Tag Archives: Pain

Teacher – I Have A Question!

Photo by Marcos Luiz Photograph on Unsplash

Photo by Marcos Luiz Photograph on Unsplash

I’m stumped! I have no advice to give you, maybe some words of encouragement but here is just a glimpse of a mind full of questions.

What do you do when a situation makes absolutely no sense. It makes sense based on patterns, human nature and folly, wickedness, sin, and just simply life. But, I hear all the time Christian leaders tell us to have expectation, to speak to our situation etc.

If God is sovereign, if his ways are higher than ours, if his wisdom is meant to confuse the wisest of men, what are we to expect? What about those that are martyred for the faith? Those that lose everything? What about people that die despite trusting God?

I remember, last year, I was sick and I told God that I loved him. I washed my face, fixed my hair and got dressed. I set out to live my best life , sick and poor.

I am simply going to make that same confession: God, I love you. You healed me last year and even though things are not exactly how I want them, I am going to fix my hair, wash my face and get dressed. I am going to serve you afraid. I will serve you confused. I will serve you as I am, where I am and with what I have.

I have no answers. I cannot put the puzzle pieces together. I don’t even know what the puzzle looks like. I have no clue what God is doing but all I do know is that I love him. He has done more than enough for me. He is my strength, even now.

All I can expect in this life are two things: Human suffering and that Christ died and rose for me. Because of what He did, I have eternal life. That is the only guarantee in life. I could lose my life, all my material possessions, friends and family but the only thing that remains is my faith and the hope of salvation.

How God chooses to help me, if he even helps me – is his business. I won’t complain or tell him what to do.

The greatest peace I had was waking up and going on with life with the goal of living! I will not just survive, I will strive. I will utilize all that I am and all that I have.

I am thankful. He gave me everything I needed to face the unknown storm heading my way.

It’s like reaching new levels in a game. After winning each level you gain new skills, higher XP and learn better strategies to overcome. Each level makes you stronger.

Daniel 3:16-28(NKJV)

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Read the rest from the link above…

To those that lost everything or might lose everything, to those that are suffering in different ways, and those that were taught to speak to their situations and to believe in the false doctrine of the Law of Attraction, hear me:

Trusting in God does not mean bad things won’t happen. Trusting in God doesn’t mean you can speak to a situation and change it. God decides in the end when and how things will end. You must reach a place where you are willing to lose everything for Christ. To accept that persecution and troubles are part of life and especially the Christian life. We are not promised riches, fame or anything these false prophets have shoved down our throats.

Photo by Joshua Hanks on Unsplash

Photo by Joshua Hanks on Unsplash

Our goal is sanctification – pruning and refinement. To become virtuous – humble, meek, gentle and kind. To have great faith and to walk in holiness. These things will never fade away.

God has the power to save us from all trouble but we must learn and be willing to learn. It isn’t always about our comfort. God is not a genie. But He did say he is our friend, our comforter and guide. We don’t know what kind of life God has planned for us, but all I know is that whatever it is, it is ultimately for our good and the good of those around us.

Keep the faith,

 

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.

The Dream That Spoke To My Spirit

I had a dream last night

that dream spoke to the depths of my soul

and ignited my spirit ablaze.

A quiet anger, contemplative thoughts

that propelled me to free fall into the ocean of my

pain.

And in that pain I found an answer.

I found the answer I was looking for and a solution that requires nothing more than

me being my authentic self.

I remember reading about the Samaritan woman and Jesus telling her

a day will come when we will worship as we are.

Casting down all that keeps us looking clean and untouched on the outside.

I realized the beauty of brokenness and approaching God hurt and busted.

The awesomeness of approaching God angry.

In my mess, all I could do was cry out. All I could do was cry.

You see, we have to pretend we have it all figured out. We have to pretend

“fake it till we make it”, pretend we love people, put on a stupid show and everyone

is festering and rotting on the inside. We have dead eyes and fake smiles, lukewarm handshakes, show off hallelujahs ….

where are people that are willing to go up to the altar broken.

Where are the people willing to wail and cry before God?

Where are those that are mad, confused, hurt and battered?

Where are those weary and faint?

Where are the lame, the weak, the widowed and the fatherless?

Where are the poor and the hungry?

Where are the forgotten, abandoned and rejected?

Where are the sinners and the backsliders?

Truth be told, they are right here. You and me.

And yet, we pretend to be everything we are not.

We are told that we must come to God perfect, we must always be perfect

and yet, people are sharing false doctrine, feel good gospel and promise of prosperity.

We are feeding the shepard but the shepard isn’t feeding the flock.  The sheep has to protect the shepard, but the shepard let’s his sheep wander off.  If you are the so called keeper of our souls, why are we keeping yours? Don’t elevate yourself to the place where only God can sit.

We hold spiritual gifts as markers of conversion but not fruit. We bribe God with tithes and offerings.

We dangle our faults and our lack thereof as a way to boast of how spiritual we are.

We pretend, go to church, get angry, gossip, undermine and hurt each other only to continue that cycle.

We tolerate abuse and injustice in the name of Christ, when there are times when we must stand up against injustice and abuse!

Who are we?

My dream opened the flood gates of my mind and heart

and I am flying among the things I can no longer tolerate.

This is what change does. It’s not always clear cut and comforting.

Sometimes it’s dirty, like child birth : bloody, painful and yet, rewarding.

I want to believe I’m free.

I must believe I’m free.

The dream that will change everything.

 

There Is No Formula

Photo by Antoine Dautry on Unsplash

Photo by Antoine Dautry on Unsplash

You can’t approach God like a math problem to be solved.

You can’t find steps in the Bible, apply them, and expect an outcome.

I know people say you can, and preach about it…maybe it works for them,

but for me, that’s not the case. I didn’t find peace after praying. I didn’t even find joy in it.

I didn’t find immediate comfort after reading the bible, or seeking prayer from other Christians.

The only thing I did was wait.  I mean, seriously, I couldn’t manipulate the situation or change my feelings. I couldn’t fake happiness or joy. I couldn’t just think positively and fake it till I made it. I had to just sit in all of it and wait.

I couldn’t manipulate, convince or negotiate with God. I couldn’t get Him to do what I wanted with any of my actions.

I just woke up today feeling joyful. I stopped caring about a lot of things and just left it alone. I desperately needed rest. I rested for almost two months. In those two months I was miserable and overwhelmed. I tried everything : praying, crying, asking for advice, seeking prayer from Churches and Christians, singing, YOU NAME IT. Nothing worked.

Will I always feel joyful? I think I can but feelings are fleeting. People say joy isn’t influenced by our circumstances. It’s somewhat true but who can be joyful when something bad is happening at the moment? I mean, I want to believe that there is a time and a place for sorrow and joy. You can’t expect to be happy or joyful all the time. I think faith requires more than that. That you can be as hopeless as Job and Elijah in their seasons of struggle but still hold on to God.

God gave Elijah rest. Resting is so important. We fear losing everything if we rest but resting requires faith that God will take care of us. I had to let go of my need to control, plan and prosper and just rest.

Life can be tough. LIFE IS TOUGH. So why complicate it any more than it is. Hard work and rest has their due time and season.

There is no formula for joy. Just be alive and you’ll experience many different emotions, feelings and state of mind. The only hope we have is that we know God is real, He hears prayers and that He is the source of our well-being. I guess joy is just simply who you put your trust in.

Until next time,

You are loved…

Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

Even if the whole world misunderstands you, judges you, hates you, rejects you, mistreats you, and you feel unloved, that’s OK. Your feelings are a byproduct of how you were treated. It doesn’t make you inferior or self-hating. We are humans and we bleed and cry and hurt.

People will kick you while you are down. They will tell you it’s all your fault. They will tell you that somehow you did something to make people treat you that way. You will shoulder all the burdens of other people’s actions, even if you have done nothing wrong.

New age false doctrine of how you can control how people treat you.

Where in the Bible do we see such things? Many times we are warned that we will suffer because of others. When were we ever called to take on that burden as a fault of our own?

Don’t worry, I’m giving you permission to cry. You have all the right to be upset, to feel pain. You have all the right to be sad. No one is happy all the time and true deliverance comes when you admit there is a problem.

But, let me remind you, as a loving friend would, that you are loved. You are loved by God. He sees your tears and your pain. You do not need to holler and scream worship music if you don’t feel like it. Sit with God quietly. Cry to God. Bare your hurts to him. He will comfort you.

And when he renews your strength you will rise up and smile again. You will find joy and peace once more.

This isn’t about those people that hurt you or even the people that misjudged you when you asked for help. It’s about you and God. He is better than any earthly friend. Better than a lover. He can mend a broken heart. He understands you better than anyone else can.

He will validate your feelings, other times correct you, all the time guide you and restore your strength.

There are hills and valleys in this journey with Christ. Sanctification, the pruning process, is difficult and painful.

You will begin to learn how to totally depend on God and walk with him. That your perfection or lack thereof means nothing. It’s all about trusting and having faith and it is then, that your life will change and take shape.

Human beings cannot replace God. Neither the things you strive for in life. These things will never ever touch the depths of your heart like God can.

So truly know that it’s okay and you’ll be OK.

 

With much love,

Restless

I’m restless and uncomfortable.

I’ve looked up the definition of restless and read a few articles on this emotion and everything about it is negative.

But, I’ve learned to listen to my feelings, at times, for clues as to what is going on with me.

I have concluded that it’s time for a major change. Change is approaching. I feel like I’m changing and it will be a good change.

I will embrace my feelings of restlessness. I refuse to accept certain elements in my life anymore. If I want change, I must embrace being uncomfortable. I must embrace uncertainty, fear and pain. I must embrace the hard work and pain that comes with birthing change.

When old habits die, you feel very uncomfortable. You become hyper vigilant and aware that something is missing.

No one takes a leap of faith when they are comfortable. No one changes or progresses in life while being comfortable! There is usually a turning point in your life that pushes you to take flight. Like a momma bird that pushes her baby out of the nest. That baby doesn’t think it’s ready. It doesn’t even know if it’s ready or not, but momma bird pushes it out and knows there are risk for their baby involved. But if I believe that God is real and loves me, even if I free fall to the earth, He will catch me as I learn to spread my wings and fly.

I want to fly. I want to expand. I want to develop. I want to struggle! I want to experience everything I know is godly possible.

Being perpetually comfortable is bondage!

Now I know something must change and I see my circumstances as the catalyst for my growth. I will use every bad and good experience as stepping stones to my destiny.

I want to say this:

I was accused of being many things, these last few days, while journeying within my frailties, and I want to extend a word of encouragement to those that are seeking and searching for something more than what they have:

Keep searching: Don’t allow anyone or anything to tell you to RELAX or BE AT PEACE or JUST WAIT. Yes, there are times for that but sometimes your restless seeking is part of growth. No one looks for anything if they already have the answers. ¿Comprende?

Don’t let anyone talk you out of what YOU KNOW. You will be presented with a lot of options and opinions….remove them! Get into a quiet mental space and write down your thoughts and feelings. Only worthy opinion is God himself at this stage of the game.

Isolate: Only from people you KNOW for a fact will not support you in anyway. I can’t stress this enough. Stop asking people for their opinion. Learn to navigate your own life!

Be open to learning : Learn hard skills, soft skills, biblical truths, Yourself, Who is God and what does he expect of you?, research, research, research, listen to pioneers that went before you, but don’t let it control you.

Rebuild what was lost: If it’s important, rebuild it. Cultivate it. Nurture it and watch it grow. You need a strong foundation to fall back on. A lesson I learned was that I wasn’t ready for certain things, as I was. I was growing and things were going well but I wasn’t firmly rooted in it. It was easy when adversity came to revert and undo everything I’ve worked so hard to establish. So, one part of the process is to become rooted and grounded in your beliefs, values and system of working. These things will surely help you when adversity and hardships come your way.

Fight for Christ: People will fight for lovers and family but is anyone willing to fight for their relationship with God? Like all relationships, there are ups and downs, including with the savior. So, fight with a vigor and don’t give up on Him.

I embrace change but I will also fight for it!

Until next time,

 

* disclaimer: images from a google search

 

 

 

The Price of Kindness

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Unnecessary Disclaimer: I’m being honest and open.

A series of events led to my eye open experience.

There is a price to pay for being kind. In a cruel world, people see meekness and kindness as weakness.

I witnessed this even in a church! The very place where meekness, kindness and gentleness should be respected and even honored, the meek and the kind are shunned, insulted and made to feel inadequate. Brashness, cruelty and harsh words were celebrated as strength, used to control, manipulate and crush it’s recipients.

It was covered up in the guise of tough love, honesty, boldness, playful banter etc. We have lots of fluffy words for cruelty these days.

It’s tempting to want revenge, or to prove yourself to these people but this is my conclusion.

I want to remain kind. I want to be myself and who God made me to be. It takes a lot of strength NOT to fit in. It takes a lot of strength to keep going after being rejected, mistreated and misunderstood.

I had someone tell me that kindness is fake. Poor soul. Poor soul believes kindness is fake and rudeness is strength.

In wisdom, you’ll know that sort of person is troubled and being unkind back will just exasperate the issue.

I think these experiences, while they hurt me deeply , has made me stronger.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I have fallen in love with myself even more. I pick and choose my battles wisely. If I make a mistake, I apologize , fix it as best as I can and move forward. I also know that my actions aren’t always kind but I want to be kinder.

Kindness for me is peace. It’s about being at peace with oneself and others. I don’t have time to be cruel. Cruelty is boring! There is so much to do in life than plotting against your next victim.

After every heartache I make two declarations: I will serve God no matter what and I want to do the right thing.

Love is patient and kind. Listen, I don’t always get it right, no one will but being consistently cruel to people, even those that have hurt you isn’t right! There is no justification for it!

Forgiveness is a choice! A process yes, but it’s a choice you have to make.

Forgiveness gives you internal peace in a chaotic world!

I was mad at God over things in my life, including my own choices. Now thinking about it, as painful as it was, I don’t regret it.

In a fallen world, pain builds character. All of my struggles and heartaches, sins (yup) and mistakes , not one piece or part must be forgotten for they all are the building blocks to my character.

The Bible clearly shows us the faults, mistakes and triumphs of it’s characters. There is constant character development.

The most important elements to life are our character and godliness. The quest for material things ends with death but our character and our godliness will be tested in the next life.

I learned through it all that God loves me too.

Never Thirst Again!

Photo by: Qang Jaka on Unsplash.

During my time in worship, I was led to read John 4 starting from verse 4 – the story of the Samaritan woman at the well.

How many of us use people, things, everything and anything to fill up the void in our hearts? In essence, humans were made to worship. We were created for that. However, Jesus points out to us the kind of worship he is looking for, reading from the MSG translation:

(background verses) 21-23 “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

23-24 “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

The Samaritan woman had 5 husbands and currently living with a man she wasn’t married to. Sounds familiar? Sounds exactly like our world today. It’s a small section of the passage but it is very important.

Jesus presented himself as the cure to her sin. He didn’t condemn her, he simply implied: drink from my well and you will never have to settle for anything that is not good for you.

Like I mentioned in all my previous posts, don’t hide from God like Adam and Eve in the garden! Run and fall down before God and pour out your whole heart, everything to him. He is not judging you. He already knows! The Samaritan woman thought Jesus was a prophet because he knew she had 5 husbands and living with a man. Point proven, God knows ALL.

Go to him believing He is the solution and cure for all your deficiencies! You don’t need to go to a church building, or a temple. If you look for him, you will find him right where you are.

Let him quench your thirst forever. Drink from the well of his Spirit. He is the source of life. He IS LIFE. He came to give us LIFE.

Be free to be yourself. You do not have to play church, know church doctrine, know every bible verse. Be free! Just have an open heart before JESUS.

God is truly intentional. In my time of waiting on him, he gave me the answer I was looking for. God is in the business of healing deep wounds. He has his timing but when he is ready, he doesn’t care what you are doing and where you are. He will bring it all up to the surface. He will shine his operation light on all of your wounds and disease. He will draw them out with his loving power. He will give you a new heart …look here…

Ezekiel 36:26-28(MSG)

24-28 “‘For here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to take you out of these countries, gather you from all over, and bring you back to your own land. I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God!

Jesus fulfilled the words of the prophets of old. Jesus is the word, every word from the prophets were fulfilled in the person of Christ. Find him and you will find life.

Be Well,

How to Find The Joy You Once Had

pablo-orcaray-209932

Photo by Pablo Orcaray on Unsplash

Do you want to know the secret of regaining your joy? Let your light shine! No preaching, no teaching, no need to nag or complain.

Don’t stay angry, and don’t bottle up your feelings because it will come out some where else.

Just let your light shine. God made you wonderful and beautiful. He placed hidden gems inside of you and as you allow God to reveal and cultivate them, you will be sharing your beauty with others.

The time spent trying to fix others, fix yourself, or even beating yourself up for not being perfect, could be spent doing all the things you enjoy and using it as a means to point to Christ.

Pray for those that hurt you. People WILL hurt you. It’s inevitable. It doesn’t mean you are weak, just human. Give all your feelings of hurt, shame etc, to Christ because he truly cares for you.

And He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding. I trust in this promise. More than anything, peace and joy matters! With these two , that work so closely together, you can accomplish anything.

Wait on God. His timing is true. We are not required to understand but to trust. Let Him be sovereign and let us be obedient.

aaron-burden-210092

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Matthew 5:13-16 (MSG)

Salt and Light

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

 

Stand Still And Know That He Is God

I woke up this morning and looked up the word apathy. Apathy and depression get used interchangeably but they are not the same. You can feel apathetic and not be depressed. Disappointments and struggles in life can leave you feeling numb.

I have come to say that it is alright to have these feelings. I’ve come to tell you that it’s okay not to know what to do anymore or how to save yourself. As a human, we don’t know everything. We cannot do everything. When we push and push and press and press and try to do everything simply to keep up appearances, we are 1. being fake and simply trying to impress people around us, and 2. we are taking over God’s job.

I remember this song I use to sing when I was on my high school choir: ” Stand still and know that He is God.” Breaking it down it goes:

Stand still and know that he is God. /Know that He will never leave your side. /He’ll fight your battles IF YOU LET HIM, He’ll be your REFUGE, He’ll be your COMFORT./ So You should Let go, Let God Have His way.

I thought about Job, who fell on hard times, losing everything including his health and his children. Instead of him trying to figure things out and PUSH and impress his friends, he went to God. He went to God with his raw and honest feelings. He knew God was sovereign……this sovereignty of God that ….God is truly Mighty, a King, the creator and in control over everything.  He didn’t try to cure himself, find a new job, adopt more children, He simply went to the one who created everything.  He ran to God for an explanation, He didn’t try to coerce God with His prayers. He didn’t try to bribe God with his worship. He simply sought God with the very issue on his heart. He was real, He was open and He was humble.

It’s not your burden to carry! It’s not your battle to fight! Bad things happen in life, it’s not your fault! Let it go and let it be! Cry out to God and let Him hear the pain and concerns in your heart. Your friends and family may not understand what you’re going through and they might not even love you in the way that you need, but this is the defining moment. The time where you learn to go to God only. He might send His hands and feet along the way, but keep them in their rightful place: as His hands and feet.

God will never dismiss your feelings. God will never make it seem as if you have to work harder, push harder and bust your brains over an issue. He will never ask you to do more than you can handle. If He calls you to it, He will strengthen you.

In the end, Job was restored and it was better than how he started. But no where did it say that Job had to manufacture his blessings. God simply gave them to him in due season.