Some of our hearts are hard…they’re hurting, they’re bleeding. We’ve been through a war that has us shattered to the core in some cases. And ugliness comes out as a result. Try as hard as we may we can’t just get it together…can’t stop the bitter waters from coming out. So what do we do with that? Paint on a face that says we’re ok? Probably. But, in the secret recesses of who we are, we’re not ok. But, God is there. He longs to tend to our wounds. He sees beyond our facade, beyond the painted face. He sees beyond the seeping bandages that we use to cover ourselves. The nasty of our wounds does not offend Him. I dont know about you, but sometimes my heart is so hardened….but God comes in so tenderly like He’s wrapping His hands around my heart…eventually the hardness breaks. I need help in that area at times, I admit. Yet there’s no condemnation…God knows all of my story, knows all the details…knows why the hardness is there AND He helps me with it.
It’s so easy to blame in life. When something goes wrong or is tough, do we automatically think that it has to do with someone else? That it’s their fault … their issue? I wonder what would happen if we could step outside of ourselves for a second to consider situations a little differently because at times I believe God sets some things up to mature US…did you get the part where I said US? See, sometimes we dont realize the importance of what is happening in our lives….we think it always involves the other characters in the plot, but like i said, some situations have a distinct purpose for us….theyre really not even about the other people. Here’s a challenge… no matter what situation comes can we allow ourselves to see how God could possibly being using it for good in our own lives? I’m convinced that though it’s hard to see at times, God is always at work behind the scenes, working for OUR benefit… even in the worst case scenarios.
Not everything in life is pretty… life is ugly… hard… draining. Sometimes your heart cries right out of your mouth. You try to hold it in, but sometimes it comes up like vomit….there’s no stopping it. Who would EVER stop, refrain, and swallow when they’re vomiting? Yeah…no one, but that is what we do with our hurt…we swallow it back because there’s nowhere to lay our weariness. Sometimes when it’s so RAW no one wants to hear it. Messy is ugly. Well, for a long time my messy life has been ugly and no I dont swallow back my hurt….not anymore. I’ve learned that God is ok with seeing me messy…I’ve learned to entrust my weariness with Him. And though life is getting better, I will not stay silent….I have no time to forget my past…I want to remember…people need my testimony…they need to hear the messy…they need to see, hear my ugly. In the brink of your messy God is there….speak out, right out of the ugly, others need your testimony, too.
Sometimes when you’re in the midst of something and you’re told to let go you clench your fists even tighter because you can’t see beyond the moment…beyond the situation. But when you’re told to let go there’s always a reason for it. At the time it will be very confusing at times, yet when you are further down the road the pieces will start to come together. You will begin to see why it didn’t work. You must trust enough to know that God knows you better than anyone else, ever. If He removes something, it is ALWAYS for your benefit….sometimes it takes time to understand how the pieces of His plan works out for good in your life.
Going back is always an option. It is the easiest choice. It is what we are used to….the familiar. It takes faith in the midst of fear, doubt, uncertainty to step in a direction that is completely unfamiliar. A lot of times it’s just plain frustrating and hard…and you lose things & people…and you’re alone…it hurts, in extremes. Are you ever tempted to jump ship off the new path BACK into something that’s a little easier…a little more familiar, a little more comfortable? Yes, i am tempted to at times. But, what if the new path, though it be hard, be the thing that truly fulfills our greatest desires? There comes a sense of steadfastness when you know you could give up…you know you could go back and yet you choose not to….you would rather pay the price of being uncomfortable to go forward….at major costs. I want that to be me….I want that to be my story. Sometimes there comes a point in time where the price of going back sucks MORE THAN the cost of moving forward.
We perceive things to bring great comfort…always there…the familiar… what is just within our reach. It presents itself…beckons…screams…pierces us, then latches on, in our hour of great desperation, promising to resolve despair. In panic…in the state of deep loneliness, we accept the invitation. Havoc…pain…destruction…we are left again, abandoned….hurting worse. Quit believing the lies of false promise. Easier said than done? Yes, yes it is. But if you will begin to starve your hunger for that which is destructive and reach for God, He will meet you in that place. God is a God who comforts us in ALL of our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:4) Starve that thing and replace it with your need for God.
Today has been a rougher day of sorts. I’m feeling tired…probably in every dimension (emotionally, spiritually, physically, etc.) The journey has been demanding…exhausting. I get tired of moving forward…tired of struggling…tired of battling. But in my world, I’m gently reminded of my security. I know that God is right there with me in my box. That even though life is hard and demanding and tiring, my security SAFELY rests in Him. This wasnt always the case. In my past I built my life upon unstable ground and suffered the consequence thereof. Well, I’m not in my past! My security is in God; therefore, no matter what curveball comes my way in life I’m still secure. My feelings will feel the effect of the curveball, but my foundation will stand firm in the midst of. When I know that my foundation is secure I can rest….rest my head knowing I have my Answer to every problem, to every trial, to every difficulty. In this world sometimes you will be stripped of everything. Take comfort in the fact that God doesnt leave & remind yourself that you’re safe…you have firm footing in Him at ALL times. Sometimes God will strip you of all other opportunities so that your only option is Him.
As a single lady, I’ve been reflecting on this principle for some time now: Do I honor the marriage relationship, even in my singleness? Does my behavior in any way challenge or provoke people away from their covenant relationship? Do I allow people to talk about their spouse negatively and side with them just to make them comfortable? Does my behavior give a married person an incentive to be tempted? Do I allow any connections to be made that are improper, thereby threatening another’s relationship with their spouse? Why all the questions? I want to be married someday; therefore, I’m in training. I recognize there is importance in what seeds I’m sowing NOW. I must NOW learn to honor the marriage covenant even though I do not have one of my own. Even being in any sort of helping role must come under submission.
I will be the first person to admit that I’ve never really been one to like to ask for help….with anything really. If there’s something that needs done or something I want, I do it myself and/or I get it myself. Therefore, needing anything or anyone would not be such an issue…or so I thought. God started (and still is) working with me on asking for help and letting others help…even if I technically dont really need help. That was a change of pace and a hard transition to adjust to, though I’m learning. But this is what I’ve come to find out…God created us to need…need Him and need others. We dont have to hide the fact that we are needy…or feel bad or guilty. Now I’m not saying that our full dependency should be in people… it should be in God first. When you truly come to know that God sees you in your nakedness AND loves you, it becomes exhilirating. He created us to be needy…and actually I think He is pleased when we know this & go toward Him…there’s nothing to be ashamed of. The reason I say this is because it is the holiday season & I’ve had a lot of fun… so many things that have been engergizing…but at the end of the day I need God. My heart…mind…cannot be in a good state without Him near. And I love the fact that I can admit to Him just how much I need Him.
Light shines the brightest when it is surrounded by darkness. I’m sitting here thinking about my mini Christmas trees on my porch… during the day I could plug those two in and their light would shine but it would not be as obvious. However, when darkness appears they become a thing of beauty and clearly stand out. If I would remove them from the source of power their light would cease to exist. So, what is my point? In life we shine the brightest when surrounded by darkness. The darkness does not overcome us when we are plugged into our Source. Dont be afraid to stand out clearly when surrrounded by darkness…after all, isnt that what light is created to do? It is way more comfortable to be surrounded by light because it is just like us, but I think many times God purposefully puts us in a dark spot where it is uncomfortable for us, yet it is a place where light is desperately needed. Sometimes we have to choose between the place of our comfort and the place where our light is needed. In the darkness we ALWAYS can plug into our Source of power.