Unintentionally Intentional Ignorance

Today during the sermon, I began to question whether or not I was intentionally avoiding connection with God or if it was unintentional.

There’s this saying that is “You will set time for things you want to set time for” So if you don’t make God a priority are you intentionally avoiding connection with Him?  You could argue both sides. However, I believe at least for me, it’s  unintentionally intentional. Meaning that at first I unintentionally placed God on the back burner. I unintentionally allowed my time with Him to be put aside, but as time marches on you get to a point where you recognize it, but instead of acknowledging it and setting time aside, you continue ignoring it and it becomes a pattern in your life.

Why do we get to that point? Why do we let it become a pattern?

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the only one who struggles with this whole connection thing. Maybe it’s just me who feels broken and tries to hide it and hide from it. I mean seriously if I don’t talk no one will know right? If I don’t say anything no one will know that I’m secretly struggling with my connection with God, if I don’t say anything no one will know that I struggle with loneliness, no one will know that I struggle with worthiness, no one will know that I struggle with accepting any compliment as genuine, no one will know that I struggle with relationships, no one will know that I am a complete mess and completely broken.  Hiding prevents the light from coming in and allows for darkness to creep in.

Don’t hide. Don’t be afraid to tell people who you trust in your life what you are going through because God doesn’t want you to go through life alone. God put those people in your life for a reason. Yes, it will be uncomfortable, but God doesn’t grow you in your comfort zone. You are allowed to struggle. You are allowed to not be okay in moments. You allowed not to be perfect. Don’t let your sinful self be what’s holding you back from your connection with God.

So if we don’t make God a priority  we will lose that connection. We lose our ability to keep fighting, because we aren’t allowing God to provide our strength, we only rely on our own. God has amazing plans for your life, you just have to be able to make Him a priority again in your life. Let God be your King of your life again, let Him be God again.

God’s in Control

 

Let’s be honest for a moment, we all know God is in control. But how many of us would rather say, He’s not because we don’t want to face that fact that we are not perfect, that we fall short, we don’t want to admit that we need Jesus every day of our lives. We all do, even the people you see as “they can do no wrong” they too fall short! We can do nothing in our power, in our own strength, to make us not fall short. The beauty is Jesus came and died for us to build the bridge, so that we no longer fall short. He covers our sins.

You can say, “I know that”, but do you? Do you actually sit there and realize that every time you have a setback, that God is in control? I bet if you get the promotion, “it’s all God, thank  you Jesus.” But in the hard moments do we go and say, “thanks God, I know I fall short, and I know you and me have some work to do, so thank you so much for allowing me to go through this hard moment.” No, we don’t, we say, “Where is God” “I don’t understand” ” What did I do wrong”. We underestimate God in the hard moments, we feel if he was in control, then we wouldn’t be going through the things we go through. But sometimes we have to go through the hard moments, to get us to where He wants us.

Those hard moments are when we have our biggest growth. Why? Because you get on your knees, you get back into your relationship with God, you realize the sins that you have been allowing to dictate your life and you give them over to God, and you start focusing on the voice that should be.

So many of us are called to do great things, but sometimes we get discouraged because we have a major set back happen, or maybe we get depressed. And we let our circumstances dicate our life versus letting the Light dictate it.

I have battled depression for years. But the moment I surrender to it and I let it control me, is the moment I find myself, isolated and alone. I have to battle it, I have to fight it because I wasn’t called to live my life depressed, I was called to serve a God with joy, I was called to love others, I was called to be where I am in this moment. I can either take my depression and hide it away and pretend it’s not there or I can help others going through the same thing.

Yesterday, at church was so powerful, we did an illustration on how we are better together. We were told to lift our hands, to feel the burn of burdens we carry everyday by ourselves. Then we interconnected with each other, showing that that if we keep each other lifted, we can hold together longer, we can help each other when someone begins to fall. It was in that moment Pastor read out all the things we wrote down that were battling. We are better together, we get through things together not alone.

So when we face that next challenge or setback, there is a reason, even if you don’t see it. Don’t run, don’t hide, face it because God can use this moment in your life to help someone else out down the road because you’ve been there. God knows what he is doing even if it doesn’t feel right in the moment. Look around you, there are people there who’ve been through similar things, connect with them, learn from them, we do better when we do life together.

 

 

Getting Stuck in a Valley

I don’t know where to even begin.

Life has its ups and downs. But right now I’m in a valley, I may look like I’m climbing the hill, but every day there’s a struggle to even begin the first step.

The saying is “it’s just one foot in front of another”. Yes that is true but those who are in dark places, are learning to walk again. They need someone to hold on to, someone to help them up if they fall down. 

I’ve been battling depression lately, it’s been really hard. I’m not going to lie and tell you, I’m okay. I’m not.  It’s been hard to get out of bed in the mornings. It’s been hard to open the Word of God in the mornings. It’s been hard repeating the promises of God over and over again. BUT it doesn’t mean I don’t overcome and do it. It may not feel right in the moment, but it’s okay. 

The hardest thing is I feel alone even when I’m not. I sat a Rend Collective concert last weekend, and I literally felt like I brought only myself to the concert. I brought 3 other people and there was  some of my church family sitting beside me. I’ve begun to keep to myself more, and isolate myself. It’s dangerous. 

Today at church pastor touched on some topics near and dear to me and my struggles. He was reading from Hebrews 10:19-25; below are a few verses:

“let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” -‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:22-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Pastor stated  “Jesus is faithful, even when we’re not full of faith.”   So I may struggled and I may have some dark places and sometimes I will get stuck in a valley. BUT it doesn’t mean I give up. It doesn’t mean that God has given up on me. It means that some days may be hard, but God still has hold of me. I may fall but Jesus is still my anchor. I’m not less than or more than because I struggle with depression. I’m a human being who has flaws and struggles. God still loves me. Jesus is still faithful. 

Conviction

How many things do you hide from?

Each of us look for ways out of circumstances, each of us look for ways around things. We look for escape hatches before we even are forced to run. 

Some people don’t like churches because  they don’t want to be convicted. They don’t want to be forced to deal with the problem in their lives, who really does? They’d rather show up on a Sunday morning listen to the pastor preach then leave and never think about that sermon again.

I was listening to someone preach about how we are so focused on the outside of our churches, the building, the graphics, detail orientation, that we are neglecting the inside, the heart and the body of Christ. Same thing, I feel goes for us spiritually. Many of us go to church, we play the part, it makes us look good and feel good, sometimes we even tithe, sometimes we even serve but our heart isn’t there, our spirit is thirsting and yet we are neglecting it. 

We neglect our souls because we don’t allow ourselves to have the Word spoken to us in truth. We curve it around ourselves. Think about, if the pastor gets up there and talks about what you did the night before, let’s say  drinking, and states that being a drunkard is a sin, you will find every excuse to say that is not you. If the pastor says anything that is going on in your life, anything that relates to you, you think that it’s not you, that you aren’t that bad. Here is the thing, if you have to convince yourself you’re not that bad, you are. It’s time to buckle up and face it.

Allow the Holy Spirit to use that conviction for the good, not for yourself to hide. We are to be more like Jesus and less like self.

Take off your Sunday best, take off the makeup, who are you?  You are a child of The One True King. The Holy Spirit is apart of you. Don’t live for selfish gain, live to be like Jesus. He lives inside of you. 

Giving Up

I give up.

I’m packing my bags and shipping out. I’m done with the Christian walk. Tapped out. I surrender to that fact that this takes a lot effort, talent, time, treasure, it takes work. I don’t have the energy nor the strength. I’m done but God’s not done. I want to give up, but God won’t let me just walk away. I have no energy, it’s okay because it means I have rely on God’s strength to lift me up.

God will not give up on me, even if I walk away.  Even if I decide to never to serve Him. Even if I decide to never to go to church again. God will not give up on me. He will always try to pursue me.

If you recently have been battling with the idea of walking away from God, don’t. God will not give up on you. You will go live your life, but there will always be something missing, a God-sized hole that only He can fill. God loves us too much for us to think we can just run away from Him. If you think you can just turn back on your very creator, then you surely don’t know the power of God.

If a child runs away, the parents will take every dollar, every waking minute, every drop of resource they have to find their missing child. God will do the same for you, He will not give up.

Many of us grew up in a going to church, including me. But we turned our back because of bad practices, ungodly ministers, and evil doers. We just didn’t fit and we didn’t think “church” was for us. BUT the thing is faith and Christianity is not about what church you go to, even though, many of were taught that. Being in a relationship with your savior and walking the narrow pathway with him, is the real Christian walk. Not going to church on a  Sunday/Wednesday/ every other day the church doors were open. Community is great, but it can only go so far, especially when the people who you grew up with are not the “Christians” you thought they were.

The “church” I grew up in, was full of people who classify themselves as “Christians” but did not practice it at home. They put on their mask every Sunday and they were “happy”. There was no true testimony, there was no true relationship with our savior.

I found Christ in a middle school auditorium, 15 years after I left the “church” I grew up in. I didn’t think a church that met in a middle school could be an actual church, especially one that did not use the KJV translation.  But this church iginited something inside of me, and allowed me to see Christianity isn’t just about meeting on a Sunday morning. It’s about building a relationship with the one true King, our savior. It’s about building godly relationships with godly people. It’s about serving our God that way Jesus served. It’s about testimony, and sharing the gospel. It’s about walking the narrow pathway with your life and doing God’s will. It’s about forgiveness, grace, and mercy. It’s about LOVE because God is love. It’s admitting that we are not perfect and we need Jesus’s blood to cover us. It’s about giving up your sin and leaving it at the foot of the cross. It’s about picking up your cross daily and following Jesus.

I could keep going, however, compared to what I was taught, ‘Be perfect and fear God because God has all power’, Christianity is so much more.

I cannot walk away from God. I cannot walk away from a savior who voluntarily got up on the cross and died for this sinner who is writing this. Growing in a relationship takes work, it takes time, but I am more than willing to build a deeper relationship with my savior. Christianity isn’t easy, especially this day and age, but I wouldn’t change who I am and who I am becoming for the world.

God’s Birthday Card

I went around this weekend, thinking that I would not have any friends come around me just be with me on my birthday. I thought no one cared, that no one wanted to celebrate that God brought me into this world 28 years ago. 

I have never been giving a birthday party because my birthday feel awkwardly at the beginning of the school year, so I never knew anyone. As a little girl, I got used to my birthday just being the family being together, and maybe going next door to that other girls birthday party next door, who shared my same birthday, just a few years older.  I never knew what it was like to be the “Birthday Girl”.

I felt down all week because I didn’t have anyone to celebrate with. I felt like no one is even going to notice.  But they did, God did. My heavenly father told me “Happy Birthday” 

Do you know when you get a card for your birthday about a past memory? Well I got God’s birthday card today.

God took me back to not exactly two year ago, but pretty close. The day this lost soul stepped in the doors to Captivate. He had me go in when normal guests would arrive, he had me greeted as if I was a guest, he had hugs to be given out, he had his worship play a song that they sang two years ago. A song this girl didn’t know and didn’t want to sing and had no idea what the definition of worship was. A song that today, I sang my whole heart out and tears ran down my cheeks because God just took me back to remind me where I came from and how far I have grown in him and how lost I was without him and just to show me how much he loves me. He just took my heart and made it his and took my life and just put in his hand.  

Tonight I celebrated my birthday with my new family that I met two years ago. It may have just been a song and a cake that was sang but it  went from 5 people singing “Happy Birthday” to two times that singing it tonight. I was embraced, but honored and loved. God wanted to show me that I am never alone, that these people are beside me and are here for me. I love my family. 

My Father created me to serve him, to worship him, to do his will and not my own. If I go around celebrating my birthday without celebrating him then it’s a wasted birthday because I didn’t honor my creator. Today I walked in to church thinking “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” to “It’s my birthday because he has a plan for me and he decided that I am still worth it”. 

Thank you God.