Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's a trust issue

“If life were stable, I’d never need God’s help. Since it’s not, I reach out for Him regularly. I am thankful for the unknowns and that I don’t have control, because it makes me run to God.” 
-Francis Chan “Crazy Love”

Can you comfortably say those words? I cannot. I cannot comfortably say that I am thankful for the unknowns in my life that keep me out of control. I can say, however, that I am closer to being ok with them than I have ever been.

I have been thinking lately, what would my life look like if I were truly thankful for them? How would it change the way I struggle or view those struggles? How would it change the way I view God or my relationship with Him. I think I would live a very different life. I think I would be a lot more at peace.

I feel like so much of my struggles in life are based in the need to accept that I have no control and will never have it. You see, God is the perfect planner. And in His perfect wisdom, He created a need for dependence on Him. Some would call that cruel and unfair. But what right do we have to call any of the shots? If things were truly fair, we would not exist since so much of our existence does not benefit God at all. And as for cruelty, God could just create us like a massive size dollhouse and then abandon us for something more interesting, but He doesn’t. In fact, we should be extremely grateful that He not only stays by our side during our struggles, but that He changes our hearts through them. He doesn’t let one second of this life pass without purpose (even if no one sees it but Him).

Allowing worry and stress to rule my life tells God that I don’t believe He has the power to not only come through with His promises, but that He is big enough to conquer all of my struggles. I have been trying to work on this trust issue I have had with God (because let’s be honest, that’s what it is). I have lived so long relying on my trust in myself alone, which is just foolishness because I can’t be trusted (none of us are worthy of it). I have trusted others to fulfill what I cannot (also foolish for the same reason). I feel like God is continually teaching me that I can look anywhere I want for someone to trust, but there is no one worthy except Him. Until I start to believe that, He’s going to lovingly keep me here in this struggle.

My goal right now is to try to ask God daily what His purpose for me right now, today, is. It’s so important to see that my time with Him right now is more important than anything. He came to give us life, but it was for the life that we could only find in Him.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Even when it hurts

“You grow up when you decide to do right, and not what’s right for you, what’s right for everybody, even when it hurts.” 
-Gus from “Lars and the Real Girl”

I haven’t written for a while, almost a week. I think it’s for multiple reasons. One I have just been really busy and tired. Another is that I have just been finding other stuff I would just rather be doing or doesn’t require as much emotional and intellectual energy.

I would love to say that I am doing better. But that would be a lie. Although I may be sometimes kidding myself into believing I am, I know that I am not because I am going back to my old way of doing things; I have been finding something else to depend on rather than God.

I’m not going to lie, walking with Christ is tough. It’s hard to make room for Him in my life. It’s hard to remember He dictates my steps and circumstances for my (and His) good. It’s hard to keep coming to Him when I would just rather feel sorry for myself and my circumstance. Relationships are hard, but this one is especially tough.

I feel like I may be approaching the time to let go. Not because I want to or am even ready, but because I have no choice and I really see no other way of moving on. Even though I really don’t see many of the benefits of what I am going through (although I do believe they exist or will exist), I do see the result of my doing the right thing despite my unhappiness.

I tend to be hard on myself and usually just focus on my own flaws, but I am proud of myself. This has been a hard situation for me, but I have been intentionally trying to do what’s right for everyone involved. As Gus said above (to Lars when he asks about how you know when you are grown up), you do what’s right even when it hurts. Well trust me, it hurts. But I already see how my actions of doing what’s right (rather than what would seemingly make me feel better) are making a difference. How my actions leave those people in a place where God can meet them.

I don’t know why things happened the way they did or why I continue to feel the way I do. But I know God is moving in the lives of people around me. I just want to be apart of that. If this is the way that has to happen, then I just continue to pray that I learn to accept that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Some days we just lose

“We need reminders about God’s goodness. We are programmed to focus on what we don’t have. This dissatisfaction transfers over to our thinking about God. We forget that we already have everything we need in Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshipped and loved. We are to fear Him.”
-Francis Chan “Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God), Ch. 1

I would love to say that I come today with joy and optimism, but I’m afraid all I have found is despair. Life is just not what I thought it would be and I find that even after almost two months, I still find it hard to accept that. Have you ever stopped and looked at your life and wondered, "How did I get here?" I’m not saying I’m perfect or anything, but I feel like I have tried to live my life the right way and I still ended up wandering here looking for whatever it is that might make things better. Lost and feeling more alone than ever.

It’s hard to watch people you care about make major mistakes in their lives. I find myself wondering how that bad that person must feel about their life to make such a huge mistake for the future. I fear that will be me 5 years from now. I fear maybe that already was me and that’s why I am in this place to begin with.

It’s hard to look a beautiful little boy so full of life and not fear for his future. I am scared for him to feel pain the way I am. Life seems so full of tough times and painful moments. Sometimes I wonder if life is about anything more than suffering.

I spent a lot of today in a losing battle. Warring with myself about the ability to trust that there is so much more planned for this life. Faith is such a hard concept for us. We are asked to do the unthinkable, to relinquish the little bit of control we have to a being we can’t even see. When you think about that, from an outsider’s perspective that seems really crazy. Seriously, followers of Christ probably seem kind of nuts. Maybe we are, hopefully we are not.

But how is it possible to surrender willingly and wholeheartedly to God? That’s a question I have been asking and not fully been able to answer most of my life. I have mentioned before that we must fall crazy, madly in love with Jesus. I still believe that. But how do we even accomplish that? I think Francis Chan has a point when he says we must first evaluate how we actually see God.

I think this is most true (and surprisingly harder) for people in my position. People who have spent most of their lives knowing about Christ, those used to hearing His name. Those of us in that boat, are so used to the concept of God, we don’t even think twice when we hear His name spoken. We believe in His presence, we know we should consult Him when making decisions, we know we should live a certain way. But chances are we don’t quiver when we hear His name, we aren’t visibly excited to talk about Him (although I don’t mean to say we aren’t ever, just not consistently). We are so used to “God” that we forget who He even is.

I have been thinking recently about how I view God. Don’t think I’m just calling you out if the last paragraph described you, I am citing myself here. I am so guilty of just looking to God for me and my needs and then turning to despair when I realize things are going the way I want or think they will or should go. I am guilty of periodically falling into the whole, “Maybe it’s impossible” point of view. Although I don’t truly believe it, sometimes it’s easier to whine that it’s impossible for someone to love me, for me to do what God calls me to, that this life it too difficult, that it’s impossible for God to meet my needs (among many others) rather than the truth: that it’s just not the time for me or God to do those things.

Stop now (if you wanna see something cool!) and go to and watch the video title The Awe Factor of God. The video shows a telescope span out as far into space as we have the technology to do. It’s amazing, awe-inspiring. It’s the best example we have at the magnitude of God. This God we speak of not only created all of those galaxies, He commands the sun daily to rise and set. He commands our lungs and organs to continue to work. Every thing that exists and happens is given or allowed by Him. Hopefully that is a big deal to you, I know I needed to be reminded of that today.

It’s so easy to be discouraged, even when you have a pretty good life like I do. I can’t imagine what life must be like for so many others that struggle with much deeper problems than I do. Many of them have so much more faith than I do. Life is just plain hard here.

But we serve a BIG God. It’s important to stop sometimes and remember that. Among all the monotony of life and the chaos of struggling, it’s hard to forget that all things aren’t just possible in God, but He is the God of the Impossible. Although He may choose not to do many things, He can do ANYTHING He wants. Faith without believing that is most likely not true faith. Faith must be rooted in the belief there is nothing that can stop God.

It’s far too common for me to believe God cannot come through with what I desire. Maybe He will or is choosing not to, but I cannot say I have true faith if I do not realize that He can.

I still feel sad, I still fear the unknown. Not because I don’t believe God can accomplish it, but I’m afraid of the road He will lead me to get there. But afraid or not, I believe. Maybe a good place to start in my conversations with Him is to spend a little less time telling Him what I want (haha I make sure to reiterate them multiple times just in case He isn’t sure) and spend some time worshiping by looking at who He is and what He can do. That isn’t something I do on a regular basis (as I imagine a lot of people don’t). I try to spend some of my prayer time thanking Him, but I have to admit I spend most of it on me and what I want (even if it’s what I want for others). 

This whole concept of surrendering is rooted in the fact that I must give my heart to God. How can I ever learn to trust enough to do so if I don’t take the time to truly know Him for who He is? I may have lost today, but He never does and something tells me my loss today is His gain (as usual).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Seasons change but for now mine stays the same

“It is said that in some countries trees will grow, but will bear no fruit because there is no winter there.”
-John Bunyan

This weekend has been surprisingly peaceful for me. Although I have had numerous moments where I dwelt on my “situation,” I noticed I don’t need it as much on the weekends where I am not constantly reminded of it (sorry to go back to being vague but this blog needs to stay about what I’m learning, not gossip or focusing on that situation). This weekend actually reminded me of the way I felt before my life changed. I spent it with a few friends and picking up some new hobbies (I love me some crafts!).

Spotting the problem yet? You’re probably like, no crazy! Isn’t this what you have been whining about wanting all this time. Yes you are right, but ONCE AGAIN (seriously God, this whole me being wrong about EVERYTHING is becoming a disturbing habit) God showed me that just getting what I want doesn’t fix my problems, it just shows me how much deeper in the hole I am than I originally thought.

I have been praying desperately to start moving into a place where I wasn’t so confused or going through as much pain (emotionally). I even remember saying multiple times that I would even take going back (before the recent tough times/spiritual growth), knowing that definitely wasn’t the answer nor would I be happy there. Well, like I said, that’s how I have felt this weekend. Being away from my “situation” for a few days gave me some much needed rest and showed me that I don’t always need it or have to depend on it (jeez it makes me sound like addict, well I guess you could call my dependency on others and control an addiction). But it also showed me some reasons why God may be keeping me in this somewhat painful limbo. While I learned I could get by without the object of my dependency, the absence of it caused me to forget I still need God.

While I was able to shed thoughts of my situation at will (although not always), my thoughts and prayers to the God I am supposed to be replacing that dependency with was not even a thought. This is not a good thing my friend. I swear I can almost hear the chuckle of God (in a kind loving way) say, I told you, “You aren’t ready to be past this part yet, and you still need it.” I suddenly got this strange thought of a child trying to go out to play, ready for spring to arrive so he can play in the sun jacket free. I imagine his mother at the door with a small laugh saying, “You still need your jacket a bit longer. The weather still hasn’t changed enough for you not to need it and your body isn’t strong enough to fight the elements without it.” Ok, I’m not gonna lie, that was weird even to me, but when we listen, God speaks. The season hasn’t changed for me, and as badly as I want to move out of this place, my body isn’t strong enough to fight the elements without my jacket (suffering).

That also reminds me of the exercise analogy (I know, strange I would use that since I don’t exercise…oh bite me). Resistance training is exactly what it sounds like, training with resistance. Wiki defines it as, “Resistance training is a form of strength training in which each effort is performed against a specific opposing force generated by resistance.” For those of us who don’t think in terms of trainers, it’s basically building strength by causing your muscles to contract against force. (If you are reading this and my description is not clinical, sorry. Don’t hold it against me; I’m just trying to prove a point). I would imagine, this is a process that is somewhat uncomfortable (it’s exercise right?). Building strength by working against something difficult. Hmm, kinda sounds like life to me. But it’s becoming a very popular type of training because it is supposed to build wellness among your body in addition to training your strength.

I can’t help realizing I’m not ready to move out of this phase of my life because I have not built up enough spiritual endurance. Funny thing is that most people assume we need the endurance training for when times are hard (as many do and will). But I am realizing a lot of it is to keep us on track when things are good. Knowing God, it is not His goal to keep us unhappy. But He is not as concerned with our happiness as the condition of our hearts (our growth). Happiness doesn’t usually promote a huge dependency on God; it usually causes us to forget we need Him. Hey don’t blame Him we need hard times; it’s our fault we make this hard on ourselves.

We all fill our lives with something. I have been mostly filling mine with God, reflection, reading, writing, & feeling sorry for myself (trying to keep it honest here). But recently I have wanted to branch out to try some new things (hey why not, I’m single and have time). Now that I’m on the craft hobbies kick again, I spent a lot of time yesterday thinking of all the things I want to do and how to squeeze them in. At first I was really excited because when I am working on them, I’m not sad or worrying about how things are going to turn out. It gives me a reprieve from life. But I am also troubled by how excited that makes me. I have an obsessive nature. It would be far too simple for me to cut out some other things that keep me focused on pain for the ease of those that make me forget.

Now let me stop here and say that having hobbies and activities that get you out of your head and give you a break are wrong, they absolutely are not and I think it’s healthy to keep your sanity. Problem is we have to remember balance and I know most of us aren’t very good at that (that’s why we usually need help to begin with). Truth is, it would be really easy to allow other things to be how we cope. But we shouldn’t supplement our relationship with Christ with other ways to fill our time. Doing so not only makes the suffering we have already endured pointless, it ensures we will be starting a whole new cycle we will need God to rid us of. I saw a quote the other day I really liked. Richard Baxter said, “Be careful how you spend your time. Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of.” We should do ourselves a favor and establish balance now, rather than wait to need God to pull us out of the hole we dig for ourselves.

The subject of dependency brings me back to the subject I started this post with, the thought that going back would make things better. And honestly it might make things easier, but not any less empty. The problem is I was even more lost then than I am now. Back then I knew I had a need only God could fill, but I was too lazy, scared, and content to do anything about it. This time around, I am looking for ways to not go back to living a life waiting to experience God, but one that encounters Him everyday, in any way possible.  I don’t just want to grow (live), I want to bear fruit because my winter has been hard.

*All of this talk of seasons changing is making me seriously eager for winter, it’s hot in my room right now. Also, I totally saw the quote up top and couldn’t wait to use it but didn’t know how. God totally fit it in here for me (going back to add it up top now that I’m finished writing) with the analogy of seasons changing. Seriously, God is just so funny sometimes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A different kind of love

“How do you spell love? True love is spelled G-I-V-E. It is not based on what you get, but rooted in what you can give the other person.”
-Josh McDowell

A warning now that this post may get very personal and mushy. I just feel like I connect with God the best when I am honest about what I feel and think. Often when I start writing (lately) I have not been sure where I was going until God got me there. I have many things I can and should write about, but this should be about learning and encouragement (even when disguised as defeat) and starting with what I’m going through and feel is the best place. Sorry in advance if it goes a strange way. Sometimes that’s the best way to learn.

I have mentioned in the past that I have a tendency to believe in absolutes. That there is one way for things to be. I guess you could call it looking at life as black and white (typical blue trait for all of you who know about personality traits, aka perfectionist control freaks as I like to refer to us). I know logically that is not how it works, not how people work, life works, relationships work, etc, but I realize I still have a tendency to think that way.

Take love for instance, it’s easy to believe there is only one way to love someone. That, as I am finding out is just not true. Our culture is obsessed with love. Have you ever been excited noticing, while being in a relationship, that most songs are about either being in love or wanting love? Have you ever been tortured, while being single, noticing that most songs are about being in love or wanting love? Love and its pursuits are a big deal to us. We go to great lengths to be a part of it.

I promised you some personal stuff so here it is (you guys are so greedy, haha). I have always wanted to fall in love (see my 1st post for more info if you are a bit lost on what I’m going through or my view on what I thought being in love would be like). I want a connection to someone, I want to share something special. But I realize I haven’t so much been looking for real, authentic love so much as the feeling of love.

Problem is, our culture wants to feel love, not necessarily live that love. I’m not calling that wrong, I’m just saying the two are not necessarily mutually inclusive. Feeling in love is great. I know I only was a part of it for a short time, but I appreciate it for what it was and will never be sorry for the experience, no matter what happens from here. But I’m just not sure if that kind of love is the kind that grows someone as a person. Again, I am not saying there is anything wrong with it, I just fear that maybe it ranks on the more shallow side of life’s experiences. Now don’t freak out on me because I used the dreaded shallow word.

To explain, consider most choices and decisions that are made based on feelings alone. They don’t tend to have much depth. I, again, don’t mean that to be hurtful. I have mentioned repeatedly how much of an emotional person I am and my tendency to let my feelings rule me. Feelings are very important; I just don’t think they are the foundation for true, all encompassing love. They are a part of it, but not the base of it.

Because I am a very emotional person, I have had a lot of feelings to work my way through. In attempting to do so, I have been wondering if I had been(and to be honest still am) IN love with that person or just love him. Did I just have strong feelings for him because he’s the kind of guy I wanted or because I wanted him, that particular guy? I even wonder if I’m capable of truly loving someone at all (it’s no secret I don’t have the highest self esteem). I mean how can you truly know you have experienced love until you actually experience it (I know, confusing right?).

As usual, God is teaching me things even when I’m not ready to learn them. We are all struggling with something in our lives. For some of us, that struggle is debilitating and then some of us are just in between those times, but we all have them. It is obviously no secret what I want if you are reading my posts. I want things to go back to the way they were. I want to be with the person I care about. I have been shying away from directly mentioning it here for many reasons. Although I don’t know how many people actually read this other than my close family and friends who know my situation, this is a public forum and I do occasionally remind people about these posts on various social networks. I don’t want anything said to be misconstrued or offensive. But I don’t see any reason not to be truthful. I have certainly revealed much more personal feelings in past posts than admitting I am in love with someone. There I said it (so sue me…but really, please don’t, it’s just not nice).

Understanding that we all struggle leads me back to where I was going, a different kind of love. Like I said, it isn’t really a secret what I want (for me), but I realize, knowing he is struggling with something he needs to let God use to grow him, I want something more. I want him to grow at any cost, even if that cost is not being with me if I’m not the person that would help him do so.

True love, a Jesus kind of love, isn’t about what we want, not about what makes us happy. It’s about growing our character into Christ’s character. Christ showed us about true love with the way He loved us. It’s about surrender. There’s a reason people quote 1 Cor 13 on their wedding day (well some because it’s pretty or they want a pipe dream of perfection without work) because this is what God tells us true love is. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never looses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

I feel like God gave me such a blessing in showing me that this struggle isn’t just about my need to grow but for that need by others in my life. That maybe I can start learning to love in a different way, in a more Christ-like way.

I am extremely encouraged right now, no matter what; I know I am capable of this love, of real love. Did I experience it for real when I was actually in that relationship, who knows? Unfortunately I spent a lot of time in the daydream that was the feelings-induced love haze. But no matter what happens from here, I know that there are many ways to love. We can love with just our feelings (we all do in some ways, feelings are a good thing) or we can expand that love with the power of Christ. We can pray and strive to love others (romantically or not) patiently, kindly, unselfishly, and forgivingly. We all will search throughout our time here on earth for that kind of love, but let’s not forget that God is endowing us the power to be that kind of love to each other.

What are your thoughts about love? Do you love patiently, kindly, unselfishly, and forgivingly? How can you pray for God to show you ways to start loving on a different level? 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Learning how to love

“If I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never looses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance…Love will last forever! Three things last forever-faith, hope, and love-the greatest of these is love.”
-1 Cor. 13:3b-7, 8b, 13 (NLT)

I am a critical person. I can be with others but I really am with myself. I kind of have a problem with me, myself, & I. As scared as I am to be alone, I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about myself. What I want, what I do, what I don’t do, etc. I know this time of struggle is about so much more than me and what I want, but I feel like all I see is “me”.

Although I can have a tendency to be a bit dramatic, truth is I am a passionate loving kind of person (you wish, dirty minds!). I just care deeply about people. Believe it or not I often look at that as a flaw. It leads me to get my feelings hurt a lot, to over think everything to the point of exhaustion and to means I never let things go. I feel like I make something out of nothing and everything. Most times it’s just out of control.

I have spent the last few weeks writing about what I feel and am experiencing, hoping the process will help me learn to hear God better and see where He is taking me. It also just makes me feel good to have something tangible I can accomplish. But I have another motivation; I genuinely care about anyone who may be hurting (or will hurt). I don’t know if anyone is reading this (other than my beautiful mother who has read EVERY one, I appreciate you more than you can know, you inspire me), but know that if you are, even if I don’t know you, I care. I hate to see people hurt (jeez I even feel bad when people deserve it). I care about what you are going through and where your journey may be leading you.

I am one of those people who feel guilt about everything, whether it has anything to do with me or not. I often feel guilt because I can’t do more, because I can’t make a bigger difference in this world. I feel like I am fighting with all that I have and am moving inches at a time instead of miles. It is so often discouraging. But growth takes time (sometimes I fear I don’t have enough minutes on this earth left for amount of growth I need & have left). If you hear nothing else, know that inches are better than nothing. Progression is just that…progress!

This journey we are on, life itself, is a road we will continue on for our remainder of time here on earth. I used to just think that I could start growing and that one day I will get over the hill and be done growing, just rest at the top. But truth is we never stop growing, there is always something we can (and will) still learn. If God’s will is about growth, then continuing to grow in Him is doing just that, living in His will.

I think as Christians we think God is just concerned with how much we change. But we are a broken, dependant people. God doesn’t want us to focus on changing our behaviors (let’s be honest, we will just change them from one dependency to another). He wants us to allow Him to transform our hearts. Any other worthwhile change will happen as a result of that (through Him). And they won’t be changes made out of a necessity to “be good” but from an obedient heart. A heart that is so aligned with Christ that my wants and desires match His.

I struggle a lot with feeling like I am two people trapped in one body. I want to be a part of this world. There are fun aspects of it and sometimes I wish I could just be like everyone else. I often wish I could just do what I want, stop feeling all the time, and just be whomever I please. But I also want to please God, I want to be better than who I am, I want to make a difference in other’s lives. I want to have a changed heart. I want to not be ashamed to feel things passionately because that’s how He created me to be. Because somewhere, someway He has a purpose for that.

I have mentioned that I spend a lot of time thinking and praying for what I want. But right now, I feel like what I want is so small. There are so many that hurt, so many of them are in my life, people whose pain I would gladly bear for them if I could. I have mentioned how confused I feel lately, like I’m not sure how I feel or even what I really want. Many aspects of getting what I want involve someone else, someone who is hurting right now. I realize what I really don’t want is for me to get what I want at the expense of anyone else’s growth. I want what I want. But I want relationships (for me and others) with Christ more.

I think the best thing I can do for myself and everyone involved is to start praying for what’s best for everyone and not just me. I have looked at so much of this struggle as it just being about what I am going through, what I am learning. But it’s about so much more than that. Maybe the Beatles didn’t quite have it right, “All you need is love” just doesn’t quite do it, you do need more. But having a heart that is intent on loving no matter what the case, that’s invaluable. That’s showing Christ to all that you meet. It’s what this life is about.

Sorry this post has been kind of random. I just had many thoughts in my head and I honestly didn’t know any more than you where God was taking this. But as usual He has taken me in my broken, empty state and taught me something new. If you are reading this, wherever you are, know that you are loved. By me (to some of you, a complete stranger) and by a God who holds every second in His hands. Be encouraged by that. Love will change the world, even if it’s just my (and your) tiny part of it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Are you up for a challenge??

"If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. We never grow closer to God when we just live life; it takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.”
-Francis Chan from “Crazy Love: Overwhelmed By A Relentless God"

Challenging yourself to grow is an incredible feat. Challenging others to grow is downright terrifying. That is what I am attempting to do in my small group tomorrow night and I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit freaked out. I’m seriously excited for the subject matter. We are challenging the group to read Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love.” I have mentioned it before and any readers should be prepared to hear lots more. I had just finished reading it right before I started writing (in Aug). I am sure this second time around God will show me things I missed before and hopefully spawn some exciting new truths in my life and those that choose to participate.

I am so passionate about this book for many reasons. The first is that it became a beacon of light for me in a very dark place. I started reading it the second week of my struggle when I began to finally realize and accept things weren’t going to go back to the way they were and I was changing so much that they couldn’t really anyway. I began to see that God was leading me to embark on a long journey and this book was the start of that road. 

The other reason I love this book was it’s ability to change they way I looked at God. So many Christian books focus mostly on how to fix your relationship with Christ (not that I’m saying that’s a bad thing), but rarely do they tell you not to go any father until you attempt to look at who God is. One thing I love about Francis Chan is that listening to him talk and reading his words, it is undeniable that he loves the Lord in this incredibly passionate way. That’s the kind of love I want to have for Him and I want to challenge my small group (comprised of all close friends and my siblings) to as well.

If it’s one thing I am learning through this time of struggle, it’s that if you go looking for God with a sincere, open heart, He is going to find you. I want this to be a life changing experience for everyone involved. Honestly, if growth is not our goal, then we have no business going on. If our only goal is to put in our weekly “Jesus time”, I think He would rather we didn’t bother. This isn’t about anything but cultivating a relationship with the Creator. I hope more than anything that is what happens here.

I anticipate tomorrow to be a somewhat difficult day (although every day is difficult for me right now). I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but hey I am and honestly I am just noting the pattern here. Anytime you present to people willingly and intentionally to build a life changing & sustaining relationship with Christ, it’s going to piss someone off and they are going to attempt to knock down your resolve.

Who knows, maybe the only one who will grow from this is me. I can’t force the change on anyone. But I want to be obedient to Christ and challenge those I love to grow. It’s not for me; I’m fighting for my life here to grow at any and all costs. I want more; I can’t go back to how I was before. But for others to choose to do the same, again, who knows. Hopefully God will stir up something in each of them. Be it catching someone else’s enthusiasm, desperate to leave the life of despair they are stuck in, or just God changing a heart through a true miracle. I don’t want this change for just me; I want to share it with the people I am closest to. I want to see it change their hearts so deeply that I have to work double time to keep up.

There is so much more to this life than the little, narrow path each of us chooses to take. I hope you see that and are on the journey to finding more. If you aren’t, I’m telling you now that the path you are on hits a dead end. Turn around now; look for God while it’s still easier. Consider picking up a copy of Francis Chan’s book. ( If you have some how ended up here and are interested but have no way to get a copy, please comment me your email and I will get you a copy somehow (yes I am that excited about this book that I would buy a complete stranger a copy).

I wrote yesterday about life not being what I thought it would be and letting go of the things it’s not. Well maybe we have to do the same with the way we view our relationship with God. Sitting around waiting for Him to come to you and bring His will to your doorstep is a foolish thing to do. First off, He’s here and He’s ready to take your relationship to the next level. But His will isn’t about living on the “God-led” timeline, it’s about growth. This right here is what it’s all about. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Saying goodbye to my preconceived life

My heart beats, standing on the edge
But my feet have finally left the ledge
Like an acrobat
There’s no turning back

I’m letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
I’m losing control
Of my destiny
It feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
So I’m letting go

This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace
The fear of the unknown
Beyond my comfort zone

Giving in to your gravity
Knowing You are holding me
I’m not afraid

Feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
Feels like I’m falling and this is the life for me
-“I’m Letting Go” by Francesca Battistelli

I have always thought I knew how my life would go. Being the OCD control freak I am, I even planned the whole thing out. As the years have come and gone, I just saw that as God pushing those plans back, not changing them or potentially taking them away. I mean, who am I without them? I don’t know any other way or any other life.

Based on my desires and with the example of other strong Christian’s lives around me, I believed there is a formula to how my life will go. If I’m honest with myself, I still do. So, now that my life no longer fits the “plan” and the formula no longer applies, I just feel lost. I spend most of my day dreaming about getting that plan (or at least the part that’s gone) back or fearing that I will never get it at all. I don’t mean to sound like I doubt God has the power to do whatever He chooses; I’m just starting to fear that maybe those plans were never meant to be my life.

Granted, a lot of this is brought on by my dramatic tendencies, stress, and my never-ending exhaustion. But I just feel like I don’t understand so much of what God is doing. Don’t get me wrong, A LOT of it I do. I see why I NEEDED the struggle and how it is changing me. I see how I never would have changed without it. But I just don’t see how some of the distractions from that growth (steps that were clearly placed by God) are in my path. I feel like they keep me from growing, keep me struggling for control.

It is crazy to look up and realize I have come to know myself so well. It is discouraging to see that means I am still prone to destructive tendencies in my life. It’s sad to see how I hurt myself over and over again. I am learning that it is impossible to move on by myself. I just don’t have the will or a way. And either God doesn’t want me to right now (because let’s be honest things aren’t going to happen without is say-so) or I’m broken beyond repair. I’m going to guess it’s the first because why else would God bother (plus He puts us just where He wants us).     

I don’t doubt God’s power or what He is doing here. Everything that happens, He either brings or allows. It’s the “me” part I don’t have much faith in. I feel so caught up in what I want/have/don’t want/don’t have. This growth period isn’t just about God changing who I am, but how I live and how I think. Maybe some of the hold up is that I don’t necessarily want all that change.                        

The lyrics above are not a statement; I cannot honestly say that is how I feel. They are a dream, a prayer. I wish I could let go. I truly believe that if I ever could, I would finally feel free. I don’t feel free right now, I feel trapped in a life I don’t want & certainly didn’t ask for. But to quote Yancey Arrington (I believe I have used this before), “God’s will is not giving you everything you want but everything He wants for you.”

I feel like I need to start finding ways to say goodbye to my preconceived life. God may (and most likely one day will) choose to give me those desires; He probably placed most of them on my heart. But if He does not, I have two options: spend my life mourning what I don’t have or find a way (with God’s help) to accept that they are not mine. That’s a lot of what I have been struggling with lately. Letting go of the life I thought would be mine, the family I thought I would have, and they way I thought things would go. Accepting that I may never get those things back.

I start to feel panic at the thought of not having control. Some of the only way I get by the belief I know how this is going to turn out. But truth is I don’t. Who knows, I might die tomorrow and all of this was for someone else’s growth. We aren’t guaranteed any of it. Just that God is in control and has a purpose to all He does. I want to be encouraged by that and am ashamed that mostly I still just fear. I still don’t know how to accept that what I want, feel, and have aren’t what this life is about. 

Tonight I ask God to prime my heart for the next stage: acceptance. Until I accept what I can’t change, I can’t accept the beauties in what God is changing and where this change is going. Is this where you are? Consider asking God to help you let go.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Living in faith, not doubt

“Never undo in doubt what you did in faith.”
-Unknown friend of a friend (posted on facebook)

The weekends have become a tough time for me. I guess I depend on the structure of the workweek. Having a reason to get up, knowing I will see people, knowing I will see certain people, knowing for the most part what each day will hold, knowing there’s another one coming if the current one doesn’t give the desired result. The unstructured weekend has become something I fear.

I had decided this week that I would attempt to take a little time (specifically this weekend) to spend somewhat by myself. Sure I like my couple hours alone time to do what I want as much as anyone else. But when you live by yourself and most of your close friends are married, a couple hours can turn into days if you don’t make an effort to go to them. Spending time alone is hard, but it’s one of those things you need to attempt to do because it is important. Much like pushing through the pain in exercising, you grow from it being tough.

I think spending some time alone is wise right now because I am really confused. I have so many thoughts and feelings and I will be honest and admit I’m not really sure which are mine, which are from God, and which are from the enemy. My mood & resolve sometimes change by the minute and it is so frustrating.   

Faith is a hard concept and one I have been struggling with consistently. Faith is defined as, “an unusual ability to trust in the presence and power of God and to act on that trust.” The belief part isn’t so much a problem for me. I have believed in the presence and the power of God most of my life. It’s the acting on that belief that I have such a hard time with.

This whole time I have been resting on the belief that God was telling me to wait. That waiting (since I am such a controlling person) is my faith-induced action. That learning to do that is a lot of what this time is about. Lately though, I have been doubting that not doing anything to at least resolve some of my issue was a mistake. Things seem unnecessarily complicated by waiting. That all the time that is passing is keeping things from being resolved rather than healing them.

This is how doubt works. You start to question even what you feel deep down. It makes you start to undo what you did in faith. Every day I struggle not to do something (or enable one of my sweet friends to do for me) that doesn’t line up with waiting till God gives me the go-ahead to move. I even stopped and prayed right now as I’m writing that waiting is indeed what God is telling me to do. I think the real problem is that it’s just not what I want to hear. And every time I consider seeking answers or movement on my own, I just know it’s not the right thing for me to do. That’s how I know it’s what God wants. That’s one exciting thing that is coming out of this; I am starting to hear God clearer everyday, even in the haze.

Even logic tells me that it must be a faith-driven feeling. Other than my pride and/or the fear of getting hurt farther, there is no good reason for me not to attempt to resolve some of my issue. Simple words (although knowing me they would include waterworks) would go a long way to at least getting some absolution. But I just have this gut wrenching feeling that I should just wait (even though I hate it). That it’s not my place and that honestly my intentions aren’t in the right place anyway. Truth is, I just want my happy ending or the proof that my happy ending is going to be found else ware. I still don’t think I’m ready to place my desires aside for those of Christ’s.

Trust is a hard concept for me. Daily I wrestle with the thoughts that my action (or in this case lack of action) determines my future. Because I continue to forget, God is constantly reminding me that He wrote my future back before I was even a thought to anyone on this planet. I keep hearing Him say, “I’ve got this, stop worrying, stop looking for ways to do it yourself, I’ve got this!” 

My favorite song right now is “Healer” by Kari Jobe, my biggest prayer is that one day I can say these words and believe them more than anything I know or feel:

You hold every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease

I trust in You

I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe You're my portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus, You're all I need

Nothing is impossible for You

“Jesus you are all I need.’ These words are what a true relationship with Christ is about. This trust, full trust that no matter what, God “has got this,” is what every second of this struggle in my life is about. I don’t know why He is putting me through it so strongly (seemingly more so than most around me). Maybe I’m just a slow learner and a tough student. Maybe it’s for something bigger than even I can imagine. Who knows.

I keep thinking that every day is a waste, that these are days that I could be doing something with my life. But truth is, these are the days that are preparing God to do something with my life. I selfishly keep asking: why me? Why do I have to learn so much? I’m perfectly content with average. But average living and average God-loving is an insult to Him.    

I know I need to stop focusing on getting what I want and accepting that this is where God needs me to be right now. Living in fear and doubt just undermine what He is doing, the whole purpose for my existence. But living out my trust in Him through faith, that is the ultimate way I can glorify Him.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I know You love me

Oh Lord You've searched me
You know my ways

Even when I fail You

I know You love me

Your holy presence
Surrounding me

In every season

I know You love me

I know You love me

At the cross I bow my knee

Where Your blood was shed for me

There's no greater love than this

You have overcome the grave

Your Glory fills the highest place

What can separate me now?

You go before me

You shield my way

Your hand upholds me

I know You love me

You tore the veil

You made a way

When You said that it is done

And when the earth fades

falls from my eyes

You stand before me

I know You love me

I know You love me

-“At the Cross” by Hillsong United

I am astounded sometimes to be shown by God how much He loves me. His love is truly amazing. I know I spend most of my time caught up in me and what life has to offer me. Most times when that’s the case, God only “exists” to fulfill my needs. I have been thinking a lot about what I want, hoping everyday will be the day I get it. Devastated everyday when I don’t. It has been a constant struggle for me to accept that God is going to do what He wants, in His own time. That this is how He loves me.
You see, somewhere along the way I decided that what I have is mine, that I earned it and deserve it. That because of that I get to decide how to spend my money, my time, what kind of relationships I get to have, and what I do with my heart. Truth is EVERYTHING I have was given to me by God alone. My ability to make money, the time I have on this earth, and the friends, family, and even enemies in my path were put there purposefully. And this little heart of mine I have been struggling to decide what to do with, God gave it to me too. I struggle every day how to give pieces of those things to God, but truth is they aren’t mine to give, they already belong to Him.
In 1 Chronicles 29:12-15, David proclaims, “Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength. “O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.
I have been struggling with this idea of surrendering my heart. But I keep getting caught up in the belief that it’s mine to give to Him. Thankfully that’s not the case. It already belongs to Him. For some that’s a scary thought. For me it’s so reassuring. I’m not giving away my most precious possession never to be seen again. I’m just loosening my grip on the part of me He already owns, giving Him the ability to do something beautiful with it, with me.
God tells us to give willingly and generously to Him what He has given us. As my dad says, we can’t out give God. Having a generous heart is giving the recognition that all we have is from Christ. Giving willingly is understanding that you are giving God what was already His. Give with a whole heart. The people who really trust God give to Him generously. Trusting God means putting in EVRYTHING just as Jesus did, knowing God’s purpose would prevail no matter what. Holding back is the equivalent to telling God “I just don’t trust you enough.” I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of telling God that with my actions, tired of the rat race of trying to maintain hold of things that don’t belong to me in the first place.
Giving freely tells God, “I know You love me, I trust you with my everything.”
I mentioned before it is hard for me to have to keep waiting to get past this period of my life, ready to get what I want. Day after day has passed and still no result. But I can gladly say, I see God changing my heart very minute. Today I yet again fooled myself into thinking this would be “the day” things would turn, things would happen. Needless to say I was wrong. But that’s ok, because as usual, God had other things to teach me.
I felt God telling me, “If it doesn’t happen today, then it’s not right for today.” You see, God is in the business of preparing hearts. As my dad reminded me the other day, He doesn’t just throw us in, He builds us, teaching us along the way. Waiting gives Him the ability to lovingly form our hearts to be ready. He doesn’t let anything happen till it’s ready, till it’s the way He intended. That’s the way He loves us. I don’t know if that is reassuring to you, but it makes me want to drop to my knees. “There’s no greater love than this.” Than the Creator of the Universe carefully hand-crafting every moment. Be blessed by that my friends, there really is no love that can compare.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It is well with my soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

-“It is well with my soul” by Horatio Spafford

This has been such a strange day for me. When I woke up, I did not want to face the day. But once I was up, I started talking to God. I re-read the article I mentioned yesterday and was reminded to start my day with Him before I get distracted by other things. I intentionally put on a worship album (I’m am LOVING both the new Kutless and Jeremy Camp ones). I knew that I had some unresolved issues with God (previously mentioned) and that confession time before the Lord’s Supper at the once a month mid-week worship service at my church (tonight) was going to come hard on me.

One of the songs that kept coming on was “It is well”. I had heard the story behind that song before and am reminded of it everytine I hear it. It is incredible. I thought about writing about it today and then we had such a great message at church that I felt inspired to write about that instead. Well, as I am learning often these days, sometimes God has other plans.

This was a tough day for everyone at work. It just seemed like it was one thing after another going wrong. The enemy always attacks when God is moving in our lives. We were doing a big thing challenging our friends to go to service tonight. It was amazing for those who went (or well at least for me). Then when I got back to my car at my parent’s I found out someone had tried to break into it. Although they did not manage to get in they did mess up the keyhole, the geniuses that make my car only put one keyhole so I couldn’t get into it to drive it home.

Normally I would be freaking out right about now. I mean, my life has been unusually hard for the past few months and even a couple days ago I would have felt like dealing with even one more thing is just too much. But right now (and I know it will fade quickly), I feel ok, I feel peace. It is well with my soul.

This is such a big deal for me and an incredible blessing from God. He has done so many amazing things for me today. I was able to conquer some of the despair I have been feeling lately  (which is what I have been praying for). He removed my “situation” for just a while so that I could focus on Him distraction free (which is what I have been praying for). He sent home one of my best friends for a few days and I was able to do something’s I wanted without feeling alone (which I have been praying for). He continues to lead me through the guidance of the wise members of my family (haha even tipsy people can preach the gospel). If you ask God to come find you, be assured, He will.

He even put provisions in place for me tonight with no car. My weeklong roomie decided to droop by my parent’s house (on a whim) and was able to take me home. She will be available to take me to work tomorrow on her way out of town. He literally took care of everything. Honestly I feel so at ease right now (although that person could totally came back and further vandalize my car tonight), all I prayed was that whatever happens is fixable. I honestly know right now that there is nothing I can do about it and I’m ok with it. I know God has it under control, even if that means there’s some more bad to go through before the good. If you don’t know me, you have no idea how much God has blessed me tonight. If you do know me, that last sentence probably blew you away.

At the risk of sounding dramatic, na├»ve, and/or full of myself, I know God has something huge in my future. I can feel it and many close to me have confided they feel that too. I’m not going to lie; I’m terrified of that. I have mentioned before, I don’t want the extraordinary; I’m fine with average. I can’t screw up average. There’s safety and comfort in average. But God has something bigger for me and those in my life than average. I keep thinking this time is about just getting to know me and God, but it’s about something much bigger. God is preparing me for something I will need a lot of strength for. I am terrified because one, I just really don’t feel like I have that in me and two, when you need strength it’s because the road is going to be hard.

Nonetheless, right now (and really every moment God walks with me) it is well with my soul.

From my favorite source, Wikipedia (don’t judge me), the story behind Horatio Spafford’s incredible hymn “It is well with my soul”:
 This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871 at the age of four, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business concerning zoning problems following the Great Chicago Fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with a sailing ship, the Loch Earn, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone." Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Time to get back to climbing

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”
-Carl Rogers @ TWLOHA

Anger and bitterness have officially entered the building. They seem to be taking up residence in my home (of little ole me). For a while, I have felt myself moving toward loving feelings about my situation. Looking for ways to accept that I am going through a tough time and it’s to make me a better person (which I do still believe). But now I feel like I am resorting to resentment about things, especially a few people who have perpetuated my situation.

I know anger/resentment/bitterness is a normal part of moving on. But I feel like this isn’t a healthy type of anger, it’s a damaging one. You see, this kind of anger makes me not want to run to God. It makes me want to hurt someone as bad as I hurt. It makes me want to fester in my own obsession (because that’s the real root of my problem here, I’m obsessed with what I am going through).

This type of anger makes me not want to believe there is any other purpose here than to try and fail. It makes me resent others who have what I want instead of asking for what I want and believing one day God has that planned for me. The problem with this kind of anger is that it makes me feel like I just don’t care. And let’s be honest, caring has never been a problem for me. I care too much.

I kind of feel like I am at the edge of just taking things into my own hands to get some answers. I feel like if I just get the answers I need (even if they are bad), I can get some absolution. I almost took up an offer a friend made to me to help that along. I want some answers bad. I want some action bad. BUT yet again, God intervened before I had the chance to make any mistakes (for myself or others).

I have been feeling lately like maybe I made a mistake letting so much time pass without resolving some of the issues on my mind. I have been afraid that I’m changing too much and the others involved have too. I keep forgetting that the change that is happening (maybe even the bad patch I’m going through) is a good thing (in the end). And I definitely keep forgetting that God changes our hearts, he dictates our steps. As usual, my deductive reasoning skills may be keeping me in the absolutes area (black and white). I just keep thinking I know how people feel (and as a result, what will happen) just based on the limited view I have of what I see. But truth is I don’t really know anything and getting the answers I want won’t change that. They may make me feel more capable of dealing with my situation, but I think the whole point of this is for God to teach me I don’t have any power here.

Once again, I am looking for something finite and earth-bound to place my dependency. I have shifted to the point that I’m not even sure what I want anymore, I am just desperate to not feel so sad, lonely, out of control, and confused. I can’t stop myself from thinking that if I know the other side of my situation, that I can decide how I feel. If I’m honest with myself, I should admit that that statement alone is a big part of the problem. I keep looking for a change to make me happy, to force me into where I want to be. But the reality is, I’m not going to be happy no matter what happens.

The quote up top not only applies to myself, but my situation. Truth is until I accept my situation for what it is, I can’t change. Until I realize God isn’t going to give me what I want just because I want it, I can’t accept it. That true happiness isn’t going to come when I get a promotion, find the love of my life, have kids, write a book, or any other miscellaneous situation I could come up with happens. That change won’t occur until I stop asking for it to be fair or holding a grudge because it’s not. That it’s not going to make a difference how much time goes by or if I sit in the corner stomping my feet like a child.

Not a single thing I do changes what God is doing. I think it’s so easy to feel like we have the power to make things right or to ruin God’s plans, but we don’t. Truth is, no matter what I do, God will make things right in the end. I can go crazy and leave the mess for God to pick up (which He inevitably will have to do) or I can sit back, be patient, and be a part of what He is doing. I keep letting my sinful, selfish nature tell me that if I don’t do something, then eventually it will be too late. But the God of the Impossible says that He has everything in His perfect timing.

Once again, while I just wanted to cower and lick my wounds or lash out at the nearest person (and I’m sad to say I have done both today), God had another plan. He sent me to another very cool resource. Hope you take a minute and check out this article:      

Where the author is suffering something far worse than I am, he says, “We all have our challenges and afflictions, all of them different because we are all different people. One person’s affliction is no worse than anyone else's—they are all designed to serve some purpose. The key is not to avoid them, but rather to learn from them.” He says that God is bringing us to those places because He needs to get our attention. I think a lot of my problem is that I don’t want God to have my attention. I want to do my thing. I’m tired of hurting and working so hard to grow.

“God also wants us to walk closer to Him and develop a greater intimacy with Him because He loves us too much to let us stagnate or backslide. So after He gets our attention, He will attempt to purge from us sins that are holding us back from living the extraordinary life He has planned for us. Mine was pride. I see that now and would never have come to this conclusion without the affliction and challenges I’ve had to go through.” Truth is, I think this is the stage I am in. God is trying to purge me of my self-involved way of thinking. But like breaking any bad habit, it hurts immensely.

I have realized some of my problem is that I can’t stop talking about my problem. I will find myself bringing subjects up with my friends so that they have a reason to ask me about my situation and give me an excuse to go on and on about it. This, needless to say, just keeps feeding the obsession I have of my own situation (and although they won’t admit it, I think it’s driving my friends nuts). I decided the first step I can take is to stop talking about it with people. Yeah right…if you know me, you know I talk A LOT. I’m trying, but literally I can’t even make it through one conversation (some of that is because of my unique situation-again being vague to keep something’s private for the sake of others). However, I feel like if I don’t try to keep control of that part of my situation, it will keep controlling me.

Another thing I think I might try is to spend some time alone, and not just watching TV, but praying and thinking about how I feel. For those who don’t know me, this is not something I am excited about. I like my own alone time as much as anyone to do the things I want (listen to my own music, watch TV or movies, read books, etc). But I certainly do not like to take time by myself on a regular basis (I’ve had a lot of alone time in the past, I’m over being alone) and I like spending time with my friends. But a lot of my continued obsession lies in the fact that I can’t get away from part of it (not at work, with friends, etc). Because of that, I’m not getting enough time away from the situation to figure out how I feel independent of it.

As I have said before, I have no idea why God is putting me in the position He is, but that there is a purpose and I believe part of it is just overcoming that circumstance. I keep feeling like if I get what I want, then everything will be ok. That even if I just get a glimpse of the future, I can be ok. But truth is I know that isn’t the case. The last week and half is proof of that. I keep feeling like knowledge is the key to being free from what is holding me back from life. From being happy, moving on, acceptance, growth. But the truth is I need so much more than to know God’s plan. I need to allow myself to be a part of it. Catch is, it has to be a hands-off part.

Yancey Arrington in his book “Tap: Defeating The Sins That Defeat You” says, Pick whatever sin you are struggling with and at it’s baseline you will discover it ultimately is a spiritual issue. This means you need spiritual resources to address it. Paul emphasizes that only those indwelt by God’s Spirit can defeat sin in the manner God wants.” Yet again I am reminded that the step I am supposed to be working on is with Him, not my other situation. And that I can only conquer it His way. My way just leads me in this never-ending circle of defeat I am already in.

Truth is, I still have a lot of unresolved issues with God, but they aren’t about Him. The true root of my unhappiness is me. Guess it’s time to start climbing again. I just need to let Christ carry me. He is the only way I can reach the top.