May 8, 2014

Stepping Out in Faith


Yes, this Psalm came to me again today. Whenever I pray, especially before I write my blog posts, the Lord brings to my mind something, usually a Psalm, for me to focus my writing on. Psalm 32 came up earlier in the week after I had made the decision to file the paperwork to divorce my husband. Today, as I was praying, I heard this Psalm's encouraging words remind me that I am well-hidden, well-covered, and well-protected in the Lord. I have no reason to be afraid for He is my HIDING PLACE. 

I have been overwhelmed lately, and my emotions have been pushed and pulled to new levels. I am even-keeled, emotionally speaking. INTJ personalities tend to be introverted and they hide their emotions well. Most people assume we are aloof, standoffish, and generally not interested in interacting socially. The truth is that most INTJ's are absolutely afraid of social contact. We are wall flowers who prefer to live on the extremities of life. We like to watch people, to observe events, and to stand at a distance in order to take in the full scope of the situation. We do not like to be in the "mix" of things. In fact, we panic whenever we are called upon to be right in front, to stand up, be noticed, and to put it all "out there." Oh my goodness, there is nothing more panicking to me than to be asked to do something new, to stand up in front of a group, or meet a new person WITHOUT first observing, analyzing, or intuiting the situation or thing. If I had a choice, I would watch others do whatever the THING is first. Then after I have observed for a while, I would be OK with stepping out and trying my hand at it. It is just that I am overwhelmed at times by this feeling that I am being judged, put on trial, so to speak, and that I am being reviewed for adequacy.

INTJ's worry most about being inadequate. For all of our bravado, intelligence, and ability -- which comes out in our confidence -- we really are very fearful individuals who think we are so incapable and inadequate in every single way. We are very hard on ourselves, often judging our content, our words, our internal thoughts, with viciousness. We tear ourselves down, and we believe erroneously (I might add) that we are utter failures in very sense of the word.

So today, I had this dream, well a quasi-dream, since I was already awake. The Lord asked me something, if I was willing to do something, and I was tentative about accepting what He was saying to me. I was caught in fear, wrapped up in absolute fear, and I couldn't answer Him. I panicked and I ran as fast as I could, not away from Him, but toward Him, toward my HIDING PLACE. Yes, I cowered like a little child, and I ran to HIDE from what the Lord was asking me to do. It is a horrible feeling to be overwhelmed emotionally, to feel that your life has taken on a new dimension, and you are not sure you understand what is happening to you.

This is how I feel today, sort of overwhelmed and unaware of what is happening in my life right now. Truthfully, nothing has happened to me. It is not like some major event has happened. It is more that the Lord has shared with me some plans that He has in mind for my life and those plans scare me. I love the idea of the plans, I LOVE the idea, but the reality is what scares me most. What if they do come to pass. What if what I believe is the Lord telling me such and such will happen -- will actually happen? I am not sure I could handle it. I am not sure I could handle what He is saying to me.

I have stepped out in faith time and time again. I have believed His word, and I have trusted Him for everything -- my everything. He has been faithful to me. He has not let me down, and He has delivered on every promise He has made. Now He is asking me to trust Him for something that is definitely outside my comfort zone, to believe in something that would benefit my life, but would require that I believe even MORE than I have believed thus far. I would have to stretch my faith to envision this THING and believe His word to me as TRUTH. I would have to REST in Him, knowing that He is my HIDING PLACE, my shelter and my security. I would have to let go of my automatic control and let Him guide me into this plan.

On the one hand, it is so very exciting to think that the Lord has a plan such as this for my life. On the one hand, I LOVE what He is suggesting. On the other hand, I see obstacles and difficulties, not obliterating ones, just small ones that I would have to deal with and that means standing up front, taking the notice full on. UGH! I so prefer to live behind the scenes, in my own mind, in my own hidden way. This would require me to step out in front and be seen, to be noticed, and to take a chance. I am so not good with chances. I don't like taking chances, and I don't like any risk taking. I am SO NOT A RISK TAKER!

So what do I do? I feel the Lord leading me this way, to trust Him in this thing, and to believe in faith that it is true. I want to believe, I want to rest, I want to keep faith. It is just uncomfortable for me, it is so very uncomfortable thinking about it.

There there is Psalm 32, which reminds me of who He is, and of His will and His way. His power to overcome obstacles and difficulties is renown. He can do anything, everything, He chooses to do. He is always successful. His way is always perfect. So why am I so afraid of this outcome, this experience? 

I think it is because I am being asked to experience something I have never experienced before -- to this extent. I have some experience in the matter -- I am not a newbie -- but I am not a pro either. INTJs do not do anything if they do not believe they can do it well. We don't try, we do. We overcome, we accomplish, we achieve -- it is the hallmark of being this type of personality -- we only do things we can do well and be successful at accomplishing. I have confidence, I have boldness, I have persuasion -- yeah, I have all those key characteristics -- but I also have a well-tuned understanding of my frailties and my failures. In short, I know myself well. I know what I can and cannot do well. I also know all that hidden garbage -- the stuff inside my head that no one knows -- but the Lord (of course!) 

In the end, the answer I gave to the Lord was "Yes, I am agreeable to what you are asking me to do." I am willing, of course, but that will have to come when the Lord does something for me, through me, because I am shaking in my boots right now, and He knows that I cannot do what is being asked of me without His ability to do it. Enough said...

Lord,

You know that I am willing and agreeable to do whatever you ask of me. I trust you, and I rest in your will and your way. I struggle with some of the things you ask because they take me to new places, places outside my comfort zone. Yet, I believe in your word, and I know that you will never leave me nor will you forsake me. If you are asking me to do something, then I can rest in the knowledge that it is for my good, to benefit me, and to make my life better. Therefore, I trust you this day, and I wait for you to do whatever it is that you are asking me to do. I pray all this in your matchless and mighty NAME, Amen. So be it, thy will be done. Selah!

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