I started a different blog post yesterday and I didn’t like what I had written down. I knew that it was honest but it was one of those posts that was so honest that you’re worried about what people will think. I feel like some of what I wrote needs to be shared though because I think it’s important that my readers see me as someone who is “real.” I don’t want to come off as if I have it together because I don’t.
I’ve had a rough couple of weeks and when people ask how I am I want to tell the truth and say that life is hard and I don’t really know what I’m doing. The thing is I don’t know how to adult in the best way yet. I don’t have all of the answers and most of the time I still call for help with questions that I have. I’ve had a lot of nights of begging God to step in and yet I haven’t always felt him move in situations. I know in my head that God will provide for all of my needs, but sometimes my hurting heart needs to be reminded.
See the thing is I love Jesus with my whole heart. I gave my life to Jesus at youth group when I was 14 years old and I haven’t ever looked back. It has and always will be the best choice I’ve ever made in my life. I do have days of doubt though. I have days of wondering how God could possibly fix my mess? How could he love this broken person? How does he want me when I can still say that I have doubts? It’s love. Pure unconditional love. I don’t have to hide my feelings, thoughts, or emotions from God because he knows it all. It means that in these real moments when I’ve had bad week on bad week that it’s okay to admit that I’m a bit beaten down. It’s okay to say that I’m tired of trying. God has his arms wide open for me. I’ve been singing, “Don’t let me down. Please don’t let me down…” Jesus has been responding “I’m right here. I’m right here. Come to me…I’ll make your burden light!” I just needed to open my ears to hear it.
Every one has something in their personality that someone else is not going to like. I’ve learned that there are always going to people who try to tear you down. You can’t please everyone. I struggled with this thought process a lot because I want people to like me.
I have a very strong personality. I’m organized, strong willed, and opinionated. Once I have set my mind on something there is basically no stopping me. This puts people off a lot. A lot of people think I’m bossy, or too loud. People want me to be more “flexible” but I never claimed to be flexible. It hurt my heart the first time someone told me that I needed to be willing to go with the flow for people to like me. I believe I went home and cried the first time someone said that to me. Why did I have to change one of the biggest parts of who I am because someone didn’t like it? Someone didn’t like me.
We have personality colors at camp. Red is a leader. Blue is organized. Yellow is creative. Green is a mediator. I am a strong red/blue. My yellow and green are barely even there. Every year when I’m at camp I feel like I’m wrong because someone is telling me I am. How do this work when we should be building each other up? We’re the body of Christ and yet we’re the ones hurting each other. How is that okay? I used to believe that when they told me that I needed to be flexible that I really needed to try to do that until recently that is. I was praying about this after my first camp of the year. I remember just laying in my bed in the dark. I asked God about my personality and if I needed to change it? I feel very strongly that he told me that he made me this way for a reason. This is what I heard, “I made you this way because I needed you to be someone who wouldn’t be moved. I need you to be someone that when everyone jumps you stand still. Refuse to move.” I wasn’t sure what this meant until I did a lot of soul searching. I came to this conclusion and I really feel that someone who will read this will need this reminder for their tired red/blue heart…You are valued. You don’t need to change a thing because God made you who you are because you will not be easily shaken by things of this world. You are fierce and determined. You will always do what is right even if everyone is telling you that you’re wrong. You will stand firm. You are loud and stubborn because God needs people who will not just submit to everyone else. You lead instead of following so make sure you’re worthy of that. Don’t lower your voice because someone else tells you that you’re too much. God doesn’t make mistakes so the next time someone tells you to be less, or to change who you are…Kindly remind them that you are a warrior in God’s army and he likes you just the way you are. Don’t get me wrong. I believe there is always room for growth. I don’t want you to think that you’ve got this all figured out and you don’t need to develop anymore. God will continue to stretch you. I am just here to encourage you to stand firm in who you are but be willing to listen to God’s leading when it comes to growing who you are.
I’ve been staring at this page trying to figure out how to describe what I’m feeling tonight. See some friends of mine had their world shaken up a bit. It was almost like that scene in the Avengers where Tony Stark admits that the team took a hit; everyone had that face. I personally am in a really good place in my life. I feel this sense of peace over my life. Is there things I would change? Sure, but I’m choosing to just let go and let God do what only he can do. What do you do when you’re in a good place, but someone you love is not?
I think as Christians we jump in to give advice about situations when that may not be needed. I think we need to learn to just be there and show love in the best way possible. What does that look like? Today it looked like doing the dishes, and picking up the living room. No on wants to worry about the little things like that on the bad days.
Don’t rush in. Don’t give advice. Don’t walk away though. People just need to know you care.
I really feel the need to blog about mercy. Someone once said, “Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Justice is getting what we do deserve.” I don’t remember who said that, but it stuck with me. I may be a Christian but I have made mistakes. I have my own past that I have to deal with. Jesus love…COVERS ALL OF THAT.
There is a Bethel song that starts, “East went looking for West but he couldn’t find him. Guilt went looking for my past but all he found was love.” I believe that when someone comes to Jesus they are like new. I don’t care where they have been, or what they have done. Jesus looks at them with the same love as everyone else.
I feel like sometimes we get this mentality that our sin isn’t as bad someone else. I don’t think it works that way though. I am just as much in need of Jesus as anyone else. I don’t go to church because I’m whole, but because I’m broken and in need of saving. Jesus has his arms wide open. He meet you running just like the prodigal son’s father met him on the road. I don’t care who you are, what you’ve done. You may feel like God could never love you…But that’s why he sent his son. He paid for my mistakes and yours. My debt is paid in full. Yours is too. Stop trying to pay for something God has already forgiven you for…
I know that it’s okay to not fit in. I know that it may even be a good thing, but some days being the one who doesn’t fit in can just be…Well hard. I don’t remember ever fitting in. I tell people that I didn’t fit in until I became a bible quizzer but the truth is that even after that I was still the odd one out. I can remember everyone crowding around us to talk to everyone but me…I loved being a bible quizzer, but I’m not sure how many real friends I actually had. You know the ones who didn’t hang out with me because they were friends with someone on my team and I just happened to be around.
These are the days where I beg God to help me to fit in. God doesn’t work like the Fairy GodMother in Cinderella though, and he isn’t like the Genie in Aladdin. He is; however, a loving father who only wants what is best for me. My best for me, and his best for me aren’t always in line. It’s almost like a tug a war at times. Spoiler alert he always wins.
See when I stop fighting for what I want I see that he was always right. He loved me enough to make me different because who wants to look around and find they were ordinary their whole lives? God made me to be extraordinary.
One of my favorite speeches I’ve ever seen was one that Angelina Jolie gave because she talks about being different from a perspective of someone who gets it. She says, “I want to say that when I was little, like Maleficent, I was told that I was different,” continued Jolie. “And I felt out of place—too loud, too full of fire, never good at sitting still, never good at fitting in. And then one day I realized something—something that I hope you all realize. Different is good. When someone tells you that you are different, smile and hold your head up and be proud” (Angelina Jolie)
Different doesn’t always feel good, but neither does average. I hope that I am never good at sitting still. I hope I am always too loud. I hope that I am always too full of fire. See as much as I pray to fit in on the bad days…I’m proud to be different and I hope I never fit in.
In one of my classes we’ve been talking about how fear/anxiety drives you. It’s one of the few things I empathize with so deeply. I know what it’s like to live in fear, and to have that drive you. People tell you to just stop living like that; to just be brave.
I’m not brave though. I haven’t ever been brave. I remember that even when I was younger I was always anxious. I was always planning for what could go wrong. I’m still planning for what can go wrong. Do you want to know my biggest fear though?
I’m afraid that I’m too good at being alone. I am shy, and I don’t tend to start the conversation. I am awkward, and a little bit weird. I push people away because I’ve been hurt so I do what it takes so that I never have to feel the pain of rejection, or loss again. I wish I could change this, but the truth is that I just don’t know how. I’m good at being alone. I’m good at putting on a fake face, and saying that everything is good even though it isn’t. I’m good at embracing the anxiety that people are just pretending to care about me. At a certain point you just get to a point where you are comfortable being alone even though you’re so lonely your heart aches.
I am not even good at friendships guys. I get exhausted at the thought of constantly having to be “on.” I think that means I may have had the wrong kind of friends in the past because I should be able to just be myself around friends, but I am not there yet. I’m working on it. Relationships are a lot of work. Maybe that’s why I’m alone?
I was in the shower praying about some things going on in my life. I know this mountain is in front of me. Where is my faith if I can see this mountain in front of me? I was pulled up short with this. I can’t be failing in every area of my life including faith. I wasn’t looking at this from the right perspective though. See faith sees the mountain, but it knows it won’t be there for long.
I forgot that I have the right to tell that mountain to go dump itself into the sea. I’m under no illusion that this is easy because it takes real faith rooted in trust in God. Trust that He hasn’t failed me, and He isn’t going to start now.
It’s hard though when you have a bunch of bad things hitting you. I feel like one mountain moves only for me to see another standing there. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m tired of moving mountains. I just want a break. I just need to catch a break. Does this make my faith any less?
I have to believe that God looks at me like a loving father and just holds me close during this time. He isn’t judging me for needing rest. He’s seen it all. He’s seen every battle that I’ve come up against, so it can’t be a surprise that I’m feeling worn down. I don’t think needing a break makes my faith small. I think that knowing that I need to just rest in my savior’s love take incredible amounts of faith. It takes knowing that he is going to take care of all those mountains for me while I can’t. It means knowing he goes before me in battle.
So maybe this is just rambling because it’s late, and I am exhausted. I’m just so tired guys. But maybe this is also encouragement to you. If you can’t face another mountain in your life. If you can’t summon up the strength to tell it to move. Take heart…Jesus has this. Rest in that tonight.