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.

Looks Like We’ve Got A Runner

We’re all runners. We’re either running to God, or away from Him. There’s not really any in-between. Except being luke-warm I suppose, and that’s not a good place to be.

Today I want to talk about running. As I’m trying to get back into running, I know I need to do it, but I have a love hate relationship with running. It’s hard, and breath-taking, quite literally. But the benefits far out way the cons. Plus nothing good ever comes easy.

Sometimes I run half-heartedly, just enough to get the job done. But if I was running in a race that mattered, where there was a great prize, I would run with everything that I had. I would run until I couldn’t run anymore, and hopefully that wouldn’t happen until I crossed the finished line, victorious.

I usually hear about those people who run to God whenever they’re in trouble, but I’ve usually been quite the opposite. I used to run from God, when I needed Him most. I don’t really know why exactly, but I would run from Him when I needed Him, knowing that only He could fix whatever the issue was. I would only stay close when things were going well. When I ‘Had it all together’. But let something come up, and I would try and rely on my own ability.

We humans are very complex creatures. We have a body, soul, mind, and spirit. Not to mention emotions, and everything in between. As life goes on, I’ve learned more and more to trust God, and NOT my emotions. Does that mean they’ve settled down and don’t try to have their way? I thought they had settled down. But no. They’re still showing up crying out from time to time wanting to take the reins.

But what I am learning, is, when I’m sad, I go to God. When I’m overjoyed, I go to God. When I’m upset, or bewildered, or lonely, or afraid, I go to God. I used to just sort of wallow in whatever emotion I was experiencing, and still do sometimes. But I’m learning more and more to hold fast to the Word of God, and His promises. To take my feelings and fears to Him, so He can replace them with His Joy, His Peace, His Love.

Part of the problem can be that I’m looking at myself too much. When I keep my eyes on Him, and embrace His Love for me, and know that He will never leave or forsake me, that’s when everything becomes alright.

On my journey to find Him, the One I Love, the One I need to Love so so much more, I find myself running. Running fast after Him. Even in my imperfections He still loves me. Even when I fall, His Grace is sufficient. And His Grace is enough to empower me to keep running. My salvation, my healing, and my eternity were all purchased with a very great price. The Precious Blood of Jesus.

Will you run after Him today? Will He become your everything? I pray that He does. And that you run after Him with every atom of your being.

Patience

A dilemma. For some patience I have, but patience I also lack. In the day-to-day, I don’t really have a problem with road rage, or dealing with people, waiting on an order, or anything of that nature, but when it comes to life, aka future life, I’m about as impatient as one could be.

I want things done now. I want to be where I want to be now. But is where I want to be where I’m meant to be? I continually pray that doors are opened, that my path is made clear. But it seems like so far it’s just been silence. Maybe God hasn’t spoken yet. Maybe I’m not listening.

I have learned some lessons lately about patience. The old saying, good things come to those who wait, holds true. Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I Am God”. So sometimes it is best to be still, to wait and see. But sometimes it feels like procrastination. And other times, it feels like life is passing you by. You look at other people’s lives and feel like you’re not accomplishing nearly what they are.

It can be good to have people you want to be like. People that inspire you to do more and to be better, but you have to be careful not to compare yourself to them. Each person’s journey through life is different. I have my own things I have to go through, and you have yours. Jesus is the ultimate example, and we should only try to truly model our lives after Him.

So is there a balance to be found then? Between waiting and stepping into action? I’m sure there is. But personally, I’m still trying to find it. But I’m sure as long as I’m waiting, and watching, and praying, everything will work out.

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. 

Seasons


Spring is in full effect, and before long we’ll be cranking the ac and going swimming just trying to beat the summer heat. It’s amazing how we can go from one season to the next, not really knowing what it will bring, but at the same time, we have a good idea just from previous years.

We as people also go through seasons, trials, times when we’re both dealing with and learning something knew. The important thing to remember is that no matter what it is, we can get through it, and learn truths at the same time.

I feel that I’ve entered a new season recently. It feels like the physical season we’re in now, spring. I feel a newness. A freshness in perspective and attitude. A peace and contentment I haven’t had in awhile. It’s God of course, but it’s also that He’s been changing the way I see things.

Much of the doubt and fear from previous seasons is dissipating. I’m learning more everyday to accept who I am in Christ. Who He has called me to be. And I’m also learning not to listen to the lies of the enemy that I believe I was bound to.

You see, sometimes you don’t even know you’re bound. Because it’s there for so long, you don’t notice it. And if you do, you think it’s normal. But it’s not! When you come out of it, you realize a freedom and peace that wasn’t there before. Then when you look back, you can’t recognize your old self.

When I look back at thoughts, ideas, perspectives from my past, I am shocked. There are so many things that have changed from then to now. For the better, thankfully. 

If there’s one thing to learn in life, it’s to be comfortable being yourself. How else can you serve God and others if you’re constantly looking at yourself? 

From here on out, I hope to be the best I can be, to live bold, and fearless. To put every bit of faith I can muster in Him. And in the end, hopefully it will be enough. 

We all go through seasons, some good, some bad. But it’s how you go through it that determines if and what you will learn, and how you come out of it.

 

Choices

choice

Doughnut? Cookie? What’s your fancy? Choices. We make them everyday. Everything we do is by choice, from what we eat to how we spend our time. Even when we think we have no choice in a given situation, good or bad, you always have a choice.

Have you ever wondered how life would be different, had you made different choices? Sometimes better choices? I’m sure you have. I’d say it’s something we all have thought about at one time or another. ‘Well if I had only eaten healthier’. ‘If I had only exercised more’. ‘If I had only spent more time with loved ones’. Thinking what if only causes regret. But if you take it as a learning experience, you can say, next time I’ll be ready to take what I learned and make the right choices.

Lately I’ve been thinking about choices, and about actions. I tend to be a very passive person at times, but I’ve been thinking, “How can I go through life being so passive?” It’s like I’ve been in a limbo state where I only have been observing. Observing other people’s lives, and not living my own. It’s also felt like I don’t belong anywhere. Like there’s no where I can feel like I’m a part of.

It’s not that I’m treated that way by people, but the way I have perceived it all has been the cause. It’s like when I didn’t feel loved by ANYONE. There were lots of people who did LOVE me, but I wouldn’t believe it. For whatever reason, I just didn’t believe it. In a similar way, I haven’t believed that I belong anywhere, because I chose to see it that way.

Choice is a powerful thing. The right to choose right from wrong is a huge freedom given to us by God. The question is what will we choose? Will we choose right? Will we choose wrong? Will we choose blessing? Or choose cursing? The choice is ours to make.

I choose to believe what the Bible says, even though there are times I may not understand it or study it like I should.

It’s also my choice to choose action, or remain passive. Not to say that in certain circumstances being passive is a bad thing, but there are times I should act when I don’t, and vice versa. It’s also my choice to believe what I will about God, and about the world in general. I choose to believe what the Bible says, even though there are times I may not understand it or study it like I should. I’ve chosen to try to see the good in the world, the good in people, and pray for what is not. I’ve chosen to believe I am loved, because deep down, I always knew, and really it’s way better than believing otherwise.

Now I’m also choosing to believe I belong, that I’m a part of something greater than myself. I wish I could convey the feelings of not belonging, and how different it is to belong. There’s such an inner comfort in knowing that you belong, and that the people in your life want you in their life. Sometimes my thoughts can get so muddled up that my perception and judgement become clouded, and I can no longer see clearly.

Sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone, and take a leap of faith. Oftentimes the reward is worth the risk.

There are things, ideas, that I look back on from years back that I think, “What? How did I ever think that? It makes absolutely zero sense.” And yet that was my perception at the time. I guess there are just times when reality seems too hard, so you come to believe what you want to believe, and what keeps you comfortable. Sometimes you just have to step out of your comfort zone, and take a leap of faith. Oftentimes the reward is worth the risk.

Serving God is a choice. It’s not always easy, but it’s beyond worth it! Loving people isn’t always easy, but it’s a choice. There are times when people are so ‘Stupid’, or ‘Jerks’, or ‘Unlovable’ etc, that it can be sooo hard to love. And yet we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves, bless those who curse us, pray for those who mistreat us.

It’s a choice. I can choose to love my neighbor, or hate them, but that is a choice that puts my decision into action. Faith without works is dead. Our faith should push us into action. It should cause us to choose what is right. Our love for God and people should push us into being His hands and feet.

Our choices have consequences, and affect others. We can block things out of our minds, and choose not to see, but in reality they affect far more than we allow ourselves to believe.

So before your action, is a choice, and before you choose, think of the outcome.

 

 

Don’t Stop

don't stop.jpeg

It frightens me how easy it is to change my mind sometimes. How easily I succumb to suggestions. What frightens me even more is how easy it is to fade back. To live totally free in the love of God one day and to live in defeat the next.

There are times when I make up so much ground, only to lose it in an instant. Oh how easy it is to lose sight of what’s important! Just a few days ago, I wanted to never blog again. I wanted to isolate myself from others and just fade into the shadows. And yet, here I am, writing another post.

The more I learn, the more I understand, the more I come to realize how little I really know, how little I really understand.

The more I learn, the more I understand, the more I come to realize how little I really know, how little I really understand. The more I learn about God, the closer I get to Him, the more I realize how little I actually know about Him.

As stated in other posts, I can be a very indecisive person. I try to weigh out the positives and negatives of a decision or decisions, and sometimes in doing so I don’t really fancy any of them at all. I try to be the best I can be, and yet, sometimes things don’t turn out as planned. Something sounds great in my head, but said out loud, it just doesn’t work! So sometimes, if I get tired of feeling like I say the wrong things, or become insecure about really anything, I just talk as little as possible.

Really I think it comes to a matter of insecurity. We should be secure enough in God and who He made us to be, to own our words and own our actions. Own who we are. If people find us weird, who cares?

But I can’t do that. I care too much about what people think of me. And yet at the same time I don’t. I guess in some areas, I don’t give a hoot what anybody thinks or says about me. But in others, I try not to, but I actually care very much.

If someone knew all the things you’ve said about them behind their back, how would that make them feel?

I often wonder what people say behind my back. We all say all kinds of things about other people, but never directly to them. If someone knew all the things you’ve said about them behind their back, how would that make them feel? Would they appreciate you? Would they feel loved and honored? Or would they feel embarrassment and shame in knowing what you really think of them? Sometimes I think about that. What do people say when I’m not around? What jokes do they crack? What do they really think about me? Am I a good influence? A kind person? I try not to think about it, so much to the point if someone says, “Oh there you are. We were just talking about you”, I’m actually kind of surprised.

It reminds me of when I couldn’t feel love. It was a season when I felt totally alone, even surrounded by people. People told me all the time they loved me, but I didn’t believe them. I didn’t believe them. It doesn’t matter what someone tells you, if you don’t believe them, their words mean nothing. And it’s not even their fault, when you simply trust no one and believe no one there’s no reason to believe they love you.

But now I look at things differently. Despite all my flaws and all of my problems, I’m learning to trust. I’m learning to believe what people tell me, not being gullible, but hopeful that they mean what they say. Besides, I love them, and real love doesn’t need to be reciprocated. God Himself loves a world full of people who pretend He doesn’t exist. So I hope and pray to have that kind of unconditional love. I’m not even sure what caused me to lose trust, I’m just glad that I feel like I’m on the right track.

See I know what to do. I know what I should do. How I should act. How I should be. But that’s the hard part. Doing. It’s easy to know. It’s harder to do. Jesus says to feed the poor and help the orphans and widows, but that’s easier said than done. How many of us think of helping someone and never do it? There’s a world full of hurting people, but what do we do to help? I feel like I don’t do much of anything. I help with what I can, but sometimes it’s hard enough to take care of myself, let alone help other people.

I don’t even really know how I got off onto all of that. I just sat down to finish a post, and it kind of just shifted into something else. As a writer, sometimes you don’t know what you’ll write until you just sit down and write!

None of us are perfect. We are all flawed and have things to work on. I guess that’s why Jesus said not to judge one another, because He knows none of are perfect and that we will fail in one way or another, which only makes His love even greater. But it’s all about not giving up. As Paul said, we’re in a race, a marathon, even when we stumble and fall, we have to get back up and keep running. Even if sometimes it feels like we’re only crawling, only making inches at a time, don’t stop, don’t ever stop.

 

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.”