walk by FAITH….not by FEAR Wednesday, Jan 19 2011 

In life, we all face many uncertainties – those that require choices, chances, and changes.  At times, we become completely afraid….afraid of how our choices, chances, and changes we make will affect our future….and possibly the future of others.  In these moments, we struggle with doubt, with worry, with fear.  In these moments, we lose our faith.  We pray….we seek answers….but yet, we are walking by fear and not by faith.  Fear causes us to close the doors that have been opened for us, because we are too afraid to walk through them.  In order for us to move forward with our lives….in order for us to allow God to lead us….we must listen….we must follow….we must walk by FAITH.

“Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future, it’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.” ~ Joni Erickson Tada

We live in the season of uncertainty…. the season of questions….the season of doubt.  The Bible tells us to “fear not.”  In fact, Jesus told us to “FEAR NOT” 365 times throughout the Bible.  Three-hundred and sixty-five times!!  Because of that, His Words cover 365 days of each year.  That means that each day we wake up….we know that before we even begin our day….come what may…. God said “FEAR NOT!!”

The Bible specifically tells us that God is not the author of fear.  When God opens the door….when he gives you direction….hold on to your faith…it will get you through.  Doubt, worry, confusion, fear….these are not of Him.

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…  1 Corinthians 14:33

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

When we pray….when we seek God’s face….when we cry out to Him for answers…. when we ask for direction……. He will give us strength…. He will give us peace.  At times of peace, we still question…we still worry….we still doubt….though we shouldn’t…   BECAUSE as HE said…FEAR NOT!!!!!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

For we walk by Faith, not by sight.  2 Corinthians 5:7

Faith means that we have to step out into the unknown…..holding fast and holding strong to the hand of GOD…..HE will lead and guide us….HE WILL catch us if we fall…

Feels like I’ve been here forever,

why can’t you just intervene?

Do you see the tears keep falling?

And I’m falling apart at the seams.

But you never said the road would be easy,

But you said that you would never leave.

And you never promised that this life wasn’t hard,

But you promised you’d take care of me…..

I’ll trust you God….

and believe you will have your way…

It’s time to take the step of FAITH………and FEAR NOT!!

 

~Bek~

 

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How WILLING is your HEART? Wednesday, Jan 12 2011 

Two weeks ago, a friend and I had lunch at one of our local Asian restaurants.  Just as the tradition always is, at the end of the meal, the waitress handed us our ticket along with our fortune cookies.  I, for one, never eat the fortune cookie, but I love to read them.  I carefully squeezed the cookie until it split, revealing a small slip of paper.  I slowly removed it from its crumbled shell and unfolded it.  On this tiny piece of paper, read these profound words:

“Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.”

The literal meaning of this proverb is that nothing is impossible to someone who sets their mind to a particular thing, for it will be achieved.  While this is true, my inquisitive mind began analyzing this phrase to find a deeper meaning.  I carefully repeated this phrase in my mind, “Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.  NOTHING is impossible to a willing heart.”  The more that I said it over and over, the more I realized that the focus should not be on the words ‘nothing’ or ‘impossible,’ but rather on ‘A WILLING HEART.’

The word willing, means ‘cheerfully consenting.’  Heart is defined as the ‘center of total personality, especially with reference to feeling or emotion; capacity for compassion and affection; the vital, or essential core.’

WOW!  Right there, in the definitions of those two words, is the deeper meaning to this profound statement. 

We tend to only look at this proverb as something considered meant for ourselves.  We read it and say, “I can set my mind to something and accomplish it.”  But as I read these words and plugged in these definitions, I realized what I was actually reading.  Nothing is impossible to a WILLING HEART.

Today, in this world, most have forgotten what it means to be a Christian and to love.  We look at people and immediately judge them, not knowing what situation they may be faced with, or how far they have come in life after overcoming struggles.  We have never walked in their shoes, why should we be given the right to judge?  I am guilty of this very thing. 

Just the other day, a man, who I assumed to be homeless, walked up to my friend and I asking for money.  I, cold-heartedly, turned away, while my friend reached into her pocket and pulled out a ten dollar bill.  After he walked away, I asked her why she gave him ten dollars….after all, money is hard to come by and my only concern was what he would do with it.  She then asked me why I chose to turn away and not even consider the fact that out of all the people asking for money, this one might actually be wise with the money she gave him.  It was like a slap in the face to me.  I was put in my place.  In just two seconds, with only a few words from his mouth, I judged him.  Because of her WILLING HEART, she opened a window of possibilites for that man.  IF ONLY I had a willing heart, could it have been possible that he would have taken my ten dollars and used it to buy a hamburger or a new shirt? 

Everyone, I am sure, has heard the phrase, “you can’t judge a book by its cover.”  If we know that, then why does it happen all the time?  Why is it that when someone walks up and introduces themselves, some people think right then and there that the person in front of them isn’t worth their time?  Why is it that assumptions are made, that hinder what could become the greatest friendship, or the greatest love that someone could ever have?  Assumption – taken for granted.  Judgement – the forming of an opinion or conclusion.  How can we just make an assumption or a judgement from only the first impression we get from someone?  Shouldn’t we allow a little time to get to know that person, to hear their story, to know their dreams for their future?  We can choose our friends, and the people we are associated with, but we must first have a WILLING HEART to give them a chance.  It is not our place to judge….It is ALMIGHTY GOD’s!!! 

As Christians, we need to remember that Jesus does not look at us for what we look like, or what and who we are.  He looks inside of each and every one of us.  He looks deep within our hearts.  We, as human beings, should follow after Him and His example.  Even some churches push people away.  Discrimination is a major part of this problem.  A church is a haven…..a hospital…..a place that is supposed to show mercy, care,  and love.  It is not a place that determines who can be there because of the color of their skin or the lifestyle they might lead.  Cliques in the church also drive people away.  There are those who no longer feel accepted or wanted by people.  Although it is not intended that a person go to church for others, to feel unaccepted in a place where God wants EVERYONE to be welcome, is not of WILLING HEARTS.  We should see others as God sees them…….a soul.  It is our purpose, as Christians, to show others the love of Christ.  If we choose to judge others, to make assumptions about others, and to immediately turn our backs towards them….what kind of Christians would we be?  Do you think that God would be pleased?  If you judge someone else, then you should stop and judge yourself for judging them.  Most of all, think about how God is judging you.  Judging is a sin.  No sin is greater than another.  Remember that the next time you assume that someone has great sins upon them….for if you are wrong, you will be the only one with sin.  Have a WILLING HEART, that you might show someone God’s love.  Endless possibilities might open for not only them, but also for you; and because of your WILLING HEART, your light will shine…and you will be blessed. 

By having a WILLING HEART, we become less judgemental, more caring, more thoughtful, more loving, and more understanding.  It is time that we look at others, through the eyes of Christ, just as my friend did.  May our WILLING HEARTS be open….to possibilities….

“Nothing is impossible to a cheerful consenting, vital core of compassion and affection.”

~Bek~

“To get to the rainbow, you have to get through the rain.” Monday, Jan 10 2011 

Each day, I usually post one facebook status.  It always pertains to something that is occurring in my life…my thoughts…my feelings…or what I believe could “hit home” with someone else.  I do not anticipate my statuses to be read by many, nor do I expect them to be this life-changing message.  Most are not my own, but all correlate with me and my life.

Earlier this week, I posted a quote that I read somewhere.  It said:  “To get to the rainbow, you have to get through the rain.”

I do not know the dictator of this quote.  I do not know the mindset, nor the situation that this person may have been in, when this statement was quoted.  What I do know is what went through my mind, when I read it.

2010, for me, was a life-changing year.  The life I had been living for almost six years, was no longer existent.  Everything that I had known….Everything that I had become….Everything that I tried to make the best of through the struggles, fake smiles, and the little hope that was left in that life.  Thoughts of what ifs and regrets.  Worried that I would never make it on my own.  Worried that I would never find myself again, in a whole new world….a new life that was about to begin for me.  The stress of the change overwhelmed my mind and my body.  Struggling with major change in my home and life…..struggling with a tough semester of college….struggling with feelings of uncertainty….and struggling with not knowing how to find ME!!

I am 25 years old and I have been a legal adult for quite some time now.  I had made decisions and choices that were, what I thought at that time, hard.  But it wasn’t until I was faced with the “disassembling” of my life that I truly understood how hard adulthood, and the seriousness of the choices I would be forced to make, can be.  I had tried everything I could to KNOW the answers BEFORE making these decisions.  I did not want to be faced with uncertainty.  I wanted to know what my outcome would be.  I was wrong!!

Our lives are not meant to be lived on OUR terms.  They are meant to be lived on GOD’s terms!!  It was a life that I had chosen to live, but was now a life that I was completely unfamiliar with. My life had become just something that I woke up every morning to, knowing the routine I had to complete just to get through the each day.  I will never know why I began a journey just to watch it end.  Only MY GOD does.  He has a plan and a purpose in every person’s life.  Though we may never understand, we have to hold on to the knowledge that GOD is in control.  We just have to completely SURRENDER ourselves to HIM.  Once I realized that, I fell on my knees and cried out to Him.  I prayed that He would clear my mind from all the fear, all the uncertainty, all the what ifs that would be confronting me in this new chapter of my life.  I prayed for strength and determination.  I prayed that I would, again, find me….not just the me that I once was….but the me that wants more of HIM.  In that moment of tears, of prayers, of renewing my relationship with my Heavenly Father….I began to grow.

His Word says that He will never put more on us than we can bear.  I held on, and am still holding on to that Truth!!  I cannot see the destination that He has for me, but  I have begun my journey, into my new life, with my hand holding on tight to Christ’s.  I no longer want to try and make my life what I want it to be.  I only want God’s will in my life.  I want to follow Him and allow Him to lead me.  His plan, His purpose, is greater than anything that I could ever make for myself.  It is in Him where I find my strength, my hope, my faith; in Him is where I will find MYSELF!!

In 2010, my change…my new life…my journey began.  I have no regrets of the past.  It has helped me become who I am today.

I made it through the rain…..

At the end of 2010, I had the privilege of spending time with three of the most amazing women I know.  Each of these women, in one way or another, have suffered through pain, fear, acceptance, and heartache.  After the small amount of time I was able to share with them, listening to their stories, becoming immersed in their emotions, and witnessing their sweet spirits, filled with the presence of GOD…..I realized that through their pain, they gained strength; through their fear, they gained courage; through their struggle with acceptance, they held on to faith in what they could not see, and became true to themselves; and through their heartache, they truly learned to LOVE.

Their examples….their faith….their trust in GOD…..their lives……THEIR rainbows….    Those things and more, inspired and motivated my desire to be true to ME and follow after God….. and HIS plan for my life……

I closed a chapter of my life in 2010.  My new chapter…my “reconstruction” has begun in 2011.

…..I am chasing after my rainbow

~Bek~

 

2010’s song for my life….