overcoming dragons with reckless confidence
I just came down from one of the most difficult and yet best conversations of my life. It was one of those, I never wanted to have, but in every attempt to live a "fairytale," part of this girl's journey in facing her dragons and crossing the bridge over troubled water, was the courage of FAITH! I HAD to Trust God would come through, and if not, I would be left flat on my nose, in a puddle of tears.
When we bow and take a posture before the one who has the power to change weather patterns, put the planets into orbit, and give us life & breath and everything else, I totally believe this is a step of faith to communicate with the divine. Our hope is that He WILL hear our cry and he will answer our prayers, right? But why pray? I mean - yes its hopefully eventually to get to a place of conversation where we can say we 'talk with God' - we say a little about our life, he says a little about his:) But if we were all honest before one another, even the 'non-praying type' people will admit; We pray when we're desperate to see a situation or a circumstance change beyond our little self's control. Don't we?
I mean, yes occasionally we pray for a good parking spot because we're late for a totally important meeting;) but in reality, if we were honest with one's self; we pray when we're desperate to see the Divine interact with our finite world and DO SOMETHING Miraculous! Like "Show up and show off, God!!"
Theres a time I remember where most of the time I spent was time praying about myself. My issues. My needs. My struggles or things that affected me, even desires and wants.
But, more recently, I think He's giving me a new perspective, a new burden for others, and even a broken heart. And Ironically, I'm thankful for this.
I've spent a lot of time praying. I'd like to say more time "conversing back and forth" but probably not till more recently have I been challenged with the thought of "being consumed" and what it really means or looks like to be consumed?
Consumed = Totally captivated.
We all KNOW what its like to be consumed...
Consumed with the giddiness and feelings of a new crush! Or the pursuit!
Consumed with worries about finances or car troubles.
Consumed by relational stress when somethings just not sitting well.
Consumed by the results of a Doctors test and if it will be positive vs negative. Consumed with passion and fury when something is not right and it must be righted!
Consumed by _____.
You name it: Every moment that passes,
Every thought we have turns back to it,
Our mind is captivated...
positive thoughts or jaded?
Whatever it is that's squealing for our attention, just WONT GO AWAY....
THIS is what its like to be consumed, yeh?
We can hardly take our mind off something because of how it/or they have affected us, our state of being, and our every action. And when I think of being consumed by something, more than not, my thoughts go towards implications of negative emotions or captivity over our minds. However, I dont think this is the way it has to be. Consumed CAN be good.
hear me out. . .
I am a creative. Im free spirited. I am adventurous and love a challenge. I am totally into my fitness and love anything to do with adrenaline. I stay up late. I spend way too much time dreaming. I love stories! I communicate in them (its the way to my heart) Recently I've discovered my passion of writing. I write because I think some of my thoughts need to be heard or because if I'm thinking them, i KNOW someone out there can relate. I write for fun and for therapy. Its awesome and totally life-giving!!! I love creating and envisioning what something could be like when it comes together: like an event or a promo video!
I love to travel. I would rather live small so i could see the world, and yet I love to experience the world so I'm all about vibey places and coffee shops, or decor and ambiance. I wouldn't describe myself as an entrepreneur, but a visionary. When i get an idea for something, its usually brilliant for someone, so as I talk with others and as i listen and hear their stories, I can eventually find the right person that 'idea' is for. I love music. I love to read. I love to play. I love people. And although sometimes its hard for me to say "No" because I genuinely don't want to miss anything;) I am finding to love people better, sometimes the best thing to do is to say "no" so you can say "Yes" to be present with people in the moment and there -
I'm hopeful. not naive. But genuinely like to believe the best in everyone and if that person isn't amazing or being 'the best' i believe its because of the past they've lived and we have no idea what its like to have walked in their shoes; so generally i try to be nice to them because perhaps my smile would make them smile, and then we'd all be nicer and better people(heck, if i had an extra dollar on me, Id buy them ice cream or a cup of coffee, if i could, when i see someone having a bad day.)
Now, because I am all these things above, you'd think I would run from things that are not life-giving or 'captivating' in a sense of positivity. But ironically I haven't. Or haven't recently, that is. I used to want to run towards what's comfortable. And I think parts of me still does; however, what I've been running towards is totally rearranging and rocking my world. I've been spending more time listening to music, spending time on my own, thinking about what I love and what I'd love to be doing; and in between all these positive thoughts and dreams of the future, I've gotten to hear stories of devastation, heartbreak, illness and death, even financial stresses, and I. am. broken. literally.
My spirit is wrecked before me and my heart aches because I have no ability, nor do I know know how to relieve these trials and problems people face. The only thing(besides just sitting around blubbering, which i know wouldn't fix things. ha!), the only thing I know to do is come before the Lord and contend on their behalf!!
I'm growing a love for prayer in a way I've never felt or experienced before. . . I've been given a burden to pray for people who are hurting and enter into a place of empathy with friends I haven't had before. I dont know all the answers and I cant claim to. I cant solve someone's pain myself, and yet I've seen and experienced a God who can. I know it never promises health and wealth in the Word of God, but the Bible does promise Jesus will be with us IN THE THICK of our stuff. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us! I know there are dozens, Im sorry, hundreds if not even thousands of questions people have before they put their faith, hope, and trust in a loving God personally, but I really dont know how people do life without him.
When I listen to the way some people talk about the Lord and their reverence for him, I am in awe! To know him intimately. To understand his heart. To not just "know" God is interested in our good and things for our best and for our benefit, but to truly KNOW and believe this daily. To get rid of the questions I struggle with, on my behalf and for others... All the "whys?!"
- Why after a year of marriage, is she facing losing her husband to cancer after losing BOTH of her parents by the time she was 26?
- Why does she struggle with an eating disorder when she's so beautiful and genuine and kind?
- Why does he continue to go back to relationships that tear him up and break him down as a man and take away his confidence as a real man?
- Why do we relapse after 10yrs of being sober to dump it all down the drain in one bad mistake?
- Why would she leave him after he lost his job and was open before her of his loss of income?
- Why are they so complacent in their faith yet still go back week after week fooling only themselves they are ok?
- Why dont we love people better, and accept people as they are, to love them along their journey of addiction, depression, abandonment, anger, and strife?
- Why do we attribute so many things to our 'earthly view of what God must be' and continue to struggle with embracing the thoughts God has toward us?
- Why would we continue to operate with continued brokenness, but have a "hey everyone, Im OKAY!" when we're falling apart on the inside?
- Why do I still struggle with perfection issues?
- Why can't I love myself the way others love me?
- Why did I let him get away with years of silence and neglect?
- Why won't I confront my struggles and say "NO MORE" to generational crap?
- Why won't God do something about my pain?
- WHY is LIFE SO FLIPPING HARD??!?!
We ALL ask questions like this, whether its on behalf of our own struggles or someone's close to us! The thing is, I dont have an answer. I actually CANT answer all these questions. Sorry to disappoint. But, here's the kicker: I know someone who we can run to who can;) I also know someone who has given me nudges and options to confront parts of my past. I believe in SEEING His goodness play out when we overcome fear and actually confront some of the hurt from our past. I know I am not a victim and thankfully the love I have received over years of getting healthy, years of learning to love myself better and even in an INSTANCE; grasping how wide, how deep, how long and GREAT His love is for us; I can truly say above ALL, I know He is good and He loves us! EVERY FLAW. Every scar. Every past story. every success and every failure. You. Me. them. US. We are enough despite our questions. I think this is ok!!!
While I have found myself being challenged with some very real and very raw things in life in the past few months; and a ton of these things I've wished away for years hoping I would be fine if it just didnt blow up in my face and I could just let my heart move on and yet, I believe that is not how He operates. He doesnt want us to harden our hearts to walk through life unimpacted. He wants to redeem our stories and our hurts. He wants to heal our past points of brokenness. And truthfully and honestly he wants our BEST. He WANTS to give us NEW hearts!
I am finding that in my daily walk I am being challenged more with obeying when I hear from the Lord, and then seeing and wanting his best so I am more apt to respond. My prayer life is deepening and I am finding myself consumed! Captivated! In awe and totally hooked....
Honestly, its like nothing I've experienced before and I'm at a place in life where I don't just want little tasters of his goodness or to 'hear stories' about his work, I want to experience more daily and want to know more daily and hear from him daily and ....woah!
I want to continue to fall more in love with Jesus and not just call him Savior for his unmerited favor and grace, but to call him Lord and revere him!
Dont you? Dont you want to experience him?
This past week facing some of those dragons was by far the scariest thing I've done in a while BUT I am actually living out and seeing how great HE really is!
I am confidant of walking through his challenges and callings with obedience, that although its scary as heck, I am totally sure its been for my best in who he wants me to be, and who he's helping me to become. But when facing those intersections where we get to see or experience him based off how we respond, its almost as though we are not convinced we can fly until we leap!
So, if Faith is the heroic effort of your life, and you have to "fling yourself in reckless confidence on God" then I can truly say I've stepped out.
You see, part of my 8year old heart was healed this last week!! So was my 15yr old heart. And my heart at 18. And again at 24! Even 27.... PRAISE GOD for his work in our lives and the way he continues to redeem and restores past stories and hearts.
What a beautiful story and journey we are on. Oh how my heart longs to speak about Him consistently with such reverence and awe!
Perhaps you want this too?
Perhaps you're stuck and not sure where to go? How to process, even what to say for an opening dialogue? It starts by a conversation... and perhaps asking for wisdom, but then when you start talking, ask him to "Show up and show off" for you! Ask him to walk beside you. He knows what you're in. That doesnt intimidate him. He knows where you're at. That doesnt scare him. He actually even still adores you and LOVES you like crazy. My guess is, if in the middle of what you're going through, questions you have, and things you're IN, if you seek Him; He'll find you!