We Will Make It

 

IMG_6125Often my mind is quite far away, thinking of children that are hurting and hungry. Children that because of their special needs aren’t given the chance to experience being a child, to know what it is to be loved. I dream night and day of when I am able to hold one in my arms, to be surrounded by these precious gifts that have been hidden away in one place to stay for all their years. To bring joy into their eyes for the first time.

How I will ever reach this point, I don’t know. How long it will be before I can be of any help to these hearts that are yearning I can’t predict. But God will make a way where there seems to be no way.

Wherever God leads us, if we are following, nothing can get in the way. There will be things that seem to get in the way that are actually better preparing us. It takes faith, patience, and a whole lot of perseverance, but if it’s where God is leading us He will get us there.

We have to trust that if it’s where He wants us, we will make it.

If I Could Change My Body

Woman watching the horizon sunsetIf I could change one thing about my body what would it be? This is actually a question I’ve asked myself before, and my answer would be nothing. Not because it’s particularly what my body wants as much as because I know it’s what will allow me to best glorify God, and what is best for me eternally.

I have epilepsy, and it’s not been easy. I currently can’t work, can’t drive, and just had brain surgery. No matter how difficult, there’s a reason God created me the way He did and allows me to go through what I go through. Sometimes I wonder if I had a more normal life what I would be like. Would I be more selfish? Proud? There is no way for me to know exactly, but I do know I couldn’t ask for a better plan than God’s plan.

He has eyes that see what I can’t see; He knows what I don’t know. He is outside the boundaries of time and has an understanding I will never have. I know for sure that I’ve learned SO much from going through what I’ve gone through, and honestly, I think it has affected me in a positive way.

So, my point is, instead of saying, “I wish…” say, “There’s a reason…” Instead of being stubborn we need to be willing to learn. We need to be willing to be broken.

The Grasp of Doubt

My God delivers me from fear of the enemy;
He takes me away from the grasp of doubt.
He lifts me up when I begin to sink;
He brings peace through every storm.
Through every trial He carries me,
In every pain He gives me strength;
He sustains me through every trouble.
He brings healing to my brokenness and guides me in the way I should go.
He knows me from my first to last breath;
On His path He will lead me.
Every way He puts before me He will guide my heart;
He prepares me for His work.
In His hands He holds me;
With His light His glory is shown.
My life is within His arms;
Not my will, but His will will be completed.

A Simple Life But With A Calling

Sitting outside in the woods in my tiny little garden on a spring morning, listening to nothing but the sound of the birds, just me and God…one of my favorite ways to spend my time as a teen growing up. Unusual, perhaps, but beautiful. Beautiful and perfect.

I’m pretty introverted, but at the same time I’m not afraid to get out and do something different. I don’t want a normal life. I want to make a difference in the world for the better. It took me awhile to reach that point, but I’m here.

Feel free to laugh at this–I laugh at myself for it sometimes–but growing up I’ve always been intrigued by nuns and how they live. Now, I’m not Catholic, but just the simple way of life they have, with a humility and love seen in what doesn’t seem like could be much more of a sacrifice of their life, somehow seems so peaceful and perfect to me.

For awhile I pretty much wanted something not too far different…to be out of this world as possible. Get away—live in the middle of nowhere if need be. When I looked at the world around me, I didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

When I was around 20 years old, God placed right in front of me something that changed everything.

Without even looking for any job of the kind, I was asked to be a personal care attendant for a special needs child. I took the job, started working within three days, and I began to see things I had been so blind to before. I began to realize that around the world there are thousands and thousands who are hurting—spiritually and physically.

God opened my eyes to see more clearly that He wants more from us than just a relationship with Him. While our relationship with Him should come first, He also wants us to be sharing His love with others in a tangible way. We were meant to make a difference in this world. We all have a calling. I realized how selfish my way of thinking had been, and He slowly but surely has continued to help me focus on Him in a way that opens my eyes to do what He has called me to do.

I’ve got a long way to go, but hey, that’s life! ;D

Born Again

“And the vessel that he had made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.”
Jeremiah 18:4

We are far from perfect—nor can we make ourselves to be—but we can choose to allow God to reform us into something beautiful. It requires letting Him hold us in His hands and allowing Him to reshape our lives, many times quite drastically.

“No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine in old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
Matthew 9:16-17

I think we often try to hold onto parts of our old lives that are hard to let go rather than fully surrendering to God, and this quickly creates a problem. As long as we are holding onto our old bodies—our old ways, traditions, lifestyle, selfish desires, and such—we are naturally going to be rejecting God without even meaning to. We aren’t going to be ready to receive His Spirit and His blood upon us to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. We won’t have His desires within us. We won’t be fully equipped to share the gospel as long as we are like this.

I might as well say it: it’s not easy—not if we’re doing this 100%. It takes a continuous surrendering, but it is worth it. Let’s allow God to fully renew our bodies so that He can fill us to overflowing with His Holy Spirit, His desires, His strength, His love, His wisdom, His peace, His joy, and so much more.

Make The Most Of It

There are many things we have no control over, but it is still up to us how we accept those things and react to them.

What got me to thinking about this was a few weeks ago at a doctor’s office for a pre-op appointment. While in the waiting room I noticed that literally everyone there was doing something on their phone. I have an iPhone myself, and there have been many times I’ve been waiting doing who-knows-what on my phone, but when I noticed this I didn’t like what I saw, and soon decided I wanted to do something about it.

I didn’t particularly want to be in a doctor’s office waiting room–who would? But I’ve been realizing something: no matter what our situation is, we should be seeing it as an opportunity.

Despite the fact that it seemed like there wasn’t anything else to do, I put away my phone. Before long I was able to strike up a conversation with someone. Nothing of great significance, but still–it was a conversation. Though I didn’t have the chance to share the gospel in the short time we were talking, it was enough time to communicate to the person that they are noticed and respected; a person can look at them and smile.

Small things like this can mean a lot more to someone than we might think—and I’m saying this from experience. I distinctly remember the few conversations others have started with me throughout the years. People who didn’t know me that came over and gave a compliment or just started talking about something completely random in such a kind way. They’ve been very uplifting and encouraging—I don’t easily forget them.

There have been many times where I was not feeling well and let that get the better of me by being impatient or unkind. I have no control over not feeling well, but I can choose how to react. No matter what our circumstances or what we own, we are capable of impacting others in a good way or a bad way. It is our choice.

It’s easy to let opportunities slip by while being distracted, or we can simply be unwilling to step out and do something for the benefit of others. This is a selfish way of living, and whether we realize it or not, living selfishly is not healthy for us as an individual.

So let’s make the most of whatever our situation is, and make a difference in someone else’s life for the better.

What is your “focus”?

As I believe I have mentioned in a few previous posts, I will soon be getting brain surgery. (July 26th to be exact…prayers appreciated!) We are hoping to find the “focus” of where my seizures are starting from and remove it to stop seizures.

So, trying to learn something from this, I was thinking how everybody is different. Not everyone has epilepsy. Not everyone who has epilepsy has a “focus”–a part of the brain that if removed can prevent seizures.

It reminded me of how everybody is different and what may be a problem for one may not be for another. For example, some things may be fine or even good for one, while for another that same thing may cause them to fall into sin, lead them away from Christ, or both.

We all sin. No matter how hard we try, we simply can’t be perfect. However, we can and should run from sin and towards Christ. Sometimes there are things in our lives that aren’t inherently bad, but are unhealthy or even toxic for us as an individual.

With my surgery/hospital stay, most of the time will be spent carefully analyzing seizures to find where exactly they’re starting—the surgery itself will only be a small fraction of the hospital stay. Similarly, where our problems are coming from can be quite a precarious task, and often times harder than actually taking care of the problem itself, but it is quite critical that we are doing this.

Many times we look for a quick fix–try taking out one thing, that doesn’t work, try something else, etc.–and that can easily make things even more complicated. One thing we can be sure of, and that’s that God knows exactly what our problems are. So guess who we need to go to if we want to find the root of our problems? Yep. You guessed it. God doesn’t hide these things from us, but if we’re not careful, our natural human tendency is to ask with our hands over our ears because we’re not so sure we’re going to like the answer.

Something I want to be sure to communicate is that no one is a perfect listener. It’s something that we can mature in, but as long as we are in our earthly bodies we aren’t going to have perfect ears. There’s been more times than one where I thought there was something I needed taken out of my life that I later realized I was wrong. But that’s ok. It is better to risk being overly-careful than being neglectful.

So, we need to take our hands off our ears and listen. Is there something that perhaps may be having a negative impact on your life that God may be asking you to take away, either for a time or permanently?

Is Christianity Decreasing?

As I’ve heard more and more of the percentage of the American population that claim to be Christians decreasing, it has really got me to wondering how many truly know what Christianity is. Perhaps I am seeing this wrong, but what I am seeing is less people claiming to be Christians who weren’t truly Christians in the first place. Not all, but a huge part of what America considers “Christianity”, has become very shallow and insincere. I think a lot of it is because much of the modern-day church has become very fact-based.

When I look around me and see the amazing detail of the creation of the world and how we can’t make a single blade of grass I wonder how people could even doubt God’s existence. The way so many things function—where if one single detail were off it wouldn’t work at all…can this really be a coincidence?

But I am slowly beginning to see that as I grew up in a Christian home, I had faith in Christ first—before all the details. And that’s where real Christianity starts—with faith.

God didn’t go to the Pharisees and perform a miracle to prove Himself. He went to the sick, the hurting, the hungry…those who were seeking and willing to step out in faith. God then reveals Himself to those who put their faith in Him.

A lot of the Christian church has been trying to prove themselves with facts—but to no avail because many non-believers already have their own “faith”. They already have something they believe, that they’ve grown up being taught and you simply can’t replace faith with facts. There’s nothing wrong with having facts, to be sure. I’ve been very fascinated by the history of the Church and all the details of God’s creation, but it’s not where my faith is based.

There’s something I have to give agnostics a credit for, and ironically, it’s their faith. Their strong belief that there is no God. It’s not really something they can prove, but nonetheless, they believe it.

A religion that stands is going to be one that is based on faith. It’s where your heart is set, what no words any man can say will convince you otherwise. Sadly, a lot of Christianity is no longer faith-based. What I’ve been seeing is as there have been so many discoveries and the world has learned new things, a lot of sincere Christians with a faith-based religion mistakenly have been raising up a generation of fact-based religion…which does not stand very long.

And this generation I am speaking of is not our current generation, but previous generations. There was a period in time where many families were growing up saying, “Well, the Bible says it, so it must be true.”, and “good people” keep the Ten Commandments and go to church. This is hardly “faith” that is being passed down, but facts.

I believe the decline of people who claim to be “Christians” is people who never had a faith-based relationship with Christ in the first place. Many grew up in “Christian” homes that literally had no faith…just facts. And then as they grew up, became more independent and were out in the world they were quickly surrounded by a “faith”, but not a faith in Christ…a faith that there is no God.

We need to realize that Christianity takes faith…without it, it won’t stand. Don’t build your life and family on facts, but faith in God and His Word to us. True faith won’t decline, but will grow.

What Faith Can Do

Even if it seems impossible, that’s ok. Even if I have no idea how I’m going to reach the goals before me, that’s ok. Even if I can’t say exactly where I’m going, that’s ok. Because God is great, and He knows. With faith in Him I can reach the impossible, I can go further than I’ve ever dreamed possible, and can achieve things that I hadn’t even thought of achieving. He is my God. He goes before me and knows the way I am to go…nothing can come between me and God.