Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 40:31

“The enemy of your soul will keep trying until he finds a way,” I heard him say. The enemy of my soul will keep trying until he finds a way to dismantle my faith, bind me with shame and dissolve my knowledge of freedom. It is the enemy who claws at my heart, making false threats and accusations, whispering lifelong lies to my depths.

The phone rang. That piercing sound which has often aroused fear calls on me to answer. Much like experiences of my past, this call blew my sails of fear unexpectedly and pushed me into a faith-refusing current. I hung up the phone and cried for an hour until my phone rang again. The call ended and more tears began their descent down the familiar curve of my face. Each tear seemed to know the well-worn paths… abandonment, betrayal, fear, hurt and shame.

The women who called me that day had no idea they were breathing salt into my deepest wounds. Needless to say, my reaction caught them by surprise. Neither intended to hurt me. And while my logic grasped those facts, my memories held fast to their own facts. My past proved to me that friends will readily betray, abandon, and malign me. Relationally, my experiences hadn’t caused growth in me – they formed scars. The thing about scars is that the flesh tightens around them leaving a mark, making the statement, “Hurt lives here. No longer will this place yield to growth.”

My Father’s Word tells me He will “not cast [me] off” and not to be dismayed for He is there to help and uphold me. Fear not, Shelby. I hear Him whisper. I hear Him proclaim to the far corners of my past. Just like that day, many of my days are plagued by distracted ears. Ears that listen to the voices without instead of the Voice within. God was with me when the phone rang that day and every other day. He was there as fear overpowered me and faith escaped me. Call on Me. I clung to that which I loathed. I called on my experience. And I answered with things of this world.

The enemy of my soul will keep trying to find a way to destroy my faith in a loving and holy God. In every situation, I am faced with opportunities. Will I look to my past, or His presence? Will I respond in fear, or faith? This is what I know. Faith roars in the face of fear. And I am on the side of that roaring Lion – not the lion who prowls waiting devour. Oh Lord, let me roar as the Lion blows wind in my sails.

Shelby Rawson is a mom and the co-author of Daddy Do You Love Me: a Daughter’s Journey of Faith and Restoration (New Leaf Press, 2006).