Thursday, October 25, 2012

Who Am I?

You ever just have that moment where you realize NOTHING is different? Nothing. You are same. You are who you have been. You feel like just a product of your mistakes. You look in the mirror each day wondering 'What the Hell is wrong with me'? I normally look and say more colorful 4 letter words.

I know the verses, I know the songs, and I certainly know the lyrics.
I don't even have to look them up.

"You are more than the choices that you make. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes"- Tenth Avenue North.

I. GET. IT. I've been redeemed by the blood of Christ. I'm not struggling to be free, I'm free to struggle. Then why don't I feel free?
Why am I struggling?

Why do I struggle with the same damn things that have plagued me for so long.

I know. I get it. Or at least I think I do.

Again, I know the verses and don't need to look them up

"You will find me when you seek me with your whole heart" (Jeremiah 29:13)

What scares me isn't that I still struggle.... what scares me is that I'm not sure HOW MUCH God will strip me of.

What will he take from me before I surrender to his plan.

The title of the blog for about the past 6-9 months has been "Here's my life", a song by Barlow Girl.

Part of the song says "I'm missing what I've left behind", and I can only scoff. What have I left behind. What have I given up? I still sin. Usually I don't care until after it. I see change but its slow.

I see growth but its just SOOOO slow.

“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us.” ― A.W. Tozer
My friend Laura posted this on Facebook about an hour ago. Maybe this is what I need. To stop thinking so highly of myself, but to come to the end of myself.

Sooo...God,  my only question now is not when will the struggle end, it's

"how much of this comfortable life will you strip me of before I'm on my knees, crying and begging you for mercy because I have nothing else? 
When will I finally believe that nothing that I pursue with this sinful heart will ever add up to how great You are?"

Maybe I first have to pursue Christ enough to actually realize how great He is when I'm willing to stop looking so much at myself, so much in the mirror, and so much to the world to satisfy me and instead looking to Christ and the Cross for my strength and ultimate joy.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

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Friday, April 6, 2012

How much do I trust God's promises?

Today..... oh today....

It's been a rough day.

Actually it's been a rough few days. 

 I want to trust God today but I've fought all day through how much I really do.

I really want to trust. I really want to not have so much fear that just seems to choke me, but I can't seem to get there.

I can speak the 'christianese' that has the Sunday School answers to everything, but I don't want that anymore.

I want to find this place where I just trust God, even when situations are not going well (or even close) or things don't go as I had planned.

I don't want to be so set in my ways that any alteration of what I expect or any change to the norm causes me to freak out and not cope.

God do this work in me, save me from myself because I'm my own worst enemy.

Break me of my desire for normal and comfortable.

As I was reading my devotions tonight, I came upon this from Rick Warren's daily devotional.

I NEEDED to read this today.

My hope is that I will remember this and learn to trust God in ALL circumstances.

I hope it encourages you like it encouraged me:


God's Promises for You

The Bible has over 7,000 promises from God to you - promises of success, confidence, health, prosperity, strength, wisdom and more. Why does God make these promises?

Because he wants you to learn to trust him.

When you set a goal, don't focus on the problems, focus on the promises. Find a promise in God's Word that will take you to your goal.

This is what Abraham does when Eliezer, his servant, starts to worry about accomplishing the goal he is given. In today's verse, Abraham tells Eliezer about the promise he received from God: "He'll [God] send an angel before you so that you can find a wife there for my son" (Genesis 24:7b NCV).

You don't need an angel because dozens of time in Scripture God has said, "I'll be with you no matter where you go." God is always with you whether you feel it or not. You just need to plug into the power.

The size of your God determines the size of your goal. And godly goal-setting always starts with a promise of God. Don't look at your limitations; look at the promises of God.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Here I Stand

And here goes the most honest thing I've ever written.

As many of you know, I  connect my thoughts and feelings so much better when I find a song that explains them.

 As I resumed blogging three weeks ago the song that I had for what I was feeling was "Here's My Life" by Barlow Girl

I have thought about that post a lot since I wrote it. I wasn't really at good place. In many ways I was angry at God.

 It's kind of interesting how life goes sometimes I guess. I had lost a lot of motivation and was at that place where I didn't understand why  God was doing what he was doing. I would have days where I felt great but then I would see someone or think of something and basically have a nervous breakdown.

To say there was a lot going on in my head would be an understatement.

 I had a few friendships that went bad, and they seemed past the point of mending so I cried out to God.

I wanted to heal. I wanted to mend. But it seemed like I was taking one step forward and then two steps back.

I asked myself as I heard that song, what does "Here's my life" even mean? What does it mean to give God complete control of every single thing in my life?

So I began to question everything.
'What does this faith even mean?'
'What does growth even look like?'
'How can I trust God despite the crappy circumstances?'

There's a line in the song 'You Can Have Me' by Sidewalk Prophets that hit me like a ton of bricks.

If You’re all You claim to be
Then I’m not losing anything
So I will crawl upon my knees
Just to know the joy of suffering

.... Life changing right there.
I stopped my pity party... and said to God ' Alright- you send these things for a reason. I don't know what those reasons are right now, so teach me to trust you and praise you even in the suffering'

For a very long time I've been willing to give him, as I said in my post before, certain parts of my life.

But for other things, like relationships, or my finances, I wanted to handle it.

So I cried out and said

what does it mean to honestly say here's my life and really give it all to you? Please help me learn what it means to apply that to my life.
 And so that's what I meditate on and prayed for over the last few weeks. It hasn't been easy and I still have along way to go, but I am growing.

As I meditated on that over the past few weeks, I've question what that looks like in certain areas of my life.

What does revolution in my life look like? What does change look like? What does really giving it all to God look like? As I learn these things, how can I encourage others?

I specifically questioned certain areas of struggle:

What does is it mean for someone who has struggled with lust and pornography on and off for years to say:  ''I'm done with that, I don't want it anymore. It leads to death, it makes me sick. It gives me a false view of relationships. It makes my view of my SISTERS in Christ look all distorted?"

What does it mean as a person who struggled with financial responsibility to say "I'm done controlling them, I'm done buying what I want just because I feel like it whenever I want. God calls me to be responsible- What does it mean to be someone who is wise with my money?"

What does it mean to stop pursuing relationships the way I want to pursue them and just say "Thy will be done"?

What does it mean, as a person who claims to be a Christian, claims to love the Lord, but has a hard time even reading the Bible everyday to make specific time to read the Word consistently?

What does it mean to intentionally be in the Word,  intentionally be praying that God's will be done?

What does it mean to be intentional about sharing the gospel with others in my life?

As I think about all these things, what I realized is that I need change in my life! I can't change anyone until I change myself. I can't witness for Jesus well until I learned to live for Him.

I can't encourage my youth group kids or my friends to give everything to the Lord, unless I'm willing to give it all to Him first. Because people learn by example, so I have to give them one.

As I meditate on all these things, and what it means to be a man of Christ, I've been listening to this song by the band newsboys called "here we stand"

Some of the lyrics say

we can see it, God, you're moving. We can feel it in our bones. Turn our hearts to all you were doing. With a shout we cryhere we stand in all, here we stand at all. Lifted high every heart, giving you every part. Here we stand. There is nothing like your presence, God.

So I have been meditating on that. I need a revolution, and so here I stand.

Let me live for you, let me serve you, let me give you every single part of my life, and let me trust you.

Life looks a lot different than it did three weeks ago.

I have mended some of those relationships, I have built back that trust.

God has really started to bless me by placing certain individuals into my life again. And so I am at a better place, I'm not crying out to God wondering why he did this, or what he's doing, because I feel Him moving and I see what he's doing, but I still pray "Thy will be done".

I still want to be more like Christ every single day.

I'm still striving to  change the sick patterns that I've had.

I'm still striving to create Godly patterns in my life every single day.

As I have processed through the struggle, a friend of mine pointed out a verse to me. In the struggle I often quote Jeremiah 29:11

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.

It's easy to read that and then stopped, but she told me to read what follows in verse 12-13,
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

Reading that was completely revolutionary-I had an 'Ahaa!' moment.

So... I will find God when I seek him with ALL that I am!?

Every single thing in my life needs to be given up to Him.

No wonder I had felt so alone, depressed, and felt that things were hopeless. Because I wasn't trusting the only one who never lets me down!

And so that's the goal. I see God blessing me. I am so happy that words can't explain it. :)

But just as I cried out to God in the struggle, I want to continue to cry as things go well!

Thank you Lord for all these blessings you have given me! Help me to seek you more each day. Help me to become a leader. Help me to be a mighty servant for you. Give me the desire to praise you in the good and the bad times because it is all a gift from you, and you use all these things to sanctify me and make me more like Jesus each and every day.

Thy will be done God.

Welcome to the journey.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Here's My Life

Here's my life…

Here's my life,

what does that even mean?

What does it mean to tell God that you are giving him everything?

What does it mean that you want to keep nothing back from his plan for your life? That you want him to take control and direct your path… No, really… Direct. Everything. That you do.

I don't really know… But I want to. There's a song by BarlowGirl called "here's my life" … and it's the new title on my blog.

Because, I don't know exactly what it means… But I want the Lord to teach me and show me what it means to really sacrificed everything I want and give it up to him and say no Lord, I want what you want!

So welcome back to my blog… Almost 2 years after my last post I am back.

Why am I back? Because I don't want to live a fake Christianity… I don't want to live giving up some parts of my life but not really willing to make a complete sacrifice for Jesus Christ. I want to be someone that stands up for the Lord in every single situation.

I want to really say here's my life. For years I've given the Lord parts of my life… But not others. I have never wanted want to give him everything.

But now, I want to give him my struggles, I want to get him all of my choices, I want to give him my heart and how it feels in my heartbreak.

I want to give Him my career, my future spouse, and my Lord willing future kids.

And so I write… I have been avoiding this for far too long. I wanted to look like a good Christian all the while struggling and not telling anyone. I am so done with that.

I want to be completely open about who I am, and you know what, it's gonna suck, it's gonna hurt, it's gonna be weird that people all over the world that may know me or not know all about my personal struggles through what I write on my blog.

But the truth of it is God knows and that's bad enough, and so anyone else knowing what I'm struggling with or feeling shouldn't matter, because God knows all of that and I shouldn't be ashamed of anything people think.

So I will write… And I will be honest, and I will hopefully encourage you in reading this to pursue Christ and pursue the gospel… Because trust me, I've seen how it goes when you don't. I have tried for SO long to workout things by myself and it goes awful. I also know, that when you surrender your life to Christ, He will bless you… And He will not leave you hanging or lonely. He will satisfy all your needs in ways you could've never even imagined.

So here's my life Lord, one more time. Take it, take every single part of it that I keep back, and use it for your glory, not my own. Do with me what you please, send me where you want me to go, here's my life.

Psalm 19:4

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 104:33-34

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the LORD.