Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Locking Eyes With Hope -- Hope Chronicles 36

I dread it when I hear that a stretch of road I normally traverse is going to be "under construction." In theory, these projects are meant to help in the long run. In the short run, they are headaches in the making. And if your part of the world is anything like my part of the world, "construction" on even a tiny segment takes forever.

Roadblocks was what came to mind as I was reading for the on line study at Lelia's of Lysa Terkeurst's book, What Happens When Women Say Yes To God. (If you want to join the discussion or read other's thoughts, just click the button at right.)

I even had a bit of a stumbling block/roadblock on Monday. I had a doctor's appointment and was using my lunch break to accomplish it. (To my credit, I had let them know I might be a few minutes late coming back.) Sigh, maybe that was a prediction. But I'm usually in and out. It's a routine kind of thing. The fall of 2006 my iron was extremely low and for whatever reason, my body wasn't absorbing it from food or pills. I had to get it intravenously like eight times! At which point, my iron count was probably high enough to set off a metal detector! Now I go in every 4 months or so to see how much ground has been lost (usually 60-100 points). It was so high when they gave me those treatments, that while it is still dropping it is now in the "normal" range.

But my usual in and out turned into a sit and wait. I don't do sit and wait well.... Part of it for me today was, "What were they thinking at work?" I had already told them it might be a possibility, yet I felt myself get more and more anxious about it. And God brought to mind Lysa's words where she spoke of the gatekeepers Acceptance and Rejection. Rejection, criticism was what I feared if I lingered to long even for a necessary appointment. Acceptance is what I craved. As Lysa so aptly wrote, both gatekeepers require a lot (the fear of not being able to continue to perform or the lure of being constantly let off the hook because I don't measure up).

Lysa challenges us to choose worship over worry. Worry is a great roadblock to me. I can find worry in everything. When things are hard, the worry is ten times greater. Lysa writes:

When we worship in these hard places, we are reminded that none of this is about me -- it's all about God.

I want to have a heart that automatically looks to worship instead of worry. But a lot of my worry comes from where my eyes -- physically (counting the dollars and balancing the checkbook), emotionally (what are people thinking or saying about me), and spiritually (my own inability to be "good enough," worthy enough for God) are looking. I look at storm rather than the storm calmer.

Lysa uses a beautiful illustration of her youngest daughter Brooke. Brooke is Lysa's child who most needs touch. Once, she was in a dance recital and the part she anticipated dancing got switched. In tears, she searched out her mother. Lysa knew she couldn't be on stage with her daughter but she said, "Lock your eyes on mine and Mommy will touch you with my smile. Don't look at anyone or anything else . . . . It doesn't matter if you mess up. What matters is that you keep your eyes on me the whole time. We'll do this together."

I need to lock eyes with the heavenly Father. It has been a difficult few days and that seems hard to do. I'd like to hide and pull the covers over my head. But I am choosing to lock eyes with Jesus and choose hope by doing things like taking spring pictures over the weekend or calling a friend when I need it or reading all the antics and wise thoughts of my bloggy friends. In these ways I am locking eyes with hope.

And not only am I trying to dance, God is dancing and singing over me. The smile never leaves His face when my eyes are locked with His.

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." -- Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)


BrownEyedGirl-- said...

Here's one of my favorite verses for worry: "He will keep in perfect peace those whose thoughts turn often to the Lord." Isaiah 26:3

Lelia Chealey said...

Hello friend!
My goodness, sorry so late. It is up & going & I went ahead & linked your blog.
Great post. I always love your insights. Maybe God allowed your appointment to be slow so you could share this with us as we've all had those slow appts when others are waiting on us. Will think twice before I waste time worrying.

Amy said...

Well said, Amy. So many times in my own life I worry so much about what others think of me, how a situation will turn out, where will the "money" come from, etc.

I have often thought how amazing it would be if I could(or would)just turn all that worry into worship......

God Bless,

heather said...

Amy, it sounds like we have been in the same place the last few days, wanting to hide and pull the covers over my head.
Needing to lock eyes with Jesus... do you mind if i borrow that phrase? thanks so much,
Love you and may God bless you with that Hope you are working on locking eyes with...

Heather@Mommymonk said...

I totally identified with this chapter too. Acceptance and rejection - I let them block my way so many times. I worry and allow fear to keep me from moving forward. I'm right there with you!