My Faith Struggle This Easter

I haven’t written anything in quite a while on here, mainly because by the time I finish it seems so unimportant in the grand scheme of things that I delete it.

But I’ve decided to be real and lay some personal thoughts and struggles out here tonight on this night before Easter.

I have been struggling with my faith for years… most people who know the “real” me know this. I listen to Christian music, ask for prayer, and trust in others faith in God while mine has been failing. I can’t pull an exact moment when it started to fail, but I know it has been years.

I know it was before the Navy and my time in the service definitely didn’t do anything to help shore up my faith, but I wasn’t putting the work into it either. So many moments in my life have put nicks, cuts, gaping wounds into my armor that represents my faith.

I went to church during HS and after the Navy but it eventually became a chore and something I did because it was Sunday morning and my mom (after the Navy) enjoyed going. But during those times I never had an “aha” moment. I know it’s unrealistic for me to assume that I will get that moment… but one of the largest struggles I have is seeing someone else’s faith filled life and their ability to lean on that faith. I know that I more than likely don’t see their struggles (or at least all of them) but even then it seems that they are able to make their struggles about the strength they have in their faith.

The only comfort I have been able to give myself recently has been by listening to the Christian radio stations and other Christian music. I struggle trusting my faith, that my prayers matter (even though I have no problem asking others to pray because theirs might matter more), and I struggle hearing/feeling sermons in my heart.

I refuse to give up though… which is why I am writing this tonight before Easter. Because I do believe that Jesus died for my sins on the cross and was resurrected so that I can be made new… that much I do trust and for now it is enough.

 

 

*PS — sorry if this was rambling/confusing, I got sidetracked a few times by tears and songs on K-Love ❤️

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Dear Younger Me

I heard this song, “Dear Younger Me” by Mercy Me on the radio while I was on my way to work this morning and I don’t know why but I actually really paid attention to the lyrics and continued to think about them throughout the day and how they truly applied to my life. Many times I have wondered what would have happened if I had made different choices in my life. There are definitely some things that I wish I never would have had to experienced in my 29 years on this Earth… and I have wished plenty times since those events have occurred that they hadn’t.

Then I heard these two separate lyrics in the song and it all made sense… “And try to change, The choices that you’ll make cuz they’re choices that made me” and “Dear younger me, It’s not your fault, You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross”. Every time I have made those wishes about those events, I always end up circling back and being able to state what wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone through that. Most of the time I can find that “thing” that would be different in my life and I know that everything had to play out that way to have the outcome that it did. For those moments of pain that I have yet to understand the “why” behind it… the verse about not carrying it beyond the cross explains (at least to me) that maybe I never will and I have to be OK  and accept that I might never be able to find that “thing“.

One of the biggest flaws I have recognized in myself is the lack of trust in people that haven’t proven it. That has been one of my BIGGEST struggles in my faith journey. So the above statement about being able to accept (which to me means trust there is a bigger purpose) is so extremely hard for me to do. Another flaw of mine is not being able to forget. A lot of people say, “I forgive, but I don’t forget”. To me, forgiveness should mean that you forget, or else you’ll always wonder if that person may fail you again or hurt you in some way. If you trust them enough to still have them in your life, shouldn’t you be able to forget the pain or hurt that they caused you?

I brought that up because some of those events I have blamed God for allowing them to happen and angry at Him for the outcome and/or the pain I felt because of it. As time has passed, it’s easier to let go of some of that blame, hurt, and anger; but I haven’t forgotten. So when something happens or doesn’t happen… it is so very easy to look back at those past events and that trust starts to falter and with anything if you look too hard or too long that trust starts to crumble.  So now when that happens… I’m going to listen to this song, and really pay attention to the lyrics and feel them in my heart… especially this part:

 

You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

Every mountain every valley
Thru each heartache you will see
Every moment brings you closer
To who you were meant to be

Here is the lyric video in case you are unfamiliar with the song:

And here are the lyrics in their entirety if you’d rather just read them:

Dear Younger Me

Dear younger me
Where do I start
If I could tell you everything that I have learned so far
Then you could be
One step ahead
Of all the painful memories still running thru my head
I wonder how much different things would be
Dear younger me,

Dear younger me
I cannot decide
Do I give some speech about how to get the most out of your life
Or do I go deep
And try to change
The choices that you’ll make cuz they’re choices that made me
Even though I love this crazy life
Sometimes I wish it was a smoother ride
Dear younger me, dear younger me

If I knew then what I know now
Condemnation would’ve had no power
My joy my pain would’ve never been my worth
If I knew then what I know now
Would’ve not been hard to figure out
What I would’ve changed if I had heard

Dear younger me
It’s not your fault
You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross
Dear younger me

You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

Every mountain every valley
Thru each heartache you will see
Every moment brings you closer
To who you were meant to be
Dear younger me, dear younger me

You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed

A Lot on the Heart/Brain

Since yesterday I’ve had this feeling that some things need to change. It all started when a Facebook friend posted “Identify the person or people you need to forgive; determine what they owe you; then do what Jesus would do.” While I still am confused about the “determine what they owe you” part. The first part is clear as day. I’ve held on to a lot of pain and hurt because I’m afraid by letting go I’ll forget and fall into the same traps that I did before. While I won’t go into detail about who I need to forgive it is definitely something I am working on and struggling with.

The other thing that has been weighing on my heart is what I need to do to keep growing in my trust and faith in God. Trust has always been a huge struggle for me and I’m trying to overcome that. I know it takes baby steps and I’ll keep stumbling along the way… but I know that I won’t be truly happy until I can trust fully and have great faith in God. I don’t want to be a “going through the motions” Christian anymore… which I also know will be a struggle for me.

This song “Walk on the Water” by Britt Nicole always makes even more sense than usual when taking it into context with what I just posted. I need to stop running away and run towards Him… have the faith to step out of the boat in the middle of my storm…

Daily Struggle

Lately things have been a daily struggle here. And unfortunately I don’t just mean with me. We are in the middle of a terrible drought, high unemployment, high drug use, and a crime explosion. The drought is going to make the high prices of things that are already high go higher. That can only mean one thing… more people will need help or go without. The high unemployment in this town does affect me personally as I haven’t been able to find a job in two years since I got out of the military. The drug use and crime haven’t affected me personally other than people that I’ve gone to high school with. But are worth mentioning because when I was growing up this town was A LOT safer than it is now.

But back to the real reason that I am here tonight… this morning… whatever you want to call it. The daily struggle of trying to survive without a job and a fast depleting savings account. I know that if I broke down and decided to work in a factory, I might have better luck at getting a job… but I don’t think I could physically do it. Not to mention, I watched that kind of work slowly kill my father (and the smoking) for 23 years. I REALLY don’t want to live that kind of life or end up with the same fate as him. It’s also hard to decide what jobs are close enough to apply to. I mean do I only decide that I’ll drive under an hour or a certain mileage away because depending on the direction of travel that severely limits my choices. Speaking of limiting choices…. I have a bone to pick with society. I went and served this nation for FIVE years. And I come home and you won’t hire me because I lack experience or education (which I’m in the process of finishing my degree). But the point is, is that I carried multiple guns every day and was entrusted with some pretty sensitive information… so I’m pretty sure I could learn and be good at just about ANY job that you hired me to do.

Wow does that feel good to get that off my chest. Stay tuned for more later!