“He loves us no matter what…”

“Authentic communication is a sign that our relationship with [God] is genuine and close. God wants us to be real with him, not hide our feelings or dress them up in sparkly talk. When we show God our wounds, we show him we feel our wounds are safe in his presence. They become the bridge to an even closer relationship. When we quit hiding them, we discover he loves us not in spite of our messy feelings but because of them. He loves us no matter what, and our relationship is strengthened by honest communication.” – Kristen Strong, Girl Meets Change

 

Currently, situations in my life are reminding me again — roughly and bluntly — of what my weaknesses are. These difficult things have been thrown over my shoulders like a heavy quilt, dragging along the floor and pulling me back and off-center.

To my shame, I’m realizing that with these old and new challenges, I’ve fallen back into my default coping habits: 1) trying to rely on myself to figure it out and endure it, or 2) looking toward friends or family for validation, empathy, and understanding. As well-intentioned as both strategies are, there’s an inherent flaw to both of them. Neither is fully satisfying or complete; neither fills my soul or helps me feel understood; neither can give peace to my restlessness. And oh, do I go through cycles of restlessness, aimed at my inabilities and failings.

Maybe you’re like me and find yourself struggling internally. Maybe you’re an over-thinker like I am. Maybe you’re finding your life circumstances a little overwhelming right now. Maybe you’re like me and try not to burden others with your problems. Maybe when you do finally open up to friends and family, you hope they’ll say something inspiring to help the weight feel lighter. I know I do. Yet as much as I want them to understand — inevitably, they won’t. And it’s not their fault; those expectations do not belong to them.

I implore you — instead, look to the One who perfectly understands those wounds, understands those longings, and understands that fluctuating emptiness. Instead of wrestling to hide your struggles and keep them out of sight, lay them bare to the One who sees them for all that they are and all that we ourselves cannot perceive. Cry out to the only One worthy of being called out to — and stop trying to use your family and friends a substitutes.

This week, I’m trying not to hide. This week, I’m seeking my Heavenly Father.

I’m grateful He’s using this restlessness to pull me closer to Him. I know I don’t deserve any kind of close relationship with Him, and I know I would not come to Him on my own if He wasn’t prompting me. It’s all His doing, and I’ll praise Him for His undeserved love for me.

Authentic communication, established and maintained by God. What a true blessing this is!

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“Go outside. Don’t tell anyone…”

“Go outside. Don’t tell anyone and don’t bring your phone. Start walking and keep walking until you no longer know the road like the palm of your hand, because we walk the same roads day in and day out, to the bus and back home and we cease to see. We walk in our sleep and teach our muscles to work without thinking and I dare you to walk where you have not yet walked and I dare you to notice. Don’t try to get anything out of it, because you won’t. Don’t try to make use of it, because you can’t. And that’s the point. Just walk, see, sit down if you like. And be. Just be, whatever you are with whatever you have, and realise that that is enough to be happy. There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it.” ― Charlotte Eriksson

We are here. We exist. Isn’t that enough?

Existence is not easy. Our lives have joy, pain, laughter, crying, moments of listlessness and glimpses of apathy.

Yet, I’m not suffering in affliction. I don’t have   Continue reading

“Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about…”

“Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism, and a great deal of candor.” –Tom Hanks

 
This is both the simplest thing to understand cognitively, yet it’s one of the most difficult things to accept. It’s something we want, yet it’s something we will never have perfectly on this side of heaven. I think this is especially the case when it comes to family. Continue reading

“Peace cannot be kept by…”

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”
Albert Einstein

tvtropes.org

From a speech to the New History Society (14 December 1930)
Reprinted “Militant Pacifism” in Cosmic Religion (1931)

Also found in:
“Einstein on Cosmic Religion and other Opinions and Aphorisms”
by Albert Einstein and George Bernard Shaw
(Dover Publications, 23 April 2009) pg. 67

Make Christmas Merry

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” –Calvin Coolidge

I express the following thoughts with the idea that I’m addressing myself as much as I am addressing you. In fact, I’m probably thinking out loud to myself, and to my experiences, more than to anyone else. What I know is, many good and bad things in this world are beyond our control, yet many aspects of our lives can be directed by the kind of attitude we decide to have—for ourselves and toward others. Perhaps I am naive in believing that people can change, even when they themselves believe it is impossible. Yet I cannot proceed in any other way than to try and see the best in others, unless and until they prove to me otherwise. It is with these hopes and ideas in mind that I write:

Continue reading