When I Don’t Want God to Be God

4 a.m. – I still hadn’t gotten any good sleep, a daunting reality when I reminded myself the day’s alarm would be blaring in less than 2 hours.

5 a.m. – I jolted awake, somewhat confused because it’d been more than a year since a wave of panic had washed over me like it did in that one sweeping moment. Yet, also somewhat aware of where those overwhelming anxieties were stemming from.

I realized I didn’t want God to be God in HIS way, I wanted Him to be God in MY way.

Having survived years of abuse and working with a number of trauma survivors, I’m well aware of the brokenness life can bring. What heightened my awareness this week was sending all four of our children off to school where they’re no longer under my watchful care. I whispered, “God, please help me to trust You’ll protect my children.” Then, it hit me: what if God protects them the way He protected me? Tears spilled down my face as I realized I didn’t want God to be God in HIS way, I wanted Him to be God in MY way. I don’t want God to allow a fraction of the pain in their lives that He allowed in mine. I want His protection to look like mine would. I want Him to prevent our pain, but He’s determined to purpose our pain.

When I’m honest with myself, I have to admit there are times that I don’t want God to be God. That’s what the heavy dose of panic coursing through my veins was really about. It was really about whether or not I am willing to embrace God’s allowance of affliction over my preference of protection. Do I desire my Savior to also be sovereign? Anxiety and fear can be normal human reactions to normal human experiences. We can trust God fully, know He loves us, and still be scared. Yet, quite often, our anxiety is intermingled with a difficulty in trusting the sovereignty of God, a difficulty in relinquishing all illusions of control to an all-consuming God who won’t reveal all of His plans to us. Notice I mentioned we seek to retain “illusions of control” because our striving with God says nothing of His enduring omnipotence. He’s still in control. He’s still God.

Sometimes, at the root of our anxiety is a difficulty in trusting the sovereignty of God.

Our enemy uses the truth about our experiences to speak lies about our God. His native language is deceitfulness; he’s the father of lies (John 8:44). And, he is still feeding us the same lie he fed Adam and Eve all those years ago: we’d be better gods than God Himself.

There is nothing inherently wrong with experiencing fear. I used to agree with the saying that “fear is misplaced faith,” until I came to believe that without big fears we wouldn’t need big faith. Anxiety has a neurobiological basis, but it also has a psychological one, and much of what maintains our anxieties, no matter where they begin, is our thought patterns. Sometimes, anxiety is misplaced divinity. Sometimes it exists in its magnitude because we’ve made something or someone else God – usually ourselves. When we allow our emotions to escalate unchecked, when we listen to the lies about God’s goodness, lies about His character, about His steadfast mercy and love somehow not being what’s best for us, we’re choosing to exalt potential problems over the Prince of Peace. God foresaw that we would experience anxiety, but He calls us to repeatedly submit those worries to Him because if we don’t we are essentially making a god of whatever or whomever we trust more (1 Peter 5:7). It won’t happen over night. But keep submitting it. Keep reapeating it. If I trust myself to handle my situation, protect my children, etcetera, more than I trust God, then I’m saying I don’t want God to be God; I want to be God. If God isn’t God, then someone else will be. But even the most terrific person will make a terrible God.

If God isn’t God, then someone else will be.

If you are struggling with anxiety, first, know that you are not alone. Know that the God of the universe looked ahead in time, knew you would be burdened with this struggle, and specifically called you to cast all of those anxieties on Him because He cares for you. Second, know that help is available through Christ-centered counseling and medical interventions. You weren’t meant to bear this cross alone. I’ve already prayed for those reading and wanting more help; I believe God for you. Below is a list of resources for anxiety management and finding a skilled therapist in your area.

Click HERE: Anxiety Relaxation Techniques

Click HERE: Find a Psychotherapist (U.S.A. or Canada)

Click HERE: Therapist Locator (outside U.S. or Canada)

 

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iParent.TV Giveaway

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I’m excited to announce this giveaway on my blog! There are several ways to enter over the next week to get a FREE subscription to iParent.TV, which helps you create a safe environment for your children’s online/tech activity.

80% of parents don’t how to monitor  kids’ online activity.

iParent.TV can help!

Click here or image below to enter (email, FB, or Twitter)

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More Info About  iParent.TV

What is iParent.TV? If your kids are awake, they’re probably on a smartphone, in front of a smart tv, downloading apps, or posting to social networks. And most likely you have no idea what they’re doing. iParent.TV will be a yearly, subscription-based website for teaching and informing parents on all things tech, mobile, devices, websites, and apps for kids so that you WILL know.

The Problem. Most parents don’t have an inside track to tech or social media dangers, let alone how to safeguard their kids against them.

58% of 10-12 year old kids believe they know how to hide their online activities from their parents.

46% of them said they would change their online behavior if they knew their parents were paying attention.

Introducing iParent.TV – keeping parents ahead of the tech curve. We believe we have the opportunity to help parents understand, get involved and safeguard their children in the ever-evolving tech World. iParent.TV educates parents with all the latest trends via Websites – Social Media – Apps – Devices

The idea. It started with a group of dads who felt like their 9-year-olds knew more about tech than they did. They were right. But their idea will help change that forever for all parents. Once launched, iParent.TV will have 100s of videos and product reviews that are very current, cutting edge and trending, keeping parents who subscribe ahead of the tech curve.

How it will work? The iParent.TV website will be a subscription-based site costing $49 per year for parents to access all the videos, reviews, how-tos, and live chat support. It will be the largest site on the net helping parents understand what’s safe and what’s not in the world of tech. – And we are offering it for only $29 on Indiegogo.

What you get? Articles, videos, reviews, tips, tools and expert advice on EVERYTHING like…
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your children know more than you do

 

on NOT raising rapists…

Paradigm Shift

Rape Culture Needs a PARENTING Paradigm Shift

“Nobody ever says I wanna be a [RAPIST] when I grow up.” I liked those late ’80s commercials stressing the importance of making early anti-drug decisions by choosing NOT to be a drug-user. As a passionate advocate of abuse prevention, I teach my children, and admonish others to teach their children, NOT to be rapists and NOT to be abusers (sexual, physical, emotional, or otherwise). People usually ask, “How? What’s a practical way?” My response: “Explicitly!” We don’t teach our children much else in vague terms. We don’t JUST say, “Mind your manners.” We say, “Don’t put your elbows on the table.” We don’t JUST say, “Respect others’ things.” We say, “Don’t go upstairs without their permission, or don’t run in their home, or don’t jump on their couch.” Well, I’d much rather your son run across my couch than rape my daughter! Likewise, I’m sure you’d much rather my daughter put her elbows on the table than rape your son (or daughter). Yet, we shy away from telling our growing children such needed truths, like:

  1.  Don’t let anyone hit you.
  2. If someone keeps trying to have sex with you after you’ve said no… 

Oh, wait…

  1. Don’t raise your hands to hit someone unless it’s in self-defense (from some kid who didn’t learn these life skills).
  2. Don’t have sex with someone who doesn’t understand what sex is, whether due to age, maturity, or intellect.
  3. Whether it’s their body, money, or property, don’t take advantage of someone else who’s not as intellectually capable as you.
  4. Don’t have sex with anyone unless you both agree and both understand the purpose and possible outcomes of your actions.
  5. Whomever you’re having sex with should be making a clear, conscious choice – so they can’t be drunk, passed out, unsure, etc.
  6. Don’t blame women when men rape. This includes questioning their dress, company, friendships, consensual sexual history.
  7. Don’t say/think men can’t be raped…by WOMEN. Genital arousal from stimulation does not equate with consent.
  8.  STOP waiting for “No,” and get a clear “Yes.”  Someone not saying “No” is not the same as someone giving consent. “How far do you want this to go?” “You’re good with us having sex?” “I want to be inside you, but only if you want it.” “I want you inside of me, but only if you want it, too.” Very easy phrases to articulate if you’re committed to not sexually assaulting others.

The list really can go on and on, and I’ll likely add to it, but feel free to add more below.

Yes Means Only One Thing

Yes Means Only One Thing

As a Christian mother, I want my children to wait for marriage, but should they choose not to do so, I want them to wait for consent. It’s no different than my not wanting them to drink, but should they choose to do so, I don’t want them to drive drunk. I know I’m weighing more heavily on sexual assault because it’s something I’m passionate about preventing and because I know there are more parents telling their children not to hit than parents telling their children not to rape. I believe both are needed. At any rate, this is the parenting paradigm shift I’d love to see grasped in more homes. I want my daughter and sons to be safe from abuse and/or sexual assault, but I also want my sons and daughter to understand the equal importance of not being an abuser/assailant.

In closing, I’ll leave you some sobering stats:

  • 75% of parents say they have had a conversation with their teen about what it means to be in a healthy relationship

  • YET, Only 28% of teens say they have had a conversation about dating abuse with Mom, and fewer than half as many (13%), say they have had a dating abuse conversation with Dad
  • 71% of teens whose families have been affected by the economy in the past year have NOT had a conversation with a parent about dating abuse
  • In comparison, more than 8 out of 10 of these teens say they HAVE had a conversation with a parent about:
    » Money (92%)
    » The economy in general (86%)
    » Family finances (82%)

At some point, we must admit we emphasize what we value! Let’s value our children, their safety, and their futures!

10 Tips on Rape Prevention

10 Tips on Rape Prevention