Don’t Be Afraid

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch, and you will see the wonderful way the Lord will rescue  you today. The Egyptians you are looking at- you will never see them again. THE LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU, and you won’t need to lift a finger.” (from the Bible [‘The Book’ version], book of Exodus, chapter 14, verses 13-14)

I’m not launching into a Bible study. But, as I was reading this, it spoke to me. There are times when God lets us go through tough trials, yet He is there with us. But there are also times when God miraculously takes care of everything! He fights our battles FOR us. Woohoo! He orchestrates things in such a way that could only be explained by Him working on our behalf. He hears our prayers! He’s close to the broken-hearted. (Psalm 34:17-19)  He cares. And when He performs miracles, it’s an amazing thing to behold.

“But, I don’t even believe in God,” you may be saying. Hey, that’s okay. I’m not trying to make you. This is what I believe. I’ve experienced enough of God to know that He’s real. He loves me. He loves you. He’s amazing. He’s patient. Even if we’re ticked off at Him and choose to ignore him or if we just don’t believe in Him, none of that – and I mean none – decreases, nullifies or erases His love for us. His love is so enormous that it cannot be fully comprehended with our finite understanding. Yes, we’re highly intelligent beings. But even with our vast amounts of intelligence, we do not have infinite understanding. My opinion.

That being said, let me go back to my point – God will fight for you. Don’t be afraid. Keep your head up. Stay encouraged. He is mighty to save.

PS- Random side note: Speaking of Moses, you gotta love the “old-school” film of the Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston playing Moses and Yul Brynner playing Pharoah (love Yul Brynner!). Classic! (Charlton as Moses pictured above)

Toodles ♥

© “Don’t Be Afraid” KD Corner 2012

C’mon Trust Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Monday!

Let’s talk about TRUST today. Ooh, fun subject I know!  Wait, wait please keep reading. I know just the word “trust” strikes a negative chord with many people. Immediately there comes to mind that woman, man, friend, foe, coach, teacher, family member that was supposed to be trustworthy and they betrayed your trust. It brings a bitter taste to your mouth. Believe me, though I may not be able to relate with your specific situation, I do know what it’s like to have trust betrayed. We live in an imperfect world, full of imperfect people. When someone who we deem trustworthy betrays our trust, it’s a BIG deal! Scars are left. Walls go up. Hurt & wounded feelings remain and it can take years to heal, depending on the situation and our willingness to go through the healing process.

Mad at God

Bad experiences may negative impact on belief in or trust in God. Because our world is imperfect, when we experience the death of someone close to us or perhaps a situation we were praying about that did not turn out like we thought it should, we blame God and cannot trust Him. We feel He let us down. I don’t pretend to be a theologian and I most definitely do NOT hold all of the answers. I can only speak from my own experience. A couple of times, even as a Christian, I felt as though God totally failed me. I didn’t understand WHY those things happened and WHY He hadn’t answered my prayers and WHY didn’t He step in and save the day, and WHY bother having faith if bad things were going to happen anyway, etc. I had a lot of anger and a lot of questions. I still don’t know all of the answers, but, here are a few things I have learned and re-learned. (1) However you want to say it, we live in an imperfect/sinful/fallen world. And because people aren’t perfect (and unfortunately some people are twisted or have major issues) they choose to do bad things to other people. (2) I cannot control another person’s choices or behavior. Pray as I might that God would intervene and make that person do what’s right… God gave that person a free will, and they can decide to do the opposite of what is good or right, even if the right choice smacks them in the face time & time again. (3) For those of you who aren’t Christian, this may not hold much water, but, I’ll share it nonetheless: In the Bible, God never promises that we will not go through troubling times. In fact, He tells us the opposite. He promises that we WILL go through hard times, but that He will be there WITH us to help us through the difficult times.

I can attest to one particularly heart wrenching situation. I received some bad news about a medical situation. Right in the midst of receiving the news, the strangest and most powerful calm and peace came over me. When by all accounts I should’ve been freaking out, I was enveloped in peace. I had always read the scripture that the “Peace of God which surpasses our understanding, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” But that was the first time I had truly experienced it. Was that situation automatically fixed? No. In fact, more troubling related incidences occurred afterward. I personally went through a time of anger, frustration, grief and questioning. But, through my lament, I remembered that peace and held on to the promise that one day I would come through this trying time. I did come through it. But it took quite a bit of time. I know that if God had not been there, not to mention supportive friends and family, I would not have come through the situation nearly as well, nor with my faith in tact.

Trusting People Again

Trust is a very difficult thing, especially when it’s been betrayed. And whether your trust issue is with a person or with God (or both), it takes time for trust to be built back up. That person who betrayed your trust will have to work hard to build it back up. They will have to be consistent and patient and understanding. The sad thing is that the person may choose NOT to build that trust again. But, that doesn’t mean that you should allow them to ruin forever your ability to trust anyone. Maybe you’re extremely guarded. Maybe you’re unable to trust right now, and that is okay. It takes time. But, there ARE trustworthy people out there. Just be careful not to equate trustworthiness with perfection…because there are NO perfect people. We all make mistakes. But, there are people, who are indeed good, quality people full of integrity who will exemplify their trustworthiness consistently. The thing that’s hardest to do after betrayal is trust again. Take baby steps. But don’t close yourself off completely from the idea of trusting anyone. You could be missing out on some really great friendships / relationships. If you’ve endured traumatic experiences, it may take a lot of time to heal and even some good quality counseling or support groups to help you work through what you’ve experienced. There is no shame in that. And, if you’ve been hurt by church people let me say that I am so, so sorry! All Christians and churches aren’t bad, I promise. Please remember not to let a few rotten eggs spoil your view of Christianity or church.

Forgiving God?

If you feel as though God has let you down, there’s no easy answer. For ourselves and our inner peace, we may have to go through the process of forgiving God. Yes, I said it.  For all of my Christian friends, yes, God is unfailing and without sin.  But, if we’ve felt let down or betrayed by him, we have to do a work in our own hearts and go through the process to forgive God for wherever we feel He’s let us down.  We have to cleanse our hearts of bitterness.  For everyone,  I’d say to pray sincerely (your prayers matter and God hears them) and read the Bible for yourself. God truly loves you, more than you can imagine. There ARE credible and reliable teachers of the Bible out there. There are radio and TV ministries as well…find the good ones. The more CORRECT teaching you can get about God and the Bible, the better your understanding will be. If you still decide that you hate God and will never trust Him or you just don’t care for Him very much. Okay. But I pray that one day you’ll come to know His immense, intense and unending love for you.

You are loved.
Toodles ♥

Just a few supporting scriptures: John 16:33 and Psalm 34:18 and Philippians 4:7

Image courtesy of  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Feelings

Feelings.  Why are we so afraid of them? Is it because they’re unpredictable and sometimes uncontrollable or uncomfortable?  Could be.

It seems that society seems to have the notion that any “bad” feelings are to be hushed, squashed, hidden, gotten rid of quickly. But who came up with the notion that we are to be “happy” 100% of the time?

Who says that to show feeling means you’re weak? Not so. To show your real emotions sometimes takes great courage. Of course, with everything, BALANCE. I’m not advocating being run away with your feelings and living in emotional upheaval all of the time. I’m saying that in life there are seasons. Literal seasons, such as fall, winter, spring, summer. There are cycles, such as day turning to night, turning to day again. Nature is full of seasons and cycles. Why wouldn’t WE go through them as well. Life is a continuous cycle of highs and lows. I like to refer to the ocean tide because it’s such a good example. The tide ebbs and flows. We have to learn to FLOW with life. Our emotions cycle and flow. It’s OK to be sad sometimes or angry or disappointed. Not that you let that take over your whole life and not that you use that as an excuse to harm someone else. No, no. But, you must let yourself cycle through your feelings. Let yourself flow through them.

For instance, if you’ve been through major life changes (death, a break-up, separation or divorce, or perhaps a child moving away from home, physical struggles and the like) you are ALLOWED to feel sad some days. Yes, well-meaning people will always tell you to “cheer up” or “get over it”, or “move on”. But, no. Let yourself cycle through those feelings at your own pace. If you feel sad, let yourself feel sad. If you’re angry about something, take time to figure out what’s behind the anger. Journal about your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend who won’t judge you. Pray. Find a good counselor or mentor to help you work through it. There’s no shame in it. Find what works for you.

Perhaps in some cases, action will be required. For instance, if there is a situation where you are angry because you were treated unfairly, or there is a discrepancy at work, etc. you may need to take proper and cautious steps to resolve whatever the issue may be.  Never be a vigilante.  If you’re dealing with a work or legal issue, proper protocol must be followed. First, try to figure out what the root of your anger is before trying to resolve it.  Sometimes your anger may be rooted in your perception based on a past experiences or personality types.  If you recognize this to be the case, take a fresh look at the person or situation that upset you.  Look with new eyes and see if that person or situation offended you because it reminded you of someone/something else.  Sometimes our perception of another person’s intentions can be influenced by our past. So, take stock of all factors. And if you need assistance to resolve any issue, then ask. Again, nothing to be ashamed of.

And the same idea for other areas that may cause you to feel down, such as daily stress, family issues, or maybe you just had a bad day. It’s okay. Take time when you can be alone to work through it. You’ll know what works best for you.  Try taking a walk in the park or neighborhood, do some exercise, journal, pray, or express yourself through art, poetry or song.  These things may aid in you getting out some negative energy and stress and help you to gain some clarity regarding your feelings.

Some say not to have “pity parties”. But, I disagree. Have your pity party (just don’t make it a never-ending party) :).  Get your feelings out in a healthy way and keep on moving forward. Once you let yourself work THROUGH your feelings you will eventually get back around to the other side of the cycle. Think of it like a pendulum. Our lives are always in motion and always swinging from happiness to sadness, or good day to bad day and everything in between. That’s life. Every day is not “fun” or “happy”, but you can learn to deal with your feelings in an effective way. Stuffing them down or ignoring them only causes them to surface later in other ways…usually unhealthy ones.

Lastly, if you suffer from clinical depression or have other mental health struggles, then never ever be ashamed to get professional help. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy. There is therapy and there are medications that can be prescribed to help you obtain and maintain some balance. Do your homework and have someone you trust to help you with this process. The beautiful thing about living in this day and time is that there are a multitude of resources available to help people in whatever state they’re in & help them to find balance.

God bless you.
Toodles ♥

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net