Monthly Archives: October 2018

Don’t Numb The Pain – You Have A Choice!

Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

One of the greatest things I’ve done in life was sit through the pain. I didn’t run away, didn’t rationalize, didn’t find unhealthy ways to cope. I dropped everything and sat in my anger, shame and pain.

I sat there and embraced it, completely.

It was in my pain that I saw a loving God and the strength he has given me. In that lonely and painful time, it was then, that I realized that I am in full control over my decisions and actions. I decided, that the greatest power I have, is wielding my faith and holding on to my integrity. All the pain:  self-inflicted or caused by others, was not going to make me into a horrible  person.

I knew I ready won. No one can take God or my integrity away from me.

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

I can do good and be good.

I can rise above the pain of life.

I can hold on to what I truly believe in.

I can explore life with faith.

I also accepted that I knew nothing about the promises of God. It’s not enough to do good deeds, we need to know why we do them.

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

We do good to off balance evil.

We do good to help others.

We do good to glorify God

We do good for our own future – storing up treasures in heaven that never rot or decay.

Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

The sight of heaven and being with God as a reward, made it easier for me to press on. Our mistakes and failures are meaningless under grace. We have a choice, every new day, to chase after God and his ways. We must be willing to throw out human opinion and fear of man to rise up. We will be misunderstood, hated and suffer all kinds of things when we decide to follow God. But, don’t focus on that. Focus on God and what he tells you to do. No one can make you do anything or be anything. No one has that power unless you give it to them.

Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

It’s a choice that affects every other choice you make.

Always aim to choose wisely.

How God Used Web Development To Prune Me

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

It’s about time I talk about my journey in Web Development. If you follow me on twitter, you will see tweets about events I’ve attended, splashed here and there.

My journey started in late 2017. I learned HTML, CSS and JavaScript fundamentals in a class setting. It was an amazing experience. I fell in love with code: mainly design (JavaScript kicks my butt, but I haven’t given up) and I’m now learning WordPress and PHP.

I learned so much over the span of this experience. It was difficult. At first, it was like a dream. I was excited and dedicated. Then life hit me, and I had to make decisions that challenged my faith.

I mentioned in a previous post about attending a Boot Camp. Well, that was an eye opening experience in itself. I want to start of by saying that the aim of this post is to serve as a source of  encouragement and also a teaching lesson. I almost lost everything – including my life – BUT it was all God’s plan and it was only at this moment that I could fully accept this as truth.

You might remember my angry posts. My posts about not being happy and losing joy. I was in a very dark place. I was worried I lost everything – all that God had given me – over something so stupid.

I won’t get into details over what that thing was but the root of it was – I wasn’t solid in my understanding of who God is. This was a teaching moment for me and God was going to let me fall on my face so I could understand.

We must be rooted in God’s love for us. My greatest fear happened to me and I was thrown off course. I was upset – I questioned God. How could He allow the very thing I was trying to avoid. I was content with where I was and where I was going. I was content with the future I had planned out for myself. It was as if God led me right into my fears and then left me alone to see how I would respond. Prayers were not answered: I ran to and fro to anyone that could give me counsel. I was embarrassed and ashamed.

by: Tim Mossholder

by: Tim Mossholder

I began to doubt God’s love for me and my heart grew dark. I was angry with God. I wanted to shut down my blog – I felt as if I was living a lie. How could I write about joy when my joy is gone? I knew I had to be honest. I knew I couldn’t lie about how I was feeling.

The boot-camp was not the thing that made me angry with God, but because I was angry, I couldn’t hear God’s voice. God’s voice leads us in our choices in life. Well, my spiritual ears were blocked so I couldn’t hear or recognize that God was telling me not to go.

I worked so hard for this opportunity. Every door slammed in my face during admissions. I finally made it to the end and awaited judgement. Verdict: access denied. I was so upset. I worked so hard just to push down every door that closed in my face. I received a call back, saying a spot was opened that I can fill. I accepted but I wasn’t able to celebrate with sincerity. Honestly, at this point, I was so upset with God that I threw everything out the window. I stopped praying, etc and I was beginning to revert to a part of me I didn’t like. I tried to tell myself this was a miracle – but deep down I wasn’t so sure this was God opening a door for me. It felt more like He gave me what I wanted because I threw a horrible tantrum.

Everything was fine in the beginning. I had this major distraction in my life. It was a person. I realized that every time I’m about to do something important in life – a distraction comes my way in the form of a person. This person undermined everything I sought out to accomplish. At first, person was nice and sweet but over time, person began to chip away at my core beliefs. Person tore me down. I made excuses for person. I thought person was my friend and had my back. I want to warn you: be cautious of who you allow in your inner circle. Be cautious of who you share your inner thoughts and feelings. Some people may appear to be kind and loving but their agenda is to destroy you. They might not even know that they are doing it. Remember, we are fighting a spiritual battle. Sampson , a mighty Judge , was cut down and his destiny cut short because he allowed Delilah to wear him down and expose his weakness. Our enemy is Satan. He sends people – like the Philistines sent Delilah – to uncover your weaknesses. They pose as a friend or a lover – someone you should trust.

Everything became chaotic in my life. It has always been chaotic but because I had lost sight of Christ, the chaos began to affect me. Let’s just say I was a mess. At this point, I wanted to give up on life. I had reached my limit and I was tired. It felt as if all of heaven and earth was against me and I was fighting to survive. Desperate – but cautious – I visited a local church because people were nagging me to fellowship with other Christians. This too was another distraction. You might say : but isn’t fellowship with other Christians a good thing? Not always. Again, not all people that say they are Christians, really are. Christians are also human beings that struggle with sin tenancies, some that are not too pleasant to be around. Then there are others that believe in false doctrine.

Honestly, I believe what happened to me was for a reason. I had to see first hand a lie that is floating around in the Body of Christ and allow God to show me the truth in his word. Some churches are so focused on hyper spirituality that they forget to serve the people. Assembly line prayers – I reached out for prayer and all I got was judgement. Prayer full of judgement and when I sought out a listening ear I was told that I needed to sit down because I was already prayed for. I was appalled. I left the building with a sense of emptiness. It was then that I grit my teeth and said to myself : WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!!!

I got really quiet in my spirit and started cutting people out of my life – again. One by one, I closed the door without a word. I did not care who was confused or upset. I was not concerned with pleasing others – I was focused on getting better. While I was cutting people out, I dropped out of the boot-camp. At the time, I was very sad but I knew I had to. It was the best decision I made that year. I spent 2 months recovering – I stopped coding, tended to my weary body and started praying again. It was a painful process – I was very run down.

God began to speak again, or rather, I was able to hear his voice. He comforted me in ways no one else could. When I opened my heart to see the filth inside of it, God cleaned it up and then told me what He was doing. You see, it was his plan the whole time. I had a lot of inner issues I needed to deal with. I realized I had a lot of beliefs that were not really my own. I just accepted them because I accepted the label of Christianity. I learned about the bondage of guilt and shame and that Christ died to get rid of that. He doesn’t want us walking around with guilt and shame. He doesn’t want us to repay for our sins – he already paid for it. But I was walking around with so much baggage – trying to live holy, not because It truly came from my heart, but because I thought it would compensate for my short comings. I also allowed people to heap on burdens on me. I allowed people to wear me down. God held up a mirror and showed me my true identity, outside of the garbage people kept dumping on me. It was then that I knew what He wanted me to do. The vision of my life became clear and my joy returned.

Photo by Sushobhan Badhai on Unsplash

Photo by Sushobhan Badhai on Unsplash

Now my joy is rooted and grounded even more in God’s love. God was pruning me. It is an unpleasant experience but don’t give up. God showed me my growth: instead of completely running away from him, I told him that I would wait for him in my anger. I had to go through the pain and turmoil of my negative emotions. I didn’t run away.

I can now share this experience with the hope of encouraging you to keep the faith. Embrace the pain, the frustration, the anger and the confusion. Like David said ” wait on the Lord.” Sometimes you do everything a good christian is suppose to do and it’s not enough. We cannot manipulate the situation – all we can do is wait on God to teach us and renew us in time.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

God is refining us. I am no longer bound by the garbage people try to throw at me. I am no longer bound by my preconceived notions about how my life should be – I’m free to accept every good blessing from God. I am free to be myself without shame. I was willing to lose everything I worked hard for to have God and he turned around and gave me so much more.

Love, peace and joy are worth so much more than money and prestige. It’s worth more than any earthly relationship and it’s a true blessing from God. Seek after it with all you have and you will have all that you need.

Please let me know in the comments of how God has pruned you? What did you learn?

Until next time,