Facing Fear

Where were you? Do you remember? I’ve heard most people liken it to knowing where they were when President Kennedy was shot. Where were you when you heard or saw the first report of something happening at the World Trade Center? Did you tune in at the very beginning when it was some type of explosion and no one knew how it happened? Did you tune in as the second plane hit and gasp in sheer terror? I think for the majority of us we know exactly where we were.

I was at home with a 6 month old baby living in Lafayette, Indiana. Wyatt was getting ready to walk out the door for work and JT and I had just finished breakfast. I think that was one of the most terrifying days of my life. I remember being in my living room after putting JT down from a nap and being so overcome with fear. I had no family near. All of my family lived in Virginia and North Carolina and I just felt so very far away from everyone that I loved in that moment. The only thing I could do was hit the floor on my knees and cry out to God and pray. I wept and prayed and buried my face in the floor and just cried to God for the people in the buildings, the first responders, for the people in the planes, the Pentagon, the plane that crashed in the field. I prayed for so many things that morning. That was the first day of many that I was glued to my TV crying and praying and hoping.

Our country changed forever that day. We have so many different tragedies that befall us and can give us a spirit of fear. Shootings and natural disasters, the fate of our government gives some people a spirit of fear. More terrorist attacks. You name it, there is a lot of things we could fear from the time we get up in the morning to the time we lay our head down at night. Well that is if you sleep. Maybe you are so afraid you have a hard time sleeping. I could just stay in my house for the rest of my life if I let fear overtake me. There is one thing that kept coming through during that time back in 2001. God did not give us a spirit of fear. – For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 We are not to walk around afraid or stay closed up somewhere so nothing happens to us. God created us to share his love with those around us. We can’t do that if we are afraid.

I always remember that scripture on this day every year. God did not give me a spirit of fear, in short. I think for a long time I thought I had that under control. I’m not afraid. I walk with courage and power and love. I was mistaken. I had a lot of liquid courage. I used Vodka to give me courage. I was lying to myself. I was so afraid. I did have a spirit of fear. I certainly wouldn’t compare my walk to those who have experienced the type of terrifying tragedies that I mentioned above. I was still fearful. Fearful that something would happen to me or my family. Fearful that I couldn’t raise this little baby boy to be better than me. Fearful that he would be just like me. Fearful that I wasn’t a good wife. Fearful to go out in public. Fearful of me. Fearful of who I am as a person and not letting anyone know who I really am. That was my biggest fear of them all. I conquered my fear. All it took was alcohol. That conquered a multitude of fears. Really it just turned me into a drunk. Then I was just afraid that someone would find out how much I was drinking and how often. ‘Round the mountain we go. I thought I was conquering my fear when I stopped drinking. I really just found another way to hide and I’m ready to face this fear head on.

So today on this anniversary of 9/11 I want to take time to remember all the people that lost their lives, all the people that fought to save lives on this day. All the families that were affected by this senseless tragedy. This was just such a far reaching act of terroristic proportions that one can not name all those that were possibly affected. Lets pray for God to wrap them up today especially but every day in his peace and that they are drawn closer to him. Lets face our fears with a spirit of power and of love and of sound mind. – What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

His Gift

It’s been a little over two weeks since my Dad passed. He passed away on August 23rd. I miss him very much but the funeral wasn’t as much of a funeral as it was a call to know the Lord. That’s exactly what my Dad would have wanted. Several people stood up to speak about him and how he had touched their lives and how God had come into their life through my Dad. There was laughter and there was tears. My Cousin Bryan spoke and my nephew Nick spoke. They led the service. They both did an amazing job. If you walked in there unsure of who God is and how much he loves you, you walked out knowing the truth. (If you were listening)

The Gospel was spoken on August 31, 2019 at 2:00 PM. It was a celebration of my Dads life and a dedication to the man he was. That was the overwhelming theme. I never heard my Dad or anyone that knew my Dad say he was afraid to talk about the Lord no matter where he was or who he was with. That was who he was and I hope is what everyone that walked out of there will remember about him. He loved Jesus. All you had to do was be listening and have your heart open that day and you could have received the greatest gift you will receive in a lifetime. The gift of Jesus. The gift of eternal life. The gift of being saved. Not by anything that you or I could do. Not by trying super hard or finally earning the right to have him give you that gift but by believing. God loves you as you are, where you are and you just have to accept him and know that he died for you on the cross and shed his blood for you as a sacrifice to wash you clean of your sins. He was buried and rose three days later and ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of God where you will see him and live there eternally when you die if you accept him. If you didn’t know that before you walked into Monaghan’s Funeral Home you should have known it when you left. That was my Dads parting gift to all that gathered there that day. I know seeds were planted and they will just need to be watered by the next gardener God puts in the path of those open hearts.

You don’t always get to see the seed you planted flourish in the spiritual world. Sometimes you might not even know that you actually planted a seed. I was so blessed that day to meet a man that I had heard about through the years. Winston Parker. I met him his wife and daughter. This man, if I have the story right, had asked my parents to come to church on many occasions when they were young and I think living the young fun life. I think it may have taken quite a few invites for them to finally go. This man was the reason my Dad accepted Christ. How amazing is that!!! What an awesome sight for him to see. That 50ish years ago he invited a couple to church and they finally came probably to get this guy off their back so he would leave them alone and this is what came of that. That makes me want to shout with joy! Through him Christ has been shared in countless places, throughout the world and will be shared down through generations to come. What a legacy for Winston and what a legacy for my Dad. It was an honor to meet him that day. I am so glad he was able to see the fruit of God’s good work working through him. So the lesson here is, never stop asking. Maybe that friend or couple or co-worker will come to church with you just to get you to stop asking. Maybe that’s all it will take.

What a life my Dad had and how blessed am I to be a part of it. To have been able to call him Dad. It wasn’t a walk in the park for him. He wasn’t a man without faults. There isn’t a man without faults but he did a great thing. He shared this great gift that is more valuable than all the riches in the world. Thank you Dad. You are still my hero. I will see you again and if there’s a DVD player in heaven we can watch The Storm of The Century if we can get God to make it snow. Maybe they have streaming up there. Haha, I’m sure there will be better things to do than watch movies.

My Dad, My Hero