Trusting in God

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Hello friends. I’m not having one of my better days. Ive been feeling really tired and weak and pretty sore for the last few weeks. Ive noticed some things lately that are pretty concerning, and the nurse in me has diagnosed myself with something that’s pretty awful– Which in turn has got my anxiety turned up to full blast. Sometimes, too much knowledge is not a good thing. Just trying to stay positive and not worry too much until I see the doctor next week.

I was talking to my sisters about my concerns this morning and one of them reminded me about Proverbs 3:5. In honor of her, I’m going to leave you with the entire passage of Proverbs 3:1-6 from Eugene Peterson’s paraphrased version of the Bible, The Message.

Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you; take to heart my commands.They’ll help you live a long, long time, a long life lived full and well. Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.

I needed to remember that today. Maybe you did too. 

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Choosing Forgiveness

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Do you know the story of Corrie ten Boom? If you’ve never read The Hiding Place I really encourage you to read it. It’s the story of a Dutch woman, Corrie ten Boom, and her family during WWII. Corrie was just a teenager when her family began hiding Jewish people from the Nazis in a secret room in their home. Eventually they got caught and the whole family, although they were Christians, were sent to concentration camps themselves. There they suffered terrible things and well– without giving away the whole book I’ll just tell you that Corrie had more reason to hate than anyone I’ve ever known. More reason to hold a grudge than I will ever have. Yet, she devoted her life to spreading the love of God and the lesson of forgiveness. I read the book when I was a teenager and already had a lot that I needed to forgive. Corrie’s example of forgiveness was so powerful that it burned deeply into my soul. God knew I would need it many times in my life, and he put it where I would not forget it.

In the book, she says this about forgiveness:

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” – Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place

When I read those words, it was my “aha” moment. Forgiveness is choice. It’s not a feeling. It’s not something that just happens out of nowhere. It’s something I decide to do. And then I do it. Even if I don’t feel like it. It wasn’t easy for Corrie, and it isn’t easy for me. But it’s necessary for my survival, so just like Corrie, I ask God for the strength to do it. And that’s my “how”. Now let’s talk about the “why”.

Why I Choose Forgiveness

I’ve had many conversations with people who don’t understand my choice to forgive the people who have hurt me. They usually ask me things like:

  • Aren’t you afraid you’ll look weak? – No, I’m not. Holding a grudge is easy. It takes incredible strength to forgive.
  • Aren’t you just condoning what they did to you? – This one’s tricky, I’ll admit it. The last thing I want to do is lead the person to believe that what he or she did was OK or give them license to repeat it. But, if I don’t forgive I’ll be letting them continue to hurt me anyway, because I’ll be carrying it with me, reliving it in my heart and in my head. So I choose to forgive them anyway.
  • Do you really think they deserve it? – Yes I do. Why? Because this:

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” – C.S. Lewis

In God’s eyes, all sins are the same. If he forgave me mine, who am I to refuse to forgive someone else?  That’s hypocrisy at it’s ugliest and I try very hard not to engage in that practice. But, even if I didn’t believe that the people who wronged me deserve forgiveness, it doesn’t matter. Forgiveness is not for their benefit, it’s for mine because once I forgive I can let it go and not be carrying around a toxic brew of emotions murkying up my  soul.  I can be free. I can move on. Holding a grudge does not punish the offender in the slightest. It only affects the grudge holder. Think about that.

  • Why would you want to forgive them? – Well, for all of the reasons above. And also because Jesus told us to. What better way is there to be a light in this world? That’s what we’re supposed to do, isn’t it? Just be shining examples of him and his love so the rest of the world will want what we have? I think that is all to often forgotten and Christians are not always spreading love like they should. It gives God a bad name and I hope we can stop it. But that’s a post for another day.

So there you have it. My how and my why. I can honestly tell you that I would not have come through all the trauma in my life so victoriously if I had not chosen to forgive. Again and again. Seventy times seven. I’ve mastered the art of bouncing back, and forgiveness is one of my most important brushes.


Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:31-32

God is Within Me, I Will Not Fall

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The top thing on my list of what makes me resilient is my faith in God. That’s what I’m going to dig a little deeper into today.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that without God, I would have crumbled a looooong time ago. That’s just the truth. But why is that? What about my relationship with God makes me resilient? I’m an analyzer, after all. It’s not very often I just take things at face value. You’ll read more about that another day because being an analyzer is also on my  “Why I’m So Resilient” list.

Yesterday I read a very interesting article about a small study done at the University of Utah examining how our brains respond to spiritual input. The study concluded that while we are praying  or engaging in other faith-related activity that it actually stimulates the same pleasure centers in the brains that love and drugs do.  I just love it when science backs up something I already know, don’t you?

So, back to me now. 🙂 While preparing to write this post I’ve done a lot of soul searching (pun intended) about how my faith makes me resilient. I’ve come up with five reasons that I’m going to talk about today. I’m sure there are more. But, before we go any further, you need to know that all of these things work for me because I truly believe that God is who he says he is, and does what he says he will do. I believe the Bible is his word and his bond, and that if it’s written in there I can claim it as truth. Why I believe all this is also a post for another day. For today, let’s just start with that caveat.

My faith in God makes me resilient because:

It Gives Me Strength

Over and over again, the Bible tells us that God is our strength. He, the creator of the universe and master of all things, cares about little old me and there is nothing he can’t do. Where my human weakness limits me. his strength takes over. I know that I don’t have to rely on my own power to get through any struggle, because God will give me the strength that I need. I have an endless supply of strength at my fingertips and boy, do I tap into it on a daily basis.

It Gives Me Hope

The Bible tells us that our hope lies in God, and that with him we can succeed. That he has a plan for our lives and with him we can move mountains. Speaking of mountains, I remember when I was in the depths of my depression telling my sister that I didn’t see the point in living. That it seemed like I spent my entire life climbing a mountain, and just as I reached the top and got ready to put my flag in the ground, a big gust of wind would blow and send me tumbling down the other side. I just didn’t see the point in climbing the mountain again. Then, as I started to heal I remembered this truth, and it gave the hope I needed to climb the mountain again– We can expect trials and hardships but know that at the end of the hill he’s got a beautiful valley waiting for us. 

It Gives Me Courage

Fear is a monster. A big fat ugly monster that robs us of things we were meant to enjoy in this life. It’s a road block that keeps us stuck, and that’s no way to be resilient. I have PTSD and an anxiety disorder, so when I get fear, it’s big fear. It’s definitely not easy to overcome it– but just like I did when I had my MRI — I find that when I anchor myself in the promises of God and just let myself trust him, I can face those fears down. I can have courage to bounce back, move forward, and try again.

It Gives Me Peace

Left to my own devices, I could could curl up in a little ball and worry about every little thing around me. I would likely never get up again, because there’s just that much stuff to worry about when you have an anxiety disorder. I’ll admit sometimes it gets the best of me, but eventually I remember that God is in control. Not me. God. And that worrying won’t solve or change anything. Once I am able to let go and leave it in his very capable hands I have peace.

It Gives Me Confidence

Last but not least, my faith in God gives me confidence. If I truly believe (which, of course, I do) that God is in control, that he’s going the give me the strength I need, that he has a plan for my life, that he wants good things for me, and that he will take care of me,  then I have the confidence I need to get up and keep fighting. What do I have to lose? He’s given me the gift of life and I’ll make the most of every moment until he decides it’s time for me to join him in heaven– and even that is a win. I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain if I soldier on until the bittersweet end, and I’m determined to do just that.


Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12