How Awesome Is Our God?

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This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.”

Isaiah 43:21 KJV

I was reading a devotional (I forget which day it was) and after reading it, I just felt amazed. Sometimes, we are so busy with our lives and distractions, we just forget that God really is good all the time. The service that I went to this past Sunday also reinforced those thoughts that I had. We get bogged down with complaining about everything that we never take the chance to just relish all the small and daily miracles that God gives. It rained for two days this weekend and I’m sure everyone, including me, was complaining, and saying…enough of the rain. Then, I was watching the weather and the meteorologists was reporting how much we needed the rain.

I know that sometimes we are just so focused on our lives, and the issues that we are having within them, it is hard to lift our head and minds out of the fog and look at the big picture. So, this post was my reflection to God on his small mercies that I take for granted. Small mercies such as, having a car, having a working car, having a few days of 60-degree weather in the middle of winter, waking up excited about the work that I am doing, and the list goes on and on.

These thoughts were especially on my mind as Lent started today (February 14th). I have seen a lot of the posts on social media that are either using Lent as a joke or social media trend and that just really me of the importance of remembering why we celebrate these holidays in the first place.

Can you see small mercies that He has done for you daily in your own lives? Take sometime and think about it. Click To Tweet

Throughout my own spiritual journey, in the last couple of years, I have started fasting as a way to get closer to God. This year, I joined a church (Travelers Fellowship Community Church) and they are doing a 40 day Fast and so I decided to participate. Today is day 1, so this will be a new experience for me. Along with all the things I wanted to pray about, my most basic thought as I approach this Lenten season is just one of wonder as I think about what Jesus went through and what this season leads up to. I just can’t help but feel humble and grateful and feel that it is only right that this season be used to show God appreciation for how great and wonderful he truly is. I am sure I will be posting some more pieces on this experience. Stay Tuned!

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What Does God Do With Our Pain?

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“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55: 8 – 9

There are days when it seems like we are all alone in our pain. We feel like no one understands our burdens and the things we are going through. We feel isolated, pained, alone, and hopeless.

A few years back, I felt that way. I felt that my world was falling apart around me and God had chosen to punish me for something and He was not hearing my prayer. That had to be one of the lowest points in my life. The sheer terror of hopelessness breeds every negative feeling that can exist in our minds and in our bodies. I must admit that I stayed in that space for a long time and had no idea how to come out of it.

In times like these, you create a mask for your face and a shell for your outer body. You feel like no one understands and no one ever will.

It took me a long time, a long time, to start to understand that I had a choice in the way thoughts were controlling me. It took a long time to recognize that, yes, I had those thoughts, and they were difficult to deal with, and yes, I did really feel hopeless, but I had to begin to acknowledge the small part of me that wanted a better way. When I hit the lowest moments of my life, I did not know what to do.

Out of sheer frustration and pain, I yelled at God. I told Him how mad I was at him for punishing me. How annoyed I was at Him for his sheer silence in the midst of my pain. I pretty much unloaded my pain onto Him in frustration. The funny thing is I didn’t feel that He was responding back to me, but I noticed that my burden began to feel slightly lighter and just a little lighter the more I unloaded on Him.

Then I began to feel the urge to pray again and to read the Bible. Slowly, I began to make the effort to do so a little each day. In all of my pain and frustration with Him, I had just stopped praying, reading the Bible, and going to church. I wanted nothing to do with a God who was punishing me but not hearing my pain.

Slowly my mood began to improve and I slowly started talking to Him throughout my day, at the time, I didn’t realize that that was also considered a form of prayer.

It took a long time, not weeks or months, but years to understand a few lessons:

  • God is always present. He is always listening no matter what we think or feel.
  • He allows us to hit rock bottom or to sit in our pain because that’s where we get quiet and reach out to Him when we don’t know what else to do.
  • He speaks to us all the time through His word (the Bible), through friends, through books, through the words we hear at just the time we need them.
  • He uses our pains to help others and in helping others, we begin our own healing.
  • Pain develops character and there is nothing more important to God than our character.
  • Even when we are far away, He is always a friend to us, silent and waiting.

I don’t know who this post is for as I was so unsure of what to write in this post, but He allowed the words to flow through me to touch someone who is reading this. For anyone who is experiencing these feelings, I encourage you to yell at God, get upset with Him, and tell Him how you feel. He can take it. He already knows how you feel. He is just waiting to hear from you.

And then take that moment of strength to reach out to a therapist and explore those feelings that you are having. Try to understand the source of those pains. Understand that God has his role and we have ours. God is present and is our strength and can help us unlock our purpose; let Him deal with the ‘how and when’.  We can do our part and step out in faith and recognize that He is already working for us. So now, it is our time to work for us as well. Let us take our control from our thoughts and pain and begin to work or way out of those self-fulfilling prophecies. Let us expand and change the energy we are sending out into the world.

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Why Do We Need Faith?

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“And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8: 28 1 (KJV).

For many of us, this picture above represents many moments for us when we have felt low or lost. We have felt alone, unworthy, unheard, unappreciated, invisible, and everything in kind.

If we could be able to step outside of the pain for even just a moment, we will realize that the biggest pain and trauma that we go through, could be the biggest catalyst in our lives. These unwelcome pains and hurts could be the force of change in our lives. These ‘negative’ things if given the chance, could encourage us to make big changes in our lives.

The most painful things in the moments when we are going through them feel like the things that will end us and end our lives, and just swallow us in unknown depths of despair. The clinician in me wants to remind everyone that everything in life has a season, so do not give in to the urge to make these moments of pain the sum total of our lives. The human in me knows that this makes the trauma feel trivial, this makes the pain seem less than. But the growth in me, who has been there in my own pain and hurts, have learnt that God closes many doors for us. The person of faith in me has learned that when God speaks, and we do not listen, like any parent, He will keep finding ways to get us to listen. The faith in me has learned that God does not cause everything to happen; evil exists, pain exists because we live in a fallen world created by the human choices of Adam and Eve. But though He may not cause everything that happens, He will allow things to happen to help us develop our character. And most importantly, the pain in my hurt hurts Him too; recognizing that because I am made in His image, He feels my pain too.

 

While He is present with me through it all, He alone can bring good and prosperity out of the darkness. He only needs to open one door.

 

Romans 8:28 has become my favorite verse for this reason. It is hard for me to step outside of the pain and see any good, but He can look down the road in my future and know that if I get through this moment, the strength I will need for the next battle will have been forged in me.

What are you struggling with today? What pain feels like it is eating you alive? I encourage you to hold on just a little bit longer. I don’t know who may find solace in my words of saving grace, but I implore you to pick up a Bible and read Romans 8:28 because His words may just be the balm to that wound that you’ve been waiting on.

 

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Alignment

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“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain…” 1 Corinthians15:10 (KJV).

2018 brings with it, a chance to do things differently. It brings with it a chance to make changes we may have wanted to, but couldn’t. It brings with it a chance of new beginning and a chance to continue self-discovery.

When you think of year 2018 starting, do you feel dread or happiness? Do you experience the feeling of possibilities or the fear/pain of the journey continuing for more months to come?

I want you to know that there is a path for each of us. As we are each imbued with a spirit, there is a path for this spirit to develop. Could 2018 be the year that we are brave enough to begin our exploration of this path? Life will never be fair, and we will never live pain free on earth. But we can still embrace the fact that just as each snowflake is different, so are we different from all who have walked or will walk this earth. Let us take the time to celebrate in that knowledge and recognize how creative God is. And as we are created in His image, we each have something that is waiting for us to create it.

What if we were bold enough to hold onto this fact and show our faith in God and ourselves? What if we could be brave enough to begin to seek out the path that God made for us? Our lives would be transformed in ways we cannot even fathom now.

To go one step further, could we be courageous enough to stop comparing ourselves to others and embrace ourselves, flaws and all? If we spend all our times focusing on others and what they are doing, our comparisons and judgments will extinguish our joy and peace; and cause us to miss our own paths and blessings. And in focusing on comparison, we are indirectly refuting God’s will for our lives. We are effectively telling Him that the path that He has laid out for us is not good enough for us and that we want what others have. We are telling ourselves and the universe that our spirit and energy is not special enough to develop and embrace. We are saying that we are not good enough for the paths aligned to our spirits.

But if we were brave enough to embrace our spirits and destined paths, we are simultaneously declaring to God and ourselves that we know that we were created for more. We know that we were gifted for more. We know that God is bountiful and infinite and that there is no limit on the things we could do for and with Him. We are saying that we will not let fear stand in our way of trusting ourselves and trusting God. We are owning our power and our faith in God.

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Have You Ever Experienced A Spiritual Awakening?

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“This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.” Isaiah 43:21 (KJV).

Spiritual growth is essential as we all seek to understand why we were placed on this planet at this particular moment in time. For myself, I was pondering these questions to myself repeatedly until I had to admit that I did not have the answers. I began to realize that I would never have these answers because I was not able to see the big picture. My view is limited to my past experiences and the present moments I am moving through. I have no understanding or knowledge of what the future holds, and I have no true view of the vast past experiences that have shaped this planet.

In recognizing my own shallowness and limitations, I began to recognize that I am not the creator of myself. I have no idea where I was before I came to this planet, nor truly where I will dwell after this body goes to the ground. The truth is like, so many others, I too, want to embrace immortality. I, too, want to know that there is more after death. If you believe what science has taught – and I think we can see this in our thoughts and emotions as well – that energy never dies and is just transferred, you can understand that the soul does not die when this body goes to the ground. So, for myself, I often ponder where was my spirit before this planet and where will it be after I leave this planet?

If you are wondering do you have a soul, the answer is yes. We each have one. We all have thoughts, emotions, sensations in our bodies, and if you dig deep enough and allow yourself to be still, you will find that there is a part of you that whispers to you and that yearns to be connected to something greater than man. Therefore, the holistic approach to wellness focuses on the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. True wellness must embrace all the parts of us. From my earlier post, I started to understand that those questions I was dealing with was my spiritual awakening. I was questioning why I exist at this particular moment, in the vastness of this planet and people, is my life of any significance, and what is the job I was here to do?

Turning inward allows you to dwell on these questions, and yes you can answer one or two, or maybe all three, but for me, I found that the answers were fulfilling for only a short time. The questions eventually arose again because deep down I understood that I was not the one who created me, so I could never fully know the truth on my own. Maybe you are experiencing some of this confusion as I have, and may now be on a journey of self-discovery. I encourage you to open your mind and your heart. Take some time to be still and block out all the noise that surrounds us.

Do I have an answer for you? Yes and no. I can say that it is no accident that you were placed on this planet at this particular moment, so your existence is important and ordained; that’s two out of three. But, I cannot speak to the reason you are here at this particular time and moment, that’s where your relationship with God comes in, because only He can speak to you about that.

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Saving Grace

 

“When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” Proverbs 11: 2 (KJV).

About a year ago, I noticed that I was feeling lost in many ways. I sat at my desk at work and worked on autopilot, barely engaged in the work I was doing, and counting the hours from start to finish. This went on for a few months and the feelings kept getting stronger. From the moment I sat down at work, I would begin to ask myself these questions:
“Is this it?”
“Would this be all I did for the rest of my days?”
“Is this all I would do with my life on this planet?”
“Is this what my life amounted to? Working on other people’s dreams and goals while I withered away inside?’
“What was the difference between the people I worked for and me?”

These and similar questions floated in and out my mind, day in and day out. I couldn’t understand what was happening to me. I started to have conversations with close friends and realized they too had had similar thoughts and ideas and wanted to make changes in their lives. But for me, I realized that I wasn’t sure how to go about making those changes. So, I decided to educate myself by reading more. I started reading more non-fiction books about people who wanted to share truths that they had discovered about life. I started with some good books like As a Man Thinketh by James Allen and Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu and continued from there. However, I began to realize that there was something still missing.

Many of these books encouraged turning inward and examining your thoughts and emotions, and in doing so, I started to realize that this was not the whole picture. I was neglecting the most integral part of being human. The one thing these kinds of books teach is that our thoughts, emotions, and bodies operate on vibrations; this means that they have energy. Our thoughts and emotions may seem one dimensional to us but they are not; we express our energies into the world and receive back energy. At some point in our lives, we begin to realize (whether we want to accept this or not) that we are created in God’s image which includes having a spirit. It is the thing that separates us from other animals. The truth is that we are all spiritual beings because of how God made us. So, when we neglect the most important part of us, we will always feel like there is something missing. Because in all actuality, there is. We are not growing spiritually.

Approximately a year later, I came across the book, The Purpose Driven Life by Pastor Rick Warren. I am currently reading this book, but it has already changed my life in so many ways. It has changed my views on life, it has changed my thoughts about myself and my self-worth, it has changed the way I view God, it has changed the way I feel about my future, and it has changed the way I feel about death.

While working through this book, I feel that God has tasked me with sharing my journey about this book and the development of my relationship with God. So, I have added another section to this blog to share with others the value and importance of spiritual growth and a relationship with God and how these areas affect and contribute to mental health and to life. My hope is that these posts will help you with your own personal relationship with God. This blog has been created to help you become brave enough to open up to God and invite Him into your life.

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