I wrote this in a text to a friend of mine who is having a rough time in life, but really it is something that I have been learning in my own life (albeit slowly) for the last year and a half, or if I’m being really honest… My whole life.
“Haha y’know here’s the thing, people always say “god never gives you more than you can handle” and that’s just not true, that implies that you have to take life on the chin with a smile.. The truth is, sometimes God throws crap at you, that is damn near impossible to see yourself getting through, and sometimes it’s not one big thing, but trillions of little things that build.. And the truth is, there’s a reason. Everything is for God’s glory. He wants you to want him, and talk to him, and grow closer to him.. And if that means making your life difficult until you have to depend on him, then in reality, it’s an act of love… He’s saying, you didn’t get the picture with the first 500 things I threw at you, you can’t do this alone, stop trying, you’re not in control, and I will keep throwing crap into your life until you surrender it to me.. I want you to lean on me, you don’t need to lean on yourself. Exodus 14:14 says the lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.. Like all you need for God to help bring you peace, is to stop getting in His was by trying to do everything in your life on your own.”
Hopefully, eventually I’ll be able to keep reminding myself of this, and maintain a consistent pattern of surrender. That’s my truest hope.
Y’know. I have the weird upper hand in that my mom passed away… And it was horrible and miserable. And there literally was no choice but to accept it and trust. There was nothing else I could do, and when I came to a place of acceptance and trust, God provided this awesome man for me to love on, and be loved by…
And so now, in this new heartbreaking trial in my life, I can’t rely on what I don’t know, like what’s gunna happen. What I do know from experience is that God is good. Really really good. And he provides. And sometimes he shuts doors that can never be opened again, against your will.. But he will always open doors that no one else could too.
I am sweetly broken, but wholly surrendered to the Most High God.
Oh my goodness. Yes.
Lately I find myself surrounded by unbelievers. Not just the average run-of-the-mill unbelievers, but the vocal, loud, in your face “I HATE RELIGION” which to me sounds a lot like “I HATE CHRISTIANS” unbelievers. I don’t know if it’s because my boyfriend is a pastor, or what…but people have been out right telling me how much they hate God/Christians/Christ/Religion as a whole, more now than any other time in my life. Maybe it’s just the age that all of my friends are at? The age where we’re supposed to ask these questions and draw our own conclusions.
I can understand not having faith.. being in a place in your life that just doesn’t jibe with what you think religion is about. Or being too hurt in the past to feel like God is a good entity, or even there at all. I can respect that people are in a different place in their faith walk. I’ve always been respectful of people who are of other religions. And I have been on an almost constant “I wont push my views on you, if you don’t push your’s on me” understanding with my atheist friends, which has always been okay with me.
But do not mistake my respectfulness for me being unsure, and don’t feel sorry for me because I have faith in something. You accosting me and my boyfriend about your “science based beliefs” doesn’t make me think God loves me, or you any less. You telling me that all my faith is in a “book” doesn’t make me feel like that “book” is any less important. The pain in your life, which I understand was hard, trust me..I have had real, heart-breaking, body aching, soul crunching, fetal position-pain too. But, it doesn’t make me think God has forsaken you or me, or the people in Haiti/Japan/Africa— insert your idea of a ‘God forsaken country/continent’— it doesn’t make me believe he is any less good. You tell me you don’t base your beliefs off of feelings, but your relationships with people are… you feel love from them, I know you do. Why is my assured feeling of God’s love less valid than your assured feeling of your significant other’s love? I’m not asking you to believe what I believe, part of my faith is that I don’t need your approval. But I also don’t think that asking you to be respectful of me and my beliefs is that much to ask. I’m not posting about how condescendingly sorry I feel for the heathens on facebook, so I’d appreciate it if you’d keep your patronizing “stupid idiot Christian” posts to a minimum.. and if you must post them, could they at least be freaking funny?
I guess my point is the same as it always has been, be kind and respectful. Try to come from a place of love and understanding. I don’t ask from much from my friends, by no means do I have a “you must be Christian” prerequisite. But you are not going to change my faith by calling me stupid. Your lack of belief will never effect my love for God. I’ve never felt the need to tell you that “I’m praying for you”, but, please believe I am.. not in a condescending way, not because I think you’re pathetic. But, what kind of friend would I be if I had a faith in a loving God, who’s grace I live in, who’s relationship I’m constantly seeking, for the comfort I get from it.. and I wasn’t wanting that for you? What kind of friendship do we have if I don’t want good things for you, the only way I know how to experience them… It’s not because I believe you’re wrong, I’m just coming from a different perspective and asking that you receive the same gratification that I get from where I’m coming from, whichever way you reach it, whichever way you come to an understanding of it.
Ghandi’s 7 blunders of the world:
* Wealth without work
* Pleasure without conscience
* Knowledge without character
* Commerce without morality
* Science without humanity
* Worship without sacrifice
* Politics without principle
No commentary necessary.
My friends and I use this saying about going line dancing.. sounds lame I know, but it feeds my soul. That’s how I’ve felt about country music since I was 13, dancing to it in my bathroom with Jeanette while we got ready. And then I found Stampede, which is full of people who feel like I do about it! I didn’t know they existed.. it’s how I found my best friend. And it’s how I learned to uninhibitedly experience joy. True real joy. I’m sure I look like an idiot out there, but it doesn’t matter cuz I’m doing what I love with my friends, and I know all the moves and all the words and I am sweaty and I have a HUUUGE smile on my face no matter what. And I think learning how to experience that joy is what allowed me to feel again, it opened my heart to being so deeply in love now, more love than I ever have felt ever, thankfully, with a man I didn’t do anything to deserve, but by the grace of God he loves me back.
So here’s to you boots/dancing/and country music. Thank you for my life.
Was way too long without this best friend. Thank the good lord deployment is over! The good times have already started rolling!
Sometimes, I would write things down that my mom would say to me… little pieces of advice, or values she’d try to instill in me..
Some things she’d say over and over like:
“Nothing is more important than kindness”
or “You didn’t earn that, it’s by the grace of God you are that way” which evolved into the Hebrew I have tattooed on my right foot “By the grace of God I have been blessed”.. A reminder to myself to stay grateful for the things I didn’t earn, and to give praise always to the one who matters.
The last thing that I ever wrote down that she said to me, was almost exactly a week before she died… and potentially one of the most important and profound things she’s ever tried to teach me.. in a way that only she could have said it, and if you knew her, you know that it sounds exactly like her. I still have a hard time imagining spending the rest of my life without her audible voice guiding me.
“God builds the struggles in for a reason. It’s the journey. A very beautiful part of the journey. Which can only be seen in hind sight. In the midst of it it just seems Fucked up.” - my captivatingly wise mother
“When it looked like the sun wouldn’t shine anymore, God put a rainbow in the clouds… I have had a lot of rainbows in my clouds. I’ve had a lot of clouds, but there have been so many rainbows… I don’t ever feel I have no help, I’ve had rainbows in my clouds. And the thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so that you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you, may not call God the same name you call God, may not even call God at all, you see. They may not eat the same dishes, prepared the way you do. They may not dance your dances. Or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody, that’s what I think.”-Maya Angelou
“So, I am grateful to have been loved, and to be loved now, and to be able to love. Because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold, that’s ego. Love liberates.. It doesn’t bind. Love says, ‘I love you; I love you if you’re in China, I love you if you’re across town, I love you if you’re in Harlem, I love you, I would like to be near you, I’d like to have your arms around me, I’d like to have your voice in my ear, but that’s not possible now, so I love you, go.’ “-Maya Angelou
“Just do right.. The truth is, right may not be expedient, it may not be profitable, but it will satisfy your soul.”-Maya Angelou
“First, I am aware that I am a child of God. It’s such an amazing understanding, to think that the ‘It’ which made flees and mountains and rivers and stars, made me. What I pray for, is humility. To know that there is something greater than I. And I have to know, that the brute, the bigot, and the batterer are all children of God, whether they know it or not. And I’m supposed to treat them accordingly. And it’s hard, and I blow it all the time.”- Maya Angelou
“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”- Maya Angelou
“You can only become great at the things you’re willing to sacrifice for”- Maya Angelou