"I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast towards you. Nevertheless, I am continually with you, you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.
If church is where God is, why do I feel so alone there? If Christians are called to love everyone, why do I feel unwanted? If they say I'm "smart," why am I failing? If God is my strength, why am I so exhausted - physically, mentally, and spiritually? If God is always speaking to us, why do I feel so empty? If my friends, who text me, saying I'm "funny" and "amazing" and all that, say all these nice things, why don't they ever talk to me in person? Why does no one look as excited to see me as they are when they see other people? Why am I constantly alone, even though I've been in this place for more than a year? My friend, who I've known for years - why does he say goodbye to my younger sister with a big hug and nothing to me, who's standing right next to her, not even a simple "Bye"?
I'm alone. I'm abandoned. No one wants me. No one cares about me. I'm a failure. I'm not good enough.
My head is pounding as these thoughts ram against my heart, one by one. My throat is tight, but I'm not sick. The tears start to fall.
As I'm battling this invisible force, something my new friend told me the other day comes to mind. I envision a baseball, with the words I'd been dragging myself down with written on it. The words failure, alone, unwanted, unloved, not good enough stick out at me and threaten to drive me to tears again. But as I envision this baseball, with all the negative words on it, coming at me at full speed, I grab out my bat - the word of God - and I take a swing. And that ball is off - away from me. Statement after statement, I shoot it down with God's truth.
No, I am never alone. God will never leave me nor forsake me. He is always with me, even when it doesn't feel like it. I am not alone.
Okay, so I know this series is supposed to be about who you are in Christ, but I want to slightly take the focus of who you are and talk about your neighbor- your friend - your enemy - your brother.
Last week, I was placed in a tough situation. I was eating a meal with a few other girls. The thing was, they were gossiping and saying unkind things about some other girls who weren't present. They went on for about ten minutes, and I sat there, silent.
First of all, I want to just say that gossiping is wrong. Ephesians 4:29 says to "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." Gossip is corrupting talk. It pulls people apart - friends, family, best friends and acquaintances alike. Nothing good can come out of gossip - sin - and when you gossip, all you're doing is giving word to the devil. What I mean by that is that when you gossip or say anything unkind, you are letting Satan speak DEATH to those around you, and yourself, through your words. Maybe it's not directly to that person, and maybe they never hear it, but it's poison to those who hear it. It makes them think differently of the subject of gossip, or makes them suspicious of him/her. Gossip is poison. End of story. Don't do it.
Two nights ago, I had a dream. I'm not quite sure what the circumstances were exactly , but for some reason everybody had to go to the authorities. They were handed a sheet of paper - there were two different kinds, and I can't remember what they said but they looked like newspapers - and then when their name was called, that person had to come to the front (there was a whole crowd of people in the room waiting) and whatever their paper said was done to them. So my family and I are right in the front, so we can see the whole view and everything that's going on. Well, they start, and this person gets called up to the front. The soldiers in authority (I don't think it was police; it might've been some group that had taken over, I never knew) then grabbed the person's paper and read it. Seconds later, that person was dead - shot in the head with some fancy, noiseless gun that seemed futuristic. This horrific event then proceeded to repeat itself, until half the people were no longer living. A few had been spared, but I didn't realize why until the "next day" (in the dream). Thankfully, none of my family were called up that first day. During that whole thing, I'm just shaking and breathing unevenly, as I say over and over, "Here I come, Lord…" But at the same time, I'm hoping against hope that my name won't be called, ever, that'll I'll be spared and get to live another day.
I was born with a passion. I had a passion for people, which grew into an even deeper passion for Jesus after I became a Christian. I don’t like the thought of giving up. I don’t like the thought of giving in to the devil because I didn’t try. I want to be a doer, not a thinker. I want to make a difference. I’ve gone through many trials in life and I believe God uses those trials to help me understand people. And I can. I see all these needy people and I want to do something. But I don’t know how. I don’t have the courage to say hello. I’m afraid of what people will think. But the Holy Spirit is in me and He helps me get past those fears and He guides me in what to do and say. He is there with me every step of the day. God is my refuge. He is my strength. I am His servant and I will do what He says!
I have goals in life. I have goals to help people. I want to guide them to Christ. I want to be a light to everyone I meet. I am willing to do anything for Him who died for me. I am ready. I can’t wait any longer.
Something many of us don’t realize, including me, is how much we can affect people. I didn’t realize how much influence I had on others at my homeschooling group until my friend told me a couple weeks ago! People were looking up to me, and I wasn’t being the best example I could be! If we realized how much people were influenced by us, how would we be acting?
Most people don’t ever realize that they themselves have been influenced by someone else until much later. The people you hang out with are going to become who you are and who you act like, so choose your friends wisely! I’m starting to realize just how much I’m starting to act like my best friend, my close friends, my not-so-close friends, my family…the list of people who have influenced me goes on and on!
One day I was in the kitchen writing a procedure for a lab report that was due that week. After I’d finished, I read it through and was surprised to realize I had used a ton of "Old-English" words and language! Why?
That simple question touched my heart one day. With some of my friends, that question is hardly asked (I guess we used that question too much in the beginning and it must've wore off or something)- and I hardly ask them, either. It's just something we don't really do. So when another friend of mine asks, "How are you doing today?" I'm kind of caught off balance. I was like, what? You want to know how I'm doing? It was strange to think someone actually cared how I was doing (not that my other friends didn't). That friend might've only been trying to be polite, but to me it meant something bigger. At that moment, I was going through self-doubt, which I talked about in a previous post. I was struggling with knowing who I was and who defined me. Some days I felt like a nobody. I thought no one really cared enough to even say hello. So when my friend asks me how I'm doing, my heart lifts.
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
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"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."