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Standing Up

23 May

In the past week I’ve had conversations with a couple of fellow bloggers about dealing with fears from the past, fears from the present, and fears of the future.  Now I’m not going to say I’ve never had any fears, because I have at different times in my life about different things.  I still deal with claustrophobia on and off that was caused by a childhood memory of hiding in a closet and seeing my mother being physically abused.   I have dealt with a fear of heights from falling off a cliff at the age of 19.  I’ve had to deal with a fear of trusting anyone, because many people that I have trusted in the past have broken that trust.  I’ve had a fear of facing the future alone, and of being able to survive at times in my life.  Even now, there are times when I fear the near future because of what is going on in our country and the world, but this fear is not about if I could handle it but more on how it will affect my children and grandchildren. 

You see, we all have fears, including me, but something happened, that flipped how I handled my fears.  I use to back away from things I was afraid of, avoiding them whenever I was confronted with them.  But when my oldest daughter was in her Junior High years, around the same age as Jk, a series of events began to change things for me, and since then I’ve found that God has given me a new strength and new outlook on dealing with fear. 

One of those things that happened was a fear of losing my way in an area I was unfamiliar with.  God’s way of making me confront this fear…letting me get lost in an area I was unfamiliar with.  My children wanted to go to the beach one summer weekend, and when I asked my ex-husband to take us because he knew the way, he refused, to instead go play basketball with his friends.  This was an all too common occurrence from him, because it happened 7 days a week, Basketball and other sports before family needs and family time, even before church and God.  Well, his response just made me angry enough to look past my fear, and I grabbed the directions he wrote out on how to get to the beach, a map, and packed a cooler, got the girls in the car and drove to the beach.  Unfortunately, neither my ex-husband’s directions, nor the map included a new road feature in one of the cities we had to drive through…one of those traffic circles, and sure enough we got lost.  Just as the tears were going to flow, I realized that they would only serve to put my girls into panic mode, so I prayed.  Calmly, I stopped at a gas station on that circle of road and got directions to the beach, and an easier way to get back home afterwards.  We went on to the beach, had a wonderful day swimming and having a picnic, and we drove home safely and without passing through any of the cities on the way back, thanks to God and the service station attendant, who knew directions from our town to the beach using only major highways until we got home.  That experience helped me realize that I could get over my fear of being loss, and God could help me know what to do when I found myself lost. 

Now I told you earlier that I had a fear of heights because I had fallen off a cliff at age 19.  Little did I know that the same year as the beach trip I would be led to confront that fear through my committment to the Lord Jesus in working with the Junior High teens at our church.  They were preparing for a mission trip to the Navajo Reservation for July, and from April on had to go through a series of training meetings for it, along with some physical training.  I had been asked to go along to direct the Vacation Bible School we would be holding for the children on the Reservation, and so I had to go through the training as well.  We had planning meetings, training in being respectful of Indian customs and norms, but also on the problems on the reservations like Satanism, language barriars, poverty, and even prejudices they have against those of other races.  Then there was the physical training, since part of the trip back would be as a reward for the teens as we visited the Grand Canyon, and also a swimming trip in the middle of the week to Lake Powell to cliff dive and swim on the Navajo side of the lake.  We had to make sure of everyone’s swimming ability and if they could even hike in the Grand Canyon.  Now I have asthma, but I am one who will overlook my own health issues to encourage kids to overlook their fears and to show them that they can overcome and endure to achieve things in their lives.  So I went through the training with them, and that meant hiking up mountain paths that were sometimes so thin that you had walk with your back against the face of a cliff, scooting your feet step by sideways step.  You talk about praying abundantly, and with fervor!  That is how I made it through.  Now imagine being the adult assigned to a group of 12 to 14 year old girls, who are in tears, scared to death, and already grumpy from the long hike and California summer heat!  I had 7 of them with me, and my daughter was the only one not crying, but she wasn’t letting go of my hand either.  None of the girls knew I had this extreme fear inside me either, because I wasn’t one to let others know about my fears.  We had a little rainstorm that morning so the path was wet, and some of it had been washed out a bit, and that is the reason we had to deal with this portion of the hike where our backs would have to be against the face of one cliff as we inched our way on the path and avoided falling down the cliff in front of us.  I remember a couple girls complained about being cold as we waited to be the next group around the dangerous part of the path.  I pulled out one of those silver survival blankets, and had them sit on some rocks, huddled together with the blanket, and watched as girl after girl joined them under the blanket, and fretted over the next part of the hike.  I not only had to keep an eye on them but watch for the path to clear for our group.  Finally, I asked the girls if they were ready to go and was met with a resounding “NO”.  Hearing the teen director calling for us that we should start moving and that he was waiting on the other side of the thin path to help the girls on the last part, my mind went to thoughts of what I was going to do.  In fact, it went to a prayer…”Lord, what am I going to do now?”  That is when the Lord said that I was going to share my fear, and an example to these girls.  He brought back the memory of falling off that cliff, and of my hand being grabbed by someone I couldn’t see and being lifted back to the top of that cliff, instead of falling all the way to my death at the bottom.  God told me to reassure them that the hand of God would be on them too.  So I told the teen director to give us a minute, and I joined the girls at the rocks.  I told them my story, and asked them to open their hands out to the center of the circle we made.   I asked them to join me in prayer for God’s protection, and that he would warm their hands to show he was holding onto their hands too.  Each girl began to exclaim that they had felt a warm touch on their hands like someone was holding it.  I then asked them to line up and to take each others hands, putting the most fearful girls to my right and left, and called out to let the teen director know that we were on our way.  As usual when I’m afraid I tend to sing certain hymns, and I’ve done this since I was 5, so as we moved I began singing…”My Jesus, I love thee.  I know thou art mine.  For thee all the follies of sin I resign.  My blessed Redeemer, my Savior art thou.  If ever I need thee, my Jesus ’tis now.”  I kept singing, as we inched along that path, and listened as the girls began singing with me, and finally the teens and teen director who had already made it across the area joined in too.  As each girl made the final few steps the teen director told them how proud he was of them for overcoming their fear by giving it to the Lord, and for keeping their eyes up and focusing on Jesus rather than the valley below the cliff.  The teens kept singing until every last girl was across.  Talk about an outpouring of praise and excitement!  The air was filled with it, echoing across the valley below.  That day the Lord put in me that I could overcome this fear and any fear as long as I put it in His hands, and let him lead me through and past it. 

Those events made such a change in me that whenever fear took a grip on me, even as a single mom, I would turn to music and singing, along with prayer to help me get on with my life and overcome my fear.  It was at this time of fear of how to survive and what my future held, as a single mom, that I wrote these lyrics, which are a declaration that I made to myself and God about how I would handle my fears.  Here are those lyrics…

Standing Up

I’m standing up to yesterday.

I won’t let it keep me in its grasp.

I won’t let its painful memories

Live anywhere but in the past.

I don’t want to face tomorrow,

Holding to pain and chaft.

I want to face tomorrow,

With a view that’s going to last.

 

I’m standing up, standing fast.

Fear won’t hold my Spirit down.

Strength must come from inside,

Because others may not be around.

Standing up to all my problems,

Standing up to all my fears.

I’ll keep standing steady,

Knowing that my God is near.

And I’ll keep on standing up,

Until the dark clouds clear.

 

The curse that was my past,

Filled with pain and memories of loss,

No longer has control of me,

No longer does it cost.

Those who tore my Spirit down,

To gain their own control,

Can not any longer,

I’m free…both heart and soul!

 

I’m standing up, standing fast.

Fear won’t hold my Spirit down.

Strength must come from inside,

Because others may not be around.

Standing up to all my problems,

Standing up to all my fears.

I’ll keep standing steady,

Knowing that my God is near.

And I’ll keep on standing up,

Until the dark clouds clear.

 

I’m standing up to here and now.

I won’t let it get me down.

I just have to remember,

Today won’t always be around.

I don’t want to face tomorrow,

With the worries of today.

I must face tomorrow,

With Hope for a better day.

 

I’m standing up, standing fast.

Fear won’t hold my Spirit down.

Strength must come from inside,

Because others may not be around.

Standing up to all my problems,

Standing up to all my fears.

I’ll keep standing steady,

Knowing that my God is near.

And I’ll keep on standing up,

Until the dark clouds clear.

 

I’m standing up to the future.

I won’t let it seem too great.

I won’t let it overwhelm me,

Thinking I won’t make my way.

I don’t want to face tomorrow,

Through eyes too full of fear.

I want to face tomorrow,

Knowing all my dreams are near.

 

I’m standing up, standing fast.

Fear won’t hold my Spirit down.

Strength must come from inside,

Because others may not be around.

Standing up to all my problems,

Standing up to all my fears.

I’ll keep standing steady,

Knowing that my God is near.

And I’ll keep on standing up,

Until the dark clouds clear.

 

By:  Bonita L. Ledzius…copyright 2003

 

It is through the love, compassion, strength, and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, that we can get through anything, and can conquer our fears and those things that hold us!

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6 responses to “Standing Up

  1. writerwannabe763

    May 23, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    What wonderful stories of faith and conquering fears that we may have…Diane

     
  2. beatrix mana

    May 23, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    I have been a follower of Christ Jesus for 26 years now and I am thankful to God to be lifted up by fellow believers. The Holy Spirit surely knows when to intercede,whether I am doing the lifting or someone is lifting me. I believe we just need to be in tune. Thank you.

     
    • forhisgloryandpraise

      May 23, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      You are welcome. You are right, we always need to be in tune with God, and I think when we are at our weakest is when we usually feel that connection the most because of our extreme need for him. What we all need to work on is being in tune with him equally in the good times of our lives, because that is when most forget about their relationship with Jesus.

       
  3. terry1954

    May 23, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    that was absolutely beautiful Bonita! i felt so inspired through you

     
    • forhisgloryandpraise

      May 23, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      Thank you, Terry! Funny how when I look back at lyrics, poetry and stories I have written, God will pull out one and say this is the one I want you to blog…someone needs it.

       

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