Skip to main content


I just did my taxes and I have been thinking about withholding. We determine how much money should be taken out of each paycheck in order to pay our taxes. If you withhold a lot, then less money is taken out and you may have to pay taxes at the end of the year. If you withhold only a little or nothing, you may find that you receive a refund at the end of the year. I confess that I find it really exciting to get a chunk of money in the form of a refund. So, I usually choose zero withholding, even though I know that it would probably be more helpful to have a little extra money to add to my monthly budget.

But, what on earth does this have to do with pursuing love? Well, I have discovered that I often withhold when I feel afraid. That is to say, when I feel afraid, I sometimes choose to withhold myself, my feelings, and my thoughts from other people. When I fear loss, disappointment, hurt or sadness, it feels safer to disconnect myself from the situation. I think I'm hoping that this will protect my joy, my peace, and my security. I will receive them, like a tax refund, at the end of my painful situation if I withhold all of myself while I am going through it. Sometimes my withholding is so extreme that I avoid the situation all together. I don't go to a place where painful feelings may be triggered and I don't interact with people whose interactions may be provoking. Other times, I remain physically present, but I am usually absent emotionally. The real "me" remains hidden from reach for my protection. Or, so I think.

Unfortunately, I have realized that the "me" refund is never as big as I think it will be from my withholding. And, my eyes are beginning to be opened to the understanding that when I withhold myself, though I may successfully avoid some painful experiences, there is an even greater risk that I will miss out on receiving love from God and other people in the midst of those circumstances. In those moments that I have been able to imagine God taking my hand in His and walking me through a scary situation, I almost always find that I enjoy His nearness in a special way and that He facilitates tender connection with the other people involved. On those occasions where God has given me courage in the face of my fears and I have been able to tell the people around me how I am feeling and what I fear, I have experienced such compassion, gentleness and generosity from others. The love and joy I received from those encounters far surpassed any painful feelings that I experienced!

There is NO fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

I choose to withhold myself when I fear punishment through the experience of uncomfortable feelings. But, Praise God, there is no fear in love!

God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us… 1 John 4:16-17

I don't want to withhold myself anymore because of fear. I want love to be perfected within me. So, I'm choosing to abide in God and in His love. Please God, cast out all my fears and help me to stop withholding.


  1. Wow! When the Lord speaks He shouts; at least, to those whom have an ear to hear. I keep hearing this over and over again everywhere I turn; in my head, in my bible, in sermons, in messages, in my own writing and prayers. The Lord is telling us to abide in love, or so it would seem. Fear is the enemy of faith. Loved reading this!!! Amen!!!

  2. you keep writing jody you are amazing, ever since i got to know during fire in the night, i know without a doubt you are an amazing woman of god.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Heart Revival

Hey you guys,

It's been almost two years since my last post. What?!

I know some of you probably forgot that I even used to do this, but I hope that you're as excited as I am that I'm coming back to blogging. It's a new season and God has been stirring up lots of creativity and courage in me recently. I'm happy to tell you all about it.

In case you missed it, I became a mom to sweet Elias last summer. In fact, he is about to turn 1 year old on Monday and I can't believe it! Guys, he is absolutely the sweetest, calmest and most delightful baby you can ever imagine and I still tear up sometimes in gratitude when I remember that he is my little boy.

One of my life dreams to be a stay-at-home mama has been partially fulfilled in that I only work three days a week during the school year. I work 2 1/2 days at RCS Elementary School and it is an amazing place. Shortly after I got there, they put me in charge of the two chapel services that happen each week. Guess what? …

Transition, transition, transition

Wow, it's already the middle of September! This past month has flown by for me.

I just finished my fifth week of the new school year.

I am loving The Quiet Collection by Emily P Freeman to help me have a sane September. (This blog post appearing is a partial fruit from one of those devotions which encouraged me to stop overthinking things and create.)

I'm remembering how vital my crock pot is if we want to have a hot dinner on a work day.

I have completed 8 of my 21 days of working out goal for this month!

I have done some hard stops for prayer, gazing on beauty, snuggling one of my loves and remembering how to breathe deeply.

One of the discoveries in this season of transition is that I have believed that busy=bad. My sweet, slow-paced summer schedule has been swapped out for one that is much more highly charged with many responsibilities and activities that are looking for a place within my week. I have found myself feeling shame over how full my schedule is and afraid that …

A Summer to Thrive

I am finishing my last week of my summer work hours. I have been reflecting on my summer and how I spent it.

In May, I intentionally wrote a list of hopes, dreams and goals for my summer season. I used my daring greatly manifesto from Vulnerability, Courage, Shame, and Empathy: The Living Brave Continuing Education Course. I completed Jess Connolly's Summer to Thrive: A Guide to Chilling Out and Enjoying Summer. I also spent time in prayer and asked God to give me words and ideas that would define the season.

This week, I am taking time to review these things. I am also rereading what I journaled about my actual summer. I feel encouraged by what a great summer it has been and how many of my hopes I was able to engage!

I pursued wholeheartedness in a lot of ways. I read books, I cooked and baked, I listened to music and I spent a lot of sweet quality time with people I cherish. I enjoyed time in prayer and worship each week and adopted a much slower pace of life. I asked questions …