Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sharing our stories

Then Moses went to meet his father-in-law. He bowed down and kissed him. They asked each other if all was well, and went into the tent.  Moses told his father-in-law all the Lord had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians because of Israel. He told him about how they had suffered on the way, and how the Lord had saved them.

Jethro was glad because of all the good things the Lord had done for Israel in saving them from the hand of the Egyptians. So Jethro said, “Honor and thanks be to the Lord, Who saved you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and Who made you free from the power of Egypt. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods. It was proven when they acted in their pride against the people.” Then Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, gave a burnt gift in worship to God. And Aaron came with all the leaders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.  Ex 18: 7-12  New Life Version (NLV)

Sometimes as I sit in church during the sermon, my mind wanders. Gasp! I know - I'm the
Mother and Daughter Reading Togetherpastor's wife and should probably hang on every word, but alas, it's true. My mind wanders. But inevitably, when my husband begins to tell a story that's related to his topic, my ears perk up and my mind reins in those wandering thoughts.

Why? Because stories are powerful. Stories have an interactive capacity to weave us into their web so that we imagine what the character is feeling and we experience the action in our minds like a virtual computer game.

Not only do they captivate us, stories unite, connect and heal us - both through the listening and the telling. 

Remember Moses?  He had married into Jethro's family after fleeing from Egypt 40 years before the time of today's Bible passage.   So Jethro probably knew Moses' history. No doubt Moses had shared stories of  the sacrifice of Jochebed, his mother,  with his new wife's family. He probably told stories of things that happened in Pharaoh's court - maybe even recounting the trauma that caused him to stutter.  When he killed the Egyptian task master and fled, he came to Jethro and eventually became part of that family. For the second forty years of his life, Moses was healing slowly through sharing his stories with trusted friends and family until he was ready to go back to  lead his people out of Egypt.

Here in Exodus, when Jethro meets his son-in-law this time, Moses begins to tell the new stories - the stories of the suffering of his people, the victories of God, the struggles in the wilderness and the miracles of God's provision.

During the healing journey, telling the story of our lives and experiences, especially the traumatic ones, is vital to the process. It helps us to recover our voice - to have words to tell about what we've experienced. Story telling helps us integrate our painful experiences into our lives and lessens the pain the more we share it.  Telling our stories helps us to affirm the reality of what happened to us.
It also offers a chance for others to give us feedback, revealing  things to us that we may not even see yet!

Remember, when Moses encountered the burning bush in the wilderness? He had doubts about his own ability to become the deliverer and leader of his people. He was afraid and  balked, telling God he couldn't do it because he stuttered.

But as Jethro listens to these new tales, he hears what Moses may not yet realize - there is no more stuttering. His voice is now confident and strong.  Jethro listened with interest and empathy; then he was able to affirm to Moses that God had indeed done a healing work, not only for the Israelites, but for Moses too: " [God] made you free from the power of Egypt."
Listening to life stories blesses the hearer as well as the story teller. As Jethro listened to Moses' story, his faith increased. "Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods." And he worshipped God.  If there was any doubt before in Jethro's heart about the person of Almighty God, the I AM,   there wasn't any now.

What are you going through on your healing journey? And what is God doing in you?
Share that in some way, either through writing or verbally with someone you trust. We never know how our stories will affect the lives of others, but one thing is for certain - God will always use our stories to heal our hearts and to encourage others!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Creating a journey map

Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, “Because hands were lifted up against[a] the throne of the Lord,  the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.” Exodus 17:15 NIV

 After Moses had sent away his wife Zipporah, his father-in-law Jethro received her  and her two sons. One son was named Gershom,  for Moses said  "I have become a foreigner in a foreign land”;   and the other was named Eliezer,  for he said, “My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh.” Exodus 18: 2-4 NIV

In the Scriptures, names help map the spiritual journey of  the people involved. Here in Exodus 15, following the defeat of the Amalekites in Israel's first  armed wilderness conflict, Moses built an altar and gave it a name: Jehovah Nissi - the Lord is our banner. It became a visual reminder of God's miracle of protection and speaking or hearing it's name was intended to trigger the memory of the story of what happened there.

As the next chapter begins, Moses family arrives. Forty years prior to becoming Israel's leader, Moses had fled into the wilderness after killing an Egyptian slave master. Jethro took him in and eventually Moses married Jethro's daughter and started a family. He gave each of his sons a special name as well - so that the boys served as audio/visual reminders of what God had done for him.
God constantly uses this type of spiritual mapping tool to keep the minds of his people focused on him. It also helps future generations to see and remember hos love, care and provision.

 Several years ago, I taught a workshop at a women's convention and used this spiritual mapping exercise to help them create a visual memory trigger of God's work in their lives.
We started with a blank sheet of paper and drew a lighthouse in the upper left-hand corner.
Lighthouse at Twilight This is represented the point where we began our journey with Christ, our personal Light. Then we drew a ragged coastline diagonally across the page to the bottom right-hand corner and placed another lighthouse there, representing where we are today. This became a  visual map and timeline of our Christian walk.

One side of the line represented the sea.  On the sea side, we named events or people that hurt  or troubled us on our spiritual journey; anything that threatened to overcome us spiritually. Some  women got really creative drawing rocks, whirlpools or great whales in their oceans, each with a name. LOL!

The coast side represented the solid rock of Jesus Christ.  Starting from the time we accepted Christ, we drew small lighthouses all along the coastline, corresponding to the troubled times. We named these lighthouses for people who  influenced us, prayed for us and supported us during the crises. I included the names of Bible women who had influenced my life as well.

Next, we drew a second set of lighthouses  and named them to represent events  like answers to prayer, major or minor miracles that impacted our lives, corresponding to the hurtful things on the sea side. We also included scripture verses or promises that were important during those stormy times of our lives.  

What I discovered by doing this exercise was  that the lighthouses I had drawn were spaced expertly down the coastline. There were no blind spots where the light or influence of Christ did not reach. Christ always sent someone or something to help light my way during the stormiest parts of my life, even though I didn't always realize it at the time!

I like to get this "map" out often - especially when I feel down or discouraged because it helps me see more clearly that Christ’s Light is always shining out across the  difficult waters I am experiencing.

What names would you include on a map of your spiritual journey? How has Christ met your needs or encouraged you along the way through people, events or his word?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Healing Words

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write about this battle. Write these things in a book so that people will remember what happened here. And be sure to tell Joshua that I will completely destroy the Amalekites from the earth.”

 Then Moses built an altar and named it, “The Lord is My Flag.” Exodus 17:14-15 ERV

For generations, people have kept diaries and journals. I recently began reading The Secret
MP900440965Holocaust Diaries, written by a young girl from a well-to-do Russian family who lost everything, traveling with her mother to the slave labor camps (not concentration camps) in Germany during WWII. She kept her memories in thin journals and on scraps of paper, hidden in a pillow she tied around her waist, made of black and white ticking.

For years she kept her writings secret, Even when she came to America and experienced a safe environment for the first time in her life, she kept her writings and her past hidden. She made pilgrimages to the attic where she transcribed her  journals into English on yellow legal pads, processing the horrors she had experienced.  A lifetime passed before she was finally ready to share her memoirs with her husband and family. She wanted them to understand who she was; the events that had shaped her life and molded her future.  But she made him promise he wouldn't make her secrets public until after she died.

I am thankful that she chose to share her life because there is a richness of faith and the presence of God so evident in her life, in spite of the horror and pain.  Though my own "wilderness journey" seems harsh and difficult to me as I remember it, hers was even more so and helps me put things into perspective.

I became a writer for much the same reason - to make sense of my past and to share the lessons I learned with others so they might come to know the hand of God in their lives.

God "called" Moses to become a writer too - to write down the details of Israel's first battle as a nation so future generations could see and remember God's hand with them. Moses didn't stop there. He authored the first five books of the Bible which detail Israel's history from the beginning of time until they stood as a nation on the brink of the inheritance God promised their forefather Abraham.

God intended that those writings would become a historical record of his love and care for his people so that future generations would be able to know without a shadow of doubt that God loved them too. These writings have helped to heal the nation of Israel countless times through their history as they drifted away from God and then returned to him.

His writings still influence countless pilgrims as they take a journey to healing which leads through the wilderness. When I first began my healing journey, many of the promises I clung to came from the stories of Israel's healing journeys authored by Moses in Genesis through Deuteronomy. Their stories banished my feelings of aloneness on the journey and gave me hope to believe that God was the same today. If he loved and delivered the Israelites, he would do the same for me.

Today, think about all the stories you can remember from the wilderness journey of the Israelites. Which ones stand out to you and why? How has God used those same stories to influence your life or strengthen your faith? Write about these things.

If you don't already keep a journal, maybe it's time you should!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The power of a helping hand

When the Israelites were at Rephidim, they were attacked by the Amalekites.  So Moses told Joshua, “Have some men ready to attack the Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on a hilltop, holding this walking stick that has the power of God.”

10 Joshua led the attack as Moses had commanded, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur stood on the hilltop. 11 The Israelites out-fought the Amalekites as long as Moses held up his arms, but they started losing whenever he had to lower them. 12 Finally, Moses was so tired that Aaron and Hur got a rock for him to sit on. Then they stood beside him and supported his arms in the same position until sunset. 13 That’s how Joshua defeated the Amalekites. Exodus 17:8-14 CEV

Several years ago, when I taught Children's Church, we studied this  passage. As a learning aid, I gave the class a dare/challenge. Whoever could stand with their arms raised the longest through the lesson would receive a prize.  I didn't think they would last long  and I was right.  Just a few moments into the lesson, the girls had all given up and were cheering the boys on.  But each of  the boys  was determined to be the last man standing, in spite of a lot of moaning and groaning.  I finally had to tell the remaining boys to sit down and gave them each a prize.

Hand ReachingThey got the message of the lesson though. There was no way Moses could have kept his
hands raised all day to help the Israelites win the battle. He needed help! He needed friends to find him a rock to sit down on and then he needed them to hold his arms up so the Israelites would win the battle.

The Israelites had no fighting skills at this point, being newly freed from slavery. So they needed to see Moses' staff to trigger their faith, reminding them of God's power in defeating their Egyptian enemies at the Red Sea. If their leader got tired and gave in, lowering the staff, they lost heart and gave in too, yielding to the Amalekites. It took the whole nation working together to win this battle.

Let's make this personal.  When you are in the midst of a recovery process, whether it's from abuse, grief, or some other hurtful circumstance,  how long can you  endure by yourself in the battle for wholeness? You might be able to stand for awhile like my macho church boys, but without the helping hands of others you will eventually succumb to your weakness and suffer defeat.

Asking for help is difficult for many of us.  And we do need to take care who we ask since we may be easily hurt or revictimized. Those we choose must be trustworthy - family, friends or counselors who will listen, encourage and pray for us. They don't need to have all the answers, but they must walk with God who does.

Moses' help came from two trusted men, Aaron his own brother who stood with him in Pharaoh's court from the beginning of the plagues and Hur. We don't know much about Hur, but in later passages  at Mt. Sinai, we see that he had become a trusted friend and aide to Moses. (Exodus 24:14)

Remember that God is walking with you through this recovery process. He has been showing himself to be faithful in his love, provision and protection for you. Even if there seems to be no one there to help you, he is there. But as you trust him, he can bring others into your life who will help hold up your arms when you feel too weary or injured to fully trust him.

How has God been doing this for you? Who has he brought alongside you to help you - to hold up your arms?  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Positive triggers for emotional healing

God said to Moses, Go on out ahead of the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel. Take the staff you used to strike the Nile. And go. I’m going to be present before you there on the rock at Horeb. You are to strike the rock. Water will gush out of it and the people will drink.

Moses did what he said, with the elders of Israel right there watching. He named the place Massah (Testing-Place) and Meribah (Quarreling) because of the quarreling of the Israelites and because of their testing of God when they said,  Is God here with us, or not?

Amalek came and fought Israel at Rephidim. Moses ordered Joshua: Select some men for us and go out and fight Amalek. Tomorrow I will take my stand on top of the hill holding God’s staff.  Exodus 17:6-9 The Message

We all have triggers - people, events, circumstances, objects, pictures  or words that activate wanted or unwanted behaviors/emotions in our lives. The trick is to identify those triggers so we can head off the undesirable behaviors or use those triggers to initiate new behaviors.

For example, why do later-evening TV commercials advertise pizza or burgers? To trigger
Man Eating Cheeseburgerthat gotta-have-one-now response to run out to the fast-food restaurant that's still open and satisfy that craving we've just been reminded we have. Been there, done that..... And for some reason, those commercials seem to activate that craving even more when I'm trying to diet.

When I recognize that "binge" trigger associated with the late-night TV fast-food commercials, I can take steps to keep myself from acting on those impulses. I can call my daughters for a chat if it's not too late. I can work on a project during the commercials so my mind is occupied or even use commercial time to do some exercises. I can also pre-plan a healthy snack and go to the kitchen for it when a fast-food commercial comes on.

The commercials are negative triggers  for a binge eater just like being around friends who are drinking alcohol could tempt an alcoholic to take a drink after being sober for months. But are there positive triggers as well?

Sure! Think of a particularly inspiring song and how you feel each time you hear it.  When I was going through my own painful time of childhood abuse recovery, I loved the upbeat kids' songs on our local Christian radio station. Those songs always lifted the depressing gloom and left me in a better mood - they triggered hope, enthusiasm and faith in my heart. So I listened to them every time I could. I even recorded them for later listening.

Being the "counselor" that he is, God understands the importance of positive triggers in the healing process. At Rephidim, things are about to become more difficult for the ex-slave nation of Israel.

They've faced hunger and thirst. Now, they will face their first human enemy - the Amalekites.  
God gave his people numerous indicators of his love and care. He provided a physical presence with them in the cloud and the pillar of fire. He performed miracles and repeated  his message many times in a variety of ways that he would protect, deliver, provide for and  love them.  God also gave them the staff of Moses as a  visual trigger that would remind the children of Israel of his power and authority:
  • God first used that staff to prove to the Hebrew elders that "I AM" had sent Moses to deliver them.  Moses threw down his staff and it became a snake. When he grabbed it by the tail, it became a staff again
  • God used it to signal the beginning of the plagues as Moses struck the Nile and the water became blood
  • God made a way where there was no way when he instructed Moses to hold up his staff at the Red Sea, parting the waters
  • And now at Rephidim, God instructed Moses to strike the rock with the staff, causing water to pour out of the crack in the rock
  • As they face the Amalekites, Moses  intends to take God's staff up onto a hill overlooking the battlefield so both the men who fight and the people who watch may see it raised up in his hands.
The sight of the staff is a positive trigger  of faith. It was intended to lift their depression, to remind them of the things God did before, to let them know he still intended to work on their behalf, to give them a sense of his power and authority and to motivate them to move forward in God's wake.

Think about your experiences on your healing journey. What kinds of ways has God proved his love, protection and care for you?  What positive triggers of faith has he given you?  (pictures, Scripture verses, music, books, people, etc.) How can you use those positive triggers effectively when negative events trigger the old behaviors of doubt, feelings of doomed or the urge to complain?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wounded healers

Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What should I do with these people? They are ready to stone me!”

The Lord said to Moses, “Walk out in front of the people. Take your staff, the
split rockone you used when you struck the water of the Nile, and call some of the elders of Israel to join you.  I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai.[a] Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.” So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on.

Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord here with us or not?” Exodus 17:4-7 NLT

Moses wasn't immune from the abuse of slavery that affected his people. Though the Scriptures don't tell us much about his early life,, there are some hints that it wasn't a bed of roses. We know he had a speech impediment, possibly a stutter, which may have been a result of  traumatic events in his childhood.

Though he grew up in Pharaoh's palace,  he witnessed the harsh treatment of his people. He was taught to look the other way, which in itself is a form of abuse.  Children who are forced to watch one parent abuse another parent often have as much healing to do as a child who is beaten themselves.

One day Moses saw this mistreatment up close and personal, causing something in him to snap. He lashed out in anger, killing an Egyptian taskmaster who tormented an Israelite slave. In fear he fled to the wilderness, where God directed him to Jethro who took him in.

Though we don't hear much about his healing process, we know it took God 40 years to work with Moses in the wilderness before he was ready to return to Egypt. God used the process of shepherding to teach Moses  the lessons of trust and then of leadership as he kept the sheep for his father-in-law Jethro.

But Moses still had issues, even after seeing the burning bush and going back to Egypt to lead his people out of slavery. His issues weren't so much with God or his power. He had trouble with patience. The attitude of his people mirrored his own impatient spirit.

It would appear that at Rephidim, God was trying to teach the entire nation not only to trust him, but to trust the healing process. He instructed Moses to take his staff and go to the Rock where God's presence was waiting.  We are reminded that this was the same staff that God used to demonstrate his power to the elders of Israel and them to Pharaoh to prove God had sent Moses to deliver the people. First it turned into a writhing snake when he cast it down. Later he struck the Nile, signaling the beginning of the plagues against Egypt, turning the water into blood. Moses held it aloft at the Red Sea and the waters parted. It bolstered Moses' confidence to hold that staff in his hand because it was a tangible reminder to him of God's power.

The Lord told Moses to take that staff and gather the people. He was to call the elders out so they would witness God's power and Moses's authority up close, reinforcing the idea of trust once again - not only trust in God, but in their leader. It also reinforced Moses' trust in the God who led him as he led the people to wholeness.

God's presence rested on that rock at Rephidim, yet Moses was told to strike it with his staff. It was a  strong visual to Moses and the Israelites of how his impatience in the process and their continuing inability to trust  hurt the Lord, but his presence  still provided what they  needed because he cared for them.

The Lord often uses wounded healers to guide those who are suffering from similar issues. You see, the healing process isn't always about us as individuals, but about healing a "nation" of people. God continues to work in the life of the healer or leader, just as he is working in the lives of those who follow so that one day they can become the leaders, mentors or healers who trust him.

This is the trademark of our God and his power! He has the ability to work ALL things together for good and for wholeness - at the same time. We often are hurting so badly, we only see what he's doing in us. 

Take a look around you.  Where  do you see yourself in this process? And what is God doing in the lives of others as well as your own as you heal? 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Healing memorials

The people of Israel called it bread from heaven. It was like coriander seed, white, and tasted like bread made with honey. Moses said, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Let a jar of it be kept for your children and grandchildren to come, so they may see the bread that I fed you in the desert when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” Exodus 16:31-32 New Life Version (NLV)

Several years ago on HGTV there was a program called "Clean Sweep." People whose household clutter had become unmanageable would call in an organizer with a team of designers and carpenters who completely cleaned out, remodeled and organized two rooms of their house.

MP900309356Through the clearing process, all the contents of those two rooms spilled out into the lawn. Then the home owners handled each item, sorting it into a keep, sell or trash pile. At the end of the first quick sort, the most of the items ended up back in the keep pile since they were reluctant to let things go.

The professional organizer then went through the keep pile a second time, to pare it down to a manageable size. He zeroed in on items which seemed useless or frivolous; things which may not fit in with the design plans. Often the items he specifically chose had sentimental value to the family, but had outlived their usefulness. Most of the time, even though the family had items of great importance, they weren't being properly treated with regard to their value.

During these tearful scenes, the organizer helped the family to either define the importance and use of the item or to let it go after celebrating the importance of the relationship rather than the item. In some cases, he opted to keep the most important items and use them as design elements  in the renovated rooms.

In the end, the families made a large quantity of money through a yard sale,  the two rooms were completely made over and revealed to the owners.  The families  supposedly learned how to pare down and organize their clutter, while developing pride in their renovated spaces. The ultimate goal was to prevent that clutter from overtaking their lives again.

In a very real way, this is exactly what God was doing with the Israelites as they trekked through the wilderness. He was helping them get rid of the painful mental and emotional clutter of slavery. As part of the healing process, he replaced the old painful memories with new memories of his love and provision. When that happened, God often instructed them to do create memorials so they would always remember what he had done rather than what their enemies had done to them.

God instituted the  Passover meal as an official national holiday so they could remember God's deliverance. Now, here in the wilderness, God miraculously provided bread  (Manna)and  told them to keep a jar of it to prove his provision to their future generations. These memorials were designed to help prevent the Israelites from slipping back into their old ways of coping with life that resulted in their original slavery.

Through our own wilderness journeys,  God seeks to empty our lives of the clutter and pain of sin. He's renovating our lives and our memories, as he rebuilds our relationship with him. These renovations are designed to help us develop our confidence as his children.  There will be important events - milestones of God's provision, his revelation of himself to us or miraculous events which we will need to celebrate in order to remain emotionally whole.

It's important to keep a journal, to create memories through celebrations or to build altars (which we will talk about later) so we remember who our God is and what he's done for us.

Think about it for a minute. What important milestones have happened in your Christian walk? What events, people or circumstances have shown you his love or healing touch? Keep a journal or create memorials of those events so that whenever you look at them or celebrate them you remember and worship him instead of the past pain.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I'll do it my way....

One of the toddlerhood stories my mom used to tell me about myself was that I always had an independent spirit - that "me do" mentality. I didn't want anyone to help me with things, until I tried
to do it myself.

MP900438811I carried that "me do" spirit with me all through my school days. As a teenager in Girl Scouts, I refused to fall for the "left-handed smoke shifter" initiation, taking my little band of fellow initiates with me on a scavenger hunt to find objects to make one. When we finally came back, everyone was a trifle upset because we stayed away so long. Even the leaders were worried. Oh the secret glee I felt that we had "won."

Like a pair of well-worn pair of slippers, I brought my "me do" spirit right into my Christian walk. I didn't want to ask the Lord for help without trying to find the answers on my own first. Each time I prayed, I had my own Plan B as a back up in case he didn't answer me.

But ultimately as an abuse survivor, God had to confront that "me do" attitude, helping me to learn it was really an attitude of pride and fear rather than trust.  In the depths of my heart, I didn't believe I deserved God's help and feared that he wouldn't always be there for me if I asked him for the things I needed.

My good buddies, the Israelites must have felt that way too. Here in Exodus 16 God is trying to teach them trust and  to heal their abuse-damaged emotions. Still, they insist on doing things their own way. "Me-do, me-do,"  seemed to be their battle cry as they gathered their manna.

 Moses said to them, “Let no one save any of it until morning.” But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it until morning. And worms grew in it and it became bad to eat. So Moses was angry with them. Morning after morning they gathered it, every man as much as he could eat. But when the sun became hot, it would melt.

On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two jars for each person. When all the leaders of the people came and told Moses, he said to them, “This is what the Lord said: ‘Tomorrow is a time of rest, a holy Day of Rest to the Lord. Make ready the food you will need for today. Then put aside what is left to be kept until morning.’” So they put it aside until morning, as Moses told them. And it did not become bad to eat, and there were no worms in it. Moses said, “Eat it today. For today is a Day of Rest to the Lord. Today you will not find it in the field. Six days you will gather it.

 But on the seventh day, the Day of Rest, there will be none.” On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather it. But they found none. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How much longer will you go against My Word and My Laws?  See, the Lord has given you the Day of Rest. This is why He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Every man should stay home and not leave his place on the seventh day.30 So the people rested on the seventh day. Exodus 16: 19-30 NLV

God gave them specific instructions on how to deal with this heavenly bread.  Yet, they still didn't trust him to provide for their needs, even though he had shown them several times that he would!

But God knew their hearts. What they were really saying was, "We know God can take care of us, but we're just not sure he will always take care of us. Just in case God turns on us, punishes us  like the Egyptians and withholds food from us, we will take care of ourselves." Their pride and fear taught them  to become invisible to God - to step out of his radar, so to speak - rather than to live freely in his presence.

Do you trust God's provision and blessings? Or do you fear he won't be there for you? Do you always try to take care of yourself so you won't get hurt again,  "just in case" God doesn't help you?

God has a specific plan to help us  lose the pride and fear of that  "me do" mentality  that causes us to take control of our own lives and to refuse his help. But it requires our obedience to his plan. How has he done that in your life?