Good evening, dear readers <3
I know I've been kind of neglecting this series as I've been doing more "Wednesday in the Word" posts, but I felt like today was a good day to bring this back. :) This is the first Sunday of the lunar new year, so it is a good benchmark day to start being more consistent and faithful in posting! It has been a little difficult as Sundays tend to be my travel days when I have the day off, but as I am transitioning to the next chapter of my life, I fully intend to get back into the full swing of posting more regularly.
How have you all been? I know I kind of disappeared from the world for two months and just came back to announce the winner of my Christmas giveaway and do a quick Valentine's day post. After getting over the flu, I spent about a month just travelling and rekindling friendships and relationships with people I've lost touch with. Time flies by so fast, and this past year has been a whirlwind of emotions.
I began the year opening up to someone and trusting that person to fully embrace and protect me. I still remember asking that person, "Can I trust you? Can I be honest with you?" and receiving the response, "Yes, you can tell me anything." I remember clearly the way it felt to finally let loose the tears and hurt that I'd been holding onto, and feeling like I could finally forgive myself for what happened. I remember admitting to the insecurities that had built up and how it made me afraid to open up. I remember how in that moment, I felt safe and warm, and believed that I didn't have to be afraid anymore.
Over the course of the year, that trust was shattered. I was again thrown into a loop of insecurities and fear. I had to really re-evaluate what I put my faith in, and where I found my identity in. It'd be a lie to say that my heart isn't still tinged with bitterness and hurt, and it feels like every time I made progress in forgiving that person, something would happen to throw me back to Square One. I feel as though this entire year, I teetered on a precarious balance of being angry, hurt, and spiteful versus craving to forgive and reach reconciliation.
In the past couple of months, God opened my eyes by showing me a reflection of myself through the struggles of a friend. As I watched my friend spiral into a situation that burdened her heart with hurt, regret, sadness, anger, jealousy, fear, spiteful, bitterness, and helplessness, I realized where I was in my relationship with God.
While God doesn't let go of us, we ourselves let go of ourselves and wander into the abyss of self-doubt and self-pity. It doesn't mean that our self-doubt and self-pity aren't normal human reactions to traumatic experiences; we're human, and we aren't perfect. However, at some point, we need to acknowledge that it's not that big of an event in the grand scheme of things. In our lives, people come and go.... people return... and people leave again. Timing is everything, and sometimes it's just not the right time. These revelations are universal, and not just a part of our Christian faith. All of us, Christian or not, need to recognize that we don't always get what we want, and we have to deal with it. Life was never meant to be an easy stroll in the park where we get everything we want handed to us as we go along.
Things that happen to prevent something we want might simply God be telling us, "Not now," instead of "No". It could mean that there is something better to come along. We don't know for sure, and it's okay. We have to trust in God and His promises -- He has promised us that there is something more to look forward to than what we see and feel right now. He has told us that He is sovereign, and He will lead us out of the desert. It doesn't mean that in our time on earth, we will FEEL blessed, but that we ARE blessed, and WILL BE blessed, and MUST acknowledge that we are blessed by CHRIST. Our lives cannot be lived based on the broken promises of others, and our worth is not valued at what others think of us. There are bible verses upon bible verses telling us all of these things, but knowing these verses don't change our heart; accepting does. In the instance of last year, I realized that I had blocked Christ out from that part of my life; I found it so hard to accept an praise God for what happened. Even as I prayed and asked him to heal me and teach me forgiveness, I couldn't let him love on me the way I needed. I simply filled the hole of a previous hurt with that person, and let it scab and scar. When that person disappeared, the gaping hole in my heart was like a picked wound: raw, infected, bleeding, and hurting even more than before. That was a hole that needed to be filled by God, the only One who can disinfect the wound, let it breathe and heal, and will stay even when the wound has been healed.
As I began to open my eyes to seek God in that area of my life, I began to notice how much God has blessed me in other areas in my life, as well. My bitterness towards God in that situation had blocked my sight of Him in other things, as well. Our relationships with God is always a work in progress, and it's important for us to realize God isn't meeting us halfway. He's already come 100%, and he's waiting for us to meet Him where we are: we simply tend to be distracted, turn our head the other way, and seek other things. As I am still learning to trust and have faith in God regarding the situation, He has been faithful in giving me opportunities to build my relationships with my other friends and new friends. It has been a blessing to realize that even as I became so fixated on mourning over a friendship that went sour, I still have friends who care and love on me despite my negligence in appreciating my relationships with them.
This Sunday, I really hope that you all can pray for my friend who is going through a hard time in her life. She acknowledges on a theological level that she has to trust in God to heal her, that bad times will pass, etc.etc., however she has been struggling to believe that there even is a God. As she is going through this hard time, she has been contemplating death as an alternative solution to being healed from this pain. Her heart has been so weary, and it hasn't just been an emotional ride for her; the situation has taken a physical toll on her, and she has been sick on and off with a fever and cough. Please pray for her healing, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.
For those of you going through a hard time, I pray that you can open up your heart and spill your burdens out to God, and let Him heal you. I don't know the intimate details of your struggles, and if you need someone to talk to or rant to, you can always go to the "Contact Me" section and send me an e-mail or DM on social media. Please let me know how I can better pray for you and build our partnership together. :)
Lord, thank you for your unwavering, faithful love for us. I'm sorry our hearts are so easily taken by idols in our lives. I'm sorry we lose sight of You, whom we've vowed to hold fast to and worship wholeheartedly in the temple that is our hearts. Thank you for continually healing us even as we refuse to recognize and appreciate Your Love and Sovereignty. Please continue to open our hearts and rid them of the idols that act as temporary, useless bandages. Rip them off and disinfect the wounds that fester in our hearts and push us away from You. Clothe us in Your armor, rather than our own understandings and desires. Break us away from our pride, so that we can come in humility before you and be mended and molded to Your Will. You let us stand before You unashamed, yet we bury ourselves in the rubble of shame and fear left by the smashed idols in our hearts -- cleanse us of this ash, so we can remember and rejoice that You created us from ash; You love on us faithfully, relentlessly, and eternally. Let us proclaim, not just with our lips, but with our hearts, that You are Sovereign, and we submit to You. Lord, please let us trust that no matter what happens, it will be okay, because You stand with us as our Protector, Healer, and Saviour.
In Your Son's Name Most High, Amen