Saturday, March 31, 2007


Movies lie to us. They are supposed to. They are supposed to be escapes from reality. I think if movies were more like reality they would be incredibly boring.

Movies lie to us in how they portray suffering. In a movie, suffering, trials and hard times are shown as a 30 second music montage where we watch the character struggle; as the music fades our hero finds an answer, new strength or a purpose that ends that struggle. The movie is free to go on with the new lessons learned from the brief hardship.

Life isn't like that so much. Suffering never only lasts 30 seconds and there's hardly ever any music to it. (If there was, it would be terribly depressing and we won't want to hear it anyway.) Struggles can last for years and at the end of them sometimes it's hard to see what we learned; however, it's these everyday struggles that mature us.

God sometimes calls us to fight big battles. End abortion. Feed hungry children. End the slave trade. Cure homelessness. Sometimes we are asked to fight these battles; they are important and need to be addressed but God doesn't not always call everyone to fight these. He does, however, always call His children to fight the small, everyday personal battles of the heart. Greed. Pride. Lust. Jealousy. Idolatry.

It's these small, everyday battles that will mature us. These are the battles that make us slam our hand on the table and cry out "Why!? Why must I keep working on this?" There are no rallies or fundraisers for these battles. Just a God who encourages us and gives us the strength to let Him change our hearts. These mundane battles are what will deepen our walk with Christ and prepare us for any large battle God asks us to fight.

I am learning to not lose sight of the small battles because I am looking for large battles. It's harder than it sounds....

Romans 5:3-5
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

1 Peter 1:14-17
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Jesus is not my Zoloft

I know that seems like a pretty simple and Jr. highish thing to say, but that was the lesson of the day for me yesterday. Jesus is not my Zoloft but I realized that I had been acting like He was.

You see, I had been praying, reading my Bible and thanking Him, not because I loved Him, but because of what He did for me. I did those things so that He would keep me sane and focused. It was a healthy thing to do, like taking a vitamin or exercising. I did it because I wanted to feel good; I wanted to have a good day. Slowly my relationship with God became less about who He was and more about what I could get out of it. Prayer numbed my emotions and I started treating God like an anti-depressant; He was a quick fix for my problems.

To be honest, that's really how I wanted my interaction with God to be. A drive-thru for focus and peace. I didn't want to deal with the relationship part. It was messy and hard. God doesn't just make small talk with me. He gets deep inside and cleans house and sometimes it's rough. Jesus, if I could just get these promises to go... that's really all I want right now.

Because God is a good and loving God He is concerned with more than just our physical healing. He cares about our emotional and spiritual healing as well. He will heal completely - if we will trust Him. So I am trying. I am trying to stop ordering God's peace to go and will sit in His presence and let Him clean house. Please pray for me.

Proverbs 3:7-8
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.

Psalm 46:10
Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Instruments of Praise

What instruments of praise has God given you? We are all given things to praise God with and for, even in the darkest of times. What circumstance, gift, or pain have you been assigned to praise God with?

I've been learning the value of praising God even when I don't feel like it. There are days when the praise comes naturally. Those are good days when I can see how God has worked in my life and blessed me. There are other days when I have to sit with pen and paper and work hard to write something that I am thankful for. Those are hard days when things seem so bleak and God seems like an uninterested observer.

I'll admit that in these last couple of days it has been hard to praise God. Continued feelings of sickness that interupt my life and doctor's recommendations for further tests and medication have left me feeling discouraged and defeated. I feel like I am back at square one and I am left face down in front of Jesus waiting for His healing. When will this end?

I was pretty discouraged about all this until I read this passage of scripture:

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.
Psalm 119:71

What a powerful verse! Psalm 119 is becoming one of my favorite passages of scripture. The writer here experiences some very hard stuff. He uses phrases like "my soul cleaves to the dust" and "my soul weeps because of grief". This man is no stranger to suffering but he has a heavenly focus that I desire. He recongnized that the result of his trials was that he learned more of God and that is good.

Looking back on the path God has asked me to walk, I can say with confidence that it has been good for me to be afflicted because through it I learn God's truth. A friend of mine who is also struggling with some things told me that it feels like she is hanging onto Jesus by her fingernails, and maybe that's what she is supposed to learn - to continually cling to Jesus. I too am learning to cling to Jesus. He's the only one who will get me through this. I have learned that throwing myself into the arms of Christ is the best place to be. It may not be comfortable or what I want, but it's good.

So I am learning to praise Him for the hard times, the struggles and the pain. What can you praise Him for?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Suck It Up

I've been thinking about this post for a while and decided to go ahead and write it.

The anxiety I have been feeling has not left me. It has gotten so much better, but it's not gone. There are still days when it makes me angry that it can make me feel the things I feel. And yet, in the midst of this, I am learning so much. God is giving me a heart for those who struggle with anxiety and depression. Until now, my response to emotional stress was "suck it up." Now I know that there are times when you simply can't suck it up. When it feels like life is sucking everything out of you and all you can do is hold on.

It's in those times when Jesus is most dear to me. It's then that His Word comes to mind to soothe my soul. It's during the chaos of my mind that I can surrender complete control to Jesus my Lord. And I wouldn't trade that for anything. I hate the feelings, but I love the closeness of Christ.

When I first started feel these feelings a lady, who knew what was going on, came up to me and asked "How are you coping with this?" She too had been struggling with similar feelings and there was a familiar desperation to her question. I responded with "I don't know" and walked away. Her question scared me. It scared me to be around someone else who was in the same place as me. I felt like I had to stay far away for fear of getting sucked down even further.

Slowly, as God has shown me His incredible faithfulness, these questions and people do not scare me. God has give me a heart for them. I know the desperation they are feeling and I want them to know the freeing, powerful love of Christ. I want them to cling to His word for their strength. I want them to know that they don't have to suck it up, but surrender it to Christ. I want to hug them and remind them that this too will pass. I want them to let Christ use this to teach and mold them. I want them to be free.

Psalm 27: 13-14
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

More thoughts - only not so whiny

Sooooo.... my last post, it was whiny. Sorry about that. I hate whiny posts.

I really do have interesting things to write about. Wedding plans are interesting and funny. My friendships post-worthy. What God has been teaching me is hard and challenging but oh-so-good. I want to write about all of these things, but I don't seem to have the energy. I am getting ready for and dealing with an awful lot of change right now and it's zapping most of my energy. Blogging no longer seems fun. It seems like a task on my already full plate. So I think I may take a break from my blog. I am at least going to give myself permission NOT to blog. If I blog, I blog. If I don't ehh... the world won't end.

So feel free to check back every now and then, but don't expect much. I'm not.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Needin' some blog love....

I hate to say it, but I've been toying with the idea of taking down my blog. I feel like it's gotten pretty boring. It used to be funny and witty and fresh. But then I wrote this post and made some very nice people very upset and began to realize I really shouldn't have to be mean to be funny. Which sucks because I am fairly competent in being mean-funny and I haven't figured out how to write nice humor.

Also, I graduated from college and started working which pretty much sucks all the fun out of your life. I mean, doing the whole adult thing is not as much fun as doing the college thing. Well maybe it is to some people, but I've just become the crazy cat lady and there's only so many times you can write about your cats before people get afraid and leave.

And on top of all of this I feel like I am losing my ability to write. Or maybe I am just recognizing my lack of writing skills.

Either way, I think this blog has been hanging on by a thread and I'm not sure if I should just let it die or do something crazy to bring it back.

Oh and you people (if you exist) don't comment which doesn't help.