Friday, December 12, 2008

Looking on the Bright Side

It's truly annoying when you tell someone your woes and they follow it up with "Look on the bright side." or something equally as heinous, "It could always be worse." - what is that? Don't they know I want to wallow in self-pity for a while? When this happens, I just want to look that person in the eye and say,"Shut up."
Have you ever fallen asleep under the covers and then woken up to find yourself entangled in them, like you've waged a war with yourself in your sleep? I compare this to self-pity.
Truthfully, self-pity is like a warm comfy blanket that I often wrap myself up in and stay there... until it becomes confining and suffocating. When I'm in it at the time, I don't want someone telling me it could be worse, I mean, I do know that already and I will get there eventually, just give me a minute will you?
(I am getting to a point)
My closest friends have told me in the past how strong I am and how happy I always seem, but the truth is I don't feel strong and a lot of the time I am struggling to smile. I have, however just recently discovered this path that God has taken me down and it is very humbling. I don't know the time or place that my eyes were open but I am grateful that He is helping me see a little more clearly.
Life is a funny thing and I wonder if God is watching us all and evaluating how we begin to understand. Kind of like when I tell my boys how to do something over and over and then finally they do it on their own without my persuasions. Oh Happy Day!
This is a difficult time right now for us (and I know for everyone, I'm not in self-pity mode- so hold your breath). We have had huge financial problems for what seems like an eternity. However, it is only within the last say, 6 months that I feel like I can do this. I've heard that God only gives us what we can handle but I honestly wish he didn't think so highly of me at times. I'm tired, physically tired of the worry and just when I think I've laid it down for Him to take, I take it back. (I'm kind of a control freak that way)
Anyway, like I said, it's been about 6 months since I've been on this path of clarity and I see that God keeps giving me opportunties of understanding. The 1st one was when I read the book by William P. Young called "The Shack", (thank you Kelli) and if you haven't read it I suggest you pick up a copy and read it twice. It changed my perception of God, religion, and relationship at a time when I was struggling with church and the people in church, etc. The 2nd was last night when I read a blog called "Bring the Rain" by a woman named Angie Smith. A very real, true story about her 4th daughter that lived for only 2 hrs and excruciating decisions she and her husband had to make. I have posted it on here and recommend it if you are struggling with your faith or any difficulty in your life. Reading her story gave me this sense of who God is really. Through her heart I saw Him. I learned that I must turn to Him - always! When I feel self-pity, He is not going to tell me, "Look on the bright side." He is going to give me the tools I need to pick myself up and He is going to love me through it. I feel like God is looking at me and saying,"I think she's getting it." I know I have been told that God is always there and He is the only one I can rely on and in my head I knew that, but my heart is still trying to catch up. Going to church is fine and it's good to read the bible but if you don't have the relationship with Him it's like biting into a Twinkie and discovering that they left out the creme filling.
I know I have a long way to go, I haven't given up that blanket yet. But I do know God will be there to help me get untangled.
My favorite verse in the bible is Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
It's my favorite because it gives me the security of knowing that even through some of my poorest decisions, when I haven't listened to His voice and struggled on my own that He will make it work for His purpose.

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