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“Have you ever had a hard time enjoying a certain season of life because you’re afraid the bottom might fall out?” ~ Pete Wilson
I still remember the first time I watched the movie, Gremlins. I was expecting it to be fun to watch all the way through, but it turned out to be a pretty scary flick at times (remember, I was still a kid, after all).
I hated seeing the cute, furry mogwais — kinda like mini ewoks — turn into ugly, scaly, nasty gremlins that killed and pillaged.
The adorable fur balls turned into gremlins, every time they were fed, whenever they ate food.
The same happens to our stories, if we’re not careful with how we handle them.
A What-If can very well turn from a lifegiving opportunity, into a soul-destructive gremlin.
Last week, I issued a “What If” challenge to the readers here, to nudge us closer to our spiritual tipping point.
It’s the place where the momentum for God’s change in our lives becomes unstoppable.
One thing’s for sure, since I put out the challenge, I definitely felt the pressure to follow one through.
I’d decided a little over a month ago, to enter the The Million Miles Short Film Contest.
What attracted me to do it, was the opportunity to tell my tale. It was a story that I’ve always wanted to write, but for too many reasons, couldn’t.
What if I did?
When I heard myself ask the What If question, I knew God was inviting me to do it.
This was all good. It was healing, emotionally and spiritually cathartic, to write and produce the film.
But, it wasn’t until last week, when we were wrapping things up to upload it, my happy, faith-inspiring idea suddenly turned on me.
They turned into gremlins, threatening to destroy my desire and willingness to tell my story.
When I actually had to follow though, I left my fears out on the table. Food for thought, goes the cliche.
And the negative What-Ifs came out of the woodwork.
Why are you embarrassing yourself?
This is not going to change who you are.
People are going to think your story is dumb.
This is going to backfire.
You can’t even get your quiet times with God down consistently. How dare you do this?
This is the voice of gremlins. Straight from the dark side.
These critical voices threatened to change my What-Ifs from faith inspiring, to self-focused introspection.
Come To A Point
That last one was a doozy. So, I went straight to God.
I asked a couple of close friends to pray for me. This was not about the contest anymore.
There comes a point — whenever you attempt to follow through on a What-If — you must choose what you feed your story: faith or fear.
It will no longer matter what the outcome is. After all, only God knows the result.
The game changing reality is this: we were given a heart, mind, and spirit– so that we may choose and exercise our faith.
The night before my post would go up, I struggled with canceling it.
I sat there, praying, desperate for reassurance to go forward from God.
God answered me with this:
“You’ll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
Stand guard over our celebration.
You surround us with your favor as with a shield.“
Psalm 5:11, 12
With His favor as our shield, we have freedom.
Do you find the “gremlin” phenomenon when you try to live out your story of faith?
What encourages you to push past the critical voices?
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN, FAITH BARISTAS!
Pour your shot of faith. Share your post on the topic “What If” by entering your link below. If you don’t have a blog, share by posting a comment.
[ This is an original Faith Barista post, where Bonnie Gray serves up shots of faith for everyday life. ]
Fear seems to be my middle name some days. Like many, I have suffered; and it’s hard to have faith some days. What I’ve found though is if you listen more to faith than fears, things work out better. I remember a long time ago I had to give a short speech, and I was scared. As I prayed, I heard a small voice whisper to me as I struggled with my nerves. The voice said ‘Don’t listen to your fear.’ It’s then that I stopped listening to those ‘gremlins’ as you put it. I stopped my ears to those voices. I’d practiced what I had to say, so I’d rehearsed enough–I was prepared. After I finished my speech, someone said to me, ‘How did you do that–you were so calm.’ I remember smiling at that person and saying ‘Calm–no I was scared to death.’ It didn’t show to the audience; it only pounded wildly in my chest. When I was finished and the outcome was a good one, I felt stronger. Other times in my life when I have felt the fear, I prayed. Then I put my foot in the path and did what I was scared to do. I had faith God would meet me where ‘the rubber hit the road’; and He always has.
The process you’ve described here is what I experience over and over. The hope, excitement, and faith gets smacked with cold, practical ‘reality.’ It’s not that we shouldn’t consider the practical, but just like God’s thoughts and way, His reality is higher than ours. I may stumble and warble my way through it, but I choose to press on because I know He is faithful.
Thanks Bonnie for the encouragement and the challenge. It’s time to move forward!
.-= jasonS´s last blog ..Preparing for Impossible =-.
When you started this series, you caught me in the middle of doing my own “what if’s “. First, 1000 Day Hikes — recorded in posts on The Moonboat Cafe. Next? The book that’s on my heart. I have to write it, if it will ever exist. ( I’m doing it. )
Hard, but good.
I left my link, in case my story could encourage someone else.
My day hikes can be found at the link attached to this comment. My book writing story can be found at #14 above.
.-= Cassandra Frear´s last blog ..Not Alone =-.
A note for would be contributors to this jam. I, at least, couldn’t activate the link that said “Faith Baristas — link up.” (maybe because my browser doesn’t like being re-directed to another site?) But clear at the bottom, below the icons of those who had already registered, there was an “Add link” button — and it worked fine.
God bless you, Bonnie, for your willingness to “let your heart hang out” in sharing the deep parts of your life-stories.
[…] read some more about ‘what ifs’, check out Bonnie’s Faith Barista where she’s serving up faith brews from several people. // Share| Other Related Posts:Do […]
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Ooooo. Those little gremlins an be found at every corner… and they multiply exponentially! I’m so glad you swept them away. Your story will touch many hearts in ways and depths you may never know. Sometimes I hear from people who are soul-weary… aching to the bone. Your story is one of hope… attainable joy. Huge hugs! 🙂
.-= Susan@PrairieLilyArts´s last blog ..What If…. =-.
I loved your post, as always, and am fully able to relate.
You call them gremlins, I call them terrorists but they are really the wiles and devices of the enemy sent to attack our mind in hopes of gaining entrance. If, as you say, we use the shield of faith, we can counter the fiery darts before they do much damage.
In other words are minds are constantly bombarded. When we resist all is well. When we don’t it becomes unholy havoc.
You said “There comes a point — whenever you attempt to follow through on a What-If — you must choose what you feed your story: faith or fear.” This is so true.
I’m not sure who said it but there is a saying “feed your faith and watch your fears starve.” We have to maintain our faith in order to feed our story. A story that is not fully revealed to us but that we trust to the hands of our Heavenly Father Who knows best.
I loved your video. It moved me to tears. Last night I was trying to relay it to my husband when we went to bed. Guess it really stuck with me. It has caused me to do some reflecting about my own story. No formal conclusions yet—but thank you for stirring my heart and my mind.
I recently wrote my first blog post since January. I also stepped out, if only for a day, into public ministry again. Oh the thoughts (or should I say assaults) that came to mind after I made a commitment to do something as simple as open a city event in prayer. It took a little while before I caught on to the truth.
We are always fighting something and always recovering from something. How we handle it is the key to winning. We need God’s help to handle it faithfully. He is always willing, we have but only to ask.
The verse you shared that God spoke to you before posting your video is amazing and inspirational. I’m grateful for His protection, provision, and favor.
Basically I am just stopping in to tell you how much your shots of faith encourage me. Thank you for being the brave loving person you are.
You continually bless many—myself included.
.-= Melinda Lancaster´s last blog ..Praying It Forward =-.
My post is finally up…
Thanks for the kick in the pants Bonnie †
.-= HisFireFly´s last blog ..The "What If?" Challenge =-.
Great post! That’s something I struggle with… my story’s never good enough, someone will hate it, not think my comic’s funny… the list goes on and on.
I LOVED the movie Gremlins (I was a teenager when it came out!) BUT I agree that the scaly little monsters were pretty scary at times…and so can be those What If’s!
I’m so proud of you for trusting God and putting your story out there. I know exactly where you were/are coming from on that score. Isn’t it wonderful to know God is our shield? I love that verse and final though you shared because it sums it all up: “With His favor as our shield, we have freedom”.
.-= Kristine McGuire´s last blog ..Pearls of Remembrance =-.
Bonn ie — these are all great posts. Thanks for doing this. And keep fending off those gremlins.
.-= Glynn´s last blog ..The Conspicuous Virtue of Sunburn =-.
Many times before I step out in faith, the gremlins attack my mind. How do Iget past this? Sometimes I talk to my Father about what He has asked me to do and just the sharing of my doubts and fears calms me. Sometimes I run things by my children because I know they hear from our Father as well. Sometimes I ask other prayer warriors to talk to our Father on my behalf. Sometimes I ask my Father for conformation, which He gives amazingly. Then there are the oh-so-special times when He confirms His request totally, unexpectly on His own, without me even asking.
Very compelling invitation for all of us to step out in faith, knowing that God will always have our backs!
Bonnie – I’m so glad you didn’t cancel your post. It was so interesting to learn more about you and to learn what an amazing decision you were faced with. Once again, I’ll say that I’m glad you made the choice you did because you have a gift of words and what you say regularly encourages, inspires & challenges me. Thank you for keeping it real.
.-= Melissa Brotherton´s last blog ..It’s Not About Me =-.
Sharing is hard… and yeah it brings attacks. I am so inspired that you worked through it and shared. I have told my story in two places… Celebrate Recovery and Our Million Miles class…. this fall I am sharing at the Women’s Retreat by leading a ‘breakout’ session. I am experiencing some of this same stuff as I prepare. I am trying to do the same things that got you through. Thank you for sharing and inspiring me to “What If”
Oh yes, those thieving gremlins do surface with their nasty doubts and what-ifs when I’m trying to “live out” my story!
I am so glad you gave your gremlins the boot and marched on with your story!! Oh my word…it is powerful and your heavenly Daddy is so proud of you!!
“With His favor as our shield, we have freedom.” A-to the-men, girlfriend! So few words, such huge encouragement!
So happy to call you Sister!
.-= Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms´s last blog ..God’s Word Lights Our Path =-.
Love this post! Thanks for the chance to link up! Stories have the power to pull others to Him…all we have to do is tell them!
[…] ** 4/22/10 Update ** CLICK HERE to read what happened when 25+ readers took the What If challenged a… […]
The game changing reality is this: we were given a heart, mind, and spirit– so that we may choose and exercise our faith. Amen, sister.
I am so excited about the next jam session. I love it, Bonnie. I have to think about this. My gremlins…I want to hunt them down and kick them out. So inspiring.
[…] night before it published, I trembled, hearing the gremlins terrorize […]
So I posted mine girl. Better late than never right?
.-= Mariah´s last blog ..What if… =-.
[…] What do you think? Drop a comment and lemme know. Psst… Check out the last Faith Barista Jam from this community — they are incredibly real and encouraging stories of faith! – Click Here – […]
[…] post is linked up with the Faith Barista’s What If Challenge. Click here to see how Bonnie and others are keepin’ faith REAL (and hot and […]
[…] post is not going to be what you’d expect. I recognize the challenge given by Faith Barista and honestly I was just going to skip right past participating in the Faith Barista Jam this time […]