I Cried.

I cried myself to sleep last night and that's okay. Our society has plagued our minds to think that only the weak cry, only the weak feel anxious and overwhelmed, only the weak feel sadness. This is not true at all. Why do we try to regulate our feelings to the point where there is no balance. Balance comes with good and bad, yin and yang as they say. We are going to feel negative feelings and emotions (I won't get technical into the differences between feelings and emotions, that's a whole other subject). The more we bottle them up, suppress them, and ignore them, the worse the outcome will be. This is what we have been taught to do thought. Being strong and courageous does not involve only good days with sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns. In order to be courageous, there has to be an act of courage and an act of courage involves some adversity. Adversity involves heartache, disappointment, unexpected events, etc. Why wouldn't you feel some negative feelings with adversity? I have learned this simple mantra: "I acknowledge this feeling and I allow myself to experience it in it's fullness." Man, does it feel  good to cry sometimes. The key here is to acknowledge and experience it but not to act on it or linger in it. Be 100% honest with how you are feeling but don't allow the feeling to define you or the situation.

When I was going through depression, the biggest thing I did was hate myself for being depressed and hate the way I felt. That did not help my situation at all. It was a never ending cycle of feeling depressed and then feeling anger because I was depressed, and then feeling more depressed because I didn't want to feel anger. Sounds unreasonable right? But this is what we do in some way. Embrace yourself. Embrace how you feel. Embrace your emotions. You will have sadness in your life, you will cry yourself to sleep at some point. I hear to tell you, it's okay. We are not superhuman.

Here's the light at the end of the tunnel. God understands. God uniquely made us and created us as complex beings that have a variety of feelings and emotions. The key is to delight yourself in Him knowing that when you do cry yourself to sleep, He will lift up your head and remind you of His goodness and mercy. When you are angry and overwhelmed, He will give you peace that surpasses all understanding and remind you that the battle is not yours but His and victory is inevitable. The balance comes in when we acknowledge our feelings and acknowledge who God is. He gives us joy for sadness, strength for weakness, He takes our burdens and lightens our load. The truth of His promises carries us and lifts us up. It tells us its okay to feel this moment of sadness because He has promised me gladness. Remind yourself in a temporary state of negativity that you are not perfect and you're going to feel bad sometimes, but God is greater than any feeling and He will always lift me up out of darkness if I would just look to Him.

I will end with this. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV), Paul says "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Compromise

Daniel's Fast day 8 I had a sugar binge. I couldn't take it anymore. I was so hungry and I thought to myself "It's okay, I'll just start again tomorrow". Let me be completely transparent, I ate cookies, candy, donuts, etc. Full out orgy of glucose. That sounds a lot like how we live our lives. A life full of compromise and taking advantage of grace and mercy. Will God strike me down and send me to the pit because I gave into a moment of weakness, not at all but the fact still remains that I continued to eat more and more sugary treats even though I knew I should not. Life continuously offers us cakes, donuts, and pies to satisfy our flesh and they seem so delicious until we wake up with a tummy ache. God was trying to protect me from the tummy ache but I gave in to momentary pleasures. Was it worth it? Not at all. We play Russian Roulette with our holiness and gamble with out lives with things that are not even worth the bet. Romans 6:1-2 (KJV) says "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

How can we live a life free from sin yet still choose to sin? It is impossible. We can't make excuses and say "It's okay God knows my heart" or "Grace will cover my actions". If we know it is sin, why do we continue in it for the delight of the flesh?  Grace's purpose is to cover when we do not know any better not to cover when we chose not to do better. I chose to eat the donuts and yes they were delicious but I felt terrible spiritually afterwards because of my compromise (I will just start again tomorrow if I can just eat these cakes now) and my disobedience. I lacked perseverance and discipline in that moment. Christianity is not easy. It is not a belief where you can do whatever you want. Freedom in Christ has been misunderstood to mean freedom of choice. Freedom in Christ is the surrender of your life so that you may live free from this world, free from sin, and free from this flesh. When you surrender your life and your desires to God, the simple pleasures of the flesh become meaningless and the quest for righteousness becomes that much more important to you. Are we going to do it right every single time? No. We are born into sin, the vary nature of being human is sinful. That's why we must transcend this world (sin) and be our true, spiritual self.

Romans 7 sums things up pretty well especially verses 15-25.  I like verse 24 (KJV) when it says "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" The answer is only God can deliver us from death (sin). Let's move to Romans 8:1 (KJV) "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Notice that it says, who walk not after the flesh. So when we compromise and willingly sin, are we walking in the spirit? So condemnation, disapproval does apply to us when we walk after the flesh. We should feel bad. The problem comes when we live in condemnation and do not move forward into correction and repentance. God does not desire us to beat ourselves up or become depressed/ discouraged because we acted in our flesh. God is love. Love involves both correction and forgiveness. Feeling guilty means you care and that the Holy Spirit is nudging you saying you can do better. When I was in my dextrose coma, I felt terrible for maybe an hour then moved forward to understanding and repentance. From there God says "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:12 KJV)

Thank God that Jesus died on the cross for my outright sins and that I am free to start fresh in each moment. Thank God for his mercy and unrelenting forgiveness. We still have to take the initiative daily to resist sin daily meaning making a conscious effort not to compromise holiness even for a second. When we think of doing something that is pleasing to the flesh, stop and take a moment to think about it again. Is it worth my holiness? Is it only a temporary pleasure? Will I regret doing this? And when we downright know its not right, let's make the choice not to eat the cake.

I'd like to hear from you all, please comment, discuss, say hello :)

Placement.

When our soul finally awakens, it seems like there are so many areas of improvement you can work on. It can at times be very overwhelming. You faults present themselves like a Christmas dinner laid out right in front of you. I want to encourage you that you are right where you need to be at this very moment. God made us in his image and we are beautifully made. Yes, there are a list of traits that we can improve upon but the fact that we recognize these areas is progress in itself. God placed you in this present moment knowing your faults, your pain, and your hurt. He knows your future is bright. He knows those short-comings will disappear the more you seek Him. It is up to you to love yourself as you are right now. You might be a mess but you are a beautiful mess. When you are working with clay, it is a messy process. It doesn't look like much at first just a grey blob but as the artist works the clay it becomes a masterpiece. You think the statue of David started off looking like that, not at all. Let the Master mold you and make you better. He loves you right now and thinks you are wonderful at this present time. Love yourself. Love the journey. Love the work that is being done in you. Be patient with your growth and stay focused on God. Don't let anyone discourage you. It is easy for others to point out your faults but you know that you are on the path God has for you. You are right where you need to be, in God's hands. Be encouraged.

Prayer

God, I know you are ever present and have you hands over my life. I know that you have great things in store for me.

Help me to be confident in you and trust you even when I do not understand.

Help me to see what is so far beyond me.

Help me to in my times of doubt and disbelief.

Help me when I feel lost and remind me that you are right beside me steering me clear of dangers that I am unaware of.

You are amazing in all of your ways

Thank you for the favor you have place on my life

Thank you for the good times and the bad times

For in everything you are glorified

I am not suffering, I am not in need

You have always provided for me

I am confident that you will provide wisdom and understanding in my time of stillness

Speak to me God

Lead me

Guide me and I will follow

And when the enemy tries to come in like a flood

I will keep my eyes fixed upon you

When the enemy tries to discourage me

i will remind Him the victory is forever yours

Thank you for your love, grace, and mercy

I will hide myself in you

With my face towards the wall I will seek you and only you

For there is no other God but you

In Jesus name, Amen.

Stillness.

There are times on this journey where I feel lost, dazed, and confused. It's like God is taking me somewhere but I am blindfolded. I have no clue where I am going, what step is next. I get so wrapped up in trying to figure out what's my next move and I have absolutely no idea what move that is. In these times the best thing to do is to be still. There are periods of rest during a long journey. We do not always have to be constantly moving. We don't always have to be doing something. Our flesh says go, go, go and God says wait here a little while. Being in motion can keep us from seeing things along the way. It's like being in a car and everything you pass by is a blur. You have to stop or slow down to really be able to see clearly. You wouldn't drive 95 mph in a thunderstorm. At this point I am being cognizant of what God wants me to see and understand. I don't want to miss out on an important lesson. I am a child sitting anxiously to hear what the Father has to say. My only job is to be still and to remove distractions in my life. TV, cell phone, even loved ones can take away from that much needed time that needs to be spent with God. I want to learn  to meditate in Him. Not only clearing those physical distractions but also the distractions of the mind. That feeling of go,go, go keeps my mind racing 24/7 when just as my body needs to be still, so does my mind. How powerful would it be if we could totally clear our minds of the unnecessary clutter? Things would be so much clearer. Instead we keep our minds full of crap. How am I going to pay my bills? Should I change jobs? Should I move? Should I get back into school? Half the time our minds are so distracted by these questions when God's answer to all of them is just to BE STILL and TRUST HIM. Stop asking questions. Stop trying to figure things out. It is already worked out for our good so just be patient and let everything fall into place. (This is advice that I need to follow myself). It's okay to do nothing some times and in doing nothing just fill your mind with God;s presence. Always knowing that He is near and has a master plan for you. I find myself just saying "shhhhhh...."out loud and asking for the peace of God when my mind is going 100 mph. Sounds so simple but God can do anything in an instant even give you instant peace.

So lets stop trying to run our own lives and cause our own confusion. The world makes us think that we should always be on the go and that if we aren't then we are lazy. That simply is not true. Follow God's direction even if that means to do nothing but seek His face. I am a type A personality and always looking for my next step but God is telling me that there is no next step right now. Just bask in His glory and fill everything that I am with Him.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. -Psalm 46:10