he’s already there

18 Apr

Recently, I’ve had something pointed out to me that I’m not super proud of. It’s a deep rooted fear in my life, that was planted when I was just a little girl. Something that has shaped me into who I am today. And that while it CAN be a good thing, sometimes it brings fear into my life. You’d have to know a little bit more about my testimony and about my past to get the ENTIRE scope and understanding on my heart on what I believe the Bible is trying to tell me through these next two verses.  But today I’ll do the best I can to summarize it all here in today’s post. And if you want to know more of my story, let’s just go to coffee. HA.

Today’s two verses I’m talking about here today are:

‘She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.’ Proverbs 31:24-25

Of all the studying and researching I’ve done on these two verses, I’ve come to conclude this. That MANY people think that these verses are talking about her work, her income, what she wears, what she doesn’t wear, and her overall attitude. I’ve seen a pretty huge variety on how this verse can be interpreted. I think, that these verses DO talk about all of these things. But I’m going to touch on what I got out of it and how I’m applying it to MY life. These two verses spoke very directly and personally to me. And touched a nerve over a part of my life that I’ve really been struggling with lately.

I think these two verses are specifically speaking about this woman’s work life. Her home business that she is balancing in the middle of her home life. I think this woman is helping to provide for her family financially, using her God given gifts, talents and skills. I think that when it says she’s clothed with strength and dignity, that it’s specifically speaking to her overall attitude to WHY she’s working. And to the fact that she takes a lot of pride in her work. She CLOTHES herself with strength and dignity. Which in my interpretation, means that she is very aware of her limits. She is aware of her strength and what it takes to maintain that strength. She has dignity, which means she composes herself in a way that is worthy of respect. She is very present in her work, but knows her boundaries. She’s not looking to the future with worry, financially or otherwise. She laughs at it. Worrying ONLY about today. NONE of these attributes are rooted out of fear.

I’m going to share a few things about my life, that I hardly ever blog about. When I was a little girl, I watched my father essentially walk out on us. He walked away from my mom and his three little girls. I watched, as a twelve year old, my amazing mother, scramble to find some sort of job that would help provide a future for her children. I watched her pray. I watched her cry. And I watched her RISE to the challenge and she made it work for us. To say that my mother is my hero, would be a HUGE understatement. But I also, in those very moments of my mothers own personal fear, worry and uncertainty, made a decision. I decided that I would be a working mom. I KNEW I would work to help provide for my family.

The past is what it is. My parents divorce went through when I was entering high school. My dad moved to California. And my mom worked her butt off to keep us all in Scottsdale and in the neighborhoods we’d grown up in. I watched God provide for us in ways I couldn’t even comprehend as a child. And I learned more about a Savior who loves me, even through some really hard, difficult years where I dealt with a lot of anger, hurt and let down. I watched my own mom laugh at the future. Even though there were scary moments financially, by the grace of God we always made it by. We never went without.

So fast forward to today and this season in my life where these verses are STILL a real struggle for me. It’s not that I don’t think that God’s NOT going to provide for us. I KNOW that He will. He DOES in ways unfathomable for us. It’s incredible. But it’s the last line of these verses that I struggle with the most. I have a hard time laughing at the future. And it IS rooted out of fear. Now, understand me. I am NOT fearful that Jason is going to leave me like my own father did. But I DO fear something happening to him. What if he dies and I’m left to care for two little boys by myself? What if he’s in an accident and is a vegetable for the rest of his life? What if he loses his arms and can’t play guitar? The enemy uses these thoughts in my life so that I will become a bonafide workaholic. Trusting only in myself, working out of fear of the future instead of relying on a heavenly Father who promises to take care of me. It’s hard to retrain feelings and emotions that run so deep and from a place of childhood. It’s hard for me to look to the future and to KNOW with full certainty that it’s going to be ok. And that God is ALREADY THERE. I know in my heart that I trust that FULLY. But getting my head to rest in that fully is the challenge.

So I have a group of amazing friends that I’ve made here in Scottsdale. Friends who, about a month ago, pointed out this fear to me. Friends who reminded me that I don’t NEED to be so afraid of the future. They are right. This Proverbs 31 woman LAUGHS at the future. She isn’t afraid of it. She is strong, dignified, and works hard. She is working her home business to help provide for her family. And trusting that God will guide her steps should a tragedy occur.

I know that my mom never expected my dad to walk out on us the day she married him. She never thought the future would end up like it did. But God already knew that. He was already there. And it’s in the gentleness of my friends AND through the studying of this passage that God reminds me over and over that HE’S in control. It’s my job to work hard, to trust Him, and to rest in His peace. For He is directing the steps of my family. And I don’t need to be afraid of what’s to come. For He’s already there, ahead of me. He knows my fears, my insecurities and where they stem from. Am I trusting Him? Am I working so hard out of fear? Because I don’t need to be afraid. I don’t need to worry about the future. I am only really promised today and right now.

Fear of the future is something I’m constantly working on. And it stems from places that are deep for me. Things I don’t talk about too often. But I hope that this encourages you today. If you too, are afraid of the future, know that you aren’t alone. Laughing at the future is a discipline, I believe. Something that doesn’t come easily for most of us. And when I find myself working hard and when it’s coming from a place of fear, I have to step back. Step back and remember that I serve a God that is bigger than this fear. A God that knows my heart. One who knew my heart as a little girl. He was right there when the fear started. And He can wash it away. He can rise up beauty from the ashes of my life and turn my fears, insecurities and struggles into STRENGTH. If I rely on Him, he can clothe me in strength and dignity and bring me out of a place of fear. And into a place of peace and laughing at the future…

Every single day.

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4 Responses to “he’s already there”

  1. Samantha April 18, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Amen. Something we all need to remember in this tough time. I often have the same fear – but I love the idea at laughing at the future. Thanks, Jess!

  2. Shari Lopatin April 18, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Awww, my Jess! I lived through those dark days with you. I remember your father as you remembered him when we were 10, and watched with shock when I learned he was never coming back. And I can surely understand why you feel the way you do. Your mom is one heckuva woman. I have much respect for her. As for you and your fear of the future, it’s natural. I think recognizing that will help. And then, as you’ve done, trusting in God to provide. Oscar’s grandmother, who grew up as an orphan on the streets in Guatemala had a saying, “You plan. Life decides.” However, I also think if you work yourself to death out of fear–rather than passion–you’re doing yourself and your family a disservice. I recently learned I may not have a job in a year, that the company I work for may no longer be around this time next year. And I’ve been thinking A LOT about the future, how will I survive? I have a house, two cats, bills … all on my own. But I’ve learned to let go and just know that things will happen as they’re meant to. It’s brought me a sense of peace and helped me laugh at the future, as your verse says. I think in a way, it’s like FORGIVING the future. Letting it go, like you let past hurts go. Anyway, I HAD to weigh in on your post here, as I know how difficult writing this probably was for you. Star strong! And truly, I believe everything will be perfectly fine with you and Jason. 🙂

  3. Ashleigh Allen April 18, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Wow, love reading more of your story Jess. Those verses have convicted me too lately. I totally know that struggle of fearing what the future may bring, and it’s such an encouragement to see you relying on God to give you joy and laughter in the face of your fears. Love you girl!

  4. mom April 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Such an encouragement and a blessing it is to me to see how God is working in your life. Love this and love you dear friend!

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