BOL Yeps Mom's friend actually told her this. Thankfully this was a word from a dear old friend and not a stranger on the street. We have never forgotten this, and so do indeed, try, to put our best foot forward when we leave the house.
The folks dropped me off for my hair appointment and low and behold there was another precious furiend waiting to get their hair done as well. We began chatting about one thing and another and they asked how I was enjoying the new chapel in the woods.
I personally find it very difficult to be "politically correct" or" tactful", so I simply told the truth. I hadn't been to church in a while due to becoming dreadfully emotional while sharing in my Sunday School class. I was a bit apprehensive over how my class might react to my returning. Regretfully I myself, as well as my Mom suffer from a bit of social anxiety, and can in our own minds blow something rather trivial into the most tremendous mountain.
Now over the course of time dear furiends had sent cards and had even made phone calls requesting that I return to my class and church. I had tentatively considered the idea, but my fears typically got the best of me.
Something Mom and I have been talking about lately is perception and truth..We as individuals will say the truth is how we perceive it to be, when someone else looking at the same situation will see a different truth.
Imagine an art teacher walking through her students who are drawing a still life in the center of the room. As she looks over one shoulder then another, all have indeed drawn a still life, but none of them are exactly alike. Each student has drawn what they perceive to be the visual truth with their own eyes, and have replicated it to the best of their artistic abilities.
Sharing my story with my friend, she pointed out that we each need to let our lights shine; and though we may find it difficult at times, we always need to press through our fears. She kindly suggested I return to my Sunday School class and church before I simply didn't. Now this was indeed a word in due season. With social anxiety it is truly easier to stay at home and not subject yourself to people, crowds, trying to be polite and engaging.
I thought about it a while and decided she was probably right as I would be much happier not having to go back to class and explain my reasons for my absence and have to speak in front of a group of pups. Though I have chosen the path of least resistance in the past, this wasn't going to be one of those times.
Life and the challenges it brings us won't hurt us, unless we let it consume our lives with fear and inhibitions, or harden our hearts, making us sour, bitter and hesitate to trust that God has it all under control.
Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. 8Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in your faith and in the knowledge that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering.
I'm sorry to say, "For several months I was right where the devil wanted me. (As another sweet furiend gently reminded me). Home, and not with my church family". Sometimes it's easier to trust the images the devil would show us, rather than taking a breath, and telling our Heavenly Father our fears and handing them to Him. My new prayer is that He will help me to see His truth, and to not let me trust my own perception of things, as my perception is clouded by social anxiety already.
If we look at our troubles and fears as an opportunity to learn more of our Fathers love, and His ability to help us in our times of need then we can see Gods miracles in action. We need to learn to trust God with a childlike dependence on Him. When we do that, no trouble can devastate us or destroy us. Our Father reminds of us this in
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
St. Threses of Lisieux mentions this in
"Her Last Conversations "The Yellow NoteBook" Page 139
(1)She always strove to stay a little child. It means to recognize our nothingness, to expect everything from God as a little child expects everything from its father; it is to be disquieted and concerned about nothing. To be little is not attributing to oneself the virtues one practices, believing oneself capable of anything. but to recognize that God places these treasures in the hands of His children.; to be used when necessary; but they are always Gods treasures. Finally it is not to be overcome or discouraged by our faults, for children often fall, but they rarely do themselves much harm.
We can ask our Father to remove our trials and there's nothing wrong with this, but for the most part our problems don't go away, as my dear furiend said, we simply need to press on until we get to the other side. We should ask our Father what He would have us learn from this situation and let our problems draw us closer to Him. Just as a child learns valuable lessons sitting at his Father's feet so can we, if we draw close to Him during our times of trouble.
My lesson was to simply not be overcome by my fears of showing my weakness before others, to not trust my perceptions, which are clouded by my social anxiety. I'd have you know after I shared my reason for not coming to Bible Class my sweet sisters told me they didn't even remember my getting emotional, and the ones that did were so very understanding; and told me I simply hadn't been there long enough to see them become emotional. As children we all fall down, and our Father is always there to pick us up, if we simply come to Him and ask.
We all experience our own trials, and we all go through our own personal fires on this earth. Handel's Hallelujah Chorus was written when he was poverty stricken and suffering from a paralyzed right side and arm. Affliction no matter how small or large can make us stronger in our faith and develop our confidence as we witness God watching over us and leading us through our storms.
Billy Graham mentions "Whatever the reason, if God sends affliction our way, we should take it in faith as a blessing and not a curse". I can tell you I'm not there yet. I as a small child still stumble and fall. I'm getting back on my feet dear furiends, and I'm learning when I am weak, He is strong.
Love, and Peace,
Molly and my Mom
(1) St. Threses of Lisieux "Her Last Conversations "
Billy Graham Hope for each Day Words of Wisdom and Faith
Here's Handel's Hallelujah Chorus