Sunday, October 14, 2012


Sometimes stress catches a piece of us that we just don't see coming.  No matter how many times we plan fun things to do, relaxing times of rest or just simply veg out on the couch, stress seeks us out and sticks its ugly little head into the light of our world.

For me, I can find a lot of things that occupy my time.  That's exactly the problem!  Things that are not designed to fill those empty spaces in my life are failing.  If I go from stress to things back to stress and then a thing again my life is a spiral.  I'm not sure if you have noticed, but a spiral generally revolves around itself.  I don't recall God calling me to live a self-centered life.  It certainly seems easier to put things in my life that appear to take the place of my stress and my trials.  I have noticed recently that I tend to eat a lot when I am noticeably stressed out.  This is the same outward expression of my inward, broken condition.  Me filling my stomach with food (usually bad for me) is a perfect example of seeing if something external can take the place of my imperfect emotional state.

God is the answer.  How simply beyond us.  At times it seems difficult to organize my activities and stuff to distract me, so it seems too easy to rely on God--right?  This is where I am stuck tonight.  The more things cloud my mind, the harder it is to simply rely and relax!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Conflicted-Hurt but Loved

I know I always say how long its been since I've written, but my goodness.  Ok, now that is out of the way--down to business.

I have recently written quite a few personal journal entries due to something awful I have gone through.  Today, it was brought back up in my life and I wanted to write about it--vaguely, but write nonetheless.  I think that I may type out some of my prayers that I wrote at the end of a few of my journals.  Perhaps like David in the Psalms, my cries of desperation will help if you, whoever you are, are going through something.

1 Peter 5:10
“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

God, tonight my prayer is that you would restore me.  I wait for Your timing on how long I need to suffer (but willingly accept the second part of that verse).  I have never needed You this desperately or tangibly.  I’m not sure how else I would have gotten to this point.  I really didn’t want this to be in my story, but the more I think and type about that, the more I realize this is Your story.  Kari Jobe just sang “Lord I’m running to You, draw me closer…I come alive in your presence, Oh God of my salvation.”  Funny to think that I am running, yet You still need to draw me closer.  God, I ask that You would give me strength to wait for You to draw me.  I give you thanks for promising that You will restore me and give life to the death I feel in my heart.

1 John 4:16b-18

God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

There is no fear in love.  Praise Jesus!  God is love, thus there is no fear in trusting in God.  Fear has to do with punishment.  Ah ha!  So I feel fear because of the expectation for somehow being to blame for this and that I naturally will be punished somehow.  Stupid heart! Get it in your heart-brain that I did nothing to deserve this!  My faith has been tested like Job.  Crap!  I’ve always joked for God not to point my faith out to Satan to test, but seriously!  I haven’t really even doubted God’s existence, His love or what He has done for me in my life.  So now here I am in the biggest pit of fear, anxiety and pain I’ve ever seen having to rely on faith that has a wide root system, but how deep is it?  On the surface it seems great, but apparently it goes deeper than I thought.  How can the root system of a tree be tested without a storm?  Is the hurricane necessary?  I guess I am not the one who decides the size of the storm.

I feel like I have some bricks laid in my foundation of my restoration wall.  As cheesy as that sounds, I have had a hard time getting my head around the concept of restoration.  I know that it is God’s responsibility and His job to restore.  I know that it is going to be in His timing.  I know that it has nothing to do with me.  I also am having another heart-brain fart.  Is that a part of this?  Is God trying to show me that I have done a decent job of getting theology in my brain, but forgot to connect the road to my heart?

There are too many things that I am trying to “figure out” that my dumb emotions and Satan, are trying to bring up that do not even apply to what I am dealing with.  Guilt?  Guilt for what?  What did I do again?  Oh, that’s right—nothing.  Why do I have shame?  While that one has a little more substance to its claim to occupy my heart-brain, it also has no relevance.  “Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).  Perhaps this whole thing is not quite as big of an issue as I am making it out to be.  The incident is a big deal.  I was hurt and was exposed to a darkness that this world tries to hide and disguise, but my God didn’t change.  He still loves me and still longs to be in a relationship with me.  My wife still loves me and I love her.  My friends still care for me and want me to go to their church (ha).  My parents love me and still try to get me to come over any chance they can.  What has changed?  Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”  That sums it up yes?

God, You do not change.  You can’t change.  What reason does a perfect God who creates all things and loves with agape love have to change?  He doesn’t.  He promises He won’t and I do not want to think any different.  I love you and I accept Your love for me.  Please continue to guide my steps to my “new normal”.  I am actually very excited to have a new normal.  I want to be used by You to further Your Kingdom.  Thank You for loving me first.  1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.”  Allow me opportunities to love in the way that You love me!

Too much conflict and not enough explanation?  Sorry.  One step at a time.  If you read this and are moved to respond, respond to relying on God.  He is the one who sustains our lives and we are nothing without Him!