A God worth trusting?

I hear it all the time, Why would I trust a God who took my loved one from me, why would I trust a God who caused so much heartache and pain in my life, why would I trust a God who won’t heal me from my cancer.  Every time someone say things like that to me I get very uncomfortable.  They are looking for an answer that will take away all of their problems, hurts, and struggles.  I do not have that answer. 

I know this world is not fair, I learned that at a very young age!  I know that bad things happen to good people.  I know that sometimes our problems seem too big, our pain too deep, and our God too far away.  The good news: that is a lie from the pit of hell.  Our God is in our hearts, his Spirit living through us (you truly cannot get any closer than that), there is no pain, problem, struggle, circumstance, or feeling too big or deep for God to handle.  That is the truth, and that is what you need to hold onto with your entire being!

When we are going through a tough time the only constant through any problem or circumstance is that you NEED GOD to be in the midst of that time in your life.  You need to be crying out to Him, telling Him what you need and what your struggles are.  You need Him to fill you with a peace that passes all understanding, you need Him to comfort you, you need to feel His love, you need to feel Him close to you.  This is where we start to lose trust.  All these things you need from God you are not getting, and you do not understand why.  I KNOW WHY, because all of a sudden your problems turned into the number one focus in your life.  All you can think about is what is not going right for you, all you dwell on is the pain.  You are consumed with fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, and the feeling that your PERFECT God has betrayed you. 

GOD IS ALWAYS TO BE NUMBER ONE IN OUR LIVES, NOT OUR PROBLEMS, WORRIES. FEARS, HURT FEELINGS, OR ANY OTHER STRUGGLE. 

What if you were to shift the focus off of your problems and ONTO God?  Talking to God, reading God’s word, spending time with Him, learning about Him and His promises, and not thinking about you and your problems. 

When we are struggling, THAT SHOULD BE THE BEST TIME OF OUR LIVES!  We should be so dependent on God that when struggles come, we do not run from God we run more and more into HIM!  We consume our lives with our Beautiful Savior. 

I am so thankful for all of my struggles in my life, all of the pain that I thought was too much to bear.  These times have brought me to a close relationship with God, they tried to destroy me, but I would not let them!  I CHOSE to choose God over every struggle.  I stood strong against evil that was trying to consume me, and with God on my side, got through all of my pain and heart ache.  That time prepared me for the next struggle I face, and the next.

IN THIS WORLD WE WILL STRUGGLE!  BUT TAKE HEART, THE LORD HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD! 

With God, we are safe.  Proverbs 18:10 The Lord is a STRONGTOWER, the righteous run into it and are SAFE!

When struggles come, we realize that this calls for extra doses of God in our lives.  We trust GOD even more in the hard times, because we KNOW he is holding our hands the entire way through.  We trust that EVERYTHING THAT WAS INTENDED FOR EVIL GOD USES FOR GOOD ALL FOR HIS GLORY!  We trust that God has a perfect plan for our lives, and once we get through the struggles, God fills our lives with HIS BEAUTY AND BLESSINGS. 

Do not trust in the light at the end of the tunnel, trust God’s light that gets you through the tunnel. 

Choose to trust, love, rely on, and be patient with God.  The hardest things, always produce the best things!

You are Beautiful!

I will never forget the day twoish some years ago, when my dear sister told me to listen to Beautiful by MercyMe.  She said it reminded her of me.  When I read that text message from her I started crying, thinking: if this song is about beauty how could it possibly remind her of me?  I felt so ugly from the inside, out.  I went home that night, sat in my daddy’s chair and listened to Beautiful, by MercyMe.  I cried.  I repeated the song a couple of times, crying more and more each time I played it.  I remember thinking, I wish I was beautiful.  I wish God loved me.  I wish I hadn’t made such a mess of my life.  I wish I believed the words in this song.  I had such a shimmer of hope that these words were true, that I surely was beautiful.  As my thoughts went wild with lies I was always told, it was harder and harder to believe that those words would ever come true for me. 

At that time in my life, my mind was consumed with lies.  Lies people who I believed to have loved me were telling me about who I was on a daily basis.  You would not believe how easy it is to believe something someone says about you.  It is quite frightening actually.  Just because this person was a man, and I loved him, he had some sort of power over me, could that really be it?  Or was it that I had not yet learned about who I am IN CHRIST, so I went along with what he told me I was, because at that time in my life, I had made him my “God”.  This person told me I was ugly, he told me I was lucky to have him in my life because no one else would be able to put up with me, he told me I was worthless, he told me I was stupid, he told me I was crazy, he called me awful names, he told me I had to forgive him and love him and keep being with him (despite his constant abuse), because that is what God wants, he told me I will never find another man who will ever want to be with me, he betrayed me, he put me through a living hell.  It was constant.  I did feel crazy, I felt all of the things he told me I was.  Little did I know, HE WAS THE ONE THING MAKING ME FEEL THAT WAY.  The instant I got rid of the evil that he truly was, I didn’t feel those things anymore. 

For awhile after I decided to completely leave him, I felt numb.  The lies were still there, I had not gotten rid of them yet, but I was too weak to do anything.  I was so sick and tired of believing the lies, that I just started to adapt to them in a way.  They became my truth.  I kept hearing the song, Beautiful  in the back of my head.  I was reminded of those words that seemed too good to be true. 

God lead me to a therapist, and she gave me something that just completely boggled my mind.  She gave me a list of TRUTHS about who we are in Christ.  I was confused by this list at first.  All of my “truths” that were really lies, were on that list.  Then I saw it, I am Beautiful (I instantly thought of the sweet words in the song).  Every single sentence of who we are in Christ had a Bible verse to go with it.  My therapist wanted me to write down the truth and make a personal application to each one.  What I wrote for I am Beautiful is my favorite:)

I am Beautiful

Psalm 149:4 For the Lord takes delight in his people; He crowns the humble with salvation.

The only opinion that matters is God’s opinion.  God is the most beautiful creature in ALL THE WORLD.  I am of God, therefore I am beautiful.  My beauty starts from within, I am wearing the crown of salvation, nothing more beautiful than that!  Just remember I am beautiful because of God.  I got rid of all of my ugly (hindering parts).  God made me EXACTLY how he wanted to.  God only makes beautiful things that are pleasing to him,  That is what I am.  I never need to believe such lies EVER again!  Thank you Jesus. 

I now believe EVERY SINGLE WORD in the song, Beautiful.  I now know who I am in Christ.  I am BEAUTIFUL, loved, cherished, strong, chosen, free, assured of reward, worthFULL (is that a word, if not I just invented one), forgiven, healed, protected, safe, the apple of God’s eye, and I BELONG TO HIM. 

Now when I hear Beautiful I do cry sometimes, but happy tears.  Tears that I cannot control because I am beyond thankful for the ability God gave me to believe every single word of truth in that song!I never thought the day would come.  I will always remember the day I told my sister I believe I am beautiful!  I am beyond thankful to the Lord for teaching me who I am in Christ.  When you are confident in the Lord, nothing else really matters.  When you know who you are to the Lord and not to the world, you have the freedom to love and be loved my your beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C2o0jHNRuU

This life I hate, My God I love

For the past couple weeks I have really been struggling.  I feel confused, torn, separated from God, distant from God, I question everything, doubt has consumed me, and I started to feel like I do not even know how to trust God and have no idea where I am going in this journey called LIFE.  These feelings I HATE.  I know who God is and I know what HE has done in my life.  He has taken all of these feelings and replaced them with the sweetest song my heart has ever known, Jesus’ love for me!  It is normal to struggle, it is normal to have problems.  It is ok to be upset.  But, it is not ok to let my problems consume my life…EVER.  When we let our problems win, we are forgetting that GOD has already won over all of them!  Why was I not letting go of my problems, realizing that I am free and I do not need to be burdened with evil in my life.  Despite the struggles, one thing I really have noticed is that reading the Bible is the one thing that I have really held onto in this time.  I am still praying constantly and reading my Bible more than ever!

An amazingly encouraging and supportive woman who is pretting much my second mother asked me how I was doing tonight and I could not help but express to her about my struggles in the last couple weeks.  She asked me plain and simple, are you reading your Bible?  Of course, I am clinging onto God’s word, even if it doesn’t make sense some times.  Later I realized, why exactly I am going through these struggles.  God is working, he is not distant, He is right in the middle of all of the action.

Let me back up a bit.  Reading the Bible is always something I kind of never made time for.  I tried to start a reading plan on January 1st and it only lasted until about the 5th.  There was always something else going on.  I always put it off for the end of the day but by the time the end of the day rolled around I was just too tired to read the Bible.  I found myself reading the Bible only when my devotions asked for it.  I KNOW how important reading the Bible is.  This is how God communicates with us.  I actually prayed to God asking Him to help me make time to read the Bible and asked Him to help me to read the Bible more often.  WELL, HE ANSWERED THAT PRAYER.  He distracted my mind so much from the world, that I had no choice but to beg for his understanding and clarity in my life.  This led me to the Bible.  I wanted so badly to hear from God, that I dug into the Bible.  Reading it more and more and more.  The more I read, the more I wanted to read.  Not just because I wanted to hear God speak to me, but because I need those words in my life so desperately.  I have made the Bible such a part of my day for the past couple of weeks.  Then it hit me tonight.  If I weren’t struggling, I wouldn’t be reading the Bible.  God spoke to me.  He simply told me, Ask and you shall Receive Diane.  You wanted me to help you and I did.  It may not have been the way I wanted Him to, but He got my attention.  In every circumstance we are in, God is with us.  Good, bad, ugly, pretty, He is the creator of it all.  We have the choice to let Him in or to leave Him behind.  You are in a struggling, hard time for a very special reason.  God uses EVERYTHING even our disobedient times for GOOD and for HIS GLORY!  Don’t let a moment pass that you are not seeking God and letting Him work through your fragile life.  I was beginning to get really frustrated with my past couple of weeks, BUT those frustrating feelings have now shifted into thankfulness to our Faithful Lord!  I am so glad that He has used this time for us to grow even closer together.  I am so glad that I saw GOD in the midst of this struggling time.

Cry Baby

When you think about this world, there are so many events, circumstances, people, opportunities, that make us cry.  The worst are the sad tears.  The painful tears, the ones that you cannot control, they just come out and there is no stopping how long they last for.  The ones that leave a stain on your heart.  The ones that are hoping someone notices.  The ones that want so badly to go away and never come back that way again.  

When I was younger I was known as the cry baby of my family.  Pretty much everything made me cry.  Then the fact that someone would say, “Oh, watch out Diane is going to start crying now.” did not help my tears go away any faster.  Those tears were me being sensitive and emotional.  There is nothing wrong with crying.  Everyone needs a good cry every once and awhile.  It is like a shower for your soul!

Eventually I grew out of my childhood tears.  I grew into “big girl” tears.  I never knew one single tear could feel so painful.  I never knew that same tear would have so much hurt, sorrow, betrayal, and disappointment behind it.  I found myself trapped into situations that just kept bringing those painful tears.  One after the other.  They never stopped.  I got used to the pain each tear represented.  I felt numb to the scars those tears left on my heart. 

Tears became every part of my day.  I would wake up crying, drive to work crying, cry at work, drive home crying, fall asleep crying.  I remember being in the car, crying, wishing that someone would see me and feel bad for me and say a prayer for me.  I was unable to pray to God to ask Him to take the tears away, but maybe someone else would do it for me.  That was my hope.  I was trapped in a life full of tears.  A life where I was being abused, used, manipulated, and controlled by a very scary man I loved and believed loved me.  I was trapped in a life feeling depressed, worthless, ugly, useless, fearful (all the time), and like a complete failure. 

I knew there was a God, but I believed there was NO WAY God loves me.  I messed up my life.  It is all over.  There is no fixing the mess I have made of this life.  In the midst of more tears every time I thought of that realization, God showed me His love for me.  One night of way too many tears, I decided to call out to God, I asked Him to take my tears away, to help me, save me, lead me to someone who can help me get out of this trap I am in, I told Him I was not strong enough to not go back to the things that brought me all of these tears, I asked Him to do it all for me, I asked Him to give me the strength to never go back again.  He did it.  He did it all.  He took my sad tears away, he helped me, he saved me, he led me to a counselor who is a complete angel in my life, (not only did she help me get out of the trap, she also was an example of what God’s love is, and was my comfort and support, God used her to help me in a BIG WAY), he gave me His strength to not go back to this abusive evil man.  Crying yet?  I cry sometimes when I think back to that day…but all happy tears!  That part of my life deserves no more sad, painful tears.  They are all joyful, happy tears now.

I remember back to my first counseling session, my angel said to me something along the lines of God knows every tear that you have cried, he was there, he knows how much pain and hurt you have had to deal with.  She prayed.  She said in the prayer again something about God knowing each tear I had ever cried.  (Ok, this part brings on my joyful tears) I do not think she knew how much of an effect those statements had on my life.  I thought to myself, “You mean all of those times I thought I was alone, God was there?  All of those tears I cried, God wiped away, and remembers each one.  He knows what those tears felt like in my heart?  He knows my pain?”  Those realizations made me sob.  It was a mix of sadness and happiness all in one.  Shock, disbelief that God loves me so much that he actually knows my tears and is there when they are falling.  He loves this cry baby. 

The day I realized that God knows all of my tears and keeps record of them all is the same day, he did something to my tears.  He changed them all to joyful happy tears.  Tears of thanksgiving to my God who saved my life and brought me to a place of complete freedom, joy, peace, and love, (and eventually eternal life in HEAVEN).  He continues to change them.  Yes, I still cry, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.  BUT seriously every time I cry and it is because of pain or hurt or I am really upset about something; I pray.  Then something really cool happens.  God makes himself known to me in the midst of those tears.  He brings me His comfort, and love, and all of a sudden those tears are transformed into happy, thankful, loving tears.  Tears because I cannot believe that someone loves me so much, that He never wants to see me cry, but He knows I will so He is prepared to do something about all of the pain behind all of those tears.  He brings me those happy, joyful tears to wash away the stain the painful ones had left on my heart. 

Thank you Jesus.

Jesus is my date:)

I read something really disturbing today.  There is actually a book out there that highlights and actually celebrates getting divorced in your twenties.  My heart actually became a little bit angry when I read that, thinking, why would anyone want to celebrate ruining something that the Lord can bless.  Then I thought about how God must feel when he sees books like that.  His beautiful creation of a man and a woman becoming one in His presence, is being crushed, destroyed, and made a mockery of.  I can only imagine how he feels about this fallen world.  His heart is breaking for sure.  This book was mentioned in an article that brought up the concern for marrying too young.  People choose to get married at a young age and as a result are dealing with divorce before the age of 30.  I personally think the issue of these divorces has nothing to do with age, I think it has everything to do with why they chose to get married in the first place. 

In my own life I have learned that if you become distracted by an idea of who you want to spend the rest of your life with instead of enjoying spending your days with Jesus and waiting patiently and praying continually for the special someone God has planned for you, you set yourself up for divorce.  It is not that people are marrying too young, it is that people are marrying blindly.  It is absolute truth that no mistake can keep us from receiving God’s love for us.  No matter who we decide to marry if it be the person that God chose for us or not, there is no doubt that he can bless and make good of the marriage that was not formed by God.  God uses everything for good and His glory.  The day you say I do, you begin a journey, together, with God himself.  When you cut God out of that relationship or depend on your significant other to be what God is, your marriage will fail.  Understanding that God is the most important being in your life helps you keep in perspective who your loved one is to you in your life.  Your husband or wife will disappoint you, you will have a hard marriage, it will not be easy sometimes, you might go days where you really do not like the person you marry.  Does this mean that you should take the easy way out, give up. and get divorced?  Absolutely not!  I know that there are certain circumstances where you would be disobedient to the Lord if you did not get divorced, but there are way more circumstances where it is complete disobedience to get a divorce.  Our society today says your happiness is the most important thing, if your spouse does not make you happy, find a new one that will.  Chances are, you will not be able to find one that does.  Until you realize that God is the only true happiness in your life and your only satisfaction in life, you will not be content in any marriage. 

How do we do it then?  How do we make sure we are not divorced?  There is no answer, this life is full of uncertainties.  Even if you are divorced to an earthly person, you are still with God.  He never leaves us or forsakes us.  If you are married, give your relationship to God, let Him bless it and bring happiness and love into your relationship.  If you are single, be patient, do not settle and do not be convinced that the man you want is better than the man God wants for you or God himself.  If you are divorced, hold onto God’s hand, and let Him heal you and restore your life.  I am not writing this to bash divorce.  God loves you no matter what, and divorce is sometimes necessary.  Do not let yourselves be burdened with divorce, instead move on in your life following God into a life filled with happiness, joy, peace, comfort, and love.  Maybe then, he will give you someone to grow closer to Him with.  I think that is what relationships are all about.  Growing to a deeper, stronger relationship with God along side of someone who will be with you in your journey, supporting you, caring for you, and loving you enough to make God first.

You know what question I hate the most on applications for just about anything these days…What is your marital status?  I want to write a paragraph next to that question instead of just a single word (no pun intended there).  For me, I technically would be single, but really I am not, Jesus is my date.  I am trusting my heart with God.  He has my heart and when the man He has hand-picked for me comes along, he will hand it over, trusting it with this godly man.  How about the woman who has to write divorced.  The woman who had to deal with a husband who gave up on her…tried to find his happiness somewhere else.  That woman has to write down one word divorced, but doesn’t she also want to write a paragraph.  “I am divorced to a selfish man, but I am in love with my Savior, Jesus Christ.  He holds my heart, my ex husband may have given up on me, but my God never will.  He never leaves my side, he dries all of my tears and understands how painful it was to write the word divorced on this paper.  God resortes me more and more every day.  I spend my days with Him and He is enough for me.”

I remember this one event I went to that I did not have a date for.  I did not need a date, but I felt incomplete and undesirable without one.  I actually cried before this event.  I was sick to my stomach about the thought of walking into a room full of couples, completely by myself.  I prayed about this because deep down inside I knew these thoughts were completely ridiculous!  Then all of a sudden, I realized, Jesus is my date!  Not only does He hold my right hand, but I follow Him into every room I enter.  My whole mood instantly changed, I realized I had the best date of all, Jesus.  I felt special all of a sudden, like the princess I am, because my father is a Glorious King.  I was no longer scared.  I was no longer sick about walking into a room full of couples.  I was not single, I had a date!  Towards the end of the evening, everyone was standing.  All of the couples were coupled up, holding hands, arms wrapped around each other.  I thought to God, awe, I would love to have a date holding me right now.  INSTANTLY I felt Jesus holding me.  I cried a little bit.  This time not because I felt incomplete, but because I felt the love of my Savior wrapped around me.  It was then I realized, I never need a man to make me feel the way I have always dreamt a man would make me feel.  No man’s hands will ever be able to replace Jesus’ hands in my life.  Is that what we are looking for when we get married?  Is that what we are waiting for in a man?  Is Jesus just holding you through until you meet a man?  For me, that is not the case.  I am not looking for a replacement.  I am not looking at all.  I know the desires of my heart, but even more so, God knows the desires of my heart.  He has the most beautiful, perfect plan for my life.  I trust that there will be a day, when my story meshes with the man God has hand-picked for me.  He will not replace Jesus in my life, he will just add more beauty to my life.  He will be second in my life, I will love him, but I will love God even more for bringing him into my life.  He will never have to try to be as comforting and loving as God is in my life.  He will be just him, and I will be just me.  We will make God number one, and live our lives completely surrendered to God’s plan and will for our lives.  We will do great things all in the name of Jesus.  We will worship, praise, love, honor, glorify, and spread Jesus to the ends of the Earth.  I will have Jesus holding my right hand, and this man holding my left, and together we will be an example of true love that comes only from Jesus Christ!