Right now, there are about 10 other things I should be doing. From wedding shower thank you cards to laundry, the list is in desperate need of attention…but I’m sitting here, computer in lap, typing out my thoughts.
I haven’t written in a while – and tonight is the night.
Since the last time I wrote, I got engaged, started planning a wedding, and moved out of an apartment I loved and shared with one of the coolest people ever. Things have felt pretty crazy, and all of the transition has come with a lot of different emotions. It’s been a lonely season and one that has shown me just how desperately I need the Lord to sustain and comfort me. Through responding badly to random frustrations or pride in thinking that I know the best way to handle things, I have definitely had my fair share of humbling moments. On top of this, I feel pretty apathetic in my walk with the Lord. My vision seems clouded, and I don’t have the drive I used to have to really know and follow Him.
It’s discouraging – and I hate talking (or typing) about it.
If I’m being honest, part of me wants to pretend. I want to put on an act that convinces you that I’m on fire for the Lord and am passionate about following Him, but, right now, I don’t feel that way, and I don’t think it’s worth lying to you. Why?
1. Being real is beautiful.
Several years back, I was walking around the Texas Tech campus listening to a Podcast from Watermark Community Church. On the podcast, several people stood up and told the congregation about how the Lord had rescued them from chaos and pain to deliver them into a life lived in reliance upon Him. I was deeply moved.
Each person that spoke took responsibility for their actions, explained the path their decisions took them down, and even confessed the underlying condition of their heart. It was a dramatic moment for me. As I walked to my class in tears, I remember thanking the Lord for his grace and the way he used the honesty of others to remind me of it.
When we act like we have it all together, we miss out on opportunities to show others just how big the love of our God is.
Today, as I sit here with a heart that feels lazy, entitled, and okay with being lukewarm, I know that the Lord wants more of me. He desires all of me. Even in my selfishness and desire for control, He sees me as someone worth pursuing. He loves me as I am and loves me enough to mold me into a person who looks to Him alone for life.
Even if your pride (I’m included in this “your”) and arrogance stops you (again, I’m included here) from being honest with others, the Lord always knows where you are. The challenge is getting over yourself and the image you try to keep and letting others in on the messy parts of your life. We all have them.
I truly believe the Lord uses honesty.
2. The lessons learned in the not-so-fun seasons are worth sharing with others.
Again, this season hasn’t been easy. I’ve felt my flesh bite at me and I’ve wanted, more times than not, to give in. At times, the emotion in my heart has felt so overwhelming that I have not been able to step outside of it. I’ve responded poorly…almost every time.
A couple of weeks ago, I came across this verse, and it hit me in the face:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who build his house on the sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7: 24-27).
I want to be someone who has a firm foundation. I want to be assured that when a storm comes, my life will be secure and I will be unwavering.
The trial comes in my response to the storms.
When I feel overwhelmed by loneliness or when I feel aggravated when things aren’t going the way I want them to, I have to remember that I made a commitment to follow Christ. My emotions are not bad, for even God is an emotional God, but it’s how I respond that matters in the end. Do I let the storms in my life create a storm in my heart that leads me to destruct my self and others? Or do I break and crumble in every situation I don’t like and can’t control?
The Word challenges me to put into practice that which I’ve heard and read in its pages. Those pages tell me to trust the Lord and not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). They tell me to be patient and joyful in the midst of hardship (Romans 5:3-5), and to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). They tell me that the Lord loves us and because of this love He has compassion on us (Lamentations 3:22), and that the Lord is worth relying on (2 Timothy 2:13).
I must step back, breath out, pray, and put into practice the things the Lord entrusts to me. He’s certain and can be trusted. To be firm in my faith, I must let Him be my certainty and the rock on which I build my life.
Several months ago, I went through a pretty big trial in my life. I remember, on several occasions, lying in bed unable to sleep when all of a sudden I would start humming, and then singing, this song – and it brought a little comfort to my heavy heart.
“Higher than the mountains that I face,
Stronger than the power of the grave,
Constant through the trial and the change,
One thing remains.
One thing remains.
Your love never fails,
It never gives up,
It never runs out on me.
Your love never fails,
It never gives up,
It never runs out on me.”
-“One Thing Remains.” Jesus Culture.
Exhale and let that soak in…
I don’t know where you are, but just in case you are, or ever have been, where I am today, I wanted to offer you a bit of encouragement.
The Lord loves us. He sees us – mistakes, failures, accomplishments, and all – and stands with open arms asking us to give him our lives. He didn’t save us when we were perfect; in fact, he told us that he came to heal the sick.
What a loving God He is! He chose me when I could do nothing for Him. I ran and He chased me.
Whatever you’re going through, know that He’s faithful. In your pride and satisfaction with living life the way you want, he doesn’t change. In your sorrow, he’s still the same.
His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on…