3.25.2017

When I Don't Have It Altogether


I'm just trying to figure stuff out, you know?  But I don't know how to.  And it frustrates me because I'm the type of person who likes to have goals, likes to have a plan, likes to have a step-by-step process outlined for accomplishing things in life.  I don't have an ounce of patience, which is definitely something I need to work on.  And maybe that's what God is teaching me right now because wow, is it hard...

Have you ever felt like you're just trying to catch up?  You're trying to get the bills paid, you're trying to make ends meet, you're trying to make the right decisions, you're trying not to fall flat on your face.  This is what my life has consisted of lately.  But I never feel like I fulfill my goals.  I feel like I'm falling short of it.  Like I'm standing on my tippy-toes, stretching as far as I possibly can, but it's just out of reach.  And I don't know what "it" is exactly.  Maybe it's just getting to a level of feeling like my feet are under me and I actually have control of my life for once.  Yeah, I think that's it.
But I never get there.  And it frustrates me to no end.  I feel unhappy.  I feel unfulfilled.  And I've heard a lot of people say that "There's a void in your life that only God can fill", but I know this isn't that void.  Because my relationship with my Jesus is healthy, it's strong, we're in constant communion.  I talk to Him all day, every day.  I spend hours of time in His Word.  I eagerly look forward to Sunday mornings to be able to go to church.  I'm not saying all these because it "makes me a good Christian".  I'm stating facts about my spiritual life to show that no, I'm not lacking in that.  So what is this empty feeling I have?  Why do I have it?  What does it mean?

Well, to be honest, I don't know.

And that makes me even more frustrated.

I was telling a friend about this.  Well, more like blubbering it because I was so emotionally distraught and just plain worn out that I was crying while talking.  He reminded me that God has a plan for all of this.  And I was like "Yeah, well it's hard and it hurts and I don't like it.  I'll never understand why and how something beautiful can come from something so painful.  But I guess that's what makes Him such a Miracle Worker."

He's up to something.  And I'm gonna have to wait and see the reason behind all of this waiting and learning and listening and crying.

In the end, I know it'll be worth it.  I have to just keep reminding myself of that.

Maybe you're going through something similar.  Maybe God is testing you, like He's testing me, and having us work out our faith through patience and trust.  It's hard.  I know exactly what you're feeling.  Trust me.  And in my experience, it's always encouraging to know that I'm not the only one feeling this way, so I pray it's the same for you.

You aren't alone.

God is good.

Stay the course.

3.20.2017

I Don't Know What To Title This


Have you ever had a passion, a hobby, something you loved doing so much, and one day you couldn't anymore?  For some reason, your brain just wasn't letting you, your hands weren't cooperating, your attention span was zilch, and nothing creative came to mind?

That's what it's been like with me and writing lately.

I'm a writer.  Writing is part of who I am.  It's in my blood.  It's an outlet.  It's a passion.  But lately, I've felt like I just couldn't.  I don't know why.  Why would I not be able to do something I love?  I've felt burnt out and not creative whatsoever.  I feel like nothing new has come to mind to write about.  Every time I've sat down to attempt at compiling sentences, nothing came to mind, my fingers didn't move, my brain was just one big blank.  Why can't I do one of the things I love the most?

It scares me.

I was telling all of this to a fellow writer friend of mine and he answered,
"Writing will always come and go throughout life.  Love is hard.  In every way."

I liked how he used "writing" and "love" as synonyms.  They do go hand in hand, so I guess it makes sense.  At least from my viewpoint.
I love to write.  And I write because I love it.  But they are both exasperating - these two.  They can both be so difficult sometimes.  And in those moments, you don't feel like doing either, but you know you should because...well, because it's part of who you are, I guess.

Being scared of something doesn't mean you shouldn't try though.  If it's something you want, if it's something you're passionate about, if it's something you love, then what is stopping you from at least taking a step forward in that direction?  If it doesn't work out, if nothing comes of it, at least you know you tried.

It's better than doing nothing and just wishing things would happen, right?

I guess I'm writing this all to myself.  I got done ranting to my friend and was so frustrated with myself for whining that I knew I needed to write to myself to get a move on and take a dose of my own medicine.

But I hope some part of this helps you.  Maybe you're going through the same thing.  Maybe you're experiencing the same difficulties.  But gosh, I hope you just try...

3.10.2017

Come To Him Broken


So often, I think we feel unworthy to come to God with our problems.  We think He's too busy for us, to hear about our petty needs, to forgive us over and over again.  We have this mentality that we need to look pretty, have our lives together, seek Him in a peaceful state of mind, in a room with candles and on our knees in prayer.

But I don't think that's accurate.

I think that life is messy.  And we're messy.  And we're broken.  And sometimes, all we can come to Him as is lost, hurting, confused, and guilty individuals.  Sometimes we don't know how to pray, but we know how to scream and cry and yell and beat our fists into the air.  We know what "to be hurt" means.  And when words fail us, and frivolous prayers escape our thoughts, we can only come before Him tired and dirty and broken.

I think we have a hard time accepting the fact that we can come to Him like that because we know how awesome and holy He is and it scares us to even consider coming to Him in such a state of chaos.  But if we understand His holiness and sovereignty, then why can't we understand His grace and love too?  If He loved us so much that before we even knew Him, He sent His Son to die in our place, then how much more does He love us now and want us to draw near His throne of grace?

Come to Him broken.

He knows life is difficult.  He knows life is pain.  He understands, He can relate, He is all seeing.  And if the Creator of the universe can understand that, then He can understand our confusion and passion and anger and the cries of our hearts.

Don't hold back.  Don't stay away.  Come to Him as you are.  And if that means in a shattered state, holding your heart in your hands, then so be it.  Don't let fear and guilt and worry about being and looking presentable keep you away from His loving and open arms.

Come to Him broken.

And what a joy and thrill it is to know that He is all-accepting?  That He is all-forgiving?  And nothing you can do will make Him love you less.  He is full of grace and forgiveness.  He has compassion on our weaknesses.  And in the midst of life's cruel tsunamis of suffering and agony, He remains the steadfast lighthouse of constant guidance and love.

Come to Him broken.

He specializes in putting back together pieces and making something even more beautiful than before.

3.05.2017

The Righteous In This City


"Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it?...Suppose the fifty righteous are lacking five?...Suppose forty are found there?...Suppose thirty?...Suppose twenty?...Oh may the LORD not be angry, and I shall speak only this once: suppose ten are found there?  

And He said, 'I will not destroy it on account of the ten.'"

Throughout a passage of 9 verses in Genesis chapter 18, this exchange takes place between the LORD and Abraham.  I always found it fascinating that, in a city of an estimated half a million, God said He would not destroy it for the sake of but ten righteous.

In a crash course on my church's foundational beliefs, the teacher spoke of community and the need to be "like redwoods, and not like tumbleweed".  Why?  Because Redwoods' roots grow deep into the ground and intertwine with each other causing such strong stability that they are able to grow up to 350+ feet tall.  Tumbleweed, on the other hand, have no roots; they blow to and fro by any amount of breeze, and look ugly and dead.  Having community and fellowship causes strong bonds through which the unity can be spread through the culture and in whatever place believers are planted in.

A thought struck me when I heard this.  It was the passage from Genesis that I quoted above, but also this -
How different would we live if we thought to ourselves: "Am I the righteous one in this city, in this neighborhood, on this street?  Am I the one God planted here to reach out to others?"

Are we the reasons He is showing mercy to this country?  To this world?  

God doesn't have to let us wake up every morning.  He doesn't have to let our lungs breathe for us.  He doesn't have to let us live.  Yet He does.  Why?  Because He has a plan and purpose for each of us, in whatever state of life we're in, wherever we are living.

Our Father will always have a remnant.  He loves His children and wants to bless us here on earth, until He calls us home.  But while we're here, how are we showing our true colors?  How are we showing others that we are His?  How are we practicing our righteousness?

If God chose to destroy certain cities today, like He did Sodom and Gomorrah, would yours be left standing?