Tag Archives: Truth

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.

a disappointing perspective

3 Dec

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

 

So, do I believe God is going to work all things out for good? Sure. But who’s good are we talking about here? Mine? Because if its MY definition of a good outcome, things are going to turn out a certain way, just how I want them to, when I want them to (ASAP), because that is what I think the best outcome would be. So I desire this outcome, I put my hope in this outcome, and what do I get? Disappointed.

Ouch.

But why am I surprised?  I know God’s plans are 2834720394 times better than my own.  I mean, lets be serious, He actually knows the future, has all the facts, and is ALL-knowing. Omniscient, if you will. He knows my needs, hopes, dreams, passions, and deepest desires of my heart.  He created me with those things.

So yeah, I should know better. But the truth is, I like to be in control of my own life. Shocking, I know. So as I keep trying in vain to get God to do what I want, I become more and more disheartened, disappointed, and discontent with, well, my life in general. Then I begin to feel broken and worthless, getting swallowed up by frustration and paralyzed by my own emotions.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. – Proverbs 13:12

 

Hope deferred. Hope that is lost, unfulfilled, delayed, not realized. It hurts. It makes the heart ache.

How do you survive this state? Not with the snap of your fingers, the turn of a page, or good night’s sleep. It’s a process. A long process that involves a digging deeper into the Truth of who God IS. Maybe you have to change your perspective a little. Take Him out of the box you smooshed Him in and learn something new about who he REALLY is, not just who you think He is or want Him to be.

Moving beyond disappointment is a continual decision, a determination, and a perseverance of moving deeper into the foundational truths of hope in Jesus Christ. It is choosing to believe that nothing is impossible with God. It is to believe persistently that God is able to turn negative situations into positive outcomes. It is to believe and hope for God’s best to result in any given circumstance. It is to believe the truth of God’s Word over the disappointment encountered. It is a trust built upon hope in the promises of God Who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we could ask or hope! – Shirley Frey

 

God is an expert at making good out of bad. Transformation is kind of His specialty. So even when I make a mess out of things, He can and will be working behind the scenes with wise and loving motives to use my mess for His glory. His intentions are not to bring us harm or abandon us, but to love and care for us. He wants to give us the future we hope for (Jer 29:11).

When my hope is in Christ, it will never disappoint. God is a God of hope (Romans 15:13). When I take a step back and think about why I am disappointed, it is not because God failed to come through for me. It is because of people, circumstances, communication (or lack thereof), my own thoughts and my skewed beliefs and perspectives. When my hope is in these things, when I trust in these things, have expectations of these things, look forward to these things, desire and dream about these things, then I WILL BE let down. But when I hope, trust, expect, look forward to, desire, and dream about the things of the Lord, then I will begin to discover the truth of who He really is. And as I trust Him more and more for who He really is, I will be able to trust and abound in hope during the most challenging and difficult times.  

Its amazing what a change of perspective can do. Disappointment is really an opportunity to understand God more and to change our mindset about how He works.

Nuff said.

refined, not defined

12 Jul

I think I only blog when I should be doing other things. Like studying. For my Finance test tomorrow. Yuck.

Here is something I heard today:  

“Your past does not define you, it refines you.”  – Jason Burns

 

So that’s what got me thinking. I mean, it’s true I think. I am not defined by my past (mistakes or otherwise), but rather I am made better because of my past, because of the things I went through and experienced and the choices I made – I have learned and grown and overcome, which makes the current, present me improved and refined. It makes sense. And I like it.

I’m a fan of this whole “improvement” idea. I think one of my greatest fears in life is to be stagnant… too gripped by fear or self-doubt or insecurities to move forward and be all that I am created to be. I want to be constantly improving, actively pursuing my purpose in life. Always.

But many times I do get stuck. Frustration and panic and fear settle into my heart and I feel as if there is nothing I can do. It is so easy to believe the lies. To start to believe that I am nothing. Nothing of worth or value. Nothing that can really do anything to make a positive impact or change in the lives of other people or in the culture around me.

But that is what they are. Lies.

Jesus = Truth. In Christ, we are overcomers. There is nothing our God cannot do. We are His children, and as such we have power – the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me!

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. (Romans 8:10-11)

 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

 

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:18-19)

 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

 

The same power. My mind cannot fully comprehend. Makes me wonder what I have been missing. If the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in ME – that’s an insane amount of power… and I have not even begun to tap into it.

Christ conquered the grave. He overcame death. And that same power lives in me. Therefore, I have conquered death also – this life is not the end. When I die, my earthly body will be gone but my soul will be alive with Him forever eternally. In Christ we too have overcome death, through death. And we put to death every day our sin nature, our old selves, our bound and broken shells that were slaves to sin.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Eph 4:22-24)

 

So here is something else I heard recently… if death has no more power over us, then that verse about walking through the valley of the shadow of death really means just that. It is not death. It is just a valley in its shadow. Because in Christ we have overcome death already.

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Cor 15:54-57)

 

And He is with us. Always. In those times when we are walking through the darkest places of our lives. In those times when we feel so close to death as to be in its shadow… except deeper… like a valley in its shadow. He is there with you.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)

 

He loves me. He will never leave me. He comforts me. He empowers me. Why do I search for anything else – as if He is not enough? He is my all in all. And by that I mean He is everything, all that I need, in every situation and challenge in my life. More than enough.

For nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37)

 

Yet I still struggle within myself. I want so badly to be speaking the truth of my heart and soul when I sing words like “You’re all I want, You’re all I’ve ever needed” but the prideful voice of my “old self” fights me all the time. It says “No. He is not. You can’t sing that. He is NOT all you want. You want lots of other things. You don’t really think He is all you need, you need other things too.”

But then I think… everything good in my life is from Him. Because of Him.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

 

He has never failed to bring me through every hard time – to help me overcome. He created me. He knows my name and the number of hairs on my head. He died so that I could be with Him forever. He loves me more than I understand. He makes all things new – He continually restores me, each day a new day, each breath a gift. He gives me life – He IS all I want and ever needed.

I can’t imagine a life without You because its all for You.

mind games

6 Jun

People can have very skewed perceptions of themselves.

Myself included at times, but, how would I know? I’m just saying, you think you are a certain kind of person, you think you act a certain way and do certain things for certain reasons, but maybe that’s just the person you THINK you are (or maybe want to be) and not who you actually are.

When things happen that we do not understand, it is only natural that we ponder them and perhaps even over-analyze all the reasons why. We try to justify why they treated us that way or why we feel the way we do about the situation, just to give it a name, to get it out and figured out so we can learn from it and either fix it or move on and do things differently next time. But what if all our reasonings were wrong? What if we are basing everything on justifications that were never true? If we don’t know the truth, how can we react in the best way for ourselves?

So maybe you think you are doing the right thing, but you’re not. That happens all the time. Maybe its because we only hear what we want to hear, and we are selfish human beings who do what we want, to get what we want when we want it. Maybe we think we are the kind of person who takes the high road, but we don’t . Maybe we are just all talk. Maybe we deceive ourselves.

Its interesting how every decision you make can affect those around you. Some just a little, but some a lot. And every decision you make affects how those around you perceive you. Your actions speak louder than words. But people interpret your actions in different ways. Can you ever win? Sometimes it seems like no matter what you decide, and no matter what you actually do, somebody gets hurt. And maybe that’s not your fault, but maybe it is.

Its frustrating to try to please everyone. Which I guess is why pleasing everyone should not be your goal. I know they say you should just be true to yourself, because you are the only one you have to answer to every day. But it’s a dangerous line to walk. On one side, you do what you want, you don’t care who gets hurt, you focus on yourself and your selfish desires and once you attain them you forget about everyone else except those who immediately affect YOUR happiness. On the other side, you’re a people-pleaser who gets walked all over and makes decisions based on what makes other people happy instead of yourself, and you end up miserable because you’re not ever doing what YOU want. Surely there is a balance…. people try to balance as they walk the line between the two. But peoples lines are placed in different places – the lines don’t all match up exactly. And some people just aren’t good at walking a line, and they slip to one side or the other, even though they talk all about how awesome the line they are supposedly walking is.

Sorry if this doesn’t make sense. There is a lot of mumbo-jumbo spilling out of my brain. I guess part of what I’m saying is that yeah, nobody is perfect, but maybe we should quit fooling ourselves into believing we are someone that we aren’t. Sometimes it’s hard to be brutally honest with yourself. To quit feeding yourself lies. To find the truth and embrace it.

I find great comfort in knowing that God knows me better than I know myself. If only I listened more often to the things that He tells me about myself – the Truth that He has to offer about who I am in Him, my identity in Christ – rather than my own lies and self-deceiving perceptions.

I think sometimes we are scared to face the truth about ourselves because we think we won’t like what we see. The broken mess we have made of our life. But God has overcome all the darkness and shame to bring us light and hope and freedom.

I don’t pretend to understand it. I just know there is a better way to live, and I want it. Trade my guilt and confusion and selfishness for hope and peace and true love.

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. (Isaiah 55:1-3a)