Every time I look at my dog
I stop and think
How easy life must be for you
To not have to hear
Or to worry about the future
Or to feel angry or misunderstood
Oh how easy life must be for you
Every time I look at my dog
I stop and think
How easy life must be for you
To not have to hear
Or to worry about the future
Or to feel angry or misunderstood
Oh how easy life must be for you
I feel like a broken record when I say this, but here it is again.
This transition has been nothing less than difficult. With transitions comes inevitable change – friendships, environment, and seasons of life (long-distance and applying for grad school). Though I knew this year was going to be hard for me in many ways, I knew it was also going to be a good one too. I knew that God was going to challenge me, grow me, and strengthen me as I rediscovered what it meant to place my identity in Him instead of other things like man’s recognition, man’s praise, man’s words, titles, responsibilities, academics, image, and so much more. All those things have been so prevalent in my life from when I was a freshman in high school to a senior in college. Coming back home, all of that has been stripped away. I knew that though, but no matter how much I tried to prepare myself for it, I knew it was going to be one heck of a ride.
There was something freeing in not having anymore responsibilities and titles placed on me. It felt like a weight was lifted from my chest, but at the same time, it’s scary. For something that I once identified with and held so dear to my heart, it was hard to be stripped from all of that – like a part of me disappeared, like I didn’t really know who I was anymore. And that’s where the journey begins…where God revealed to me these newfound discoveries about myself as I was tempted and overcome by the evil one, but redeemed by His abundant grace.
For a week or so now I guess you could say I felt a lot of spiritual warfare. I recently found out that the way that satan attacks me is through my thoughts. All he has to do is place one thought in my head, and though I try to fight against him and to remind myself of God’s truths, it’s hard. I eventually let my insecurities and fears take over my thoughts, and then I would speak and act out on fear and a plethora of other emotions. What doesn’t help is that my emotions go everywhere and so whatever I say and however I say it gets twisted and muddled because I can’t even verbalize what I’m thinking nor do I know what’s going on because I can’t think straight. In those moments, I was fearful and insecure and in a weak state of mind. I got so tired of fighting that my body just kind of gave in, and as each day went by, it felt like I was getting weaker as he was getting stronger – like he was creating the illusion that God wasn’t there to help me. Kinda scary, huh?
But as I’ve taken a lot of time to reflect and process through everything, God turned and redeemed all of my brokenness and sinfulness into something beautiful. After the first incident, someone told me to spend time with God – which granted, I had already stopped because I didn’t feel like He was doing much – so I did. She told me not to just splurge out everything to Him but to ask Him to reveal my heart to me. Why was I feeling the way I was? Where was all of this coming from? What’s the root of the issue? As I prayed, worshiped, and stared at my computer for a while, I decided to blog. My mind felt clearer, my emotions subsided, and everything started to make sense.
I found myself tapping into a lot of past hurt from my experiences growing up, and it was really difficult for me to look back at something that I had pushed aside for so long. It was paining, really, to delve into it and to discover how intricately connected my past was to my present and how it was only now that I was experiencing the repercussions of those experiences. Every fight, every issue, and every conversation now had a sense of clarity. In the midst of flared emotions and raised voices it was hard to process and to take a step back to breathe and to pinpoint what exactly it was that was going on.
Though, yes, a lot of my emotions stemmed from my past experiences, I’m learning that it is still incredibly difficult to control my emotions so I don’t act too rashly on them. I’m learning that even though I said I was trying to get better at it, I still fail greatly many times after. I’m learning that satan uses our slip-ups to his advantage to twist the truth by twisting the situation and our thoughts. I’m learning that even though he does that…it’s always okay in the end. Why? Because I have seen over and over and over again God’s faithfulness and sovereignty as He sheds light into what seems to be complete darkness. And though I was tempted, though I fell short, though I succumbed to my emotions and the lies…God redeemed me. He took all of that and showed me something greater – His constant goodness and His abundant grace. Even though I know my brokenness and my sinfulness and my shortcomings and everything that makes me ugly, God sees something beautiful. He sees His child. He sees so much potential in my growth in becoming more like Him. He sees what we don’t see when we’re blinded by the truth-stained lies that satan planted in our head. He knows where we’ve gone astray and the best part of it all? He knows how to get us back and to bring beauty and light into the darkness of our lives.
Though it was tough, God revealed a lot about myself that I didn’t understand clearly before, and I feel like I can equip myself better because of it. I know now that my identity has never fully been placed in Him before, and I’m on the road to understanding what that means and what that looks like. I know now that my emotions are not reliable and are often twisted by the lies, insecurities, and fears in my head. I know now that satan loves to use disagreements, arguments, and struggles as opportunities to attack and do damage on relationships with people and with God. I know now how to fight back. Though there will be times when I feel weak, He is strong. Though there will be times where I feel lost and helpless, He is my guide and helper. Though there will be times where I feel misunderstood, He knows my heart. Though there will be times where I feel ugly, He sees me as beautiful.
It’s been a crazy 2 months, and though the aftermath of this storm is still riding out its waves, I know God will heal the wounds that I’ve inflicted on myself and on other people over time. He is our gracious redeemer who brings peace and comfort to all, and with Him, I am victorious.
Thank you, God, for revealing yourself to me and for this faithful discovery.
I knew coming into this season of life would be full of transitions, hardships, and growth, but of course, you never know how difficult it really is until you get there.
Well, I’m there
and it’s just not fair, y’know? I knew long distance with my boyfriend would be hard, but I didn’t know it was going to be this hard. Not having his physical person here is hard, not being able to call him up and hang with him whenever we’re free is hard, not being able to run to him through my highs and lows is hard, not being able to be there physically for each other when we’re struggling is hard, not being able to experience certain things together is hard…and the list goes on.
While I know that living independently, being apart, and experiencing life on our own is good in its own sense, it’s still hard. It’s frustrating, really. I think mostly because I see all these couples around me – finding small groups together, celebrating little things together, experiencing these changes together, and my boyfriend is…thousands of miles away. It just sucks, and I’m angry that this is how it is for now and that there’s nothing I can do about it. I guess that’s just part of the transition, huh.
Part of why long-distance has been so hard for me is because as I’m transitioning in my life stage, my relationship is undergoing its own transition, and the two are so closely intertwined. If I’m struggling with one thing in life, it’s somehow projected onto my relationship and vice versa. Even this! All of this anger and confusion was projected towards my boyfriend while we were talking, and I was snarky which led us into a heated discussion about a touchy subject (oops).
I know this is just something that will pass over time, and I have to learn to be okay but for now…
it’s not fair.
I love birthdays.
There’s something special about this one day where you can surround yourself with your friends and family. This one day where people allow you to be a little bit selfish. This one day where you can’t help but smile because your heart is happy and full.
But today was different. Maybe it’s because I’m growing up and I’m transitioning into this new life stage that it’s different – I don’t know. You see, in years’ past I always had a huge celebration – the kind of celebration that was exactly what was described above. Today…I celebrated with one of my best friends. It was great, don’t get me wrong, but it was really different from all my past birthdays. I tried so hard to convince myself today that this whole week was technically to ‘celebrate’ my birthday…my boyfriend came to town on Saturday, I’m meeting with my cousin on Thursday, and I’m going shopping this weekend. But at the end of the day, I guess today was the day that really mattered to me. It’s still my birthday, y’know? I know this may be a really trivial thing, birthdays and all, but this transition into adulthood has been really difficult for me, and no matter how many birthday wishes I received on Facebook, they’re not here, with me. Coming back home, I realize that I’m basically starting all over from scratch. Not really having any hometown friends left except a few, I have to develop new relationships, which is fine. Things are going great, don’t get me wrong! It’s just the unfortunate thing is that building a relationship with someone takes time, and it’s only been a couple of weeks. So even though I know I have people that love me, and I have friends, I still can’t help but feel this alone on my birthday. Sigh maybe this is just how it is when you get older…you still have to go to school, you still have to go to work, and you just celebrate with less people. No matter how I felt earlier today or how much I prepped myself for the emotions that were to come, at the end of the day….today was okay.
So here I am, the day is coming to an end, and though my house is filled with light, I feel dark and sad inside. And with about 30 minutes to go…
I loved birthdays.
In the midst of your struggles, your insecurities, and the lies that speak louder than the voice in your head…
Don’t forget that you have people. You may not have a “group” like you’ve always dreamed of, but God has placed good and true people in your life as a source of joy, comfort, and encouragement during your most troubled times. These friends have weathered through some of the toughest transitions and circumstances with you and never left your side once. These friends supported you and stood by you even when things got really messy. These friends kept up with you even if you were thousands of miles away. These friends care and adore you and will always want to meet up with you no matter how long it’s been. Don’t forget that you are not alone. Loneliness is but a fog that keeps you from seeing what you already have in front of you. It’s a trap that makes you believe that you are lost and alone forever while it snuffs out the light that you know is there. It’s about perspective because in that moment, you may believe you are lonely, but you really aren’t. You never will be. God’s with you every step of the way, and with Him darkness never wins. He will guide and protect you as you fall into this pit of despair – all you have to do is look up.
Don’t forget that he chose you. He didn’t choose any other girl – he chose you. He chose to pursue your heart and a relationship with you. He chose to be courageous and vulnerable despite how difficult it was for him. He chose you even though in his head he thought that door was already closed. Don’t forget that he cares. No matter how long or how intense a talk may be, he’s there. He sits in those long silences and listens, talks, and processes with you. Even if he has homework or if he’s really tired, he’ll sit there and work it out until everything’s okay. He accepts you and loves you for who you are – ugly crying and everything. He looks forward to talking to you whether it’s online, through video chat, or in person. He wants to see you, and he wants to know about what’s going on in your life. Don’t forget that he loves you. He may not express it out loud very often, but he does with his actions. He’s cooked, cleaned, and walked your dog for you. He tells you to text him when you get home whenever you drive back home. He took care of you when you were sick, tucked you into bed when you were too tired to walk, and he’s made it up to you whenever he’s messed up. Even when everything seems to be so terribly wrong, everything written above is true and stands true no matter what your thoughts and emotions say otherwise. This is true.
Don’t forget that God loves you. He created you in His image and breathed life into you. He sent His son down to die for you on the cross so that you can be with Him. Your worth and value is in nothing else but Him. No matter how many times you mess up, God loves you nonetheless. His love for you is unconditional, and His grace is plentiful. No matter how far away you may feel from Him, He is always seeking after you and your heart. He knows every fiber of your being, and this is but a season of growth where God is continually molding you to become more like Him. He is constant. He’s faithful and good, and He always will be. In your darkest times, He was there. He gave you a sense of peace and comfort that you wouldn’t have any other way. He’s blessed you with friends, family, and a comfortable way of life. He’s given you opportunities to further His kingdom and opportunities to be a blessing to others. Everything He’s done, He’s done with your best interest at heart.
Don’t forget these truths
in the midst of your struggles, your insecurities, and the lies that speak louder than the voice in your head…don’t forget.
13 days until I walk across the stage only to close a chapter to begin another.
Months and days ago, I was excited – ready. Ready to leave, ready to move on, and ready to embark on this new and upcoming season of life. I was ready.
It was all bittersweet.
A tinge of happiness and excitement paired with a reminiscent sadness. I wasn’t ready to leave the place that had been “home” for the past 4 years, and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to what was familiar and comfortable – to my friends and “family”. I wasn’t ready.
So here I am…13 days until I walk across the stage only to close a chapter to begin another, and the excitement is fading as the fear is creeping in.
Scared that every lie and twisted thought I had once thought before would come true when I return back home to a place that’s familiar yet unfamiliar all at the same time. Scared of all the hardships that inevitably come with transition and change and scared to start all over again to find where I belong in a puzzle that I once fit in.
I feel vulnerable.
Like I’m being stripped away of everything I once knew only to be bare and naked in a world that was once a familiar place. No recollection of who I was before this downward spiraling cycle of self-worth and identity. So who am I? Who am I without the titles, the responsibilities, the roles? Vulnerable to change and falsehood, a blank slate is what describes this uneasy and terrifying feeling.
But I know.
I know that change is hard. I know that with transitions comes growth. I know that this will not be easy, but I know it will be worth it. I know there will be good that comes from this, and it will be okay because I know God’s got me. So I mustn’t let fear control me – I must let go. I must protect and guard myself against the attacks and the lies that are thrown at me and lean into who God is to remind myself of His constant and good truths.
So here I am…13 days until I walk across the stage only to close a chapter to begin another – ready for the challenges and the hardships that I may face in the upcoming year.
I finally finished one of my many books that I bought 3 years ago LOL
A lot of what I read really stuck out to me and spoke into my life, so I wanted to consolidate it all in one place rather than having to flip through my book later down the road haha so here we are 😛
God simply conveyed, I’m able. I’m enough for you. Right now you doubt I have a purpose in all of this, but please…trust me.
A life of prayer is the qualitative difference made in one’s relationship with God.
Perfect peace comes only through relating with the Peacemaker himself.
The truth of the matter is that God is anything but reluctant to hear from his children. He’s your Father and he wants to hear what you have to say.
Pray regularly. Pray privately. Pray sincerely. Pray specifically.
If prayer is important to you, then you’ll find time to do it.
Faith comes by looking at God, not at the mountain. God is ready to use me. And when I focus on God instead of my mountain, he channels through me his grace and his power.
My prayers were futile because I was looking at my inadequacy instead of God’s adequacy.
God gives us faith as we walk by his side.
If the request is wrong, God says, “No.” If the timing is wrong, God says, “Slow.” If you are wrong, God says “Grow.” But if the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, “Go!”
Authentic Christians are persons who stand apart from others, even other Christians, as though listening to a different drummer. Their character seems deeper, their ideas fresher, their spirit softer, their courage greater, their leadership stronger, their concerns wider, their compassion more genuine and their convictions more concrete. They are joyful in spite of difficult circumstances and show wisdom beyond their years.
The archenemy of spiritual authenticity is busyness.
If you remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and cooperate with them as you receive them, you can trust him to guide you into the truth and to help you grow up as a Christian.
All promptings that come from God are consistent with his Word, the Bible. God’s promptings are usually consistent with the person he made you to be. God’s promptings usually involve servanthood.
When you increase you awareness of God’s presence, you gain divine companionship, supernatural confidence, and increased compassion for other human beings.
What you just read were all excerpts from the book, ‘Too Busy Not To Pray – Slowing Down to Be with God’, so if you liked it or are a busy body like me, I highly recommend checking out this book! It’s good stuff (: