Insights from Dave Lane.
What has been different?
The most significant difference for me today is that I feel more confident in taking actions, receiving gifts from God and others, and being at peace with who I am. I was getting pretty comfortable sheltering in place at home with my wife, Kaitlyn, and our two kids. We’ve been home for 74 days and we have formed new habits of relying on our own selves and each other as a close nuclear family. However, through my wife’s birthday, Mother’s Day and my birthday over the last few weeks, I am seeing how important human connection and contact is to our Spiritual Being. Celebrating these events with family was a challenging experience with fear in the back of my mind, and I felt crazy, and not of my own self, like I needed to cocoon myself back up.
Then my birthday came, which I always get anxious about and I don’t like it. My dad tried to commit suicide just before my 24th birthday, which was traumatic and has made my birthday hard for me to celebrate. I went to visit him the next morning in the hospital after the suicide attempt and felt an enormous amount of sadness at that moment first seeing my dad in a safe place for psych-patients. I was crying and gave him a huge hug, telling him that I love him and he is needed by many. Our relationship was no longer the same respected and loving relationship between father and son, and I felt like in a way he had actually died. Through our arguments over the following few years, his “death” was reinforced. So leading up to my birthday this year, I felt anxiety and angst. But through prayer, therapy and Kaitlyn’s support, when my parents arrived under our covered patio, my anxiety went away. God gave me peace to receive whatever He wanted me to receive through others, no matter how much I’ve been hurt by them.
A focus on God. As simple as it sounds, it’s the most complex relationship we are called to focus on. I am finding that God commanded us to know Him through His word in a real way. How focused are my prayer and study? I also recognize that we are called to action through our unique being (person, gifts, location, relationships, etc.). God uses all things for good. Even as we walk through this pandemic, He is using all things for His glory. I am constantly reminded, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” He also reminds me to, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” God loves us so much and He is patient and loving to allow us to fall and be raised again as we continually renew our minds and put to death our old ways and old self.
God is teaching me about Himself through my thoughts and feelings. I'm reading the book, Battlefield of the Mind, and it has helped me realize that God is with me literally wherever I go. This is not just a physical location but a spiritual location with ALL of my being—my movement, my thoughts, my breath, everything. I must trust God enough to talk with Him about my thoughts and how these thoughts make me feel. Lately, God has reminded me that He loves me just the way I am, wherever I am at. God uses all things for good and wants to give you strength and courage wherever you are!