Waking Up

I loathe Monday mornings; it means an ending to a beautiful weekend or for many, we just need a longer weekend to rest. For some, we just count the days till its Friday. For some, we are just waiting for something exciting to happen. We are looking for something while we are letting hours, days, weeks and months pass by. We are looking for something to satisfy us and to wake us up from this coma we call life.

Since September 2017, I have been in a nursing program. We deal with various types of patients. We interact with patients that are not alert and oriented  to patients that are moving around appropriately and having full length conversations with, but there is something about coma patients that fascinate me.  Google defines a coma as “a state of deep unconsciousness that lasts for a prolonged or indefinite period, caused especially by severe injury or illness.” There are many people that are walking around and say that they are “good” when they are asked, but in fact, they are in a spiritual coma. They have been hurt by people, situations, high expectations for themselves or others, and maybe have felt let down by God. They go around holding things in because they know the norm in society is to not sob in public, so they live life walking aimlessly fighting their tears. They have no hope that things or people will change. Due to the situation, they are emotionally, mentally, spiritually and maybe even physically injured. They allow their situations and feelings to determine their future. Believe me, feelings are important, but they do change quick when a person does not get what he or she wants.

Back when I was twenty-one-years old, I underwent about a year of diagnostic procedures in which the end result was that I have an un-curable chronic disease. I felt that a slow death sentence was placed upon my life. My hope was gone. I felt powerless. Yes, I believed at the time Jesus can heal, but for me, this was “my cross to bear.”  I thought everyone has to deal with tough situations, and that this was mine.  I had poor self-esteem. Due to several situations in my life, I knew Jesus loved me , but  I feel like “not that much“.  I didn’t feel worthy to be healed of. Eventually over time, God gave me peace about what I had to deal with.

Fast-forward a couple of years, I graduated college , which I was proud of, but in December of 2016, another terrible situation happened. I underwent more diagnostic procedures and got diagnosed with a rare form of another disease. I was devastated. All I could I do is focus on my pain. The simple things in life became complicated because I chose to focus on my issues rather than focusing on what God wants me to do and who he called me is.  By looking at my outward appearance, everything seemed great, but its funny how much a person can hide from others.

When we do not allow God to build us, affirm us, and become dependent on him, we are building a flimsy foundation. We are instantly giving the influence that God should have to others. We give people the power to define us when that should be only given to God. A person can change their mind about you in an instant while God’s opinion of you is unchanging and it is good. When we allow our situations to define us, we adopt a victim mentality. We become self-absorbed and want everyone to hear our problems. Because we put faith in ourselves, we go in cycles of being frustrated and fed up because our situation may get resolved, but our mind and soul haven’t been restored. See, God will allow the SAME situation or similar situations to occur because we haven’t learned how to depend on him and built our foundation upon him.

In spite of our disability, it says in Psalm 8:4-6 (NLT) it states, ” What are mere mortals that you should think about them human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You have them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority.”  In this passage, it talks about how God is greater than us; that he created this entire world, but still thinks of us. Also, that God created us in his image (Genesis 1:27), made us royal because we are adopted into his kingdom (1 Peter 2:9) , and that he has given us authority. God has given us his identity that so we can comprehend that we rule over our present situations. Having a victim mentality is literally feeling powerless. We live life out of our feelings. I am not saying feelings aren’t important; they cant define everything about your life.  There has to come a time when you say enough is enough. I am going to give God my one-hundred percent or nada. There comes a time when we have to decide : who will I believe? Will I believe in my emotions to guide me on how to live my life or God who intimately created you and loves you? Am I going to sacrifice my royal identity for emotions and people that will change? Am I going to sacrifice my authority to allow myself to get into bondage and oppression? LETS BE REAL, Y’ALL. LIFE IS RUFF, not rough, but RUFF. We deal with crap all the time. It doesn’t end, and its not because God has it out for you. Its because we live in a fallen world that is filled with craziness and people choose to do horrendous things. People would rather choose the temporary escapes instead of getting that root ripped out of their soul and be healed.

Healing is painful. I had patients that had extensive burns and injuries in which they are missing chunks of their skin, muscle, and tissue. Depending on the doctor’s orders, they get  twice a shift, daily, bi-weekly or weekly dressing changes. The patient undergoes immense pain; they even get pre-medicated to help reduce the pain of the dressing change. If these patients never got these dressing changes, they would not have been healed. There are various types of dressing changes, but there is a certain type called mechanical debridement. It is literally when the nurse or doctor performs a wet-to-dry dressing. When they change the dressing, its wet, but over time, it eventually dries on the patient, so when they get their next dressing change, it is ripped out. God does that. He opens up our wounds, cleans a little, and then performs a new dressing change. He knows that we can only handle so much pain , most importantly, he knows that healing is a process. It does not occur overnight.

Don’t get burdened by the thought, ” It is going to take forever to get healed from this.” Honestly, I thought that for a long time and sometimes, I still do. I am the type in which I want to move on from things quick and get things solved. I am very task-oriented, but God wants us to be near to him and actually linger. He wants us to be in his throne room for a while and just hang out with him. He wants to love on us and renew a hope in us. Countless times in our lives, we try to rush the process because 1. We are used to instant gratification (Thanks society… ) , and  2. We try to change ourselves. We have to let God do only what he can do. So, get your hiking boots on and bring your gear, we are going on an adventure.

We have not arrived, but we are beautiful works in progress.

Suggested Music

The Trust Fall

God will kill you. Let me rephrase this, God will kill your flesh. He will allow everything we treasure and hold onto at one point be sacrificed. God loves us so much that he will lead us to places where we have to sacrifice our friendships, our jobs, our relationships and all of our dreams. God wants to see if we trust him to let him lead us to the right people, the right friendships, the right job and the right relationships for a specific time and purpose in our lives.

He leads us. He leads us to places that are not pretty, but to places we need to be. See society tells us that when bad things happen, it is our fault because the root of society especially in the United States, is meritocracy. Meritocracy is essentially that when you work hard , you will receive good results. Meritocracy is valid to only a certain point. The thing is when you live for God you become aware of eternity; you basically become aware that there is somebody high in the sky that is working out things on our behalf for the good- that our real home is in heaven with God. We know this because of 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.” (NIV) God works everything out for our good. A great portion of the time it does not look good or feel good, but God sees everything and everyone. He always has the best intentions for us, so we have to keep that in mind when he allows things to occur in our lives.  It says in Hebrews 12:6-8, ” For the Lord discipline those he loves,  and he punishes each one he accepts his child.  As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by his father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. ” (NLT)

Every ounce of our natural feelings hate discipline, but that is one of the ways God shows us that we belong to him. We hate living by principles; we would rather live by our feelings. The only time when we are okay with living by principles  is along as it doesn’t cause us to sacrifice something.  Everyone knows that we are supposed to exercise at least an hour four times a week or 30 minutes every day, but for many we do not do that despite it is beneficial for us because we don’t feel like it. In our society, we avoid being uncomfortable as if it is the bubonic plague or tuberculosis. This is why there is several apps created to use on our phones that people can use to have someone deliver food to them or other things. Our GPS shows the quickest route to avoid traffic while driving to a place. We hate waiting in lines for something or even just getting up to go to work. In James 1: 2-4,  it states, “Consider pure joy, my brothers and sisters , whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.” (NIV)

Growth occurs during the struggle. The most beautiful place to be in God is partnering with him in the storm. See we don’t really know who we are until we go through the struggle. The word struggle does not even sound like it is a nice thing. The word struggle means “make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction.” We want to be free from whatever we are enduring or persevering, but what if God wants us to be in that struggle? What if he knows that there is only certain qualities that can be produced in the struggle? What if he knows already that this is going to be your breakthrough? Would you stay in the struggle now knowing this?

See our growth is dependent on how much we trust God and how we close we are to him. Do you really believe that God loves you? Do you really believe that he has the best for you? Do you really believe that he created you for a purpose? If you do, I am extremely glad that you believe that, but for the ones that doesn’t. God loves you incredibly much. He loves you beyond yourself and whatever has or hasn’t happened. If he didn’t love you, he wouldn’t have created you. He created you, so you have a purpose, so live it out.

See in any relationship, there is going to be bumps and obstacles, but the thing is you have to communicate and reach a level of trust  believing wholeheartedly that the individual always has the best in mind for you. This is why we have to spend time with Jesus daily. See, if we do not spend time with God, we will not know him for ourselves, so then we cannot trust him.  Church is the place where we get seeds planted, but spending that quality time with Jesus daily is what causes the flower to bloom. Because when bad things happen, we run to him because we believe in who he is. We should believe him in because we got to know him for ourselves not because our parents or friends or anyone else. I am speaking from experience, when we don’t spend time with God everyday, things will accumulate in your soul such as resentment or bitterness or just apathy for certain things. Then those things will spill into other facets of your life wrecking havoc.

Being intimate with God is the only way you will get that pure joy that the author James writes in James 1:2-4 about. Because in the presence of Lord, everything else fades. Nothing else matters because you are with God alone. Then we are able to allow God to fully consume us because we should be open and willing. We should not be holding onto anything that God didn’t create us to hold onto. We can let everything go and give it to him.

I implore you to take that trust fall. Falling is never painless; it is actually quite in fact frightening as well, but in the our lowest moments crying out to him, this is where God reveals himself. Believe me, its the safest place to be. So lets all fall together into his arms.

Recommended songs to listen to:

Let it go

Let it go! Let it go! Can’t hold it back anymore! 

Let it go ! Let it go! Turn away and slam the door

Have you slammed the door?

Life hits us. It is as if its a powerful tornado sucking us in its terror. In my mind, all I am thinking is ” Let me go! I don’t want to be stuck in this anymore“. But somehow, we are still stuck. As much as we wiggle and try to break these chains that shackle us to our past, pain, and current difficulties, we cannot become free. Why you ask? It is because we have not let it go.

Our pain is something we unknowingly carry each day.  We tread along without realizing the pain we accumulate day by day. “Oh, she gave me a dirty look. Did you hear that tone he had with me? Oh! He don’t know. I ain’t got time for this.”  Those thoughts we think each day add up. It creates weight and negative feelings that you have to carry, not the person “who did you wrong”, but you. Whenever we see that person, maybe even post on Facebook, we become annoyed. This might sound comical, but this all too real. We may think this way.  That we “can’t” deal with this , and the fact of the matter is that we are just hurt. We get hurt by what people say; BELIEVE ME, this is too my daily struggle. “Hurt people” hurt people.  People can ruin your day in the matter of minutes. Sometimes you may read a text message and that makes you infuriated. Your entire day can be ruined by that single text message.

Some of us cannot feel we cannot let it go. Our past is a horrible movie playing in our mind reminding of us what we did and how we messed up. The worst thing is when you are trying to change, and people view you as your former self. From simple to crazy situations, we can be reminded of the negative things and who we used to be. Countless times, we remind ourselves of what we have done. We attempt to fight off the negative thoughts, but ultimately we can’t because we haven’t forgiven ourselves. We still feel guilty. 

We feel guilty from previous decisions or even current ones. We may think that “bad mistake” cost us,  which is true we have to deal with the consequences of our actions, and we might think we are getting punished by God. “Oh Jesus! I did not get the crispy chicken in my salad that I ordered. God must be punishing me. Oh, its a sign!”. God is not punishing you. Life happens, but there is grace and mercy. Many times in our lives, something bad should have occurred, but it didn’t because of God having mercy on us. When we ask for forgiveness from God, he forgets, but do you?

Letting go our pain is not easy at all- that is why many of us has not let it go yet. Do you want to let it go? Do you want to live in continual freedom and be made whole as a person? Do you want to be healed? The fact of the matter is that no one can force you to be free; living in that mindset of freedom is a choice that you have to make. We should not be playing catch with God giving him our pain, and then trying to take it back. God wants you to be made whole, and he loves you unconditionally. You may not have experienced this unconditional love in any sense because of what you may have experienced previously, but God loves you beyond your self and your thinking. You may not feel worthy because of the guilt you may still possess from a previous or current situation, but today, God wants you to know that he loves you for you. 

He loves you so much that he doesn’t want you to carry this pain any longer. He does not want you to carry this guilt. Matthew 11:30 says, ” For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV) This scripture means that when we give God our pain, past, and worries, he will exchange all of that for his love, peace, hope, joy, etc. Just as it says in Romans 12:2, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (NLT)

It all starts in our minds. As we let go of our past, daily troubles, and worries for tomorrow and exchange it with Jesus’ love, we are able to live in that freedom. There will always be people who will try to tear you down, break you, and define your worth, but only God restores you, shows his endless love for you, and how extremely valuable you are.

Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. We are all beautiful works in progress.

A couple of songs I suggest to listen ( Don’t worry there aren’t any songs from Frozen):

You are enough

Many times in our lives, we get stuck. We get stuck in a dead-end job, a terrible relationship, or even the worst a  mindset. We feel that we cannot break free from the monotonous cycle that we call life. We have a routine, and I love my routine by the way, but we get so caught up in doing the routine that if one thing does not get accomplished or if something doesn’t go our way, we get into a “hissy” fit. We suddenly become a two-year old throwing him/herself onto the floor violently contorting her/himself’s  body until we get the pack of m&m’s that we desperately so desire from the grocery store.

Why do we allow ourselves become so enraged? Why do we so desperately desire the m&ms or that delicious, but detrimental comfort? A couple of m&ms won’t kill you ( unless you are allergic to any ingredients made with it) , but why do we look for comfort in things that can slowly kill us? I love watching television. I become engrossed in the shows that I feel that the characters are related to me. (Okay, that’s a wee bit melodramatic).. but why do I become angry if someone gets killed off the show or rejoice when they do kill that evil character off?  What moves you? What stirs you up inside? What makes you feel alive?

We find comfort in countless things, but what we think is comfort may be masked with deceit, despair, and ultimately death. Not everything in this world is good for us. Just because you can justify it as a comfort doesn’t make it any better. This is not a post to judge people’s lives. If you knew my schedule and how long I had this account and never used it, you know I ain’t got time for this. I am saying this in love. You might be reading this and thinking that I don’t know your struggles, your daily life, and the situations you are currently in- that is true. I don’t know, but I care enough to let you know that the daily things we do add up into years that fly by. When you spend too much time doing things that we aren’t supposed too, it will negatively affect our lives. Netflix binging is fun and great when you are bored, but when its finals week or the week before… its ALL BAD.. What are we trying to find comfort in? Why do we do our habitual things? Does it give us temporal pleasure or eternal pleasure?  Does it add years to our lives or help us escape?

Most importantly, you need to know you are enough. In this society, we are valued by how much we work and our accomplishments not who we are as individuals. Its as if our resumes and grades are more important than qualities such as being compassionate, honest, peaceful, and having integrity to name a few.  Several people think that if you have a job, get good grades, and stay out of trouble, you are doing well, but that is completely wrong. Several of us are trying to achieve certain things to ” feel good enough”. We want to feel worthy enough to become something or do something or become someone or to be with someone . Why do we have this insatiable to feel worthy of something ? Is it because we want to feel valued? Is it because when we feel valued we feel important; that we actually matter as a person?

I want to inform you that you are ” good enough”. You are “strong enough”. You are “smart enough”. You are “brave enough”. Yes, because we live in this society we have to be diligent in our tasks, but the main point is that you matter as a person. Your life is important.

Psalm 139: 13-14 

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” 

Do you believe that you are well- made and beautiful as a person?

We all are beautiful works in progress.