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MK forum • View topic - Crippled by fear

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 Post subject: Crippled by fear
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:05 am 
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Being raised without grace in the old NT takes its toll. The idea of God is that he is vindictive and extracting. Similar to how the Greek gods are portrayed. Step out of line, not pleasing - WHAM - there goes your harvest for this year, someone in your family is injured, or finances go haywire. Reality bites in this world because Someone is keeping score.

Living this way is crippling. I think of is as spiritually bi-polar. Sometimes you are on a lovely God high, but most days just racked with fear and guilt.

My mom asked me once why I couldn't just think differently. Well, I think brainwashing plays a big part. My parents became Christians when they were in their early 20's and had been raised in a Methodist church. Their concept of God during childhood was much different than mine. You can't just turn off what was drilled into you as a child. Especially as it was wrapped in God.

I also find myself extremely intolerant of "Christianese" (as another mk coined). Words like conform and transform take on a whole new meaning in NT for a kid. I truly want to see the unit of measure that was used to detect whether you were truly *transformed* or merely *conforming*. I do not recall ever seeing an MK as having attained this glorious status.

I admit, I have raised my kids with God-lite. And, believe it or not, my daughter in Catholic school has a better handle on God's grace than I do.

I would love to know how some of you may have been able to re-wire your concept of God and his grace.


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 Post subject: Re: Crippled by fear
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:45 am 
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In Bible School I was given the distinct impression that if I didn't have a half-hour "quiet time" every morning before doing anything else, my whole day would go badly.

Now as a parent myself, I can't imagine saying to one of my adult kids, "If you don't prove your love to me by calling me every morning, I'm going to put sugar in your gas tank."

I feel a greater sense of devotion to our God of grace, mercy, compassion and joy today than I ever felt back then when I was working so hard to try to please him (and never measuring up, of course).

"God-lite" -- I like that! (More filling and satisfying though! :) )


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 Post subject: Re: Crippled by fear
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:19 am 
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Threewillows!!! I think I just found my twin!! My parents were saved out of a Methodist church too. Yesterday they went to two funerals and Dad went on and on with me about whether these two saints were Christians or not . . .they weren't sure, because they had gone to a Methodist church . . .I wanted to scream!! What gets me is that they tried so hard to do everything right by us . . .I've tried to go easy on my daughter too, but she still picks up from my folks that guilt stuff, hid her tattoo from them for six months . . .I can tell she feels guilty just being around them.


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 Post subject: Re: Crippled by fear
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:41 am 
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TW Paul tells us in Romans not to be conformed to this world. That means to me that we should not do what others expect us to do. He tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. I think that means that we have to change the way we think about God. This is at times terrifying to me. Mark Batterson in his book soul print, says that the odds God used when He aligned your chromosones in the womb are less than one in 5trillion that you would be you. That makes you very unique. Only you can worship God like you. One of the really bad things about the arrogant fundamentalists is that they demand that everyone worship God the same way.


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 Post subject: Re: Crippled by fear
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:52 pm 
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Well said, Jerry. I do think it's harder and scarier then just following someone's else's fake prescription. It sounds like you've made a lot of progress so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Crippled by fear
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Thank you Allbetter. I am making progress but still a long way out in the wilderness.


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 Post subject: Re: Crippled by fear
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:16 pm 
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Three Willows...a book that has helped me with God and Grace is "The Shack"...check it out...I love the way that God, Jesus and the H.S. are portrayed. Helped me to see God as relational loving, and caring, not distant, harsh, cold, and vindictive....


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 Post subject: Re: Crippled by fear
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:26 pm 
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I wondered who would bring up "The Shack"-- funny that it was you, VW! But, it actually has helped me as well. I have it on audiobook for any long drives which lend themselves to self-pity.


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 Post subject: Re: Crippled by fear
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:33 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Crippled by fear
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:43 pm 
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Some significant books in my journey:
Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning - well, pretty much anything by Brennen Manning
Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge (for women) also Waking the Dead by John Eldridge.
Byzantium by Steven R. Lawhead
The Pressure's Off by Larry Crab
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzaro
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
I Have to Be Perfect and other Parsonage Heresies by Tim Sanford (MK and PK - this book I go back to at least once a year to review)
Letters Never Sent by Ruth VanReken (MK and Missionary) - if you've never checked out her stuff, definitely do. She is an expert on TCKs. I cried through her whole book - letters she wrote to her parents as an adult as she remembered her years in boarding school.

I never used to characterize myself as being fearful. I've never been one to keep my kids from trying physically challenging things or taking (calculated of course) risks, I don't live in fear of "accidents" that could happen. Then when my husband and I were seeing a counselor it began to dawn on me that everything I did was motivated by fear - fear of not being perfect. But it went deeper than that - the fear of what would happen if I wasn't perfect. Any guesses? Abandonment, esp. emotional abandonment. What if I turn out to be a huge disappointment to the people I love most?
It's taken a lot of time, but gradually my old thought patterns are being replaced with truth. I recognize much more quickly now when I default to an old pattern. For example, I stopped saying "should" and replaced it with "could". I could never measure up to all the "shoulds". "Could" gives me a choice.
The most significant turning point for me from which I have never recovered was when God revealed his love for me in such a personal and intimate way that I cried in disbelief for hours. I can rest, knowing that He is the one who will be faithful to complete the work he began in me at the moment of my conception. He doesn't need or want me for what I can do for him; he just wants me to know and love him as intimately as he knows and loves me. He will somehow take all the pieces of me, yuck included, and work it all into a beautiful masterpiece that will bring him glory. Amazing.


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