Saturday, May 29, 2010

Right Place, Right Time

Since You are my rock and my fortress,
for the sake of Your Name
lead and guide me.
Psalm 31:3
Hello Sisters!

I simply had to take some time and share with you something that happened on Thursday. I wasn't going to, but it ties into so many of my themes for this blog, so I just couldn't resist!

I was coming back home from a meeting, and I suddenly had a craving for something from Checkers... I didn't even know which greasy, horrible burger I wanted, but I knew that I knew that I knew, I wanted those fries! I mean, come on, they have the best fast food fries around!

But as I was driving closer to my home, the Lord began to convict me of my eating habits, and before I knew it I was instead craving my chicken salad sandwich (my friends in meta know the chicken salad I'm talking about...I made it as a snack once). But, I had no chicken, and no red onion (I'm sorry, but it's just not my chicken salad without the red onion), so I went to the supermarket to get my ingredients.

I was driving down the road towards my apartment, and I saw a girl, about my own age, with a neck brace, limping. So I pulled over to ask her if she was ok. Long long story short, she said she had been hit by a car. She was going into shock and she was very disoriented. I tried to offer to make a phone call for her (her cell phone battery was dead and she couldn't even call 911), but she said, no, that it was ok, that she was going to try to go back to the scene of the accident and see if the driver was going to come back.

She turned around and started to walk back to where it all happened, but she didn't make it more than about 30 feet, before she fell on her back, in the grass, and began seizing. I had let her start walking away, but I didn't let her out of my sight. I called 911 and help miraculously came in record time. It looked like she was going to be ok, barring her accident injuries.

I am not trying to show off, and I'm not in the running for a good citizens award. I'm only sharing this story with you, so that I can show how important it is to listen to God's voice. Had I ignored Him, and gone to Checkers instead, I would have taken a completely different route home and I wouldn't have seen this woman. and it was in a more secluded area, and I didn't see anyone else coming out to see her until law enforcement and the paramedics pulled in. Also, because I had stopped to talk to her, she turned a different direction than she was going...she was very near a street, and had she collapsed in the street, who knows what could have happened? All this to say I have no idea how long it would have taken someone else to find her and get her. help.

I haven't gotten out of the house much since losing my job. If I'm out of the house, it's normally for something church- or mom-related. I very rarely leave for any other reason. It was a blessing in my life to have been in the right place and the right time, and I ask that you pray for this young woman. I only caught her first name, which I will also leave private. God know who she is, even if we don't.

I'm not sure how many opportunities I've lost to help others, or to share God's love and truth. The thought breaks my heart, though, because I know I've missed more chances than I should have. But thank God for His grace! Nothing is wasted with Him, and it is still not too late to choose to take the moment we are in (that's right, right now), and obey Him. We cannot change the past, but we can make a decision for our present, and leave our future in His hands. If we trust Him to lead and guide us in His will and love, we simply can't go wrong!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hello to my dearest friends!

In case you didn't notice, it's been a LONG time since I've posted anything on this blog. I have a few reasons for this, none of which are very good excuses, but they are what they are.

First off...I've lost pretty much no weight at all... I think around month two, when I realized I'd lost a grand total of 4 pounds, my 10 pound a month goal wasn't going to happen. But, things are changing in my life and list of priorities, with exercising and getting into all-around better health being in my top 5 (don't fret, my "priority list" is quite detailed, so to give it a 5 isn't bad at all...).

Second, up until about two months ago, I didn't have internet access at home. Now I do! By God's grace and provision, I was able to purchase a netbook (very affordable, fyi) for my apartment. Now I am able to update all the time, and I most certainly plan to!

Third, I've been ridiculously depressed. In the name of transparency, I've been down in the dumps. Being unemployed and not having much to do each day takes a toll on a person's self-esteem and self-worth. I can feel myself slowly climbing out of this pit, though (Not quite fully out yet, but I'm praising God in advance for what I know He's going to do in my life).

One thing that He has been driving home to me more often each day, is that I need to stop looking to my "self-esteem" and "self-worth". Now, don't get me wrong here, we all (sisters in Christ) have beautiful worth and value because we are God's children. We are His princesses, children of the King!

For a while now, though, I've had a really hard time finding any value in myself. I had started feeling that to say that "well, Jesus loves me" was just a mantra for losers who have no one else who likes them all that much. Like when the nerds we grew up with insisted, "well, my mom loves me!" Of course...she's your mom...what else is she going to do? For a season, I honestly felt that the love of God was my last resort. If all else fails, I can lean on God.

I'd like you to take a second and watch this YouTube video.

The Awe Factor of God - Francis Chan

Please don't misunderstand me, I've known about this video for a few months now, and I'll be honest with you, it still hasn't fully hit me. I haven't seen it and gone, "oh well, in that case, I can now change every negative thought about myself, because God, being this big, still loves me." It's been a process, I promise you. But the more I think about this video, and just how big God actually is (we'll never truly know until we get to see Him), the more I stand in awe.

Now, one way to look at this video is to say, "wow we must be pretty special if God cares so much for us to send His Son to die for us. As tiny as we are, He still cares." This is true. God sees us as special to Him, and He does care enough for us today to pursue us with all His Heart until we finally get it.

But, the main point I'm finally starting to get from all of this, is we need to drop the need for high "self-esteem," and focus on our "God-esteem"! We would be NOTHING without our Savior, and yet we keep trying to find ways for our relationship with God to make US more special! What a warped view!

Up until recently, I was in this race for me. Trying to do all I could so God would like me more, or be more pleased with me. Sadly, though I knew Jesus is the only reason I'm getting into Heaven, I was living as if I had to help Him make my case! Like, "well I've done this this this and that over there, and I was part of this event and I gave some money to this homeless person and I tried to be patient with my grandmother and, oh yeah, I also accepted Christ."

I hate to even put this into words. The thought of it makes me sick! How could I think Jesus needed my help!?

If we believe we need to do something on our part (works-based faith) beyond accepting Christ into our lives, in order to be saved, we are in effect telling Jesus His sacrifice was insufficient...

2 Corinthians 12:9a
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

So, if His grace is sufficient...but we claim He's insufficient, we're calling Jesus was a liar, then He wasn't the truth... so who is it that we worship?

No, our God is sufficient for all of our needs. He will never leave us or forsake us, and there is nothing that can separate us from His love!

So, ladies, as you ponder these truths, and as I pray for all of you, please continue to pray for me, because I'm still battling this fact in my heart. Pulling away from self-esteem to focus more on God-esteem is not an easy task, but I'm trusting that God isn't going to give up on me until His work is completed in my life!

I love you all my dear sisters! God bless you!!!