Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Written With Fear and Trepidation

I'm not at all good at writing essays. Somewhere between my head and the paper my thoughts get all twisted and nothing is as I had imagined it would be. Nevertheless, I'm going to try to wrestle some thoughts that have made their way from my head to my heart onto this screen. My heart feels the weight of them and thumps loudly while my fingers try to find the right keys. I'd much rather tell a little story, but this won't let me rest.

As a young wife and mother, I wanted nothing more than to do it all well. I wanted to be like the godly women I admired and be a blessing to my family and those around me. I read every book on marriage, family and being a godly woman I could get my hands on. They were written by men and women who loved the Lord and had a message burning in their souls.

In my imagination, I transport my sixty-six year old self back forty years or so and am once again a young wife and mother - the same one who wants desperately to be all God intended. If I were to gather together the books being written today by gifted godly men and women, I would get a very different message from the one I received all those years ago.

I am not here to judge which was the right message. I am simply going to share what I've learned over a lifetime of seeking God (and more often than not failing to do it well). When I read those books, I tried my very best to be all they told me I ought to be. It often ended in discouragement and feelings of guilt. I couldn't quite measure up.

It was during one of those seasons that I stopped the trying and became quiet enough to listen. I believe I heard the Father tell me to put those books, as good as they were, aside and pick up His Word. "If I can speak to them, I can speak to you child. I know you better than you know yourself. Let me give you words just for you."

And so it has been. I don't mean to say I never read Christian books. I have shelves lined with them. They have blessed me in so many ways. But I need the foundational truth of the living Word.

It seems as though the world is abuzz with arguments for and against - words beating up against each other and often beating up those who read them. I find myself desperate for His word to be heard above the clamor in my head.

There is a little exchange between Jesus and His disciples I had never thought much about before. He has just come down from the Mount of Transfiguration. He finds his disciples have been trying desperately to cast a demon out of a man's son. They are in the middle of a crowd, arguing with the religious leaders. And Jesus says:

"What is all this arguing about.."  Mark 9:16

Instead of praying, instead of doing what He had taught them to do - they were arguing.

I write this to remind myself more than anything. There are many words being written. I am a reader. I love reading those words, but I confess some have left me confused and upset. I need to line those words up with those I know are absolute truth. Only then can I use the words of others wisely.



  1. True. Thank you Linda for writing this even as you trembled. The Words of Life are the words that give freedom. Thanks for underlining this for all of us who are "readers."

  2. Thank you, Linda, for sharing even though you "trembled". You are very right and I appreciate what you had to say. I agree with Dea, "The Words of Life are the words that give freedom."

    Have a wonderful day :)


  3. I too have lots of books lining shelves, but none of them can take the place of the Bible. Your words are so true and a great reminder that we need to be in His word and listening to what he wants to say to us. Thanks!

  4. Linda...I am not sure I would have survived in the social media world as a young mother...I was way to insecure...trying too hard to get it right...I must say...I am thankful to be past the pressure filled role of a momma...I love being a mother and wife...and now a grandmother...but there is a freedom to be enjoyed...not measuring myself and kids against others. and my views are most things have become much more simple...i think that comes with the gift of age.

  5. Linda, your voice is so important here among all the other voices. Amidst the cacophony of many words spoken, yours is a still, small voice pointing always to the Word of Truth.

    My experience echoes yours in so many ways. And now I'm going to share your words, your life-giving words you wrote in fear and trembling, with some young mamas I love dearly.

    Thank you for your faithfulness, Linda. Much love.

  6. I like the premise of your piece Linda. The loudest voice leading us must always be our heavenly Father, the one who knows us best, understands how we function and loves us most. This is a good word to be discerning about what and who we choose to listen to, whether it be regarding parenting or otherwise. So glad you linked up with Imperfect Prose.

  7. Amen, Sister. I guess I was meant to read this as it turned up on my feed and I'm seldom paying attention to the feed these days. So the Lord wanted me to take heed. Thank you so much, Linda. I know where you're coming from.

    1. Thanks so much Maxine. Your words mean a great deal to me. It's so good to hear from you.

  8. Hi Linda,

    I'm hopping over from the Imperfect Prose link up. Thank you for letting us peek into your ponderings here. I am thankful that our God's voice and words never change over time. :)

    Jennifer Dougan

  9. Miss Linda - This statement of yours pretty much sums it all up, aye?

    "But I need the foundational truth of the living Word."

    I need someone to paint that across my heart.


  10. Thank you so much, I came upon these beautiful honest words (and identified) by googling "with fear and trepidation" as I am about to embark on a 12-week fitness & weight-loss challenge, something that I have never done before and at 51 I'm scared. I am a Christian (but only 14 years ago did I say the words to accept Jesus into my life) Still a work in progress! I was far from God in my youth and marriage. I am divorced (15years now) and still single. I had feelings of not good enough; if I miss going to church, had a little too much wine, guilty conscience, etc... Pray more and ask God for the courage... I need to believe he is with me on this every step of the way, I've always desired a healthy mind, body and soul. Love to hear more God Bless you Linda

  11. Dear Linda, I found this by googling "with fear & trepidation" as I am about to embark on a 12-week fitness and weight-loss challenge. At 51 I am scared. I am a Christian after saying the words and accepting Jesus into my life only 14 years ago. I was far from God in my youth, sadly. I go through feeling of unworthiness still, even though I know he loves me, but I am getting better. I have been divorced 15years and still single and raised 3 children on my own but with the help of the church too.(Great people) and God of course! Without him I am nothing... I am not a grandmother yet:) and I am studying at Uni (not a disciplined student) but persevering... Pray4me in that area please.
    So I better get back to the books.
    God Bless you Linda and I'd love to hear more. xo

  12. Maria,
    Thank you so much for your dear words. I would be honored to pray for you as you begin this challenge. I need to lose about ten pounds myself, and I keep putting it off. You've inspired me to get going!
    I know the Lord will be with you in this, and in every single part of your life. He loves you with unconditional love. How thankful I am, that our pasts are erased because of what Jesus did for us. You are precious to Him Maria. I am so delighted to meet you.