Love does more than just not give up

by Craig on August 22, 2011

It's the final stretch of the Love War on the negative voices that hold us back.source

Five questions…
then my too wild to be ridden stallion…
will be ready to ride.

Five more questions of the negative voice that rails, “Things will not work out.”

Five more questions and what was enemy becomes friend.

It’s the final stretch of the Love War on the negative voices that hold us back.   It all began here…and the horse “breaking” is explained here. And over to the right and down a bit on the sidebar, in the “Lots of Love” section is the whole history of the war.

The “breaking” of this horse has been full of wrestling and revelation.

It began with flame and fury and I had to back way. (here and here) But I settled the fire breathing stallion down, and settled myself down (here). And I got a hand from Our God who loves so well (here). And finally the “breaking” began here.

And now the final questions of the negative voice, the last steps in training the bucking bronco to settle – and become willing to be ridden.

What do I do when I hear you?

Sometimes I wave the white flag. But for the most part I plow on through. Flag waving used to happen far more often than now. But now when I hear you, though I still allow you to discourage – I don’t allow you to delay.

My head says all the effort will be for nothing, it always is, but I still try.


I might falter.  I might fight with myself, but I’ll keep going, even with fear nipping at my heels. But I do so bereft of confidence, like trudging through snow covering muddy ground. Mostly you don’t stop me from doing, but you make doing so much harder and steal so much joy.

What’s the opposite of this response?

It would be not to try.
But I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying.
Still, there’s that other thing.

The polar opposite is to move forward…
confident in my ability…
feeling as if I’ll succeed…
seeing the glass as half full…
seeing the occasional falter as natural…
following the pull to continue more than the urge to quit.
To give myself credit for never. giving. up.

Is there a kernel of truth to you?

Sure. Things might not work out.

And I do have a history of things not working out, either because of effort, or determination, or circumstances intervening. The history my successes?

Top shelf, second book from the right…


So you’ve got that going for you, voice. I don’t like that nugget of truth but it is true.

If I would pick one, just one unavoidable fact that disproves you what would it be?

And I stumbled on this a little bit – as I go back to that nugget of truth.

My history is lacking obvious examples of disproof.
But I guess the thing that stands starkly – nearly alone…
is faith.

Through trial, doubt, and challenge, the one constant success of most of my adult life has been faith.

A rocky road.
An imperfect ability to believe.
But that has worked out – this faith thing – and always will.
I stuck to it…
He’s stuck by me…
faith, and a vital relationship with the Creator of all things…
has worked out spectacularly well.

Knowing all of this replace the voice with a better one, a short one.

The easy one here is “things will work out”.
But that seems an alien thing to tell myself.
The minute I hear those words I dismiss them.

So the battle is on…

This horse needs a new name…

This voice needs a disproving reply…

and it will get one…


please come back.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea Dawn August 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Waiting with great anticipation for the horse’s new name . . . reminds me of a song from years ago . . .

I will change your name
You shall no longer be called
Wounded, outcast, lonely or afraid

I will change your name
Your new name shall be
Confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one
Faithfulness, friend of God
One who seeks My face


Craig August 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Andrea Dawn, maybe it’s because I’m not very “churched” – but I’ve never heard that song – and it kind of seems it’s written for exactly what I’m doing. So thank you – I smiled when I read all the lines – and of course I smiled when I saw your name in my comment section. God bless and keep you. Oh, and the horses new name begins with the letter E and ends with a T and has eight letters – and it’s Hungarian ツ


Cora August 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I had never heard the song either, so I went on a search. There are several on Youtube, but this one just spoke to me so deeply — perhaps because of the pictures shown with it. Thank you Andrea Dawn, for introducing us to this:


A. August 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Andrea Dawn, I was unfamiliar with those words, too, and how perfect they fit this place Craig is taking us all. Thank you!

Cora, I will go to your link. If you chose it, I know it will be good!

Craig, so grateful for net access!!!! some of us who aren’t particularly churched right now especially notice when we loose access to internet for a while. Now, I will do the proper thing and read from where I last read…though I would love to start here and read backwards. well, i did start here but i will go back to square ‘one’. :)


Andrea Dawn August 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Well, I am tickled that you all found a new song! I first heard it at a ladies retreat about 15 years ago and I was all those things . . . wounded, outcast, lonely and afraid. The song so touched me I scribbled the words as fast as they were being sung in the back of my Bible . . . I knew I would need to see them, say them over and over. He has truly changed my name and I am so thankful.


A. August 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Andrea Dawn, I just listened to this via the link Cora gave. It brought tears. Thank you for sharing this gift! I am going to copy the words and save the song link, too.

Craig, thank you for having such a warm place for people to share. There is so much wealth here in your place. This is the kind of ‘share the wealth’ that is the best!

(sorry for all my comments. I have been in ‘Siberia’.)


Cora August 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I’m looking forward to hearing the new name, too.

I have not been absent — only silent. The past month has been such a hard one —- ALL of this and many other things has been tested to the max, to the point where I felt pinned on the ground with the hoofs of all my horses pushing me into the dirt. I found it amazing today, Craig, that most of the questions you asked yourself are ones I’ve been answering these past few weeks. And “Things will not work out” has perhaps been the hardest of all my horses to tame, because if ever I needed this one tamed, it has been NOW! He is the biggest and bravest and most defiant of them all, making me want to walk away and just say, “you’re right!” But in my heart, I know he isn’t. And yes, faith rises up. How much faith? I don’t know. But enough — enough to reach Grace’s hand that pulls me up —- again.

I loved the bookshelf thing. My history book of things working out is about that big — maybe smaller. In fact, I almost wrote off my whole life in the past weeks as a total mistake, failure, error, and waste. If what I heard was true, and I had been wrong all this time, then everything had been for nothing. Talk about a horse coming in the back door!!!
I did find out, though, where my “line in the sand” is drawn — the place where doubt cannot cross because you just know that you know that you know. And on the faith side of that line, came truth.

Craig, please know that this whole journey of yours has been used to change at least one other person — ME! All that you have walked through in your life now has redemptive value in another. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyways???? Did not His suffering bring redemption to us? So we see ours, redeemed in the lives of others, and somehow, we look just a little bit more like Him!

Thank you!


Craig August 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Cora, I say thank you all the time – but thank you doesn’t seem enough for this. In the beginning when I was reading your comment I worried that maybe I was dredging up pain for you or making things worse – I’m sure glad I didn’t stop there. And I’m so glad that you know where the “line in the sand” is. I guess hearing that those of us who hear these stupid negative voices – tend to hear an awful lot of the same ones.Hmmmmm. anyway thank you so much – I’m glad you’ve been in this love war with me – right from the very beginning – the finish line is nearing. God bless you Cora.


A. August 22, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Cora, I second what you say about how helpful these love war posts have been. Where i am now, i am accosted by voices, but have been able to practice responding with the true words. These voices i am hearing now are only in my head. Craig, thank you for these tools, for this survival kit…this over-comer kit, really.


cori August 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Your writing is always so perfect. I never get tired of reading your blog!! However, today it was the photograph of the horse that blew me away! beautiful photo and beautiful horse!


Craig August 23, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Cori, thank you – really, thank you. And I guess you must be a horse person! Horses are kind of cool – kind of like really big dogs ツ


Dawn August 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Dear Craig,

It is so RICH reading this at the end of the day. I got a new song from Andrea Dawn, and then a video of the song, and to hear Cora say she liked the bookshelf thing. I LOVED all of it! I could see why Cora picked the particular version of I Will Change Your Name that she did off YouTube. Being a dog person, I know how difficult it is to keep one’s love of dogs a secret.

I read this on a friend’s blog today, Craig.
“A great deal more failure is the result of an excess of caution than of bold experimentation with new ideas. The frontiers of the kingdom of God were never advanced by men and women of caution.” J. Oswald Chambers

“Just because our ‘bold experimentation’ may sometimes look like a failure doesn’t mean it is a failure. Success and failure are determined very differently by Jesus than by us. Maybe only in eternity will we know what differences happened around us and IN us during the apparent ‘failure’.

Also, if our hearts are following Jesus and desire to obey Him. He will NOT let us miss Him. He will make it clear if we’re really being foolish or if we need to continue to ‘boldly experiment’.”

Bottom line: always check with Jesus,


A. August 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Dawn, loved this quote and comments from your friend! Very, very timely encouragement!


Craig August 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Dawn – by failures – I mostly mean worldly failures – and the standards by which you judge those failures are the worldly standards. The non-worldly stuff I always have done fairly well on – it’s the worldly stuff where I have fallen short. And remember way back when I wrote about the “core of the man” – that’s a man’s core. But I guess it’s a double bottom line – always check with Jesus – and it’s his standards that count. Bless you Dawn.


Michelle August 23, 2011 at 7:28 am

Read this today and thought of you, and all of us really.

“Man is what he is, not what he used to be. ” — Jewish saying


Craig August 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm

thank you for that Michelle – I do have to say though that although a man is not what he used to be – when a man used to be makes up who he is – for whatever that’s worth ツ


Debbie August 24, 2011 at 1:43 am

I’m a little speechless here. The post is deep and so are the comments and commentors! :) I am thinking of that voice that tells me things won’t work out . . .and how many around me echo it to me. Reading this and everyone here today, I realized He has helped me with this one already! yay! He has had me change the voice to . . .He will make a way.
God bless you and all that He is doing through you!


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