Insert Witty Post Title Here

Often, when I write a post, I write about a topic that God has laid on my heart. Today I am simply going to write about what He is speaking to me today. If it resonates with you, that’s fantastic, but today’s post is for me.

I have struggled a lot lately with frustration and anger regarding my past and how it affects my present and future. It’s so easy for me to look at the evil going on in the situation, and wonder why God isn’t doing something about it. This is a slippery slope because God knows way more than I do, and I have no desire to try to take His job. But I still have to fight against the bitterness that works to worm its way into my heart.

What usually sets me off is a not-so-casual display of the person’s wealth (mixed with complaints of how “poor” they are). I might make a tenth of what this person makes this year, and while I have no room to complain (God has provided one way or another every step of the way), it still infuriates me sometimes. Other times it’s easy to blow it off and move on.

It’s also really difficult for me to be portrayed as a liar when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even my lawyer, during divorce meetings, would tell me I was honest to a fault, and coached me (a few times) on how to tell the truth without telling everything I know. God is my vindication, and it shouldn’t matter to me what other people think. To be honest, it’s not really even so much what people think as it is indignation at the injustice of it. And the fact that right now, the perpetrator(s) are getting away with it.

So I’m really struggling lately. Can I just raise my hand right now and say yes, I am human? Because I am really, really human.

In spite of these struggles, in spite of the seeming unfairness of it all, I cling to God’s faithfulness. I know that His Word promises that we reap what we sow and that the evil will find their end.

Today as I was doing my devotions, I found a couple verses that were particularly encouraging for me.

Those who obey Him will not be punished. Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right, for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble.

Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 NLT

Perhaps you read that and are thinking, “Wait, what? How is that encouraging her in what she’s going through right now?” Let me explain.

The last couple weeks I have been struggling with motivation. My thoughts have been along the lines of why bother, what’s the point, etc. I felt that because this person was getting away with the evil things that they have said/done and the things they are still saying/doing, that somehow parts of my life had lost their purpose. Today I was reminded that this simply isn’t true. It doesn’t matter how this evil affects my life. It doesn’t matter how hurtful it is. I can still do what’s right, I can still keep plugging along, and I can still keep pursuing my calling(s) regardless. What God thinks of my life is what matters. It doesn’t matter what my friends, family, coworkers, enemies, or the Walmart greeter thinks of my life. It really doesn’t even matter much what I think, because I am finite and cannot see the big picture, so sometimes what I think is wrong.

So today I picked up the sword that I had dropped when I started comparing how things are to how I thought they should be. I surrendered each situation to God, and I am ready to keep fighting. I will live my life according to what my Creator has called me to, and none other. It will likely require daily surrender cause God knows I’m weak in this area. But we aren’t promised that life will be easy.

My pastor shared a very important question during his message yesterday – a question asked by Mark Batterson. “When did we [as Christians] start believing that God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things?”

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Jesus, John 16:33 NLT

Kisses To The Holy Spirit

I work for a nonprofit that provides helpers for adults with developmental disabilities. I cannot share any personal details of the ladies I work with, but something happened yesterday that really blessed me.

Out of the three ladies that I work with, I work with one the most – the other two are in day programs during the majority of my weekly shifts. Let’s call the woman that I work with the most Mary.

Mary has had a very hard life. Despite the difficulties she has faced, she loves God with all of her heart. She reads her Bible every day, and when she wants to talk to God, she talks out loud.

There are times during my shift that it is my job to spend time with her. Mostly we watch Gunsmoke together on TV Land, but we also put a Gaither playlist together on my Spotify account because that is the kind of music she loves. (I’m not crazy about country gospel, but I’m crazy about Mary, so it’s well worth the sacrifice.)

The other day I had had a particularly good devotional time, and I felt prompted to share some of the Scriptures I read with Mary. After reading each one, we talked about what it meant, and I could tell that Mary was really enjoying it. At one point we talked about the Holy Spirit (even though the Holy Spirit was not specifically mentioned in the Scriptures I was reading to her). Mary told me that she is so grateful for the Holy Spirit because He is always with her and keeps her company. As I continued to read from the Bible, Mary began to kiss the air. She had a look of such joy on her face as she did so. I asked her if she was kissing the Holy Spirit and she said yes. She said that no one can see Him but He never leaves her alone.

Today we had other things that needed done that prevented us from reading the Bible together, but multiple times I observed her giving kisses to the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to have a child-like faith. This woman is strong, wise, and smart despite the struggles of her past, and in spite of all these things – good and bad – she loves God and trusts in Him like a child trusts. Unwavering faith. She has told me before that there is a reason that God has allowed her to go through what she has. She doesn’t know what the reason is, but that doesn’t matter to her. All that matters is that she trusts God.

God, give me a faith like Mary’s.

Best Not To Assume

I had originally planned that my first blog post back would be about something else – and that post is still coming – but yesterday I learned an important lesson…again. It’s one I’ve learned many times before, but I seem to have difficulty getting it through my thick skull.

I had been corresponding by email with someone and I completely misunderstood something they said to me. Because of this misunderstanding, I thought the worst about them, even though the truth was the complete opposite of what I assumed.

The misunderstanding is not what I am ashamed of. Misunderstandings happen – especially when you are discussing something important with someone who is not physically before you. I am ashamed because I shared my assumptions with others as fact. This was wrong of me, and I have been sure to let everyone know that I was wrong. But it doesn’t change the fact that I should have known better.

I should have known better for three reasons – one, because this has happened to me before. Two, because I know that it is not a good idea to discuss important topics through a text-based conversation because so much gets misinterpreted when you can’t see facial expressions or hear tone of voice. Three, because this person has done so much good in my life.

I have difficulty trusting people these days. Many people that I thought I could trust have proven otherwise, and it makes me quick to believe that people are not who I thought they were. However, I still should not have jumped to conclusions. I should have given this person the benefit of the doubt – just like I want others to give me.

I am usually pretty good with words. I could write blog posts that make it look like I have it all together, that I make few mistakes, like I know exactly what I am doing all the time. But that is not real. First and foremost, I want to be real. Not throw my dirty laundry in your face and tell you to deal with it real. Not stand on my soapbox and tell you exactly what I think about everything real. Transparent real. As in, this is who I am, warts and all (I don’t actually have warts though). There is enough playing pretend on the internet already. You don’t need another feel good blog that actually makes you feel worse because you can’t figure out how to fix your life. I can’t fix my life either.

But I know who can. I know that every time I get the breath knocked out of me, there is someone there who helps me get back on my feet. This is the part that might sound cheesy, but it’s true. That someone is God. He keeps showing up in marvelous ways. He has yet to drop a few thousand dollars, a really nice house, or a brand new car in my lap, but He has met all my needs. And to be honest, at this stage in my life, I don’t want a really nice house or a brand new car. I have my hands contentedly full with the life that I currently have.

So if you get anything from this blog tonight (this morning?), get this. Don’t assume. Be real.

God bless!