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Archive for the ‘Diary’ Category

Torn – 24/07/11

24/07/11 – I don’t know why but lately i feel torn in two. It’s really strange but part of me wants to scream at everyone and remove myself from the world and tell everyone where to go and throw things out of anger, frustration and hurt – yet i can’t say exactly where it’s coming from. That’s not good really, coming from a trainee counsellor. The other part of me is desperately crying out for help and not knowing where to turn or who to turn to. Actually it feels as though i have no-one to turn to so this in itself only angers me more.

From training i have been taught to look at the thinking that precedes these feelings and i must say they are negative but hold some truth as i see it. Firstly i feel angry that there is suffering in this world but i accept that it is part of life however that doesn’t make me feel any better. Then i see how others put their pathetic wants before someone elses desperate needs and this angers me yet i have to be understanding and merciful at their lack of maturity and understanding. But i think what angers me the most is that for some time now i have been beating myself up about not loving God and others as i should only to find that the church as a whole is failing to love one-another and yet carries on as if nothing is wrong.

I know this must sound hypocritical and i guess that seems to be the problem for a lot of people in the church. We go around putting on a brave face and saying everything is alright when inside we are desperate for companionship, understanding, love and acceptance. If we do voice it then we are often rejected or seen as needy, lonely people and if we don’t say nothing then we suffer and fail to be loving to others because of resentment and bitterness building up within.

I want to say that Christians all over the place are failing to show God’s love. We are all failing to love each other as we should. And to all you non-Christians out there – don’t expect us to be perfect because at the end of the day we are still human with our own struggles and emotions. Just because we have our Christian faith it does not mean that we are faultless or unable to do things wrong but when we do that does not necessarily make us hypocrites either. Sometimes we can all be hypocrites but many of us are trying to do the right thing.

We all sin, whether we are aware of it or not. Christians and non-Christians alike. So when you read this if you think it is a load of criticism and sounds judgemental what you need to understand is that i am just letting off steam in a very gentle way because i feel so angry at the wrong i see around me. Is that so wrong?

I know that there are many people out there that do have a loving and compassionate heart, i’m just not seeing it at this time.

There is a real danger in the church regarding oppression. All this time i have been viewing those who are oppressed as people with addictions and those trapped in violent relationships, etc. But now i am questioning the tight religious constraints that i myself feel under within the church. I can understand why so many people leave the church environment and yet claim to be devout Christians. We do need fellowship, don’t get me wrong, but within a church setting it can feel somewhat unreal, false at times and i have felt that much more goes on behind the scenes than i’m not seeing or hearing about. This only plants a seed of distrust in me. Of late i am feeling more and more inclined to move on from the church setting with its restrictions and religious rituals and routines.

Anyway that is enough complaining from me for one day. I’m sure i’ve now got a few backs up from writing this but i’m just expressing my thoughts and feelings and would welcome any feedback you have for me.

At the end of the day it’s not about you or me or church but it’s about God’s love for us demonstrated through Jesus Christ. We, the people of the church should be showing this same love for one-another as is God’s command. I include myself in this and urge the people of the church to do this with great urgency and deliberation. It’s not just the lost that need to feel God’s love. It needs to start in the church among the children of God before it can reach those outside. What good are we to others if we are feeling empty and unloved ourselves?

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It has been about 3 years 6 months since we went our separate ways (that is me and my ex). I have ran from offers of a new relationship, especially since becoming a Christian. Why would i need a new partner? I’m content, free and in-love with Christ Jesus. However over the past few months i have had scripture come up about relationships; the single life which can be dedicated to God as Paul wrote (1 Cor. 7:34) & God’s plan for us to unite (Gen. 2:18). I’ve got to admit, i much prefered Paul’s view on the subject, but surely God knows best.

“The Lord God said “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper for him.” (Gen.2:18)

So despite the many thoughts on the subject of singleness v togetherness, i rejected making such changes in my life. Being single meant freedom, no complications, no compromising, peace, etc. Why would i want to give that up?

As i sat on a bench in a beautiful open space, talking to God and praising him for his awesome creations and the relationship i have with him, recent images came to mind – the couple with their children; the two friends having a laugh; the lonesome man wandering aimlessly; the family having a picnic; all these people with such different lives and i began to feel a sense of sadness. I searched for the meaning to these feelings.

Overhead a bird caught my attention. It was swooping and darting left and right, all over the place – it seemed as though it was a young bird that had found it’s new freedom of flight. Flying free this bird looked like it was having the time of its life and i felt as though i could identify with it. As i continued to watch it, smiling to myself, my eyes were drawn to a couple of birds flying parallel to each other. They were in sync, travelling together, heading in one direction and they looked so peaceful. My thoughts were that they both had the same destination and they were sharing the journey in unity. Almost immediately i realised that i wanted to share my life with someone. Yes it is great to fly free, it really is, but my desire suddenly became clear – what good is a life of exploration and excitement if it isn’t shared. Revelation!

So very scary for me to invite someone else into my excitingly free and high-flying life. Much of my time is spent in prayer, reading, worship and listening to others and i am aware that i have many concerns as to how this will all be affected. But for now i will go with the flow and trust that God knows best.

Please pray for me and the new relationship that i have now entered into. May it be God’s will based on love and communication with the right motives of heart for both of us. May our love for God grow stronger and intimacy be found. I pray that the Spirit of God will indwell us both, leading us into all truth. God’s will be done!

Amen!

Related verse: Ezek. 36:26

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16.04.11

Where do i start? I guess with myself as i’m not in control of others but i can work on myself. I am frustrated with the fact that i let fear get in the way of doing the things that i want to do e.g Praising God out loud – singing at the top of my voice and not worrying about what others think; dancing when and where the mood takes me and not caring who is watching; visiting the friend/family member despite the rejection i feel from them and to keep loving them; telling everyone about the love of Jesus and my hope in Him no matter what their beliefs, without being concerned of their reactions; forgiving the person that brutally kills out of anger, when all i can see in my mind is what they’ve done; hearing God without distractions and acting on what he says without hesitation or doubts getting in the way; etc.

So many things get in the way of me doing what i want to or know i should do. It is so frustrating. Also knowing what will help a person and not being able to tell them because it is my faith and there are restrictions on self-disclosure.

I want to be myself and be free to worship whenever and wherever i feel like worshipping God. Yet i can just hear it now – the criticism, the snide remarks, the disapproving comments and the absolute contempt of not just others but those closest to me. Tell me what is wrong here? Am i wrong to not be free to be me in front of whoever? Are they wrong for judging me? Should there be a time and a place for worship? Should it be kept in the church only?

It is a sad fact but i feel so unaccepted by those around me. I know that they would be horrified to see me bow down and worship God – the Living God – who we were made to worship. I feel like such a hypocrite in life, as though i’m living a double-life. One where i am squashed and cautious, careful not to offend because i want to win souls for Christ and the other where i can be myself, knowing that i am loved and accepted by God, despite my failings and shame.

I want to live for Christ – how do i do that in this world? Even other Christians are judgemental and unaccepting, surprisingly the supposedly more mature of them too. It is even more difficult to be me, risking more rejection, when i already feel a certain amount of ostracism just for having faith in Jesus. It’s amazing how many people shun Christianity and yet know very little about Christ or say they are Christians in the way they live when they don’t even believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, or what he has done for us.

As you can probably see i am having a good old rant and rave about my feelings and frustrations about life. I am in a complaining mood and feel fed up with the way things are. I also feel very hypocritical right now because i am not feeling much love or acceptance towards the people who are judging me right now – in-fact i need a strong dose of God’s love to get me through this otherwise i’m not going to be much different to anyone else in this world. Now there is a dilemma – do i want to feel accepted by being like many others – unaccepting, judgemental and lacking in love or do i want to be different – free to love God and others, free to forgive those who hurt me and others, free to be me, in Christ, yet cut-off from family and friends. Does it have to be this way?

Lord God i feel very frustrated – i need love, grace, guidance and answers please! I want to be all out for you Lord Jesus, please help me to be free to be the person you want me to be. May i be forgiving and understanding towards others, loving and accepting them as you have me. And may all this be for your glory Lord God. Amen!

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Relevant verses: John 17:16-17; Matt. 6:14; Ecc. 3:1-8; 2 Sam. 6:14-16; John 4:24 & many more.

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21.3.11

Have you ever felt the loneliness? That feeling that no-body cares and even when they ask you how you are, it’s as though they’re not listening to the answer you give. To have people around busying themselves and not one of them taking the time to stop and really listen or care.

Or maybe they do care and they are doing things for you but what you really want is for them to know what it is like to be you, to feel the way you do. And to be held, touched, loved, just the warmth of another’s skin against your own. Feeling alive and loved and wanted. To know that someone loves you that much that they want to spend time with you and show you they care.

For someone to give that time to another, paying close attention to the words, the emotions or feelings and the body language. Or  just being in the presence of that person, sitting in silence, even holding them to comfort them, for them and not for you. Such sacrifices are worth there weight in gold.

I have felt such love.

As a child my mum would listen to me and hear my pain as i shared the stories of being bullied at school. Not only did she see my hurts but she shared them and felt the pain too. We don’t talk like we used to.

When i was beaten and bruised from physical violence my sister was there to comfort me by just being there with me. As a child her many words were of little comfort but having her with me was. She has a family of her own now.

A close friend of mine would listen to me and talk with me with interest and some understanding. Spending time with her, having her listen to me and sharing our stories, encouraged me and gave me hope. Yet i was always searching for something to fill the emptiness within.

Just by holding me in his arms i felt safe and protected by my ex. Yet i barely knew him, we were like strangers.

Since becoming a Christian i have made friends who have listened, shared, shown tenderness, compassion and where they have lacked understanding there has been a sense of mercy. I have been held, touched, given words of encouragement, been shown kindness, yet i’m still left feeling the loneliness …

When you came into my life Lord, you filled the emptiness; you listened to my cries, pains and fears; you are always there for me; your love is unconditional and you know me better than i know myself. You stay with me, never leaving my side; you give me an everlasting hope; you have filled me with love like no other; so why do i still feel the loneliness?

Prayer:

Lord, you are always with me and you promised ‘never will you leave me, nor forsake me’, so if i’m feeling lonely, it is because i am not always with you. I need not be lonely with you Lord for you are always with me. I want to always be with you Lord, please help me to do this, to stay focused on you, living in your will and following you obediently. Thank you for knowing me and loving me. I pray that i will feel comforted in the knowledge of the truth that you are with me. Help me to comfort others in their times of loneliness and to show them the love that you show me. In Jesus name. Amen.

“So do not fear, for I am with you;” (Isa.41:10)

 Relevant verses:  2 Cor.1:3-4; Heb. 13:5.

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This last week has been a difficult week to endure but despite the challenges much good has come from it. I have already written about my experience at the mission worship weekend away which left me feeling rubbish all week and struggling. Last night however God blessed me in such a way that i never expected that i am still shell-shocked and tearful. If you have read my first blog on forgiveness you may understand this better. Basically i was hurt deeply by someone close to me many years ago and it affected my relationships with others from there on. Since becoming a Christian i have seen God working in my life, helping me to move on from such hurts and forgive and experience healing. I shared this with the person that hurt me as he wanted to know why we were not close so i wrote of the hurts and the fact that i had moved on and wasn’t holding it against him.

Last night the person in question turned up on my doorstep and said ” I am sorry ” – i never thought i would hear those words from him and to top it off he said he was proud of me too. I felt lost for words and could only say that i appreciated his apology as well as the compliment. We talked for a while and when i was alone it finally sunk in and i could feel all the release of the painful memories like i hadn’t felt before.

I can still barely believe what has happened. It has shown me the importance of saying sorry to those we hurt. I have also felt my love grow for him and for God too. Today has been a day of praise and worship (as it should always be), but with a strong heartfelt love and adoration that i have not felt for a while. I want to always worship and praise our Lord out of the love i have for him. He really does bring good out of the suffering. It’s amazing how free i feel from that part of my past now. I felt free when i chose to forgive him for what he did but to receive such a personal heartfelt apology is like the slate has been wiped completely clean and the new has begun. This has been great insight into God’s grace as this is exactly what he does – we say sorry and he forgives us and wipes the slate clean. Thank God for Jesus Christ who has already paid the price for our sins on the cross by the shedding of his blood. Perfect Grace!

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” (Eph. 2:4-5)

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May 24th

So you don’t know what caused us to be so far apart, do you not remember? You say we were close when i was young, how is it that i cannot recall this closeness? How can you not remember the pain and hurt and fear that you caused me? How could you forget what you did to me? I feel so torn. It hurts me that you can’t remember.

I am sorry Lord for the many times that i have sinned against you and forgotten about it. How i have hurt you!

May 29th

I began writing this on the 24th May and have been struggling all week with it as i felt angry after a recent conversation. How God works in our lives to heal us from past hurts is really quite amazing. But what a week – it took just one phonecall, one i would not normally have made but since God has been working on my heart i took a step in a new direction – that being one of reconciliation and healing of a relationship. The talk that followed brought about a confrontation of past hurts that had changed me and the way i interact with others. I found it too difficult to go into on the phone and very little was said but the invitation was there. After many tears and much prayer i decided to explain myself, my hurts and my new life in a letter – which i wrote, read through and then sent via email. Little did i know that this person was about to go through a traumatic experience at the same time that i was explaining how they had hurt me.

What have i done? I have just heard how weighed down they are with guilt over their traumatic experience and there is more for them to face when they open up the email. So i felt the need to warn them that maybe this wasn’t such a good time to open it. On the phone i could sense the pain and helplessness at what this person was having to deal with (bearing in mind that this is someone who hurt me so deeply that it impacted many other areas of my life). When had i started having feelings of compassion for them? Why was i finding myself praying earnestly for them? Why? Because God is working on my heart. Because God has forgiven me for all the hurt and wrongs that i have done and so i was able to choose to forgive this person despite the feelings of hurt that i have felt.

This is still on-going so i can’t say how it will turn out but my advice to anyone who has been hurt by another is choose to forgive them, and then allow God to gently heal those hurts.

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Matt. 6:14 NIV)

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12.04.10 – Humble me!

12.04.10

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:11 NIV)

I read this passage only very briefly yesterday before i went to church but it stayed with me. As i went into church i proceeded to the front (which is unlike me) and sat down, waiting for our new minister to arrive. Then i began to feel self-conscious, realising that i was sitting at the front where everyone could see me, feeling vulnerable and exposed – i generally sit further back in the church.

Anyway after switching my focus back to why i was there – to worship my God – i began to relax and the service began. It was a great service and although i missed our last minister, i liked this man’s style. He really got us to focus on Jesus and also on eachother – this i found very helpful, for our church in particular, as it made us all aware of those around us and the unity of the body of Christ which is where i feel we were lacking, in fellowship.

Back to the main point (as i’ve wandered a little) during the service i felt God’s presence in a very intimate and humbling way. As i worshipped and became aware of God’s presence the verse above came to mind and aware of where i had sat in the church i suddenly felt that i had put myself in a position of importance and exalted myself in some way. I began to question myself as to why i was sat there, where i felt i was being called to be and whether i was exalting myself or not. I felt so humbled and very exposed as if naked to all, i knew God was enlightening me to the importance of humility.

To follow this meditation on a verse that wasn’t even being preached on at that time yet was relevant, our minister mentioned something that stuck with me and i can’t stop thinking about it. He said something along the lines of being prepared to follow through that which we have asked for. My mind became aware of the saying ‘be careful what you pray for’ and on later reflection of another passage in Luke chapter 14 verses 29-30 it says about the importance of being able to follow through with that which we begin to build.

“For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying ‘ This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ (Luke 14:29-30 NIV)

If i was reluctant before to put myself forward for anything in the church, i am much more reluctant now. Whatever God has planned for me, i want to do, but i now question myself as to whether i can follow it through. I thought that a recent test in perseverance had proved that i would, but another more recent test has been a failure, although i plan to persevere at trying again and again until in God’s strength i get it right.

I despise pride and often pray to God that He will humble me and on this particular occasion He certainly did – how glorious is our God!

I now pray dear Lord that you will continue to keep me humble and that you will reveal Your plans for me and give me the courage, strength and perseverance to endure whatever comes my way for Your glory. May i carry my cross daily and fix my eyes on You my Lord Jesus.  Amen.

27.09.10

On reading this post again i can now see that i was feeling very vulnerable at the time of this experience and yet i saw myself as exalting myself. I don’t like to be in the limelight, i never have done, it’s a place of exposure. I think it shows bravery to place yourself in such a vulnerable position – i admire that. However i have learned something else from this – that those of us who sit at the back of the church are doing so because we lack courage and we desire to be in control by being in a position of domination. We are out of sight of others, we can see what everyone else is doing and yet we ourselves are hiding in a sense. This is new insight for me and will help me to understand others better within our congregation as well as myself.

If you disagree strongly with this new perspective then please let me know. I value your feedback.

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