Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. Plans for a hope and a future."

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Why do we do these things???

Why do we create situations that hinder our true (or ETERNAL) happiness?

How do we fall into the trap of losing our focus and making poor choices?

I could write this post based on my own experiences or about the experiences of about a 100 others that I know.

You see, over 4 years ago I was in a pretty dangerous place. I'm not talking literally - I'm just talking about with my soul. When the world becomes our focus we lose sight of the One true focus. We fall into the trap of relying on other things or other people to make us happy. We forget where salvation lies. We forget where true peace resides. We forget the calm assurance and we seek the thrills. We seek what everyone else is searching for. We're on a mission to find the answers to life. The answers to being carefree and the answers to our description of true happiness.

For some people true happiness has the expectations of no boundaries and living life according to your own free will.....I take that back - I believe we ALL reach that point at some time. Most of the time we can put limits on these boundaries and we live as upstanding citizens. What happens when we let our guards down though?

Some people look for the escape from reality. You get tired of hurt and pain. You get tired of routine. You get tired of living in a glass house because you wonder if there is something more.....or maybe you're just scared to live in the glass house because you know it will crack.

I understand we're all imperfect. I preach this all the time. We all make mistakes. Since Adam and Eve our journey of sin took reign. We were created with free will. I get that too....I just don't always understand it....

I mean, I go through this constantly.....since Zeta and the moment that I was so broken and realized that absolutely no one could save me from my pain and no one could make her whole I felt a whole new commitment to God. I finally understood the TRUE meaning of a relationship with God. I got it. I had the peace that I was looking for for so long. In the midst of my most broken moments - in the most difficult situation I had ever encountered I finally knew what it meant to be held. I finally understood God's language. I wasn't just sitting there waiting for it to happen. I begged and pleaded for it to happen. I begged for God to take the pain from me and protect our family.

.....and he has.......through everything we have experienced. Through every hospital visit and through every seizure. Through every tear and through every sleepless night God protected me. I was able to see the goodness through the pain. I was able to hear God over the weeping of my soul. God protected me when I laid my baby on the stretcher for the last time....they wheeled her to a hearse instead of a hospital bed or operating room. Throughout every bit of it I was able to focus on God.

So why the difficulty now??

Why when things should be finally getting back to NORMAL does it all seem to be falling apart again?

It's like I moved my focus for a few days and BAM I'm afraid I forgot how to talk to God. My glass house is shattering all around me. Why am I so distracted? Why can't I just get it right? Why was it so easy to follow and listen in the moment that most felt I should be shaking my fists and giving up??

I'm the opportunist who believes in giving a good pep talk (and God talk) if I think someone needs it....funny thing is most of my pep talks are directly related to me. The things I need to be reminded to do (pray, have faith, etc) and the things that lead to eternal life and true freedom of your soul on earth.....

unfortunately, lately I've been feeling like a huge hypocrite.......because somehow I've lost my focus.....

For the first time in a very long time I sat through church tonight and heard almost nothing the preacher said........I constantly tried to tune in, but I found it so difficult as I was thinking over all of my own personal issues and how sometimes it just seems easier to give in rather than fight the devil......I don't get how I can be so strong in my convictions one day and then all of a sudden it seems everything blows with the wind....

....now before all the speculation begins I haven't done anything illegal or crazy like that.......I just can't find my focus......my eyes and heart, my soul, my being are being tried........

One minute I'm convincing myself that there's nothing wrong with setting aside my convictions for small things, then those small things become big things - then you just as well not even try because you're gonna mess up anyway, right?

Where does stuff like this even come from? How can you go from being so sure of everything you believe and knowing that God is the one true source to salvation and peace and happiness to assuming that you don't need to try so hard because you've got it all wrapped up. Aren't we taught that being a Christian doesn't guarantee an easy path? As a matter of fact quite the opposite could be true - consider Job (yes preacher I did listen a little tonight).

Sometimes I feel like Job. You don't have to jump in tell me that my life is nothing compared to Job - I know this already.

but....here's a BIG but - I get these thoughts - "I found God. I've done the right things. I was saved when I was 8. Several times in my life I was sure I had it all figured out - how to be the proper Christian, how to follow God correctly. For the past few years I KNOW that I've had a very true relationship with God. I withstood the biggest trial of my life - with peace in my heart. I deserve happiness all the time and if I make a poor choice I blame lapse of judgement on watching my daughter die for her whole life. This is the crap I tell myself. I convince myself that I am righteous. I convince myself that I will wear a crown because I'm saved....and because I deserve it. I convince myself that I DESERVE it. It's like an ticking time bomb in my head sometimes. Stevie and I have a disagreement and I fall apart because my daughter is up the road in a grave. I have a bad day, I fall apart because my baby is gone. I make a bad choice I blame it on all the hell I've been through. I forget to do something and I think to myself - heck other people can be sorry and forget stuff and nothing ever happens - at least I have an excuse, my daughter is dead. I watch people I love make poor choices and I fail to stand up and help them find the right way. Someone hurts my feelings and I crumble inside saying "you have absolutely no idea what I've seen and what I've been through." You can be happy and not give a crap about anyone else because YOUVE NEVER HAD TO FIGHT TO MAKE IT OUT OF HELL ON EARTH. Do you get the picture? every aspect of anything that is wrong leads me back to two things - I'VE ALREADY BEEN THROUGH HELL AND I DESERVE HEAVEN. THAT BECOMES MY FAULTY THINKING

I doubt it took you long to realize that the former paragraph is full of self-centered drama and nonsense. nearly 200 WORDS OF WORTHLESS UNWORTHY CRAP about my rightousness- but those are my honestly brutal feelings sometimes. Do you sense the anger? Do you feel the longing to just be normal and forget what actually brought me to be the person I am today.....

What you don't see so much there maybe is the guilt.

The guilt that I hold for feeling as if all my baby went through was somehow my fault. That God knew I couldn't truly see him until I was stripped of every possible part of my soul I wanted to claim as my own. That I would always have some small hold out or some things I would try to keep from him until I was brought completely on my knees and fell flat on my face and said I GIVE UP I CAN"T DO THIS YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT AND YOU HAVE TO FIX IT. The guilt of almost KNOWING that maybe it was my fault. That everything I watched her struggle through was created by me.....created by me because of any and every poor decision I made before she was ever even conceived. Created by me because I was her mother. Created by me because I deserved to be punished for all the sin I'd ever had in my life. Created by me due to poor choices.

Fast forward to after I was so broken that I was either going to die or God was going to save me and then you see another part.....the part that finally understood you have to actively seek God's face. The part that understood that you have to surround yourself with people that encourage you to do just that. The part that tells you that certain things are not good....the part that shows you what it's like to actually WANT to be more like God because you are so grateful that you are saved....because you finally get it.....because in the midst of the senseless you finally feel like you understand just a small part of what it's like to turn EVERYTHING over to GOD....

Then you go through the guilt again....sometimes when I share my experiences I become so overwhelmed by emotion because I see exactly what it took to get me to fully accept the gift God was offering. I was so overwhelmed by thinking of the sin in my life and how I wanted to rid myself of that and that is the moment I truly truly said Ok, it's yours. I didn't care what I had to give up I just wanted safety and assurance. I was finally willing to throw my hands up and say, "I don't care what it takes - make me whole."

The big problem is that since then I've tried so hard to be diligent, I've worked to make my choices align with what I believe He wants for my life. I've bordered on feeling accomplished in living life the right way....

Which is why all of a sudden it feels like I'm not and why all of a sudden I just find myself distracted and not focusing. It's like I just sat down a few days ago and said, Ok - I think I want to go back to my old life now. I don't like the responsibility of being somebody people look up to, I don't like being the mom who lost a child, I don't like putting forth the effort when it seems like so many other people don't. I just want to BE. I just want to exist......without baggage....without thoughts....without responsibility....without worry.

That's the big one, WORRY. I can't fix the world. I would like to, but I can't. I wanted to fix every one of Zeta's problems, but I couldn't. I wanted to fix myself, but I'm still broken. The devil creeps in and says so what....do whatever makes you feel good - don't worry about anything else. If you want to give up, then give up. If you want to skip devotions skip them. If you want to hide from the world hide. If you want to pretend you're on top of the world then do it. The little battles turn into big wars.

Everyday we battle the demons among us. The evil that lives inside us and the evil that lives in the people around us. Sometimes it's easy to throw our hands up in the air and walk away....to try to be something we're not.....to try to make a different life - a life that doesn't include the pain of our pasts. That's what the devil wants. He wants us to cave. He wants us to turn away. He wants us to fool ourselves into believing that some things just aren't worth the trouble.

I started this post knowing it was going to be brutal. knowing it would hurt....knowing I would bare my soul once again.... I started full of anger, guilt and hopelessness. I started full of fear. Fear of the idea that has been in my head that I shouldn't be preaching, teaching or telling anyone about Jesus because I'm so screwed up and I just needed to let the world know it - because then I could let myself off the hook....

but you see that's what the devil wants. He wants me to cave. He wants me to mess up. He wants me to give up the minute I venture toward temptation. He knows the path away from God often looks more glorious because we are blinded by our very own egos.

I can honestly say the distractions have been creeping in for a few days and that the past couple of days I have been totally blinded.... Distractions so huge that I couldn't sit still to focus on anything god was saying to me....things constantly put before me that I chose to ignore. Sitting in church and almost virtually waking to realize I had no clue what the preacher had said in the last five minutes....then looking over to see someone using their bible openly for the first time and knowing that there was a desire and thirst for God.....It was a wake up call that I almost missed because I was so focused on myself.....The journey and growth I've seen of my friend who has walked the spiritual journey kicking and screaming and shaking her fists at God - watching as her heart is opening and the walls are crumbling.....and realizing that as her heart opens mine was seemed to be closing......what a sad irony that would be.....what a great victory for death and evil....

So you know what, the devil doesn't win. I'm staking my claim - here, now and openly to you. I don't get to heaven because I claim to be saved. I don't get to heaven because I'm a good person. I don't get to heaven because of the hell I've been through. I get to heaven because God sent Jesus to die on the cross and I believe that to be true. I have sins - as a human I will always struggle with sin, but I confess those sins and put them in God's hands. I will fight the battles because the war has been won!



1 comment:

  1. Angel you are truly an inspiration to many people that have dealt with these same feelings or are dealing with them now. I've never had the chance to talk with you or know you personally. I went to school with Kristen. However through your blog, I feel your pain and question. I do pray for your family often and will continue to do so. Keep your head high, you truly are a god worthy and he knows that. If feel god is using you to spread his word. Keep your head up girl you've got this!! Love in christ, myranda

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