In the spirit of transparency….I’m a bit scary. Ok, so I am actually scary scary. I don’t do scary movies. Not a fan of scary shows. As badly as I want to watch Lovecraft, I probably never will. You will NEVER find me in anybody’s haunted house or serious horror film. There are movies that I watched as a child that I have yet to watch again as a whole adult. Why? Because…they…scaaarrreddd meeeeeeee!! Furthermore, because I am who I am, when I do feel fear, I feel it completely. I feel it strongly. In the spirit of dramatics, I don’t know if I’m even capable of being a little scared anymore; I’m either fine or petrified. So imagine the joy, the comfort, the peace I felt when I was reading 1 Samuel 2 and realized….I have nothing to fear.
Honesty moment: so, when I started writing this, I was convinced that I was going to base it on Isaiah 59:19. Then, I realized that scripture doesn’t mean what I thought it meant (lesson/purpose of this intro: this is why we study the word for ourselves, saints). Yet, I found another scripture that essentially speaks to the same point (thanks God, because I was starting to think I was insane/incompetent). Today’s ram in the bush: Psalm 3:3.
Last week, a friend & I were talking about our shared dysfunction (keep us in prayer, k?). I don’t like to be a burden or a bother, you know? So if (after a period of time), I feel like a burden/bother, or that you don’t really want to talk to me, I stop talking (it’s really terrible lol). Since that conversation, one verse has repeatedly swirled around my mind: “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7). Therefore, I’m here to serve as a reminder of what you may already know: He still cares. (this may be quick, so…let’s go)
Mark 4:35 tells a story that most church people are familiar with, but it's been a minute since I gave a Valencia Version translation, so....walk with me. Jesus has been doing...Jesus things: giving people the absolute business about what God and His kingdom are really like. Once He's done, He turns to the disciples & says "let's take a trip." They hop in a few boats....and all is well...until hell breaks loose (because that's the usual protocol when you do what Jesus tells you to do). They're in the middle of a body of water, and winds get high, water is everywhere (including in the boat), and Jesus.....is asleep.
“At what point did you earn the right to quit?” This…this is the question that summarizes my life lately. In my own little defense, I haven’t completely quit (don’t panic, I didn’t denounce God or anything like that)…I just fell into “the sunken place” of laziness. Life got a little scressful (no not stressful, I passed that a while ago), my schedule changed, hours have this way of turning into days, & days keep becoming months. Eventually, I looked up one day, and couldn’t find my discipline. I couldn’t access that ‘ok…do it anyway…the hustle doesn’t stop because _____’ mentality. Baby girl was TIRED, ok! I used tired as an excuse to fall off…of everything. You may have noticed that it’s been a few weeks since a new post was uploaded. I stopped working out (used my hair as an excuse & everything lol). You may be thinking that I’m talking without purpose, I promise Im not (lol). I’m telling you this because…
(Soooo....it's been a while. HI!...again)
I (try to) go to the gym regularly. Typically, it’s a terrible experience, especially when it’s been a while. The interesting thing about going to the gym is that pain…is the goal. If you don’t “feel it” (if it doesn’t hurt a certain way), it’s not working. We have sayings like “no pain, no gain”, & “sweat is weakness leaving the body”, to push us…to keep suffering…to endure. Yet…we fail to see life the same way. We expect it with our bodies, because we walk into a location called a ‘gym’, but what do you when life….is a gym? What do you do when your mind is constantly on a treadmill…on its highest speed…at all times? What do you do when everything feels like…a workout? Well, you do the same thing you do at the gym. For where there is no pain, there’s no true gain.
This morning, I read Colossians 3:23, which says “and whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” To me, it served as a wake up call, and I wondered if you needed one too. I get it. It’s March. The new year feeling is long gone. Midnight has lost its magical sparkle. Gyms are empty. Some old attitudes have returned. Relationships that we said we’d cut may or may not be back in action. In some ways, we’ve lost our….umph. Why?
Last week, God fussed at me (He does that occasionally….or often…who’s to say). I had gotten impatient, moved too quickly (I’m really good at that), and stuck my hand in His plan. He made the promise, He gave the instruction, and…I may or may not have been aiming for extra credit, and I don’t think that move had high approval ratings in Heaven. While He was fussing, He said something that…sparked something in me (that’s so God by the way lol). He asked me a question that He now wants me to ask you: do you want it bad enough to wait for it?
A few days ago, a really bad storm came made its way across my city. Sirens were going off all over the place. Winds were at around 65 mph. It sounded like the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans were being released over my little home…and I’m sitting on the couch, giving Jesus a concert, reading for my next class. Then, it randomly occurred to me that I was awfully peaceful for somebody who could possibly be caught up in a tornado. I mean, I wasn’t panicking at all. If the sound of the storm did anything, it soothed me, and made me want a nap (which is partially why I gave Jesus the concert). All of that made me wonder about life (because that’s what I do lol), and about the storms that we face on a daily basis. What if I (well, we…I don’t want to be alone here lol) faced my spiritual storms the way I faced the physical storms?
Well, the first week of 2017 is over (sidebar: no, I'm not moving the new posts to Friday). For some, it's been inspirational (new year, new things!!!! Oh glory!!); for others, it's been rooooouuugghhhh (new year....new things...like heartache, and pain). Regardless of where you are on that scale, I've been thinking about you, & I want to share something with you that God shared with me: He came so that you (yep, YOU) would live abundantly.
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
Within the first year, Church Decoded was viewed over 15,000 times! FIF...TEEN....THOUSAND!....IN A YEAR! I am SO grateful to everybody that has ever read, shared, and/or liked a blog post. Ya'll have truly blown my mind. Let's keep telling (our lives) His story!