Who Am I

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Who am I? The question echoes in my mind, as I’m sure it has in yours.

 

Who I know myself to be

I do know that I am very indecisive. Decisions can be so hard for me to make. The more options I have, the more calculating my brain has to do to make a selection. This makes eating out a bit of a problem, as the people I’m eating with can already have their food before I’ve even made up my mind on what to order.

I also know that I love God and people. Although loving people can be hard at times, it is a work in progress.

I know that I love music, art, animals, science, nature, astronomy. Pretty much anything and everything. I have so many interests and yet have no idea which ones to pursue.

Who I’m not sure about

Oftentimes I’m not even sure what I believe. Basic things, like God, morals, etc, they’re easy to know where I stand. But there’s so much more in life I have no clue where I’m at. I’m not that concerned with what I already know, it’s what I don’t know that frustrates me.

The more I learn, the more I realize how little I actually know. It’s hard for others to get to know you if you don’t even know yourself. And yet the person I think I am and the person I think people see me as appears to me to be polar opposites.

 


What if the me I am isn’t the me I should be?


 

This is a constant struggle, because I continually want to be me, but what if the me I am isn’t the me I should be? What if I’m broken or something? I just don’t seem to think the way other people do. What if they see something I don’t? What if everything I believe to be true is wrong?

I know God is true, but what about everything else in life? What if in my wanting to be different, I have become too different? What if it’s irreversible? What if I’m actually as annoying to everyone as my mind would have me to believe? If I could just learn to be comfortable with who I am, maybe it wouldn’t matter.

I don’t know. All I know is as of yet, I don’t know who I am. But I look forward to the day that I do.

 

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Tell The World

world.jpegAs I was cleaning my room the other day, I began to think of how many times I feel down and out. How I feel so depressed and fixated on myself I forget about God. I forget about His love. His love for me. His love for this world. I realized how selfish I really am.

We are called, not to remain silent, but to tell the world. Tell the world of His love. Of His mercy. Of His grace. His forgiveness. We have the biggest responsibility of our day. The responsibility to tell the world. If we don’t who will?

The church today has fallen asleep. Myself included. We don’t have a real understanding of what’s at stake. Countless souls that are going to hell. People like you and me. We walk past these people every day. People crying out inside for help.

We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. He said to go into all the world, and preach the gospel, and make disciples, heal the sick, and cast out devils, in His name. To be the vessels He works through. We’re slacking. We’re so caught up with our own little worlds that we miss the big picture. We’re too focused on ourselves, on our own inadequacy, we forget it’s God who works in and through us. It’s not us at all.

My own brothers and sisters in Christ are hurting. They have things they’re going through, and instead of helping them, all I can think of is myself. What people think of me. What I think of myself.

I’m so sick and tired of being indecisive. Of constantly going back and forth. It’s time to take a stand. To be steadfast. Immovable.

I am a child of God. How dare I ever think He is not enough. That His love isn’t enough. That His will isn’t perfect.

I’ve been allowing fear to control my life for far too long. Allowing fear to keep me silent. Allowing fear to tell me what I can and can’t do. It’s time that I take my place in the plan God has for me, and trust Him no matter what.

For those of you who are in the same place I am, I hope this encourages you to take a step of faith and say you too have had enough. That we will step out together, into the destiny God has called us to, and tell the world.

Transformed

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The TRANSFORMATION that has occurred within the past year boggles my mind.

Lately I have been learning to be confident. To put my faith and trust so strongly in God and in the abilities He has given me. To walk in the freedom He brings. But it’s not always easy.

I have always been so fearful of having PRIDE that I never wanted to be confident in anything. Pride can cause you to stumble. Pride can cause arrogance. Pride can blind you. Those are traits I’ve never wanted.

And yet looking back, I still had pride. I had secrets. Things I didn’t want people to know. So caught up in  what people thought of me or caring about my image, more than just being a kid and having fun. Especially being afraid to lift my hands during worship, in fear of who may see.

I always tried to play it cool. I never knew if a crush or potential crush was paying attention to me, so I definitely didn’t want to do anything silly or stupid. But trust me, trying to play it cool and being self-conscious of everything I did became exhausting. It was a cycle of  seeking the approval of others. “Did I do well? Is this good? Is that good?” Those were questions I always had. I wanted affirmation in everything I did.

I would always base my opinions upon the opinions of others. Whether reading a Facebook post, or simply having a conversation with someone, I would continually change my mind on issues based on the last person I spoke to.

I struggled for years, even to the point of not talking to people much, thinking they couldn’t possibly want to talk to me. A feeling would come over me that I would just be annoying them, so I wouldn’t talk to them at all.

But you know, that is no way to live. There came a point when I loved God and people so much, I began to see things differently. Most of the issues all came from the wrong PERSPECTIVE. But my perspective changed. Even if people didn’t want to talk to me, so what? And I actually find that most people do like talking to me.

I finally decided I didn’t want to live being afraid of what people think of me. Or afraid of making mistakes. You have to throw yourself out there. Be vulnerable. Be who God created you to be. If people don’t like it, that’s their problem, not yours.

Knowing that God loves me, means I no longer have to seek the approval of others. Only His. When I strive to please Him, everything else falls into place. You can’t please everybody. And honestly it’s pretty hard to please yourself as well. I’m often judgmental of my own work. I disassemble the words and works I have done during the day, putting them under a microscope, scrutinizing every detail. That has gotten better as well.

But it amazes me at how much things have changed in just the past year. I could write endless posts pertaining to all of the things in my life that have been transformed. It just goes to show, when God heals, He heals everything. When we truly encounter Him, we will be forever changed.

Perspective From An Emotional Wreck

emotional-mountainWhat is life? What is it to truly live? What is the purpose of living? These are questions I’ve often asked myself. The answer is actually quite simple. For me, living is to simply  do the will of the Father. My whole purpose is to worship Him, bring Him glory and honor, and point others to Him. That’s why I’m here. That’s why we’re all here. But it’s not always easy to keep that in perspective.

I’m a pretty emotional person. My mood can change in a moment. Through trial and error, I have learned how to minimize this, but those underlying shifts still occur from time to time. It’s mostly circumstances, difficulties, or just my own mind and thoughts that cause the shift. I can be loving life one minute and the next just think, ‘wow this is a sad world.’ I can feel totally loved and then totally alone within a moments notice.

That’s not to say I don’t like emotions. I’m all for emotions. They’re what make us feel ALIVE. To love someone, to have compassion for what another is going through, to know pain and loss, these all connect us to one another. The key issue with emotions are people let emotions control them, instead of the other way around. We shouldn’t be lead by our emotions; rather, use wisdom and truth to make decisions.

For instance, you may get mad at  someone, (in my experience it holds especially true with siblings), then say something hurtful and not think a second thought. But you can’t take it back. You can apologize sure, but you can never physically take those words back. They’re gone forever. And words really can hurt. They can cut like a sword to the heart. That’s just one example of so many times we can let our emotions control us. That’s why it’s so vital not to react to conflict, but to respond to it. Let some time pass, think it through, and you’ll realize you can respond in a calm, collected manner in a way you that you won’t regret later.

Now what does all of this have to do with the question “What is life”?  We are a body, soul, and spirit, and yet all we usually think about when we think of living is the body. But there is so much more to life than just breathing, eating, and sleeping. The intellectual, creative, and emotional side of living is so much more real and far more important to life than we realize.

As I said earlier, I’m pretty emotional. Growing up I always wore my heart on my sleeve. If I did something wrong, I got all tore up about it. If I hurt someone, I would just about die. Growing up that way, I guess that’s what caused me to eliminate emotions entirely. I would rather feel nothing at all, than to feel pain or regret. But that’s no way to live. Thankfully I feel I have learned a lot over my short lifetime.

DOUBT, FEAR, they’ll never truly go away. They’re quite patient actually. No matter how many times you reject them, they’re always hanging around, waiting for circumstances to rise up so they can try to attach themselves to you like leaches. Sucking the life blood out of you. Causing you to doubt your God, and doubt yourself. Now there’s also fear. Now fear comes in many forms. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being alone. Fear of what others think about you. Just to name a few.

Life hits hard. We all have things we go through. Times where we question our beliefs, who we are, and if we’re even strong enough to carry on. But it’s actually life’s toughest challenges that build the most character, and mold us into who we are to become. It’s when we go through life’s fires, that we can come out as gold. But only if we embrace the pain and allow God to use it to shape us into who He wants us to be.

There will always be pain in this life. And things that we don’t understand, and simply can’t understand. But at the end of it all, we’ll realize we learned the most about God, ourselves, and each other when we went through hell. But whatever we go through in this life won’t compare to that joy that’s coming on the other side.

Romans 8:18 “The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.”

Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

1 Peter 1:7 “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

Melted Ice

Growing up, I always had a sense of family. Being home-schooled meant two things. One, my cousins were my best friends. And two, I got my socialization from church. I might as well have been a pastor’s kid, because my mother was the worship leader at a small church for almost nine years. We pretty much never missed a service.

I was involved throughout our attendance there. Whether it was helping clean the church for a short time, running sound for years, until finally being on stage playing as I was learning guitar. I even “preached” a few messages somewhere there in the middle. The last couple of years there got pretty rough though. Being a teenager, I really wanted to be around people my own age, but seeing how our church had no youth, that wasn’t really possible.

I believe it was during this time that I became very inward, quiet, and shy. There was even a time I didn’t like making eye contact. I would go through spells of being just fine one day and the next just wanting to stay in my room. I did not like answering the phone, ordering food in a drive-through, or even eating in a restaurant. I could really only talk to family, people I really knew.

That all started this strange twist of inward feelings. I still loved people, but I couldn’t feel it. I still worshiped, but I couldn’t experience it. The injustices of the world that use to ignite a flame and anger within me to do something laid dormant. Nothing moved me. I purposefully disconnected from emotion. I found in doing so I was never emotional at all, but I still had this sadness I simply couldn’t feel. There would be times I would want emotions again, so I would turn them on again. Feeling unable to handle them, I would simply turn them off, like a flip of a switch.

During the past year, things began to shift. A desire to feel, to be free with my whole being, grew stronger and stronger. I really wanted to believe God loved me. That people loved me. That I loved God, and that I loved people. That desire grew and and grew until it finally plateaued into an onslaught of emotion. Referencing back to my last post, A New Love, it was that night I encountered God’s love that I truly became alive again.

God is love. He created us to have emotions, to feel what He feels, to love what He loves, to hate what He hates. Yes, things will hurt us. People will betray us. Our world may crumble. But when my savior, the Creator of the universe, says He loves me, He loves me.  And He will never leave or forsake me. And it’s His love that transforms lives. Truly loving Him is truly loving everything that He is. Truly loving people is loving them for who God has created them to be. No matter where you are or what you’re going through, God is so much greater! Cast all your cares on Him, because he cares about you! There are no human words that can describe how much He loves you. His love can thaw the coldest of hearts.