The ballet and a Battle and Fear and God

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The ballet. It's full of beauty and talent and art.

This Saturday, we honored our Christmas tradition of seeing the Nutcracker ballet. It was beautiful and artistic and full of talent as always, but this weekend it was different.

When tragedy strikes, even those things which are beautiful often become clouded by fear.

Tonight I sit at my desk in my new office in our new house, and none of those "new things" matter.

What does matter are the 2 post it notes stuck to my desk written on by my 5 year old kindergartener. Earlier tonight, she was playing "school" with her uncle Matt.

These past few days have made me look at scribbled on post-it notes in a whole new light. I have looked at my children differently this weekend, as I'm sure you have too.

If you're like me, it happened to you. You imagined it for a moment. You let the scenario creep into your mind as you placed yourself in the shoes of those parents who waited for children who never came back.

I can't even write it without tears falling from my eyes. It's too much. Too much for anyone to imagine let alone live through. And with the brutal reality of this past week's shooting, comes fear.

I have read many of your posts on facebook and twitter. Posts of fear.

Fear is the sword with which the devil fights. He uses fear to creep into our minds and our lives, and he attempts and often succeeds at controlling us through fear.

Interestingly enough, do you know what the #1 command in the Bible is?

Do not fear.

Fear not.

Be not afraid.

He says it over and over and over again.

It's not just a suggestion. It is a command. His greatest command to us. Yet we live intimately with fear, cherishing it so much that we often can't shake it.

Do not be afraid is a command that most of us have a hard time abiding by.

I recently worked through a bible study by Beth Moore over the book of Esther. It was an incredible study. But there was one video session that has literally changed my life, and it was all about fear. That lesson is where these thoughts gain their strength.

When I think about the events of last week, I can't keep my mind from wandering to the "what ifs." What if it had been here? What if it had been someone I know? What if it had been one of mine?

What if?

Fear lives through the what ifs that often overtake our minds.

Those worst case scenarios that we allow to consume our thoughts....that's where fear lives, and that's where the devil wins.

There has been a lot of talk about home schooling since the shooting. Is it what we should do? Is it what the Lord commands us to do? Many would say yes.

I'm not here to debate public or private school vs homeschooling. I honestly don't know what's right. But I do know without a doubt that what is right for one family may not be right for another.

But after a school shooting like this, everything in me wants to wrap my children up warm and snug in my bed and never let them leave me.

But the reality is, tragedy happens.

It happens in schools, in movie theaters, and even at the grocery store.

The thought of one of those tragedies is enough to make you want to lock your kids up in your house forever and never let them leave. But thinking about the reality of them all together is enough to push any of us over the edge and beg for Jesus to return to save us from our own fear.

If we let it, fear can consume us.

In Beth's session on fear, she talks about taking your "what ifs" aka your worst fears and pushing through them all the way to the end.

For example, this weekend, I have had to work through this one many times....(please note, this is not an easy read).

What if I waited for her to come running into my arms and she didn't come back? (I am now sitting at my desk sobbing. And I'm sorry if you are too, but I want you to read the rest of this.)

Beth explains that she had a moment with the holy spirit when she was consumed by those what ifs, and the holy spirit lead her to work through it like this. (And obviously I have no idea what this would be like. I can only imagine....and that is torture enough, but hopefully this resonates with someone tonight.)

So what if that were me?

Then what?

Well, then I would lose it. I would probably scream and sob and they would have to put me on some kind of medication. I would be in shock. I wouldn't know what to do. I would hate everyone and everything, and I would be mad at God.

Then what?

I would grieve. I would mourn. I wouldn't want to get out of bed. I would still be mad and hate the world. I'd feel like I had nothing to live for anymore.

Then what?

Then eventually I'd have to be a momma to my other babies. I would have to talk to them. I would have to explain things. I would try to do it well, but I would cry. I would cry and cry and cry.

Then what?

I think I would get tired of crying. I think I would get tired of feeling. I would probably battle depression.

Then what?

I guess eventually I'd have to talk to God about it. I would open my bible and lay my face on it and sob. I would wish it were someone else. I would ask Him why it had to be us.

Then what?

Then what?

Then what?

I don't really know what. I can't walk through what it would feel like. I don't know what, but I do know who.

If my greatest fear were to become reality, then GOD.

Then God.

I don't know what else or who else, but I know God. And I know my God. And I know life is not fair. I also know we were not made for this world. This is just a moment for us. "We are but a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes." (James 5:14)

But if my greatest fear becomes reality, then my God will take care of me.

We can't just trust Him to make sure our greatest fears don't come true....We have to learn to trust Him no matter what.

And if my worst fears come true.....then GOD.

Then God, then God, then God.

He tells us not to fear. He tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us.

I know that if I were ever to lose a child, I would probably feel like he had left me and forsaken me. But I know this, He will not leave or forsake those grieving parents. Believers or not, he will chase after them in an effort to comfort them and bring them peace.

I understand so very little about His plan. He has this all worked out you know? And in the end, the good guy wins.

I have to remind myself of this promise often when I let fear creep into my soul....It is a promise to all believers found in Isaiah 43. It is so much a favorite of mine that it fell open to this page as I cried those tears of sorrow and pain tonight over children that will never feel sorrow or pain ever again as they stand at the feet of Jesus tonight.

Israel’s Only Savior
1But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cushand Seba in your stead.
4Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”

May you win the battle over fear tonight. If ____________, then God.

The beginning of something new

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I've got a sweet little guy snuggled up on my chest for the night. My hubby is out at Wal-mart buying a new TV for our bedroom (Merry Christmas babe!), and my other 2 littles are snuggled up in their new rooms.

We did it! We moved. It wasn't across the country like I thought. It was just 3 miles north. But oh, how it feels like home.

I can't really explain it. My babies sleep good here. We sleep good here. It is just us. And it feels good.

I loved our other house. And when we moved in 3 years ago, we thought it would be our 20 year home. We didn't know the Lord would grow our business the way he did, and grow our hearts into wanting more babies. We didn't really know anything then. (And we still don't know anything for the record.)

But I do love it here. We see turkey everyday.

This is our backyard. We have 3 1/2 acres and a creek back there. (There will be a pool soon enough!)

Here are the turkey in the front yard.

Luke and I saw 3 deer in the backyard one morning.

It's just like a little slice of heaven.

It's a mess. Don't get me wrong....I have had a moment everyday since we moved in of being completely overwhelmed.....moving is absolutely crazy. I'm ready for everything to be in it's place and for us to be settled. I want to get back to work and to some kind of normalcy and schedule. I know it's going to take a bit of time. That's okay.

I can't wait to host here. Christmas is going to be a blast. There is so much room for the kids to run and play. And we finally have a house big enough to comfortably host the Dalke clan!

My kids are already exploring. Daddy took them on an adventure exploring the creek yesterday. Oh, the adventures they'll have back there!

What can I say? Life is good. I'm beginning to see the end of the moving madness approaching. And life will go on.

It's not what I thought it would be, but it's still the beginning of something new. And I can't wait to see what happens next.

It's always an adventure.....

Chasing Peace

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I've lived in this city for over 20 years now. It's where I met my husband, where I birthed my children, and where I fell in love with the Lord.

It's where I've met great friends, and where I met myself. It's where I overcame my fear, got my first real job, and where I grew a business that changed our lives.

We've lived in this house for almost 4 years now. And oh, if these walls could talk.

Inside the walls of this house we have learned that money doesn't make you happy but love does. We've learned how to work together and how to work apart. We've learned what it's like to serve because we felt led to. We've learned that we're not always right.

We've learned that living for the Lord doesn't always make sense to the world (or to us for that matter). We've learned that babies sometimes come.....and then go.

We've known love, pain, fear, chaos, and peace within these walls.

And next week, we'll hand the keys to someone else and move on.

I thought I knew exactly what this would look like.

I thought I had it all figured out.

And on October 31st, everything changed.

With Brian asleep on the hospital couch and a new baby boy asleep in my arms, I found that no matter what I did, sleep wouldn't come.

I kept asking myself and the Lord, what on earth we were doing. Why now? Why California? Why now?

I couldn't wrap my head around it.

What seemed like a solid plan only hours before suddenly seemed like the worst idea we'd ever had.

And 2 days later on our way home from the hospital with the newest addition to our family, I asked him the question, "What are you thinking about California?"  I couldn't hold it in any longer. I thought I might explode if I didn't get it out.

I had prayed unceasingly while we welcomed visitor after visitor into our hospital room. "Lord, do you really want us to leave all this right now?"

Neither of us were sure anymore. And before I knew it, I was looking at local real estate and so was Brian (we just weren't talking about it). I thought that maybe I was running away from what I felt the lord called us to do, and I didn't want to be a coward.

Neither of us knew why we were moving to California. We just felt the Lord leading us there. And suddenly (with no warning at all) I felt like I was flipped around and instructed to run the other way with no explanation at all.

You see, we had already sold our house (thanks to a knock on the door that I believed was an answer to a prayer), so if we wanted to stay here, we had to find a new house and quick.

A few days later, with tears barely able to contain themselves in my eyes, we made a decision to stay here, and just like that, peace overflowed my soul. I knew it was right (just like I knew moving to Cali was right only days before).

What do I know really?


Nothing except that this is a journey.

Tonight I ran the streets of my neighborhood and thought about all the prayer and worship and questioning and searching I had done on those streets. The Lord used running to change me into someone different.

It was on those streets that I feel in love with my savior, that I learned how to overcome fear, that I really became me.

In mere days, we will walk away from the walls where we have been changed, away from the streets that made us different, and into a new adventure.

It's not near the adventure that I thought it would be. It's not across the country. It's not as uncertain. But it will be an adventure none the less.

I still don't know where we'll be or what we'll be doing in a year. That's just the life you live when you let the Lord be in charge. But I have a pretty good feeling that we'll be here for a while longer.

I don't know why. I don't know why He sold our house with nothing more than a knock on the door from strangers. I was so sure at the time that that knock was all about us.

But the more I pray about it, the more I believe that it had nothing to do with us, and more to do with 2 people on the other side of the door.

They are not strangers anymore. They are becoming our friends, and for that, I am grateful.

Now we're moving 3 miles instead of 1,300 miles. And I still don't know why. What I do know is that surrounding this move is nothing but peace. And if there is anything I will chase after, it is peace.

Awaiting what's next.......

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