Flight Control

I’ve always wanted to fly a plane. To me it just seems so amazing to be able to leave the ground, and take flight in a giant metal bird. Such freedom, seeing the ground from a bird’s-eye view. It’s so humbling seeing how small the ground we live on really is just by changing your perspective. I do plan on getting my private pilot’s license, Lord willing. But while I do love planes and flying in general, they also form a great metaphor for my personal life.

The last couple of weeks have been very odd. I haven’t felt this down in a while. It’s nowhere near what I use to deal with, but it’s still been enough to notice. Sometimes it can come without any reason, like now. Without any one specific thing being the culprit. While other times it can be brought on by a situation or circumstance.

There have been times I’ve felt like my life was spiraling out of control, like an airplane that has stalled trying to climb too steep of a grade. There are always, of course, times when control is regained, and steady flight is maintained.

Lately I think this time it’s mostly been brought on by spiritual reasons, and health reasons. Sometimes you can begin questioning things, and the more you question things, the more answers you seem to lack.

Don’t give up based on emotions. Don’t give up based on feelings.

But one thing I have learned through everything is this: don’t give up based on emotions. Don’t give up based on feelings. It’s easy to trust in the Lord when you feel like it. It’s easy to worship when everything in your life is perfect. The true test comes when trials come. For that is when you’re left with a choice. Will I stall out, spiraling out of control? Or will I push the engines a little harder, and navigate through the rough turbulence, trusting He will see me through?

I have chosen the latter. If Job went through what he did, and never wavered, then surely anything I might go through is nothing. So, big or small, drought or rain, I want to be someone God can trust. Uncompromising, unwavering, and completely sold out for my King. Proverbs 3:5 says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”

We’ve got to learn to trust Him with everything, for our lives are but vapors anyway. His timing is not our timing, and His ways are not our ways. He’s God, and we’re not. The creation never supersedes or knows more than their Creator.

We’re truly nothing without Him. But I find comfort in that. It takes the burden off of me, and He gives me a yoke to take up, for His yoke is easy, and His burden is light.

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Trust, Part II

I have come to find a new meaning to trust. Well maybe not a new meaning per say, but more of a new way of looking at it.

I always thought trust was more of a feeling. You trust people based on a feeling. They just seem trustworthy. But have you ever trusted someone and been burnt? Yeah, sometimes that old feeling can be wrong.

But what I’ve learned lately is, sometimes you have to trust, whether you feel like it or not. When you drive a car or take a flight, you automatically trust that the vehicle is sound, that the plane is safe, and that you’ll make it to your destination. We’re so quick to trust a machine, and yet we can still have such a hard time trusting people.

I suppose fear of people has something to do with it. We fear what people will say or do, or think about us, and in turn we don’t trust them. We won’t trust them.

Yes it’s true that some people just aren’t trustworthy, but we don’t trust people enough, and yet we can trust them too much. Let me explain.

We trust in government. We trust in money. We trust in weapons. We trust in our own logic and our own abilities. And yet, we have such a hard time trusting God. The God of the universe. The God who literally hangs our planet and solar system in the balance of our galaxy. None of His words fall void or to the ground. If He says something, it is, or it will be.

So while yes we trust in so many things, people, ourselves etc, how much more should we put our trust in the one who created us all anyway? And trust is more than a feeling. My faith doesn’t always feel like it’s all there. My hope fails continually.

But I’ve been leaning lately, it’s not how you feel. It’s also a choice. You won’t always feel like putting your faith and hope and trust in the Lord, but you can choose to do so. You can choose to have faith and not give up. You can choose to trust in Him, no matter your feelings or circumstances or doubts or fears.

Be courageous and simply trust that He’s always there, and He’s always in control.

Unresolved But Hopeful

In life, one can often become distracted. We tend to become so focused on things that have little to no real value. Things that are trifle, and things that don’t help our souls in any way.

Sometimes we can become so fixated on our selfs, our circumstances, our inadequacies, that we forget to whom we belong.

I came to the realization, that I’ve allowed things spoken about me, lies I’ve believed about myself, and a form of pride I thought wasn’t pride, to affect me in a very negative way. I allowed offense to affect me more than I ever thought it would.

Things I had thought I had dealt with, in all reality, were only temporarily resolved, and yet the roots remained.

How did I get to such a place? Surely not all at once, but little by little. A chip here, a chip there, until great damage was done. There are many wounds, and most of them self-afflicted.

Perhaps it’s simply a case of looking too much at myself. If I was truly keeping my eyes on Jesus, maybe I wouldn’t have to come this place.

I just want to Love God, and love people. I want to be confident and not prideful. I want to be sure of who I am in Him, and in the abilities He has given me. Those are my goals. That’s what I want to strive for. And hopefully with His help, I can attain that.

I’m tired of making excuses. I’m tired of being offended by others and especially myself. I’m tired of listening to the lies of the enemy. I’m ready to make a change. I’m ready to walk in the freedom and goodness that God wants us all to walk in. To live a life always hopeful, prayerful, and pleasing to the Lord.

Trust


Trust. It’s something all relationships need. From our relationship with our parents, to a significant other, to our relationship with God. Trust is part of the glue that holds us all together.

What is trust? Trust is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Pretty simple, right? We trust our parents love and care for us, and in that trust we believe that they will protect us and supply our needs.

Growing up I always felt safer when my dad was home. Even sitting on the couch watching westerns or Andy Griffith, I had this feeling that if anything bad were to happen, him and I could take care of it. 

Somewhere along the way, I lost trust in some ways. Not in him, but just people and life in general. I quit taking people at their word, and scrutinized most of what anyone said. 

Now there is a certain wisdom to discerning if people are telling the truth. You can’t believe everything you hear, obviously, but you just have to have a certain amount of trust. Without it, relationships fall apart. How can I be your friend if I don’t trust you? How can I depend on you or ask for your help if I don’t trust you?

And it goes beyond that. When you begin to question people’s motives and intentions, you become suspicious of everyone and everything. Again, a certain amount of speculation is okay, even good, but you have to find a balance between the two. 

Today I’ve realized part of my overthinking problem is actually a trust problem. I create problems overthinking because I don’t trust that people are genuine. And not all people are. But if you’re not looking for the good in people, then what’s the point? 

Once lost, trust can be hard to gain back, but part of it is a choice. Sometimes you will trust, and come out safe and sound. Other times, you’ll trust and get burned. But  you may never know who to trust until you just take a risk and trust someone. 

Of course, we can have our full trust and assurance in our Savior, Jesus Christ. He will never fail us. No matter what we go through in life, or how alone we feel, He can always be trusted.

And as far as trusting people goes, people are worth it. It’s worth the risk of being hurt to trust people. Just like it’s worth the risk to love people. Life is full of taking chances, but some chances are worth the risk.

Garden of My Heart


Testimony time! So, last night, I got wrecked. I mean, the Lord really really worked on me. So for you to understand what this was all about, let me go back a few years.

For off and on as long as I can remember, I’ve battled with depression, insecurity, I can’t be good enough, I’m not saved, and who knows what else. Well, it was mostly gone for awhile, until a couple months ago or so. It’s really hard for me to pinpoint all of the details, so I’ll just stick to what’s relevant to this story.

Anyway, lately I struggled with those insecurities yet again. And even found myself holding grudges against people, for little to no reason at all. I believed that no one really liked me, and I had fear that if I did one little thing wrong, people wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. I was striving for perfection. 

This past week was our youth group’s cabin trip, and while I wasn’t technically delivered from anything, I could tell things were in motion. See, up to this point I hadn’t linked any of this together. But issues that sprout up can often have the same root. You can deal with plant, but without killing the root, another one will simply take its place.

Anyway, after we got back yesterday, I just felt horrible. Like, how did I get to this place? A place where I had little faith. Where I was suspicious of people’s motives. I also realized I had pride and unforgiveness. Where did all of this come from? 

I then realized I had to repent. Of all of it. I had become more me oriented. I was so consumed with my own problems, I forgot how good God is, and how we all have problems and issues we go through. 

After I repented, I felt better. Being a Wednesday night, it was close to church time. During worship I really felt His presence. Then a couple students from the trip gave their testimony, and really shook me. Look at how much I had in common. And look at how much I was just looking at myself. 

When we went to the back for youth, I heard testimonies. Things I would never have thought people in our youth group would be going through. Even people that had been there for years. 

I was being chiseled away more and more after every single testimony. Finally we had prayer, and that’s when I fully broke down. All I can explain it as is it was simply wonderful. 

Then I had another revelation. All those years I was listening to the wrong voice. The voice that said I was nothing. That I should be depressed. That no one cared about me. That I should be insecure. And everything else. 

Satan will always try to get us to listen, but we can’t give him a voice in our lives. He will always try to cause us to stumble, but we must look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. 

We have to kill those roots that don’t belong in the garden of our heart. We have to cast down those thoughts that are not of God. We are Overcomers, Sons and Daughters of the One True King. 

If you’re struggling with anything similar to my story, or anything at all, give it all to God. For His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. 

Reality

Finally. Finally. I am finally coming to a place I have wanted to be at for a long time. A place where I’m comfortable with myself and the people around me. A place where I love God, and love others as I love myself. A place where I don’t question if people say what they mean. A place where I feel loved, not because I hear it more often, but because I don’t question the sincerity behind those three words. When I hear it I simply believe it. I accept it. I cherish it.

Hindsight is 20/20, and it’s never been more true to me. I always see things more clearly after they’ve gone.

I now see that the reason I had a season of time that I no longer felt love was not because love was absent, but because I simply didn’t believe it was there. I heard it all the time, but I didn’t believe it. I didn’t accept it, therefore, it did not exist to me.

When I feel lonely, again, it’s not because I don’t have friends, but because I don’t believe I have friends. And that’s shocking to me. How can something exist and you not believe that it does?

Why do we watch television? Why do we have video games, novels, music, anything to take us out of the reality we’re living? We do to escape reality, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it’s a good thing to forget your problems, if only for a short time. If there is to be a problem, it will come when we stay out of reality for too long.

We shouldn’t downplay the troubles of the world, for if we “Bury our heads in the sand”, nothing will be done to combat them.

What is reality? Well, google puts it like this: “Reality, the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.” Simple right? It’s simply the world as it really exists. Not what we want it to be, or what we work for it to be. It is what it is, really. We shouldn’t downplay the troubles of the world, for if we “Bury our heads in the sand”, nothing will be done to combat them.

Growing up, there were things I didn’t believe, or accept, even though they were fact. Why is that? Only for the fact that I didn’t like it. I didn’t like reality, so I made up my own reality. It could have been anything, from not listening to my parents in what was best for me, all the way to not watching the news because I couldn’t bear to acknowledge the evil in the world. I still believe in seeing the good in the world, but have come to realize you cannot find a solution until you acknowledge there is a problem. And of course, it wasn’t something that was a major part of my life, but it was there. What kid doesn’t daydream, or live oblivious to so many things?

I suppose that’s what happens when you grow up, or at least it should be. We find out so many things that, as a child, we couldn’t understand, or could even care less about. As we grow, we should mature. We should obtain wisdom, and as Christians, we should be continually drawing closer to Christ. And as we do, we must allow Him to continually change us into being more and more like Him.

So just as I have learned so so much just in the past couple of years, about God, about myself, and about others, I cannot wait for the mysteries that await to be unearthed. The questions to be answered. The life to be lived.

 

Friends, Frenemies, and Foes

friends frenemies and foes.jpg

I never seemed to have many friends growing up, at least that were my age. I guess it was simply because I was hardly around anybody my age. The church I grew up in during my tween and teen years was a pretty small church with mostly adults. While I didn’t have many, there was always a friend around right when I needed one, whether it be a friend from that small church, a neighbor, or a family member.

Now, roughly five years later, and I feel like I have all kinds of friends. People at church. People I hang out with. It’s nice to feel like I have friends, but the funny thing is, I’ve only felt like I had friends within the past few months. Why, you ask? I don’t really know, to be honest.

Perhaps it was my definition of a friend. See, for me, a friend has always been someone you can confide in. Someone who can confide in you. You both know and trust each other well enough that it won’t go any further than that. A friend is also someone I believe that you can be honest with. It’s when you’re not afraid to tell them how it is, and vice versa.

So judging from this stand point, I haven’t really had any friends. Save one or two. There just haven’t been many people I have truly felt like they were a friend. But, I now believe there are different levels of friendships, and that’s where I made the error of assuming I had no friends. Perhaps in reality, I did indeed have friends, but I didn’t think of them that way.

It’s so crazy how much I have changed, and looking back, there are so many things that I thought incorrectly. But it was more than not thinking I didn’t have friends, besides the definition from above.

I simply didn’t believe that I was wanted. I didn’t think that anybody really wanted me around, and that they were simply ‘Putting up with me’. I now see that the issue was caused not by what I believed to be true, but from insecurity. I was so insecure that I didn’t believe I was really worth the time of day, or that anybody cared about what I had to say, or do. It seems silly now to think about it. But at the time, it was a very lonely place.

But still, even now, I’m still asking the question, “Do I really have friends”? I truly believe that I do have friends, that I always have. But while being insecure and going too extreme to say I had no friends, I’m afraid I have gone too far in the opposite direction. Perhaps there are people I consider friends, that are actually not.

How can I tell if someone is a friend? How can I tell if someone is an enemy? And how can I tell if someone is something in-between?

I don’t really know. When I was insecure, I never wanted to make the mistake of assuming that someone was a friend, when they wasn’t. Now, I find myself asking, “Are there people I assume are my friends, when they really aren’t”? I really don’t know. I would like to think they’re all my friends. That I’m genuinely wanted around. That if I wasn’t there, if I moved away or quit hanging out, that they would miss me. I don’t know, perhaps there is still some insecurity left.

There’s another part of me, that doesn’t care. The part that knows I am wanted and loved by God, and He is all that I need. That I would rather have a few good friends, than a lot of fake ones.

I really don’t know if there are people who don’t like me, or just put up with me. If so, that’s okay. It doesn’t really matter. If I have foes, that’s okay too. If I have frenemies, people who are somewhere in-between, that’s fine as well.

In the end, I am called to love people, even if they don’t love me back. That’s what real love is anyway right? Loving without expecting or needing it to be reciprocated, or needing anything in return. And if I have enemies out there, if God is for me, who can be against me?

Maybe it’s best, not to live life trying to please people, trying to fit in, trying not to make enemies. It’s when you simply be yourself, that you will be happiest, and you can’t please everybody. In pleasing one, you’ll offend another. That’s why it’s better to please and serve God, rather than man.