"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.
It's the last day of the Watch Them Fall series! I pray that the Holy Spirit has spoken to you in many ways through this and that you learned something from these posts. I love you all and will continue to keep you in my prayers :) God bless, and enjoy this last post!
Questions are lined up side by side, one on top of the other. My soul processes them and call them worthless, my brain processes them and call them neutral, my heart processes them and keeps them. Three different filters to go through, three different outcomes. Three sides, all opposing one another. A friend walks in. Four filters, four outcomes, four sides. Social media pops up. Five filters, five outcomes, five sides. A parent rushes in. Six filters, six outcomes, six sides. Another person, and another, and another. The devil sneaks in, disguised as an angel. Ten filters, ten outcomes, ten sides, ten influences. The Holy Spirit takes over - eleven filters, eleven outcomes, eleven sides, eleven influences. Ten lies. One truth.
You? A leader? You are not a leader. You're so clumsy. Emma can't do it. You are not that good. That looks so weird. You're ugly. You're not good enough. I can tell you right now that's not going to work. You're so skinny. Your voice is just average, nothing special. That sounds weird when you sing low. You're not singing on tune. You can't do it. You're so weird. You never remember to do it. You're going to fail the first time you try. You're going to be so bad at driving. You're going to crash and kill us all. I don't trust you. You're not worthy.
It's engraved in my mind. It's burned in my heart. It's who I am - or can I be something different? Am I what they say about me, am I who I think I am, or is there a third option? No one thinks I'm enough, no one thinks I can do it, no one thinks I can - those are the thoughts that generally stick with me. Sure, maybe it gives me motivation to prove them wrong - but I'd ten times rather have positivism than a motive to prove someone wrong.
Am I what the people around me think? Am I perfect, like they say, and never mess up? Am I hopelessly flawed, like some others may think? Or am I who I think I am? Am I a Christian, but one who always makes mistakes and lets others down? Am I a failure? Or am I both of the two?
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 glanced at the girls sitting around me in my Sunday church small group. As I looked around, I inwardly thought something of each one. To me, a few of the girls looked pretty put-together and outgoing, so I made a note to myself that I should stay away from them; they probably wouldn't want to be friends with someone like me. Some of the girls looked nice, and some of them looked very superior and had that Oh yes I can look on their faces. In a way, I was mindlessly evaluating each of them, judging them by their appearance and assuming what they'd act like based on hearing them speak for a few minutes or less. As I continued to look around me at the other girls, I started feeling inferior to them. I wished I could shrink down and hide, somewhere away from the girls I thought were cold and unfriendly. Because they seemed popular, unafraid, and had a good sense of humor, I decided they wouldn't be nice to those "inferior" to them. I judged them without knowing them personally, without talking to them ever directly, and I was afraid of them. I felt inferior.
Fear. This is something everyone deals with. Something that continually holds us back from doing things we should be doing, want to be doing, and wish we could be doing. Fear is such a strong weapon of the enemy, and he's good at using it! So many of us are drowning in our fear; we can hardly move. And then we can't obey the Lord when He calls us to do something because we're so busy worrying about what's going to happen! We're afraid of the unknown. We're afraid of people. We’re even afraid of being afraid! Maybe for you, you've been stuck in your fear for quite a while, but have been trying to break out of it for quite some time. And maybe some of you are stuck in fear and don't even want to get out, because it seems safer somehow.
I feel you- I've been there. And I've definitely dealt with fear before!! And to be honest, it's also really, really daunting and scary for me to share so much about myself - especially knowing that a lot of my friends and family are going to read it. I'm afraid that people will think it's wrong, hypocritical, that it'll be taken the wrong way or that I'll be judged by my weaknesses. It's hard to be transparent. It's hard to share my innermost struggles- but I do it because I know God wants me to, because He sees something in me that I don't. He knows that somehow, someone's going to be impacted by these words that I write, even if I never know. And most of the time, I don't. It's kind of better that way, 'cuz it's easy for me to become proud of "my" accomplishments! It's all God though, really. Anything good that you ever see in me is 100% Him- 0% me. I'm not exaggerating.
"Two are better than one…if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!" -Ephesians 4:9a & 10
"And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him - a threefold cord is not quickly broken." -Ecclesiastes 4:12
Many of you have probably heard or read those verses before. Fellowship is something that is highly encouraged especially in the New Testament, and one of the reasons we have churches is for community. We need each other. God even said in Genesis 2:18 that it was not good for man to be alone. When we stand united, we do not fall easily, like Ty said in his powerful guest post. But "if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand" (Abraham Lincoln quoted it in a famous speech, but it originally came from Mark 3:25).
However, Satan also knows about this secret weapon of ours (Remember, he's much, much smarter than you!). Therefore, he does everything he can to pull us apart, to put issues between us.
"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."