“Applause, everyone. Bravo, bravissimo! Shout God-songs at the top of your lungs!”
Psalm 47:1 (The Message)
For as long as I can remember, I notoriously feel guilty. I remember one particular time when I worked my first real job and we were called into a staff meeting. Someone had been sampling from the till and they were giving said person a chance to confess. I had the guiltiest look on my face – even though my job never involved even getting close to the money and I wasn’t the offending party.
My guilt complex carries over into every area of my life. If my husband or kids are in a bad mood, I feel guilty that I caused it by something I did or said. If God chooses to bless our family with something unexpectedly wonderful, while I thank Him for the gift, I feel guilty and unworthy of the blessing.
God has been patiently and repeatedly telling me He doesn’t want me to live that way any longer. He has taken 2017 and showered our family with blessing upon blessing in an attempt, maybe, to help me feel comfortable with being blessed and not suffering false guilt instead.
As I spoke about in another blog, God has been speaking to me on a deeper level this year. He very plainly spoke on three separate occasions. The first time He told me I was struggling with fun and relaxing and that I need to let go. The second conversation He had with me was to talk to me about my continuous guilt and how I never really accept that I’m totally forgiven, but I am. I decided that if God loved me enough to try and help me heal from those false assumptions, then I would do my part to practice letting go and choosing to believe I’m forgiven. The third conversation included this, “Abba wants you to cease worrying and trust Him.”
I had the opportunity to practice the third principle not even a week after God spoke. Finances have been extremely tight for our family for the past three years. They are improving but we aren’t in the safe zone yet, so I feel on edge that we have to make every single penny count. However, God doesn’t look at pennies – He looks at experiences and when we are faithful with tithing and wise with spending and paying for what we owe, He is all about having FUN too. Something my husband is wonderful at and me… not so much.
My husband approached me that he was taking some extra time off work and wanted to go away for a short trip. My immediate thought, instead of “How fun, where should we go?” was “How are we going to afford this unbudgeted expense?” I hate my default button, so after I stopped hyperventilating, I decided I was going to take a step of faith and take God at His word. He said He wants me to cease worrying and trust Him, so I prayed that day something similar to this, “God, You told me You don’t want me to worry. So, I’m choosing to trust You to supply the money to go away on a short trip with my family. I’m trusting that it will be an opportunity to practice having fun ‘just because’ and to learn to let go.”
Come back next time and I will tell you how it turned out.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017