The Brick Wall

There’s a wall. I can’t tell exactly what put it there or when it got put up. I haven’t been able to journal in a long time. I can write posts or do a quick journal but to dig deep, I can’t even get passed it. It’s like road block.

I put on a mask without even realizing I’m doing it.  I pretend that I am who I am on the outside of the wall. Everything is surface level, including most, if not all, of my relationships. I don’t even know what’s behind the wall.

Maybe it’s my heart, my trust, that I locked away because every time I tend to get close to someone, we end up parting ways not on good terms. Maybe it’s my past that I haven’t fully moved on from and that past addiction that keeps haunting me. Maybe it’s because I isolated myself from the world because I don’t want to admit that I’m extremely broken and that I need Jesus every moment of every day. Maybe I’m hiding from fear; fear of failing, fear of being inadequate, fear of  judgement.

In service Sunday we were taking communion. As I began to ask God what I needed to ask for repentance for a full list of things started popping in my head. I was taken back by it but as I repeated them I remembered them. It was a game changer. 

It has allowed me to get back up on my feet and move forward. Even if it means  it’s a slow removal of the wall brick by brick. God knows why the wall is up, even if I have no clue. The best thing I can do is hand him the papers to it so he  completely knock it down. Otherwise, all I can do is fight the wall, and the wall will always win because I don’t have the strength on my own to fight it. 
 

Center of it All

I came to realization that I typically take whatever topic and talk about myself and my past and how I can use what was taught to grow myself and hopefully others. There’s a flaw in that however. A flaw that is drilled into all of us. It’s all about me. Why? Why do I have to talk about myself? Using my own personal stories to reflect on the Word of God is great, but if you take a blog, even my blog, and you read it, it’s centered around one thing, ourselves. 

“Well then what’s the point of a blog if its not about me?” Here’s the thing, if you are a Christ follower and I pray you are, it should reflect your life, and Christ should the center of your life not yourself. So many of us will take negative situations and allow it to affect our emotions, feelings, and our day even weeks to years. We give the situation control of our lives, all because we allow it to affect us, because it’s all about us. BUT it’s not suppose to be about us.

Jesus did not die for us to be in our own self pity world. He suffered and died for us to live in freedom in him. Negative things happen, but we can’t define ourselves as the situation. Allow Jesus to set us free from all the horizontal chains and weights we put on ourselves.

Jesus loves all, love like him. Jesus forgives, forgive like him. Jesus shows mercy, allow mercy to flow through you. Jesus was sinless, live a life trying to achieve a sinless life. Jesus redeemed us, live in freedom. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself, love yourself so that you can show love to your neighbor. 

Loving yourself is hard. However, God made you. He doesn’t make junk. He makes wonderful and lovely things. You have purpose in life, even if you do not see it. God made you just the way you are. God loves you. God is your Father. Love yourself because The Creator of the World is the Creater of You. 

A Planted Seed

High Point University, a university I was only at for one year, a university where I became friends with people, I still talk to day or at least friends with on Facebook. If we weren’t playing Spades in the lobby of the dorm, some of us would be out partying, including myself. I lost myself that year to alcohol, I got in trouble numerous times, put on probation, and almost kicked out. I lied my way through it all. But through all the law and rule breaking, God was still reaching out to me.

I joined University Singers a group/choir meshed up with misfits and some amazing voices during the fall semester. I met some amazing people there. One in particular had a mission to change to my life.

She was handicapped. My selfish heart felt sorry for her, felt as if I had to take a stand and become friends with her because everyone deserves friends. So we would spend some afternoons walking and talking. I may have been hungover some days, she didn’t seem to care. She was there to start her ministry, her dream was to become a minister, to reach people like herself.

Jesus was the topic of discussion must days. Everyday I would say, “that’s your thing”, “I don’t really care”,” I don’t believe in any of that” and give ridiculous or political reasons as to why, “I don’t even know if there is a God”. Jesus just wasn’t it for me. She knew I felt that way. But she didn’t stop sharing.

One tragic morning, I get a call. This girl who was trying to speak life into me, passed away. She was only 19 years old. If God really existed, she shouldn’t  have died, He wouldn’t have taken her life, not that soon. Her dreams never saw the light of day. This light I had in my life, was blown out as quickly as it was lit. I had no idea what to do, I was lost.

Some of my friends and I took the trip to her funeral. It was beautiful, but sad. High Point University later that week, put on their own dedication ceremony for her. University Singers was asked to sing because after all she was apart of it. We sang her two favorite songs, both Christian. The one I remember the most was, “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me. As the words left my lips that day of her dedication, tears started to build, there was something about that song that planted in my soul.

Four years ago, I was heading down pathways that were dark and dreary. I started losing hope. I felt like a failure. I was rock bottom. Suddenly, I came across her picture I had.  “I Can Only Imagine”  started playing in my head. I downloaded it and listened to it on repeat. I felt as if that girl who tried to speak life into me was right there with me telling me it will be okay.

One year later, I realized who actually was with me telling me it was going to be okay. Everything she had said to me before, every promise she had ever stated, was true. Jesus is the answer and I saw why she had the dream she had.

I may have only known her a few months before the Lord took her home, but she was the most inspirational and the most loving person I have ever met. She was not scared of anything or anyone. She only had a love for Jesus and to share it with those around her. She may have not lived out her dream of being a full time minister but she reached this poor lost soul, I was part of her mission here on earth and for that I am joyful and thankful.

Last night, was the first night I had the chance to worship publicly to a song that  changed my life. I wanted to break down in tears with praise. I am forever thankful and cannot wait to see her face to face in heaven.

Judgement

We use social media only to show our best side, only to impress others. This is true. We use every source to impress others typically without even realizing what we are doing. Why? Because most of us only want people to see our good side, we don’t want to be judged by others. We live the majority of our lives in fear of what others might think, or at least I do.

But the blessing is God will not reject us.

God is by our side every time we fall. Every time we trip during our walk with Jesus. According to Psalm 139,  he was the very creator of your path, why would he judge you on the very thing he put in your life for to grow from?

I am know that I will fail, that I will be judged because I have posted something wrong, or have offended someone. I constantly worry about what others think, where that may be a gift at times, it has stopped me from doing things I used to love, to opening up to people, to just being me.  But it also has helped me, it has allowed me to realize God is the only one who can truly judge me.

In todays world, we are constantly judging others. We judge them based on their looks, on their skin tone, on their attitude, on their past, on their decisions, on every detail of their life. Why? Because they are not like you.

You may hear, “Oh, I wouldn’t have done that” or “Look over there [giggle]”. Let me tell you, I am afraid of judgment it has paralyzed me at times. I am afraid sometimes to make decisions or to say what I feel is right because I am afraid I will be wrong, and if I am wrong, then I will be judged and unworthy of everything. I can blame society for this, I can blame the fact that I have this shy little girl inside of me that gets her feelings hurt if someone says something negative to her. But I won’t. The only true one who can judge me is the very creator who knitted me together in my mother womb, God.

I did not pick my life. I did not pick what I went through as a child. I did not pick my skin tone. I did not pick my personality. So if people want to judge, let them judge because they are stating that God didn’t know what he was doing. But He did.

I am the only person who can let judgement affect me. I am the only person who can let it get under my skin. But from this moment I am walking this walk with Jesus, not afraid on condemnation, not afraid of judgement, because let people judge. I have nothing to hide.

Prayer & Seek

There are many reasons why people ask for prayer. If you are willing to pray, also be willing to seek. I am saying if you are willing to ask for prayer and you already know what you can do to help the resolve the issue or problem then do it, especially if it’s personal.

If you are down and depressed and you feel like you are in a downward spiral then call your lifeline, your mentor, or a fellow Christian to help lift you up. A friend is great but a friend can only do so much.  If you don’t and all you do is ask people for prayer to help lift you up, it becomes a constant battle because you do not have accountability or a relationship with fellow Christians to help build you back up.This walk with Jesus was not meant to be done alone. That is why we have the church and the church body. It is why we try to build communities within the church, so that other Christians will be there for you when you need them.

If you are willing to ask for prayer, you should be willing to seek help. God is not just magically change you if you are not willing to put in the work. By stating you don’t want to seek help from a fellow Christian, or a mentor, and you only want prayer, it is stating that you are not willing to use the people God has place in your life for that specific reason.  God puts a person of faith in your life to make sure you stay on the narrow pathway. Seeking help is work, it’s getting out of your comfort zone and taking a step in the right direction. Some people are so weak that their first step is the hardest step they ever take. Bible studies will help, personal time with God will help, but fellowship and mentors will and can help also.

If you don’t have a mentor, find one. A Christian mentor is a great person to have. They are there to help keep on the narrow pathway in Christian walk. A mentor is not your buddy, a mentor is not a friend, though a great Christ centered relationship will be built. Your mentor should know where you struggle, your mentor should know what tempts you.  Your mentor should also know your full story. They are amazing man and women of God, who have a story and a past but are willing to help guide you.

I am no expert but I have battled this myself. If I am willing to finally ask for prayer after personally battling it for awhile, then I know I need to step out and ask for help and surrender to the fact I can’t do this alone and I am not meant to.

Unmasked

Tonight I sat behind my steering wheel of my car in utter tears. I wasn’t upset. I was broken and still am and will always be. But I was in car writing an email to my pastor, that never got sent.

I was writing because I am feeling unworthy and I don’t how to deal with it. I don’t know how to act when I am weak. I don’t know what to do. I am calling this “UnMasked” because I hide behind my smile, I hide behind a mask that is not true. In the email it stated “I don’t like to open up. I hate it. It makes me weak and I don’t like it. It’s like I’ve been hiding behind a mask” then it clicked. I have been hiding. All my life I hid behind this mask. A mask of “I’ve got it all together” but I don’t. No one does. But I was taught at a young age by people, I don’t know who, that showing weakness as a woman was not a good thing. Asking for help is saying you’re not good enough. I was always taught to figure out the problem and fix it that’s everything from technical, emotional, physical, and mental.

I don’t want to open up but today I feel unloved; I feel worthless; I feel like a failure, and I don’t know how to stop from feeling that way. I don’t know how to fix it. It could be because I’m 28 and I am single never been on a true date and lonely. Everyone I know is either is either getting married or having kids and I have no one. I have been in terrible relationships and one night stands. I went down a road where I wanted to feel worthy, so I got on “dating” sites, and met up with people and “had fun” . Looking back I have pity on myself because I thought that was the measure of my worthiness, how many guys showed interest. How many guys told me “they cared”. They could’ve cared less.

My worthiness I know comes from God. I am worthy of it all because I am a daughter of a king. I am worthy because All Might Powerful God says I am. I am loved because Jesus loves me. If I am doing the will of God, As there maybe some potholes and speed bumps along the way, God will not let me fail.

So in all as I might feel this way now. It’s just all but for a moment. I will get out of this rut, this pothole by Christ alone, not
by people lifting up egos, or taking sides but by the pure love of Christ.

“Newness of Life”

Inspired by Carrie Underwood “Something in the Water”

I grew up in a church that was not about the baptism or at least not publicized . I honestly, do not know what they believed, I was 11 the last time I stepped foot in that church.  I did not step foot into another church till I was in my late teens or early 20s. I was searching for something, but I didn’t know what. When someone told me to join them for church, I would say “sure” but I never filled out anything and typically would only return a few months later with the same person.

Why church? I do not know. I could’ve tried something else. I liked singing the traditional songs, I knew them, but I didn’t get anything out of it. I was lost. I had no idea what was going on right in front of me.

I started the church I am at now by going to a baptism, because even though I knew nothing about the faith, even though I knew nothing about Jesus. I knew baptism of a person was a huge deal. I went to support her and watch her get baptized.  I was saved two weeks after that. However, I did not get baptized until 10 months after starting the church.

I did not get baptized because I was scared. I thought I was ready months before. But I wasn’t. I was still trying to figure out this whole follower of Christ thing, I did not share on Social Media about my faith, I didn’t share to anyone about my faith. I was scared of what people thought of me. But then I began to journal, I began writing about my faith, I began reading the bible more. I began trusting God with my life. I started just giving everything up to Him.

As I began that, the “Baptism Sign-ups” just kept glaring at me. I kept thinking, I can do this, but I did not want anyone to see me sign-up, I didn’t want a million and one questions. I didn’t want the attention. So one Sunday, for an odd reason no one was around yet. I wrote my name on that list. A month later I was baptized.

My faith went from being just a thing “I do” to becoming my life. I was consumed by the faith. There are many aspects of my life that changed from that day on. When Carrie Underwood states “There’s something in the water” it’s true. Completely true. There are many parts of the bible that talks about Baptism. Here’s what it says in Romans:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:3-4 ESV

I changed. My family looks at me differently now, my “friends” became my old friends, and new friends, a new family started. You are not meant to walk the earth by yourself. You are not meant to be a follower of Jesus Christ by yourself.

I was singing Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) at a Phil Wickham concert the other day and I was amazed. My church sang this when I was lost. My church sang this and I did but just as a “sing-a-long” and only to the “Amazing Grace” part of the song. But just the other week, I was singing it from the heart and I realized that my chains are gone. There’s only a few left but those will take many years to break but the ones that I thought were anchored to bottom the sea, that I could never break from. They are no longer there. It was a freeing moment.