Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 340- Talking to God

Day 340, as time permits I will post past daily writings. Life as we all know it can consume most or all of our time; however, in the end it will all balance out.

James 5:13 (NIV, 2010)

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”

So, often we forget the most important fundamental guideline to happiness. In troubled times what do we do? Well, I can share from my own personal past experiences that when I had a bad day, or found myself in “Trouble,” I would reach for my phone and call everyone I knew. Starting at the top of my list with my Mom and if she did not answer sift through my list of contacts until I reached someone I could talk with.

The funny thing about this tactic, and I do not mean to imply “funny” as “ha-ha funny,” but funny in the definition of ironic funny, is more times than not no one ever picked up on the other end. So, many times I would set my phone down and wonder, “Why was it anytime I REALLY needed to talk to someone they were never available?” …

I believe I repeated this cycle for years, until finally the answer dawned on me; “I was reaching out in the wrong direction in times of trouble and in the times I most struggled.” Instead of reaching out to “PEOPLE,” I should have been reaching out to God. After all God is the one who saves us from the trouble or gives us the advice we need when we do not know what to do. Sure, others can share with us or even empathize with us about our current situation; however, they cannot fix it for us.

When looking back at those times and at the times when someone actually answered the phone I would have to say that even after I had talked with a person, when we would end the conversation and hang up the problem was still there. I did not receive a revelation of how to feel better or fix what was happening in my life; however, any time I would pray and seek guidance from God on a situation or even just for comfort I would receive it … and the best part, “He always answers the phone,” (so to speak).

So, now when I find I am in despair, trouble, or facing a trial I simply pray. I pour out my heart, my feelings, and even at times “ASK,” him to show me what to do, because one thing I do know is whatever he tells me or shows me will be the right thing.

Romans 8:26 (NIV, 2010)

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."

Therefore, now when I feel I need to talk to someone and I find myself reach for the phone I stop myself and wait. I fight off the initial impulsive reaction I displayed time and time again and instead begin to communicate with God. Sometimes it is in the form of a prayer and other times in the form of a conversation, just like I would have with a family member or friend. I now know all those times no one answered the phone was God’s way of showing me he wanted to talk to me and he did not want to use call waiting; He wanted me to call him.

James 5:16 (NIV, 2010)

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 341- God’s Love

Day 341, beauty in God and beauty in love. I was reintroduced to God’s love and the magnitude of his love through a friend’s insight and wisdom of the scripture. I would like to think God worked through this particular friend in answer to the questions I have asked for many years and again on “Day 342.” I would like to believe God had a message just for me that he wanted me to receive on the morning of “Day 341.” 

The scripture that melted my heart that was/is filled with pain from the relationships I have loved, lost and sometimes cannot escape-

Ephesians 3:18-

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”

His love is so powerful, that it is hard to "Fathom" in the natural world. It is so beautiful that beauty as we know it cannot compare. The depth of his love is beyond measure. My heart for God cannot expand enough to ever be completely filled...

I may not have had the relationships here in the natural world that my heart has longed for; however, I do have the love that my heart has longed for, and that is the relationship I have with God. 

Sometimes it is so easy to be lost in this natural world and consumed by all the hurt we have experienced, but if we stop looking to the physical senses, we may just see what God is telling us.

Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV, 2010)

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 

 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”

When we cry out for answers to God our cries are never not heard, they are heard- Just as when our child cries out to us,(their parents) we hear them and answer their cries; however, if we do not cry out how can God  know something hurting us? 

Do not be afraid to call out ...

Psalm 34:17-18 (NIV, 2010)

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
 he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
 and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

The world and the people “Of the World,” may crush our spirit; however, only for a moment. 

We may feel broken; however, just for a short while… for when we pull close to God we start to heal. We become whole and our heart expands and grows back EVEN bigger.

Therefore, when I hurt I will cry out, when I long for answers I will ask the questions. When I feel unloved by another, I will remember the Love you have for me. I will trust and know even in the moments of pain and despair I have a greater love, an unfathomable love that goes beyond this world and is eternal.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 342- Letting Go

 Day 342, I was left thinking about the people in my life past, present, and future.  I cannot say the thoughts I had started out positive; however, they are the thoughts that have been cyclical for many years of my life.  These thoughts had to do with leaving relationships that are not good, nor show signs of hope or change.

Subsequently, following the thoughts are a series of questions I have often found myself asking myself…  The questions perpetuated by not knowing when to end a relationship.  These questions do not come nonchalantly; in fact, the questions are at times consuming and emotionally draining very much like the relationships of mention. 

So, when do we know it is time to move on?  When do we know things are not going to change?  When do we really know we have tried all we can to salvage a relationship/friendship and it is time to sever all ties?

These are just a few of the questions that have been plaguing my heart and mind for some time.  In the past, I have easily walked away from relationships that have perpetually caused me hurt.  Then there were those relationships that no matter how much hurt had been inflicted on me, I stayed.  I knew they were not healthy and at times very dysfunctional, yet stayed. 

So, why did/do I stay? 

When do we say enough is enough?

What has to happen for one to have clarity and know what they are doing is the right thing, not just for themselves; moreover, for all involved?

First, let me start by stating the initial reason I have stayed in these types of relationships regardless of the relation personal, or friendship; Guilt.  The guilt that I had done something wrong or the guilt that I would be doing something wrong if I left the relationship.  The guilt brought about by other outside influences, which came in a myriad of forms.  

Followed by the guilt I felt when I heard the statements-, “You have to forgive,” … “What would God do,”…, or “How do you think God would feel about YOU walking away from (Name Goes Here) … “ or, “How can You call yourself a Christian and not care?”

Essentially, there was so much guilt that I remained trapped trying to figure out what to do.  I was so consumed with doing what was right in everyone's eyes I did not see what the relationship(s) were doing to me.

Aside from the guilt that evoked me to be imprisoned, I struggled with myself … Myself-image, self-esteem, and self-worth.  I thought maybe that it was me; maybe there was something I could do to change, that would fix the relationship, and this continued/continues in my life to a certain degree on a continuum. 

The cyclical pattern …

As a result, as in all things I turned to God and asked/ask the questions I was/am seeking answers to as in, “God when is it time to let go?” …  “Father even though I chose this relationship/friendship, does that mean I have to stay in it even though it hurts?”  ...  “God is it OK to allow a person to devalue, verbally/physically hurt, or emotionally be void in a relationship?” …  “God is it Ok to let go and walk away from a person who harms me?”  These questions and many more I have asked God on many occasions, because in all honesty I did/do not know the answers.  I did not know what God wanted me to do.  I had read the Bible and the scriptures on relationships and everything I had read stated, “To stay,” … “To forgive,” and or “That I could not walk away,” so what was I to do… 

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV, 2010)

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

I could/cannot not see my God saying I had to stay and allow another person to hurt me.  He/she did not hold more value than I. God created us ALL in his image and we ALL are equally loved by him regardless!  He sent his Son to die on the cross not just for others, however, for me as well, so why did/do I allow another to treat me as if I am less than they are? Although, I am still unsure one thing I do know for certain and that is-

Psalm 18:47-48 (NIV, 2010)
He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,
who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.”

Therefore, I may struggle with this issue and may not have all the answers yet to help me overcome years of worldly programming; I will continue to seek the answers God has for me when it comes to relationships friendship and other.  I will continue to work on me so God can work on others.  I will continue to forgive; however, KNOW I have value and I am valued. Knowing we are of value allows others to see the value in us. 

You are valued, allow yourself to be valued.