Recently I have taken the time to think about what matters to me the most. Every year around this time I tend to be hard on myself. I isolate. I pull out my New Years Resolution list. Everything on the list is never fully completed. It never fails that I feel disappointed in myself, and I anxiously try to think of a plan to retract myself. No more of this!
These last few weeks I begin to ask the Lord to help me focus on what is important. I have come to a place in prayer where I desire for him to reveal to me what “HE” feels is important for my life. Often what he feels, and what I feel are very different . There are things he desires for me, and there are things that I want (Isaiah 55:8). To be honest.. I often find myself torn between the two. When I was trained as a counselor, we were challenged and reminded daily to examine our intentions. Why do I feel this way? Why do I desire these things? What is driving my actions? What is my heart revealing? Why I am acting this way? We push our clients to think through these ideas. These person centered thoughts have become ingrained into the fiber of who I am. There is not one single day that I am not reflecting on these things. As a result, time and time again God humbles me and reveals my impure and selfish intentions. Amazingly this process has caused me to be more sensitive, and more understanding to others then I can ever imagine. But the downside is this.. I focus so much on myself and the intentions of others, that I forget to think about God and his intentions towards me. Do not be mistaken… The thoughts and plans you have for yourself will NEVER be better than the plans that God has towards you. The more I pursue life for myself, the further from Christ I will be. My desire is to fill up my thoughts of God, in the place I would normally place myself. My desire is to forfeit my will, and change my behavior. He demands and deserves to be the center of my thoughts. I cant help but to wish that I spent more time this year searching why God feels the way he does, instead of why I feel the way I do. What is his plan for me, instead of my own goals and desires. God your will, not my own.
Christmas is such a beautiful holiday and many people make a big deal and put a lot of energy into it. Especially if you have children, and a huge beautiful family to enjoy it with. But I cant help but to think of so many people that Christmas wont be merry for. We say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” which is all fine and well. But, what about the person who will be alone on Christmas because they don’t have family? Or what about the person who has lost their job and is in financial hardship? Especially when the focus of Christmas in our society is all about gifts and being happy. What if you’ve lost a loved one? Times that once brought happiness, now brings sadness. I often think of those who have loved ones who were murdered and now their presence is gone. Or people who have gone through a nasty break up or divorce.These people are left with emotions, memories and sadness to deal with alone.This can be a very lonely time of year for many. Lets not forget about them! There is something that we can offer to those that are not Merry during the holidays. What is Christmas all about? Encourage someone who doesn’t have or wont have. Think of those who have had significant loss over the past few years and give them a call, encouragement, or acknowledgement. Spend time with them and lighten their heart.From me to the hurting person, the lonely person, the sorrowing person. I give the true meaning of Christmas to you. Which is Immanuel “God is with you”, He will help you”,and He will strengthen you”.The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.” Matt 1:23
God is with you,
Searching for a place to rest. A place your heart can be relieved of life that often consumes us. It would feel good to just escape stuff, life’s problems, other people’s problems, my problems. This year has been full of experiences that have struck my heart in significant ways. Emotional highs, emotional lows, emotional stand stills. During these emotional instabilities we want relief so desperately that we try to solve them ourselves by applying our own solutions. You know… Our own remedies, things that give us temporary relief. At times my heart becomes so overwhelmed where I can’t hear your voice that often speaks to me in times of trouble. My soul then becomes so hungry for you because I know that you are the only one who understands. The one who can satisfy my desire to rest when my spirit is broken and weary. I often think back when I called and you came so quickly… but this time it wasn’t as quickly as I hoped for. There was minutes, which turned to hours, which turned to days. So I looked for you desperately because I could taste the relief close by.. I can’t feel your presence yet, but I just know eventually you’ll come. I wait patiently for you to comfort me or make me understand what has happened. OR just for you to find me. I know you are near…..As I patiently wait I remind myself of what you have done thus far. This gave me light and relief in the midst of this dark place. I’m desperate and humble while waiting patiently at your feet for you to touch my shoulder. I have no clue what I am doing, but seeking you daily has been my only resolve and refuge. I remind myself daily of your promises when you said you would order my steps and you would never leave me as I go through my trials. I trust you because you have always been faithful and have never left me. In your presence I always find my strength and peace. So I’ll just wait for you. No matter how long it takes I’ll just wait for you. Not because I am so strong but because I have no other choice.
Heartache- The sorrow that comes after a significant loss of a loved one or disappointment in a relationship.
What is my heartache relative to the death, war and destruction in your nations? Do I have the right to grieve love, when I have others around me that love me? Do I have the right to be heartbroken when others have suffered much more, and have pain that I could never imagine enduring?
I experienced heartache at a much older age then others. Im still trying to figure out if its better or worst that way. But that’s not important because it’s bad either way. So bad that I wouldn’t wish the feeling on the person that caused me the pain. I’ve always heard of such pain, seen the signs, symptoms and prognosis. I’ve even shed tears with loved ones throughout the process. But you never truly know heartache if you’ve never experienced heartache. Maybe that’s why God seen it fit that I get a spoonful of heartache. Not just a taste of someone else’s. It was a spoonful of sickness, a spoonful of sleepless nights, a spoonful of crying, restlessness, weakness, clutter brain and even sadness. Each spoonful had a different taste, but none of them were enjoyable or even tolerable. It was just the taste of nasty regrets and faded memories whose true essence would never be captured again. I would extend grace to my offender in hopes to ease my pain. But Lord you set my heartache experience up in a way that new mysteries would continue to unfolded daily. New facets, new tragedies, new undesired flavors on my spoon. It was bitter to the taste and painful to my spirit! So I had to make a decision to extent that same grace to my offender, that is extended to me daily because you died on the cross.
This experience makes me think of all the other suffering that I haven’t experience that God could decide that he wants me to experience firsthand. “GOD is there something I need to prove to you? What are you trying to teach me? Could you have taught me a different way? Just don’t let me have to ever experience heartache again”.Then I realized that you probably won’t let me experience heartache again, but there are so many other trials and tribulations much greater than heartache, that you might call me to experience. The reality is that God doesn’t only orchestra the good things in our lives, but he allows the bad things too.
My heart says“What can I say? What can I do, but offer this aching heart oh God completely to you” Hillsong United