Key to Conquering Anxiety *SLOW Word video* Lectio Divina

 

We live our lives as orphans. We live impoverished and alone.  We walk out our front door, down the sidewalk and completely forget who our Daddy is.

 

At least that’s my story.  

 

When I was ten years old we moved across the country from Maine to Ohio. New neighborhood. New church. New Christian school.

 

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I pushed through the giant metal doors of that jr. high completely intimidated by the painted concrete walls, the dozens of blue eyes staring back. I breathed shallow. I learned to live as camouflage, an iguana that changed colors according to the background. I held my arms tight to my body and wished I could blend in.

 

It was an impossible task.

 

80% of the other children were family, first and second and third and fourth cousins of Dutch farm families who had ingeniously settled that land, drained the swamp and farmed the black topsoil that remained. Their trucks crisscross the country to WalMarts and Meijer stores filling our vegetable bins. The kids in my class picked the lettuce and carrots in the summer alongside their fathers’ migrant workers. They were on their home turf and were made of sturdier stuff.

 

I was a singer, a reader who ate, drank, and breathed Lucy Mond Montgomery, and had an anxiety disorder I would only come to understand after I birthed my first baby. That was decades away.

 

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As the kids teased, I took every arrow straight to the heart. I didn’t know how to deflect the pain, the fear that they might be right. I let them write my new name, carve it across my chest. The lies wormed their way into my blood system and it took years to erase the ink scrawled out: Rejected.

 

I walked through those metal doors into my jr. high stripped of truth. I walked in as an orphan. Abandoned. Devastatingly alone.

 

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This is my story, my fight for healing, and the long hard road of transformation. This was one of the essential keys on the journey right here in Psalm 139: 

Where shall I go from your Spirit?

   Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there!

   If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

If I take the wings of the morning

   and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,

   and your right hand shall hold me tight.

 

This is not just theory, all these lovely words. It’s David’s story, a shepherd boy, struggling with fear on the side of the mountain listening to a lion’s hunting growls. He must have wondered if he had wandered outside of the circle of His Presence. And it’s my story.

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Years later this matchstick girl has learned to cling tight. His Presence is no longer ethereal ideology, or some mystic’s fanaticism. Practicing the Presence of God is my life-line, especially during times of transition when my world has been emptied, tipped upside down like a bucket, my comfortable life tumbling out. I’ve learned to open up my awareness to His constant Presence and the Light of the World chases away anxiety’s clinging fog. I no longer walk into rooms alone, sit at tables alone, walk the edge of the water’s surf alone. The perfect love of God is always near, a banner over me. His love, no wait…His present love defines me. I AM adopted. The papers have been signed in blood. I walk with Jesus. It’s the with-God life, and my dears, it’s good.

 

After years of pressing close, years of this renewing of the mind, (Oh the tales of redemption that I could tell!) I no longer function as a practical orphan. I know who I am.

 

I’m His.

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7 Comments

  1. Thank you, Summer, for sharing your story. The peace that comes from knowing who you are as God’s child is evident in you. I’m so grateful for his transforming work. It’s been amazing to witness. Beautiful!

  2. Look at how God has transformed you! He is the ultimate answer to everything. Can so relate to you! Thank you for sharing your life story, your talents, your redemption.

  3. Thank you Summer for sharing your story. I find it remarkable that God loves and creates me and recreates me, stands by me thru everything in my life. What a story He has formed in me. What a story He has created in you. God bless you and keep you in His presence. God bless your work and how you are so open to His transforming love.

  4. He IS light so He brings light wherever He goes. If He never leaves me, and I am ever in His presence, then my dark places are not really so dark. I needed this today. The Lord is taking me waaaaay back to a time in my childhood when I dug one of my first cisterns (thank you for that word not too long ago) and it sure feels like a dark pit that has swallowed me up. I know that He must uncover hurts and heal and unwind the lies. It’s ok to be there for a season because that darkness is made light by His own light, by His very presence. I love how living and active the Word is. I am blessed to share it with you, Summer. I’m sending you a big hug today to say thank you!

    1. Keep leaning in, Jamie. Keep doing the hard work. Do you take time to rest in His love? Honestly, His perfect love does truly cast out not just fear but the straying heart. If we learn to take comfort in His love first, we won’t stray toward our cisterns.

      Have you read here about the 3R’s? Here’s a few links: http://www.athirstforgod.com/tag/the-3-rs/ http://www.athirstforgod.com/when-you-dont-feel-worthy-of-gods-love/ This practice comes directly from Terry Wardle, one of my spiritual mentors who wrote about it in this book: https://www.amazon.com/Every-Breath-We-Take-Generosity/dp/0891123695

      That book is worth every inch of paper it was written on.

      The 3 R’s, Practicing the Presence, Lectio Divina, gratitude practices, centering prayer, etc. are all part of earning a secure attachment (Do you have any early childhood development education?) so you come to Him in your hunger and not back to the cistern.

      http://www.athirstforgod.com/security-in-god-part-1-rooting-and-establishing-in-love/

      Keep pressing in dear friend – and leaning back into His arms! He will accomplish what He’s started.

  5. Fantastic! I LOVE this, thank you for doing it! Such peace and love during my time watching the video! Can I download the audio only of these sessions for repeat listening? Happy to purchase! Look forward to the next one!

    1. Hi Kelly, I’m so glad these are a gift for you! I’m exploring the idea of putting them on itunes. We have a few missionaries in Africa and South America who join us but can’t stream the youTube video. That should be available in the next month.

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