Thursday, October 8, 2015

“But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength.” ~ 2 Timothy 4:17

Six months. That's how much time has passed since I last wrote on this blog. In many ways, so much has happened, but honestly not that much has happened beyond normal life. I was reading back through my last post and with the gift of time I start to see some things make a little more sense.

I talked a lot in my last post about being brave, about being open and honest, about sharing my feelings. Guess what? I didn't do that. I got afraid. I let myself hold things in. I didn't do what I know I should do, even what I wanted to do.

It's been a rough few months. True, nothing really terrible has happened to me. In fact, a lot of really wonderful things have happened. But I've been hiding in myself. I've been hiding myself away. Definitely from writing here...obviously. Everything that has been rough has been inside. My emotions have felt all over the place. I've felt like I wanted to say everything and also say nothing. I've felt like I needed to scream or cry or like I'd come out of my skin if I didn't express some things.

Some of it I've been able to express. I've experienced some wonderful deepening of certain relationships and that has blessed my soul. I've also experienced some falling away in certain relationships and that has ravaged my soul. It's been good and it's been bad and it's been hard. Hard to know where to start, where to go and where I'm hoping to end up. I still don't really know what to do...but I think I might be ready to write about it.

Recently, I started reading a (new-to-me) blog and just loved it. A lot of it was encouraging and funny. I cried after reading one post. I laughed so many times. And then I got to this one post and it was convicting. She shared this quote in her post

"To the degree that you need people to affirm you, you will limit God's ability to use you." ~ Levi Lusko

Like her, I struggle with being a people pleaser. I struggle all the time with wanting nobody to be mad at me, for everybody to like me...not like be in love with me, but at least think I'm okay...and it's hard because it's unsustainable. I know in my head that it is impossible. I tell myself that life will go on if someone doesn't like me or is mad at me. But I find it hard to live with or to let those things go. They bug me and keep me thinking and worrying and stressing. All of which is not good, and I know it's not good, but I still do it.

I don't want to be tied up in people pleasing. I know it doesn't work.

I signed up to receive her blog in my email, and she's been doing a blogging challenge where she writes a post every day in the month of October. I love that she's so real. Some posts are serious and thought-provoking. One post was about the TV show Scandal. I've posted a few comments on posts that really meant something to me and in reading her responses, it makes me believe she and I could be good friends. :) Her post today really got me thinking since it was again about some of these things I've been struggling with - namely, what people think of me.

I know this is something I can't do on my own and that's where my blog title comes into play...I know that my strength comes from the Lord. I know it in my head, but have trouble holding on to that in my heart.

“But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it – you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked – well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.”
~ Romans 4:5

When I read through my Bible, I read it in the Message and loved it so much. Everything seemed so fresh and amazing and incredibly encouraging. The book of Romans quickly became one of my favorites and this verse is one of the many reasons. It reminds me that I need to be "willing to live in the risky faith-embrace of God's action for [me]" ~ Romans 4:12. God can make changes in me that are impossible without Him. But I have to let go and trust Him.

“Remember, tho’ we struggle against things because we are afraid of them, it is often the other way around – we get afraid because we struggle. Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think Our Lord says to you ‘Peace, child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little?’”
~ C.S. Lewis

“The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” ~ Deuteronomy 33:27

So, even though I'm afraid of letting go. Even though I'm afraid of being real. Even though I'm afraid that people won't like me. I want to let go. I want to be real. I want to be okay with not having people like me. So I'm going to try. I'm going to trust. I want to let go.

I will start writing this blog again. I will try to be real. I will continue to be encouraged by the people around me being brave. I will trust God to be my strength when I am weak. I have some ideas about what this might look like. I think it will probably be different than I imagine, but I'm okay with that. I know God is leading my life in lots of different ways and looking back I can see how the things I saw as obstacles and chaos and crisis were being used to change me in ways I needed but couldn't have learned in any other way. I feel excited about this, even though it's still a little scary.

“The LORD gives His people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace.” ~ Psalm 29:11

“The LORD is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.”
~ Psalm 28:7

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
~ Philippians 4:13

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for never giving up on me, on any of us, no matter how much we struggle and fail and flail about. Thank You for loving us anyway, for loving us more than we can even imagine. Thank You for the people in my life who help me to grow and feel strong and feel loved. Help me to not depend on them for my sense of self, or purpose, or worth. Help me to depend on You and not be afraid of what people think. Please be with my friends and family who are dealing with all sorts of issues and struggles - give them Your peace and comfort and help them to trust and depend on You. Thank You for loving us, we love you too. Amen.

1 comment:

Shauna Zimmer said...

Keri, you are so loved. As much as I love you, it's like comparing a flame to a wildfire when it comes to God's love for you. Joshua learned a valuable lesson about being strong and courageous. He learned strength and courage come from trusting in the Lord. Abraham learned that listening to the voice of the Lord took him places he never thought he would go, and helped him accomplish things he never could do on his own. Moses learned that he had to lean on God in order to become the leader God wanted him to be. All of the heroes of the Bible had to learn faith and trust in God was vital to walking out the plan He had for them. We can be so much more than we think we deserve to be, not because of what we do or who we are, but because of Who He is in us, and because of the work of perfection He is doing in our lives. I love you so dearly. I'm with you!!! Let's be brave!