Lessons From Weakness:

It’s been over 5.5 months since I injured both my legs, and I still have over a month to go before my appointment which will take me (potentially only one step) closer towards finding out if I’ve really had Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome or not (which the more I research it, the more I’m surprised of, if nothing else, how many people have lived through surprisingly similar stuff as me) and there has honestly been a lot that I’ve learned. Some positive, some negative, but all of which can be used to either make you grow kinder or harder hearted.

 

  1. It’s Surprising What You Can be Secretly Confident/Proud Of:

 

I have never considered myself to have that strong of an upper body, (though a lot of people apparently thought I did since I’m short and stocky…) but I had always been proud of my leg strength. They honestly always felt like they were made of solid iron. I could leap several feet away with a flick of my ankle, I could jump off walls, my sense of balance was pretty awesome, and mixed with a quick reaction time, there wasn’t much I felt I couldn’t do with them.

 

Ever since the injury however, walking on them has felt like they were being supported by bones of shattered glass. They randomly start shaking and give out on me. I tip over, or roll my ankle quite often, and quite honestly, merely stomping, jumping, jogging, or bracing myself feels like a series of tiny fractures popping all the way up my leg at once.

 

Where once my legs were the force I could rely on, their strength now pales in comparison to my upper body strength… and I’m not gonna lie, that’s hard to take.

 

  1. You’re Gonna Still Feel Like You Should be Able to do The Things You Once Did, And Will Feel Like a Wuss for Failing:

 

There are so many times these days that I go to lift something that originally was barely even noticeable, only to find me having to put it down 4 steps later lest your legs collapse underneath you. And you mentally kick yourself for it.

 

Because you know “It’s not heavy” that “This isn’t hard.” that “If I just push myself I could do it.” But that’s your muscle memory talking… not your body.

 

I honestly thought that if you suddenly lost half your strength, trying to lift 25lbs would just feel like lifting 50lbs did. But that’s not the way it works. 25lbs, still feels like 25lbs, but your body will NOT carry it long before screaming at you for being an idiot trying to carry it across the yard.

 

  1. The Pain is Not the Worst Part:

 

People don’t like pain… I have come to discover this… I don’t like pain… this is why, when I discovered people don’t normally live in chronic pain 24/7 I felt kinda jipped/furious! But the fear of pain will always be worse than pain itself.

 

If you live in pain long enough, your body will start to try and mask it out. On a lower level this works fairly well… you may notice you have less headaches if you take a painkiller instead of having your body try and compensate (though you will instantly regret that decision once the painkiller wears off) but when the pain grows to certain levels, it turns into a maddening numbness.

 

If you have ever pulled an all-nighter, you may know what this feeling is like. It essentially feels like your brain is too big for your skull. Like the parts of your body are layered on top of you vs actually being a part of you. This mixed with the feeling like your body is honestly hollow (Like mentioned above) creates this very surreal and rather unpleasant feeling that honestly, I would rather live without.

 

The worst part of all though, is when your body just “Gives out.” it’s not that you’re tired. It’s not that you notice your muscles aching because you’re pumping so much stinking adrenaline… but you’ll be walking along and suddenly *BAM* it just tries to collapse under you. You try to pick yourself up again only to find it doesn’t work… it is such a helpless feeling and honestly you feel ridiculously vulnerable during it. It is hard to take.

 

  1. There Really is a Bias About Guys and Manual Labor:

 

This one’s gonna get me in trouble… but I’m sorry… it’s real. And it’s frustrating. The amount of times people look at you like you’re the scum of the earth because you can’t be the uber strong guy doing uber strong things is ridiculous!

Not wanting to touch on this too long because I feel the angry mob forming outside with every word I type, but all I can say is this… the same way it’s frustrating for a girl to be told they can’t do ____ physical job, it’s frustrating to be told they’d rather not hire guys for _____ mental job. I mean I have a diploma in business, am acing a BA in business, taught myself to hold a basic conversation in Japanese, am teaching myself programming, write essay length Facebook statuses on rather advanced topics that was asked to be turned into a blog (check out www.macyaks.wordpress.com for shameless plug), can write professional business letters off the top of my head, am able to manipulate large amounts of variables in my head at one time, basically think in Gant charts, am a certified Excel Specialist, and more! I have abilities! Please stop judging my worth by how many heavy boxes I can move in how short a time!

 

  1. There are Many Ways to Keep Moving:

 

Life changes… you find yourself struggling to do things that you couldn’t do before. You’ll find it hard to carry down your laundry, to carry in your groceries, to drive for long periods of time, walk on uneven ground… there are so many things that change so quickly… but that doesn’t mean you just roll over and die.

There are many ways to move forward. If you can’t push past something, look for a way to work around it. Put it on wheels. Go down one step at a time. Cruise Control is an amazing invention. Park benches are as well. You may have to give more thought, but you don’t have to give up!

 

  1. It is Alright to Admit It Hurts:

 

This is one of the hardest parts for me. It’s one I’ve struggled with for a long time. However, reading through life stories and testimonies of people suffering from EDS I’ve come to realize I’m really not alone on this.

 

It is alright to say you hurt…. in fact, if you don’t say you hurt, no one is going to know.

 

Some people will roll your eyes. Others may try to tactfully trick you into “Growing up.” but realize these people can’t live in your body. Nor can you live in theirs. We can say “I’m in pain.” but what does pain feel like? Do we all feel it the same way? Are we all used to the same level?

 

The concept that someone can live with a distracting level of throbbing/stabbing pain in multiple parts of their body 24/7 without having a visible injury or doctor’s note saying “Their bones are broken.” is ludicrous to some people. Their bodies have never worked that way…

 

But the thing is, if they just continue believing your body feels as healthy as theirs is, you’re just going to frustrate and confuse them when they wonder why you can’t keep up with the same activities they do.

 

Admit it’s hard for you. If they can’t accept that from you, they would’ve never accepted you in the first place.

 

  1. You Will Get MANY Mixed Reactions:

 

We live in a world of polarized extremes. “Invisible Disabilities” seems to be a word that drives people to their respective pitchforks and torches.

 

Half the people you talk to will cry out “You need to go to your government! And demand that they give you supplements! You need support workers! And medication! And we will rally with signs to protest for you! (which not gonna lie is kind of encouraging to have people fight so hard for you… even if in some cases it’s more they want to have a cause to get behind)

 

The other half will cry out about how “Kids these days are such wusses! You just need to get out and exercise! Get desperate! Light a fire under you backside and put your nose to the grindstone! Then things will look up! You just haven’t really tried yet!” (and admittedly there are times you want to slap these people upside the head and yell “IF EFFORT WAS THE PROBLEM THEN YOU GUYS WOULD BE FAILING MORE THAN I AM RIGHT NOW!” but honestly, they do mean well, and there are a bunch of people taking advantage of the system, but ya… tact people, tact)

 

The truth though is… you are what you are… they are what they are… people will either accept that or not accept that, but reality is reality…. Keep fighting to give your best, not to keep up with them, but because that’s how we grow as human beings! You are neither entitled to an easier life than most, nor condemned to a miserable one trying to keep up with others.

 

  1. Your Best is Good Enough…. (But it Will Rarely Feel Like It!):

 

You hear it a lot these days: “Just give your best! Don’t worry about the results! Just keep giving it your all and realize that things will always work out for someone who gives their best! Great things happen for those who give their best! You can accomplish anything if you only give your best!”

 

But here’s the thing… Just because you give your best… doesn’t mean you’ll hit the standard…

 

No matter how hard you try, a failing grade is still a failing grade

No matter how hard you try, if you go broke you go broke

No matter how hard you try, if you’re unemployed, you’re unemployed

No matter how hard you try, if you can’t afford food you starve

 

There is a reality that people rarely talk about… either the people who write these posts are lucky enough to never reach those points of worry, or they just try not to think about these parts. But these problems nag at you. And all the inspirational speeches in the world can’t compete with the frustrations you feel.

 

But here’s the thing. You’re still growing! You may not be able to deal with the threats that are stressing you out right now. But you are still growing! You’re growing wiser! You’re growing stronger! You’re growing more compassionate! Don’t underestimate what you’re earning through these times!

 

Our life experiences may not always be pleasant… they may be painful, and they may feel like we can’t get what we want. But if you just throw these moments away as “Wasting your life.” That is all you’ll have…. Years of your life that you’ve just thrown away, when you’ve learned so much through that time that WILL help you for years in the future! Don’t underestimate the value of what you’ve learned!

 

  1. God’s Still in Control:

 

You’re not here to please others. You’re not here to acquire great wealth or power. You’re not even here to survive as long as you can manage. These are not the keys to your success or failure! You are here to serve God and go where He leads. You are here to see the amazing things He can do through you.

 

Once again, this is a touchy subject because of the divide. Beyond the “Religion/IHATERELIGION” sides which seem to be growing more and more volatile these days, there is also, within the church the “God will give you everything/God wants you to provide for yourself.” Sides which grow further and further apart ever spurned by their fear of the other.

 

God will provide for you… I cannot begin to point out how many verses in the Bible point this out. Even the parable of the talents that many like to turn to as to say “LOOK! GOD WANTS US TO TAKE CHARGE AND MAKE OUR OWN WAY!” ….let me point out, that

  1. a) They did not “earn” money, they invested it
  2. b) The servant was not scolded for not earning money, he was scolded for doing nothing with his talent
  3. c) God was the one who gave them the talents in the first place, not them.

 

God will provide for us. God WANTS us to rely on Him. This is not to say, “Oh just C’est la Vie! Life will do what life will do, but God will save my butt no matter what I do!” no… the Bible is also very clear that that is ALSO not right…. But stop beating yourself up over what you will eat and where you will sleep… God literally says that He’s got that covered. (Full disclosure: I rarely sleep or eat for fear of these two so I am not condemning you as weak if you are worried about it, just reminding you of what’s promised.)

 

But realize as well, that God providing doesn’t mean He’ll prepare the path YOU want… in fact it usually means the reverse of that.

 

We like our control. Well… let’s be honest, I’ve never met a human in my life who is truly in control of their life so… we like our ILLUSION of control. Whether we’re being led by our emotions, our desires, our fears, or our idols, we like to believe we are the ones taking charge of our lives and plowing the way.

 

God doesn’t beat around the bush. He isn’t here to give you freedom and power to make your dreams come true. He is here to lead you down the path He has in store for you and grow closer in relationship with you in order to show you the good He can do through you as well as how much your dreams PALED in comparison to His reality!

Though the road may be scary. Though you may lose things you thought you could not do without. Realize He’s got you and He’s still looking out for you!

Don’t run off the road when things look scariest and you want to grab the wheel and run for where you think looks safest… those are the times you need to rely on Him most! Don’t make a dark situation even worse! He doesn’t just want to make you happy, He wants to make you mighty! He made you, He knows you, He loves you. TRUST!

 

  1. You Haven’t Lost Until You Give Up!

 

I used to say “You haven’t lost until you’re dead.” But this isn’t entirely true… There are many who did not succeed until after they died.

 

Don’t give up. The moment you do, it’s all over. But as long as you keep fighting, there’s still a chance you’ll succeed!

 

You’ve come too far to give up! We are far too limited in our perspective of the here and now to see just how the present will be used in the future… but nothing is wasted. No effort is useless. No life accomplishes nothing.

You are strong.

You are influential.

You’ve got this!

Hang in there

 

 

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Random Truths

Random Truths I’ve Noticed:
 
1. Life is unfair… but be thankful it is or we’d all be dead…
 
2. Hardships will always bring about change. You cannot control this… It will either make you bitter or stronger. But which one you become IS something ONLY you can control.
 
3. The people in this world are not out to get you… in fact, most who hurt you will barely even think of your existence… they are too focused on their existence to notice yours so don’t take it personally.
 
4. There is a war going on… it is a MUCH bigger war than just people. So seriously… stop blaming the world’s problems on people… you won’t win that way…
 
5. Life keeps on going… No matter how much you need to slow down, it will keep on relentlessly going… but at the same time no matter how badly you can mess up, it will keep on going
 
6. Results do not signify effort put in. Effort does not signify results you will get.
 
7. You can’t live in someone else’s body. Nor can they live in yours. What feels “Normal” or “Painful” or “Sick” or “Bad” is relative to them…. Someone who has lived in pain all their life may never even realize it themselves as they’ve never known a better world.
 
8. Putting in the best effort, as I said before, won’t mean you will succeed at what you’re trying to accomplish…. but putting in the best effort you can, WILL mean you will succeed at something.
 
9. There are no total losses. Even failure grants lessons and experience. If there were anything you could call an irredeemable failure it would be giving up.
 
10. Your fight is never over until you give up
 
11. If you really want to talk to God… just ask… Like seriously.. do you believe that there was a God who created all of this universe, did all the things said in the Bible, yet finding a way to communicate with you is beyond Him?? Pray, desire, listen.
 
12. This life does not rest on your shoulders alone. There is no point to assuming it does.
 
13. The greatest asset you can gain in this world, is other people’s support
 
14. The Lord brings people in our life to support us or test us. In all things though they are meant for your good and His glory. Do not blame others. Do not blame yourself. Praise God that you can grow closer to Him
 
15. A wise man is a man who knows he is not wise.

In the Belly of the Whale

What do you do when you’re in the belly of the whale?

I see a lot of posts, and hear a lot of advice from people who laugh and give nostalgic smiles, and say things like

“I used to be like you… full of dreams, full of passion. But I realized that life didn’t work that way. You need to buckle down and work hard. Put aside your passions until your can afford it. Put a fire under you and take on the jobs you don’t like… because even the best jobs are going to have days you don’t like! But God is faithful to those who work hard. Those who have ambition. Those who take life into their own hands and instead of waiting for him to do something make something with what they have! Remember the parable of the talents!”

But the problem is… what if your dreams and passions are to keep food on your table and a roof over your head? What if it’s not about doing work that’s unpleasant, but being overwhelmed from crying yourself to sleep as your body continues to break down one thing after another? What if you’re dealing with the sins in your life, trying to make responsible choices, but then thieves come, investments fall through, unexpected expenses keep popping up with health and things breaking?

5 years ago, I tried to live life according to my dreams… I took a job offered to me that would bring me closer to the person I was dating, I got an apartment that I could afford and seemed sturdy and safe. My plan was to work my way up and muscle through the grunt labour for a year or two so I could apply for better jobs and put my business diploma to use. Then when I was self sufficient I would marry my girlfriend, and we could live a nice, simple life, trying to help out those in our community around us by sharing with what God had blessed us with.

But as I worked there, I discovered something worrisome. I discovered that my best was below mediocre. I discovered my body was physically not capable of keeping up with the bare minimum requirements needed to keep working.

For an entire year I pushed myself. I lost about 60 lbs (40 of which were in the first 2 months), I saw my doctor, I exercised, I ate well, I pushed myself to the point that I would pass out for two days straight, and was often coughing up blood from the exertion barely being able to speak anymore… and yet not only could I not keep up with those who would simply be chatting or goofing off… my numbers were actually getting worse! I tried applying for other jobs, but my employee profile was tied to my ability to do my job, so my resumes would be instantly thrown out before they were even looked at. I was given a tough choice… quit with no job, or risk permanent damage to my body….

I chose the former and moved back home… then ended up working 6 hours a week for a year which put me into further debt. I wasn’t just a victim… I shop when I’m stressed… sometimes it’s for investments I think can help me move forward, sometimes it’s for distractions to distract me from reality around me. I got to my eyeballs in debt in spite of my applying everywhere and trying every angle I could get… Finally I fasted and prayed, and the next day I was offered a job as janitor at my church that I hadnt even applied for.

Around that time, I started studying Japanese. Originally it was just a step towards learning many languages (make your first your hardest and all other languages will be easy) but during that time, God slowly put Japan on my heart more and more. Till finally I asked Him to send me where He wants and He put Japan on my heart….. But I was up to my eyeballs in debt… and graduated college not university which makes immigration tough! And I knew my parents would hate the idea considering how much trouble I was already in!

So I backed out, justifying it by saying to God, “If you can provide the way there and win over my parents, I’ll study the language because thats all I can do!”

And I continued running… hiding and waiting for there to be less and less obstacles in my path… God offered many opportunities for me to follow… People who seemed eager to help me, contacts in conversation schools and churches… but I put them off… because I was scared… because I felt I couldnt do it… I was Jonah running from Ninevah. Though not because I feared Ninevah, because I feared the land I was in right now.

When I had the injury back in May, I realized I couldn’t run anymore (literally) I realized, it wasnt about trying to find a safe path to follow God… I needed to follow God so HE could lead me down the safe paths. And so I applied for University… I did serious research. I confronted my parents. I studied seriously…. I took myself from If God makes a way” to “I WILL follow Him!”

But now I am in the belly of the whale…. it must have been hard for Jonah… to finally decide to follow God and realize it was beyond his power to do so…. I understand that fully… But what do you do in those situations? When questions like “Where will I live, where will I work, how will I afford these next 2 years until I can go?” Fill your head.

You pray. You pray and you follow God.

The whale that prevented Jonah from going to Ninevah is exactly what got him there.

Pray and follow God. Trust in Him, not your own understanding. Human wisdom and pride are poor companions for following God. Focus on what you can do now. Let God worry about what you can’t do.

You are not making the path. You are following the maker!

You can do it. You are not alone. Amen

Fighting the True Enemy

Do not spend your life fighting people. It is exhausting and a waste of time.
 
Are people ideals? I have never met an ideal person in my life! We are so much more complex than that.
 
Ideals are. People choose. But as we choose we change how we see this world.
 
We do not change what truth is, for truth is only truth no matter if you see it or not. But as we accept one thing or another, aspects of the truth becomes easier and harder to see.
 
No aspect is easier to see than the faults of those around us. No aspect is harder to see than the faults within ourselves.
 
We are slaves bound to our beliefs. There is no helping or changing that. But as far as slaves go, we are given more freedom than most. We are slaves who can choose our master (though our current master may fight a bit before they let us go)
 
But throughout it all, no matter what belief we serve, or aspect we chase after. We are still, and always will be humans just like EVERY one else. Our perspective is limited. We overlook important consequences to our actions every day.
 
Did Disney make films with the intentions of telling girls to be bound to misery until some man comes along to save you enthralled by your beauty? NO! He wrote movies to inspire children to dream, in a day and age where dreams were considered worthless and the future looked grim and hopeless.
 
Was candy invented to create a world of obese, and unhealthy children? No! It was made to give children something they enjoyed and would want.
 
And yes I will go there. In WWII, there were many unforgivable and inhuman things done, but did Germany turn to Hitler because they wanted to get together and torture Jews and Gypsies, as well as several other types of people? NO! They were won over by talks of the financial suffering inflicted upon them by the treaty of Versailles, and the Jews and Gypsies were used as scape goats, with books upon books of biased stats and reports showing how they were the cause of the world’s problems and suffering through conspiracies and manipulation…. much like what we talk about our scape goats of current day.
 
Does this mean that these people were justified in their actions? That we should celebrate and support their beliefs because they originally meant well?
 
STOP TREATING THIS WORLD AS BLACK AND WHITE! You’ve spent 60-some years now protesting and parading about how this world has many shades to it! Support the belief yourselves!
 
Bad things happened. Some by innocent mistake, some by the slippery slope of throwing away morals.
 
BUT HERE IS THE POINT!
 
The bad things we do are not ingrained in who we are. They are not part of so many rotten spots that you have to throw away the entire apple.
 
We come to accept one lie, like we are wiser than anyone else. We are more important than anyone else. We are capable of things the rest of the world is not. We have to protect ourselves as the entire world is against us. An entire people live with the only purpose to conspire against us. The world is scared of us. Etc
 
Once that lie takes root. Other falsities begin to sprout from it.
 
Creatures evolve from survival of the fittest -> If only the fittest bred it would probably cause a species to evolve faster -> Clearly we are the genetically advanced race because we understand this and I know we’re pretty strong -> We should avoid having children with lesser genetic samples -> In fact we should keep other genetic samples from having children altogether! -> in fact why are we wasting our important medical supplies on people who are genetic wastes. Why do we even treat them as humans when we’re their genetic superiors. Let’s just kill the trash and be done with it for the sake of the world!
 
This isn’t made up. This is the thought process that led to a giant number of deaths in WWII… and the scariest part of all is that up until that last segment, it wasn’t just Germany, it was all of Western culture taking part. This is the power of justification. This is the power of blinding ourselves to our own actions by focusing only on those we consider our enemies.
 
But at the same time. All the evil that was done, sprouted from one, strong, deeply rooted lie.
 
“We are better than others.”
 
This one lie is the root of much of the most evil deeds done in this world, though it comes in many unique flavours.
 
“We are genetically superior to others!”
“We are morally better than others!”
“We are less manipulated than others!”
“We are religiously better than others!”
“We are bloodline wise better than others!”
“We are monetarily shrewder than others!”
“We are patriotically better than others!”
“We are politically better than others!”
 
The list goes on, but the root is all the same. It’s the belief that you are justified in your actions because you are better than those around you. But if you can cut off that root…. the rest of your arguments falter.
 
If you are not better than others, than why should you not help them?
If you are not better than others, then what right do you have to attack or abuse them?
If you are not better than others, why should all focus be about you?
If you are not better than others, why should you force them to do what you do? Encourage them yes, but force them??
 
We all focus on the external battles alone. Those who start mobs. Wars fought. Murders done. Mistreatments made…. but in each person in each physical war… there has been an internal war they are fighting.
 
The aggressors in a physical war are always the losers and victims of their own internal war. And believe it or not, they are already suffering for it!
 
Pity the racist, for they miss out on the pleasure and wisdom of so much of this world!
Pity the sexist because they will never benefit from the wisdom and abilities of the opposite gender!
Pity the anarchist, because they have locked themselves in a world where they believe themselves to be the only person who will ever look out for themselves!
Pity the vigilante, because they have found themselves trapped in an ever growing lust for greater and greater suffering for those they call their enemies. It is a world where the hate you throw at your enemies begins to pale to the disgust you find in yourself.
 
People are not your enemy! This world is not so simple as that! Fight against people and you will not stop their cause. You will simply strengthen their resolve. They will tell themselves that this world needs people like them all the more because people like you exist!
 
Realize you are targeting their ideals. Ideals that have been founded by a stem that has taken root!
 
The stem of a plant is the furthest down and thus the hardest to find, but it is also thinnest, and easiest to cut.
 
Attack the twigs and branches, and you will spend your lifetime pruning away. Attack the stem, and the whole plant will fall over in one fell swoop.
 
But more than anything. Realize you are human as well.
 
DO NOT tell yourself you are better than them simply because you cannot understand their most topical actions.
DO NOT tell yourself they are less than human because of what they have done.
DO NOT tell yourself you are justified in doing whatever you want with them because your cause is just and theirs is evil.
 
You are fighting ideals not people. If you become their ideal, to fight their ideal, you may have won the battle, but the war shall continue with you as the new enemy.
 
Finally, though I have said this many times, I find people need it spelt out as clearly as can be these days,
 
THIS IS NOT TO SAY ‘DO NOT STAND UP AGAINST EVIL!’
 
Evil will always be in this world. Evil will never be fully defeated. But we have a duty to stand up for those who are hurt and to protect them, and fight to build a better future.
 
What this IS to say is that if you truly want to fight evil, and not just fulfill a vindictive buzz, make sure you target the true enemy, and not just the little grunts who follow him.
 
News flash for you. Your enemy doesn’t care how many of his puppets you abuse or torture. Actually it makes him delighted to see you turning over to his side!
 
You are in the middle of a war. It is a much bigger war than most people ever live to realize. If you want to keep fighting puppets and meat bags, you will only find yourself overwhelmed and then taken to the side you thought you hated the most. But if you cut off the supply routes, build up defenses, and show the grunt soldiers the lies they were told about you were false, you will watch as your enemies begin to collapse, imploding one after another.
 
This is not a simple schoolyard fight. This is war.

Follow Him

Why is this world so scary?
 
Why do we hold so much fear?
 
What job will we have?
What will they think of us?
Will I get in trouble for this?
Will this work?
Will I have enough money to pay my bills this month?
Will I end up on the streets?
Will I lose everything I own?
Will I go bankrupt?
Will I live my life single?
Will they be offended?
Will they be disappointed in me?
Will they scold me again?
Will I lose support?
What if I get sick?
What if another emergency comes up?
 
We take worry after worry upon ourselves. We lose sleep and energy over obsessing over them. We go to great lengths to knock out as many threats as we can… but to what end?
 
You can give life your best to the point of exhaustion and depression, but if God so wills in, you will be accused of being a slacker.
 
You can apply to thousands of jobs, with a perfect resume, and wonderfully supported cover letter, but if God so wills it you will continue being overlooked and picked over for people with better smiles
 
You can be supportive and wise, but unless it’s the time God permits, you will only ever be considered “Just a friend.”
 
You can search the wisest people for direction and advice, but unless God inspires them, they will just tell you what you’ve already known and have already been working on as if it is the “Save all Answer”
 
You can live like a monk and save what pennies you can, but unless God protects you, all it takes is one scam, one unexpected crisis, and you’ll find yourself even deeper in the hole.
 
You can obsess over self care, taking all sorts of medicines, avoiding things you’re weak at, and exercising to grow stronger, but unless God watches over you, in three seconds you can have an accident that will ruin everything.
 
We are not on this earth to please others. We are not on this earth to protect/provide for ourselves. We are not on this earth to show the best business practices, wisest lifestyle choices, or best relationship advice.
 
We are here to follow God where He leads. To show what He can do through us. To show how He defies all logic. How to the world His logic is madness, but to Him their wisdom is meaningless.
 
At the end of the day, do not worry about the hundreds of thousands of people you must keep happy in order to follow God. In the end you are only responsible for following Him. If people get angry at you, it is because He let that happen in your life. If you go through loss, it’s because He let it happen. But do not be sidetracked trying to appease the many voices that come at you from all sides. Focus only on following God! He is able to restore all that you have lost and more. He is able to protect you no matter where you go. He is able to provide for you, no matter what you have. He can do more with nothing than you could do with everything.
 
Follow Him so you can have no shame. No matter what others say. No matter how they misinterpret you. No matter how they judge you from your state of life, not what you are doing. Realize God is the judge. God is the provider. That there is nothing you can accomplish without Him. So cling to Him, follow Him. Trust in Him
 
Amen

Godly Courage

“If you pray for courage, the Lord will provide”
 
and He does. He has the ability to change you from a “My mouth tastes like adrenaline, I haven’t slept in weeks, and I want to throw up” wreck, into an amazingly relaxed calm in a surprisingly short amount of time.
 
But He doesn’t do it by making you forget your problems, or giving you a testosterone high of ignorance. In my experience, it has never been “Courage” the Lord has given, but “Perspective”
 
The perspective to realize that God is in control.
The perspective to see your overwhelming weakness and all the mistakes you’ve made and realize, God already knew that about you.
The perspective to realize God still can and still will use you for great things.
The perspective to realize that God loves you, and it is because of that that we can ask Him for help.
The perspective to realize that all the voices saying to fear and despair don’t matter because HE IS
 
It is from that perspective that you can find peace. It is from that perspective you can breathe easy yet again. It is from that perspective that you can switch from crying out “God save me! Lord show mercy!” to “Praise the Lord for what you have not yet done but WILL do for YOU are Lord!”
 
This world will tell you many things. To panic, to fret. That if you aren’t outwardly showing signs of the panic you are in at every second you are clearly not taking matters seriously enough.
 
Even in the church we fall into this trap. We believe God cannot move unless we do. We believe God plays a support role in our life but not a leader.
 
But God CAN and God WILL save.
 
Give God your best
Be willing to go where HE will lead not where YOU want Him to
Trust HIS timing, not your own
He CAN and WILL use you for Great things.
He never told us to carry this world on our shoulders. He only told us to believe and follow Him.
 
Amen.

At the End of My Rope

What do you do when your best isn’t enough? What do you do when your prayers aren’t being answered? Or even worse, your strongest prayers are met with greater hardships within minutes? What do you do in the times when the greatest proof that there is a God is that it makes no logical sense for your hard work to be met with such emptiness and for your luck to be THIS bad with such timing?
 
At least when you are holding back or not facing something you can at least find comfort in the fact that life would be better if you kicked your butt into gear. But what about when you’re trying your hardest? What about when you’ve addressed every sin and weakness that you can think of? What when your ambitions have led to making the burns worse every time? When you’ve failed so many times and the fires grow so big that you’ve forgotten which way is forward, which is back, which is up, and which is down?
 
What when you seek wisdom and you just are told what you’ve already been doing? What when you seek comfort, and instead find pain and emptiness? What about when you’ve forgotten how to dream and want, because all you dream and want is just to survive another day? What when what you find through prayer and the Bible, vs what the wise people in your life tell you clash?
 
Do you blame people? For their empty words… for their offensive comfort? It is not their fault…. If they say what they feel God is leading them to say, it’s not a matter of saying what is wise, or what will help you. It’s up to say what they feel God is leading them to say. Whether it comfort you or test you further.
 
Do you blame society? The cruel, cold, and empty machine… who at one point was designed to face a problem, but has long since forgotten it’s purpose, and is now run by fools who only know how to milk it dry to prolong the time till their own punishment reaches them? Such a ridiculous thing is out of your control and you were never meant to rule the world in the first place…. you wouldn’t be much better at it…
 
You realize that you are part of a bigger game… A game that transcends society, feelings, emotions, relationships…. yet a game that is simpler than most…. a game between God who wants you to trust Him and to show what wonders can be done through Him, and the Devil who wants to convince you how much better the world would be off without God.
 
I can’t say what works and what doesn’t in this world…. I am not that wise, and if I could then what would be the point of faith. I write now not as a conquering hero who overcame hardships and saw a brighter future… but as a weak, confused, and lost little kid… who is completely overwhelmed, with the room spinning, confused, and out of ideas of what to do…. but I write this now not out of searching for pity…. but because THESE are the points when it is most important to decide….
 
It is when you have no strength left that you most need to stand.
It is when you have no hope left that you most need your faith.
It is when you have no path left that you most need to move forward.
It is when you feel empty that you must keep running on full.
It is when you feel most abandoned that you must know how loved you are.
It is when you feel most abused that you must accept how blessed you are.
It is when you want it all to end, that you MUST keep going forward.
 
I know not what the future holds… and quite honestly, from where I stand I see no light. I see no hope. I see no peace. I find little to no comfort from others. I see no way my future can work out. I feel like no matter what I say or do, more bad news will come in a few minutes time. I feel like this is all my life is… all my life has been… and all my life ever will be… The thought of being excited for the future… having things I can’t wait to see happen… hope… they all sound like luxurious dreams which people like me have no right to have. But I know what the Bible says…. and even if I haven’t seen it…. even if I never do see it… I am going to follow it..
 
It says that if you are lost then God will find you (Luke 19:10)
 
It says that when you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure, to remember to whom you belong (Ephesians 2:19-22)
 
It speaks of how God is able to do abundantly more than what we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)
 
It says how God can turn our storms and devastation into something good (Romans 8:28)
 
It says even what is intended for harm, God can use for good! (Genesis 50:20)
 
It says how the Lord will give you strength when you have none (2 Timothy 4:17)
 
It says how this battle was never ours but God’s (2 Chronicles 20:15)
 
It says how there is nothing the Devil can steal from us which God can not restore, and how the one thing the Devil can not steal from us is God Himself!
 
It says how patience and perseverance are rewarded but at God’s timing not our own.
 
It says how we shall never be abandoned. How we are loved in spite of our weaknesses.
 
That God knows our weaknesses and still has great plans for us.
 
That none of this life has caught God off guard or by surprise. That He knew our weaknesses and problems before they even came to be.
 
That God works all things to His glory, beyond human comprehension
 
That it is not our ability but our faith to Him that let’s Him use us
 
That He can use the uneducated, those with rough pasts, the socially inept, the weak, the cowards, the proud, and more
 
That even though we should never stop combatting our weaknesses, that God accepts us in spite of them and can use us in spite of them.
 
That our circumstances are not directly tied to our efforts or our path. It is up to God to decide who rises and who falls.
 
That He brings rest for the weary, hope for the helpless, strength for those who can move no further.
 
That He is GOD and that He can do great things. That no matter what comes our way we are never beyond His saving.
 
So while I know not what the future holds… I barely know what tomorrow will be like…. and while I fear more suffering and hardships because even if God is strong enough to face all things, I am not and I passed the end of my rope years ago…. I know that He is God… that my life always has and always will rest in His hands. That no, there is no way to save myself… but God put me in a place where no one but Him could save me for His glory and for my strength. Much like chasing away the armies for Gideon, or putting Job through trials and ridicule…. He is the Lord. He is God. He is the only truth and way. And so yes I am scared. Yes I am tired. No I don’t even want to wake up tomorrow…. but I can come to Him about this…. I can come to Him with how I feel…. because He is God. And He loves me. And He already knew in the first place.
 
Amen