Two Years

Welp, two years ago today this crazy road began.

 
I say began, but I had already been on that road for 20 some years at that point. It just got significantly harder and forced me to realize I was on a road those around me were not.
 
-These last 6 years have been rough
 
-These last 2 years have been deadly
 
-I’m still unsure how I’ve made it through these last 7 months.
 

There have been many hits… and quite honestly I’m just tired at this point…

I’ve dealt with:
-Tests that backfired and caused more damage;
-Coping methods that are 10 minutes of extreme pain for almost a week of survivability;
-Increased headaches and brain fogs as most of my coping methods have been taken out of my diet;
-Short sighted rumors spread and the backlash that came from them;
-Pets dying,
-Relatives dying,
-The lifestyle I knew being torn apart.
-Constant pain no matter what I do
A world without a safe zone… a place to relax or think through everything that has happened. It’s honestly been so long since I’ve known what it feels like to…. feel… excitement? Happiness? Relief? Worry, anxiety, exhaustion, and regret have been my closest friends.
 
After two years of clawing at walls in an attempt to even slow the descent, I stand here fairly battered and bruised. You want the future to come, but there are days you wonder what’s even left to survive?
 

But then let’s look at what was gained in this time.

Because I may have lost a lot, and feel wiped out…. but the thing about hardships is that it builds our muscles and causes us to grow.
Besides, I never write these things just so I can whine about my life… but for the sake of all those who have told me they can relate.
I’m open and honest about how much it hurts and how weak I am, because there is no shame in admitting you’re weak. You may as well have shame for having two ears or a nose! It kind of comes with who we are.
 

But there has been growth as well throughout the hardships. Good news amidst the sorrows.

It was finally proven that I didn’t have liver cancer. That is a diagnosis I was more than thankful for.
 
God not only let me (the kid who was told by counselors he wouldn’t make it past grade 7 for context) graduate with a bachelor’s degree but even managed to gain Summa Cum Laude for getting a 4.0 GPA in every class!
 
I have had to become a lot more conscientious about things… My exercise, my diet, my finances… Sure this is also a bother. I’d much rather be eating triple patty burgers with pop, sit back, and go to Europe once a year like those around me…. but these aren’t bad skills to learn… and they mean I’ll be able to do more with less when the time comes again.
 
I lapped the Bible. Read through it once, and now am halfway through on lap two. There’s a lot of things I’ve managed to pick up on through reading it this way as well. I definitely recommend doing it cover to cover at least once in your life.
 
People are still as loud and obnoxious as ever… and I’d be lying if I didn’t say there are still twinges of bitterness as to those who lied to others about why I lost my last job, why I live at home, the validity of my condition, or have even told my parents to throw me out of the house for my own good and theirs… But at the same time… the world has gotten a lot larger around them as the world they live in has gotten so much smaller.
So much of our world just runs on rails of what is the right way to live our lives. What is expected of us. So many people fall through the cracks of this illusion. There are many people out there who are introverted, highly sensitive, chronic illness, shy, unemployed, in debt, or more… and in spite of what those on rails say; these people are NOT weak all the time! Actually, often times I’d say they have far more strength than those who maintain their illusion of the “Majority”
 
Speaking of the world not being on rails… I’ve learned how to find the un-walked path a lot better.
You can get into pretty much any industry easily for a lot of effort and $5000.
Want to publish a book? The publisher wants $5000 for professional marketing and editing. Want to get into Voice Over? Well unless you have a $500 demo that only comes after $4000 worth of lessons to go on your $40 website…. no one will ever dream of looking at you! Want to learn a language? Sure! Just spend $5000 on lessons! Streaming? Set up. Sales? Products. Accounting? Certification. Programming? Computer Degree. The list goes on, and each industry will tell you it is the ONLY way in!
 
Listen… There is NOT only one way forward because the people who founded these paths didn’t have these luxuries to begin them. If you can afford them, take them. It’s much easier to stay on the main road. But don’t let yourself feel trapped because every industry wants $5k just to reach the starting line!
 
I’ve also learned to do the best I can with what I have. Because I don’t have much. About 10 months ago, I was driving to Toronto with my laptop in my car and it struck me “If I got into an accident right now I’d lose pretty much 100% of the marketable assets I have left!” But do what you can with what you have! Don’t worry about the results! Don’t worry about the end goal! Don’t freeze in place because of how much lies before you! Focus on taking one more step right now! Then do a step after that! A step after that! And a step after that! Move at your own pace! Don’t let others berate you for it!
 
I’ve learned the importance of rest. There are days I wish I was even half as lazy as people assume I am. Each day, I do physio exercises, I make meals, I apply for jobs, I study language, business, and computer sciences, I read my Bible, I pray, I clean, I try to keep in contact with people from over 12 different countries…. I’ve learned there are days I need to just rest…. and I am not a failure for doing so!
 
I am not sure who made up the belief that you are ineffective if you take breaks. It was very short sighted and dumb. People are an investment. Not an asset. Give them rest and they will come back more awake, refreshed, and more effective towards you!
 
A large eye opener for me was when I started taking the nerve blocks and went from a 6-7 to a 4-5 on the normal pain scale…. I saw how much energy I had given back to me… I realized just how lazy those people who said I wasn’t working hard were if they were sitting at a 1-2 and had THAT much energy! I also realized how much I really needed to pace myself and take rest.
 
One of the big ones I learned was to ask for help. From doctors, from friends, from others. I have never wanted to be a burden to others. I was put into a place where I was forced to be. I was forced to realize it was okay, and to do it more often. We can’t make it through this life on our own. Stop trying!
 
My relationship with my parents hit a major improvement through these last two years. I think the same way that all kids; usually in their mid teens, though if they’re more responsible usually in their early-mid twenties; hit a point where they realize their parents’ AREN’T right on everything, and they have to decide how much they’ll cling to what they were taught, and how much they’ll decide to do differently that we call “rebellious phase.” I think every parent falls into the trap of believing “I know my kids better than anyone! Even better than they know themselves!” which of course means they stop looking for how you’ve grown and changed and start missing things. These last two years have forced communication to open up again… and it has been incredibly healing.
 

So here we stand as year three of this all starts…

my mountains seem no smaller, but the world seems a lot bigger. Honestly I don’t know what lies ahead, and if it weren’t for God I’d really see no point in even trying. (Yeesh! I was burnt out November of 2017!) But I remind myself… even though I don’t want to be paying off the debts of these last 2 years until I’m 40. Even though I don’t want to be alone nor living at home. Even though I don’t want to be a burden to my parents who have done so much to help me through all this. I know that if God wants me to stay here then there is nothing I can do to stop it and He will provide through it. I also know that He has taken people from prisoners to second in command of a country over night throughout the Bible. If God wants to… no mountain is too high for Him to topple.
 
I do however pray that this third year… God just does something ridiculous. Partially for the selfish reason that I am wiped out… emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically exhausted… I don’t have anything more to give unless He gives it.
 
At the same time though, I want Him to do something ridiculously from Him because I think this world, ESPECIALLY in the church… needs a reminder. We DON’T serve a dead God! It is NOT by OUR works but by what HE does THROUGH us!
 
“You may say to yourself ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ but remember the Lord your God for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth!” – Deuteronomy 8:17-18
 
In the end, it is not my place to command God. If it were, He wouldn’t be God! I would be! But I humbly concede that everyone’s success; from the greatest saint to the lowest tyrant; only has success because He has allowed it. And I cling to hope that He is merciful and does all things for our good.
 
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening to this broken man’s ramble. I pray that it was encouraging for you, and that you find hope in it. Remember you are not alone!
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What is Strength?

Every now and then people find out about all that has been going on these last seven/two years and tell me that I am strong…
 
This always catches me off guard… I don’t really feel strong…
 
Stubborn? Yes…
 
A sore loser? Most definitely…
 
Abnormally low amounts of self preservation? Probably…
 
But strong? not really… The amount of times I have felt overwhelmed… like I couldn’t take another step forward are numerous. The amount of times I feel over my head and have no clue what on earth to do… the same… But still… people tell me that I’m strong…
 
Not that I really mind… I mean it’s a lot nicer than some of the things other people have called me. But if I’m strong, then let me give you a little insight into what strength is… because I feel like we have a wrong picture of it in our culture.
 
Strength is crying yourself to sleep at night.
 
Strength is losing your appetite over worry.
 
Strength is wanting to be alone.
 
Strength is desperately needing a hug.
 
Strength is being unable to fall asleep because you don’t want another day to begin.
 
Strength is admitting you can’t do it.
 
Strength is needing to take a day where you just can’t accomplish anything because you’re too broken.
 
Strength is accepting that hard work isn’t all it takes to get what you want.
 
Strength is realizing this world is much bigger than you know.
 
Strength is realizing just how many fall through the cracks.
 
Strength is being willing to beg for help and guidance.
 
Strength is putting up with those who throw insults at you and turn those you know against you.
 
Strength is days when you keep moving forward for no other reason than you don’t remember how to give up.
 
Strength is when you can no longer hide how weak you are.
 
Strength is when you’re scared for how things turn out because how can things ever look up?
 
Strength is feeling things so deeply that your heart feels like it is being torn apart.
 
Strength is the numbness that comes when you’ve burned out everything you can feel.
 
If you’ve felt like any of these things before and are still reading this… that means you’re still alive… congratulations, that took strength…
 
Don’t buy into the world’s lies that strength comes from insensitivity… from never feeling scared or overwhelmed… from boldly never showing weakness or faltering at all. Such a life isn’t strength. It is simply a life that has never been tested.
 
There is no strength in such a front. And the day may come when all fronts may crumble. Realize now who you really are. For THAT is the person who will survive the trials.
 
Don’t give up.
 
You are strong.
 
You are not alone
 
You’ve got this
 
Keep on fighting

I Pray

I Pray:

 
Not Because I Fear God Has Abandoned Me
But Because I Fear Giving in And Abandoning Him
 
Not Because I Want Things Back the Way They Were
But Because I Want to Fight on To Be Something Better
 
Not Because I Fear People Thinking I Can’t Accomplish Anything
But Because I Fear They Will Think it is by My Hand and Not God’s
 
Not Because I Want Vengeance on Those Who’ve Wronged Me
But Because I Want Them to See and Know Who God Is
 
Not Because I Want God to Destroy my Enemies
But Because I Want God to Turn Them Into Companions
 
Not Because I Believe This Will Never End
But Because I Fear I Might Weaken Before it Does
 
Not Because I Want to be Saved Quickly
But Because I Want to Endure Until God’s Work is Complete
 
Not Because I Fear God Will Ignore Me if I Don’t
But Because I Fear I Will Ignore Him if I Don’t
 
Not Because I Need to Convince God to Save Me
But Because I Need to be Reminded He Has
 
Not Because I Want My Life to Begin
But Because I Want to Make the Most of Every Moment of my Life Even Now
 
Not Because I am Strong Enough to Make it This Far
But Because He was Strong Enough to Take me This Far
 
Not Because I Fear the Pain Never Ending
But Because I Fear My Endurance Ending
 
Not Because I Want to Live in Riches and Power
But Because I Want the World to See What Riches and Power Truly Are
 

And So I Pray:

 
Not to be Saved
But to Bring Glory to His Name
 

I Pray:

Changing Perspective Not Circumstances

Many people get discouraged when they turn to God but their results do not change. Sometimes this happens. While sure; God can sometimes open doors for us the moment we rely on Him; This world has always BEEN in His control. Are the laws of reality going to change just because you’re willing to accept He’s there in control?
 

Sometimes it is not the results that need to change, but your perspective of the circumstances that change the effects of said results.

 

You work your hardest, and yet people can’t see it and hurl insults and discouragement on you instead?

 
Have you given your life to serve and please people? Give up if you have. Can we even please ourselves? How are we expected to keep millions of just as fickle people happy? You have given your life to serve and please God! If God is happy with your results, does it matter if others see or don’t see it? Is there anything people can give you that God can’t? Is there anything people can provide you with that God can’t take away?
 
In addition to this, God blinds the hearts of some and reveals things to others, even those who do not serve Him. If He wanted to, people could see. If He desires to, they never will. However; we also know that God is good and does all things for our benefit and for His glory, so if that is the case, and people do stand against you, isn’t it so that you can be given an opportunity to grow and be closer to God?
 
You are not outnumbered by things desiring to destroy you. You are witnessing a small portion of what is out there in an effort to help you grow in your faith and maturity. Much like a coach or manager, God is not devoted to your comfort and pride, but to your growth and reliance in Him.
 

You are more trustworthy and reliable than others, and yet still others get chosen for rewards and promotions?

 
We are ants, arguing to an elephant over which one is taller…
 
And still… people are not rewarded based on our merit. Do you think those who are placed in authority always deserve it? Do you think those who have great treasures have always earned it? Do you think those with power can always use it wisely?? You don’t even have to be trustworthy to run a country, how much less do you think it matters in day to day things??
 
We like to believe that “Good people get good things.” but who among is is truly good? And with our limited perspective how can we truly know what Good is ESPECIALLY when we throw aside the one fixed point of reference we had to judge it from??
 
But as we mentioned in the first point; God can open the eyes of those He wishes and of those He wishes they will remain closed. In this sense, it is not us, but God who lets those rise and others fall in power. It even says so in the Bible, whether they believed in God or not. If that is the case, why do you try so hard to win over the hearts of people? Why do you get angry at them when they lack to see your merit and raise hurtful people up instead. God has taken prisoners and slaves and turned them into rulers of nations. If God wanted too, is there any hole too deep to pull you out of?
 
And if God hasn’t decided to raise you to higher levels… doesn’t that mean He still has things to teach you where you are at? Doesn’t that mean He still has ways to use you where you are at? We are not trying to get to a certain point where God can use us. GOD IS USING YOU RIGHT NOW! His plan started before you even said yes. God is using you where you are with or without what mankind considers power and strength! Because GOD is your strength! What man can build with all the wealth and power in the world, God has outperformed with nothing but His word. Don’t fret because mankind doesn’t provide you with what you think you need. Rely on God!
 

I follow God and yet don’t have what I want yet!

 
You know… I’ve lost pretty much every one of my dreams at this point. All of my plans have fallen apart. I’m not a father, I’m not a pilot, I don’t have a steady career, I don’t have a house, I’m single and feel guilty even thinking of loving anyone because what kind of a life would I be pulling them into? I’m part of a generation that is being handed a world piece by piece as the previous generation chews every last bit of goodness out of it…
 
Even by others’ standards… I’m 28 years old and living at home without a well paying job. I’m the kind of guy you see on TV shows as “That guy you don’t want to be no matter what!”
 
So why… why is it in spite of all that I’ve lost… in spite of everything I wanted that I don’t know if I’ll ever get… Why do I so pity anyone who hasn’t experienced this??
 
Because God’s plans are greater than your dreams!
 
Don’t cling to what you value. Your dreams are far too small. Even though you may lose everything you hold dear…. God has a much more amazing world to show you if you let Him. Will you cling to your popped balloon? Or will you see the world that waits around you? It’s a terrifying ride, but more like a rollercoaster than a demolition derby. Because no matter how dark, or how scary it gets…. you know… You know that God is STILL in control. That God STILL is there for you! That God will look out for you and protect you through all of it!

 

So stop clinging to this world and what it has to offer…. Believe!

2018 Retrospective

And so that’s it. 2018 is over.

 
Not gonna lie, it was a pretty rough year for me…
 
-Found out my injuries were permanent
-Spent a year bouncing between tests for Liver Cancer and Lyme Disease (which I don’t have thankfully)
-Messed up my vocal chords after a reaction to MRI Dye
-Lost a good portion of my diet
-Had many breakdowns from pain
-Headaches got worse
-Dealt with rumors and criticisms
-Almost had my car fall apart
-Lost my dog
-Lost my Grandmother
-Lost some friends
-Lost some extended family
 
I had a lot of things I wanted to accomplish in 2018…. and managed to accomplish almost none of them…
 
For every door that was open a crack, I raced towards it to find another brick wall behind it…
 
For every bit of security, I got reminded how temporary everything is…
 
For every dream I pursued, I got something outside my control thrown at me to block me at the last second…
 
They often talk about being stuck in the hallways of life… What they don’t tell you is that the building you’re in is on fire!
 
I came to question a lot about life and about myself…
 
Why won’t the doors so many others go through ever open for me?
 
Am I defective?
 
What is the point of having survived all that I have if this is the result?
 
Can there even be a future anymore?
 
What even is of value?
 
What even is reality?
 
What is the world no one else seems to see?
 
It was a had year for me…. but it was a hard year for a lot of people it seems. This year has held so much hate, panic, suffering and loss. Personally I find it ridiculous just how many people have had two deaths this year in their families relatively close together.
 
I’ve seen parents, siblings, and children weep. I’ve seen leaders crumble. I’ve seen security rot. I’ve seen strength get chipped away.
 
It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed… inferior… or unready when you see just how much is falling apart around you… or how much I didn’t accomplish….
 
But I’m still here….
 
It’s 2019 and I’m still here… And I think that is something worth celebrating….
 
I may not be as strong as I feel I need to be, but I’m stronger than I was… and I will be stronger still than what I am right now… and that I find encouraging….
 
I may not have accomplished all I wanted, but I did accomplish some things, and that is worth being proud of.
 
-I’ve learned to endure through the hard times
-I’ve learned to empathize with those the world casts away as outliers
-I’ve learned patience through the misinformed, the well meaning, and the advantageous
-I’ve learned perseverance through the failures
 
I’ve learned that chasing after the short term leaves you with nothing, while patiently preparing for the long term exponentially reaps rewards.
 
I’ve learned growth, maturity, value, and power that go beyond the treasures I originally chased.
 
Most importantly; I’ve learned the importance of letting go of what was so you can pursue what could be.
 
As we approach 2019, I know there are many who are exhausted. Many who are worn out. Many who wonder if they can even do this for another 365 days.
 
It’s 2019! You survived 2018 and are stronger than you were. You can make it for another! Let’s do it together!
 
I’ll admit, 2019 is somewhere between exciting and terrifying for me.
 
I have a month and a half left until I have my bachelors degree. Which will unfortunately be 3 days after I turn too old to apply for the JET program which was the original reason I went for it. Not that that matters, because even if I was the right age, with my headaches worsening, and body in the shape it is, I can’t afford to lose Canada’s free (and in English) healthcare right now. My plans, backup plans, and backup of backup plans have all fallen through due to last minute changes of regulations or timing. I still have 2-3 health appointments coming up that are still pretty nerve wracking for me… and there are a lot of unknowns ahead…
 
But I’ll keep marching forward…. because at the end, that’s all we can do isn’t it?
 
If I can do it, I’ll do it. If I can’t, I won’t. At the end of the day that is all we are ever capable of. So why worry? Has anyone ever changed their circumstance by worrying? Has anyone ever saved themselves by worrying? Worrying is immaturity disguised as maturity. It is draining your motivation and energy that could be much better used dealing with what you can do.
 
At the end of the day, God never told us to bring results, He told us to go… so that HE could bring results through us.
 
So, to quote the Bible a bit;
 
the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[a] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
 
So fight on through this coming year! Fight on and refuse to give in to all the voices telling you to give up. Though the world may seem dark, remember; The darker it gets, the more impactful even the smallest spark of life may seem.
 
Fight on! Even if you cannot find the good in this world worth saving, then BE the good in this world worth saving!
 
Fight on! Because you made it this far, and that is something worth celebrating!
 

Happy New Years!

50 More General Observations

Random Observations From Life:

 
1. People (much like anything in physics) will most often take the path of least resistance, whether mentally, physically, or spiritually.
 
2. All living creatures have instincts, (innate propensity to take certain actions/feel certain things) the ability to go against said instincts is one of the foundational factors in sentience.
 
3. An item that saves the lives of millions or adds 20+ years to your life will probably never have the funding or acceptance as a device that shaves 30 seconds off a repetitive task.
 
4. Failure is not an end. It is a state of being. The sooner you become accepting of failure, the farther you go.
 
5. Success has negatives. It risks us becoming stagnant, no longer desiring to push our limits.
 
6. The fact that people believe “If it was possible, it would have already been done” is possibly the greatest reason it may still be possible.
 
7. There are few things more powerful than the desire and appreciation for taking “One More Step.”
 
8. You don’t need to be the best to be successful. You just need to be better than those you sell to have access to.
 
9. There are no rules in life. There are choices and consequences, (one of which being the consequences for the choice of not following the rules set in place by others).
 
10. Punishments are set in place to encourage you to follow the rules and are only as valuable as the respect/fear for the governing body outweighs the desire of the person making the actions. Consequences are unavoidable results of choices. It doesn’t matter if consequences seem unjust, they’re just consequences!
 
11. If you study for 3 months and only get 5/100 questions right on the test…. those are still 5 answers you would never have known if you hadn’t tried.
 
12. The only way to “Waste time” is to toss aside the lessons you learned through the process by calling that season “a waste of time”
 
13. People gain success by bringing something unique to the world and persevering and readjusting until it worked. People CHASE success by trying to copy everything successful people did and expecting immediate results… People rarely realize the irony of this.
 
14. There is literally no purpose to worrying, yet it feels like we are horrible irresponsible people if we don’t. But what has worry gotten you? Has it made you more efficient? Made problems go away? All it accomplishes is wasting your energy and focus giving you more unfinished projects to worry about in the future.
 
15. Your life never ends till your dead…. You may fail at your job, lose your lover, lose your job, have your parents hate you, have the world spread bad rumors about you, end up on the street, get an incurable disease, the works…. but until you’re dead your life is not over.
 
16. Life is not a series of levels/chapters you win or lose… it’s more like skydiving… and dodging rocks as you fall…
 
17. There is no such thing as a “professional” place. Even the largest companies, once you’re inside them you realize they’re a bunch of bumbling people who have no idea what they’re doing and are pushing things out barely finished.
 
18. See where you are.. not as an end result or as a limit to where you could possibly end up, but as an accurate representation of what you can currently do and what you are currently limited to.
 
19. Know where you want to go. Not as what you are going to do right now, but as a trajectory you can aim towards.
 
20. Know what you live for. Ask yourself “If I could be remembered for one thing in life, what would it be?” It will be vague and not very practical, but that will define what most the choices you make will revolve around.
 
21. There is no such thing as evil. Evil is simply the absence of good much like darkness is the absence of light or silence is the absence of sound.
 
22. No one does evil for the sake of doing evil. There is always a logical (even if wrong) justification for every action someone takes.
 
23. Identifying the logical justification allows one to more tactfully handle the emotional, and often harmful response from people
 
24. You can never save anyone by fighting. You may be able to protect someone temporarily, but hate only begets more hate. The harder you push one opposing force, the harder that opposing force will push back.
 
25. 90% of being good in an emergency is learning not to panic/worry/react either from immediate pressures or long term pressures
 
26. A powerful lie does not counter the truth, but warps it. It is far more effective to redirect than to fight against the flow.
 
27. Nothing in life can be proven absolutely. (no not even that statement) Our concept of “proof” is limited by our small perspective.
 
28. The foundation of wisdom is realizing and accepting you don’t know
 
29. The concept that life is on rails, (go to school, get a job, get raises, get married, have kids, retire, die) is an illusion that is starting to fail along with society. Life is not on rails, nor is there a train that will safely take you to your destination. Life is wandering the wilderness on a trajectory towards your goal. There are innumerable ways to get there.
 
30. The more you accomplish, the more people will be attracted to you and the lonelier you will feel.
 
31. You’d be surprised how few people will stop or question you if you are confident enough…
 
32. People’s perception of “Successful shining examples of humanity.” is usually pretty off the mark… want proof? Look up pictures of the start ups of some of the most successful people. They often look like the most awkward nerds who live at home, are unemployed, and don’t get invited to dinner parties.
 
33. “Getting money” is a pointless goal. Money is a means to an end, not an end itself.
 
34. The business mind desires to create the greatest gains at the least costs through the safest investment. The artistic mind desires to use every resource available to them, to push the limits of their talent, and create something that has never been made before that will impact the world. You need BOTH in balance to succeed.
 
35. You cannot learn a language without learning the culture.
 
36. It honestly is pretty unfair every country is expected to learn English but English speakers don’t have to learn any language. (We hardly even know English!)
 
37. Learning another language will help you understand every language you already know better.
 
38. You never truly know someone until you’ve talked with them in their own language.
 
39. Learning another language WILL make you wish your language had words that express things that you can in the new language.
 
40. The feeling that “You Can’t” is one of the biggest reasons you won’t.
 
41. You have many failings and your life is a mess….. But it is honestly the same with everyone else whether it looks that way or not.
 
42. The way your life looks from the inside and the way it looks from the outside are two totally different things.
 
43. There is no point arguing with the voice within your head telling you you’re a failure. It tends to know your failings far better than you know your strengths, and it will destroy you and everyone/thing you love.
 
44. You DON’T know best… but neither do others… once you realize that, life becomes a bit less frustrating.
 
45. Life is not about earning your worth. You are a human being. A living soul. Created by God. Your value is already beyond what you could ever earn.
 
46. Making mistakes, doing wrong, being lazy, not choosing the best option… none of these make you worthless, nor weaker than anyone else.
 
47. Strength is not something that can be measured by looking at others.
 
48. Strength does not come from never feeling strained. That just means you have never been tested. Strength is pushing forward in SPITE of feeling strained.
 
49. Courage does not come from never feeling fear. That is stupidity. Courage comes from pushing forward in spite of being scared.
 
50. Each time we succeed is worth celebrating. Each time we fail is worth learning from.
 
Don’t tear yourself down for not being married by 30, not having kids by 40, not being self sustaining by 50. You ARE growing! By denying that, you are denying the lessons that you learned. We are not valuable and worthless humans. We are not strong and weak humans. We are precious lives! Each with unique strengths and weaknesses in a combination seen no where else! Life is not about keeping up with others. It’s about discovering what you can do and doing it!
 
Whatever you feel today. Whatever lies before you. Whatever you’ve told yourself or others have told you; know this!

 

YOU
 
ARE
 
DOING
 

GREAT!

Fighting Despair

How do you avoid despair?

 
I believe one of the biggest mistakes we make in treating weariness, depression, anxiety, or despair, is that we treat it as if people are blinded to all the good flooding in around them and only focusing on one little shadow that covers up their life.
 
Now, that does happen. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve done it myself more often than not… when a fear or evil or bitterness in your life slowly grabs a hold of you, strangling out every last bit of light that you can see till there is nothing else in your life that matters save for that one issue you can let go of… that is a true problem… but I’m also not gonna lie…
 

Life stinks….

 
It does… This world is unfair. The cruel and inhumane win. The only way to earn money is to have money. The ones with good looks or charisma get treated well while the others get overlooked. The people placed in charge are usually the last who deserve to be. The first to be yelled at are usually the least to be able to do anything about it. There are lies, corruption, propaganda, false facts everywhere to the point that it’s near impossible to remember what truth even is anymore. There are a whole world of people people don’t even realize exist. We hold ourselves to the standards of fake lives we’re shown because people are too scared to show that they can’t live up to the standards of the fake lives we show. People are living 5 to a house because the products available to us weren’t designed for this economy. People are working 3 jobs only to make half the income needed to live and spend half of that paying off the debts to schooling that was promised to give them a better life.
 
This world is a rotting cesspit of greed, bitterness, lust, and anarchy, like a train that has long since driven off the tracks and people are beating each other hand and foot to climb to the last car so they can survive just a few seconds longer when it finally hits the ground. So I really don’t think that depression, anxiety, and despair always come from obliviousness. In fact, I sometimes feel that it comes from being able to see too much. Being unable to distract yourself like many can. For seeing the world as it is, and how terrifying a place it has become. How meaningless the set path before us looks. For seeing the people who fell off the road and what happened to them. It’s scary… I know.
 
And yet… at least at this point, I don’t feel despair. This year and a half has been ridiculous. My body’s broken permanently at age 27, lost my job, my finances, my future goals, friendships, opportunities, family members, and more…. I feel trapped.. I’ve been beaten and burned several times, and almost every door I’ve tried has been slammed right in my face. Meanwhile people stand on the sidelines chastising my laziness for not making it through the doors they could easily.
 
There have been times during this last year and a half where I have felt despair… I can probably count on one hand though what those times were like. Those nights when you don’t want to wake up because what future is there for you. When you don’t want to fight anymore because you’ve already lost. When you stop eating, the world starts spinning, you’ve broken out into a cold sweat, and your mouth tastes like something died in it… I have experienced despair a few days… and I’ve had numerous bad days, or days when I just don’t want to push forward anymore… but even still, there’s always been a spark that’s kept me going… and having talked to several people these last few weeks who feel like their lives are worthless, that they’ve seen everything there is to see and there’s just no point in going on… I start to realize that in spite of loss, I’ve also gained something not everyone has.
 
Hope….
 

But what is hope. Where does it come from?

 
First off from God.
 
And no. I don’t mean the half baked “Pray every day and be a good person because those are good life practices that will help you mature” type beliefs that many people push these days… I mean the faith that comes from thinking… from realizing the implications of your faith.
 
Don’t half-bake your faith. God either is or He isn’t. He isn’t here when it’s good doctrine and then gone when it comes to your responsibilities. He isn’t a God you should pray to, but then you’re the one in charge of your own fate. Stop being such contradictory flip flops!
 
DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS A GOD?
 
Then stop thinking like this world rests on your shoulders alone.
 
DO YOU BELIEVE GOD CREATED THIS WORLD?
 
Then why do you struggle to realize He can help you too?
 
DO YOU BELIEVE HE IS WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS HE IS?
 
Then why tell yourself He hates you or let these things happen to punish or harm you? Do you think you let God down?? You’re human! You were never holding Him up! At your very best you always were a sinful person unable to save yourself but by the grace of God. Don’t think God suddenly got offended and fed up with you because you struggled with a mistake that even tweaks your conscience!
 
If you believe in God, and that He’s real, and all the Bible says He is… then realize the implications of that.
 
1. You AREN’T alone!
You were never asked for results. You were asked to follow. You were never asked to make things happen. You were asked to trust and believe. You plant the crops. You listen for God. That is hard enough. Don’t try to make the skies rain as well. That was never your place to begin with!
 
2. God does ALL things for your good and for His glory.
Things are going poorly? Your world is falling apart? It feels like you’ve been beaten beyond your abilities? Seek God. Ask to see what you need to learn and to grow stronger for it. In order to rebuild something stronger, you must first take it apart. In order to refine something you must first melt away all the junk. What you see as destruction may actually be rebuilding. God has seen a lot of nasty evil people do some pretty horrendous things. Do you honestly think He decided you would be the one so bad that He’d make special exception tormenting your life? No. He has a reason. Even if that reason is just to slap you awake to realize you never could do this in your own strength. Rely on Him!
 
3. HE is in control!
People do as people do. People will offend you. People will destroy the world. People will do crimes, inhumane acts, talk during movies, all sorts of evil evil things! You may feel like God is losing the fight against so many evil things…. you’re looking at the battlefield at too low a point. This isn’t a battle between good and evil. This is God showing how even the scariest things people may try to do for the worst reasons. The harshest pains. The most hopeless situations… God can turn them all around and do greater good than there ever was loss.
 
Now that you start to realize that you aren’t alone, realize you aren’t powerless either.
 

You are still alive! That means there is still hope!

 
Don’t give up on life. You may feel like you understand where you stand better than anyone else in the world…. but realize this is just your first attempt at life, and most of you probably aren’t even halfway through that attempt yet. Don’t act like you know exactly what you can and cannot do. Don’t act like you can tell the ending from the climax. We read stories and wish we had happy endings like that as well… but we so easily forget that those people didn’t know when the ending would come either… there were times when they felt like there was no hope, no point, no reason to move forward… but they endured. And it was because they endured that they lived long enough to see the ending.

 

Find out what you are living for!

 
No I don’t mean something simple like “To get a job and a family.” I mean seriously ask yourself. If you could be remembered for one thing in your life…. if you could make one impact on the world around you. What would it be?? For me, I decided back in high school. I wanted to make the lives of everyone I met at least a little better than before they met me, and to empower people to do things they never thought they could.
 
This goal is important. Why? Because we’ll have many goals in life. I wanted to be a bush pilot. I wanted to run a spreadsheet design company. I wanted to go to Japan and teach English. To fall in love by 18, get engaged by 21, married by 22, and have kids before 25 so that by the time they were teens I’d still be young enough to keep up with them… yet here I am… almost 28, single, under many health issues, and forget kids, I can’t even keep up with people my age anymore….
 
I’ve had many plans and even more failures…and yet, that initial goal hasn’t changed. In fact, in each failure I’ve had, I’ve learned, I’ve gained resources, contacts, and more…. I haven’t failed my goal yet. I’ve just added more tools to my toolbox I’m using to achieve it.
 
As humans we need something to work towards. We weren’t designed to drift through life… to be dragged down paths we haven’t decided, or to have no idea where we were going. In WWII POW camps they proved that was the greatest torture of all… the loss of purpose… and honestly it’s lethal.
 

YOU

 
HAVE
 

PURPOSE!

 
Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Know you aren’t alone. Know you aren’t powerless. You are alive! You are unique! You have something that no one else in this world can bring! It’s okay to take the time to mourn, cry, mope, or more. It’s human. But don’t give up! You’ve got this!