Thursday, March 29, 2012

Afraid of the Dark!

Once upon a time, there lived a young girl in a small town just outside of a big city. Spring had sprung and the streets were covered in bright yellow puffs of pollen. It seemed the weather had gone from chilly to warm in a matter of days. The young girl loved spring because to her, it meant a time for new beginnings. As she walked a path to campus everyday, she noticed the flower buds slowly start to bloom, the bees buzzing by, and the birds begin to sing soft sweet melodies. As she soaked up the sunlight, she prayed that she would learn to enjoy each and every day remembering it as a gift from the Lord. Her life was full and growing busier with each week that passed. In her heart, she knew the Lord was preparing her for something great.

As the months lingered on, she spent time meeting with brothers and sisters in Christ to grow in her spirituality and strengthen her relationship and trust in the Lord. During the day, everything seemed fine. Her happiness overflowed into others as the joy from her heavenly Father ran through her veins. She had a passion for people, a love for laughter, and a heart that only wanted to make everyone's life better. Though she shared her struggles, she didn't think they mattered. The young girl only wanted to help others, not to burden them with any frustrations she dealt with. Some friends asked her if she ever got upset or had reason to cry, because all she cared to let them see was her happy, bubbly self. Her goal was to bring a smile to people's face through the love of Jesus. As she continued in her pursuit, the storm hit.

A battle between light and darkness came in the night. Not every night did this battle rage, but off and on for weeks. I've heard say that Satan always strikes hardest when God is about to do something amazing in your life. This young girl could feel the blows. As she sat in her bed at night, Satan attacked her thoughts. In her thoughts she was reminded of all the hurt she felt and the burdens she carried. She thought about her dear friend in the hospital whom she could not make better. She thought about her friends and the struggles they had with family and their faith and was again reminded she could not make things better. Thoughts of abandoned children in a Romanian hospital broke her heart as she again remembered she could not make things better. A negative mentality plagued her mind as she continued to think about things that only upset her. Her dreams turned to nightmares and with each morning made her that much more thankful for the rising sun.

In light of new beginnings God used those nights to reassure her that though she could not fix things and make people's lives better, He could. Though Satan made her feel like a failure, the holy spirit gave her peace in remembering that she can do all things in Christ. Though at times the young girl didn't feel equipped, her heavenly Father equipped her. Most importantly, He reminded her of her significance to Him. As a daughter of our heavenly Father, she was overcome with a peace that He is in control of every detail in our life. His grace and mercy is renewed with each passing day. His love is unconditional and His joy is unending. Don't be afraid of the dark; for just as Winter turns to Spring, so light conquers darkness.

Power in the Word:

"You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him."
Psalm 18:28-30

"Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify me."
Psalm 50:15

"A twinkle in the eye means joy in the heart, and good news makes you feel fit as a fiddle."
Proverbs 15:30

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hold on....

Once upon a time, all went quiet. The sound of the dryer muffled in the background. Outside, the storm calmed and the thunder silenced. Slowly, the rain hushed its pitter-patter against the fogged window panes of my apartment. An inner peace enveloped my body as I no longer thought of the noise that had increased in volume over the past several weeks. One by one, my troubles seemed to fade. The burdens, anger, hurt, fear, sadness, and disappointment I carried lost meaning. Physically and emotionally drained, there was no where else to turn.

I've listened for so long to others' problems I cannot fix, I've barely made any time for myself. More than anything or anyone, I need my heavenly Father right now. My family has made some drastic changes these past few months that are affecting me in more ways than one. As I lay here in the quietness of my home, I am reminded that Jesus calms the storm. Realizing that my life is not in my hands by any means has a tendency to make a control freak like myself become easily overwhelmed. However, our heavenly Father is not a God of chaos and confusion. Why we get so caught up in questioning our Lord is not because He purposefully confuses us or brings chaos into our life, but because we are so impatient. When we get impatient with God, we find ourselves trying to seek answers from others. I have struggled with keeping my questions and thoughts between myself and God. I seek answers but have a difficult time waiting for them. What will I be doing this summer? How will I cope without my parents living an hour down the road? Who will I marry? Where might I attend graduate school? All these questions plague my mind when God says not to worry about tomorrow! I'm not suppose to worry about tomorrow and yet I find myself worried about the next several years! Wow, does God ever have patience!

I'm finally done with these questions. The answers don't matter. In trusting God, I am taking the passenger's seat and letting Him do the driving. I'm living for Him; therefore, He is my guide. Though my body is worn from the emotions I've held in, I feel at peace. It is my time to rest and refocus strengthening my relationship with my heavenly Father. I don't want those around me to think I stopped caring. I just need time to myself, time to let go, and time to be alone with my heavenly Father. The world on my shoulders is beginning to crush me and I'm ready to be renewed.

As I snuggle in under my fuzzy blanket with soft melodies filling the room, I'm free. I can sleep and know that God is looking after me. Through the noise, I find my peace in Him. I'm holding on to Him, clinging to Him. I pray you don't have to hit rock bottom to see the Lord as your way out. His love will always find you. He knows our every thought, feeling, and desire. Follow Him, and everything will fall into place. He will guide you on the path He has chosen for you. When there's no one to turn to and you find nothing of this world can mend your broken heart, call on Him and break free.

Scripture Reading:

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet." Proverbs 3:24