How Long…?

girl waiting

Waiting is not my strong suit.  As a matter of fact, I’m awful at it.  Yes, I’ve posted about ‘waiting’ before, but, I need to post again.  It helps me. 🙂

The most annoying thing about waiting is…well…waiting.  Here are some examples:

  • Waiting in line…why can’t they open another line?
  • Waiting to get around the person in front of you who is driving like a turtle…why do they always show up when I’m in a hurry?
  • Waiting for your kids to get out of the bathroom….what in the WORLD could they be doing in there for so long?
  • Waiting for someone you’re picking up…who never comes out of the house on time.
  • Waiting for your food to get done cooking…and even the microwave is too slow, so you take your food out with 3 seconds to spare.

These are every day waits.
How about deeper ones?

  • Waiting on your wayward child to come back home…
  • Waiting for your loved one to come back from Iraq (or other)…
  • Waiting for your divorce to be final after a long, exhausting, depleting journey…
  • Waiting for a girlfriend/boyfriend, wife/husband to come into your life…
  • Waiting for a new job opportunity to open up, since you’ve been searching and searching…
  • Waiting to for the pain to dissipate after the loss/ending of a relationship…

Waiting is hard.  And sometimes the only way to get through it is to GO THROUGH it.

It hurts, it’s annoying, it’s unpleasant and it seems to take FOREVER!!!  It takes you back to being a little kid in the back seat of the car during a long family road trip asking, “Are we THERE yet?” “Is it time yet?”

Maybe you’ve been praying for something and the answer God placed in your heart was not “yes” and not “no”, but instead, “Wait, my child.” Fabulous.  You’re okay with it at first.  You resolve within yourself to wait it out, knowing that in time, the fruition or completion of whatever you’re waiting for will come into being.  So, the days pass…and the weeks…and the months….that turn into years.  Now, you’re getting restless.  And prayers that started out like “God, I trust you. Whatever you want to do is fine with me.  You’re faithful” eventually turn into “Um…God…Are you there? Do you even hear me? Where are you, by the way?  Don’t you care? What’s taking you so long?” 

I know you’ve never prayed like that, but, I have.  All the while God is a loving heavenly father is saying, “patience”. 

Since I’ve been a parent for some years now, I always end up reflecting on this same example with my own children.  Maybe they ask for something special or want to go on a special trip, but, for whatever reason (financial, schedule conflicts, or for a lesson learned) they have to wait.  They don’t understand why waiting is necessary, but, you as the parent know that it is.  You watch them grapple with the idea of waiting and with the amount of time it takes before their request becomes reality.  As a parent, sometimes it’s hard to watch your child wait, but, you know that for whatever reason, it is best and/or necessary.  So it is with God, I believe. He sees and knows all.  He knows that some things, if received too soon, would end up disastrous.  So, we must wait.  At just the right time, it will happen however He sees fit.  Perhaps there are certain things that need to be put in place or removed or altered first.  Perhaps God is working on other people’s hearts … people who will have a direct connection to the fruition of your request.  God is working behind the scenes to put every detail in place.

If you’re waiting for an uncertain outcome, I think it is definitely difficult to trust that God knows what is best, especially if things do not end up turning out as we hope.  It’s a tough place to be.  I wish I could give you an easy solution, but, I cannot.  Trusting God in uncertain circumstances is challenging.  If things turn out favorably, it’s easy to praise God.  If they do not, it’s very hard to understand to trust God.  But, I do know that God cares about you and everything you’re going through.  Even in unfavorable circumstances, He never abandons you.  There are things we may not understand until we come into God’s presence when our lives here are complete. But, I encourage you to get around strong people in the faith to pray with you and help/advise you in this season.  Even seek out quality, professional counseling if needed. Our faith in God is tried in hard times, but, I pray that you come out on the other side of this stronger in your faith than you were before.  And please, allow yourself the space to grieve any painful outcome.  It’s okay to ask God “why?” And if you’re angry with God, he can handle your anger.  The one thing I know is that He will never leave you.  Not now. Not ever. 

If you are waiting for the results or completion or healing from something painful, we must trust that God sees us and knows what we feel.  He is close to the brokenhearted. [Psalm 34:18]  We must remind ourselves that God cares and is indeed near to us, even carrying us in the midst of our pain and will bring us to a place of healing and peace.  But, there tend to be ‘layers’ of healing that we must experience, and layers take time.  Throughout our healing journey, there are important lessons He teaches us.  I have found from my painful experiences that God has brought me closer to himself.  Because of what I experienced, it has allowed me to empathize with others who are going through similar situations, where I wouldn’t have been able to empathize before.  And so, God helps me to reach out and plant seeds of healing and love into others’ lives.  There’s a part in the Bible that says God “…comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” [2 Corinthians 1:4 MSG version].  

So, we must continue to wait and trust.  But always remember that you are never alone in your waiting or your trial.  There are always other people who are going through similar situations.  It helps if we link up with others to keep each other encouraged.  This outlet (WordPress) is one good way (among many) to connect with others and gain support.  There are other outlets such as social media (which can be used for good), support groups, church groups, etc.  So, please be encouraged.  Let the smile return to your face and let the hope return to your heart!  Whatever you’re waiting for will happen in God’s timing and in His way.  He is watching over you and will never abandon you.  He has good plans for you.  [Jeremiah 29:11]

Forgiving Me

self forgive

Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to live a good life and tried to.  Some bad things happened in her life… hurtful things. These things left a scar on the inside that she couldn’t see.  This scar never really healed.  Sometimes she was acutely aware of it, and other times either pretended it wasn’t there.  Otherwise,  she was so used to it that she was oblivious to its presence.  But somehow it always oozed out and got the better of her in one way or another.  It caused her to act in ways she ordinarily wouldn’t.  She even blamed others for this scar.  After all, they were the ones who inflicted the wounds. However much time had passed.  And yes, some scars heal slowly, but, somehow this one was taking very, very long.  It was then she decided to stand up for herself and be brave and DO something about it.  She decided to get help.  It would take a community and counsel to help her on her healing journey.  She still has a long way to go, but, she is nowhere near where she used to be.  She is growing. A big part of the puzzle to healing was/is forgiving herself.  She couldn’t play into the negative self talk. And for us Christians, we know we have an adversary in the devil who seeks to steal from us, kill us (in many forms) and destroy us.  BUT we have a God who is much bigger! He’s almighty, all-powerful, all-knowing and he LOVES and FORGIVES US!  Therefore, if the God of the universe forgives us, surely she is allowed to forgive herself.  And when negative ideas invade her space, she combats them with the truth and with counsel and with community.   Forgive yourself.  Jesus already forgave you.  He loves you.  Live free.

Amen.

If you can relate to any of this, I want you to know that you don’t have to live in constant anxiety and regret.  There is peace available for you in Christ.  He sacrificed his life so that you could have peace in Him. As the Son of God, he died a sinless death and offered himself up for the sins of all of the people in the world, not just during his time on earth, but, throughout all time. So, there is nothing you could’ve done that he wouldn’t forgive you for. Even if it’s the most vile thing. His forgiveness  means just that…you are forgiven. Your slate is wiped clean in his eyes and you are free to begin to live a new life in Christ if you believe in him and accept him as God in your life. Does this mean that everything will be rosy? No, BUT, it does mean the now God is with you to help you through this life every step of the way.  He provides his word to us through the Bible and he has some really solid churches that teach the truth and are loving communities where you can grow.  It is sometimes hard to find the right church, but, keep praying and he will show you where to go.  All of that to say, you can have the peace of Christ in your heart. You do not have to live in inner turmoil. You can have forgiveness and in turn forgive yourself.  He understands our frailties and has provided help for us.  May the love of Christ overwhelm you and give you peace.

© KD Corner 2013 “Forgiving Me”

photo credit: Here

You ARE Good Enough!

you're good enough

A friend of mine recently posted a picture on her Facebook page of someone holding a sticky note that says “you are good enough!” It hit home. I don’t know about you, but, so many times I question, “am I good enough?”

Am I good enough to be loved?
Am I good enough to fit into that social circle?
Am I good enough to be accepted?
Am I good enough to be respected?
Am I good enough to complete that project or reach that goal?
Am I good enough to seal that huge deal at work?
Am I good enough to be valued by others?

The list could go on and on. What makes us question our own value? Have we been told by someone that we’re not valuable? Has it been demonstrated by another person’s actions toward us that we are not up to snuff? Have others made us feel that somehow we’ll never measure up to the perfection they expect? Or has it been communicated to us somehow that others don’t see us as able enough, talented enough, or intelligent enough to obtain a certain goal?

I daresay most of us have had such an experience in our lives. Sometimes we experience this type of criticism or rejection by well-meaning people in our families, friendships, social or professional circles. The trick is not believing the naysayers. Constructive criticism is one thing. It is usually given in such a way as to build up the person. It should be given with care and in a way that will help the person see where they can tweak or improve in a certain area without tearing them to shreds verbally.

But, if you’ve received harsh criticism or if you’ve been overlooked, berated, undervalued, etc., I’ve got news for you. You ARE good enough! The truth is that God made each of us uniquely special. We don’t all have the same set of talents and abilities, but, there is greatness in each of us!  There is something each of us are wired to do and to do well. Don’t undervalue your unique gifts.  Develop them and use them to bless others.

As you move forward to develop your gifts and talents, you may experience instances or periods of failure.  But, remember this –  failure at a task or a goal does NOT equal your failure as a person.  Your “who” is not determined by your “do”.  Some things you will have to continuously practice at to hone your skills in a certain area. Other things you will try and then realize that particular thing may not be for you. But the important thing is that you TRIED. You didn’t hold back. There will be no regrets because you attempted it. John Maxwell (author) has written a whole series of books, CD’s called “Fail Forward”. Even if you fail at something, if you learn from it, you’ve not failed at all. You’ve gained more valuable knowledge with which to move forward and tackle the next goal.

Your value  as a person, is not and should not be defined by people, but, by God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. There is no one exactly like you. You are loved with a love that never wanes and never ends. And in those times where others put you down or you experience failure of some kind, you’ll need to remind yourself of this fact: YOU are SPECIAL.  If you have to, write it on sticky notes and stick it all around your house or apartment.  And surround yourself with positive people!  We each need people who are in our corner and believe in us!  It’s important.  Also, one of the best things you can do is let someone else know how special and important they are. I’m a huge advocate of paying it forward.  There are so many people in the world who have not been told how valuable and special they are.  And God may use YOU to be the one to tell them.  You can plant a seed of love into someone else’s life.  And you never know how big that seed will grow or what it will develop into.  Maybe because of you, someone who wanted to quit life, decides to continue on and becomes an amazing motivator of others.  Maybe that person who was going to quit med school goes on to become a world renowned physician or surgeon.  You never know.  So, as I hopefully breathe life into you, so, breathe life into others.  Remember how spectacular you are!  Silence the voices of the naysayers and shout out loud, “I AM GOOD ENOUGH!”

© KD Corner “You ARE Good Enough” 2013

photo credit here