What Does Intimacy with God Look Like?
I Asked God Some Questions ...

An Encounter With God's Love Broke the Chains of Performance Anxiety

Hey there SUM Family! Tiffany Here!

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. - James 5:16

I come before you today to confess something with you. I have been struggling with the fear of man. This has been a reoccurring struggle. This fear causes me to distance myself from those in the family of Christ. I place so much expectation on myself that I don't want to let anyone down. I don't want to fail them. I don't want to cause anyone to stumble or struggle. I don't want to be honest with others because then they may think less of me.

I often shrink back from our amazing community because as a writer for the blog I have been deceived to believe that it is not okay for anyone here to see me struggle. I have believed the lie for several months now that in order to teach, share, etc I cannot have any faults. Who would take what I have to say seriously if they only knew...

I've talked with Lynn a few times and I know now that it is better to be honest with the struggle. I've looked back at my life and I've felt that XYZ is grounds of disqualification for ministry, my marriage, parenting, healing and restoration, etc. Does anyone hear me on this one? I'm sure I'm not alone.

So first I want to apologize for distancing myself from you all. I've been absent in commenting on the blogs as well as in the SUMite Sister group on Facebook. I am not angry with anyone. I am still here! I am still marching (though the last few months have felt like an army belly crawl underneath barbed wire).

Secondly I want to share with you a freedom encounter that I had on Sunday at my church.

We started worship and my mind was really struggling to get focused on the Lord.  One Thing Remains by Bethel Music started to play and as the worship team began to sing, I was struck by the lyrics

And Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me
And Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me
And Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me

Holy Spirit caught my attention. We continued to sing and I really began to press in.

And on and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I'll never, ever, have to be afraid
'Cause this one thing remains
This one thing remains

The atmosphere changed and I felt an overwhelming outpouring of the love of God. Daddy's lapA Heavenly Daddy who had scooped up his frightened daughter. (*Enjoy this painting from an artist named Lisa Caldwell. I rescued this painting from going to the thrift store when my previous church closed down.)

Like I mentioned earlier, I have been so afraid to let everyone down. The reality was I felt I was letting Him down. Little did I know that the anxiety and performance struggles I had were deeply rooted in a tainted reality.

"I am letting my Father down. I'm not doing enough. I'm not doing it right. He MUST be disappointed in my behavior...in me."

I'm sure that you know what I'm talking about when I say that when Love steps in, we can't help but be affected and changed. There is nothing like the love of God. With billions of people on the planet, in those intimate moments with Him, it feels as though you are the ONLY one that matters to Him. His devotion, His attention, His focus, His heart, His embrace is only on you.

It settled in my mind that Jesus' death on the cross and victorious resurrection is proof enough that He loved me. If I wasn't worth it to Him, He wouldn't have suffered and died for me.

Do you KNOW that is the same for you? Friend, you are worth the lashes, the crown of thorns, the scoffing, the spitting, the hatred, the jeering that He endured. His blood was shed for YOU! You are so special. It's truly amazing.

In the process of reading Lynn's new book Marching Around Jericho, I am seeing the importance of holding on to my identity in Christ. It truly is the difference between victory and defeat. When Satan and his minions distract me and I forget who I really am, my standards are lowered. I leave my place in heaven where I am meant to be seated with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). I fight in the flesh and not the Spirit. I fail to put my armor on. In my own strength, I can be beat up and dragged around by the enemy. I give away my authority.

Maybe you're in that place too. Maybe you've gotten into a rut. Maybe you are struggling. Maybe you are about ready to call it quits.

I can tell you that His love is right here for you. His embrace is assured. All you have to do is lean back.

Let's meet in the comments. Can I pray with you? I would love to encourage you today.


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