Friday, June 20, 2014

What's a Girl to Do?

The last several months have pushed me to the brink of how much I think I can withstand and back again. At the end of March I was "let go" from my job for an action I didn't commit. It has been one let down after another in trying to find a new job, a way to pay the inevitable bills that four years of college brought me. I have a degree in English Literature and two teaching certifications, and yet I have been completely unsuccessful in procuring a teaching job over the last four years. I have been brought to the end of wanting to try. How long can someone try at something and not succeed before they give up? Well apparently I haven't been able to get the point til now. Changing careers is not fun.

Before my untimely end at my last job, I had felt God leading me to leave that workplace even though I didn't have anything lined up. I had been trying for months to get a different job, to find a different career, to no avail. Even though I knew I needed to leave my job, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Every time I contemplated it, I would have a near panic attack at knowing how much I would have to trust the Lord to bring me something. I also couldn't handle thinking about leaving the kids I had put so much love and time into, or leaving a co-worker who hated working there just as much as me. I knew how much my leaving would negatively effect the kids and my co-worker. My friends say I am loyal to a fault...this is true. I would rather be miserable and loyal (especially when it comes to anything involving kids) than leaving people in a bind or possibly hurting them. This was my problem at the J. So God took me out.

What a ride it's been. There has been intense anger/bitterness/frustration at where I am at in life. I have days where I literally want to fist fight God, where I have told Him to come down and fight me, because there is so much going on inside and I don't know how to get it out. But I am also grateful. Grateful He saved me from myself in that job. Grateful He has never left my side or turned away from me in my moments of ugliness when my anger comes out towards Him. Grateful He is powerful enough to handle my intensity. Patiently He's let me try to figure out how to deal with my emotions. Every time I want to run away, He follows behind waiting for me to turn back around to get comfort from Him.

Trust is hard, but thankfully He'll never leave me nor forsake me.

The silver lining in all this, I have the time to sit outside in the sun and actually get a tan. Lol! For those who know me, understand my pale self has a very hard time getting color and then keeping it.So yay for finally getting a tan.

"But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." Psalm 86:15

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

No one ever said growth doesn't hurt, and yet it surprises us how much it hurts when the pruning happens. A common Christian saying is "God loves us too much to leave us in one place". For this I am times. The more it hurts, the harder it is to see the good that will come out of it all.

I imagine if the oyster who is stuck with the grain of sand could express it's feelings, it wouldn't always be grateful. The oyster may even resent the pain that it has to go through at times. If you had a rock in your shoe all the time, it would get annoying after a while right? But the oyster doesn't give up. It keeps working through the pain, through the irritation. The oyster keeps fighting until one day, there's no longer a rough piece of sand inside them.

Or what about the tree that grows through the solid rock cliff. How much do you think that seed had to fight? Do you think it may have wanted to give up at times? If a tree could feel, I bet it would have moments of discouragement. Not every seed that drops in a miniscule crack grows. Only some grow, but it isn't easy. They have to withstand a variety of circumstances and trials. When they reach the point of breaking through, though, it's beautiful...a testament of perseverance through pain and suffering.

When this life gets to be too much we have to remind ourselves to look forward, we have to fight to keep push through the pain. Because in the end there will be beauty that comes, whether we see it (or believe it) now or not. These days, it's hard to hold onto that believe it. I get tired of fighting like everyone else. But I have to hold on, to have hope in the Lord, because His promise is clear...

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:3-5

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Dreams...What's the Point?

During my childhood/early teen years I had a lot of nightmares. No matter what I did, I couldn't get them to stop. I would get so frustrated because they were so vivid. Some weeks I wouldn't sleep a lot. I remember a couple times waking up and thinking what I had dreamed about had actually happened. There are some I still remember as though they happened last night, that still terrify me. I would ask the Lord over and over "Why am I having these dreams? What is the point?", but I wouldn't get an answer. Eventually I started asking to not dream at all. It was difficult to go to sleep sometimes, knowing the nightmares would come. I didn't understand at that point that God had given me authority over them, so I did the only thing I knew how and asked Him to take the dreaming - good and bad - away because it was too much. So He did. I didn't dream about anything for a long time, many years. But I still carried around the question: "what is the purpose of dreaming if it frequently turns into a nightmare?".

During college, somewhere around 20, I wanted to start dreaming again. I figured I was older and should be able to handle what comes at me a lot better, so I asked God if I could dream again. Just as He took them away, He let them come back. Slowly, but they came back. For a little while there were no nightmares, and then they came back full force; especially when I was sleeping in certain places. They became vivid more often, with greater emotion inflicted. This time around, though, I would talk with people about what to do. I started praying before going to bed. If I had a nightmare during the night, I would pray every time it would wake me up. And I kept asking the Lord, "What is the purpose of dreaming?".

Gradually the nightmares lessened. I still dreamed, but less often. When I did dream, it would become ingrained in my mind, more real. Eventually I started writing them down, whether nightmare or not. I went to a dream seminar to learn about interpreting dreams and to try and understand better the purpose of them. But it wasn't until today that I really heard and accepted the answer to my question.

Dreams are the Lord's way of speaking to us. Nightmares come from Satan trying to rob us of communication with Him. (I have noticed that friends of mine who receive many dreams from the Lord, often started out having many nightmares.) Of course not all dreams are from the Lord. Some occur because of what we think about during the day, or stressful situations in life. However, they always show us things about ourselves or others. We can't control things when we are dreaming. We can't stop ourselves, while sleeping, from dreaming. Don't ever discard a dream or nightmare. Write them down. Pray about them. Because there is always something being said through them, you just need to find it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year

There are so many people I have spoken with about the year 2013 over the past several weeks. Most of those people have expressed that 2013 was a very difficult year. It was a year of painful growth, a year of many sorrows, a year of just plain awfulness. I can absolutely say that 2013 was probably one of the most difficult years of my life as of yet. There were a lot of lows, more than I would like to remember. Thankfully there were also some really fantastic, outright glorious moments as well.  What is it about this past year that created such difficulty for so many people? What is the Lord planning for this year? Tell you what, it can only be great things.

I am so thankful 2013 is over. There was a change in the air as 2014 rolled in this morning. A hope for new and better things from the Lord. A difference in atmosphere as my friends and I brought in the new year with prayer and an extensive (2.5 hour) dance party. There was relief. Relief at knowing we will never have to live through last year again. Relief in feeling a difference. No matter how tired we all were, we could stop celebrating a new beginning. So...

Happy New Year! And may God bring abundance to you this year. :)