Tag Archives: trust

Discovering Trust

Almost two years ago, I wrote this post.  In the last week, I have had a revelation.  This is the first time in many years that I do not have that familiar feeling of depression, which always worsens at this time of year.  Something has changed.

During the last year, I have actively confronted something within myself that needed to be dealt with and it has been intense.  Throughout my adult life, I have struggled with a specific, dysfunctional pattern of behavior.  As a young woman, I saw myself as a victim of circumstance and wondered why I kept finding myself in the same situation.  After I was saved, though, Jesus began to show me how I was unconsciously drawn to these situations, because of the abuse and neglect that I had experienced as a child.  I pursued what I knew because that was what felt comfortable, but I kept hoping that the result would be different.

As my eyes were opened to this, I believed that God had healed me and that things would change.  I had been looking for a need to be met and I knew it couldn’t be if I stayed in the place that I was in.  Now, I had such hope in my heart for the future.  Unfortunately, though, the day came when I realized that I was still trapped in the same pattern and despair overwhelmed me.  Without admitting it to myself at the time, I set upon a course to meet the need for myself, although imperfectly.  

I remember having conversations with God in my head during this time.  He told me, “You are not trusting Me.  You are not waiting on Me.”  I responded, “It’s not You; it’s me.  I know You have tried to heal me but I’m just too messed up.  I’m a hopeless cause.  This will just have to be good enough.”  Of course, taking things into my own hands did not turn well.  It just complicated things further.

As the years passed, I eventually admitted to myself what I had done and repented of it.  I couldn’t change the choices I had made and how they had impacted my life, though.  I was committed to walking in obedience but I didn’t have hope for the future.  I was still dealing with the same feelings.  I kept wishing that I could just be content with my life as it was and stop longing for this place in my heart to be filled.  

A little over a year ago, though, God asked me to do something difficult.  I chose to obey and took that first step.  It didn’t seem to help anything at first.  Actually, things seemed even worse.  One day, though, a word came to me – idolatry.  I had made the desire to have this need filled bigger than anything else in my life, including my relationship with God.  Realizing that was a turning point.  I’d had glimpses of it before, but I’d never given the sin a name.  It was liberating.  It gave me a concrete way to rebuke these feelings when I am tempted to dwell on what I do not have.

Then, one day, something else occurred to me.  Fear is what had convinced me that God could never fix me.  I let the enemy into my head.  What I perceived as humility (There’s something wrong with me; I am not enough) was really me saying “This problem is bigger than You.  YOU, God, are not enough.”  I was afraid if I waited on God, that things would never get better.  That’s when the second word came to me – trust.  If I had only TRUSTED Him, there would have been no fear.  I knew that I needed to fall in love with Jesus to be healed and I thought that I had done that, but I had never let myself trust Him with this area of my life.

I’ve made up my mind to trust Him from now on.  I’ve put this need in His hands.  That doesn’t mean that I’m not sad sometimes, or angry, or frustrated.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes.  I don’t feel like that unbearable weight is sitting on my shoulders anymore, though, and I didn’t see that coming.  God is good.

I Am a Closet Depressive

I have a secret.  Lately, I’ve been thinking that it is time to come clean, instead of trying to hide my weakness from the world.  I am a closet depressive.

I have struggled with feelings of depression since I was a child.  When I was twelve years old, I began to think about taking my own life.  At eighteen, I attempted to, and ended up being hospitalized for a couple of months, until it was determined that I was no longer an immediate threat to myself.

A year later, God blessed me with my first child, and despite the fact that the suicidal thoughts would still ebb and flow in my mind from time to time, I now had someone else to live for.  The guilt that I felt at the thought of abandoning her outweighed any despair that I might have felt.

Eventually, I found Jesus.  That added a whole new dimension to my life – someone besides me to depend on, to cry out to.  I began to go through a period where I was experiencing anxiety attacks every day on my commute to and from work.  As a single parent, not going to work was not an option, so I found different ways to cope and get through it each day.  Often, the only thing I could do was tell myself over and over in my head, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I would like to say that God completely healed me of my depression at this point.  Instead, it has been more of a thorn in my side, something of which to say “His grace is sufficient for me; His strength is made perfect in my weakness.”  He has certainly healed other issues, but fourteen years later, He is still working on me all of the time, showing me issues that I have been blind to my whole life, explaining to me why I am the way that I am, why I’ve struggled with the things that I’ve struggled with, and what needs to change.  So, I have hope that He will remove it one day.

The past three winters, though, have been really rough for me.  I’ve been letting the cares of this world weigh me down far more than I should and circumstances have escalated those cares to an often unbearable level.  There are many days that I did not want to get out of bed.  I didn’t have much choice, though, as there is a new set of little ones, pulling at me with entreaties of “I’m hungry; I’m thirsty; can I watch a show on Netflix?”  I can’t deal with the idea of not being there for them, the way that no one was there for me when I was little.  So, I push through it, and face my responsibilities once again.  Truthfully, though, there was many a morning that I opened my eyes, only to say, “Jesus, I’m ready to go home.  I’m not going to do the dirty work myself, but any time that you’re ready to take me . . .”  The spring has come, though, and brought somewhat of a reprieve from that.

The reason that I felt it was necessary to share this was not for pity, for we all have some cross to bear in our lives, but because I realize that this is part of my testimony, one that I have deprived others of.  From time to time, I have heard people share stories of depression or anxiety that they are experiencing and tried to reach out, to let them know that I understand.  The thing is, I keep getting rebuffed, and basically told that I don’t “get it”.  It amazes me when that happens, and I initially get angry.  I want to say “Have you ever felt such despair that you have actually tried to take your own life?  Because I have!”

What God has shown me, though, is that on the outside, I probably don’t look like I am going through pain to that extent.  I am almost like the stepfather that I grew up with, who has an alcohol problem that has ruined every important relationship in his life.  He still managed to get up and go to work every day – to two full-time jobs – saving lives as a firefighter and a paramedic, no less.  He probably looked pretty normal to the people he interacted with each day, at least, the ones that he didn’t live with.  You wouldn’t picture him as the guy whose thirteen-year-old daughter had to help her mother drag him upstairs, passed out drunk, as the guests were beginning to arrive for her birthday party.

I am a functioning depressive.  As long as I get out of bed each day and try to fit in with everyone else by putting on an act of being “normal”, no one will ever know any different.  They may notice that I have the “winter blahs” but I will never be able to bless someone else who is struggling, to offer a listening ear that they know understands and will not be judging them.  I have no one to blame for that except myself, because I have been too proud to admit the truth.  That’s why I am coming clean, so God can finally use me and my struggles for His glory.

Day 7 – Trust

Do you trust in all that you see, hear and feel? I believe I do at times. Other times I begin to see that it is all so temporary and always changing.

15 “For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. 16 “O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours. – 1 Chronicles 29:15-16

Today I am reminded to keep my eyes on eternity and not to be too distracted by the world around me. This will all fade away and be a distant memory. This is how I should be living every day.

I have been in a place of uncertainty and sadness these past few weeks. I have been wondering, wandering and struggling to understand. I know that God is at work and the He will never allow me to be brought anywhere other than where I am meant to be, but it has still been hard.

Tonight I was reminded that He is in control. He is so faithful and has brought all these “coincidence”s before me as a way of showing me that He is right there. This I know for sure. Today is the first day in a while that I have felt that peace sweeping over me. I was allowing anxiety to creep in where it does not belong.

I cannot say for sure that I will not be anxious over this again, but I can say that right now I am so thankful that Jesus is there for me. I am blown away by the way things all line up and point to Him. The timing of all things at once, from places that don’t seem to connect, and they all point to Him being in control.

My place in all this is to be obedient. Look for the work that is being done and trust in all the unknowns. Trust. Trust in the one who is eternal, not in the temporary things that are of this world. We are only passing through. This is not where we will land. This is not the end. This is the beginning.

Will I choose to get wrapped up and emotional over the things that will no longer be in the blink of an eye? No, I will choose to look past it all and see the bigger picture. I am a citizen of Heaven and a child of the Almighty Creator, the great I AM. He is for me in all things. He has protected me and guided me through so many things, how could I even think that He would not be in something so important to me?

His will is my focus. His plans are my desires. I crave to be lead by His Spirit, so why am I worried in the least?

Today I choose to trust more deeply. Today I choose to be thankful for the struggle so that I can grow in ways not possible otherwise. I lift it all up and lay it at the His feet. My Lord will always work my life to bring Him Glory and that is all that matters.

Day 3 – Perspective

Perspective is a funny thing. The lenses of life I choose to look through color everything I come into contact with. My perspective determines how I feel, act and comprehend. How do you perceive all you see?

I generally try to see all sides of a situation and have the ability to see other’s perspectives, for the most part. Although I may be able to gain a perspective other than my own, my own still gets in the way. I still struggle with letting go and accepting other’s points of view without trying to get them to see mine. Do you struggle with this too?

I also find that there are times when I am unable to gain a proper perspective and then assume that the person next to me cannot either. An example that comes to mind is a conversation I had with a few ladies the other day. We were commenting on being the passenger of a vehicle in the rain while the driver is not using the wipers as we would. I have experienced this with my husband so many times. It makes me nervous. I can’t see out of my window, why aren’t you using the wipers right now? How could you possibly see? He will assure me that he can see fine and asks me to just trust him. I squirm at times! But really, why do I need to see? I am just the passenger, I have no control over the vehicle we are in.

This reminds me of my relationship with Jesus. How often I have gone against His will for my life and chosen to take over the wheel, only to realize that He had it all under control and I should have just sat back and trusted in Him.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. – Psalm 139:13

I am here on purpose and with a purpose, this should be my daily perspective. God is in control and He will delivery me safely. I do not need to be able to see the road clearly at all times, I only need to trust.

The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? – Psalm 27:1

Much in the way that I need to trust that my husband will always keep me safe, I must trust that our Lord and Savior will that much more.

The roads we travel in this life can be full of strife, peril and uncertainty. I choose to look through the lenses that Jesus provides. The ones that allow me to see that God is in control. All I need to do is relax, sit back and buckle up. When the road gets rough and I can’t see what lies ahead, I can rest in the knowledge that I am safe, I am loved, I am protected. There is no need to fear the unknown. Is anything ever really known?

Choose to see your day today as a journey for Christ. Let Him lead your way and show you the reasons you are here in this place this very moment.

 

And Sometimes…

The answer is to just wait.

I am a need to know kind of person and struggle with being patient. Funny that I have actually been described as a patient person from most people I have worked with.

Generally, I can drive myself nuts when I am dealing with unknowns. Yet, when you think about it, isn’t everything unknown? Is it not true that there are no certainties in any given situation? Why do I spend so much time looking for them?

Sometimes, the answer I get from God is simply for me to wait and see. This is not easy for me, but I am learning.

Just wait on the Lord, He will prompt you when it is time to move forward. Trust in Him and you will find your way. Know that the only thing that is certain in this life is Him. The only thing I can count on is Jesus. I know for sure that He is my Lord and Savior and is always on my side. He is on my side. Another statement to write down and place everywhere.

JESUS IS ON MY SIDE!

He loves me, He loves you. He loves those that hate Him just as much as He loves those that cherish Him.

If He is for us, then who can possibly be against us? On this I can rest, on this I can wait, in this I choose to move.

Questioning

I question everything and am unsure about most things. Often people will tell me how sure I always seem to be, I do not feel that way and am surprised that I present that way. I do not look to deceive anyone and have put some thought into why I would seem so sure to those I come into contact with when I feel so uncertain inside.

The answer is Jesus, He is the only one I have ever been truly certain of. I know that He is by my side in all things, I know that He has me right where I need to be for His Glory and I know that He will never turn away from me. This is the only certainty I hold in this life.

I know that no matter how unsure I am, Jesus is sure and has given my The Holy Spirit to guide me through this life. I know that no matter how unqualified I may feel for a task at hand, Jesus shows me the way through it. My faith has grown and I have learned to trust in our Lord in all things. I don’t need to feel comfortable and I don’t need to understand in order to do the work He lays before me. I just need to pray and discern His will and His direction in all things and I know that it will all be ok. This brings me such peace and calm.

I still worry and battle anxiety often. This is something that I know The Spirit is working on in me and I know that it does not help me through any situations. I also accept that I am human and cannot deny my human nature. As my faith grows, so does my ability to remain calm and patient. I have a long way to go, but I can also look back and see that I have already come such a long way already.

Lord, I come before You today with my anxious heart and I ask that you remind me that You are in control of all things and I need not fear the unknown. I pray that my heart remembers all that You have delivered me from in the short time I have been walking with You. I pray that my patience and peace continue to grow and deepen as I learn to trust You, for I know that my worry and angst are clues that I am not trusting in You completely. You are true Love and true Hope. You walk with me always and are working in all things. I give my emotions over to You Lord and ask that You teach me to slow down, sit quietly and to bask in You presence.

I thank You for this life You have given to me. I thank You for Your kindness, Your Love, Your Light and Your patience. I thank You and praise You for Your goodness and pray that I learn to appreciate You more each day. You are good, You are kind and I hope to be more like You each day.

Today I challenge myself and I challenge all of you to stop and take inventory of the blessings in your life. Turn away from the things you do not have and choose to count all that you are fortunate to have. Praise Him for the roof over your head, the food in your home, the relationships, etc. These things have been given to you by our Mighty King and we are His stewards. Take care of even the smallest of things put in your care and tend to all you are given with tender love and kindness.

I am exactly where I am meant to be and need to keep the proper perspective. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the stress, the frustrations and the anxieties of this world, but I know there is a higher purpose and I choose to maintain that perspective. I also ask that each of you remind me of this should we cross paths and you see me struggling. I will do the same for you. We are in this together!

 

 

Beauty

image

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

All I want to say to you today is that God thinks you’re beautiful,  even if you don’t.

He knows EXACTLY where you’ve been, where you are  and where you are heading.

Trust in Him, allow Him to love you, and follow His will for your life.

In this you will find true happiness.

Endurance

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. – 2 Corinthians 4:7-12

Funny, I have just finished listening to an audio book and, subsequently, started a new one. The former ended in reminding us readers that we are to carry our cross DAILY and to endure the sufferings for they bring God glory if we allow it. The latter began on this same subject. Suffering, enduring and living in Christ’s name. Allowing all we go through to bring Him glory.

I found my thoughts drifting in two directions….first I was thinking, do I really suffer for Christ? I am a spoiled American girl. Sure, I have struggled in various ways, I have endured spiritual, physical and emotional pain. I have wondered how to make ends meet. Do these count? How am I bringing Him glory in these things?

My second train of thought was that no matter what country we live in, not matter how our culture is, Jesus tells us to live differently. That definitely applies to me. I often think how difficult it is for believers in other parts of this vast world. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have my tongue cut out of my mouth for speaking God’s truth. This is not something that should make me discount my life. I am called to live differently too. I am called to go against the grain and love, share and support when society tells me to hate, hoard and abandon. I am to make a difference in the place God has set me in.

Lastly, I endured a weekend that was quite difficult in both an emotional and a spiritual way. At the end of Sunday night I was asking Jesus to just take me away. I no longer wanted to endure the trial I was in. I wanted Him to take it away. Why? Why do I have to be in this? That was my question.

Today, a friend told me to read a section of a book she reads each morning and I realized that I am suffering for Christ. I am enduring difficult times and different attacks for His glory. I have seen how He has been working and will continue to do so if I can keep my side of the bargain, look to Him for peace and give Him the glory.

The section read:

BE PREPARED TO SUFFER FOR ME, in my Name. All suffering has meaning in MY kingdom. Pain and problems are opportunities to demonstrate your trust in Me. Bearing your circumstances bravely – even thanking Me for them- is one of the highest forms of praise. This sacrifice of thanksgiving rings golden-toned bells of Joy throughout heavenly realms. On earth also, your patient suffering sends out ripples of good tidings in ever-widening circles…

So today I see that this is what He means for me to endure and I am NOT to compare it to what others are enduring. I am important. I play a vital role in God’s kingdom and am making a difference in ways I am meant to. I am loved and happily endure the stressors of this life for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I will not be discouraged today. I will continue to live in His light and accept the peace only He can provide.

I choose to die to self and live for you Jesus.

In His grace and glory I wish these things for you as well.