Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Be Still

Per Wikipedia: The fight-or-flight response (also called the fight, flight, freeze, or fawn response [in PTSD], hyperarousal, or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. 

In the world of Fight, Flight or Freeze....depending on the situation, I am either 100% fight or 100% flight. Freezing seems weak to me. An excuse can always be given for fighting or flighting, but freezing??? It's just not me. (No offense to you if freezing IS you...all three reactions are no good seeing how they are all avoidance anyway. I'm just saying why I'm not a freezer.)

At the beginning of each year, I pick a word (or five) for the year. 2015 my word(s) were Truth, Rest, Strength and Joy. 2015 is not a year I can claim victory over. I battled in all of these areas. Sometimes fighting for them, and other times trying to find the nearest Exit sign. I don't miss 2015. 

As 2016 rolled into existence, I found myself coming before the Lord, so weary, asking for my word for the year. I would scribble down some words, only to cross them off because they didn't seem right. The one word that I kept thinking would be my guidepost for the year was FIGHT. 2015 wasn't going to get the best of me! In the struggles of my health, my job, my marriage, my family, my ministry - I was ready to put on my big girl panties and fight! Flight was no longer an option.

But then this happened. I was reading in Deuteronomy (26:18-19) and this jumped out: 

18 And the Lord has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands. 19 He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.

Now, at risk of completely taking these verses out of context or twisting them into some prosperity theology, bear with me for a minute. What stood out to me was, 1) I'm a TREASURED possession. (Not that I live that truth, but true it is.) And 2) HE WILL SET YOU. (Duly noted, it does not say - Claw your way to the top, claw your way into the existence you deem, HE WILL SET me.)

I realized in that moment that I HAD been fighting. Scratch that, I had been striving. Maybe there is a difference. I had been striving to make my world the way I wanted it. To be the person I dreamed would be fulfilling. To be anything but content, joyful or even thankful with my current lot. The list is long, really.

And just like that - in an instance, my word FIGHT was replaced with BE STILL.

What???!!! No!!! You've got to be kidding me! Isn't being still the same thing as freezing? It's weak! It feels like surrender......

It feels like surrender.

Naturally, I fought this idea.

Until this past weekend that is, when I was at a retreat with millions of other women around the world. For the third year in a row, I have had the privilege of hosting a local IF:Gathering. One of the things I love about this weekend is the ability to glean from so many different women (and men this year) all in different places of their journey. Everyone is sure to leave the weekend with something that resonated with them! And resonate it did.

You could listen to the stories of hundreds of women who participated in this conference and probably hear hundreds of different themes. The theme I walked away with, however, was that God has placed me...he has set me. (Funny how that worked out, huh?) I am where he wants me, dealing with what he knew he had planned for me, and he is not asking me to make much of myself or my circumstances in the midst of it. And he is most certainly not asking me to flee it. Instead he was urging me again this past weekend to be still. To let him fight for me.

This makes absolutely no sense to me still, but I'm excited to figure it out let Him show me. I know I have a responsibility to still do things. To work diligently. To take my medicine and go to doctors appointments. To serve my church and my family. I do not believe that being still lets me off the hook of having to work or be faithful. Maybe it just has much more to do with a heart posture that accepts where he has set me, his treasured possession, and knowing full well that I cannot use my magic wand to manipulate life into the way I think it should be. Maybe it has more to do with truly believing that with every step I take in faith (and even in doubt), He has a plan for it. I guess I'll find out. But my prayer for this season is that I can get radically okay with my weakness. That instead of throwing punches or sprinting in the opposite direction of all that I am not okay with - I would just freeze.

Can you just imagine the rest that could be found when we actually let his strength manifest in our weakness? The rest that could come from putting down my ammunition and letting HIM fight for me??

I'm ready. 

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