How to Intimidate a Wall

Okay, I know what you’re thinking.

Hello, Thursday Morning readers! Have I gotten your attention with that first paragraph?

That was my intent.

So, what kind of wall are we talking? One made of wood and wallboard? A painted wall? A brick wall? Stone?

It’s not made with human hands. It exists only in my mind. But it may as well be steel, like a vault. It’s cold and unforgiving at times. And it seems to have no beginning, and no end.

Sigh.

I have to be honest with you and myself. I know what makes up this wall. It’s fear. And this fear goes by many names.

  • Inadequacy.
  • Uncertainty.
  • Lack.
  • Loneliness.
  • Failure.

Oh, that last one, though.

I stare at the thing, and this cold, unforgiving wall stares back at me.

So, I wrote down some more words.

  • Fearless.
  • Loved.
  • Successful.
  • Over-comer.
  • Winner.

Then, I taped this list to the wall and stared at it.

Did it help? Honest answer—yes. I felt hope stirring in my heart. Silly? Not at all. What you look at, what you read, what you think about, who you hang out with, where you hang out…all these things contribute to who you are.

If you concentrate on your shortcomings, that’s all you’ll see. It becomes an impenetrable wall. It may live and breathe, because it’s part of you.

If you change the words to positive ones and concentrate on them, will you eventually become them? You have a very good chance. Why? Words can give life. Words can create.

I created that wall by concentrating on the negative. Maybe tiredness took me there, maybe illness or a disappointment of some kind. I fed the words until the wall became insurmountable.

What now? When faced with such a wall, how would you react? How have you managed to overcome a thing like this? I’d love to hear your story.

I tackled it with a butter knife when I taped the list to its surface. 🙂

There’s strength in the words I came up with, more strength in the Word of God.

Research is something I enjoy, so I went to work and found a couple of bulldozers to attack that wall.

I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for (me) to do. [Ephesians 2:10]

Okay. That one stirred my heart and gave me courage. If God has plans for me and the work I do, surely He plans to finish this work.

According to Ephesians 1:14, I am chosen. Predestined. “God’s possession–to the praise of His glory.”

I’m getting closer now. This one does more than stir. The wall doesn’t seem so intimidating now.

And finally, Joel 2:7-9 —

They charge like warriors;
    they scale walls like soldiers.
They all march in line,
    not swerving from their course.
 They do not jostle each other;
    each marches straight ahead.
They plunge through defenses
    without breaking ranks.
They rush upon the city;
    they run along the wall.

What does this passage tell me? I’ve been trying to destroy the impenetrable wall, when I really needed to scale it! I can run on it! I don’t need to tear it down.

Yes, fear and anguish and all those ugly words may have built that wall. It’s bricks may be held together by all my past failures, but the pressure of God’s great mercy will compact all its parts. What happens when pressure is applied to coal? It becomes a diamond. Strong. Unbreakable.

I hope you can make sense of my rambling here. I hope you’ve captured the gist of my thoughts. I’m an over-comer. Jumping over the wall—running along the top of the wall—whatever it takes to accomplish the thing that God has planned in advance for me to do.

Yes, you can intimidate a wall. You just need to know the right words to say.

When You’re Not Looking

cat-393294_1280You know how it is. Something you’ve wanted for so long suddenly drops into your life when you’re not looking.

That’s how it was when I met my husband. I wasn’t looking. Though I was still very young, I’d pretty much given up on ever finding that perfect someone. But there he was. Three months later, we were married. Forty-one years later, we’re still married.

But I wasn’t looking. We strive for success. Work hard for recognition and promotions, only to lose out to someone else. It’s discouraging, sometimes even heartbreaking, to watch others around you celebrate their accomplishments, their big sales numbers, and you wonder if it will ever happen for you. Then one day, when you’re not looking for it…there it is.

But some of life’s successes are temporary–trophies to display on one’s mantle–and later to pack away in the attic or toss in the trash. If you never won a trophy, made top rep, or got to sit at the head of the corporate table, you can get pretty discouraged. That’s the trouble with contests–there’s only one winner. All the others are basically…losers. My second-grade teacher had an idea about that. She’d made sure every child in our class won something, everyday of the school year. Each week, the class held an election. By the end of the year, each one of us had served as class president.

award-148961_1280I remember that feeling of pride, standing at the front, holding a blue ribbon for my perfect spelling paper. And the day they voted for me to be class president–I smiled for hours.

The truth is, it doesn’t take that much to make another person feel special. I’ll never forget that wonderful teacher. She inspired me. l wish she’d been in my life a little longer. Are you a parent, a teacher, a coach? Do you seek to inspire those entrusted to your care? I encourage you to do so!

manta-91745_1280In a few months, I’m headed to Cuenca, Ecuador for a few days. I’ll be speaking to a group of women, and whatever else we can find to do. I hope to carry a message that will inspire and encourage those to whom I am sent. A message like the one I received from that beloved teacher. Everyone can be a winner.

Abuse is a worldwide problem, especially for women. In some countries, though, women have more difficult lives. Many of the situations are universal. Since being asked to speak to these women, I’ve been researching the problems that are relevant to them. I can’t solve those problems, but perhaps I can encourage some to think differently. About themselves, about their life.

What does that have to do with NOT LOOKING? I wasn’t looking for this opportunity. It kind of dropped into my lap. Totally unexpected. But I’ve accepted the challenge and now I’m determined to do my best.

If you’re reading this and you know what it’s like to endure the pain of abuse, then please pray for me that I will know how to minister to and encourage these dear ladies. That’s my heart’s cry. For more information about our upcoming trip to Ecuador, please check out our Facebook page and https://www.gofundme.com/OwenstoEcuador2016.