That troublesome tendency

Doggone it!  I did it again.  I fell into fear.  I don’t mean concern; I don’t mean a little anxiety.  I mean FEAR; paralyzing, debilitating, overwhelming and exhausting FEAR.  Humph!

I guess there are some pathways within me that still default to that position.  Overall I think I check myself at concern or anxiety.  When my heart begins to feel a bit troubled or my mind becomes cluttered with the webs of analyzation, I turn my eyes back upwards and offer up the whole stinking mess to God.  I can usually catch myself and remember:  I do not have to have all the answers, but I do have to stay close to and trust the ONE who does.  I’m a person of reasonable intelligence and reasoning, but my analytical nature was sharpened when I was young so that I could try to predict what was coming next.  This was a defense mechanism.  In some ways it has served me well, but when not balanced with my faith in God, it becomes a noose upon which I hang myself.  Sheesh!  You’d think I’d have learned by now that I cannot manipulate or avoid many of my life’s challenges. 

This challenge tripped me headlong into full-blown FEAR, paralyzing, irrational fear, because it is linked to a deep area of woundedness that remains from my childhood and has not yet been fully healed.  Unfortunately, you cannot go back and get what you needed all by yourself; you must wait for God to bring that healing your heart desperately needs.  Once again, HUMPH!  In these places where I know there is still a deep crevice of pain that has not yet been resolved, and especially when additional injuries of a similar kind have happened along life’s path that widen and deepen the original wound, I think of it as a tomb.  And that is because there have been so many of those kinds of deep, foundational wounds that left gaping holes in my soul, yet God has faithfully and methodically gone back to so many of them and through a fresh wounding in the same area (again – humph!), He has brought life and healing.  It is also what I refer to as soul surgery, only these areas of soul surgery would be like a surgeon going all the way to your spine or nerves or open heart surgery.  There are some surgeries that are milder, like resetting a broken bone.  This place in me is still a deep well of hurt and emptiness.  It is the only tomb I’ve known for certain still existed without any deep healing.  There have been some smaller comforts to the area, but its depths have not yet been plumbed and restored.

One of the more aggravating parts of the whole thing is that although the wound began in childhood, my parents’ love for me and support for me now has been unable to fill the empty place.  They both tell me how proud they are of me now, of how they are thankful for God’s call on my life and see His hand upon me.  They could not offer me any greater confirmation of my value to this world, yet it has not been the healing balm for this particular wound.  While originally the unanswered question was: do I have unique and intrinsic value to this world just by who I am?  I think this question remains but has been compounded to ask:  do I have intrinsic value just as I am and do I offer a valuably unique contribution to God’s world even in my flawed, imperfect condition?  Now before those of you who love me want to wring my neck, let me assure you that those of you who show me love and answer that question for me have provided tremendous comfort, consolation and strength to me.  Hear me say this:  your answers go to a different part of my heart than does this one.  It’s as if one question is in general and one is in direct application. 

God has thoroughly and abundantly blessed me with a whole slew of people (mostly women, but even some fellas) who generously fill me with assurances that I add value to their life.  I am tremendously humbled (and I do mean this, because it always feels so preposterously wrong) that God has seen fit to allow some of His work in individual’s lives to come through me.  I still don’t know how I don’t mess it up.  I think on some level that if my life is like the water-into-wine thing, I’m still completely shocked that my chipped, stained, soaked-in-bitter-stuff, pot-of-a-self does not somehow ruin and taint the ordinary water that becomes extraordinary wine as He moves through me to minister to people, to even just love on people.  That’s mostly what I try to do, to love on people, really see them and validate their story and pain, to maybe sit with them in it for a time, and then to bring any measure of God’s love to them that I can.  And I so desperately want everyone to see God as I now know Him:  He is so much better than we could have ever imagined!

But how don’t I ruin that beautiful wine He transforms while moving through me?  I still don’t know.  But I assure you, I tremendously appreciate all that so many have shown me.  I know it is real when it gets to you; I am just still thoroughly baffled how I don’t ruin it.  Which brings me back to the issue at hand:  I am still not confirmed in this one area that God’s work in me and through me is truly valued, wanted, accepted.  For whatever reason, it isn’t able to be confirmed except through a person in authority over me.  I don’t think this is a mere acceptance issue; I think it is a need to be blessed.  In some areas within us, we need a kind of blessing to proceed, a commissioning of sorts, and not just anyone can do that.  However, it was my weakness that succumbed to fear and not anything anyone really did.  It’s just that the tomb is still there and I can still tumble into it when in its general vicinity.  Yet I know that God is at work here, and as uncertain as I am about what God is doing, and as concerned as I am that it will be some season of pain, I trust Him in this process.  But earlier this week, doggone it, and with little effort, I fell into fear again.  Humph!


About Tammy Feil

Happily married to Terry Feil since 1994, mother of two boys. My husband, Terry, is Pastor of Families and Students at Riverbluff Church in North Charleston, SC.
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One Response to That troublesome tendency

  1. Ruth Ruffin says:

    I hear you 🙂 Thank you 🙂 I’ll send you a private message.


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