Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Taking Chances

Love is a chance we should take...
Don't let your fire burn out
Somewhere somebody needs a reason to believe
Stand Out...

-Britt Nicole "The Lost Get Found"

Nothing in life is guaranteed safe. I have learned in the past few days that safety can slip through your fingers in a split second. However, just because we know we can't always be truly safe, should it affect our behavior? Should I live each moment scared, anxious and ready to have a panic attack? Or should I live with a hope that everything will be okay?

Fear is a subject dear to my heart because most of my life I've been plagued with deep deep anxiety. Feeling safe wasn't an option through childhood, and teen struggles brought up issues I'd rather have left hidden.

One of my favorite quotes says this...
“The truth about our childhood is stored up in our body and lives in the depth of our soul. Our intellect can be deceived, our feelings can be numbed and manipulated, our perception shamed and confused, our bodies tricked with medication. But our soul never forgets. And because we are one, one whole soul in one body, someday our body will present its bill.”
-Alice Miller

I found that to be true in my life. Everything I'd tried to push away came flooding back on me and sent me spiraling. God's grace alone has allowed freedom to gradually take the place of bondage.

But here's the deal. Love is an awfully risky thing...whether it's romantic, loving a rebellious child/teen, or even a close friend. Why? Because people hurt us. They dump us, delete us, move away, move on, turn on us, and abandon us. A few years ago I made a list of all the people I'd "lost" by various ways and the number was staggering. In Britt Nicole's words... "I'm strong enough, I told myself, I never want to need somebody else"...simply because it feels safer to rely only on ourselves.

In my life love has been a twisted concept. What I was told love was and how it was shown to me were very different things. People came into my life, took everything and left without a word. People made me believe I could trust them and threw it back in my face. It hasn't been easy by any means.

But, even though love doesn't seem safe, I still have a desire to be loved...and to love with all my broken, shattered heart. Because God is putting the pieces back together. I spent years believing I was truly unlovable. I hated myself, felt like a failure, and settled for anything that resembled love. It was a mistake. Over and over again. See, I craved love because God created us to be lovers and to be loved. He loved us perfectly so that we can pass that on to those around us.

I still struggle with feeling unlovable, but I know that even when I don't see it, people do really care. And regardless of how people view me, I have a heavenly Father who loves me sooo incredibly much. He'd do anything for me and sees me as His beautiful daughter. I am beloved. His beloved.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What's it going to cost you?

What's it going to cost you?

To listen to what God's trying to teach you that is.

Our culture tells us that it's not cool to follow God. That living a "religious fanatic" lifestyle isn't hip, up-to-date or culturally relevant.

The point being?

If you live in 2009, and you try to follow God, you'll probably go through some persecution for your faith.

Needless to say, the result of this is that many teens turn away.

What happens to them?

Well, I think they learn the high cost of not listening. What's it going to cost you for God to get your attention? How much are you willing to pay?

It's been said that pain is God's megaphone--that He'll drill and hammer at our lives until He gets through to our hearts.

Now does that mean that all pain is because we've done something wrong? By no means! But pain is how God speaks to us--teaches us, molds us, crafts us, and ultimately--uses us. Rather than punishment--it's discipline, teaching and mentoring from a Father who cares sooo much about us--He can't stand to lose us.

The point is, pain has purpose. And if you haven't been listening--tune in. He might just have something to tell you.