to discover who God has made us to be so that we can fight for truth, justice, and people’s eternal souls.

Superheroes

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staning on the USS Yorkshire. proof we made it and had fun

How the Journey Resolves in the End.

Journey on a sandy beach with mountains in the background.

“The journey always resolves in the end,” Tessa Afshar, author of Pearl in the Sand and Thief of Corinth, announced in her Mediterranean-English accent as I sat in her class absorbing. She stands around five-foot-tall, but don’t be fooled by her small stature. She is a giant woman of God.

Exactly a week ago, I would have doubted her statement.

My husband had left his wallet at home. Usually, it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but we were standing in the airport and had ridden in an hour and a half of traffic to get there. Our flight left in forty minutes. We pleaded with the TSA agent and were able to come up with a couple items with my husband’s name on them, my dental insurance card in which he’s the primary cardholder and a magazine with his name and address on the back. John received the pat-down of his life and is now on an intimate basis with Logan airport security, but they allowed him on the plane. We contacted a close friend who then overnighted his wallet to the hotel.

That is where our woes should have ended, but three hours later and almost 1000 miles from home, we arrived at the hotel. We carted our bags to the front desk, ready to crash after our early morning start. I was looking forward to taking a power nap before the first session of the work conference.

The hotel clerk tapped her fingernails on the keyboard. She paused and peered up at us with a hint of concern, “Didn’t Expedia contact you?”

“About what?” my husband’s brows collided in a V.

travel map and photos with glasses and open journal

“There’s been an error.”

We both leaned in. “What sort of error?”

“Your room has been double-booked. Expedia was supposed to contact you and arrange another hotel.”

My husband and I stiffened. This was the first we heard about any of this. We checked our phones and had no messages.

“I’m sorry there’s nothing we can do for you.” Her smile hinted at sympathy. “You’ll have to call and make other hotel arrangements.”

The conference we were attending had brought over 700 entrepreneurs into the small city. There wasn’t going to be a hotel room available. Not only that, but John’s wallet was being overnighted to that specific hotel, and it wouldn’t be accepted if we weren’t guests. We didn’t have a place to sleep, and we didn’t know whether we could return home without his wallet.

Our journey didn’t look like it was going to have a resolution, certainly not a happy ending. I freaked-out. I asked to speak to a manager. I paced in the front lobby while making a few phone calls. I think I even shed a few tears. Meanwhile, my husband sat in their seating area and casually set up a portable office as if he worked there daily.

In stories, we have a character arc, which is usually where the dynamic hero is internally transformed over the course of events in the story. The journey makes them stronger, wiser, or more mature. In some way, they become different than how they started. We are all dynamic characters in the literary sense. God often uses these disasters to refine us into his image. I should have realized, as my husband did, that disasters, like being bumped from your hotel room, often end up as learning experiences (or at least a funny story I can blog about later).

Occasionally there is such a thing as a static character which in literary terms is a hero who doesn’t change (think of James Bond). The circumstances change around them, but they remain unmoved. The reason why my husband knew he didn’t need to panic was that we had a relationship with a static character. The static hero I’m referring to is Jesus. Jesus remains the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrew 13:8), and so does his love for us.  

My husband (like Tessa Afshar) knew, with Jesus, the journey always resolves in the end. My panic, worry, and frantic calling was all a waste of energy. The circumstances may have changed, but God’s will doesn’t. We ended up getting a room in the same hotel we booked with a significant discount and received our happily-ever-after (not to mention blog material).

The Lord, your God, has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.  – Deuteronomy 2:7

My husband and I on the USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC
Here we are in the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier in Charleston, SC as proof we survived and had a good time.

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boys laughing

What to Do When Laughter Hurts.

Boys laughing

Laughing actually hurts. Scientists from the University of Oxford found the contracting of the core muscles causes us pain, but our body compensates by sending out endorphins to mask the ache. It’s why when we belly-laugh too hard for too long, we’ve heard people exclaim, “Stop it hurts.” That’s because the endorphins have run out.

For my husband, the endorphins ran out after investing in a business to help some friends. He was excited about the company’s potential and had great ideas, but when he looked under the hood, issues became apparent, ranging from owner mismanagement to employee theft. No matter what he did, it seemed there was always another hurdle to jump. It came down to losing the entire investment or risking more capital to purchase the company and hope God would bless our efforts. We wondered if we’d heard God wrong. We questioned whether we’d had the right timing. Those were some dark and uncertain days. 

It’s when you come to the end of yourself – there’s no more agenda, you’re at the end of your rope, and the initial high is over – that’s when faith takes over.

After the Israelites left Babylonian captivity, they ran into resistance trying to rebuild the Lord’s temple. They figured maybe it wasn’t God’s timing, so they gave up. However, in doing so, they lost God’s favor. No matter what they did, they were unsuccessful until they put God’s agenda above theirs.

From this day forward, I will bless you. – Haggai 2:19

One of our employees who’d been reading Haggai pointed out the similarities of the Israelite’s situation and the company’s crisis. We’d been fighting so hard to survive, we forgot the reason we were in existence. From that moment forward, my husband decided we’d put God first, to the point he had Haggai 2:19 written in big letters on the wall. Everyone working for our company now knows God is the one calling the shots and to Him be the glory. The culture has changed, and things have improved slowly day by day.

Haggai 2:19 wall

If your laughter changes to pain, may you be reminded that ultimately it is God’s will we want to see done not ours, and when we rely on Him, joy comes in the morning.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning. – Psalm 30:5

Angry Lion

How to Avoid the Bitter End

What is your biggest regret?

It’s one of those questions where your stomach drops out, and your brain thinks, things are about to get real. The question was raised in my small group, and I knew the answer immediately. I should have been a better friend to Jodi. We had been roommates, and she had been the maid-of-honor in my wedding. One girl’s night out, I’d been responsible for holding her car keys, and they’d somehow fallen out of my pocket. After a frustrating hour of searching, we found them in the ladies’ room, but in the process of looking, I overheard her call me stupid.

Admittedly, there are worse things to be called, but I was hurt. Instead of talking to her and trying to work things out, I acted badly and gave her the cold shoulder. My nonconfrontational way of dealing with the issue strained our relationship. We started to bicker and eventually parted ways never to speak again. Because I wasn’t willing to overlook something trivial, I ruined our friendship which I now realize was the greater of the two sins. Why didn’t I say something? Why did I let a minor issue destroy a great friendship?

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.– Proverbs 17:9

4 Oxen back to back

There’s an old Aesop’s Fable about Four Oxen and a Lion that goes something like this: A lion used to prowl about a field where four oxen lounged. He tried to attack them many times looking for a savory meal, but whenever he came near, they turned their tails to one another. Whichever way the lion approached them he was met by a pair of horns. The lion stalked off to wait. Eventually, the oxen began to argue. Each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. The Lion seized his opportunity, attacking them one by one and soon made an end of all four.

Okay, so this isn’t a happily-ever-after story, but there is a lot of meat to this tale. (Sorry I couldn’t resist the bad pun.) Bickering among friends can be deadly. It might not be a lion-gnaws-on-your-bones type of deadly, but it inevitably kills the friendship.

Friends protect each other’s backs. When we’re turned against each other, nitpicking and bickering, then our backs are exposed, making us easy prey for the devil. His main tactic is to divide and conquer so he can pick us off one by one. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Don’t become divided. Set your hurts aside, and talk things out. Don’t let bickering and bitterness destroy relationships. Don’t be like me and live with the regret of losing a good friend. Be aware of the devil’s tactics and don’t let foolishness or pride keep us from forgiving one another or extending grace. We are stronger together.

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12.

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woman coasting on bicycle

How to Avoid Coasting into Deadman’s Land

coasting on bike

One of my favorite things to do when I was younger, was ride bikes. My friends and I would pump our legs and work up a sweat getting to the top of the neighborhood hill. The reward came when we’d loop around and coast back down. I used to stand up, lock my knees, and let the wind lift my hair and whip it about like a banner behind me. It felt like true freedom. Eventually, we’d roll to a stop, turn around, and work to get back up that hill.

Famous actor, Sam Waterston, said, “If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling back.”

That is the problem with coasting. Eventually, we coast to a stop. King David, discovered this concept the hard way. In 2 Samuel 11, it says that “After the year was expired, at a time when kings go forth into battle… David tarried still in Jerusalem.” I love the word expired because it not only signals the end of something, but it gives the impression of breathing out, like a long sigh after a hard day’s work. David had seen many battles with his mighty men. He was war-torn and probably exhausted. He decided to sit one out, and who can blame him?

C.S. Lewis in his book, The Screwtape Letters, eloquently demonstrates the idea that the devil’s best weapon in his arsenal is complacency. If he can get us to coast, eventually, we’ll roll to a stop. We’ll forget our purpose, become bored, and that’s when the trap is set. For David, the trap was a lovely woman bathing on the rooftop, named Bathsheba.

mountain biking uphill

I’m not saying don’t coast. We need to celebrate our successes, take a breather, and let the wind whip through our hair. However, don’t roll to a stop. Give God the glory, then turn that bike around and climb the hill again. Be on your guard while you’re coasting. Don’t become complacent. Don’t let boredom lead you down a dark path. Don’t get stuck at the bottom of the hill. Rethink taking a break if you’re prone to losing motivation. Whether it’s in work, personal, or your spiritual life, push yourself to keep growing, learning, and seeking God’s face.

Keep your eyes on Jesus and keep moving forward, that way you don’t wake up one day and look around wondering how you got so far from all the things you once valued.

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man with drawn muscles

How to Handle a Bully

words describing a bully

I was petrified of a bully on my bus. She looked tough, acted tough, and sounded tough. She dressed in all black and always sat in the back of the bus. I intentionally avoided sitting near her and never made eye contact lest I became her next victim. I stayed off her radar, until one day, she needed a quarter. She asked the people around her, but either no one had one, or they wouldn’t give it to her. She started moving up the aisle seat to seat saying she needed a quarter. I could tell something was wrong. She looked a little paler than normal. Her voice was a tad more shrill. She seemed panicked. She passed by, overlooking me. (That’s how good I’d gotten at going unnoticed.) But something inside me told me to give her a quarter.

“Wait!” I yelled.
 Her head whipped around, and a pair of dark eyes locked on me.
“I have a quarter.” I dug into my backpack, pulled out a quarter, and handed it to her.
She took it, issued me a nod, and got off at the next stop.

The next day I was standing at my locker when I heard “Hey!” I turned around to see her walking with her friends. She held my gaze. I fought to keep my knees from shaking while she walked by me. I was now on her radar. So much for doing the right thing, I berated myself. Then the oddest thing happened. After her friends passed, she glanced back at me over her shoulder and waved with a smile.

I can’t remember smiling or waving back. I think I was too dumbfounded to move. I just stared at her as she walked down the hall. From that day forward, she always waved to me. We never held a conversation or socialized, but she had become an ally.

Over the weekend, my sister-in-law, Liz, and I discussed how to handle bullies. This Tuesday marked the first week of school for our kids, so I thought it might be helpful to impart some of her wisdom. Here’s what we decided to tell our children:

Man with chalkboard drawn muscles
  • It’s never wrong to do the right thing – It’s good to defend the defenseless. Our courage must be stronger than our complacency. Standing by and watching a bully only makes them stronger.
  • Know who you are and who you represent – Be confident in the person God has created you to be. No matter what a bully says, God made you beautiful, and He made you for a purpose. He has great plans for you. Plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
  • Stand bold and speak loud – Bullies feed on weakness. If you stand tall, speak clearly and firmly, often they will back down.
  • Don’t take yourself for seriously – Bullies can often be set off-guard especially if you can laugh at yourself. They’re trying to upset you, but if you can take their insults and joke about it, they won’t know what to do. If they say your shirt is ugly, say “yep, the 1980s called this morning and asked for it back.”
  • Remember bullies are broken people – Bullies bully to feel more powerful. The reason they need power is because they feel insecure. Someone has hurt them in their past, and they essentially are crying out for help. Remember that God also created them and He loves them. If you see a need or an opportunity to help them, it can go a long way as a peace offering, but it can also be a way to show them a bit of God’s love. Sometimes all it takes is a small gesture, like giving them a quarter.

This advice doesn’t necessarily apply to cyberbullying. Technology takes things to the next level fast. Sometimes too fast for a young person to fully understand the danger and the consequences. It’s always good to discuss situations where you believe you’ve been bullied with an adult, trusted friend, or in some cases the authorities. You don’t have to struggle with a bully alone. Remember you are the head, not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13), that you are to be a light to the world – a city on a hill that cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14-16), and part of a chosen people, holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12). This is truth, and nothing a bully can say or do will change it.

For more information on bullying go to https://www.stopbullying.gov/.

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Back to school ispelled out n Scrabble pieces

Reserved

Getting Rid of First Day Jitters

Back to school spelled in Scrabble pieces.

Nothing can be more horrifying then carrying your tray across a crowded school lunchroom when you don’t know anyone. A new student can blend into a crowded hall, and in a classroom, there’s always an open desk, but lunch is a different story. I’ll never forget the first day of my senior year. We’d just moved up to the Boston area, and I didn’t know a soul. Kids dropped into seats next to their friends, laughing and catching up after a long summer. Girls clustered together at certain tables and boys at others. I lifted my chin and scanned for an open spot, trying to act as if I belonged.

There were open seats at the freshman tables, but I was an upperclassman, I couldn’t eat lunch with them. Juniors and seniors had a specific room sectioned off for us. I thought I found one, but as I attempted to sit, a girl’s hand covered the chair. She informed me it was reserved for her friend. I stood back up and glanced around for another open spot while the girl promptly forgot my existence.

I swallowed down my rising sense of panic and considered skipping lunch. How strict was this school on their hall pass policy? Could I make it to the library and hide among the books? As I stood there dripping with insecurity, a warm friendly voice said, “Hey, new girl. I think you’re in my physics class.” She slid over and patted the place next to her. “Want to sit here?”

I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. I don’t know if my friend, Jessica, knew how much that simple act of kindness meant to me.

I was no longer alone.

group of people

Elijah, God’s prophet, knew an even more extreme version of loneliness. King Ahab had killed all of the prophets and his wife, Jezebel, threatened to kill Elijah within twenty-four hours. Elijah ran and hid. He told God he wanted to lay down and die because he believed he was the only one left, but God tells him in 1 Kings 19:15-18, “I have reserved seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal.”  

Elijah thought he was alone, but he was actually number seven thousand and one of God’s prophets. He didn’t see God’s bigger picture and plan. The whole time Elijah was struggling, God was working the situation. We may think we are alone like Elijah did, but we are not. God is aware of our situation, and He is preparing a way, strengthening our faith, connecting us with the right people, and working our circumstances for His glory.

My children start school this week. My oldest starts high school, and my youngest starts junior high. I always remind them to be friendly to the new kids because I know firsthand how rough the first day can be. If you are the new kid or you’re starting a new job, new church, new program, or you just feel lonely, please know you are not alone. God is with you, and he’s not only reserved you a seat. He’s reserved you a people.

To paraphrase Michael Bublé, you just haven’t met them yet.

“God sets the lonely in families” – Psalm 68:6

My boys getting ready for school
My boys getting ready for school. They don’t get as excited as they once did.

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Don’t Stay in the Safety Zone

Our first house

My husband and I bought our first home within a few months of getting married. We were excited, a little scared, and definitely a bit naïve when it came to owning a three family and managing tenants. Our first obstacle came when no one was willing to move out of the house we purchased and planned to dwell. We sent notices to quit, but no one was willing to pack up. We even offered them significant money to leave, but no one would budge. Meanwhile, the lease on the apartment where we were renting was up. We owned a home but somehow were homeless.

We did the only thing we could. We retreated to a safe spot. We moved in with John’s parents while we navigated the eviction process.

Last week I talked about rope swings and how we need to be all in like Peter, but even Peter had to retreat to a safe spot. It was a scary time after Jesus died. Jesus had been their leader and Peter’s friend. Jesus had been here to save the world, but he’d just been crucified. Now, what were the disciples to do? Not only that, but Peter struggled with the grief of having denied Jesus, not just once, but three times after Jesus foretold it. Peter “the rock’s” life had been rocked. So, he went back to what he knew best – fishing – to absorb and regroup. Peter rowed the boat back out, tossed the nets overboard, and went back to being a fisherman.

We may often do the same. Go back to safe ground. Take a step back to gain perspective. But we are not supposed to stay there. It’s okay to stop to take a breath, recharge, get our barrings, but then get back on track. When Jesus came to visit Peter after His death, Peter was fishing with some of the other disciples when Jesus called out to him. Peter didn’t recognize him, but James did and whispered to Peter, who then dove overboard and swam to shore. It was not God’s plan for Peter to go back to being a fisherman, so Jesus called to him and told him three times to feed His lambs.

After Jesus ascended to heaven, Peter boldly spread the good news to thousands of people, both Jew and Gentile. He became the spokesman of the apostles and the rock upon which God built his church.

My husband and I knew we weren’t meant to stay living in his parent’s house. It was a temporary place for us to develop and execute a plan. We eventually moved into the multifamily home and eventually into a single-family home. And now we are often giving real estate advice to other young couples looking to purchase their first home.

Many of us want to stay in the safety zone, doing what’s known and comfortable, but that isn’t God’s will for us. There will be obstacles, but those problems help us to mature. God has great plans for us, but we will never know the sweet reward of stepping out in faith and the joy of walking in God’s will if we continue to stay living in our parent’s basement.


John and I fixing up our first house (red one seen above) once we were able to move there.
You can see the naivety of the first time home buyer smile on my face.

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Man diving into lake

Dive in

Boy swinging on rope swing into lake.

Rope swings aren’t something you can do halfway. You either swing out over the water, let go, and go all in. Or, you swing back and crash into the trunk of a tree. Somebody tied a rope to a tree near the reservoir not far from my house. It’s been taken down now, but we used to hear the whoops and see the splashes as they plunged into the lake. I know it’s only time before the boys try to make one of their own.

Peter was a rope-swing kind of disciple. He jumped into things with both feet. He was notorious for getting out of the boat to walk to Jesus on water and sinking a few seconds later when he got distracted (Matthew 14:28-30). He spoke before he thought and often put his foot in his mouth. One minute, Peter was having divine revelations about his Lord, and the next, he was being reprimanded, “get behind me, Satan” (Matthew 16:13-23). He told Jesus, even if the others fall away, he would not. Even if he died, he would not deny Him. And then, before dawn that next day the rooster crowed (Matthew 26:33-34).

Man diving in lake

But despite all Peter’s mess-ups, God loved him and had a great plan for his life. He chose Peter to be the rock upon which He built His church. When Jesus returned from the dead, he stood on the shore calling out to Peter and his fishing crew. As Peter recognized his old buddy Jesus, he couldn’t wait a second longer to see him. He dove into the sea and swam into shore. The rest of the men were left to reel in the nets and row in the boat (John 21: 4-9).

God favors the excitable. He blesses those who step out in faith. He desires us to be all-in.

He wants our fervor.

But how do we do that? Part of it is letting go and letting God (like I mentioned in my last blog), but here are some suggestions of ways I’ve dialed things up a notch when I feel like I’ve plateaued or started to coast in my faith:

  • Crank up worship music and dance around the room. Not a dancer? Lift your hands, and see where it goes.
  • Sing along until your voice won’t let you.
  • Not a singer? Chant scripture like it’s your war cry. Repeat it like a mantra. Let it sink into your entire being.
  • Give something away, whether it be a free meal or just a smile. Feel the love of God flow through you into others.
  • Lay prone on the floor and pour your heart out in prayer for someone.
  • Watch a sunset, or go for a hike, or sit under the stars, and praise God for his creation and the great work of his hands.
  • Support a new endeavor upon which your church or pastor is embarking. Join the vision to make it happen, serve, and be blessed by how God moves.
  • Join a church group or lead a church group. Nothing strengthens your faith like being accountable to and for others.

Don’t worry about messing up or appearing silly. Peter sure didn’t, and God is good at covering faults.

So go ahead. Dive all-in. 

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Girl hiding under comforter

When the World Wants You to Worry

Two mass shootings thirteen hours apart – this past weekend’s news headlines instills fear into the hearts of all of us.

Woman under comforter: Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

Circumstances like El Paso and Dayton have become all too frequent. My heart breaks for those killed and injured community, and my prayers go out for their families and communities. Worrying about what is happening to this world and where things are headed makes me want to squeeze my eyes shut, crawl back under the covers, and stay there. However, I peel back the covers, and not only face each day but do so with joy and hope.

In May, my phone rang as I pulled up in front of my son’s elementary school. It was a robocall from the town. My car automatically puts my calls on speaker as a driving precaution. My son and his cousin listened in the back seat to the broadcast announcement that a possible threat had been made upon the Ashland High School and there would be a heavy police presence at all the town schools. The drop off teacher peered at me through the window and cars lined up behind me. I had only a moment to decide whether to throw the car back in drive and peel away or open the car door and let my baby out when I could tell he had fear in his eyes and a million questions for me.

I held up a one-moment finger to the drop-off teacher and prayed Isaiah 54:17over my son and nephew that no weapon turned against them would succeed. I put on my brave face and opened the car door. I told them I loved them like I do every day but added, “God has got this, and He’s got you.”

Baby birds in nest

It’s hard to relinquish those that you love. I have to remind myself, that even though these precious boys are for a time in my care, they are God’s children. His love for them is greater than my own. Even if I want to protect them from every hurtful and hateful thing out there, it is God’s will, not mine. He has big plans for them, and it doesn’t entail keeping them locked away for safekeeping. As hard as it is, I have to let go and let God, and not only that, the Bible says I have to do it without worry.

Don’t worry; be praying. – Philippians 4:6 says it straight out, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” In order to allow my boys to become young men, I’ve had to stay put and let them venture from the nest, but not without prayer cover. My role has changed from Mommy guardian angel when they were little to a prayer warrior.

Don’t be a joint worrier. I will sometimes pray as if expressing my concerns is going to evoke God to worry also, enough to take action and save the day. Praying like this isn’t honoring God. It’s trying to control God.  1 Peter 5:7states, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Cast means to throw. Not throw like a game of catch where you wait for it to be thrown back. It means to relinquish it, surrender it to God completely.

Let tomorrow worry about itself. Don’t exhaust yourself worrying over what the world is becoming, if layoffs are coming, or about your son or daughter leaving to get their driver’s license, for college, or the military. Worrying about tomorrow today only causes you to worry twice and leaves you exhausted. Matthew 6:34 says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Worry is good for one thing only: to help us recognize an area of our life that we need to surrender.

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Be part of my launch team!

 

My first book The Duke’s Refuge releases this coming January. Join my launch team to receive a free advanced reader copy before the book is available for purchase.

 

Join my team by clicking here.