Covering up many struggles

When we focus on one struggle are we covering up the real one?

Are we able to see it?

Is it the one causing us so much grief internally, subconsciously, yet we can’t see it?

How often do we focus on the wrong struggle and not realize the underlying root?

It’s easy to do, especially when pain is involved.

It’s easy to not trust the Lord and in our hearts not believe He has good in store for us. It’s easy to believe we are so terrible we must deserve all of our anguish and afflictions.

Of course this is something that every other Christian would look down upon. We’re supposed to know better, aren’t we? We’re supposed to never struggle and our lives are supposed to be so easy, right? Where in the Bible does it say that? Persecution is around every corner, whether from the devil or man. Struggles are real, evident, and we’re told of them throughout the entire Bible, if you really do read it.

I’ve struggled most of my life, though I wasn’t always aware of it until more recently. I’ve been in pain since birth, though I had no understanding. I’ve been wounded and in anguish, though I’ve had no words to explain it. I’ve been bruised my whole life, though it hid subconsciously. It still hides from me though I can feel it deep down, somewhere, without words to express it. This thing or darkness inside that I have had no knowledge of. This overwhelming pain that has plagued me, though I never understood.

Jeremiah 29:11-14
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

As Christians (or not) we have all doubted God. We have all gone through times of not trusting in Him. I don’t think there has ever been a human alive that hasn’t questioned their future in the eyes of God or His plan for their life.

Do you believe the scripture above?

Do you REALLY believe it?

Do you believe it in your heart?

I admit I struggle with it. I often look to those verses for encouragement for myself.
When personal pain outweighs the understanding we have of His love toward us the simple solution or answer is that we don’t understand His love. It’s difficult to grasp and everyone has struggled with it. I admit I struggle. I admit I do not understand Christ’s love for me. I admit I do not understand all the things I have gone through, some of which I am not even aware of yet.
Do I have hope that I will someday? I believe at times I do, if I stop and think about it. Or I at least try to.

When you’ve grown up with distrust being your closest friend it overpowers the longing you have for true companionship and real love. Love that only comes from the true Father.
I didn’t understand that until a few years ago.

Pain is real. Anguish is real. Anyone who has truly gone through either or both knows how difficult it can be.

I admit I have asked the Lord so many times to take me home. I can honestly say that’s the main thing I look forward to someday.
Does that make me sound suicidal? I don’t believe it does. Why?
Shouldn’t every Christian have a strong desire to be with the Lord? To want it so badly that they would forsake everyone else they have ever known or met just to be with Him?

I would forsake all just to be with Him for eternity.

But it’s not my time and I realize my desire is selfish.

I admit that one of the only things that keeps me going is that I know there is work to be done for His sake. I love Him enough to admit that I must forsake my desire so I can carry out what He needs me to do here.
Could He get someone else to do it? Yes, but He created me for something specific. He created all of us for something very specific and I care more about carrying out His plan and His goal than I do my own desires.

We are all created for a purpose. I know I love Him enough that I don’t want to disappoint Him. I don’t want to let Him down the way I have been let down. I want to show Him how much I love Him by standing firm in the path He sets before me. And if I can’t stand I will crawl. And if I can’t crawl I will wait for Him to pick me up and carry me through.

As far as pain and anguish, the goal is to let it go. The goal is to trust all of that pain to the Lord. To take it and say, “Lord, I have no idea what to do with this and it hurts so bad. Please take it because I can’t stand it. I can’t take it anymore, Lord.”

When there’s no possibility for any human to relieve your pain then it needs supernatural relief from the Lord.

My pain still haunts me, but it comes from deep wounds I was unaware of until last year. I do not know the extent of my wounds, nor do I know how many there are. But He knows and He’s already got a plan (I admit, it still scares me).

Wounds can be like trees. You can see the struggles that are more evident in branches and leaves, and although you may fight with them they will always come back. They will always regrow until you take out the root system of that tree.

The title of this post is “Covering up many struggles” and that’s what I have been doing. I have been so focused on one particular struggle I have had that I had been ignoring the underlying root. I was fighting a branch when I think the problem stems from deep, deep roots.
I see that now, though I admit I still don’t know where to go from here.

We can’t see the next step until we’re shown.
You can’t be shown until you seek.
You can’t also be shown until you stop and listen.
You can’t listen until you be still.

Seek. Be still and Listen.

On to the next step:
Sometimes, what you may find, is that the next step can be taken for you.
You just have to learn to trust and give it a shot. What is there to lose? It wont make your pain worse (maybe slightly more evident if you’ve been trying to bury it).

What if the pain can be stopped?
What if it can be removed?
What about it being replaced with something so much better?

You don’t have that capability in you. Only Christ does. Let Him work.

Grieve if you must, but let Him take control. You’ve had control long enough.

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. -Psalm 62:5

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.
(1 John 4:4-19 KJV)

End of Churchianity

Ah! Was excited to see today that the documentary ‘End of Churchianity’ is now on YouTube for people to watch for free! I definitely recommend it to everyone, especially those discouraged about having an Acts church.

The End of Churchianity – DOCUMENTARY:

There are other testimonies I might leave links to in the comments later when I have my computer with me.

Christians and Miracles: Faith and Healing

I realize I have had what many would consider life changing events and experiences of God in my life. They have changed me in ways and affected me in good ways. I also realize, however, that I have areas in my life that need healing. Areas that have probably come up after the time that I became a Christian (around age 7 or 8). I do not believe that I had a lot of the same issues I might have today, especially being so young. Many of them came from experiences I had later in life or formed due to consequences to decisions I have made.
With that being said, I have often wondered why many non-believers seem to see more miracles happening in their lives than people who say they are Christians. It’s gotten to the point that many Christians don’t believe in miracles the way they can still happen today, the way Jesus Christ showed us. He tells us that we can do what He did, so why don’t more people who believe in Christ believe that?
Well the non-believers don’t seem to know about them. And the Christians? Most either think those kinds of gifts are dead, non-applicable to this day and age, or maybe they have issues in their faith. In the past I assumed most of it was the issue of a lack of faith (which it may be) but now I’m starting to understand it in a different light – because of how it applies to me.
Yes, God could touch me in a way that I am completely healed physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually… but that wouldn’t really make me trust in Him for the healing as much as having to depend on Him for it. I have to depend on God and really seek Him for this healing. It’s not a matter of lack of faith that He could do it, it’s a matter of having the faith that He WILL do it.
I’ve often questioned if the issue is my lack of faith that God could heal me in an instant. I do not believe this is the case, because I KNOW He could. Right now God needs me to be where I am at, constantly seeking Him and looking forward to what He will work in my life. This process (yes, it’s a process) needs to take time. God needs me to give Him the time to work this in my life because He can’t do it if I’m going to resist or just fall right back to my old ways and in this behaviors will have to be changed as well.
I don’t need to have some life-changing miracle in my life to heal, I just need God in my life to heal. I already accepted Christ as my Savior and I’ve already asked God to be in my life and to forgive me of my sins (continuously), so I don’t need to have some crazy miracle to heal me and my life; I just need God. HE is my miracle just as HE is the one that has already saved me, there are just a few pieces that need to be mended.
So maybe that’s the reason many Christians don’t see the full healing power of God in the form of a miracle. Miracles are used to show God’s power and we’re supposed to already know God’s power. Maybe it’s a lack of faith but not that He has the power but that He would use that power to heal us and because it’s not in the time frame we wish it was, we easily give up on it.

Don’t give up on God’s healing power. He’s in control of everything but you still have to let Him have control of your life in order to heal you. Ask Him to work in you in a new way, to heal whatever you need healed, and trust that He will. Ask that His hands will be unbound to work in your life (because we bind them through sin). Keep the faith that He will change you and remember, sometimes He has to break a heart in order to heal it again properly.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36:26

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. – Psalms 51:10

How do you convince yourself that you are loved? (part 1)

How do you convince yourself that you are loved?
Growing up, as a child, I remember always going to Sunday School and church. I remember singing and learning songs like “Jesus Loves Me” and hearing about His love.

I remember asking Him into my heart as a child and praying with my mother while kneeling down at the side of their water-bed (it was the 90’s).
But what I honestly never felt was loved.
I remember hearing the words and repeating them, that Jesus loves me, but I’ve never felt that was specifically for me. I always heard it and somehow in my head conglomerized it all to being about people as a whole. That He cares about people as a whole and I got lucky to just somehow fit “into the crowd.”
I don’t feel like it speaks about me specifically. How could anyone love me? Even to this day it feels weird to hear my parents say it. I admitted even just today that when I ask my boyfriend why he likes/loves me it’s not because I’m looking for some lovey-dovey compliment, it’s because I actually don’t understand it.
Why me? I can’t even begin to understand why I was created in the first place, let alone why anyone might care about me the way that I do them.

I’ve never had high self-esteem. I’ve always somehow translated that feeling self-important or “worth” anything is a form of having an ego. For myself, not for others. Anytime someone has mentioned love in regards to me I always ask, “Why?” I mean, there are plenty of other people out there more deserving than me. It’s like my brain cannot actually comprehend it, understand it, or believe it. I don’t know why.

When I care about someone or even make friends (which is kind of a rarity for me to consider anyone a true friend), I often hold that relationship to a higher standard than most people probably do. I could even say that I care more about those people than my own life and have a hard time understanding that it’s not always the way it is returned. I don’t always find people who will drop everything for me or make me feel special the way I try to do them. I wont always find someone who will know that sometimes I just want to sit and be held than “have things fixed” if there’s a problem. I can be difficult to read and difficult to deal with.
I have some how developed a weird thought process that accompanies a weird set of standards. I wouldn’t say I’m “normal” and I wouldn’t label myself crazy either.
I can be over analytical and emotionless and I can be quite the opposite as well. This is worse if it’s something that I have a hard time comprehending.

Anyway, back to what I was saying, I have never fully felt that anyone could care about me the way I can care about someone else. I don’t understand it when someone does love me and I’m usually skeptical of it on and off as well. Past relationships full of deceit and lies does not help this state of mind as often those who claimed to love me were the ones that always hurt me.
When I hear people I know praising me for something I did or made I almost cringe inside. I almost find it painful to even take a compliment that would be for “myself.”
Even now I still can’t seem to even wrap my head around the idea that my parents love me, even if not for me than because I was born from them. It doesn’t add up and it doesn’t quite register or  compute in my mind.

Now, given the fact that I am 30-years-old and have grown up in church my entire life, it’s very hard for me to admit that I do not feel loved. That I do not feel worthy of love from anybody, let alone Christ. It’s very painful for me to even admit it to myself because in the process I also have to admit that I do not find myself worthy to even exist. But I said it.

I recently had been praying that if there was anything in my life, hindering me more from God, that he would bring it forward and help me get through it. Any sort of deep seeded issues and, well, I’d say this is a doozy. I’m not exactly sure what to do about it or how to go about fixing it.
I’m sure some would suggest I just sit, pray, and wait to feel Christ’s love or go see a counselor. I’m sure I’d hear tons of “but we love you!” comments or tons of scriptures. To be completely honest, that doesn’t mean I’d believe any of it.
What do you do when throughout your life and with all you’ve read and heard you always just sum up that love as being meant for everyone but yourself? You know He loves everyone but you don’t know He loves you. You can read the same scriptures as everyone else and sing the same songs or even repeat the same phrases, but it doesn’t make you feel any more loved.

I don’t know where all of this came from or why any of it started. Even as a child I had issues with when I asked Christ into my life because at the time I saw a lot of the kids my age at church becoming Christians and being baptized. Now, having grown up being home schooled for a large part of my life I always felt left out from everyone else and in some ways I think I did all of that out of peer pressure. That messed with me later on in life as well as I never felt like I had honestly and earnestly become a Christian. I even asked Christ into my life several times but never felt any different. It’s very easy to believe those little lies that come creeping into your head that ask you “Are you sure you did it right?”

I feel stuck at in impasse right now. No matter how many times someone shows me scripture or tries to convince me that Jesus really does love ME, I wont really believe it. I’ll still have something in my head saying, “that’s really just talking about everyone else.” I do believe that He died and rose again and that He is our Savior, but in some weird way I feel lost in the mix. Like being lost in a crowd and I just  kind of got lucky to be a part of it.

Needless to say my heart is broken and has been for a very long time. I’m sure I sound incredibly insane to most people, naive to others, and absolutely ridiculous to rest. I don’t think a lot of people out there understand the kind of trauma that can be inside of a person for so long that when the finally are willing to admit it, they feel that there’s no help. That they wont get out of it and there’s nothing that can be said to fix it.

Either way, please be praying for me. I hope I don’t sound too incredibly crazy. I don’t know what caused all of this but it’s been there for most of my life, as far as I can tell. I’ve never felt worthy of anything and still don’t to this day. I’ve seen that there’s work God will need me to do but we all know that we can do work and still not really feel loved or worthy.

Now that I’ve admitted this I honestly have no idea of where to go from here.

Driving Around to Think

I’ve been upset this evening over quite a few things. One of which was something revealed to my boyfriend about what it is I’m supposed to be doing. Though I am incredibly grateful that I understand more clearly my situation and what I need to be working on, I am still frustrated that it wasn’t revealed to me throughout my prayers and requests. But I also know that maybe I wasn’t fully able to listen.
Often I go through times where I feel that my prayers are heard but there is something hindering me from being able to hear clearly or at all any responses to what I might be praying about. Most of the responses I might get are so slight that I can’t tell if they’re a form of my subconscious answering what I think the Lord would say on one matter or another. I try to clear my mind and be open to whatever answer I may get, trying not to allow my thoughts to sway one way or another, but in the end I’m still not certain. I understand that there are times when we wont have clear answers, don’t get me wrong, but lately it’s been a lot more foggy than usual. When I do feel compelled one way more than the other I typically go ahead with what I felt compelled for, asking all the while that if I’m incorrect in doing so that I will be corrected so I can resolve it.
I am a fixer. I like to fix things and resolve issues as soon as they come up. This can be incredibly frustrating when dealing with situations of patience, especially in regards to my own life. I am typically a patient person with others and will pray that they will come around to whatever it is the Lord might be speaking about, but lately I’ve been worried about this foggy communication.
I was driving around tonight with my dog, just to get out of the house, and decided to turn down a street of the new part of the neighborhood they are building. When we originally moved here it was an area owned by farmers and within the last year or two they have sold a portion of their land for others to build up a newer residential area within our neighborhood. Of course, I didn’t like this idea at first because they also tore out a lot of trees that covered one side of the street, and most of the houses they are putting in are miniature mansion in style (though they’re not that big).
It occurred to me tonight as I was driving around in this that it felt darker than usual. I got a sense that the air was thick and hard to breathe. I had already wondered, before taking the left turn into this new section of the neighborhood, if there might be new spiritual beings (demonic) that might also be moving in. If you think about it in the context of them working against and harassing those who are un-believers (not to say that us as Christians aren’t ever harassed or bothered) it kind of makes sense.
If felt dark and a bit unnerving to be driving through there. I can’t say that most of this was due to some of the houses still being in skeleton form, since I’ve been around houses and buildings being built or under construction before, and this didn’t feel the same. I also considered the fact that it’s dark out and things can easily seem creepier in the dark. It wasn’t that.
After leaving this area and making another left turn out to one of the main roads towards my street, the air didn’t feel quite as heavy.. until I got home. Continue reading

Desiring to Help

One thing that has to be remembered about the gift of discernment is that you won’t always feel like it’s “turned on.” There are times when you won’t notice or feel anything at all which is when you have to be especially careful. Your shouldn’t let all of your focus be on what’s going on around you, almost as if you’re paranoid, but should be open to God’s revealing and not lose sight or trust in Him.
I often go back and forth in my head about the gift of discernment, wondering if I really was given that through the Holy Spirit or if I was just experiencing some much more evident warfare going on. In the past I have had it confirmed while praying about it but still ask “why me?” I feel there are much more deserving people out there that wouldn’t seem to fall so quickly or allow such fears to hinder them, but maybe that’s a part of the reason for it all. Maybe it’s God’s way of speaking to my heart so that I will continually grow in Him and seek His will for my life.

I can’t even express to you the amount of desire I have to help others going through demonic bondage. I feel there’s a part of me that has always had that desire, even before I knew anything about spiritual gifts. I would love to be able to go to others to help them, through prayer, realize what it is that is “haunting” them or causing them such grief. To help them into coming to the Lord and realizing just how Awesome He really is.
I would love to realize when the enemy is at work and help others understand the nature that they do their works in this world; for God to reveal what it is we’re up against and how important it is that we continually work on our relationship with Him, growing, learning to love others in such a worldly place, and seeking His guidance in everything.

I’ve met some people around me that seem to have a lot more going on than they’re likely to admit. I’ve met some that seem completely untrustworthy and feel I need to stay away from them, only to realize there is more going on in their lives than anyone might realize. That they are most likely being deceived in what they’re thinking or feeling is going on but don’t realize how dangerous some things can be. I’ve met those who are so blinded by the ways of this world they’re not even open to hear any aspects of God working in someone’s life. I’ve met some who have such hardened hearts that I don’t know if they’ll ever come around to what God has given us. It breaks my heart to witness these things and if there’s any way that God can use me to help those around me, I am completely willing to do so.

While reading about the fear of the LSM group taking over churches in India and deceiving those around them, someone wrote “It is something that concerns our spiritual life and we should not take it lightly.” That quote has stuck with me on and off since I’ve read it and it’s all too true. You don’t fully even know how easily your spiritual life can be effected by the things around you. How one little entrance of something ungodly or worldly can cause you to start to slip and not see what it is you’re supposed to be doing. That’s one of the import reasons we need to read our Bibles everyday and talk to the Lord every day, being open to His guidance.

I will admit that over the last week or so I felt as though I shouldn’t be writing anymore. That I was letting it distract me from what God wanted me to be working on and that I needed to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. What if I AM doing what I’m supposed to be doing? This morning I had a strong sense of urgency to write, to communicate my thoughts on what has been going on with me, and now I realize that the enemy has once again been working on making me feel lost. Making me feel as though there’s all this important stuff I’m supposed to be working on but it’s all my fault that I don’t feel God is telling me what it is. The truth is that I might be doing just what I’m supposed to be doing. I need to remember that I need to keep up what I do and wait on the word of the Lord to tell me otherwise. I will no longer feel guilty for taking the time to write, especially since that is usually the way that I come to a lot of realizations about what God might be trying to tell me in the first place.

I’m sorry if what I write comes off as a little confusing at times, and honestly I don’t expect anyone to read it. I’ve told Brandon before that most of what I write might seem very personal for me and I’m not usually one to tell everyone every little thing I’m struggling with, but I feel there is an importance to let others know they’re not alone. There are others out there that go through difficult or strange things. And whether anyone reads it or not, at least I got to come to God given conclusions about matters at hand.