Recently I have been faced with one of the hardest things that I have had to go through in my adult life. While I am still in the midst of it all, there are a few things I have learned in last couple weeks.
He is here with me in my sadness.
He is here with me in the joyous moments.
He is here with me in the moments that I don’t understand.
He is here with me when I pretend to be ok and ignore my feelings.
He is here with me when I don’t understand my feelings and can’t put a name to it.
There is a song that I have been identifying with the last couple weeks.
Maybe it’s ok if I’m not ok
‘Cause the One who holds the world is holding onto me
Maybe it’s all right if I’m not all right
‘Cause the One who holds the stars is holding my whole life
“Maybe It’s Ok”by We are Messengers.
While I don’t know when this will end, I do know that God with me in the midst of the storm. He is teaching me new things in this storm. I trust Him in the midst of the storm.
If you are going through a hard season in life, look at what you can learn through it all. Look to the peace in the storm rather than focusing on the storm.
Recently I went away with 100 some young adults and the weekend was filled with fellowship with others and God. The theme was come alive. And the weekend’s passage was on the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37:1-14.
“God grabbed me. God’s Spirit took me up and set me down in the middle of an open plain strewn with bones. He led me around and among them—a lot of bones! There were bones all over the plain—dry bones, bleached by the sun.He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Master God, only you know that.”
He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones: ‘Dry bones, listen to the Message of God!’ “God, the Master, told the dry bones, “Watch this: I’m bringing the breath of life to you and you’ll come to life. I’ll attach sinews to you, put meat on your bones, cover you with skin, and breathe life into you. You’ll come alive and you’ll realize that I am God!”
I prophesied just as I’d been commanded. As I prophesied, there was a sound and, oh, rustling! The bones moved and came together, bone to bone. I kept watching. Sinews formed, then muscles on the bones, then skin stretched over them. But they had no breath in them.
He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath. Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, ‘God, the Master, says, Come from the four winds. Come, breath. Breathe on these slain bodies. Breathe life!’”
So I prophesied, just as he commanded me. The breath entered them and they came alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army.
Then God said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Listen to what they’re saying: ‘Our bones are dried up, our hope is gone, there’s nothing left of us.’ “Therefore, prophesy. Tell them, ‘God, the Master, says: I’ll dig up your graves and bring you out alive—O my people! Then I’ll take you straight to the land of Israel. When I dig up graves and bring you out as my people, you’ll realize that I am God. I’ll breathe my life into you and you’ll live. Then I’ll lead you straight back to your land and you’ll realize that I am God. I’ve said it and I’ll do it. God’s Decree.’”
We were encouraged to look at the dry bones(areas) in our lives and ask for life to be brought to that area. And I thought of a few areas that I knew already that needed life but they were areas I have thought about before. And part of me thought I have this in the sense that this is nothing new. Until Saturday night Bryce Taylor preached, God grabbed my heart. He showed me through Bryce that I had a victim mentality with my past. Not in a way most people think but in a way of my relationship with God.
You see I struggle so much with people who have a victim mentality and who live in that. I live by this quote because there is so much truth in it and I have seen countless time where it has played out. “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it,” Charles Swindoll said this. And I do understand there is a time where someone needs process what has happened in their life. But I also believe that you can’t stay in that moment because we wouldn’t move forward in life and we will miss some of the great things God has in store for us. While I do not say this aloud it does sometimes go through my head, when I think the person should have worked through the hurt and pain in their life, my thought is that you just need to work through it and move on in life. What right do I have to say that? I have not walked their journey in life so I do not have the right to see when the person should not be living in the moment of their hurt and pain anymore.
Let’s go back to me now. That Saturday night God showed me that I will use my past as a crutch when I relate to Him. And the very thing that frustrates me when I see it in other people. He showed me that I am doing the same thing with Him. I see Him through this filter of my past hurts and pained how others have treated me. And I only allow God so close because if He gets any closer He might hurt me like other people in my life. And as a grow older and more mature in my walk with Him, I might let him a step closer but that is still a wall that I did not let Him past. Reality is that He will not hurt me and He will not leave me. “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 Wow what a great promise! I decided that night that I am going to believe Him at His promises even when it is hard. And live in His truth not in the lies I have been told about me or about Him. Even when I may not fully believe it, I am going to tell myself these promises till I believe them with all my heart. And I am going to allow God to come closer than ever and no longer hold Him at an arm’s distance.
What area in your life needs life? Is there an area with your relationship with God where you are using your past as an excuse to not allow God to get past your wall?
Recently I had pictures a friend took pictures of me. As I was looking at these pictures, I started to pick apart everything I did not like about my body. And it spiraled from there. I did not see the joy on my face from twirling around in my bright yellow dress that billowed out. And I did not see my pretty blue eyes that were passed down from generations before me. I did not see the passion I have to serve others.
I posted a few of the pictures on Facebook. I had encouraging comments made by friends. These comments lifted my self esteem for the time being.
Late on when I was texting a friend, I was reminded I am a daughter of the King. And what He says about me is more important than what I think of myself or what others think of me. We should be going to our Creator first instead of others. And I need to rest in what He says about me. Because He knows everything about me including all my flaws. And if my Creator who sees everything about me still loves me and thinks I am beautiful, how can it get better than that!
While getting encouragement from others is not wrong, it is wrong when I look for validation in people rather than my Creator. Most of the time when we have these moments, it is Satan’s distraction to our purpose that we were created for. If Satan can distract us with thinking about what is wrong with us rather than about our purpose, then Satan has us right where he wants us. Because it is saying that when God created us it was not good enough. Reality is when God created us, He created us exactly how He wants us to be.
God made you for a specific purpose and with out you in this world there would be a piece missing in God’s plan. Some days I think God looks at the world as a puzzle and we are all piece in that puzzle. Each piece of puzzle serves a purpose in a puzzle. So if we do not fulfill the purpose we are created for then a piece will be missing in God’s masterpiece. Let’s celebrate who God created us to be!! And find our identity in our Creator and not in other people.
Photo credit goes to Jennifer Weaver.
Part of having a blog of this nature, is being transparent and vulnerable with others. I do not talk about my struggles in this area of my life very often let alone for all the world to see. But I know this is something that God wants me to share with you all.
In the last month, I have been feeling a restlessness about my singleness. Most days I am happy single, love where I am at in life and would not want it any other way. But this restlessness kept coming back off and on this last month. This was more than usual. New Years eve this year it all came to a head for me. I was feeling lonely and just sick of being single(I watched a Hallmark movie which didn’t help my feelings). Tired of doing life alone as a single woman. Instead of continuing to ruminate in it, I decided to have a heart to heart with God that night before I feel asleep. I laid in my bed with my journal and just poured my heart out to God. I wrote about the feelings that I was having for about the last month or so. And just gave it to Him and let Him love on me. Did this change my singleness? No. And yes I am sure I am still going to struggle with this from time to time. But by the end of writing several pages, I felt loved by my Father and not lonely.
Whether this part of my life will ever change, I am okay with this because I know who God says who I am! And He has an amazing journey planned for me. I also know that I would rather be in God’s will and be single than being out of His will and be married or in a relationship. And no circumstance or feelings I am experiencing will change that. This is a beautiful fact. This New Years eve I have learned to embrace my feelings but in that then give it to God rather than ruminate on it. I also relearned no circumstance or feeling is going to change who God says I am.