Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The other day, I was down in the dumps because I had never felt so disconnected from God before. I just kept going against God's will, sinning up a storm, and coming back to God with my usual apology, Sorry God, I'll try harder. Help me to try harder. 

Have you had prayers like that? Asking God to help you help yourself? Yeah, I always pray those. But you see, that becomes a problem because God asks us to surrender our hearts to Him (Job 11:13-15). Surrender, that means to submit to God's authority fully. To give yourself over to him and to trust that he's got you fully. 

That prayer, where we're asking God to help us to help ourselves is like, half-surrendering. Like, you've confessed to God and all, but you're not relying on him to fully heal you, you're just asking for his help so you can continue to rely on yourself. No, no, that's not how it works.

Humans are sinful, selfish, and easily shaken beings, and when we rely on ourselves to do things, we usually end up falling harder. In Romans 7, Paul hits on the sinful nature of humans, claiming over and over again how we do what we do not want to do (sin), and while we may have the desire to do good, we never do (Romans 7: 15,18).

God even tells us to not lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), and to trust him fully because He is FAR more wise then we could ever imagine to be:

"For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." 1 Corinthians 1:25

Paul continues in Romans 7, frustrated that he keeps doing what he does not wish to do and wonders when someone will save him from, well, really himself (Romans 7:24). 

"Jesus is 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other named under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved." Acts 4:11-12, emphasis by me

I want to encourage you, brothers and sisters, to not ask God to help you overcome something on your own. Ask Him to TAKE AWAY THE WANT/NEED/DESIRE TO SIN. Because we will never overcome something by ourselves. Prayer is powerful!

My favourite scripture of all time talks about how, when the people (us) were in their distress, they cried out to the Lord (Psalm 107:13). They cried out! Have you cried out to the Lord lately? Gotten down on your knees and just called out to Him? The act of crying out shows vulnerability, brokenness, awareness, and humility - and God listens, he hears you (Psalm 66:17-20)!

If you are constantly stuck in this pattern of sinning and half-surrendering. Cry out to the Lord, and ask that he takes the desires to sin away, he will break those chains (Psalm 107:12-14) and he will set you free. You just need to trust that he will.

I think a beautiful representation of exactly that is in Psalm 18, where David had just been saved from the grasps of Saul who was hunting David down to kill him. David reflects on how he was feeling: entangled, overwhelmed, trapped (those feelings sound familiar?). But David called out to the Lord, he cried to [his] God for help (Psalm 18:6). If you continue to read, David describes God's answer to his cry in such an intense and beautiful way!

"The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; he trembled because he was angry... He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind... The Lord thundered from the heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them." Psalm 18:7-14

Whoa! Isn't that just amazing? Now, God may not be parting the heavens and shooting arrows at all your enemies, but God will answer your cry. No more will you be repeating the same patterns that never work, because with your cries to the Lord to take away the need/want/desire to sin, he will do so, and that "big sin" that acted as an annoying road block, will be scattered and routed by God's arrows and bolts of lightning. Trust Him fam, he's pretty amazing.

(Final side note, while confessing to God is wonderful, and crying out to him slowly heals you, confessing to your brothers and sisters are extremely important to. God even asks us to do so (James 5:16). We're all fighting this war together, and having help from your family the church will surely help you succeed (1 Peter 5:9).  And remember James 2:17. Faith without action is dead! Don't put yourself in a situation where you'd be tempted... God is amazing yes, but that's just not smart :P )

Thanks to Abby for helping me out!


Friday, April 01, 2016

This post is only for the insecure.

I wrote this spoken word based on my own struggles with self-loathing. In no way is this for anyone to feel bad for me. I wrote personally in order to connect with you. While some of the things I say may not relate to you, I hope you feel something.

The Sea
It's so hard to breathe
under all this hate.
I'm gasping for breath
beneath the weight of my self-loathing.
It's rising too fast
everything I resent about myself
is pulling me into the depths of the sea
drowning me in an ocean of insecurities.

I seemed to have lost my footing at some point
No longer playing dress up and showing off
but hiding and covering up

What was there to show anyway?

Where was my photo ready skin
Because all I see are bags under my eyes and a double chin

Where were my prominent cheekbones
Because my cheekbones are non-existent instead
No amount of contouring would ever find them.

What about that thin hourglass figure with a bum and big breasts
Because I all see are rolls on rolls, and not a curve in sight. Flat bummed, flat chest.

I always seem to avoid interactions with people,
to avoid being annoying
to avoid being needy
to avoid being myself.
I couldn't possibly be myself.

And trust me my list can go on
Give me till dawn
and I'll be half way through everything that's wrong
with me.

But that would be dumb.

'Cuz I'm constantly telling myself that I don't meet
this worlds conventional one-dimensional standards
Repeating over and over in my head that I'm pretty enough
Yet doubting that I'd ever marry
Because the attention boys give me isn't as much
As the girls who have the figure, who have the skin, who have all of that
And I stand on the side, watching enviously, calling myself ugly
calling myself fat.

Allowing myself to fill my mind with all that crap
Is just dumb.

It's amazing the effect that
not being supposedly perfect can dangerously
infect the mind of anyone who lets themselves believe it.

So why do I let myself do it?
No … sorry,
Why do we let ourselves do it?

Because I don't know about you but
I hated drowning from the abuse I inflicted on myself
And if I had let it completely consume me
Who knows where I would be.

But instead of it getting really bad, it got good

You see, as I sulked in the my own little corner
there came a light.
Oh if I can show you the bright
ness of it.
It nearly blinded me with its majesty
englufed me with its hospitality
it lavished on me courage and confidence
it gave me assurance
that I wasn't ugly, nor was I fat.
It reminded me that I was bold
shy at times, but fine with that
awkward always, but kind and sarcastic
because when I had lost my footing
I forgot all about myself.

But the light, it helped me remember.
It told me
I was beautiful
It told me
I was strong
It told me
I was worth it.
It said I was worth so much.

And while it took some time to fully see
past all my insecurities
I eventually found myself walking around like a princess
Yes, like a royal who dressed in the
in the most impressive dresses and jewels
because now I ruled my head
no unsuitable suitor would ever recline and infest my mind again
Because now I no longer stand behind
and pine over everything I'm not
and why would I when every princess knows that
the King is their Father

So you will no longer see me drowning
because now I'm walking on water.