Updating

A lot has happened since my last post, which is to be expected, seeing as it has been so long ago. This particular blog will mostly be one of updates. Updating is a part of everyday life these days. Phones, laptops, iPads, and countless other technologies are constantly updating to the newest software. Getting constant downloads, they stay current and up to date. When it comes to humans, there should be constant download as well. Continued learning, adapting, and growing in knowledge and wisdom. At least, that is the ideal situation anyway.

As believers we should be continually updating and growing in knowledge and wisdom from our Lord. As Jesus stated that He is the Vine, we are to be branches, gaining our nutrients from Him alone. It would be ridiculous to think that a branch could simply fall off a tree and still flourish. If that actually does happen, that branch dies, period. Likewise, we can be nothing apart from Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. (I didn’t have that in mind to say as I sat down moments ago to write this, but it just came to me, so perhaps I was meant to say it.)

So anyway, a lot has happened. I’ve probably grown more spiritually in the past few weeks than I have in the past few months. Too much to go into here, but I may write about it someday. I also finished my first year of college, which I enjoyed much more than I originally thought I would. When I began, my goal was to go to Nursing school, and become a Registered Nurse, and work in Pediatrics. I had gotten all of my prerequisites done and was all ready to start this coming fall of 2019. However, I began having doubts, and ultimately decided not to proceed with the program. Ultimately, it just didn’t seem like the best fit for me. Now I plan on getting a degree in Communications, and thankfully this previous year of school can be applied since it was mostly general education classes. I’m also working now. Night shift. Fast food. It does keep my days open though, so that’s why I went with it.

I am learning more and more how to balance this crazy dream called life. I have written about balance before, and how it can be difficult. I feel like I’m finally getting a grasp of what that truly means. Keeping Christ at the center of what I do is the most vital aspect. Learning to be both Mary and Martha. Sitting at the feet of Jesus, worshiping, spending quality time, and learning from Him like Mary did. Like Martha, being a hard worker, and doing what He has called us to do. I believe we are supposed to be the same at home as we are at church, as we are at school, as we are at work. It’s having that relationship with the Lord, not religion with its dos and don’ts. When we truly know Him, we will want to do those things. I really don’t want to go into anything to detailed here, as I hope to write in detail of certain topics later on.

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.

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.

Breaking Point.


What do you do when everything around you is falling apart? It may not even be all at once. But over time, things accumulate until they reach a breaking point. And when it breaks, what do you do about it?

But what if not everything is falling apart? There are still many things going right, and to be thankful for. And yet, it’s still so easy to see the cracks that are widening, until they cause the structure to become compromised, and inevitably crashing to the earth. 

It’s a vicious cycle. Yesterday could have been a perfectly good day, with good spirits and trust in the Lord. And today, it could be the exact opposite, down and out and little to no trust at all. 

There’s a story in the Bible where Elijah is fleeing for his life, and at one point just asks God to take him. The story actually gives me hope. This great man of God, who eventually was caught in a chariot of fire to heaven, was ready to give up. He was ready to say, ‘Things are too bad, and I just can’t do it anymore’. 

There are moments when I want to give up.  But I’m constantly reminded that no matter how weak my faith may get, my only real option is to put my faith and trust in He who holds me in the palm of His hand. That no matter what my circumstances are, or how bad it may seem, HE IS IN CONTROL. 

I may not like it, I may not understand it, but His ways are not my ways, and His thoughts are not my thoughts. And every day I don’t give up, just shows me how much I can really put up with, and deal with. Every time I think I’m at my breaking point, He always ends up giving me the grace to bear it. 

Sometimes trusting is a lot harder than it seems. You think it’s easy to trust God, until something comes that makes you question everything. Will you give up? Or will you allow it to make you stronger? And temper you as a bladesmith tempers a blade.

Forgiveness, and Why it is so Important 


Lately I’ve been learning a lot about forgiveness. About forgiving one’s self and forgiving others. I never thought it would ever be this hard. But the older I get, the harder it becomes. And yet, Jesus calls us to forgive. 

Forgiving myself. It’s always been the hardest, for me personally, to forgive myself. But if I’m supposed to love others as I love myself, that probably means forgiving others means forgiving myself.

I mean, let’s think about it for a minute. If God forgives, then who are we not to forgive? If the Just Judge will throw the case out, then why won’t we? 

I believe part of it comes from being judgmental, which is something else I’ve been learning about alongside forgiveness. Too often we’re ready to judge someone for the very thing we do ourselves. 

I’ve even found it possible to judge the judgers. Yes, we can actually judge people who judge! God is the Just Judge, and we have no place judging people. We don’t have a clue half the time about what people are going though. And we have to be careful. Because, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” -Matthew 7:2

So first, we can’t be going around judging people. Second, we have got to be quick to forgive when wronged, or, when we think we’re wronged. Holding a grudge, or ‘judgement’ is a dangerous thing, it can hurt  you and the person you hold it against.

Another way of looking at forgiveness is forgiving offenses. In today’s world, it is sooo easy to be offended. And sooo easy to offend others. But it shouldn’t be that way. We need to learn just to be loving and offer grace and love just as we have received it. We are ALL human, and we ALL make mistakes. But if we’re repentant about it, God will forgive us, and so we should forgive one another. Then true healing and unity can begin. And yet, even if people won’t apologize to us, we should still forgive them, because then it puts us in danger of not being forgiven. 

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.