For much of the past few weeks I really haven’t wanted anything to do with God or most people for that matter. It’s what some churchy people might call “a season of doubt.” This spiritual drought has left me feeling exactly like this song by Audrey Assad:
Found in my Music Playlist, “Coffee With My Savior.”
I haven’t felt like writing or singing his praises. I haven’t felt like reading the bible or even listening to worship music.
When I started writing this blog, I made a promise to God that I wouldn’t just write about the good stuff. I pledged to be vulnerable and show that choosing to follow Jesus doesn’t make everything easier. It doesn’t take a detective to figure out that my month of August was awful.
I saw more than a couple of dreams come crashing down and had more than one person tell me they don’t need me in their life. So if I never have a month like that again that would be beyond fantastic.
But let’s be real, there will be another season of my life where I don’t want much to do with God, another time of my life where I’ll act like a whiny teenager who doesn’t get their way, and yes another time when I will get too caught up in my plans and lose sight of His.
So what do you do when life dropkicks you in the wenus? I don’t know, I’m still working on that. I think the first step is finding a way to immerse yourself in God’s abounding love for you, his child. At least that’s what I am trying.
So to the struggling single mom, to the broken-hearted teenager, to the 26 year–old lost and confused, to the old woman who misses her husband, to the girl who thinks she will never get married, to the ones who think they are forgotten, this is for you.
1.) Never give up on an incredible life, my friend. I know it is much easier to be unhappy than to fight for what makes you feel truly alive. Keep praying and working towards your wildest dreams. They are worth it.
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. ~ Matthew 7:7
2.) If you’re fitting into this world, you’re doing something wrong. Whether that is your health, partying, giving, volunteering, or your go-go-go lifestyle… you were made to be different, bold and courageous: to be like Jesus. Stop trying to blend in already. I made you to stand out. Suriously.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~ Romans 12:2
3.) Do something good today and everyday. Whether that is a random act of kindness, volunteering to help someone in need, forgiving an enemy who doesn’t deserve it, or simply taking the time to really ask someone “how are you?” Take action and (as my friend Ghandi would say) be the change because not only will it change them, it will change you too.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. ~ Galatians 6:9
4.) True friendship is worth fighting for. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, who are there for you, and who make you laugh until it hurts. Never become the person who doesn’t have time. Make time. They’re worth it and you’re going to need people who love you.
“A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.” ~ Proverbs 27:19
5.) Stop talking badly about anyone, for any reason. If your intent is to help, then talk to them about it directly and let them know you care about them. If not, focus on forgiving them and loving up on them. Slamming people gets you nowhere and makes you sound look like a prick(ly pear), you cactus!
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you ~ Ephesians 4:31-32
6.) Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
7.) Be inspiring and humble in the good that you do. I already think you are awesome so put your megaphone away. It’s between you and the only critique that matters (me). As my friend Bob Goff says in his book Love Does, “Don’t put on the back of a hoodie every good thing you do; write it on an undershirt instead. Be secretly incredible”
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. ~ Matthew 6:1-3
8.) Vulnerability is sexy. Stop trying to tell the world how perfect you are and start showing the world how broken you are and how far you’ve come with me at your side.
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. ~ 2 Corinthians 11:30
9.) Nicer clothes. Cooler Ride. Bigger TV. Latest iPhone. Faster computer. Bigger House. Guard your heart from the temptations of keeping up with the Joneses. Keep your wants in check by being present in the needs of the less fortunate. Show the world that I am enough.
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:9-10
10.) Make at least one healthy choice today. I have given you an incredible body: take care of it! No need to drop everything and race to Whole Foods, but pay attention to what you’re putting in your body. Read labels. Choose real foods over processed foods whenever possible and try to get a little exercise. Make little changes everyday.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
11.) Stop making destructive choices. Whatever that means in your life, whatever you turn to in order to numb the pain, let it go and turn to me. I can and I will set you free.
Do no offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. ~ Romans 6:13
12.) What scares you the most? Connection? Truly being seen? Changing a habit? Asking for help? Whatever it is, do that.
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10
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13.) Stop judging yourself by the expectations of this world: looks, success, materialism. When you are gone, those things won’t matter even a little bit. Start judging yourself through my eyes: love, compassion, service.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
14.) GROW UP. It’s time.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:11
15.) Yeah… so… it’s not your job to tell people how to live or to cast judgement on them. It’s not your job to tell people who they can marry or to condemn their lifestyle. You’re never going to introduce people to Jesus that way. You have one job: to love people. When you’re perfect, then fine, go ahead. Until then, give it a rest.
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” ~ John 8:7
16.) Learn to say no. Everyone is busy. Do whatever it takes to guard time everyday to rest and be with your savior. Be still and wait for me.
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. ~ Lamentations 3:25-26
17.) There is nothing you could ever do that would make me love you less or love you more. My love just IS. It’s not a variable, it’s a constant.
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. ~ Romans 8:38 The Message Translation
18.) “Failure is just part of the process, and it’s not just okay; it’s better than okay. God doesn’t want failure to shut us down. God didn’t make it a three-strikes-and-you’re-out sort of thing. It’s more about how God helps us dust ourselves off so we can swing for the fences again. And all of this without keeping a meticulous record of our screw-ups.” – Bob Goff, Love Does
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus ~ Romans 3:23-24
19.) Trusting me can be insanely difficult, I know. Yet when you give me control of your life, the one who has all your best interests in mind, you will find an incredible sense of peace. I promise. Strive for that.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
20.) No matter what you’re facing, don’t let anyone tell you it is impossible. And they will tell you that. Oh they will. Just smile and say “we’ll see” and turn it over to me.
Everything is possible for one who believes ~ Mark 9:23
21.) Having a problem? First turn to me through prayer and reading the bible for the answer. You have to make my voice louder than the noise pollution that surrounds you. Grab your ear plugs, some Chex Mix and settle in.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. ~ James 4:8
22.) Still having a problem? Seek advice from your friends and family. From people with good intentions who are rooted in the word. Sometimes I speak through these people. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help and don’t be afraid to follow their advice, especially when it’s something you don’t want to hear.
Without good direction, people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances. Proverbs 11:14
23.) Be ready to share your faith, why you believe what you believe and how it has changed you. It doesn’t have to be a big speech, but if you truly believe that the Lord has completely changed your life, why are you afraid to give that to others? Your worst days, the days you need me the most, can be your greatest opportunity to witness.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15
24.) Keep your eyes on things above. Keep your mind focused on your life after this. This pain is only for a moment in time. This too shall pass. I gave my only son to save you. Are you going to turn your back on the greatest act of love in history because a few days of your life aren’t going the way you think they should?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
25.) I have an incredible plan for your life. You might not always see it. You might not always understand it. You might not ever get why the cards fell the way they did, but never forget I am in control and I have your future in the palm of my hands. Stop fighting the love kid. Stop fighting it.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Found in my Music Playlist, “Coffee With My Savior.”