Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why Am I Not Enough?

Thank You Jesus that You love me and I am enough for You. Why am I not enough for others to love?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sometimes, even though our faith in God is strong, we can still be afraid. For those like me who have an additional challenge called Panic Disorder, things that other people are not afraid of can really shake us up. So when something comes along that is truly frightening even to other people, we can be even more afraid than we normally would be. The storm system that passed through much of the midwest the past 48 hours is an example of this. This storm system left a lot of devastating damage in its wake. We knew it was coming. On Facebook, people posted their comments about it on our local EMA's profile as he kept us updated regularly as to what was to come. For someone like me, seeing these updates not only serves to help me be prepared, it also can make the panic worse. But what do I do? Do I totally avoid learning ahead of time and then not be prepared, or do I take it in stride and work to try to ease the growing panic and take the precautions necessary to be safe should the forecast become an actual dangerous event? As hard as it is, I choose the latter. Thankfully my faith in Christ sustains me, even if I have to walk my path alone. I may be a nervous wreck before the event is finished, but He always brings me through to the other side.

Last night I had friends keep me company online all through the night until I knew for sure that the storm was not going to be the dangerous threat it had originally posed for us. The forecasts had continued to say that for our area the storm would not be as bad as originally predicted but would still contain strong, damaging winds and hail. For me, a severe thunderstorm producing any kind of wind will upset me. Living alone makes it particularly difficult to tolerate the worst of the regular storms we have here. This forecast, even though downgraded, still had me afraid. My friends understood this and kept my mind busy with other things instead of the storm and I was calmed.

There is a beautiful song by Scott Krippayne that talks about how God will carry us through the storm...sometimes by taking control of nature and calming the storm and how at other times He allows the storm to blow around us while He keeps us close to Himself, calming us along each step of the journey. This morning after I finally slept, this song was strong on my mind and I want to share it here. You see, this time, God chose to calm the storm and calm me. The storm, by the time it reached my area, had weakened so much that it was nothing more than simple soft rain! This storm that had caused such terrible devastation for many in other states on this night wore itself out by the time it got here. I pray now for those people going through the aftermath. I praise my God who chose to take this time to calm my storm and me at the same time!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Total Acceptance

Can people love and accept others just as they are without some type of judgment? Good question, I think. Yet isn't this what we all want from those we love and who love us? The question comes down to this for me...can I love and accept those people in my lives just as they are with all the kinks and cracks and faults?

Years ago, I thought I was accepting of those I loved. But I wasn't. I made a mess of my life over the years in many ways because I was brought up looking at everyone's faults. I held people under a microscope much of the time. And even those I loved dearly never measured up. I was brought up to not trust people because people hurt you. So even when I was loved I didn't trust. I was always waiting on something bad to happen or for someone to walk out of my life. Growing up my life was difficult in as many ways as it was easy in other ways. I trusted my family, including my aunts, uncles, and cousins. But I didn't trust anyone outside of my family, even those closest to me. They were not blood and they could hurt or abandon me so I could not totally be open with them or love them unconditionally.

Yet wasn't total acceptance and unconditional love what I craved most? Isn't it what we all want? I wanted it but I couldn't give it. The bad thing was that back then I did not even see this major flaw in myself. I was the lowest of the low I felt much of my life. I was no good. I was raised to believe I was no good, that no one would ever really love me. The community I lived in re-enforced this belief in me in many ways. I was judged on every turn. My mom was judged on every turn as well since she was divorced and back then it was not acceptable like it is today.

Over the years, I have grown stronger spiritually. I've gone through many battles and God has brought me through each one. I've learned how much God loves me unconditionally. Even though I always believed in Jesus, and even though I was born again at a fairly young age of 14, I always felt that God didn't really love me as much as He loved everyone else. I mean, I knew He loved me, but only because He HAD to love me as His creation. It wasn't until much later, after going through some of the worst times of my life that I came to know His love was real. This blog tells only a little of my story. There is so much more. Long story short, I got to know God much more personally and how much He does love me and how that love is unconditional.

In the past few years, I have had much time to think about those caves of Ai in my life (see the part of the blog talking about that.) There has been much to clean out of my caves that built up over many years of hurt and self abuse as well as hurt I have caused others. Every day I can find something, if I look diligently enough, that needs removed. I am far from perfect and have many flaws. Yet I want unconditional love. I want to be accepted for who I am and what I am, as imperfect as that may be. How can I ask that of anyone else if I am not able to give unconditional love to others as well?

After my divorce I learned a lot about myself and what I want out of life, out of a possible future husband, and out of myself. I came to realize that I do not want someone that I feel I need to change. I want someone I can love for who he is and not who I want him to become. I am not in the business of being able to change anyone but myself. So whenever I look at anyone, be it a new friend in my life, someone I work with, someone I might end up in love with at some point in time, I only see them as they are and ask God to show me the person He sees when He looks at them. Do you know what? When God looks at us, He sees perfection. We are His creation and He loves us. He made us. He knows each and every detail about each inner working of our lives from conception to death and beyond. And He loves us unconditionally. When I ask Him to let me see someone else through His eyes, it is a wonderful experience. The best part of this experience is that I am free to love others without interference from the faults they are so afraid to show. I am equally afraid to show my faults. We all are. And we all believe our faults are the worst ever and no one will really care about us the way we want to be cared about. I carry a huge imperfection right out in the open that I cannot hide from the world. I know the pain of being rejected because of my imperfections. I do not ever want to be the instrument of spreading pain to someone else because they happen to be human and have issues to deal with. We all do.

God taught me an important lesson over several years' time. The Bible says that we are not to judge others or we will be judged. I used to think that meant that God would judge us after we died. But I found out that many times the exact thing we judge someone else about comes back on us until we live through it ourselves and experience it from the other person's perspective. For instance, when I first began having knee trouble I know many people who criticized me and my lifestyle as the cause of my own trouble. Within months those people were having knee issues of their own. I have found in my own life that when I have judged someone else about how they raised their children for example, that I ended up with issues of my own very similar to their issues. After enough time of this, I decided I was not going to judge anyone else ever again if I could help it. Being judged in return is not pleasant.

In time I realized that what I want from myself is much more than that. I want to be the kind of person who truly does love my friends as well as my family, just as they are, faults and all, no matter what those faults are. This is not always easy, but it gets easier. I have a God who is there to guide me each step of the way. I have a program that helps me keep focused on the right issues, and those are my own. And I have Jesus who told us all to remove the stake from our own eye before we try to remove the splinter from the eye of another person. Getting that stake out of my own eye is much too difficult for me if I am trying to focus on the problems someone else is dealing with. And when I try to change someone else rather than working on changing myself, all I do is end up hurting the other person as well as myself, and sometimes others who may be involved in some way. The splinter in the eye of someone else is theirs for them to work on with the help of God as they know Him. It's hard enough just dealing with the stake in my eye.

So what I guess I am trying to say with this blog is that I've learned how to love without judging. Everyone has issues. Everyone has problems. I am not perfect in this endeavor yet but I am getting there. I am trying very hard myself to come out from hiding and show who I really am to my friends and family. I've been afraid to do that for far too long. Since I have started this, I have grown much and feel much freer than I ever did before. I know not everyone is going to like me as I am. I've learned to accept this too. But know this, if you need a friend who can love and accept you, faults and all, first look to God. Then give me a chance. Who knows? Maybe total acceptance is possible for us crazy messed up humans. :)

I would like to share with you a video that maybe tells you even better than I can just what I mean about total acceptance and unconditional love.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

God Never Promised Us a Rose Garden

Life is hard. God never promised us that life would be easy on this earth. But He did promise to walk with us, guide us, strengthen us, encourage us, feed us, provide for us, and so much more as we travel in this journey.

The story I have written here began in the early spring of 1993. I have been a believer in Jesus Christ much longer than that. I have been a believer since earliest childhood, becoming a born again believer on Thanksgiving night 1969. My life has never been easy. In reading the Bible I find that I am very much like the children of Israel, grumbling day after day when they don't get life as they think it should be and forget to honor God in spite of how they feel. I grumble too much. I whine. I am a small child begging for a special toy I've seen and want desperately. I cry when I don't get it. On the other hand, I rejoice when I see that getting what I wanted wasn't the best thing for my life. God always knew best. Over the years I have come to trust Him in such a way as I never thought I could in the past. When I first asked him back in that spring of 1993 to teach me to trust Him, I had no idea what would come of that request. Something I have learned along the way that makes me stop and consider my path and the choices I make along the way is that whenever I start to walk ahead of God, things happen that I don't like. Every time I jump ahead of God, I seem to turn in the wrong direction. You would think that after all these years of study and the quest, I would instinctively know what way to turn even if I do move ahead a bit. But no. That child wanting that special toy is always there, always wanting, and always reaching out to things that are not good for me. But once I turn around, either by pure choice, or by result of some consequence of my misdirection, I find some reward for returning to the right path. This summer when I decided on my own without asking God if it was the right thing for me, I ventured into the world of online dating and met up with a scammer. Fortunately, I saw the light quickly and turned back around. But not without battle scars, not without pain and heartache. The reward? A lot of new friends from around the United States and the world. And most of all, another spiritual marker placed along the path to remind me that here is a place where I ventured off on my own and failed to seek God's face first. Here is a place where I found my footing again and turned back toward God.

Maybe this is why I am back blogging again after another absence.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Proverbs 13:12

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.