Lorri Dudley

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

Tag: Isaiah 41:10

Sleep by Salvador Dali

Who are You “Crutching” on?

Humans are notoriously good at one thing—messing up. Controversial as he was, famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali understood human frailty. Many of his paintings depicted people being propped up by sticks or crutches. In his unique way, Dali showed the weakness of the human body and spirit and our need to supply “support for the tenderness of soft structures” (daliparis.com/en/salvador-dali/dalinian-symbolism).

Sleep by Salvador Dali

Some of us use boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses to prop us up. They become our crutch, and we rely more and more on them to bring us happiness and fix our pain. I’ve seen countless women and men pray for God to put someone in their lives, only to stop coming to church once He does. The problem starts when we try to patch our emptiness hole with a person. It’s like putting a Band-aid on a gaping wound. It’s too much to ask someone to fill a hole that only God can fill.

So how do we get healthy enough to stand on our own?

Realize we need a vertical relationship, not a horizontal relationship. Ask God to hold us. Cling to a solid foundation, not a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Psychologists, Dr. Les and Leslie Parrot, talk aboutA-frame verses H-frame and M-frame relationships. An A-frame is where a couple or friendships leans heavily upon one another to support them. They are looking for what Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry McGuire said, “You complete me.” Unfortunately, when relationships lean entirely on the other person the pressure created is going to cause one side to slip, and in an A-frame when one side slips, the other falls with it. Conversely, an H-frame is independent. It stands on its own, and if one side falls, the other hardly notices. In an M-frame, each person is healthy enough to stand on their own but still feels a sense of loss if the other side stumbles. It has emotional stability but chooses to be together and have a mutual influence.

Realize we are deeply and wonderfully loved for ourselves. God created you, and he loves you for who you are. He has sacrificed much to be with you. St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Scripture confirms it. Romans 8:38-39 states, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Psalm 139 says, “Where can I go from your presence… If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Alexander Pope said, “To err is human.” Fallible has become part of the definition of being human. We can’t idolize a pastor or a parent, or a boyfriend or girlfriend or an athlete. If we do, we will be let down. They are human. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Thankfully we have a God who anxiously waits for us to ask for His help. He desires to uphold you with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

He longs to reach down and scoop His child up in His arms.

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Slice of Chocolate Cake

How a Slice of Cake Defeats Fear

My grandmother refused to drive a car. Today it seems virtually impossible to live without driving unless maybe you live in the city, but she lived in the suburbs, long Fear spelled in scrabble blocksbefore Uber. She tried it once. Unfortunately, she hit the gas pedal instead of the break. There was a loud crash. Metal scraped and crumpled. I can imagine my grandfather wincing before he jerked his hand through his hair and muttered under his breath. Ma Ma never got behind the wheel again.

Fear steals from you.

Now my grandmother was a wonderful woman. She had the kind of laugh that you couldn’t help but smile when you heard it. She was fun to be around and always seemed happy. I never would have guessed that she was afraid of anything, especially not driving.

Fear enslaves you.

I struggled with fear for a long time, fear of failure, fear of rejection. It kept me shy and isolated. I wouldn’t initiate talking to people. If I had to get up in front of the class or do something publically. I would practice and practice until I knew I couldn’t mess it up, until I met some level of perfection that couldn’t be mocked, laughed at, or taunted. Then, I met my college roommate. Kim was from Queens, NY, and even though she was 5’4” and barely 100lbs, she talked and acted like she was 6’6” 250lbs of sheer muscle. Kim was not afraid of anything. Somehow we hit it off immediately. She dragged me out of my dorm room and pushed me way out of my comfort zone.

Looking back, I believe God brought Kim into my life to grow me. Whatever you fear you serve, and if she hadn’t challenged me then I might still be enslaved to fear. Fear would have us believe that God’s hands are tied. That we are at the mercy of our circumstances whether it be a bad boy/girlfriend, an angry boss, or an unfavorable doctor’s prognosis. We feel stuck and snatch hold of a short-term solution to keep us afloat. When instead, we should be clinging to the God who is, in fact, able to save us. Fear tries to limit God’s capabilities. God is powerful, but this is cancer. God is powerful, but I need this now. God is powerful but …

But what?

Faith is trusting God explicitly. The human mind is plagued with doubts. Are Slice of Chocolate Cakeearthly brains cannot comprehend the possibilities of God. This is where walking by faith comes into play. I know it’s not easy. I was profoundly influenced by Karen Porter, author of I’ll Bring the Chocolate, who once spoke at a lady’s event held at my church. She said sometimes we might not have enough faith, but it is okay in those terrifying times of doubt to borrow the faith of others. She used the example of slicing off a piece of chocolate cake. Borrowing a slice of friend’s faith may be all that’s needed to keep you going. Sometimes just knowing that someone else is praying for you when you’re all prayed out is enough.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.  

~ Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)

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