My control, that is. I was neither created to, nor am I required to handle everything — despite any desires to want to fix problems, like hurt, pain, and anguish. But MAN, I often wish that I could because it’s hard to endure hardship and to witness anyone else going through it. VERY HARD! But God uses the craziness to reveal things about me.
Two totally different circumstances jacked me UP recently — adjusting to the death of my sweet, innocent niece and observing another’s negative self-image. Both of these surfaced my desire to fix things, but each circumstance left me with no answer except to turn to God. Talk about a humbling experience!
A. Death can bring such unexpected yet enduring grief that all I want to do is ease the blow and lighten the load for my loved ones, so this grief wouldn’t last any longer than necessary. But that’s not how the process works. Grief always finds you out — no matter how much you think you’re “handling” it. (Insert a side eye with a “hmph” right here!) Adjusting to death is also a part of life.
2. Hearing a gorgeous person disclose that one hater’s comment changed the way she viewed herself broke my heart. I wanted to muster up all the right words to say, so she could leave my presence smiling, with the reassurance that she IS BEAUTIFUL and WORTHY of love, kindness, and all good things. That didn’t happen.
I had no successful words, which made me feel like I failed. I was angry about it. I cried. My tears about not being able to “fix” the gorgeous one’s problem quickly revealed the root of my helplessness about losing a loved one. As much as I want to be helpful and make sure everyone is truly feeling okay, only God can provide spiritual, emotional, and mental comfort and wholeness. That skill set is beyond my superpowers — as it should be.
Thank you, Lord, for showing me when to hold on and persevere, and when to let go and cast my cares on you for PEACE OF MIND. With hands raised and backing away from the problems, I release all control and admit my inability and insufficiency to be omnipotent. I resolve to stay in my lane.
Prayer I can do. A smile or a hug? I gochuuu! Run some errands? I can do that too. Hanging out and laughing? I’m yo’ GURL!
We all need each other, but we need the Lord most. If you can relate, let me hear from you. How have you had to GIVE UP control?
For many years, I have dealt with fear. No, not the fear to sleep in the dark or paranoia, but fear of failure and the unknown — fear of taking risks when I don’t have or am uncertain of all the details. It’s like I’ve always needed someone’s approval or a special guide to hold my hand through the process. “I can’t” was my response to avoid messing up and to avoid any ridicule for not getting something right. As I’ve gotten older, I am analytical, weighing all options, often to a fault. Paralyzed. Stuck in limbo. WHICH WAY SHOULD I GO?
What’s wrong with choosing something and figuring out later that I went the wrong way? EVERYTHING!!! everything!!!
But not really — just like hitting a dead end or making a wrong turn, I can make a U-turn to the main road or the right direction. I CAN CHANGE MY MIND. I can reconnect with what works for me as I go in the right direction.
I often deduce problems with “No” or “not this, but that.” Yeah, Yeah, it sounds negative, but sometimes you have to clear the dust to get to the diamond in the rough!!! (Ha! I just rhymed. J) Weed through all the things that absolutely don’t work, are unstable, and are in the way, taking up space, until you uncover the beautiful, shiny, clear ROCK! It has weight and depth; and you can always enjoy its splendor.
But you have to press through the fear first — all the unknowns and all the “Nope, not that one.” You have to clear the dirt surrounding the jewel. Successful discoveries take trial and error and TIME. Celebrate all your effort. You are your best investment.
I would love to hear from you. What are you discovering about yourself? What have you tried that is working? What have you realized doesn’t work?
Your heart is searching and wondering when the moment will come. Your mind is trying to remain hopeful, but nothing is visible – no one in sight. You anxiously get to the point that your brain gets stuck, repeating when, where, how, and who will fill the details of love coming into your life.
You say that you’re optimistic without going overboard, but beneath all the smiles and positivity lays a deep-seated truth. You’re haunted by it without ever speaking it. You’re afraid that love will never come your way. You’ll never be in a relationship with “the one.”
The proof of this fear is in every tear that falls when infatuation isn’t reciprocated and full rejection brushes your shoulder or SLAPS you square in the face. WHAT THE HECK???!!!
Hurts, don’t it?
Yep, there it is. THE TRUTH!
This fear is a trick to get you operating in your own strength or lack thereof. Your own efforts (Colossians 2:8) to have or create (ehh emmm, MANIPULATE!) a romantic relationship would be the sum total of your anxieties and insecurities. You will operate from a point of weakness; and that’s not a good look. Seriously! You will look so desperate and unappealing (Proverbs 3:35) to a potential spouse. EPIC FAIL!!!
So let’s abandon that plan and yield to all that is sound, powerful and loving (2 Timothy 1:7). Be honest with yourself! In all of your searching, who exactly are you looking for? Who holds the full span of all that makes you happy? Let’s start there.
Our heavenly father promises an abundant life (John 10:10) and our heart’s desires if we delight in him (Psalm 37:4). We have to go to the source of love to have real fulfillment in our lives. IT IS HARD, since he’s not always handing out instant gratification. He’s not gonna give you something you’re not ready for, no matter how much YOU think YOU ARE. He’s not the father of the impatient but of the faithful (Psalm 31:23). That’s right — faith.
He’s always aiming to develop FAITH IN YOU and your love for him. If he’s going to send a spouse to you, He has to be a part of you AND this close, intimate relationship (Psalm 68:6). LOVE. GOD. FIRST! (Matthew 22:37-38) Be faithful to him FIRST (1 John 5:2). Give your heart with all sincerity to him FIRST (2 Thessalonians 3:5). Live by and trust his word FIRST (Proverbs 3:1-12).
Still there? I’m sorry if you’re not trying to hear me; I mean you no harm.
Ok. So while you and God have a thing going on, consider another person you need to consult while you’re waiting for love to come to you. You should love YOURSELF right after God and before you expect anyone else to. You can’t give, or receive, a love that you’re not used to (Matthew 22:39; 1 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 4:16).
HOW ARE YOU TREATING YOURSELF? Self-hatred is not from Jesus, and neither are self-sabotage, lack of self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, etc. (Proverbs 23:7) You are supposed to be your biggest fan, not in a prideful, everyone-else-is-worthless-compared-to-me way (Romans 12:3). The love of God should extend to you loving yourself with kindness and grace, treating yourself with proper time and care (Psalm 139:14). We can often get so busy with caring for other people that our business and ultimately our health and well-being can be neglected (Ecclesiastes 8:5).
1 Corinthians 13 applies to self-love too. Think of a child crying when other kids don’t like her and behaving differently to fit in with them. Do you give yourself kindness and patience, or are you your worst critic and heckler? Are you able to love and believe in yourself, especially with Christ dwelling in your heart? His love doesn’t allow you to abandon yourself but celebrates you where you are (1 Corinthians 13:11). Self-love is always about celebrating you in balance with God’s love for you.
Make time for you and being in your headspace, whether at home or not. A sure sign of enjoying yourself is your ability to hang out with yourself AT HOME. It’s easy to be around others in a public place or at someone else at their house, but how long can you bask in your spot? It’s your retreat and sanctuary. Maximize the space and do you! Who’s going to stop you?
· Rest and veg in front the TV (I’m an expert at this!!!)
· Work around the house or on some new project (DIYs are so gratifying!)
· Plan your budget, family gathering, career or vacations
· Whatever else you want.
So when God finally adds another person to the celebration and balance of love, you can incorporate “the one” into an appropriate space among your relationships. All of the preparation of loving God and loving yourself can now be shared with building a courtship and ultimately a marriage. When you are able to check off the MARRIED status box, you’re already familiar with creating a home environment where you and “Boo” can escape and regroup from the outside world.
The Father’s delayed gratification is purposeful (Jeremiah 29:11). Enjoy the wait; the journey is scenic with blessings and lessons along the way!
Where are you in the process…Rejected? Loving God? Loving you? Or checking off that MARRIED status box? What would you keep about the journey, and what would you do differently? Can’t wait to hear you chime in.
"Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately the man was cured of his leprosy."
Today, I am thankful (with grateful tears) for God’s willingness to love me. He loves me unconditionally without my having be like anyone else. The idea that He is WILLING overwhelms me.
He WANTS to love me. He WANTS me to succeed and enjoy good things in my life. He is WILLING to hear the cries of my heart! He is WILLING and DESIRES a relationship with me.
And not just me, with all of us! So much, that he sent Jesus to be born into time and space on the earth. He was so WILLING that he lived and experienced life as we do, so he could relate to us. He WILLINGLY understands temptation and trial, pain and anguish, destruction and, temporarily, death.
For our sakes, He WILLINGLY endured the shame and devastation of the cross, processed through the tomb, and then resurrected, so we could understand the WILLING, GRACIOUS POWER that only comes from Him.
I am so grateful and humbled that God through Jesus Christ willingly loves a random person like me and went through such great lengths to show me. I love you Father and Friend!
I pray this Christmas and through the new year we celebrate His WILLINGNESS by intentionally and WILLINGLY loving those who are nearest and dearest to us.
After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
#restinpeace #changeagent #rolemodel #iconicleader #onepersoncanmakeadifference
It’s definitely the Christmas season, and I’ve heard several stories of children making their wish list for Santa. None of these babies are over the age of 10, so they know nothing about working a job and properly managing a paycheck. But those details have not stopped them for making some major requests to Santa (aka the parentals). I’ve heard stuff like: a new Ford Mustang when I’m 21 or a substantial amount of cash. Ha!
I laugh at these bold, outrageous yet specific desires, but I can only take a step back and revisit my own, except my list is directed to Almighty God. He does have access to everything and everyone. I can ask Him for material things AND immaterial things. He controls it all.
My short list:
more opportunities to write professionally and a community of writers to glean from and grow with
more comfort and courage to be my sincere self despite the audience
more love, grace and intent in relationships
a tailor-made trip to Italy within the next 1-3 years
fit some consistent, active stress outlets into my schedule (walking/hiking)
Welp, there’s my short of it all… Whatchagot?! What’s bigger than you that God can provide in your life? He’s willing and able to do all; He loves you that much and more.
Hope you get more than what you want!
(And I would love to hear about it when it happens.)
Today, November 27th marks Frolic Finagle’s 1st Anniversary. It’s been one year since I ventured into cyberspace vulnerability. I consider this first year a baby step and celebrate it like I’ve climbed a mountain. I am happy and still excited about this decision. I also see potential for transparency and developing my voice. Frolicking as a blogger has proven to be a wonderful form of self-expression, while finagling myself away from saying nothing has been a serious faith walk. To God be the glory!
Many thanks to those of you who subscribe via tumblr or read via Facebook, and to anyone who has encouraged my efforts or offered constructive criticism. Your support is certainly appreciated; may it be returned to you beyond your greatest expectations.
Happy frolicking and successful finagling to you all and may God continue to keep us all as we follow His favorable faith!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
Today, the sermon was about faith taking risks, the stuff I approach with great caution. And all I could do was think of the following scripture:
Philippians 4:6 ~ Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God.
I have yet to conquer being prone to anxiety, so I wonder if God would get annoyed at how often I’d pray at the every instance of fear, doubt, worry, vulnerability, discomfort, and whatever else falls under the anxiety umbrella. That’s a lot of praying on my part, but I pray to be mindful of approaching Him first at every turn.
I started off the year somewhat celebrating being uncomfortable anticipating the change and growth this year would bring. I honestly feel like I still have a long way to go. Ha! I have learned more that His grace is my only constant, even if it seems distant. It’s probably what He wanted me to learn anyway…. that I die to the process and focus on grace. If so, may I rest in peace.
Hmph bull’s eye!
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