Stop and Look 

“Do you know how much the Bible would be different if Jesus acted like we do?” -Pastor Tally Wilgis

Ponder that. Soak it in. Because we don’t act like Jesus does. We don’t respond the way Jesus wants us to respond. We don’t start our day or end our day or even go about or day the way we should. And we wonder why the world is broken. 

How many of us talk to the broken? How many of us take time out of our day to roll down the window and talk to the homeless man on the corner? How many of us take time to love on our neighbors? How many of us actually care about people around us?  But yet we like to go to church, we like to talk about Jesus, we like to sing songs about Jesus, we like to say to others we are living a “Christian lifestyle” because we do devotionals, we watch sermons, we open our Bible, we  even get on our knees and pray for the broken, and we pray for the lost. But we aren’t living it out. We are living our what it means to be a Christ follower. We aren’t doing what Jesus would do. 

We aren’t loving on others the way we should because we are so self focused that we don’t open our eyes enough to see the world around us. We don’t talk to the homeless man or the begger because we are afraid all they want is money. I’ve learned that most of the broken are just yearning for  someone to take five minutes out of the 1440 minutes in a day to notice them and to talk to them.

How many opportunities does God give you throughout the day to talk to someone, to care for someone, to love on someone? If you say none, then just open your eyes. The old lady taking out her trash, it’s a simple as doing it for her. The begger, take a few moments with them. The mom struggling with groceries and kids, ask her if she wants help. The person who is frustrated at the store, talk to them. The cashier who is not enjoying their day, speak encouraging words. I could go on and on with examples. But literally just open in your eyes, you will see so many opportunities to love on and care for others.

This world is not about us, I really hope you realize that. It’s not about whether or not you receive that promotion. It’s not about how much money you make or what clothes are in style. It’s not about the gossip that you hear. It’s about your neighbor and caring for them. It’s about that random person you meet and you planting a seed. It’s about being that mentor to people who are struggling in their faith. It’s about helping people cross the street of life. 

So stop and look around. See who God put in front of you today. Help them cross their intersection, plant that seed and love and care for them. Do what Jesus would do, not what the flesh is telling you to do. Pray and do. 

We are All Called 

When I was in high school I wrote about this little girl who I saw from my school bus window, ultimately she reminded me of me. This girl sat alone in what seemed to be hand-me downs, her hair dark and greasy, her eyes full of emptiness and loneliness. She was lost in a darkness, in the same hole I was in when I was her age. All I secretly wanted to do was to rush to her and tell her “everything will be okay”, but I didn’t, I couldn’t. I longed to reach out for her, but as the bus drove by that relationship that never even begun ended. I didn’t know why at 16 I felt compassion towards that little girl, and why that 10 seconds of eye contact turned into a embed memory sketched in my mind. I had no idea at the time that in the end everything would be okay because Jesus defeated death itself on a cross. I realize now God has been using that very memory to show me one of the very reasons why He created me. 

The last few weeks I’ve been blessed to be able to interact with various kids and youth. These kids have warmed my soul.  Their love to know each other and their hearts opening to hear the gospel has been amazing to see. Their excitement in their eyes for each day has been amazing to see the emptiness begin to be filled just by people loving on them.

One of them, who came only once,  this little girl  she approached me Friday night. I’ve never had to chance to interact with her. But for some reason she felt compelled to talk to me, she felt drawn to me. The first words out of her mouth was, “Will you be here Monday?” I quickly replied “Yes!” And told I’ll be here everyday. I glanced in her eyes and I saw my reflection in them. This little girl just wants to be loved and someone to accept her. This time I have the opportunity to not only talk to her but to be able to love on her the way I couldn’t with the other little girl, with the love Jesus shows us.

God is given me multiple opportunities to share the love and good news of Jesus. Each of us are called to do just that.  Some of us it maybe fear or anxiety holding us back but neither of those are from God. If we say we want to live for God’s will then we need to start opening out hearts and mouths a bit more then we are. We need to extend grace more and show mercy even more. No one is perfect but every single person deserves to be loved and every single person deserves to know the love that awaits them in Jesus Christ. 

Harden Heart

I was flipping back and saw this old picture of myself…

 
I was 19 at the time. I was immature. I was dark. I thought I knew it all. I thought I was a nobody. I thought I wasn’t worth anything.

These lies I remember telling myself over and over again. I’m worthless. No one likes or loves me. No one even cares. 

But the problem I have found its not that no one does, it’s because I didn’t allow them to. I closed myself off from anyone who had a glimpse of possible hurting me, and it all started in childhood.

Growing up with a mother who loves me dearly but a father who was barely home and said horrible things when he was around. But all I wanted was daddy’s love. 

So I inadvertently gave up all together. I fought my mom about not wanting to get out of bed, I didn’t want to face the world of harsh and nasty people. I even failed a grade because of it. 

Through it all, I lost Tanya. I lost the girl I used to be before my heart became stone.  I lost communication with world. I lost the ability to communicate. In groups I wouldn’t take charge or hardly communicate because the lies people I loved just played over and over in my head. I was the “quiet” one. I was the one no one noticed because it was easier for me to not talk and not be noticed then to have to bare the chance of being hurt. It wasn’t worth it, because I felt I wasn’t worth it.

One day my parents found a poem of mine talking about death and taking my own life. It’s the only day I remember as a kid when my parents both told me they loved me and they were sorry for ignoring me and for everything I’ve been through. Life didn’t change much after that, there was more people tiptoeing around the truth that made me feel more unloved.

I say all of this because 10 years ago I was still that little girl. I didn’t mature from the point at which my heart harden, which was around the age of 10. I simply grew in age and the voices in my head just grew stronger.

It wasn’t until I allowed Christ to soften my heart did anything even begin to change. He began to work in me through the Word and he began to replace the lies I tend to tell myself. I still hear them today, I still battle this but the more I replace the lies with God promises the less and less I hear the lies. The more I see the core of who God made me and it’s beautiful.

I am a flawed person and it’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to think what comes to mind and not everyone will judge you. It’s okay to open your heart and to let people in. It’s okay to be me and there is no one better to play the role of me in the story God has already written for me. 
 

The Enemy Within

Life. 
You may be single like me, you might be married, you might be a single mother, you might be a single father or even widowed, but each of us face challenges on a daily basis. One of them simply being the enemy within ourselves, the natural sin we were born with.  

I have a tendency to be selfish, I have a tendency to be doing my own will and not seeking God and doing His will through me. Yet, I long to do His will and not my own.  I am not saying that I don’t seek God on a daily basis, I’m not saying I don’t get into the Word of God but what I am saying is that if I look back on my decisions and my life I see more my own decisions then His. There are times when I know it’s Him, because I never would have the strength to run the obstacle and to overcome those challenges to break down the walls.

Yesterday, I sat in my car in tears. I cried because I wanted to feel loved by someone. I was lonely. I reached out but everyone was busy. But I reminded myself, repeating scriptures in my head, that I don’t need anyone. That I need to seek Him first because everything else will be added to those who seek Him.  Even if it’s not in this world it’s okay. The point is, I may have had a breakdown, but it’s okay because it pointed me back to the Messiah, Jesus. 

That challenges we face are only temporary. Jesus has be the Lord of your life. You need to let go of control of every decision. Let go and let him use you. 

I wouldn’t be where I am without Jesus. In a mere 3 years of a Christian, I have witnessed miracles, death, and new life in Christ. I have learned that living for me is lonely and depressing because it does not fulfill me. Living for Jesus, bringing him up in everyday conversation, brings forth life and joy. Being the light for others in darkness, that’s life fulfilling. Being your own light in your own world casts only your own shadow.

I will forever, till the day the Lord takes me home, battle with the enemy of my soul. But if  I fill myself up with things that give life and Gods word then it will quiet the enemy telling me: I’m not worthy, I’m ugly, no one likes me, I have no friends, if only I had one more thing then life would be perfect. Life isn’t perfect and it never will be. Stop searching and start seeking.

He will not Abandon

God is with us.

That is the saying right? The saying the truth that we are all suppose to believe. God is with us.

I have debated this in my head all day long. I have come to realization that I haven’t been living as though He is with me. I have suffered from depression and ultimate feeling of feeling lonely but I was never alone. I just didn’t know God was there.

God is there regardless of what I am going through. Regardless if it’s a really bad day and nothing is going right, or if it’s a great day and everything is going great. He is also there when you fall to your knees and pray your heart out to Him, He is listening.

I have made it a pattern in my life that when something is not going right, it seems like I am going to have a bad day, I pause and I say a little prayer and then laugh and tell myself, “One thing cannot ruin my day” . I sometimes have to give myself a pep talk and tell myself that, “Whatever comes at me today, it’ll okay, because at the end of the day God you will not abandon me”. It surprises me that just be reminding myself that on days when I feel down, on days I do not want to get out of bed and face reality, I have a great day. God is with me throughout the day to remind me He will not abandon me.

But yet at my darkest moments, when I feel like I have failed life, when I feel like I am going backwards instead of moving forwards. I forget God is there. I forget that He is there when I sin, He is there in my darkest moments. But when I get to the point that I need Him to be there, when I open my bible and I cry out to him, I realize that He was there all along. He is the light that shines in my darkest times. I realized that I should never act that. I should never get so down on myself. But it happens. It happens if I don’t remind myself, that I am living my life not by own will, but His who put me here. My life is about doing God’s will through me. If it means picking up trash, if it means helping an old lady up the stairs, if it means sacrificing time that I could have to have “fun” or to be with my family or to sleep, if it means doing things that makes me sweat, if it things that makes me cry, if it means I lose for others to gain, I am okay with that.

God is there when I fall, and He will be there to lift me back up. I will face trails, I will face temptation, I will face fear. But hopefully reminding myself the God is with me always, and He will not abandon me, He will not forsake me, then maybe I will choose God more and choose sin less. I will be a bit more courageous when I feel fear creep over me. God can do amazing things through me, if I choose Him more.

Scars of the Past

I realized that scars of the past are the hardest to hide and hardest to get rid of. If you sit and dwell and pick at the scars all they will do is come back worse.

I can say to me I had a bad childhood
, that’s my excuse, but it’s not. I have no excuse of why I would dwell in a past that I cannot change. I did for many years thinking my life COULD be different. I COULD be married, I COULD have kids, I COULD have done this or that if my life was different. But IT’S NOT. I lost myself for many years that I don’t even remember who I was or am.

After I met Jesus things started to change, but it has taken years for the scars to get mended. It has taken years for God to tell me and for me to listen, ‘It’s time to move on’. I am finally doing that.

God is doing amazing things in my life. Why not look at what God has been doing in my life? Why not look at what God can do through me? I am not a lump on a log, I am a human being who has a voice, who God created to do amazing things with. If I sit back and let life go, then I am unworthy. Worthiness comes from God becomes to Him I am worthy of it all.