Tag Archives: forward

mirror talk

7 Jan

Words escape. And yet there is a need to write.

About what? The times when its just you and the mirror and the truth, or well, what you perceive to be the truth. These times, usually accompanied by tears, are the times when you actually become painfully honest with yourself. With God. With the floor. Or the pillow.

Big difference between giving up and accepting someone for who they are.

Everyone just wants someone to accept them for who they are. To accept them without the ulterior motives to change them into someone else. Someone they’re not.

But even if you find someone who accepts you, they have to do more than tolerate you, they have to love you. And not only do they have to accept and love you, but they have to do it forever. Exclusively.

Does this exist?

Sure it does. But not for everyone, right? Statistically speaking, very few people end up this way. So why are we shooting for such impossible goals? Maybe “shooting for” is a poor choice of words, since you really can’t DO anything to make someone accept and love you and only you forever. It’s a choice they make. And it’s a choice you make about them.

After a while, you get to a certain point, a certain age, where everyone has emotional baggage from past “failed” relationships. It only gets harder to break down walls of distrust and reopen healthy lines of communication. You are not who you were before that relational experience. Our experiences change us. We go through different seasons, some joyful and full of life, while others are filled with excruciating pain and despair. The highs and lows of life are nothing new, but that does not make them any less difficult to handle.

It seems there is not much that can be done. It seems to leave us in an awful and somewhat depressing situation. What to do?

The only thing I have found, is to learn.

Learn from the experience, the good and the bad, then it will be worth it in the end. Be aware that you are not who you were, but are now forever changed by your unique experiences. Whats done is done. It happened. Take what you can to benefit you in the future, and move on. Move forward.

Easily we are distracted and even paralyzed by our past. We forget to keep our eyes face-forward, on things where our actions still have meaning, where our paths have yet to be made visible. We cannot change what has been done, we can only change from this point on.

Memories can be wonderful and beautiful things, but they can also be heartbreaking and taunting. They say that time heals all wounds. Maybe this is true, but scars will remain. Some bigger and more noticeable than others.

And so we begin to think these scars will keep us from being accepted and loved by someone. These scars translate into value and worth, or lack there of. This is where we get in deep trouble. This is where the darkness begins to rear its ugly head and drown us in a sea of self-loathing, guilt, and perceived worthlessness. We begin to believe that we are worthless, that we have no value, that we are impossible to love.

But these are lies.

This is why it is SO important to find your identity in Christ and not in the next guy that comes along. God created us in His image, He did not make a mistake, He did not forget about you. He has already accepted you and loves you and will do so forever. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you less. There is a plan and a purpose for your life. You are not meaningless. You are precious.

If we choose to believe the truth about who we are, we can begin to see our unique situations and experiences as building blocks that are shaping us into who we will become. Into wiser and stronger versions of ourselves.

It takes a lot of hard work to become the person you want to be.

Don’t let the trials of life and relationships defeat you. Rise above and overcome. Nothing is impossible with Christ. He is all the power and strength you will ever need.

Hold on.

risk

27 Apr

A turtle never moves forward until he sticks his neck out.

 

To move forward, you have to take some risks.

 

Check this out, the Bible is not a book that was written for our information, but for our transformation. When we choose to believe in the promises that God has to offer, when we actually apply those truths to our everyday lives, we will find the reward is well worth the effort.

 

Easier said that done though, right? In this life, it takes a lot of courage to risk everything on God’s promises. Like, when I put my hope in His promises, I’m pretty much betting my whole life on something I haven’t seen or experienced yet.

 

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:24-25)

 

 Which is where faith comes in I guess.

 

 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1)

 

Maybe sometimes we are supposed to do things the hard way. If we constantly do the whole pain-avoidance strategy, playing it safe, never taking chances, never dreaming bigger than what we are now… because we are afraid to trust God, afraid He wont hold up His end, afraid He will disappoint, afraid He wont handle it the way we want Him to (the safe, easy, pain-free way we are comfortable with)… then we actually inflict greater pain on ourselves. It’s ironic. By trying to avoid pain, we end up with more of it.

 

For me at least, I feel like I actually learn more from my mistakes than my successes. Mistakes teach us more about ourselves, more about reality. Pain often does that I think. I try not to see mistakes as mistakes though – as long as I’ve learned something, it was worth it. And I most likely wont make the same mistake again. There’s something about “learning the hard way” that really sticks with you.

 

There are times when God invites us and leads us in a direction that we are scared or uncomfortable going, and we choose not to trust Him. But God has our best interests at heart. He truly, deeply LOVES and cares about you. He created you, He knows you better than anyone, and He wants you to reach your full potential – what you were created for! He wants your life to glorify Him.

 

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

 

If you have God on your side, what is stopping you?? Anything worthwhile is going to be hard to get. It’s worth the risk.

 

Stick your neck out.

 

And don’t stop. Its not always going to work out. Pain is part of life. Embrace it. As hard as it may be. Because if you keep avoiding pain, you’re going to miss out.  Dream big and pursue those dreams. Take the risk to follow wherever He is leading you.

 

Don’t let fear hold you back.

 

And when you come to a painful place, hold fast hope. Hold fast to the hope that you have in Christ, the promises and truth that He has provided. If you walk away from Him when things get tough, you will never experience all the awesome things God can do in spite of your seemingly hopeless situation. That’s what He does best – take the broken pieces and put them back together, even better than before. Beauty from ashes. He wants to bring you out of the dark mess you’re in, and into the bright fullness of life that only He offers.

 

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

 

Sin is reality. Pain is reality. Suffering is reality. Having God on your side does NOT mean everything is easy and pain-free, but it DOES mean that He is your ever-present help in times of need, your comforter, your protector, your peace that transcends understanding. He is love and He is good and He is on your side. He has a plan for you, He knows whats going on, and His timing is always perfect.

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

 

So if you believe it, live like it.

 

In the Bible theres a story where Jacob wrestles with an angel (Gen 32:22-32). Now, I don’t presume to completely understand this story, but here’s the way I see it:  Jacob’s brother, Esau, wants to kill him because Jacob tricked him out of all his inheritance mulah. Esau is a big ol burly hunter with an army of like 400 bandits. Jacob is a little soft guy who likes to play with animals and talk to women. Esau could totally kill Jacob if he wanted to, which he did. So Jacob’s running away with his peeps to stay alive and they’re camping out one night, and Jacob decides to go off by himself to pray and be alone and sleep under the stars. Someone attacks him, they start fighting, turns out its an angel. (Weird.) They wrestle. The angel throws Jacob’s hip out of joint. Its uber-painful. Jacob keeps wrestling. All night. With a wrenched hip. He wont let go until he gets God’s blessing. The angel finally gives in a Jacob is given a new name. He goes from Jacob “the cheater”, to Israel “the overcomer”. The rest of his life he walks with limp. And a smile. 

 

Here’s what I get from this. Even when he is scared and in pain, Jacob wont let go of the angel until he receives a new name. He no longer wants to be known as a cheater, he wants God to give him a new name – he wants to be an overcomer. And God does just that. When Jacob cries out for God’s favor and protection, when he clings to His promise in the midst of a tough painful situation, God is faithful to bring him through. In Christ we are overcomers.

 

It’s a risk to live the life He calls us to. But it’s the only way to truly live. Don’t run from the pain, let God help you overcome it.