Tag Archives: fear

Learning To Trust

     From the time I was a young girl, I prayed. I knew without any doubt that this life was way too big for me.

     I needed God.

     I desperately needed Him. I learned to fold my hands and bow my head and talk as I would to a friend. But that was hard. I had no close friend with whom to even compare it. Frequent moves had me constantly longing for a friend. Always standing at the new classroom and dreading that moment when the door would open and I would need to find my desk and sit down.

    No, not having friends was not easy.

    But I had my books. From Heidi, and Anne of Green Gables, to Little Women and F.B. Meyer, Tozer and George Mueller and so many more. Shelves and shelves of books. Wherever we moved my books went. Even now I can remember each house where we lived and exactly where my book shelves were.

    But remembering back I think I learned how to pray the most through need. One situation after another – my grandfather’s sudden illness, my brother’s being kicked in the head by a horse, my mother’s slow recovery from polio, and yes, praying that we’d raise enough money to buy the sugar maple farm in upstate New York.

   I prayed and nothing every seemed to happen. No lightning in the sky. No miraculous healings. Instead my grandfather died.  And I limped along wondering about this whole prayer thing.

    As I grew I learned that God always hears us when we pray. But sometimes He says yes. And sometimes no. And more often than not He says wait. So I kept talking to Him and pouring out my simple prayer requests.

     Somewhere in my teen years facing so many challenges and changes, I began to talk with the Lord. At set times and throughout the day I prayed and listened. In the strange silence I felt comforted and encouraged. I knew that although I was quiet and lonely, He was there.

     I kept talking with Him – through long walks to school crunching those leaves beneath my shoes. I spoke to Him sitting by the peaceful Susquehanna River and pondered the strangeness of life. Life began to take on a calm settledness and I hated the thought of going off to college.

     But that was what I was supposed to do – to get an education so that if the man I married suddenly dropped dead, I’d be able to support my family. Interested to think back and reflect on the reasoning. I never married until later in life. And he didn’t suddenly drop dead. But I did discover not only the marvelous career of teaching children that I loved but also the joy of praying.

    There wasn’t a day that I began teaching that I didn’t pray. Pouring out my heart to God. Asking Him to be with me and give me wisdom to meet the needs of each student. Yes, day after day I prayed and experienced the fullness of knowing that I was doing exactly what the Lord wanted me to do with my life.

    But there came a day when I knew it was time to change. Yes, deep within my heart I sensed there was something else the Lord wanted me to do. No, I did not hear an audible voice. But there was a subtle shift. Whereas before I had been settled in my profession, I suddenly felt the tinge of grief.  I argued and resisted. Hadn’t I been more than happy for so many years?

     Yes, I had but I kept sensing those words, “There is more.” Whatever that might be I had no idea. And it was three years before I began to know.

     I didn’t quit my job. I didn’t rush around and share with others. No, I kept living one day at a time knowing that God would show me. I knew from His Word and my personal experience that He doesn’t play games with people. No, the One Who was my Friend throughout the years was faithful and true. All I needed to do was follow.

    Trust grows slowly when we are with a trustworthy individual. My trust in the Lord grew similarly. He was always there through every big change and little change. Helping me cope with things that were bigger than I. Yes, He was there. He’s always been  there.

   

   

 

 

 

 

House Arrest?

Her words caused my breathing to stop. For a moment.

How could it possibly be?

“You are under house arrest. You must stay inside and talk to no one,”

My thoughts raced in a million different directions.

What had I done?

Here I was thousands of miles from home.

I was in the process of completing an adoption

and suddenly this.

Instantly there was fear.

How long would it last?

What if? A million what ifs.

 There was no way to communicate with my family in the states.

No. There I was.

So what do you do when suddenly life changes

and the unexpected happens?

What do you do when you realize that you are helpless to change things?

“O Lord. I really need your help.”

I prayed and prayed.

Hours dragged by as I sat in the small room with only a narrow bed.

One minute at a time.

I never expected that my desire to adopt would lead to this.

Simple meals were brought to my door.

No words.

Then my worse thought  hit me.

Would I ever get out?

To see my little girl at home?

My parents?

Ugh, but I was seemingly helpless. No phone.

It was at a time of unrest in the world many years ago

and for me a time of awakening.

These things really do happen to ordinary people. Like you. Like me.

I just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time it seemed.

House arrest?

Me?

Well, after a few days I was released

and was flown out of that part of the country

and back to a safer city.

But I’ll never forget that scary experience.

While the world kept turning

I sat and prayed for release, for freedom.

And in His time

God made it possible for me to be safely released

to board a small, very old, rickety plane

and to fly. Just me and 3 other foreign men.

Hair-raising moments? Yes.

Today as I remember

I’m grateful beyond words

that I was released.

Quietly set free and flown out of that hot spot.

Grateful to once again experience God’s hand in the details of my life.

And while we experience all kinds of changes and unsettledness today

it’s reassuring to know

that God hears our prayers.

He knows exactly what is going on

where you live

and where I live.

He knows how trapped some people feel,

He knows how much we miss what we used to do.

Yes, He knows.

And even though we don’t understand everything

we can trust Him

with all of our moments.

He has us safely in His care.

We do not wait in vain.

Let’s just rest in His arms while we wait

knowing that we are not alone.

And nowhere could be safer

than in His tender care.

 

 

When Fear Threatens You

It happened in 1953.

The Polio Epidemic.

I have no memory of the fear that must have swept the country

as polio attacked so many – especially adults.

Leaving many paralyzed, some on iron lungs, some fatalities.

I have no memory.

But  I remember summer 1953 being a busy time

as we moved from Allentown, PA  to Levittown, PA.

My little baby brother was born in March 14, 2020

and there was so much to think about

for a little girl of 4.

Big bulldozers outside my window moved the dirt in the yard

and literally terrified me.

But there was something worse that would cause me to fear

for many years to come.

Polio.

I don’t even remember that word

until summertime

when my world was turned upside down.

After a time at the pool

my mother got a severe headache.

Suddenly a doctor was called.

Hushed voices.

My older brother and I stood in the hallway

waiting to hear about our mother.

The doctor came out of her room,

gave us each a shot

and made arrangements for my mother to be taken

to the hospital.

She had polio.

The next few weeks and months were a blur

as I was taken to Long Island to stay with my relatives.

I had no idea if I’d ever see home again.

Strange memories of those days

and lonely weeks.

Tasteless scrambled eggs

and long days.

I feared that my mommy had died

And I would never see my Daddy or brothers again.

How I wished to have the chance to be a good girl.

I knew that I would never cause them any trouble.

 

Today we face a the Coronavirus Pandemic

and daily news of how it’s spreading across the globe.

Schools are closed, churches will not have services

and many businesses are silenced.

Day after day I hear of more closings

and with it that sense of fear mounts.

But in the midst of it all

my heart remembers.

Long ago.

That verse of comfort and hope.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV

That verse reminds me of Who is in control.

It reassures me when I begin to wonder.

What’s going to happen next?

It comforts me and gives me clear direction.

Trust. Don’t trust my own understanding.

Acknowledge Him

and then there’s that promise …

He will direct my paths.

He is close, personal and has promised to be there.

I never have to feel alone

like that little girl of 4.

Never again.

No, God has promised

to take care of me as I trust in Him.

Years ago I waited for months

with no word about my mother.

Years ago I had no hope.

But suddenly when that car pulled up

and my Daddy came to the door

my heart overflowed with joy.

We were reunited again as a family.

The lessons remain

God is with us.

We can trust Him.

We must not lean upon our own understanding.

But acknowledge Him

and let Him direct our days, weeks, months and more.

No one needs to be overwhelmed by fear.

No one.

If you are reading this

and struggling at times

with fear.

Remember His promise.

It’s for you.

Trust Him.

Put your faith in Him.

He will guide, direct and protect you.

Always.