Tag Archives: Christianity

I Surrendered My Heart: Completely

“I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:26-27

I have surrendered before, but not whole-heartedly. The bible even says that we should hand our whole heart over to the Lord. Proverbs 23:26 says, “My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.”

Notice that it doesn’t say My son, let your eyes observe my ways then give me your heart. That’s not how it works. Faith is believing in the unseen.

I love what 2 Corinthians 4:18 has to say about this. “As we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

But the things that are unseen are eternal.

Let that sink in for a minute.

With that being said, I surrendered my heart. I asked God to give me a new heart, and to bring Jesus into my life. I’ve learned more about Jesus and God in the last couple of weeks than I have the entire (almost) 22 years I have been alive.

I am nowhere near perfect. I am nowhere near deserving of this unconditional love that God gave me by sending his son to die for my sins. I am a mortal. A broken mortal. But if there’s anything that I have learned, it’s that God uses broken people for his glory. I mean Jesus associated with the broken people in His lifetime.

How can one be saved by Jesus if he/she was never broken to begin with? If we were never broken to begin with, we wouldn’t need to be saved. Now would we?

One of my biggest problems was men. I am friends with mostly men (I’ve been praying for that to change), I want a real romantic relationship with a man and I am so boy crazy that I go chasing love to try and fill that empty void that I have had.

When my sponsor told me that she wanted me to stay single for a year, I (internally) freaked out. How am I going to do this? I can’t do this! I like looking at them too much.

Today, I’m not freaking out. I have Jesus. He is the only Love that I need right now. And I intend to use the next 365 days wisely. I want to continue to grow in His word and let his Spirit move me in ways I won’t be able to fathom. I’m looking forward to this journey now. God has someone for me, but in His time and He wants me to know Him first.

Thank you all for going on this journey with me. I am excited for the future.

I was lost, but I have been found again.

Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Advertisements

Depression Isn’t Crying All the Time

I’ve been fighting this battle for 8 years.

I’m so sick of people telling me that it’s going to get better. I’m sick of people telling me that it will all work out.

I’m sick of people trying to tell me to rely on God.

Praying, reading the Bible, and listening to God isn’t what’s going to get my bills paid. It’s not going to make me feel better.

Depression isn’t crying all the time. Depression is isolating yourself, your own brain convincing you that nobody cares, that nobody wants you around, etc.

Depression is wanting to do nothing but sleep all day.

Depression is feeling emotionally numb and socially detached.

Depression is mustering up the energy just to wake up, shower, and look decent.

I realized I know nothing about God. I’ve learned that there’s a fine line between acknowledging who he is, and actually having faith. I’ve realized that I just acknowledge his existence.

I know I should be doing these things. Just a few months ago I was on fire for this. I had given my testimony, started this blog, and reading. However, I was reading something I didn’t fully understand.

I saw my therapist today for the first time in two months and I’ve made the decision to go back onto anti depressants. However, just because I am on medication DOES NOT mean that I am not allowed to have a bad day.

Just because I have a bad day DOES NOT mean that I am not taking my medication. I want to make that perfectly clear.

I want to be a better daughter. A better friend. A better Christian. One that actually has faith and not just acknowledges that God sent his one and only son down on earth to be crucified for all of mankind.

I don’t want to fight with my Dad all the time. I want to be useful for something. I don’t want to have to keep relying on the bottle to help make me feel better temporarily.

But I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to live, but I don’t want to die either. If something happened. If I get into a car accident on my way home one night and died before the paramedics got there, I wouldn’t care. But I’m not going to commit suicide. I don’t have suicidal thoughts. I refuse to put my parents through that.

I didn’t ask to be born, but I was. And that I do have to deal with. I have to deal with my own existence. I shouldn’t have to “deal with my own existence” I should want to live.

I don’t have any other vices left. Things that used to make me happy, no longer make me happy.

I don’t want to play my piano. I don’t want to read. I don’t want to write. I don’t want to talk to my family (sorry Mom, Granny, Dad, and Grandma. It’s not you).

Depression is a deep well that you have to climb yourself out of. However, right now, I can’t climb out.

Depression is walking in the middle of an Earthquake, but you’re slipping through the cracks and you have nothing to hold on to. My ground started out unsteady, but it’s turning into a full sized earthquake that I can’t stop.

The only person I can trust right now is my sponsor, and that alone was a hard thing to do.

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

What Paul Can Teach Us About Reflections

I finally bought a planner yesterday and have my week planned out until Sunday. How refreshing it is to have something that helps me to stay on task.

Today, we are going to be looking at Acts 26 where Paul is standing in front of King Agrippa over some charges in which Paul was innocent. The charge basically boils down to spreading the news of Jesus and the Gospel.

Acts 26:9-11 is probably one of my favorite verses.

“I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.”

Reading this passage almost makes me think of a bounty hunter. Except with a bounty hunter, they are hunting for people that haven’t paid off their bail bonds. Not their faith.

However, one of the many reasons why I love Paul is that he’s not afraid to admit what kind of person he was before his conversation with Jesus. It’s almost like he’s not ashamed. He admits that this was the kind of person that he was. However, if you read on, Paul tells King Agrippa about his encounter with Jesus. What happened, and the person that he became after his encounter with Jesus.

I think it’s important that we reflect on who we were before coming to Christ every once in awhile. It’s a reminder of who we were before and what we don’t want to be like. I think it’s important that we compare who we were to who we are now as a way to see how much we’ve grown.

People say we should forget our old selves because that’s not who we are anymore, but if we do that, we won’t know what we don’t want to be.

I’m still early in recovery, and I get these thoughts daily. “You’re not an alcoholic. You’re just fine.” If I want to keep my sobriety, then I have to analyze how I drank in the past.

Not only that, but constantly remembering who we were and comparing it to who we are now helps make for a great testimony. We can record what we were like, and what we are like now.

It’s like we made a copy of ourselves. Same features. Same eyes. Same hair. We’re looking at the copy of ourselves, and they look back at us. We look at our old self and see the suffering on their face. It’s a reminder of what led us to the suffering and what brought us out. What led is to God.

“After they left the room, they began saying to one another: This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment. Agrippa said to Festus, This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Ceaser.” Acts 26:31-32

I’m not sure why Paul could have been set free if he had not appealed to Ceaser, but one thing I do know. Paul wasn’t imprisoned at that moment. Paul didn’t die. Paul was doing the same thing other people were doing when Paul was persecuting them.

2 Corinthians 5:7 says “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 

Paul wanted to appeal to Ceaser. Paul used to work for Ceaser, persecuting people in Ceaser’s name. Do you see how this could have gone so wrong?

Instead, he was sentenced back to Rome, which I guess is more like a parole/house arrest type thing. I’m not 100% sure but we will get more into that next time.

Photo by Brandon Wong on Unsplash

Giving My Testimony

Just an update, I added a new page to my blog.

It’s called “My Testimony.”

I wanted to make a video because I feel like it becomes more personal if you can see the person sharing. I was going to record it while I was sharing it at my church, but completely forgot.

I thank God that I have reached a point where I can feel like I can share my story. I pray that someone becomes impacted.

I wasn’t able to post the video directly, so I had to post it onto youtube. Feel free to check it out here

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Exhausted, But Worth it.

This blog post couldn’t have come at a better time. This past Thursday, I went to my college group at my church and my leader talked about how we strive towards something that we think is worth it (the series is called Marching On: Marching Toward Jesus).

As I have posted previously, I lost my job last Thursday. I was freaking out, but I knew it would all be okay. I sent in an app to the University of Michigan as a temp employee and had this feeling that I should wait a few days and see what happens. So I did.

Looking back, I know that was God. This past Monday, I got a call from someone I knew from my old job. I asked if I could call her back because I was getting ready to walk into class to take my midterm. She asked for 5 minutes so I said ok. She told me about someone she knew who ran a factory for Dunkin’ Donuts. He needed people. So I asked her for his number and that I’d call him tomorrow (Tuesday). So I did. By 3 pm on Tuesday I met with him and toured the facility.

He told me how much I’d be making (only $1 less than my last job), medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as paid time off. It was a different environment than what I was used to but there was no way I’d go back to working fast food (no offense Wendy’s! I still love you). I ended up getting hired in on the spot. My first day was this past Saturday. The shifts are different because they’re mids (I start at two) but it’s well worth it.

As much as I loved my previous job, this job is by far better. My boss is flexible with my schedule, I have benefits, I have PTO, a paid break, and I always have something to do. I’m nowhere near a clock either so I’m not really focused on the time.

I love my previous job and I still visit. However, there’s a reason it didn’t work out and I’m somewhat glad that it didn’t. I can move up at this new job if I do well enough. I couldn’t do that with my last job. My former boss said something to me during the short time I was unemployed. She said, “you are so much better than this job.” and I’m beginning to think she’s right.

Even though I’m now working 9-10 hour shifts, my feet are sore when I get home, as well as my back, it’s worth it. The pain is worth it.

Just like my journey and growing closer with God. It’s tough, it isn’t always easy. It won’t be easy. I’ll face trouble and hard times, but in the end I know it’s worth it.

I’m excited.

Also, I have built up the courage to give my testimony at my college group. Not sure when it’ll be just yet, but keep your eye out for the date. If you’re interested in attending, please email me via the email in the contact section of my blog.

I will also ask someone to record it and will be posting it onto here.

As far as my bible journey goes, I tried to write them on a daily basis, but that isn’t going to work. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursdays are my off days so I’ll try to blog then.

Thank you guys for being so supportive and loving. You have no idea how much it means.

Take care and God bless.

John 17: Prayer

What would you do knowing that you were going to die at the expense of other people? For the expense of other people? People you don’t even know, people from thousands of years from now?

You may think this question is similar to yesterday’s question. However, yesterday was about reaction to the known certainty that you were going to die. Today is about what you would actually do.

Before Jesus was crucified, he said a prayer for glory, for his disciples, and for his believers. He wanted to make sure that even after he was gone, God would watch over them.

“I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.” John 17:11

Jesus wanted protection for the people from evil. After all, he did preach about God and nobody believed him! That’s why he got crucified! Nobody believed he was the Son of God and thought he was an imposter.

Jesus also acknowledged that not everybody would come to know Him or God. John 17:25-26 says “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

This particular verse to me is important. Not only does it acknowledge that Jesus knew that some people wouldn’t believe even though His (Jesus) work was done. He hinted at the fact that he would rise from the dead when he said “and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them…” 

I say this because my human instinct wants to think “how can a person make an impact and make God known after they’re dead?” Then the resurrection came in mind. The final step in fulfilling the prophecy.

The Bible has so many stories that have been tossed from generation to generation keeping God and Jesus very much alive. One thing we must remember is that God does answer our prayers in ways we might not always understand, but it’s important to maintain that mindset.

You can ask God for a sign all you want when you’re struggling and beginning to question if he’s really there, but don’t expect it to happen right away. Remember, God knows your struggles before you even pray to him. He knows what is on your mind, your heart, and your soul.

Prayer is one of our connections with God and Jesus. Reading the Bible and going to Church isn’t enough to maintain a good relationship with the Almighty. They all play a significant part. Jesus demonstrated that very well throughout the gospels of the New Testament.

Luke 15: The Parable of the Lost Son

Luke 15 has a few good parables about the lost and found. However, the parable of the Lost Son is my favorite because not only is it about the lost and found, but it’s about forgiveness too.

A father with two sons who is working on a farm. One of the sons wanted his inheritance early so he asked his father for it. His father gave it to him, and the son took off. Spending each and everything he had. Spending his entire inheritance and throwing it away on foolish things.

A famine hit and he had no choice but to go home. He was full of shame. He was full of so much shame he was willing to work for his father as a servant. However, the exact opposite happened. The father was happy he was back and threw a giant feast in his honor.

The other brother-the one that was loyal to his father became angry when he heard that his brother had returned, maybe even a bit jealous. Luke 15:29-30 he says: “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” 

So what does the bible say about jealousy?

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30

“Surely resentment destroys the fool, and jealousy kills the simple.” Job 5:2

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.” Mark 7:21-22

Basically, jealousy and envy is dangerous to the heart and soul. It is something we must not carry in our hearts because it represents hate. As I’ve mentioned before on the Sermon of the Mount part One, hating someone is just as bad as killing them.

The son was loyal and received nothing. Yet the brother was selfish and received everything. That sure does sound like jealousy to me. His father replies back in Luke 15:31-32: “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

It wasn’t so much that the father thought that the selfish brother was better than the loyal brother, but rather the selfish brother realized what he did was wrong and that he sinned. He wanted forgiveness. The only reason the father had killed a fattened calf was because it was a celebration that the lost son was no longer lost.

Sometimes, we have to learn lessons the hard way before we truly understand God and who he is. It might take just one conviction, or a thousand. That’s exactly what this son was going through.

Sometimes, we have a deeper understanding of something if we learn it the hard way. I know I had to learn some things the hard way, and I’m still suffering. This journey isn’t easy for me. I don’t try to act like I know everything about the bible and everything about the stories within, I just interpret them to the best of my ability and I pray about it and discuss what I think the message is behind it.