Tag Archives: Worry

“I’M RESPONSIBLE!”

yiq5yk7inI sat in the room on the couch, waiting for her to return with my cup of water. During our last session, she had asked me to journal three things I would like to work on. I obediently prayed and wrote out my thoughts in my journal. During that time with the Lord, he revealed to me some areas of deep bondage. He showed me strongholds that have insidiously wrapped themselves around the very core of my belief systems. Strongholds that had robbed me of joy. Strongholds that robbed me of the joy of parenting. Strongholds that resulted in worry and fear about my children.

Growing up, I was the oldest child in a very dysfunctional family. My father was an alcoholic and my mother did the best she could. To reduce my father to one word really isn’t fair. He was so much more, but sadly that word diminished him.  A better definition might be a lost man on the run from God. Be that as it may, chaos played out in our home. At a young age, I was expected to take care of my baby sister who was four and a half years younger. I have very vivid memories of babysitting my toddling baby sister when I was only six years old. I remember one day standing at the bottom of our road, tears streaming down my face, as I watched my parents drive away. Utter fear and panic clutched at my throat as my father’s warning rang in my ears, “You better not let anything happen to her.” Hours passed and there we were alone.  I better get it right, or it’s my fault.

I have many memories like this. Some include her actually getting hurt and me being blamed, and one includes her actually dying and me blaming myself. Something doesn’t have to be true to be believed.

She started our session in prayer, and to my astonishment, prayed the words of revelation I had written in my journal. She prayed that I would stop carrying the burden of responsibility that I had assumed as a child. That I would stop playing God, and starting trusting the One that IS God. That I would stop trying to make up for what happened to my sister.

She asked me to take a walk through the hallways of my heart. Craving freedom, I agreed to trust her and imagined the inside of my heart. There were many rooms. She told me she wanted me to notice the big room off to the side, and walk into it. Immediately my heart started racing. I didn’t want to go into that room. I knew there was something scary in there. I knew I would be facing my giants. After several prayerful moments, I got the courage to walk in. She told me to notice the wallpaper. All over, in every font and size, was the phrase “I’M RESPONSIBLE!” Those words filled the entire room in dizzying repitition.

I heard her say, “Now I want you to tear down that wallpaper.”

No! I can’t! Who would I be if I weren’t responsible? Wait, what?  Who would I be?

I had built my life on lies! The lies of the enemy.  He had convinced me that I was responsible for the outcome, that if i didn’t get it right, disaster would strike.  I had been fooled!  The lies had cost me. I had paid the price.  Others had paid the price.

She prayed me through and I began to rip down that wallpaper.  I ripped and ripped and prayed and prayed.  We prayed God’s truth in place of those lies.  Strength and power rose up as the lies were smashed by the power of the Holy Spirit.  It was powerful, and it was just the beginning of my desperate journey to really trust God.  To trust Him with everything.  I will not offer my children on the altar of the sin of my soul- the sin of not fully trusting God.

What does your wallpaper say?

I encourage you to let Jesus carry your burdens.  He will give you rest for your soul.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

I’m coming, Jesus.

 

 

Where’s Your Focus?

Why does the Bible tell us to fix our eyes on Jesus?

There is so much despair in the world, if you stare at it too long, you will be swallowed by its grief.  All you have to do is glance at the headlines and you begin to feel overwhelmed by the sadness they bring. You try desperately to avoid the news, but it haunts you.  Even if  you manage to avoid it, somehow it shows up in your water cooler conversation and your PTA meetings.

You may have escaped the news, but you can’t always escape your own life.  Sometimes you don’t have to look further than your own fence to feel that same despair. You feel like you can’t take one more step, or take one more breath, or care one more time.

You’re in the perfect storm; the storm like Peter and the others experienced in the middle of an angry sea in the dark of night.  Their ship was tossed to and fro like a toy on the raging waters.  They were scared and helpless. That’s precisely when Jesus showed up; in their weakness. Unfortunately the disciples were too frightened to recognize Jesus. They cried out in fear thinking he was a ghost.  He commanded, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  Jesus told Peter to come, to walk toward him on the water. Peter took a leap of faith and actually walked ON the water.  In a moment of doubt, he took his eyes off Jesus and looked to the wind,  his circumstances, and began to sink.  Did you catch that?  When he took his eyes off Jesus, he was overwhelmed by the world around him.

Several years ago when we lived close to the elementary school, my kids asked if we could all start riding our bikes to school. It was Spring and I thought it would be a great way to be with my kids and get some exercise, too. The only problem was, I hadn’t ridden a bike in quite a few years. Always one for adventure, I tossed the thought to the side, and the three of us made off on our bikes. It was a wobbly start, as my husband’s bike was too big for me, but soon we were flying down the sidewalks. We all laughed and giggled as the kids egged me on to keep up.

Everything was great until I looked up ahead and saw the sidewalk narrow due to a fire hydrant and yard fence. In this particular part of the sidewalk, the cement had become cracked and uneven. The kids sailed through, but I kept thinking, “Oh no I’m going to hit that fire hydrant!” My eyes were riveted to that fire hydrant as my pace slowed and I tried to maneuver the obstacles. What do you think happened? That’s right! Bam! Right into the fire hydrant!

The kids came to a screeching halt and ran to my side. The pedal peg had jabbed into my ankle and my knee was skinned. My kids knelt thinking I was crying, but I was actually laughing in humiliation as the cars, filled with kids and parents, made their way past, pointing and gawking.

What’s the moral of this story? Practice makes perfect?  Nope.

The moral of this story is what we focus on we run right into. Scripture tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus. God knew what he was talking about when he said this. When we focus on the things we don’t want, or on our problems, they become bigger and unavoidable. When we fix our eyes on God, He gets bigger than our problems; our problems diminish and we sail right past our obstacles.

If you’re going to dwell, CHOOSE to dwell in Him.

 

Face to Face

JesusRecently I had the honor of speaking at a women’s retreat.  I’m not a stranger to public speaking, but have never spoken at a retreat where I’m THE speaker.  In fact, I was completely shocked by the invitation.  I even recommended others in my place.  I just didn’t feel qualified to represent Jesus in that way.  I’ve only been following Him for a few years.  That’s for experts.  I haven’t earned that yet.

The Holy Spirit really straightened me out the day he told me, “You’re right, you’re not qualified, but I am.”  After all, He doesn’t call us to be experts, He calls us to trust Him.

When they asked if I knew where God was leading me for the topic, I simply said intimacy.  That’s where I am.  From that place all new life flows.  Face to Face became our anthem.

I was so blessed by the women of the church I was speaking for.  They took me under their wing like a sister, encouraging me, believing in me and praying for me.

As the weeks went by I felt very sure of what God was showing me.  The retreat started really coming together, creating a beautiful picture of what’s possible through a close relationship with Jesus.

The week before the retreat, my confidence turned to doubt and emptiness.  I felt like I had nothing. I scrambled in my mind, frantically looking for a crumb of knowledge or inspiration.  I turned to my prayer warriors knowing I was under a spiritual attack fueled by my fleshy neediness.  The neediness grew out of a desire to do well; to perform well.

I wasted too many years of my life performing for the love and approval of others.  I never really knew or believed my worth.  I felt I had to earn it.  My relationship with Jesus changed all that.  He poured his miraculous love into the emptiness of my soul and transformed me.  He stood before my failures and carried the cross of my shame so that I didn’t have to.

It’s sad how quickly we can fall into our old selves.

My kitchen looked like a tornado hit as I had papers, books, bibles, and journals strewn across it.  I feverishly took notes, read commentaries, and scoured Christian references. But as I stared down at my outline at midnight before the retreat, I couldn’t believe what I was reading!  I hadn’t used ANY of it!  It was beautiful and simple!  None of the studying had made it to the final cut.  I laughed out loud and praised God.  He smiled back at me.  You see, God had already prepared me in advance for the good work He called me to.  Don’t get me wrong, the studying was good. Discipline and study is always rewarded, but it was for another day.  Intimacy is right where I am, and intimacy is what He called me to teach now.

Do you do that too?  Do you try to look good to others?  To God?  Do you trust Him enough to let things happen without trying to control them?

That weekend at the retreat was one of the most profound experiences I have had in my walk with the Lord.  I can’t wait to share it with you, but that’s for another day.

Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. 2 Corinthians 3:18 MSG

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Not Qualified!

Recently God gave me a beautiful opportunity to work for His Kingdom.  I was asked by a women’s ministry in a nearby town to be the guest speaker at a  weekend retreat in Lake Tahoe. I have written about my struggle to feel worthy when God gives me an opportunity, but I’m still here working on absorbing God’s grace.  I have to admit I feel so unqualifiedI mean I’ve only been a Christian for a few years!

Will I disappoint them?  Do they think I’m more accomplished than I am? Why me?

Heather Murdock's blogWhen I first became a believer I was almost literally on fire!  God performed so many amazing wonders in my heart.  The transformation was remarkable!  He cleansed the old hurts and replaced them with His redeeming love.  Nothing in my life had changed, but I had changed.  I wanted to shout from the rooftops, and practically did!  I just knew that I would spend the rest of my life telling people about Him.  I felt that nothing was impossible in Christ, which is confirmed as a promise in the Bible.  I knew the changes inside me had very little to do with me and everything to do with Him.

Imagine my surprise when a few people told me that I should slow down and start learning more before bounding ahead.  I needed to mature a bit.  I was taken aback, but not defeated because I knew that God inside me wasn’t!  I knew that God had plans to use me. However, as time passed by, I did start to feel more more self conscience about my passion.  This was an easy burden for me to pick up since worrying about the opinions of others had always been an issue.  I began to downplay the things God was doing in my life. I worried that people might think…well I wasn’t sure what they would think but I worried about it.

God has been showing me lately that He doesn’t just want to use my hurts to reach others, but He wants to use my strengths. He knit each one of us together in our mother’s womb with a plan and a purpose.  He knew what He was doing; He was intentional.  It’s time to stop making it about me.  I’m not qualified, but He is!

Many people would say I’m still on fire.  But I pray that my life is SO filled with the Holy Spirit that people look at my life and say “Wow, that’s God!” That’s what Francis Chan says in his book “Forgotten God.”  I pray that people see Jesus through me, supernaturally, and know it has nothing to do with me. Amen!

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

Click here to catch the latest episode of my show Love, Hope and Faith.  My guest, Mondo Mariscal and I discuss spiritual gifts.  Plus Mondo performs some original music…so beautiful!

Insane in the Membrane

Heather Murdock's blogIt has been said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.  

Sanity can be defined as wholeness of mind; making decisions based on the truth.

Based on those two definitions, I’d say that I have spent the majority of my life insane.

I wasn’t born insane (Psalm 139:13-18), but as I fumbled along in life, looking for my self-worth in others, I slowly lost my mind.

This may sound a little dramatic, but you get the point.

Other people’s opinions of me mattered…a lot.

Too much.

Of course I pretended to be self-confident and sure.

As long as I was making decisions others approved of, I was the picture of poise and strength.  As soon as I thought  someone didn’t like, or agree with my decisions, I would retreat into my private world of worry.

I once heard a great quote, but I’m not sure who said it,

“What other people think about you is none of your business.”

True.

However, time and time again, I would worry and obsess over what others might be thinking and then wonder why I was so miserable.  I would dissect conversations and scenarios in an attempt to figure it all out.

Of course, in my world they were never thinking anything good…

My emotions and feelings were skewed by the events of my childhood.  They had been locked up by strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4) for years.  Trusting my emotions was like looking through a shattered windshield; everything was strangely distorted and broken.  I learned to rely on my knowledge of normal.  I used  other people’s windshield.

Please see the above first sentence.

If you have been following my blog at all, you know that I write a lot about who I used to be on my own, and who I am now in Christ.

I now have a new definition of sanity…

Sanity is living in total honesty with God and myself, walking in obedience of His ways and truth.

Now I am free from the chains of worry!  I am free from the opinions of others! I am free to be me, a child of God!

“It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the LORD, you are safe.” Proverbs 29:25

Amen!

If you would like to hear more of my story, and the story of others who have been transformed by Christ, click here.  God has given me the blessed opportunity to host a Christian TV show!  I have called it Love, Hope and Faith.

I would love to hear your stories, too!  I’m always listening for God to show me the next story!