Receiving Help

I grew up believing receiving help was a sign of weakness and unintelligence. So I never asked for help. I dealt with my problems on my own and never turned to anyone for guidance, from asking for help on an assignment to asking for help in my personal problems or situations. I dealt with them all alone. So it took me down a dark spiral of depression. It was hard to get out of bed, it was hard to put one foot in front of the other, it was hard to even look at other people. It was hard to do life. I would put a mask on and tell everyone I was okay but on the inside I was so broken. I couldn’t tell anyone that I was struggling because that means I’m not perfect and if I’m not perfect then I’m dumb and if I’m dumb I am weak and I can’t be seen as weak because then no one will accept me or love me.
So I buried my feelings, the hurt, the broken pieces of me under a rug. I didn’t want anyone to see me less than perfect. But the more things got shoved inside the more of who I am began to diminish. I started defining myself by my failures and not my accomplishments. I started doubting everything. My personality was jaded by my inability to tell people what was really going on, so I began to just keep my mouth shut, so it wouldn’t slip out. 

Eventually it got to a point where I couldn’t handle it. I found coping mechanisms through alcohol. It was that temporary feeling of joy. I was so happy. I partied almost every weekend of college and by my senior year, it was every other day. It was bad but in the moment it felt good.

In 2012 though my life changed for forever. I had started my first full time job, I had my first real boyfriend, I had lost over 100lbs, life was so good. I couldn’t have been more happier. But the broken pieces of me was still inside me. I still cried myself to sleep some nights. But I remember distinctly on a July morning I had closed my tear filled eyes and said these words, “God, if you are real. I need your help. If you are real, why am I feeling this way? Why do I have everything I want but still feel alone.” It was my first prayer I had prayed for myself. It was the first time asking for genuine help. 

That September, God led me to my church home where I met Jesus. He became the One I gave my life to. My life changed the moment I open my mouth and asked for help; the moment I surrendered to the fact I can’t do it by myself. I found true joy. I found true love. And I keep working towards digging up the pieces I buried deep inside to become the woman God designed me to be. 

Asking for help is not weakness, it’s strength because it’s admitting you don’t have life figured out. It’s admitting that you have weaknesses and flaws that you cannot seem to figure out and that’s okay. God has provided not only the profession of counseling for us to go to but he gave us His Son to be our counselor. We all need help. We all need  Jesus because we all are imperfect and we are born into a sin filled world.  

Check out this clip on Jesus being the Wonderful Counselor from Pastor Tally Wilgis at Captivate Church: https://youtu.be/VoYjRfX34Wg

Redeemed Life

We are called to lived a redeemed life not a condemned life. 

Yet so many of us live inside ourselves and in our own little world. We start thinking God forgot about us, that God isn’t for us, that God doesn’t care about us. 

We begin to idolize this world and everything in it including ourselves. We put our needs and wants above others. We begin to think we are more important than everyone around us. We start knowingly sinning again and instead of immediately reprenting and turning away we begin to to tell ourselves “It’s okay, Jesus will forgive me.” It becomes a cycle.

When we do this, we will feel abandoned by God. We will feel like God isn’t for us. We begin to rely on ourselves and our “feelings” to define the relationship with God. We allow our earthly standards define the word “relationship”.

We can’t define it. It is way above our understanding. God has been our sideline since the beginning of time. He has been cheering us on since before our name was ever mentioned. God didn’t leave us. God didn’t abandon us. God is for us and will never be against us. Through every hill and every valley he is there. He is with us every step we take and every breathe breathed. 

So if we sit here and live as if we are of this world than we will live a condemned life. We will live like there is no hope, no light, no freedom. We will live as if Jesus never walked this earth and died for us. We will live for ourselves. 

But God calls us out of bondage, guilt, and shame. He calls us to follow him, so that we live our lives for him not for ourselves. We are to be the light, and tell people about the hope and love found in Jesus. We are to showcase Jesus and put him on display. We are to live a redeemed life because Jesus redeemed us. 

God will never abandon his children, even if you feel as though he has. God will forever love us even more than we can ever love him. Live as though Jesus is alive and active because he is, He lives in us. 

Meeting you at the point

In Genesis 22, Abraham was to sacrifice his son after God told him to do so. But the beauty is when they go to altar, God showed up. God had Abraham free his son and provided a ram to be sacrificed in his place. God met Abraham in the place after he placed a calling on him and Abraham was following through.

God will meet you where he called you, just not on your timing. I’ve been struggling with faith, I’ve been struggling on whether this life is what God has called me to do, I’ve been struggling with connection with God, I’ve been struggling with a relationship with God. It’s been rough. It’s been battles with the enemy, internal struggles and some very dark days. God promises me he will never leave me nor forsake me. He promises he will always love me and he is working all things for good for those who love him.
But I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to hear the goodness of God. It was as if I put myself in this box and the enemy decided to trap me in there and tried convinced me that God had forgotten me, and repeatedly told me if he truly called me then I wouldn’t be going through this pain. But all this time, God was out there telling me to hold on because I had to endure this moment to get to where God wanted me but I couldn’t hear him over the words of the enemy. I was right where the enemy wanted me, trapped in my own thoughts.

But I was set free. You see there was this moment I had to pull over and allow tears to just flow down my face and be broken before God. At this very point was the point at which God met me. I yelled. I screamed at God. But a peace had come over me. It was in that moment that I knew I was free and all I had to do was let go. 
God will meet you where he wants you. Today I walked into church with more happiness and joy than any Sunday over the last few months. I got to serve Jesus today and for that I am thankful. 

Suffocation of the Fire That Burns Inside

5 years ago I was a lost soul. I had no hope. I had no ambition. I was inward. I was severely depressed. I felt that I could never contribute to society because I was useless. I felt like I didn’t fit in, or even blend in.  I stayed inside and kept my mouth shut. I was hurt and broken.

I remember praying to a God I didn’t believe in at the time and I cried out, “God if you really do exist, why did you create me? Why am I here? If you really do exist please save me” God was listening that day because a few months later, I found Jesus and a church home I wasn’t even looking for.  God sent me on a whirlwind of a ride discovering who He was while I was discovering who I was throughout the first few months.

But after a little over a month, someone approached me and asked me to join a ministry team. They said and I quote, “We could use your smiling face on the VIP team” I replied, “Are you sure you want me to greet people? I’ve been told have a good smile, but…” they replied, “Yes of course we do!”.

I took that uncomfortable opportunity for me, of standing and talking to people and I signed up to be on the VIP team anyway. Regardless of how I felt, I knew this is what God wanted me to do.  The first few months were rough.

I only showed up on a Sunday when it was my week to serve. But then it got worst and I stopped showing up when it was my weeks and I blamed on the fact, “I forgot my password”  to the program we use so I didn’t know it was my week. Either way, I faced a battle of putting my wants, desires, and ways first before I even consulted or even considers Gods wants and desires.

One night I remember being in my room and just on my knees praying whole heartily because I felt lost again. I was crying, I was reading scripture, I was praying that same prayer but this time I knew God. This time I knew who I was praying to and through. I wouldn’t say it was overnight but God became my priority again shortly after. I started showing up the church every Sunday and not just for church, I showed up early to serve even when it wasn’t my week to serve.  Serving became my passion.

However, passion withers if it’s not properly kept. It’s like a fire that slowly fades away. But do you know what reignite the fire? For me it’s not God’s word, it’s not doing a bible study, where they may help keep the fire going, what really reignites the fire is moving the embers around. Taking in my testimony and sharing it with others. It’s lifting my hand out to others and letting them know they are not alone. That God loves them and care for them. It’s walking beside teenagers and helping them grow and seeing excitement in their eyes when they start understanding and believing in the Word. It’s loving others the way God does.

But it can quickly die if I put myself first. If I put my wants and desires in front of Gods, even without realizing it I can suffocate the passion that burns inside of me that God placed in there.

 

He sees; He knows 

I changed my career path a few months ago, I followed where I felt God was calling me. Late last month I began questioning if it was where God actually called me. I found out my “contract” didn’t start till August. I found out I wasn’t getting paid for July. My initial thought was its over before it begun. My anxious thought was to throw in the towel, because I felt God didn’t call me here. Instead of giving up right away, I fell to my knees.
 I barely afforded rent. I couldn’t fill up my gas tank in my car and I couldn’t pay my car payment. But I tried to not let fear and anxiety take over. My prayers were so much more then the prayer, “God get me through this”. It was remembering of all the things He got me through, it was living that out and fighting off the dark cloud of anxiety that was trying to over take me. 

On earthly paper nothing added up. But God doesn’t go by what we see, He goes by what He sees, and He sees us struggle and fight. But he lets us walk that path because He sees what is laying ahead for us.
He’s got this, so give up the struggle. God called you where you are in the moment, so do what He called you do in that moment. Eventually, you’ll stop looking at your feet doing the small things and kicking the ground and you’ll lift you head up and start running towards Jesus and realize that life isn’t about you, it’s about him. 

Guilty Voices 

I’m guilty of a lot, but one thing hit me tonight. 

I was the advocate who stood up to remove God from schools. I was an advocate for seperate church and state. I was an advocate for removing God from this new world we call America. 

I’m guilty. I’m guilty of convincing people not to believe in God with facts and so-called “wisdom”. I’m guilty of putting labels on Christians and marking them as weird and full-of-themselves. I am guilty of a lot. 

But God saved me. God sacrificed his Son, JESUS CHRIST. I was guilty of those things, but in Jesus I’m made new. God placed a burden in my heart to stand for what I believe in, I just never realized I was rooting for the wrong team the entire time because I all I wanted to was to be like every other person I knew. I never dug deep, I never truly knew what I believed. I never realized that “fitting in” was a tactic of the enemy. God knitted you together, if He wanted everyone the same, He would’ve made us all the same. 

So many people today are scarred of what others think. Nonbelievers, Believers it doesn’t matter. We look around to see who has their hand raised in worship, because we don’t want to be the only one. We don’t like to pray outloud or in public because we are afraid of what others might think of us. Do you know what they might think? They might envy you. They might want what you have. They might want that kind of faith. So what if you get some who don’t like to feel uncomfortable around those “Christian folk”.  It’s not your job to please everyone. Every though some think so. I am majorly guilty of that. 

It’s a hard battle, but God has shown me a lot recently. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to have a voice in what I believe in. It’s okay to stand up for what’s right.

Listen, God gave of us a voice not to just talk about ourselves, our drama, and our cozy churches. He gave us a voice to stand up for Him to defend Him and to proclaim His Son, Jesus. 
Use your voice for the good and it can change people’s lives. 

Relationships with God

How is your relationship with God?

I am not going to lie, I feel God is more like a friend than my Father in Heaven. I don’t know when this happened, when I started treating God as a friend. All I know is all of sudden it hit me while driving the other day.

It’s a hard realization to know that the God who created you, the God who knows everything about you, you treat them as someone you just hang out with sometimes. Do you constantly go to Him? Do you pray to Him in desperation? Or Do you pray when it’s convenient to you? Do you go to sleep without batting an eye on the fact you have not once that day talked to God or been in God’s word? or maybe you’re like me, and you feel guilty because you have not prayed and have not been in the Word but yet you still choose to sleep or ignore the fact you have not spoken to God or heard from Him.

Recently, I keep hearing myself say, “I haven’t heard from God lately”, “I feel forgotten”, “Why am I so lonely?” Sound familiar? The answer is I have forgotten Him that He is my God and not my friend. I haven’t heard from him because I don’t give him the time. I feel forgotten and lonely because I occasionally talk to Him.

He is not a friend who is going to give you a call because you didn’t contact them. He may throw signs but its up to you on whether or not you choose to ignore them. Treat God like The God, not your occasional friend. Pray and pray with desperation. Dive in the Word of God and allow Him to speak to you.

If you don’t give the effort to have a true relationship with God as your Father in heaven, temptation is probably knocking at your door and sin is right around the corner. Don’t give into sin because you haven’t been fighting your battles with a true relationship.

Prayer: God, you are amazing. You know everything about me but yet you still choose me. You still want to use me to do your will. I apologize for treating you God more as a friend than who you truly are. Be with me as I continue to strengthen our relationship. I know temptation may be waiting for me, but God please give me the strength not give in. I give you all the praise and all the honor. I love you Lord. In Jesus’s name. Amen.