Don’t Let Worry Stand in the Way

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – (Philippians 4:6-7, NLT)

Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds. – (Philippians 4:6-7, ERV)

 

Always the truth of His word is timely. I love that He cares for us individually and so personally. Tomorrow is the day of my grandmother’s memorial. Though I am not a fan of public speaking, I agreed to share. What’s more, is I don’t read my poetry aloud. It is such a space of baring my soul, that it is too vulnerable and raw for this girl who so seldom sheds tears. That being said, a few weeks ago, on my way home from work, the first four lines of a poem were forming in my mind in memory of my Gram. I knew that they were meant to be written down and shared, so when asked, I agreed to speak, despite my disdain for standing in front of folks. The four lines became twenty-eight, and contain words I know that I am meant to share. I have been worried about not being able to get through the reading, as a lump forms in my throat when I barely whisper the words out loud on my own. Yet here I sit, this morning, and am reminded again, that I am not to worry, but rather I am to pray and tell God what I need and thank Him for all that He has done. As I began to do just that, I was reminded of His faithfulness the last time I had to speak at a memorial for my dear friend who had passed. His peace was present in a way that guarded my heart and mind, and I was able to speak when I feared I would be unable to say a word. May we ever give our worries to the One who is able to grant us peace, let Him know what we need, and thank Him for all that He has done.

 

Let not our worries,

Hold Hope He is Faithful

Come stand in the way;

Instead, seek the Lord,

In all things, choose pray.

Tell God what’s needed,

Thank Him for what’s done;

Our faithful Father,

Holy, gracious One.

His peace will meet us,

Guarding heart and mind;

Calm out of chaos,

This love we shall find.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You don’t want us to worry, but rather You are ready and willing for us to bring our burdens and concerns to You. Thank You that we can tell You what we need and thank You for what You have done, and as we do, we experience Your peace that guards our hearts and minds. Thank You that we are Yours. Forgive us for allowing ourselves to get worked up and worried over things rather than bringing them before You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would be in constant communication with You, allowing Your peace, comfort and clarity to come, rather than our anxiousness. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers peace and comfort in places of worry, so that they can see Your peace through us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we pray and give our worries to You, and thank You for all that You have done. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Grace in Weakness

I loathe public speaking.  My palms sweat, my hands shake, my voice wavers, and I imagine my face is covered in every shade of crimson, when I am asked to do so.  That being said, I find myself in a season of stretching, in which each time I have been asked, I have known the nudging was to say “yes“, despite my personal disdain.  It seems no matter how I pray, I do not become queen of confidence when it is my turn to speak.  His grace gets me through it, but I physically feel shaken.

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – (2 Corinthians 12:9)  Though we know not what Paul’s “weakness” was, it was something that tormented him and made what he did, more difficult.  Despite the rejection of his request for it’s removal, he chose to rely on Christ and what He had given – power in his weakness.  I have found this to be a great encouragement, as I have asked many times to not be so fearful when it comes to public speaking.  Though the physical reaction has not been removed, His grace has been present each time I have trusted Him to meet me in this place, and people have made a point to let me know that they received something from what I had to share.  If that isn’t His power present in my weakness, I don’t know what is.

I’ll answer You, Lord,Grace in Weakness

whatever You ask;

regardless of size,

or mountainous task.

For I know You’ll be,

wherever I am;

so I need not fear,

on You, I depend.

Use Lord, my weakness,

to show Your great strength;

equip me to move,

and go to great lengths.

May I boast in You,

of Your mighty grace;

Your goodness and love,

and faithful embrace.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your grace is sufficient.  Thank You that You are more than enough.  Thank You that in You, Your power may be made known in our weaknesses.  Forgive us for our fears and doubts, and for our disdain for our own weaknesses.  Help us to see our weaknesses as opportunities for Your strength to be shown, and allow us to embrace the power that You place in us to do as You ask.  Lead us to love as You love us, and may many come to know You as their perfect place of peace, as they choose to invest in a lasting relationship in You.  May You be made evident, even in our weaknesses.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Results Received As We Respond

“You came near when I called You, and You said, ‘Do not fear.” – Lamentations 3:5

When we call on the Lord, He is faithful to answer, and wants us to overcome our fears through faith in Him.

I despise public speaking.  Really, the very thought of it sends terror straight to my heart, and the press and palpitations begin…

photo by Phobia List

In high school, the minute we were asked to begin reading our writing aloud, particularly our poetry in my AP English class, I marched myself over to the office and dropped AP English and switched to “regular” English, where I could remain quietly anonymous.

I entered university with the intention of becoming an educator, but briskly changed my major when I discovered that a speech class was required.  Four years were spent hiding in the art and English departments in classes that did not include presentations.

Fast forward a few years after graduation, and I found myself standing before a sea of students, staring straight at me as I spoke through a translator, throughout several schools across Asia.  I was terrified every time I had to talk to share some of my testimony, yet each time, Jesus made His presence known, and presented me with the words to speak, and sustained me so that I did not spew all over the stage.

Upon my return home, I registered for a Master’s in Teaching/Teaching Certification program.  By God’s grace, I got through it and have now been gainfully employed in education for more than fifteen years.

Yesterday, I was asked if I might be willing to read some of my writing in front of a group of women.  My immediate response was, “I NEVER read my own writing aloud!”  As I was driving home, He began to gently whisper to my heart, “Do not fear, for I will be with you.”

The message I had just heard that morning, included much wisdom, with a few things in particular that watered what has long been planted firmly in my foundation:

– God sees what is in us, far more clearly than we do

– We must respond to the request, to see the results

– We will miss the miracles if we aren’t willing to move

I promptly proceeded home and changed my reply from “I never” to “I am willing, despite the desperation of my fear.”

It will be a bit of an adventure to see just how His Spirit will move in all of this…

Dear Heavenly Father,  thank You that in You, we have nothing to fear.  Thank You that as we ask, You equip and empower each of us to do far more than we could ever even imagine.  Thank You that You see completely, what we only see in part.  Forgive me for speaking out of fear, and help my immediate response to more readily be, “Yes Lord, I am willing.”  Teach us to trust You more, even in the terrifying.  May we not miss the miraculous, as we are willing to move.  Use us Lord as Your hands, heart, and voice, to touch lives and lead the lost straight to Your loving arms.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present