“Sing praise-songs to God. He’s done it all! Let the whole earth know what he’s done!
Raise the roof! Sing your hearts out, O Zion! The Greatest lives among you: The Holy of Israel.”” Isaiah 12:6 (The Message)
Last time we were together I spoke about how God has been wanting to teach me how to have fun, how to stop living with false guilt and how to let go and trust Him. My first test occurred less than a week later when my husband wanted to take a short get away with the family and I automatically moved to false guilt about enjoying ourselves and worry over our finances. I chose to trust God, step aside, praise Him ahead of time for His answer and then watch and see what He was going to do.
The week we wanted to go away was also one of two weeks a month I pay bills. I sat down on Wednesday night to go over our budget, pay our bills and determine how to pay for the short get away and God blew me away. He showed me money I didn’t realize we had and in no uncertain terms laid out for me how we could afford a short get away, complete with fun family activities guilt free. In addition, we had been blessed by a special friend who bought us dinner one of the nights and the hotel provided dinner and breakfast for another of the days. We were set.
I have to tell you – I think I was more relaxed that particular trip than I have been on many of our other “planned months in advance” trips. It was a guilt free night of relaxation, a guilt free day of adventure the following day and special memories built with teens who before we know it won’t be living under our roof any more. Two days after we returned, God revealed another reason why He provided that trip when He did. The end of our summer suddenly got much busier, so God allowed our family to bond ahead of time instead of missing out on the opportunity to bond at all.
When I asked God 12 years ago to help me learn how to trust Him, I had no idea the rollercoaster ride that awaited. My pastor taught me in 2015 to embrace the adventures God invites us on instead of asking for a free pass to avoid them altogether.
I would be lying if I said I was 100% cured of false guilt and have become the life of the party. Having fun is something I’m still learning. Choosing to ignore the lie of false guilt is still something I have to make a conscious effort to do. However, the more I practice, the quicker I am at trusting God at His word, leaving my worries at His feet and finding the joy He wants to bless me with – presented multiple times a day in numerous ways if I just open my eyes to receive it.
I don’t deserve a relationship with a Father who goes out of His way to show me how much He loves me. You know what’s even better? I think God has been trying to show me for years this same sort of deep relationship with Him, but I couldn’t see it before. Now that He’s removing the layers of fear, lack of trust, depression and yes, even working on the anxiety attacks, I can see Him for who He is. Love, Blessings, Joy, Peace… and learning how to have fun.
What God is willing to do for me, my friend, He’s wanting to do and so much more for you. All you have to do is ask.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017