Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Beauty Beyond Compare

"You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you." -Song Of Solomon 4:7

Sorry That I haven't posted anything in a few days, I've been so busy studying for my exams that I just haven't had the time to sit and write on here. But, I do hope that you like this, after my short break from writing. 

Have you ever had those days where you just feel like it is a "National Hate On Me Day?" Those days where it seems like you and Murphy are just the best of friends? I have, and actually I've had a lot of them growing up. I was picked on a lot during my elementary and middle school years. To be completely honest, it tore my self-esteem to shreds. I didn't fit in anywhere. It was very hard for me to make friends, and I wasn't the social, out going person that every one sees today. I was a completely different person before foster care, if you would have known me back then you would have never recognized me.

There were days where the attacks and bullying in school were so bad that I would come back to the house, lock myself in the bathroom and just cry. All those days when I would stand in front of our bathroom mirror and cry because I felt like I just wasn't good enough for anything. With the torment that I faced at school, and the abuse that I received at home, there was no escape for me. Eventually, if your told something and literally having it beat into you, you start to believe it. During those years, I felt truly alone. But I now know that I wasn't. I didn't know about the love of God, but looking back now I can see that he was working through my life in the most unusual ways. Even though the circumstances were awful, it served a greater purpose in my life. 

Looking back is something that I find myself doing more and more as my Senior year progresses. I find that through all my pain, and personal tragedies, I've grown to be a stronger person in my faith, and in my compassion for other people. I could have been one of those people who lets their own pain consume them and shut out the rest of the world, forever fostering the pain that lives inside of them. I remember the day as clearly as if it was yesterday way back in third grade. Sitting in class hearing the phone ring and instantly knowing that something bad had happened. Walking down to the office and seeing that lady from the state standing in the room. I knew my life was never going to be same, but I wasn't prepared for how bad things would actually get. But I knew at the moment when I walked out with that lady and I saw my older brother sitting in the van crying, Ryan was crying, and so was Wayne, I knew that I had to be strong enough for all of us. The thing that I was lacking was the love and strength of God, who carried me through all of it, and provided me with the strength to make it through when things got really bad.

I could have taken the easy way out. I could let all my pain consume me, and stop caring about the world because the world never took the time to care about me.  But I chose strength, to me there was no other option. Life isn't just going to hold my hand and wait for me to get over my pain on my own. Life doesn't wait for anyone. If I succeed in anything in life, I want it to be that I was able to help other people through their own pain, and face their own skeletons even though I'm too scared to face mine. 

I think that we all go through life's struggles for a reason. I know that the world will try everything in it's power to pull us away from God, and convince us that we're not worthy of God's love. I know that's complete rubbish. God loves us so much, he created us in HIS image. God thinks we're beauty that is incomparable to what the world defines as beautiful. I will admit that there are days when I do let my insecurities get the best of me, and I fall into the trap of believing what my insecurities are telling me. Those are the days that I feel the farthest away from God. Sometimes I just have to pause, take a breath and tell myself that God loves me, and in his eyes I am worthy, and since I am made in his image, I can take pride in knowing that I have Godly beauty. Even if the entire world is set  on making me believe that that is not true.

I would have to say, getting to know God, and having the relationship that I have with him, has been my biggest self-esteem booster that I've ever known. Knowing that he can see past my flaws, and see the beauty inside me and love me for who I am. It's one of the things that I have come to treasure so much in my faith, knowing that when I screw up, or I make a really, really, REALLY stupid choice, God will always be there to carry me through the hurt, and he will never cease loving me for who I am in him. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lift Us Up To Fall

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

These verses sends a very clear and very powerful message. It’s a message about trust; if we trust God then he will guide us to where he wants us to be. But we can’t just say “oh yeah, I trust him, he is God after all.’ You have to trust him completely, with all of your heart. There can’t be one tiny little shred of doubt that God isn’t in control in your life. The plans God makes up in heaven, we can’t understand and grasp way down here on Earth. Because God, as I’ve come to know all too well, works in very mysterious ways. Something might happen in our life that makes us want to question what exactly his plan for our life really is, turns out to be something that inspires someone else to want to walk with Christ in their live.

We just have to trust in him and know that he is in control of our lives. If we do trust in him with all of our hearts, and we live such a life so that he is reflected in everything that we do, he promises to make our lives glorified by his name. He will lead us to the places that he wants us to go, and keep us from the places that could lead us astray from him. He will take us down the right path of life, and as long as we keep trusting him and living a life that reflects him, we’ll stay on that path. 

Do you want to know something else that is amazing? He also promises to direct the people who are lost and want to follow him, but are so utterly lost in their sins that they aren’t even sure if they are worthy of his guidance. He promises guidance to everyone and anyone who asks him for it. God wants to work through us, and he wants to see us make the most of our lives though him. Not only that, but he isn’t just going to show us the general direction that we are to go to and then leave us to wander our way through. He’ll be there by our sides, making sure that when we stumble, gotten lost, or we feel like we want to give up completely, he will be there to make sure we keep staying on that path. He will fill the holes of sin that we could fall into, and he will cut down the branches of worldly possessions that try to prevent us from staying on the path of righteousness. He will do everything in his awesome and mighty power to make sure we are getting to where we need to be. 

It doesn’t matter who we are, or what walk of life we’ve been down. God loves us all. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Preacher at the little white church who has known God all your life, a single mom working three jobs who found God through the kindness of a stranger, a recovering drug addict trying to reconnect with his kids to make up the time they lost him to the drugs. Because, to God, it’s not about what you’ve done, or where you’ve been it’s about where your brokenness had led you too. It’s the path that led you right into the arms of a God who wants nothing more than to carry you. God wants to help everyone live the best life that they possibly can. The only thing he asks is for faithfulness, He wants your complete and total trust. He wants you to acknowledge him in everything that you do, and to know that he IS the one in control of everything.

Yes, there will be times when it rains, complete with the thunder and lightning of hard times, but if he lean unto God during those times, he will be there to carry us through. God only asks us to be completely faithful to him, and reflect him in the entirety of our lives, and considering all that he has done for us, we should be anxious to live our lives so that they please him.