I am free to be the person I want to be. No one else is here to tell me how to live my life, so I am free to be me. I am free to serve God and to die for him. I am free to be the mom I want to be. I am free to organize my life, or be as chaotic as I choose to be. I am free to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness in my life, and there is nothing to hinder or stop me. Who can I blame for a lack of discipline? I am free to live my life how I choose to. I am free to work for whom I want to. I am free to go to the church I want to and go as often as I like or not at all. I am free to spend the money I make how I want to and to be as poor as I want to. Who is here to tell me who I can choose to please or ignore? I am free. I am free because my life is my own, but I am not on my own, I am not alone, because God is right beside me, leading, directing and guiding me into who he created me to be, because I am free to lay down my life and seek not my will but his will so that the life I live will not be my choosing but his. I am free.
Every time I get my eyes on a man my heart gets hurt. Why? Because I need healing. I need to be engulfed in a shadow of perfect love right now. I need to be embraced and seen as I am and to be loved, understood, and accepted. I am already wounded from past betrayal, hurt, and rejection. I have a history of being lied to, let down, and mistreated. The worst part is that I have not been loving or kind to myself. I don’t even accept myself and I often forget that this is what I’m feeling. I do not like who I am, why? Well, I do like who I am, but there is a voice of mine I hear in my head that rejects myself. This needs to be dealt with. So there is no place in my mind for being with a man who in anyway tells me I’m not good enough and who is only interested in self gain. I have no business seeking approval from a man when I need to love myself and be loved. I have no business listening to the negative voice. Correction is appropriate, but because my heart is already fragile it needs to come from a person who truly cares about me and knows how to be gentle and kind. The words “value” and worth keep playing over and over in my mind so apparently this plays a role. I am valuable so why would I waste my time trying to feel valued? If someone doesn’t value you then they are a hindrance to us and toxic. In other words if someone does not value us and see our worth, without us having to prove it or show it, then we are busy trying to earn something that we need to be already validating. I am worthy, I am fragile, I am tender, I am bruised, I am new. I have new skin that needs to be treated with care and nourished. “I have loved you with an ever lasting love” says the Lord, and he keeps showing me that every time I love a man I will be hurt. The reason for this is because only one knows my heart, I do not have to prove myself to God, he already understands my worth as he himself created me in my mothers womb he celebrates me already. Man does not and will never know my mind, only God does. We all seek to be understood and don’t want to be intimidated. Done. God understands you. God is always kind and gentle with you. I do not need to be spending my time with someone who cannot read my mind, see my heart, or not truly love me. That just wounds my already broken heart, because what I need only God can give me. Now that it is just me and the Lord, I am free to love him and serve him alone.
I have felt weak my whole life, as far back as I can remember. I was a timid child, very sensitive and shy. I felt more comfortable playing by myself. I never grew out of that. I still have that small, timid child inside of me. I have discovered even at a young age that it was a weakness to be so sensitive and to care so much. Everything I took personally. Sometimes I still take things personally even when it wasn’t meant to be. I’ve been told so many times throughout my life I needed more confidence and that I shouldn’t care what people think about me. I also had a huge sensitivity towards others. When I was young I wanted to help people and counsel them. I always cared so much about making other people feel important and loved, all the while many people did not care when they made me feel unloved and unimportant. Now that I’m grown up I am still learning like a child. I suppose there is truth to postings that people who grow old still feel young inside and are even themselves shocked when they see their wrinkles in the mirror, wondering what had happened to them. There was a time when I thought that 40 years old was so old, but now that I am 40 years old I am afraid that I won’t have this life figured out before it is time to die. Life is but a breath for sure. One minute you are here, the next you are gone.
However, there are benefits to being 40 years old and that is I have new clarity about the meaning of life. When I was young I felt that being sensitive meant that I was weak, and that weak meant I was inferior, and that inferior meant that I was not valuable. The truth now as I see it is that Satan spent my whole life at my side driving that lie into my mind so that I would not see just how strong my weakness was, and how superior being inferior truly is. The bible says that those moments when we become weak, we then become strong. There is much strength and courage involved when I step out into the world, sensing the needs and feelings of other people around me, and still being able to look them in their eyes and have a conversation with them that is disconnected. It is courageous when I dare to believe the best in a person and value what they tell me when they’ve actually told me a lie, and even more courageous to love someone I know they are telling me a lie but are pretending they are not.
To have a sensitive heart and still be able to give a piece of it over and over again to people who will hurt it without a second thought is strength. To be misunderstood, to be rejected or used is a part of living as a human. However, the strength that comes from having a sensitive heart is to be able to forgive and understand as well. I have learned as I’ve grown older that as long as I am ok with myself, then it won’t matter if someone understood me or not. Yes, sometimes it is still disappointing, that is natural to feel that way, however as long as my confidence is not dependent on what that person thinks of me then I am ok. My job my suffer in a work environment in which another’s perspective and perception is what determines the security of your position, that sucks when that happens, because popular opinion always wins rather than integrity and truth. That is ok though, because the truth of the matter is that the trials and disappointments in our lives all serve one major purpose, and that is to prove what we base our trust in. Is my foundation for happiness based on my job position? No. Peace of mind maybe, until even then I learn that God always provides, even if it is a life lesson learned on the street. When we learn to embrace our weaknesses and instead see the strength in them, then we indeed become as strong as our greatest weakness. My trust is in the Lord and his word. I know that nothing can happen to me except for what he allows, and I’m not going to lie, I do fear what is coming up next because life has been like a roller coaster ride, just like a person might cringe as they know that a sudden turn or twist will surely appear any moment. However, I have learned to thrill of the roller coaster in that I really do not know what new lesson God is going to bring my way, because when I am weak, then I am strong.
I do not have to compete for your love. You have made me valuable as I am and you are faithful. How many times had I felt insecure in the past when I had a straying lover, making me feel I had to be better than who I am? I am grateful for the lessons that you have given me Lord that in you, there is not competition. No other lover is going to take away my standing with you, and no matter how haughty a cat may be who shows up and thinks they are going to take the show, there is no need for me to be greedy. Another can have the lime light, it does not threaten my standing with you. If I have a lover who chooses someone better, I still have no room to fear, because in you there is no need to compete. I am no less valuable to you. You still love me the same. When we understand that there is no competition for our place in the kingdom of God, then we can allow another person’s light to shine. It is between that person and the Lord their own heart attitude in his kingdom, as for me I trust the ultimate judge who is more than able to discern the difference between right and wrong. I have experienced many a friendship that turned into a competition in which they tried to outshine me. It is unfortunate that a friend would do that to another but I still stand secure, there is no need to compete before the perfect judge who still loves me perfectly no matter what. I don’t know how many times I have preferred to be a lone ranger so that I didn’t have to deal with people trying to compete with me and snuff out my light so that theirs could shine brighter. At times a person’s light will shine brighter, and they will have greater honor. May I still stand secure knowing that your love Lord is all that matters. Let me respond in love and not be subject to the fiery darts that Satan wants to throw in such an advantage point. May I always trust you Lord Jesus my firm rock. If I error may I be corrected. If I need to do better than let me learn. Keep me secure in your love is all that really matters for I will trust that in due time you will honor each of us according to what you see is right. You will not let your loved one see decay or deliver him to the grave. You are a defender of the weak and uphold the case of the fatherless. You will not let your loved ones be put to shame.
I feel the need to go deeper even still and discuss you as a lover. You are such a good and faithful lover. You will not allow others to speak deceit and put down your lover. You do not involve yourself in evil talk about your little ones and will punish and correct those who speak ill against them. You will defend your little ones and protect them from the powers that would rise up against them. We will not be put to shame. You are the good Samaritan who stood up for the beggar who was left abandoned and mocked on the side of the road. The poor men who had no shame and called out to you because they were in need, you ignored the righteous man near you and you came to them and helped them with their needs. You say, “whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me”. You say, “I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink”.. oooh you love the underdog. You protect the lowliest person and you uphold their cause. Let us who think we are better repent so that we can be like you. Let us stoop down off our pedestal as the king of the world came to serve and not be served. This is the type of Lord that we serve, the one that would give a drink of water to a beggar while the rest of the world will say, “stay away from them, they just want to buy boos, they deserve their lot in life, they are just lazy and need a job”, you say, “away from me I never knew you” to the wicked who ignore the fatherless and the lost. You care about the fatherless I thank you for this. Thank you for the poor in the world are really the rich in the kingdom of God, and the foolish things of the world confound the wise. Let us never forget who you are and the lessons you have to teach us. Let us become lowly so not to offend you and have the wisdom to walk in true love always. Amen.
It is true that there isn’t always an immediate fix. As a matter of fact there is not an immediate fix for a reason, because you don’t change. To think that we need something new, or something to change before things can be different for us, is to think that God made a mistake in the first place. He made the world and everything in it including us. To say that we are not enough is to say he made a mistake, and God does not change. Rather than trying to change things in our lives, we should change our outlook. Rather than looking for something new to make us happy, we should appreciate what we have already been given. True happiness starts with being happy with where we are and with who we are with. The grass is only greener on the other side, because that person has been watering and taking care of it maybe. Maybe we need to embrace what we have. I am so grateful that no matter what happens in the life, you Lord remain the same. Your words are constant no matter what we face, your word says do not worry, do not be afraid. Appearances might tell us that things won’t be ok unless we jump rock to rock, but your word says that You are the constant rock. It is not you God that is the problem, but it is our choices. We are told that the greatest commandment is to love you with all our heart, soul, will emotion, strength, yet how many of us obey this vital command. That command alone would resolve every problem that we face on earth. We would have world peace and no more wars. We would be happy and whole. We would have no more world hunger, if every person on the planet simply just obeyed the single most greatest command. I cannot solve world hunger, but I can however choose you. Please help me to mold my will to yours. Help me do what you command and always be willing.
If I wait upon you and obey your commands according to my strength then I am fulfilling your greatest command. This is that I do it to my fullest ability, it does not require perfection, but rather true effort and determination. We cannot attain perfection, there is nothing that we can do that will ever come close to being good enough, however because you love us you credit our faith as righteousness always. You look at our actions which show you our love, and you will justify us and then glorify us. Because you are good and faithful. Your word does not tell us to seek perfection, but what it does say is to seek you first, to concern ourselves with your kingdom and your righteousness and all that we care about will be added unto us. You are faithful I know this.
When I wait upon you this means that you are my source of security. If you are my rock I will not be shaken. As soon as I get my focus on something else such as my home, my job, my partner, my friend to be my rock, I find that those things can be shaken. On my own self as well, this too can be shaken. I am reminded lately that you are the source of my strength and that I cannot even rely on my own strength. My work is to seek you and obey you. That is my part and the rest is yours. Do I trust you? Then I will show it be waiting upon you and obeying you even when I am afraid, even when my head screams that I am foolish. I will keep my trust in you as my source and my security alone. The world will tell us a different story always. Your friends, family members, teachers, even fellow church members will tell you to put your trust in something else, and maybe suggest that putting all your trust in the God of earth is foolish, however God has a way of proving his word. His word will not return void. Lord please let anything that I ever think to place my trust in be shaken. I am so grateful for my relationship because it teaches me that you are a solid rock and foundation and my reliance on anything outside of you will prove to be shaken. I am so grateful that you promise to not abandon your loved ones to the grave. Whatever is consistently you, that I can trust.
Help me trust in you in depth. Please expose the times I might be reaching for something other than my secure rock and remind me of your life and faithfulness. Sitting on this rock might prove challenging until we find that it is actually comforting to trust in you. To rely on you. At first the rock seems hard, cold, silent. Over time we begin to feel your warmth, your attentiveness, your care and your ever enduring love. What is even more is that we find that even if we slip and fall off, or even if we choose to get off the the rock, this rock will seek us, and it will find us because there is nothing, no height, or depth, or width or power, no magnet, no distraction, no other love that can separate me from this love. The magnitude of that love is so important and powerful for us to understand. So much so that we have been prayed for so that we will know how high, and deep, and wide is your love for us. Because you are love. Even if we are unfaithful you will remain faithful. Lord I don’t know if I’ll ever truly be worthy of your love. But right now while I’m of sound mind I am saying thank you. Help me learn more about the depth of your love. Help me always choose life and be willing to loose my life so that it will be saved. Amen
This life has a way of disappointing us. Every time that I set my heart on something earthly, I am at risk of being disappointed. We are told here in Colossians chapter 3 that we should set our hearts on things above, because we are now dead to this life on earth now that we have given our hearts to the Lord. “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will appear with him in glory”. “Our lives are now hidden with him, and he is seated at the right hand of God in heaven”… Think about it. If our lives are now in Christ, if he is now living in us, and he is at the right hand of God, then that means that God also lives in us. “The life I now live, I live by faith, in the son of God who loved me and gave his life for me”. We are told to set our hearts on things above. In other places we are told to set our minds on things above. That means what we think about. However, here we are told to set our hearts on things above. I thank God that everything in my natural life has disappointed me. I am grateful that I have found life in God. This means that I am rich in my soul though poor on earth. When my hope is on God, and my reliance is on him for my life, then I might be loosing my life in a sense that I am no longer seeking after the things that make my flesh happy, but rather I experience God even as I am walking on earth. God, my hope is in you. Forgive me for still setting my heart on things of this earth. Forgive me for disappointing you. You are my God, I worship you by laying down my life for you. I do not love this world though I still have a worldly body. I trust you. I believe you when you said that you will give me life and give it in abundance. I want you more. Let me shine in glory with you and be tucked away in your hidden place. I am hidden with you. You are my shelter. I am yours. I remember that dream in which you grabbed my hand and lead me away with you… you took me to your hidden place where I had a little spot in your garden. It was a hidden place. I see it now. You took me out of the maze and brought me to your hidden place where I was set apart for your glory. Forever I am yours. I was created just for you. When I was a child I felt lost and insignificant in this great big world and I asked you why.. why did I have to be here. I was created for you. You saved me and you made me yours. Please hide me away now. Please protect me. Thank you Jesus for you are a good faithful Shepherd. I may be foolish to others but that doesn’t matter. What matters to me is your approval. Help me to overcome and not be overtaken. Keep me safe. Without your help I would be lost forever. I cannot bear a life without you in it.
The flesh makes us think that it has a hold on us, because of our lusts. It has cravings, it has needs. Yet, where is your power? We may fall for a night, but his power makes us new in the morning. Everything that we face and get caught up in only serves to make us wise and to learn that the flesh really has no life at all… even with its many desires. Nothing compares to the new life that he puts in us. Nothing can take out the seed that his spirit implants within us. Even for a little while we think that we have lost the war, and that there is no fight within us. Yet that seed is life. That seed is power. That seed germinates and makes us want more, it wants what our flesh is powerless to give us. Oh death, where is your sting? You are arrogant flesh, you think that you have a hold on us… you might have our body for a moment, yet this life within us you cannot conquer. Oh death, where is your sting. I do not put my trust in my flesh, because every time my flesh will choose wrong. Every time my flesh will just hold me down. Like a bully my flesh will rant, rave and intimidate. It will seduce me but even when I seek to satisfy you flesh, nothing that you have to offer leaves me satisfied. It leads that light within me to ask, “is that it, is that all you’ve got”. Eventually the spirit within me will reach for what you cannot offer flesh. Oh death, where is your sting. You’ve lost flesh. You cannot satisfy me anymore. Of spirit your life is so good. What you have to offer the flesh cannot compare to. You have won spirit man. You are good, you are holy, you finally have hit my spot… Oh flesh, you are lacking severely. Oh death, where is your sting. Even when my body has finally met its in… the one who made a promise is within me. I will live again because I am not my own. I have been bought at the cross. Death is all you had left, and you took your best shot. But you have failed, because you just lead to more glory and the salvation of the world. Oh death, where is your sting? Amen.