Holy Ground, Holy Fear

Into these days of multiplied fear, and into my own days of multiplied pausing, I heard God whispering to my fearful heart to learn more about a proper fear:

The Fear of God ~~~ The Holiness of God

He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever—holy and awesome is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

Psalm 111:9-10 NIV

Most of my readers will remember that I’ve been on a blogging break these past few weeks as I have begun new and intense treatments. But what no one could have foreseen was that not only would I have severe side effects once again, but I would also display severe allergic reactions, and be forced to make an emergency room visit because of those reactions. God has been so gracious to preserve and protect me during these times.

But with over 30 medication “failures” under my belt now, the questions continue to haunt me, “What is the purpose? Why has God kept asking me to keep going forward? When does too much become TOO MUCH?”

Instead of giving me an answer, my Lord directed me to remember an old post and poetry that He had gifted to me almost exactly 3 years ago, in June 2017. While I may not know the answers, I can see the Lord here in this ground with me. A ground named HOLY, and a ground named FEARSOME, because the Lord of All has given me His presence.

Here is the poetry, spoken so many months ago, yet so very current for these days that so many of us find ourselves in, right here:

Grounded

grounded
here in this sand
quick sand
it feels

days run 
together
when duties
long stilled
echo the halls

changing plans
i follow the
sun
mete out my
moments

seeking a
firmness 
wanting a
strength i
lose my clenching

find what was
missing 
seek what is
losing
life laid down



LORD of the  moment he holds me beneath where ground shifts
i watch him plant seeds in my feet standing ground sand shifting
and life is here blooming watered from well springing up

HOLY GROUND

“’Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’

Exodus 3:5 

The writing prompt for this post “God in the ground beneath me,” was given by Jamie Wright Bagley, with a secondary prompt to experiment with the “no caps no punctuation” style of poetry that ee cummings made famous:

 

and my heart started pounding
when i heard a whisper
calling my ground
holy

What if the very place where the trial looks hardest,
where the ground seems most burnt
is actually the place most holy
in the eyes of the ONE who is changing
my heart? 

You might recognize that first photo above as the one I posted here after the DNR had come through our favorite prairie park with a prescribed burn. The second photo shows the prairie transformed, when we visited just several weeks later. It’s hard to imagine the way that fire birthed life into the worn-out prairie lands. 

These burnt-out shifting sand places of our lives
become HIS fertile land 
when we let Him have the final say. 


But in those days when I stop short, try to shorten the
process, or worse yet,
go off in my corner to pout,
I only hinder His planting,
quench off His Spirit,
and stunt my own growth.


Can I offer a prayer with you today?

“Dear Lord of the Harvest,


What an Amazing LORD you are! Will you open our eyes to see YOU in the shifting sands of our days? Will you help us to loosen our hold and come out of the corners, to find YOU at work in the fertile soil, the sandy loam of hearts set free, to be transformed into YOUR HOLY GROUND.” 

In Jesus’ name we pray,

Amen.

Thank you all for so many kind, encouraging words and prayers over these past few weeks. While I have had to stop the RA infusions, I am still on a reducing regimen for Prednisone, feeling the withdrawal side effects of that. I am currently scheduled for the High-Frequency-Radio-Wave-Ablation for the Occipital Neuralgia on July 13. I hope to be back to give you another update after that procedure. Until then, please know that I hold you all in my prayers. You are all such precious gifts to me from the hand of our Loving and Holy Father.

I am linking with: #TellHisStory #LegacyLinkup

37 thoughts on “Holy Ground, Holy Fear

  1. I will be praying, Bettie. I wish you could get some answers. I’ve been mulling my own idea Of things in my life sort of been burned away so I can rebuild myself in some ways. It’s not easy and i can’t imagine how hard it is for you to rebuild emotionally and spiritually as you deal with the chronic pain on top of it. May he hold you close in his arms during this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Thank you so much for your understanding prayers. It is not easy, but our Lord does seem to work through those burned over areas in our lives. He has such beauty in mind, even when we can’t see it. I am so grateful that He lets us pray for each other during the times when we can’t see ahead on our own paths. Your writing has been such a comfort to me–stories of hope and grace in characters with integrity. Thank you for sharing from your heart too.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Melissa,
      I am so grateful for all of your prayers and encouragement too, dear friend! They mean so much to me. Blessings and love to you tonight also. May the Lord bless you and your husband.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What if the very place where the trial looks hardest,
    where the ground seems most burnt
    is actually the place most holy
    in the eyes of the ONE who is changing
    my heart?

    This. This is my prayer. It reminds me of Laura Story’s song Blessings.

    Heading to Mayo in the morning

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mandy,
      Oh, I do love that song by Laura Story also. God is so good to send us the comfort and encouragement that we need at just the right moment. I will be praying for you tomorrow as you take that long drive to Mayo. May God protect you and lead your Doctors with wise decisions. Love and hugs!

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  3. oh Bettie, my heart just breaks reading this post………..I so prayed and hoped and wished that you would receive great results from this treatment. I am praying for you, sending you love and light and peace and strength to keep on going………..God bless you and thank you for being a light to so many people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Dear Wendi, I appreciate your prayers so much. I know that prayers are what got me through those hard reactions, and even brought the presence of the Lord to me in such sweet ways right in the middle of it all. He did meet me with “love and light and peace and strength,” even during the middle of a late-night MRI, with no time or ability for any sedative. HE held me fast, and I literally felt Him holding me when I could not. Thank you so much for praying. I am praying for that same comfort and blessing for you tonight too, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Bettie……..the way you talk about The Lord overwhelms my thoughts and senses. Your passion and love for Him awakes my soul and gives me hope. I could go on but I don’t feel comforable sharing too much on here but I want to thank you.
        Thank you SO MUCH for your prayers last night…….God listened and I feel asleep without pain for the first time in MONTHS!! More prayers sent up for you this afternoon Bettie……much love, light, peace and divine healing. Amen and AMEN!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh Dear Wendi, I am so grateful that HE met you last night with His relief and rest. He truly is in our prayers for each other. It’s such a mystery, but such a sweet gift. Thank you for all of your prayers dear friend. I’m so grateful that we can continue to lift our prayers together.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Susan,
      Oh, I am so sorry that your sisters both have RA, and your Mother had to deal with it too. I so appreciate your prayers. I will keep your sisters in my prayers now too. Thank you for sharing your heart here today. Blessings and love to you.

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  4. Oh Bettie, each line, every stanza you have written, poetic and otherwise, is worth pausing over, reflecting on and praying about because they are so rich in meaning. God is clearly holding you firmly throughout this hard season, and planting fresh seeds at your feet because “life is here blooming watered from well springing up” in the fertile soil of your receptive, surrendered heart and in every word you share.

    I love how you have become such a shining light, a homing beacon for Him, so alive with God’s vibrant Spirit even though your own feels like it’s stuck in mud or sinking sand. But I hate the way illness, weakness and pain affect you greatly on a daily basis, leaving you wrung out and weary, though your soul burns brightly still.

    It’s heartbreaking to read about your struggles, yet the description of how God meets with you so tenderly within them is truly hopeful, encouraging and inspiring. May relief be swift. May a measure of healing come soon. And may you never cease to sense the wonderful way you are Holy-held and wholly kept and comforted by God. Sending much love, gentle hugs and prayers to you, dear friend. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Thank you for your constant encouragment and prayers through so much of this journey that we have walked together. I know you understand the feeling of being “wrung out and weary,” so your words hold extra compassion within them. It amazes me how the Lord has watched over our steps and woven our days together as we write and share from His heart. Just when the other needs a word, He sends it to one so that we can share in it together. Again, it feels like a double blessing in that way too. Only God could have known and seen ahead for us both. I am so very grateful that He brought our paths to connect. I would pray these same beautiful words for you dear friend: “may you never cease to sense the wonderful way you are Holy-held and wholly kept and comforted by God. ” Your prayer brings tears to my eyes today. Sending you much love, hugs and prayers, dear heart-sister. xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My heart hurts that the new regimen brought you more trouble instead of more relief. 😦 Praying for easier days (and nights) ahead for you, Bettie. Thanks for continue to encourage us even in the midst of hard times. This poem is beautiful and yes, very relevant. I’m depending on the “Lord of the moment” to sustain us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Lisa,
      Oh, I appreciate your prayers so very much. He truly knows how to remind us of His words for us at just the right time. I am so grateful that He is helping you to depend on HIS sustaining through this season. He has the Word of Life that we so need. Blessings to you dear friend.

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  6. Dear, sweet friend! How my heart breaks for you and the suffering you are going through! I continue to pray for you and believe with you that breakthrough will soon come and God will lay His healing hands upon you. Sending much love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Cheryl,
      Thank you for your dear prayers and all of your love. I appreciate your encouragement, and I am so thankful for the gift of your words at this season too. It is so amazing to me how God brings just the right touch at the moment we need it.

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    1. Thank you sweet friend for all of your prayers. It is only God’s grace that is preserving us through these fires. Even the fires that our world is reeling under now–He is shaking us all, and bringing us to our knees to look up to Him. Love you!

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  7. Thanks for taking the time to blog…to share how God is upholding you and reminding you of His faithfulness and care. It is an encouragement to me – and I am sure to many. I pray that you are having a peace-filled week and that you will be able to get some answers and find some help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jennifer,
      Thank you for your beautiful comments and prayers. It means so much to me to know that your heart is lifting up prayers and finding encouragement from the Lord too. He is so good to weave us all together in His pathway, and to lift our eyes to see His faithfulness. May you be blessed this week too.

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  8. I am so sorry that the regimen you had hoped to bring relief instead brought more hardship. May God bring you healing in the days ahead. Thank you for encouraging us all in these days which are so rapidly shifting and changing. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joanne,
      Thank you so much for your sweet thoughts and prayers. Truly these days are shifting and changing for this world! May we keep our eyes looking upward for HIM! Blessings and prayers for you too.

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  9. Dearest Bettie, such wisdom you share as He tills the ground in our reading, wanting hearts. Praise God for leading you back to a poem of hope in this current state of trial after trial. Bettie, I have asked God to make the next medication the answer.If not that one, then what Lord? I am sending you a loving hug from the little middle of PA. When I get my thoughts aligned with His I will post about our time in the mountains. Love, Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Julie,
      Thank you so much for your love and your lifting my heart up to the Lord. I appreciate those prayers of surrender so much. Our Lord is so good to speak to us and bring His Word home to our hearts. I look forward to reading the thoughts that He gives to you. I am continuing to lift up my prayers for you too! Love and hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. In your weakness, God is your strength. You show it in your writing, the way you point to God in faith, and in how you conduct your life. I always leave here encouraged and better off because of your faith. Thank you, Bettie! I am praying for relief and healing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Mary, Thank you for your encouraging words here. You have brought tears to my eyes in these days that are hard. To know that we can bring God’s comfort to each other is such a gift from Him. And I appreciate your prayers so very much too. Blessings and love to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Bettie, thanks so much for your encouraging words – especially loved this part: “What if the very place where the trial looks hardest,
    where the ground seems most burnt
    is actually the place most holy
    in the eyes of the ONE who is changing
    my heart?

    Also, thank you for showing us the difference between ground that had been through the fire and then the regrowth. May the difference be seen just as readily when we’ve been through a struggle and then grew!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Jerralea,
      Thank you for your sweet comments, and prayers. Yes, may we allow the Lord to bring that growth & change to the burnt-over places in our hearts. It really was amazing to see how the growth in that prairie preserve had changed after the fire, even from the year before when there had been no fire. It was so lush after the new growth took over! Blessings to you this summer!

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  12. Bettie, I’m so sorry to hear about your adverse reactions to the medicine. This poem and message is beautiful and powerful. I often learn the greatest spiritual lessons during hardship. I wish that wasn’t true, yet, I know it is. Continue to pray over you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Karen! And I have found it so true also, those spiritual lessons sometimes only come through hardship. May my surrender continue to be fresh and full to HIM.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh Bettie, my heart hurts to hear the news of your allergic reactions to the new medication. I cling to Him in prayer for you. May He send down refreshing dew upon our parched hearts when the trials seem to much to bear. I am in awe, that your heart would receive His whispers even now. And how very holy and sacred is this message, piercing through the fog and haze with lightning fire of truth. Holy Ground. Purify us, oh Lord. For You are holy. God bless you, sweet sister in Christ. Holding you in prayer right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Melissa, thank you so much dear sister for your precious prayers. It means so much to me to know that you are holding my heart up to the Lord. I know that He is answering those prayers, even through these difficult days. He keeps purifying and filling with Himself when the trials feel the deepest. I pray that I will keep my ears open to hear what HE will speak. Blessings to you dear friend.

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