Now before you criticize me for my openness and honesty on my blog posts, I have to say something.
Isn’t it better to be honest and open versus keep everything bottled up inside and live life fake? You don’t know how many people I’ve met, Christians included, who make me feel guilty for feeling any other way besides happy towards God and my loved ones. That’s actually pushed me away from the faith at times versus closer to it. Have they not opened up a Bible recently? The Bible is full of stories of people expressing their frustrations at God to God.
“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.” (Psalm 13:1-6)
“1 After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day he was born. 2 He said, 3“Let the day be lost on which I was born, and the night which said, ‘A boy is born.’ 4 May that day be darkness. May God above not care for it. May light not shine on it. 5 Let darkness and a heavy shadow take it for their own. Let a cloud come upon it. Let the darkness of the day bring fear upon it. 6 As for that night, let darkness take hold of it. Let it not have joy among the days of the year. Let it not come into the number of months. 7 Yes, let that night be alone and empty. Let no sound of joy come into it. 8 Let those curse it who curse the day, who are able to wake up the Leviathan. 9 Let the early morning stars be made dark. Let it wait for light but have none. Do not let it see the light of day. 10 Because it did not keep my mother from giving birth to me, or hide trouble from my eyes.” (Job 3:1-10)
That’s from the Bible and not my own thoughts.
So it’s time to expand your mind people, stop being so quick to judge (Luke 6:37) and truly listen to what people have to say before you stop them and hit them with your opinion.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
– James 1:19-20 (English Standard Version)
I read a book recently titled “The Completion Process” and it talked about people desiring just to be heard sometimes versus always hearing another persons opinion. If I hear about a man who suffered a loss in the family and I have never suffered a loss in my family, I can’t relate. So most times I just stay quiet and just listen. Often times I stay quiet because I’m not God and I don’t have all the answers.
I’ll for sure pray for them, but if I don’t have anything of value to say I’ll just be present and actively listen to them.
Don’t underestimate the power of listening and prayer.
I keep talking about listening in my blog posts. If you don’t mind, could you listen to me for a moment without any judgment? Just hear me out for a second.
I’ve held anger towards family members for most of my life. I mean if you’ve read more than one of my blog posts, you’ve seen just how much pain I endure in my life on a day-to-day basis. Pain I believe stems from my childhood. But with pain comes blame. At least for me it does.
“My step-father had to have done this to me, it’s all his fault!” or “if my mother didn’t remarry I wouldn’t be in this predicament!” or “why didn’t God step in and help me in my most vulnerable state?!”
These thoughts and questions may seep into your mind like they do mine when suffering seems to take over your life. You want to put the blame on someone else and not tackle the hurts yourself.
“It’s there fault! Why should I have to suffer and fix it?!” I get it, I get it.
Not only that, but you might even want to get back at that someone for what they did to you. If you believe your mom wasn’t there for you as a child, you may ignore her as an adult to get back at her. You may develop not only resentment, but hate towards her because she didn’t give you what you desired as a child. And now you are paying heavily for it as an adult.
Been there, done that.
Real quick, the beauty of feeling so low in life and not having too many friends is that you can be open and truly express yourself. I don’t hold too much back as you can see in my blog posts. It’s not like I have anything to lose. If I had a lot of friends and family close to me, I don’t know if I would be this open. But honestly, all I have right now is my dog and God. Elmira doesn’t understand english and God knows my heart already. So why hide how I truly feel?
Ok, what was I saying again? Oh yeah, resenting or hating your mom or a loved one for your past.
Now I know I’m sure you’ve heard before that you have to forgive and just move on. It’s in the Bible and pretty much everyone says it. You have to let go of the past, move on and stop hurting yourself by holding on to the pain. It is only hurting you by holding this in and not the other person. They may not even realize you are hurting. Not only that, they might not catch the fact that you are deliberately trying to get back at them for your childhood by ignoring them or whatever it is you are trying to do to get back at them.
But it’s hard to forgive and let go of that. It’s hard because you see it all over television or out in the world. Parents giving their kids love and affection. The love and affection you desired as a child.
It’s a constant reminder every time you turn on the tv or leave the house. You try to forgive, forget and move on, but BAM! There it is again.
So what do you do? Never turn on a television again or leave the house? No, thank God, you don’t have to go that route.
I can’t live without my episodes of Catfish. Haha.
All you can do is two things. Embrace your story and Embrace Jesus.
Do you realize how many other people in this world didn’t have a mother or father growing up? Didn’t receive love and affection growing up? How many people hate their life, hate a family member or feel as if they are a mistake because of their upbringing?
Tons and TONS of people!
And these people need people like you and me to share our faith. To share our journey of overcoming these battles in our lives. To share our faith like it says in my description above.
“I mean that I want us to help each other with the faith that we have. Your faith will help me, and my faith will help you.”
– Romans 1:12 (ICB)
There is a reason God created the Bible with many stories of people suffering and in pain. Not just stories of happiness and joy. Because the world isn’t The Disney channel and God knows that. There is a reason God has so many uplifting scriptures in His Word.
God knew you and I would be hurt in our lives. But He wants us to turn to Him in our hurts and remember what He said in Psalms 34:18:
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
– New International Version
One day just glance through your Bible and see just how many stories there are of people in pain and hurting. And see just how many times God shows up to help them in their need. People hurting like me and you.
If going through your Bible is too intimidating or you aren’t sure where to begin, download the YouVersion Bible app on your phone. They have a great video series within the app and daily reading plans on topics such as fear, trauma, loneliness and so forth that break down God’s Word and make it easily applicable to our day-and-age. It’s Great!
God was there when your mother decided to leave to be with her boyfriend instead of you; God was there when you were being picked on at school and nobody in your family seemed to care; God is with you now through all the suffering you are going through in your life because of your past. He knows all of what you are going through behind closed doors and has been through everything in your life with you.
“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.”
-Psalms 27:10 (New International Version)
Remember also what David said in Psalms 23:4 (New Living Translation):
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.”
This dark time in your life may seem never ending. The pain may seem like it will never cease, but remember that God is close beside you. He will protect and comfort you through this storm.
He just needs you to embrace Him.
What does embracing God look like? If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. Get in God’s Word daily. Even if you’ve never been in His Word before, He will guide you where to start. Just ask God,
“God, please direct me to where you would like for me to start reading in your Word. In Jesus name, Amen.”
It’s as simple as that. God knows that you may be trying to mask your pain with weed, alcohol, sexual relationships outside of marriage or pornography. But those are only temporary fixes. You are only putting a bandage on the pain with those means. Jesus is the true healer. If you don’t believe me, check out the story of how Jesus healed a blind man in John 9. That is just one of many stories where Jesus heals.
Jesus wants to heal you and me as well. But we have to be open to receiving His healing.
Your life story may seem ugly now, but just wait until God turns it around for His glory when you stop and embrace His Son Jesus Christ. As Pastor Rick Warren says,
“Your mess with turn into your message.”
There are so many people in this world who need to hear your message about how you’ve been abused, neglected, unloved, and not cared for. But you have to step out on faith, share your story and allow God to turn your mess into a message.
Embrace Jesus right now.
Maybe try and find a local church near you and see how you can get involved. Or ask a friend or a family member who you know knows God how you can grow stronger with The Lord. If all of those are too much for you right now, that’s okay. You can just start by downloading a Bible app on your phone or buying a Bible from your local bookstore.
Ask God which book of the Bible He wants you to read and start on your journey. Just one chapter a day. Don’t stop reading. You may hate it at first, but trust me – it will get better.
God will show up and reveal so much to you on your journey of faith. He will reveal your true passions, desires, interests and most importantly Himself to you. That anger and hate you had for others who mistreated you will be turned into love. God will show you how to forgive and let go. Not just for your sake, but for your loved ones sake as well. For the sake of the Kingdom of God.
So many people will come to God because of this decision you make to embrace Jesus. That should motivate you in and of itself. If you didn’t already know, this is God’s Greatest Commandment for us:
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
– Mark 12: 29-31 (New Living Translation)
Talk about loving your neighbor. By you embracing Jesus and turning your mess into a message, that is the Ultimate way to make God proud. Trust.
One day, I believe, you will look back over your life and not want to change a thing. Not erase any hurt or mistreatment that was done to you. Seeing how God used all the messiness to create something truly beautiful. Seeing how your life changed so many other peoples lives around you. People you may have known already and others who met you through you being courageous enough to embrace Jesus and step out on faith. It will happen – I believe it.
So don’t be mad anymore and hold on to hate. That’s getting old and not getting you anywhere. It’s time to embrace Jesus. Just try it out. Embrace God just one chapter a day and see how he transforms that hate into love. Making you no longer turn to weed, alchohol, sexual relationships, pornography or any kind of medication to get you through the day. But rather turn to His Word and His Son, Jesus Christ.
All you need is Jesus.
Let your mess because your message!