I was the girl who would run the other way, fast, to avoid conflict at all costs.
I recently had two different people in my life say “now Lindsay without candy coating it how do you really feel” they both actually used the words ‘candy coat’
I guess my recovering people pleasing tendencies coupled with my hate of conflict were ah, obvious?
Well, I have been learning lately that “fear” could once again be the culprit.
What do you fear about conflict?
It was: “feeling stupid, because what if I was wrong”
But then God reminded me that humility comes before honor, so just putting it out there in the beginning of the conversation that “I could be wrong” was actually acting in humility. (good to know)
I also had “fear of not being smart enough.” I had this fear that “they” knew more than me, that “they” are smarter than me. I had to ask God, “why do I feel that way” and a moment way back in elementary school came rushing back, when a kid on the playground told me I was stupid.
I had to forgive and move on, knowing that now I have the mind of Christ.
So we are all actually back on a level playing field.
And then I had a fear I would be taken advantage of. I felt I had to protect myself because no one else (including God) was going to take care of me. The feeling was REAL, it’s was very very real, but it’s still a lie. It’s NOT TRUE.
God says: “do not fear, for I am with you!”
I mean, He is God. If you believe like I do that He REALLY created the universe and we are little (LOVED) dust people, He really does know best and He really does say do not fear. ANYTHING.
So for me I had to break down my fear of conflict, my hate towards it.
Hate is rooted in fear, fear of something, but we often have to ask ourselves (and God), what about this do I fear?
Then we can deal with and pray about the real problem, instead of trying to figure out this ambiguous “feeling” that sometimes attaches itself to our identity.
Hi my name is Lindsay and I am just one of those people who hate conflict.
See the Bible says
Proverbs 23:7New American Standard Bible (NASB)
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
If we think we are this or that, well we are.
It’s a crazy thing, our minds, but they are powerful.
2 Corinthians 12:9-11 New International Version (NIV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
One of my weaknesses is conflict, that’s ok to admit, but that is not my identity, it is just something I need to lean HARD into God to overcome, but since Christ died for us, we are now OVERCOMERS in Him. It’s not always easy, but it is alway possible with God.
Let’s be careful what we say to ourselves and about ourselves, even in our own minds (those thoughts that we agree with in our minds, do they line of with Christ? if not THROW THEM OUT THE DOOR)
I once had a therapist (actually I have had lots of therapists) hee hee, they are helpful most of the time, but we also have Holy Spirit the TRUE counselor to check everything against.
My therapist once said to me “Lindsay, would you ever call those little kids that you volunteer with stupid?”
I said, “no never”
She said “then why do you call yourself stupid, you are hurting your own feelings”
I was like, WHHHHHHHHAT, this lady has a point.
Let’s do as God says, take EVERY thought captive, to the obedience of Christ.
He says that because He loves us. Not because He is trying to ruin our fun! He knows everything. We just don’t.
He is God, and we, are little loved dust people!
If God is our Creator, if He really did knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13)
If we are truly fearfully and wonderfully made by Him (Psalm 139:13)
Do you think seeking Him might give us insight into who we really are, what our purpose is in life?
Do you think it might gives us understanding in our part in the great commission? Our purpose in the lives of others, our unique ability to love those around us?
The Bible says that our purpose is to reconcile God’s people back to Him through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18 New International Version
But what if He made us different for a reason, what if we each play a unique part in this puzzle, in this BIG epic LOVE story of God the Creator. What if we all have a slightly different way of doing it?
I often hear the enemy saying “Lindsay quit being selfish, quit thinking of yourself, you are a narcissist” I actually had to look up the definition for a narcissist last week and talk to a friend of mine about it because I wondered if I was one?
I am one who thinks and feels possibly a little too much! But I also think that is partly how I am made, so that I can feel for those who maybe can’t feel for themselves, so that I can carry their burdens to the Lord, so that I can believe and trust in faith for them when they can’t for themselves.
We are all created beings and our Creator is the One who knows just how He uniquely created us, the Bible says He knows every hair on our head, they are actually numbered Luke 12:7. That uniqueness (that the enemy may want to throw in your face or twist to be a bad thing) is actually your gift to the world from your Heavenly Father. I think by seeking Him, we just might find our purpose in how to bring Him glory and how to bring others to Him, for redemption, healing, hope and reconciliation.
Sometimes we can feel this guilt, shame and pressure to save the world and to stop thinking about ourselves. But what if by seeking God, we find more of who He created us to be? More of how we were created to love and help others, therefore when it is our time to step into what God has for us to accomplish, we are lined up exactly in His will and with His power and in His love to literally change the world or the world around us.
I had this funny thought come to me as I was on the Toy Story ride this weekend at Disneyland. I was on this ride by myself (my friends were in the car behind me) and we were playing a game where you would shoot at these targets in 3D and got points. As I was playing I thought to myself, “gosh I am doing so good and this is so fun,” I could feel the confidence rise up in me “I am pretty good, I can’t believe it. I didn’t think I would be good at this.” I had 39,000 points “that’s so awesome”, I thought! Well until I looked beside me and saw the person next me had 129,000 points, I suddenly realized I wasn’t doing squat. I then felt the Lord show me that it was very similar in life. If we could just go about our life, our ministry the Lord has given us no matter how big or how small, we might be way more effective and confident rather than looking at those around us and thinking “oh crap I am not doing squat”.
I know random thoughts from Lindsay, but you know I write from my own experiences and this week I am headed out to spend some intentional time with our Father, to seek Him to see what He might be saying, what He might have next. The adventure with Him is not always without wobbly legs, but His love is powerful so let’s let Him love us, teach us, show us who He created us to be and how we might play our part in His big epic LOVE story!
He loves you, let Him love you!
He is a good God, and He wants your attention on Him, then He will be able to lead you, when you are watching where He is going.
Ok, can we talk about this again?
This ‘trying to figure things out’ thing!
I know we just discussed it last week, but it is a biggie.
And a tactic of the enemy to steal our peace.
Or maybe I should say steal our peace for that moment or that day or that week, hopefully not that entire year, but sometimes yes, that does happen.
See we are hidden in Christ. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, so the enemy can’t exactly steal our Jesus, but he does distract us from our precious Prince of Peace, Jesus and causes us to look at our circumstances instead of looking at the One who created us.
I woke up this morning once again trying to figure something out (I mean when will I learn), don’t worry it wasn’t the same thing that I was trying to figure out the last week, it was quite different actually, theological of sorts, seems more holy right, like there might be an exception in this case?
Well, I don’t think so.
Figuring it out, is still figuring it out, it is still trusting in ourselves instead of trusting in God.
God doesn’t call us all to be theologians, He calls us to live by faith, He calls us to renew our minds with His Word, He calls us not to be anxious but to pray.
Check this out:
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6
I LOVE this promise. Isn’t it amazing.
It almost seems ludicrous but it’s not, it is the very Word of God. Divinely penned.
The Bible is so clear that it is our job to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. And that is because God knows what is best for us, He knows what the world, the enemy and sometimes our very own flesh will do to distract us, so He warns us, because HE is a good Daddy!
We need to protect our hearts and renew our minds.
Interesting that God shows us right in scripture how to do this: (simple but sometimes hard)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
He does it for us actually, if we will pray and thank Him and give Him our requests, He will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I think the biggest lie sometimes is thinking that we know better, than God. Or that He doesn’t have time for us? But the Bible says, that He cares for us and that He wants us to bring those things that make us anxious to Him!
right here is 1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
How amazing is our God?
That He would care enough to take on those things (even the tiny seemingly insignificant things) which make us anxious.
He is a good Dad and can be trusted even when we may not fully understand.
Keep seeking Him, He is there waiting for you!
for He says:
“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
Figuring out the future is a no no and in my life was actually an idol.
As we were listening to the message on idols this past weekend I wondered
“oh what are my idols?”
We all have those things that can slip up and take their place ahead of God. And because they are disguised as “good things” we don’t always notice what they are right away. Thankfully we serve a good God and He will show us if we care to ask Him.
I started to pray and “try to figure out what my idols were”
“Is it sugar?”
“is it coffee?”
I said to myself, wondering what mine were.
I headed to the front to pray, it is where you can usually find me, praying on my knees, not sure what to do once again. Some might think I am saying this to make myself sound super holy, but the truth is, I am telling you this because it is just how desperate I am on a regular basis.
I was praying to God, I wanted to know what my anxious heart was all about and I kept hearing this phrase over and over again in my mind.
“Trying to figure it out”
“Trying to figure it out”
“Trying to figure it out”
All the sudden it was clear, my idol and my pride was in the fact that I was “trying to figure it out”. Figure out what you may ask? EVERYTHING, including my idols.
1. What was my next step in my career?
2. Who is my future husband?
3. Who are the false prophets?
4. When is the world going to end?
5. What is my calling in life?
6. How is God going to save all the people I love?
I mean friends, I could go on and ON about the other 19 things I was wondering about, I was running scenarios through my head like you wouldn’t believe trying to figure out what might happen in this scenario what might happen in that scenario. As the English would say, I was driving myself MAD.
Proverbs 3:5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Trusting God is not trying to figure things out, it is praying, asking for His wisdom moment by moment, surrendering to His ways each step, trusting that He knows the end from the beginning and that He will not leave you or forsake you.
I know it sounds completely ridiculous in the “real world” get a job Lindsay how hard can it be, just pick a guy for goodness sakes YOU ARE GETTING OLD, but see that is the lie, we can do that, but we can choose to trust our perfect Heavenly Father that wants us to walk by His Spirit, with His Son (our Savior) Jesus without fear or worry. Is it hard, TOTALLY, but is it what He calls us to ABSOLUTELY.
Do I have it figured out, NO, remember He suggested not to “try to figure it out”.
I know it’s hard right.
It was crazy because I seriously thought ‘oh it is probably sugar or coffee’ and He was like NO GIRLFRIEND (ok maybe that is my overly dramatic interpretation of what He said) but He said, “no, you keep trying to figure everything out and that is your idol”.
I am not totally suggesting this is your idol, that is between you and the Lord.
But an interesting thought I hope for lots of you!
When I look back on my journal entries from the last year, I see confusion, fear, panic, stress and I see the very voice of God saying “you don’t have to figure it out Lindsay, I am God, you are not”
This little phrase was first coined (in my life anyway) by my precious friend Katherine Wolf. This girl and her family welcomed me into their home when I first moved here to LA, they provided a stable start to my unstable soul.
I honestly could not have asked for a more Biblically sound family to be near while I was really struggling with every single thing I believed.
They maybe did or didn’t know my deep struggle, but God did and He knew they were just the right people to put close to me in those days.
Although fear tried to overtake me like I had never experienced, God continued to provide people, places and experiences that didn’t necessarily take the fear or doubt away but made me press into Him more and more. It doesn’t sound fun and to be honest it wasn’t, but at the same time I knew that I knew that I had done the right thing. I had NO idea why I was here in LA, but I had no doubt that He had called me this way.
1 year later, I can tell you that I still don’t exactly know why I am here, I miss my people (Ohio, Atlanta, Texas) like crazy, but I know for now that this is where I am supposed to be and I am going to make the very best of it because He is God, and I am not!
Living every moment turning to Him and asking “what now Lord” is a true gift. A living God who loves us so much. It’s almost insane, that is why people often think we are insane for believing what we believe.
But that is ok, God is also teaching me about people pleasing. I can’t please the people, I can only pray for them, that they will one day understand the crazy unbelievable LOVE that the Father has for them. I still pray this for myself. I think it is a life long lesson, His love is so vast. A God who loves us and chooses to call Himself Father, to those who BELIEVE. A God who created us for relationship WITH HIM, it’s insane. A God that knew a generation (every generation) would need a Father, no matter who your father is on earth, no such one is perfect, so He set it up that He would be a Perfect Father to any who would receive this gift (of salvation in Jesus Christ)
It’s still a mystery to me most days, but my heart is beyond thankful that after 9 months of true struggle in this city, problem after problem, fear after fear, by His grace (ONLY) I just kept pushing through, praying, crying (a lot). I just kept going (even if I was tip toeing around all my fears) and things finally changed. Peace came to my soul. And that is my message for you today, JUST KEEP GOING. He IS with YOU!
Jesus Christ is the PRINCE OF PEACE, so as we live IN HIM. We get to live in PEACE.
Peace that truly does surpass all understanding. Philippines 4:7
I don’t understand it, I don’t think anyone else really does either (that is why it says a peace that surpasses ALL understanding).
All I know is that I lived without peace most of my 38 years, but as we seek Jesus, He is peace. I don’t have it figured out (and thanks be to God, I don’t have too) but I just try to stick to the simple truth of He is Peace and I need Peace, so I need Him every moment of every day!
Peace be with you Jesus would say, so I say that to YOU!
Peace be with YOU!