How can I move forward, steadfast in my boundaries, if I am always afraid of the outcome? Literally, my fear of the outcomes and my distorted beliefs have held me hostage for 33 looooong years.
It’s crazy to think how much I am being fueled by lies and fear. In the past, I could not move forward in truth because I had no idea that lies were in the driver’s seat and I was in the back – actually more like the trunk of the car.
I was reading Numbers 13 and 14 this past week and it got my attention as I thought about the parallels between me and the 12 scouts. If you know the story – you know that Moses (following God’s directions) told 12 tribal leaders to go and scout an area of land for the Israelite’s. He wanted to know what they were up against, and what kind of terrain they would be dealing with if they were to inhabit.
The Bible says that after exploring, the scouts found the land to be really good. They reported to the whole community that this land was bountiful, flowing with milk and honey. However, they also reported that there was a people group living in the land that were powerful – their towns were fortified and large. They claimed these people were giants. These men literally stated to Moses, Aaron and the community: “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are! The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were HUGE! Next to them, we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” -NLT
As I read this, I wonder – what distorted belief was fueling this report? They clearly did not want to take the time and go back and try to interact with the giants, they didn’t want to risk a battle, to them the cost wasn’t worth the milk and honey. Were they being driven by the lie: “we’re not good enough”, “we’re not strong enough”, “we are alone”? Maybe they were over-generalizing with negative self-talk:
“we’ve experienced too many bad things before – everything always turns out bad for us and this will too.”
(wow that sounds like me)
The sad part is, this scouting mission was a request directly from the Lord…. they pretty much had a guarantee that whatever the OUTCOME, the Lord was a part of this. He was IN IT. He was watching – it was the Lord PROVIDING a new place for them – a place that would NOURISH them, keep them safe, feed them, bless them, a place filled with milk and honey – literally! Yet, still, rather than telling the truth – these men were driven by their distorted beliefs and as a result they were acting out of FEAR. (who can blame them? I know I have made so many decisions out of sheer safety and keeping the status quo in order to survive)
There were people there though, who were driven by TRUTH. Caleb and Joshua were there the WHOLE time – trying to validate the truth that God had already shown them. They were trusting that the Lord was in the outcome. Caleb said, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us… Do not rebel against the Lord and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us!… the Lord is with us.” -NLT
That’s a very different response isn’t it?
One validates TRUTH: “The Lord is with us no matter the outcome, HE IS IN THE OUTCOME.”
And the other response validates LIES: “This is too scary, let’s not do it, I don’t believe that the Lord is in the outcome.”
William MacDonald writes, “to the 10 scouts the problem of the giants was insurmountable. To the 2 scouts the presence of giants was insignificant.”
In the words of my dear friend, “Those giants are of NO CONSEQUENCE TO ME… let’s do this people!”
When I think about when I had to follow thru on boundaries in my marriage – I felt like I was up against a giant. A giant of deception, anger, aggression, punishment and withdrawal. EVERY TIME I spoke truth and asked for what I needed and wanted for safety – I was punished for it. The outcome I feared the most happened EVERY TIME. Sometimes I rose to the occasion and I entered the land and faced the giant. Sometimes, I did not. I sounded like the 10 tribal leaders who said, “this is too scary. I can’t”
My Dear Sister, there is no judgement if today – you didn’t have it in you to go into the land and face the giant. It is okay. This is a journey. And we take it one day at a time. You are in a process. Gather your sisters around you for support – let them love you, let them pray for you, allow them to know the struggle and they will give you the strength to try again tomorrow.
And if tomorrow, you can validate TRUTH and say, “The Lord is WITH ME NO MATTER THE OUTCOME – HE IS IN THE OUTCOME” And you step forward, follow thru on your boundary, and face that giant… then you are one step closer to living from a place of empowerment and freedom.
Guess what? In my story – that outcome I was afraid of… it actually came true. And you know what? I’m still alive. In fact, I’m THRIVING. More blessed and more alive than I have ever been. There’s deep pain and grief – but I am thriving.
You are not alone💗