Fight or Flight?

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition… Hebrews 10: 39a

The human brain is designed to detect fear and danger and responds without our conscious participation.  For instance, you hear a loud noise nearby and before you can even blink , this sensory information has passed to your brain (the amygdala to be exact) for processing and response.  If it feels it’s threatening then it will jump-start your “fight or flight” response.  You will either decide to run or to remain where you are. 

I have been in situations where I have felt like fleeing and taking refuge within the confines of my mind.  My mind fills with fear, my heart beats rapidly and my knees almost buckle underneath me.  Having to deal with conflict is not an easy task.  Don’t you wish you could just blink and have it all disappear?  I seek for advice and hope that someone will

Be Strong In The Lord! (source: thetorchonline.com)

be able to relieve me of having to face my fears alone.  But, I sing a hollow song, and only hear the echo from afar coming back empty to my ears.

Fighting back, or standing up for what you know is right, takes practice and experience.  Psalms 118: 5 states, “Pushed to the wall, I called to God; from the wide open spaces, he answered.  God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid.” When we are backed up against the wall, then it is we cry out to God.  Out of desperation we seek his counsel and help.  And he hears us, coming to our aid.   Friends, why does it take us so long to realize that our battles need not be fought alone?   Our “giants” are real and they taunt us through their knowledge of us.  They know that we are accustomed to reacting a certain way to their threats.  We run and hide. 

I was reading the accounts of Joshua and how he faced battles in settling the promised land.  He and the people with him faced their enemies with confidence as they conquered the territory.  In fact, their enemies had heard of them and feared them greatly.  The Israelites were confident in their strength because they knew God’s power and trusted in his word.  They had experienced God’s mighty power in crossing the sea, being fed in the desert and receiving water in a barren land.  They knew him well.   There was nothing that God would not do for them in helping to establish themselves within a new land.

Our natural tendency to any threatening action is to run.  It takes a courageous person to stay and fight.  Courage is facing your fears even when you feel like fleeing.  One of my favorite bible chapters is Psalms 91 because it speaks of God’s protection of those who trust in him.  “..that’s right, he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.  His huge outstretched arms protect you — under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.  Fear nothing …. ” (MSG Bible).   (I can almost hear a large booming voice speaking this to me from a mountaintop!) I know that it is true for I have experienced his strength when I had none. 

The more you face your fears, the stronger you will become.  Constant fear in itself is a lack of faith in God.  God says that perfect love casts out fear.  I love  the scene in the movie Lord of  The Rings where the princess stands her ground against the dragon.  You can see the fear in her eyes but she continues to face the dragon, sword and shield in hand.  As the dragon lashes out, she cuts off its head.  She watches it roll off to the side, surprised that she actually killed the beast.   This is reality.  We face our fears head on and when the victory is ours we faint back with a sigh of surprised relief.  I often wonder if God has a good laugh on us (in a good way… he does have a sense of humor!). 

Friends, when you face a challenge …. face it with God’s power within you!  Stand and fight.  You will be victorious. 

Blessings,

Dee

My Letter

source: microsoftphoto: desktoptowallpaper.com

A letter to my husband:
 
Hello.
 
Rich, growing up was not a very enriching experience for me.  I always felt like there was so much inside me, but I believed they were crazy thoughts.  Thoughts like, “why am I the person I am?” and, “what would happen if I were not here on this earth?”  Now, coming to realize that they were normal questions, makes me sad.  Questions I had about sex,  I had no one to talk to about them, so I went to my girlfriends and we made up our own conclusions about it. 
 
I was scared most of the time growing up because I had no answers to any of these questions on life.  I always felt empty inside.  I did not know who I was.  I would dare to say that this is the reason I grew up and lived my life the way I did.  Even when I first married, I did not know why I married Denny.  No one told me how life was going to be nor what was expected of me in my marriage.  I destroyed this marriage for lack of knowledge; due to my interpretation of life   And every relationship thereafter I destroyed. 
 
I continued on with this lifestyle even though I felt so confused.  I presented a pretty picture, but inside I was a mess.  I knew the words to start a relationship, but I did not know that commitment meant being transparent.  I did not know how to do that.  I did not know how to share my life with anyone.  I did not know what a budget was or what one looked like.  I did not know that loving someone meant for better or for worse.   
 
About two years ago, God started a work in me that has blown my mind.  I don’t know why he did . . .  but he did.  I have come to realize that God uses ordinary people for his great work.  I am so overwhelmed when I consider how God uses a woman like me for anything.  But you know, when he chooses someone he invests time and love into them because he is the word love.  He walks in love because he is love.  I know that God brought you into my life for a purpose.  When I told you, when we first met, that God wanted us together little did I realize I was speaking truth. 
 
I could not understand you at first so I reverted to what I knew as truth.  I only knew that when you hurt, you hurt back.  I only knew how to lie, cheat and manipulate.  So I used it in force within our marriage.  But when I did use them, God saw through them and he gave you the insight to see through them too.  I would use this trick, that trick, and the next, but God shot down every one of them.  Finally, I was exhausted and hurting and sensed life crumbling around me faster than I could use my bag of tricks. 
 
There were certain key people in my life during this time, that God brought for his purpose, to begin a change.  Most of them were and are your friends and family.  People who actually challenged me, the got-in-my face kind of challenge.  I saw a reality in them that I could not understand.  I wanted to understand them but because I could not, I tore them down before you.  Because I felt like,  “you hurt me so I will hurt you.”  And, because I didn’t  understand them, they frustrated me with their kind of reality.  And, because of them and the one family member that was a relentless rock of love in my life, who at the time I was not aware of, my sister Dee,  I desired to change.   I told God I would do the journey with him.  Little did I realize that it was going to be an atomic bomb on my life!
 
This is where life began for Ermelinda Evans. 
 
It was small, tiny steps because I was not sure of letting go of what I knew as my “life” at that time.  But I now see that God was so consistent and persistent in my life.  God’s love is what loved the change into me.  I saw the purpose in my life for the first time.  I understood I was not an accident, but that I was on purpose.  No one can do what I was sent here on this earth to do.  I have a purpose.  I realize that God made me from his flesh and that I am the material of “LOVE.’  The very thing that I ran from all my life is what I need to have lived in front of me to change.  God knew this and when I gave him the “go” he did just that. 
 
This is what I see in you, my Husband.  I see a man who is a “cracked pot” just like me because of the wars we have been through.  But what I see in your cracked pot is Jesus’ light shining through.  I could not see this through anyone else’s cracked pot, it had to be yours.  What I saw and see is your love for me.  Sometimes I see your cracked pot has tears of water running down from inside.  When those tears are flowing, God tells me whether they are mine or not.  He tells me sometimes those tears are between you and him.  Your love, because of Christ, is creating a change in me.  You are just as ordinary as I am but our God is what makes you an ocean of his love for me.  I don’t understand everything that is inside you, but I do believe that God made you that way because our love is a journey.  The best of our journey is yet to come!  
 
You reduce me to ashes when you come back and ask, “what is wrong?”  When I meant to wound you with my self-appointed sword.  Now, I must find a place to be alone as I am weeping.  I cannot ever hurt you anymore.  You see, when I am hurting you, I am hurting God.  God once told me that when you conspire to hurt your husband, make sure to “take a look behind him — because I am standing right there.”  This is a reality because your love is changing me.  I never, never, never thought that God’s kind of love could walk within a man’s love for me. 
 
“How do I handle this kind of Love?”,  I ask God.  He tells me, “just look and see me there.”
 
So, this is why I am learning to love again.  God is loving me back to life again through his well placed people; who are his love for me in skin.
 
Your ever-changing wife I pray,
Ermelinda

Loneliness

I never imagined that such love existed!
(source: drweil.blog)

Loneliness is a state of mind. I believe everyone goes through times of feeling alone.  In my beginning with the battle of loneliness it was very difficult.  I had no purpose in my life, only to feed this non-ending and ongoing pain within me;  constantly feeding it to keep it happy.  I took myself down avenues, that when it comes to my memory for ministering,  it becomes arduous to think upon it because of the depth of sin I endured not be lonely.

This is something I have dealt with all my life.  BUT God came to me in such a powerful way in my life.

He took me into my closets of hurt, rejection and pain.  He walked with me through every room.  It was almost more than I could take, BUT God”s hand was tightly around mine.  Never for a minute did I not sense his presence with me.  He created a healing in me that only he could do.  I realized that as each room was cleaned more peace and purpose came to me.  He opened my eyes to see what “TRUE LOVE” was; and his love broke my heart in a million pieces.  I never imagined that such love existed. 

God’s love can only come to you when you decide in your heart that this is what you desire; when the loneliness speaks so loudly in your heart and mind that you lose all direction and purpose.    I know that life can bring so much destruction and pain that somewhere along the line we lose our heart and direction.  We develop patterns that lead us down avenues that cage our heart and cripple our life.  But I know that Christ came to give life and deliverance from all those handicaps with which satan binds us. 

In Matthew 11:28  Christ states:  Come to me, all of  you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads.  I WILL GIVE YOU REST.

I had a young teenage girl come to my home.  As we were talking, she shared with me about the attempts the youth in her school were taking to try to end their own lives due to the loneliness they felt.  She told me about a certain young man who was so lonely that he wanted to take his life.  She asked me, “Do you think it is a sin to take your own life in this situation?’  I sat and asked God to give me insight to share with her.  I believe God impressed upon me to tell her that, “God is life.  He gives life.  So do you feel that God would give permission for someone to take their life if he is the giver of life?’  She sat and thought about it and it brought peace to her question. 

Loneliness can be devastating in anyone’s life.  God came to bring life and this is what the lonely need to hear.  We hear and read the word of  God but we forget to plug into the power.  We forget that God’s word is LIFE. 

God brought me out of years of loneliness.  I learned that he is always walking with me.  He is always talking to me.  I cannot depend upon my brothers and sisters to fill the void inside me.  I realized God filled me to overflowing with the mind-shaking, life-shattering realization that God is LOVE,  He is LIFE.  In the moments when I feel like I am alone, God reminds, “I am here with you.”  This comes because I have surrendered all my life to the “Giver of life”. Life still hurts at times, but I know that at times …. this is life.  God never promised us that we would not experience pain and struggles.  In fact this is the reality:  we will experience them each and every day.  But when we realize the hand that we hold is GOD’s, we can run.  We can be joyful knowing that this is REALITY  —  that God is LIFE and LOVE!!   We can put away loneliness and instead take security and fulfillment.  We can  fill our tanks with these wonderful gifts from God to us His children. 

Do not be afraid or discouraged,  for the Lord is the One who goes before you.  He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:8

I don’t know about you, but this makes my heart jump up and down inside and outside because we have VICTORY over loneliness and anything that satan would try to cage us with. 

God has a great need for you in his Kingdom. 

Remember:  God has too much for you to do for you to remain handicapped. 

Blessings,

Erme

Never give up!

The lines of purpose in your lives never grow slack, tightly tied as they are to your future in heaven, kept taut by hope.  Col. 1:5 (MSG Bible)

jr carmax studio artist; wallpaper

 Erme and I were just talking about fulfilling our purpose  (dreams & goals) in life. We believe that each of us is called to a mission that no one else can fulfill.  Yes, if we abandon our goal, someone else may be able to take over and complete it for us, but it may not be the same as if we had performed the work ourselves.

At times we would rather give up and allow things to pass on from our hands.  We have been in the battle so long that our hope is weak and our heart is broken.  We have scars on our bodies and bloodied faces.  The forces that keep coming at us are relentless and seem to grow stronger each time we confront them.  The promise of victory is no longer as vivid in our minds as before.  What is the use?  It seems like an elusive dream.

Erme shared a story with me about a friend of hers who has muscular dystrophy.  Each morning, despite her chronic pain and muscle loss,  this woman gets out of bed rejoicing because God has granted her another day in which to fulfill her purpose.  “He has need of me!”, is her daily inspiration.  She expressed how the enemy whispers every morning in her ear, “Just end it all.  It would be so much easier.”   And she admits it is a constant battle of the mind fighting the option to overdose on her pills.   Her word to everyone is to never give up, “Get up, dress up and get going.  God has need of you today!”

“We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created.  For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels — everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him.”  Col. 1:15-18 (MSG Bible)

God’s original purpose was for us to reflect His love and glory to others.  We are to flavor our world and keep it from spoiling.  Our mission is to walk forward boldly each day knowing that we are accomplishing His divine will for men.  We are representative of ALL HE IS to others.  Showing them that with God all things are possible (Luke 1:37).  If we give up, then others may lose hope, give up and fall away. 

It is not an easy mission.  It is one that requires a strong spirit, mind and body.  It requires being able to see beyond the present circumstances to the victory beyond.  It requires those who have been knocked down to get up once again.  Why?  Because Christ did this for us and continues to do it for us every single moment of our lives.  His love is so deep for us that He enters into spiritual battles on our behalf so that we will not fall away.  The Father desires to dwell within us, to be one with us.  And as we become one with Him, we will see and understand His purpose. 

This is how much God loved the world:  He gave his Son, His one and only Son.  And this is why: so that no one need to be destroyed; by believing Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.  John 3: 16 (MSG Bible)

Isn’t this a worthy cause to fulfill?  Never give up…. the Father has need of you today!

Blessings,

Dee