Season:1 Choices

Chosing your season is not an option but chosing to walk in your season is. I am sure we have all heard the old adage there is a season for everything and for everything a season. Well this is absolutely true especially when we are talking about God.

Now it is hard to walk in your season when you don’t know what season you are in. I know this from experience and I also know that being lost is a season and discovery is also a season. Though most wouldn’t think so.

Going back to that time when I didn’t believe in God I was in a season of despair…a lost season. I think I told you the markings of a season of despair in my blog the sypmtoms of a dying soul. This is a season without God and it can be one of the most desperate seasons of them all.

Now this is one of the only seasons that we choose…it is completely and totally based on our will not God’s. So the desperate season is a free will season. When we commit to God there will not be any desperate seasons because we will live under God’s will.

As we make this choice to follow God’s will we then embark on a season of discovery where God then begins to reveal his mysterious ways through experience, wisdom, and miricles; and though this season can be a difficult one we should rest in the knowledge that we are in God’s will. Meaning we have become a part of God’s plan, there should be no despair.

God knows the plans that he has for our lives do us good and no harm. We must have faith in that or we will not rest in God’s will but move on our own.When we move ahead of God or lag behind we fall out of his will.

Our God is a God of timing and rythum. God has a beat and when you are on beat with God you are living within God’s timing. So it is up to you to make the choice to follow God’s song or your own.

I remember my song without God…such a sad song but when I began to sing with God true joy became my melody. So this will be the final installment of season of choices because this the ultimate choice.

Will you choose to be in a season with God….

Lessons:

  1. Choosing your season is not an option but choosing to walk in your season is.
  2. It is hard to walk in your season when you do not know which season you are in.
  3. A season of despair is a season without God.
  4. Our God is a God of timing and rythum.
  5. Walking ahead of God or lagging behind is being out of God’s will.

 

 

 

 

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Seasons 1: Choices

Anger…choosing to be angry is something that I don’t think most people understand. For most of us I don’t think that we realize that it’s a choice. When you ask someone, “why are you so angry”, they usually start to give you the circumstances. It never dawns on them to say, “because I choose to be.”

But that is the truth of it…people are angry because they choose to be. It took me a long time to learn that lesson and I am still working on it. But I have decided not be angry….unapologetic. Up until about 5 hours ago people who were unapologetic really angered me and I didn’t know how to forgive them.

But then God spoke to me. He said, imagine that if they could apologize that they would. Imagine that the chains of pride, anger, and bitterness was tangible. That you could see them. Imagine the heaviness, constricting, chafing, smothering the very breath out of you as these chains lay on your chest.

Would you not do anything to get out of those chains…now imagine the heartache of not knowing how to free yourself from the stronghold of unapologetic. Imagine the ignorance of carrying the weight of it all and not even realizing why every time you try to move you can’t. The pain of trying to figure out how to go up but not being able to recognize a step from a pitfall. Thus is the essence of unapologetic which goes hand to hand with unforgiveness.

CS. Lewis said, “Everyone says that forgiveness is a wonderful idea, until he has something to forgive.”

Forgiveness is not easy but we have to be able to forgive others and ourselves. Forgiveness clears the heart and releases the soul. Do not wait for some one to apologize before you forgive. Choose to forgive anyway. Forgive what you cannot fathom. Forgive what you cannot understand, clarify, or accept. Do not get lost in the why…I became lost in the why.

The why that can never be answered at least not to your satisfaction. It was when I let go of the why that God answered it. Because my soul was at peace. When our soul is angry it is closed and no answer will be good enough. This is why apologies are not accepted and why people just do not forgive. It is the choice of deciding your anger is the one thing that you will hold to that defines how you will live.

So choose to let go of anger, choose to apologize, choose to forgive, choose to let go of the why because in anger we die…so choose to live.

The Biggest Lesson of Today:

Anger is a choice!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Season 1: Choices (Symptoms Of A Dying Soul)

I was thinking about what my next blog would be and I began to write. I woke up the next morning and what I had written didn’t sit well with me. I began to pray “God what is it that you want me to write about. This blog is not about me it is to glorify you. So what is it that you want me to say”, and I heard God say “Go back.” So immediately I knew that everything that I had written the night before was a waste and I had to begin again.

The blog I had written did go back but more of a story, telling of the circumstances that I was living at the time but God was telling me to actually go back to that place and to those emotions. He wanted me to experience those feelings. Instead of telling what happened tell what was happening. See sometimes we have to go back to where we were to realize how far we have come. So I tried to find a journal from that time to refresh my memory but there wasn’t one. It dawned on me during that time I wasn’t writing. For years I did not write.

I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. According to my mother I composed my first poem when I was two. Writing was an innate gift that I was given. I was born with it. It is programmed into my DNA and for over 8 years I did not write a single word. That realization took my breath away.

It left me asking; what was going on that for 8 years I did not put pen to paper. I am still asking myself  that very question. As I am writing this blog I am pondering how could that be…what was happening. So it made sense what God was telling me to do: instead of telling what happened tell what was happening.

During this time in my life when God, who was my fuel, was absent from me I became frozen. God is the origin of inspiration, creation, and realization. He fuels our gifts and passions. Fuel produces  movement, power, flow, fire. If you do not fuel a fire it burns out.

I had chose to move so far away from the source of my fire that my flame had been extinguished. All my energy was being muted, scattered, or evaporated. There was nothing or no one to fill me up yet there was always people…always.

I lived with someone who was not a believer. Because of the path I had chosen our paths crossed and he became an intricate part of my life. My friends, most of them were unbelievers or either lukewarm Christians and there was nothing really good in any of the relationships that were in my life at that time.

I lnow now that everything good comes from God. If God is not in something then it is not good. I thought it was good, it presented itself as good…but obviously it wasn’t.

The people in my life back then brought an energy that was thick with confusion, avoidance and chaos. Their lives were like a tornado that I let myself become swept away with.  I was consumed with drugs, alcohol…those became daily occurrences. Anything to help me avoid the stress of simply living. I felt like everything that had to be accomplished even if it was just the day to day tasks was all on my shoulders. I chose to carry the burdens.

I didn’t know surrender. I didn’t know give your burdens to God. I didn’t know where strength comes from. That it freely flows from our Lord and savior Jesus Christ and so I carried everything.

I look back to then and I wonder how is it that I did not see the truth of my situation. How is it that I chose to be so blind to who I was? I was frozen in that place…slowly dying. How did I exist there in that place with no peace, no solace…no God? It was my inability to see that was killing me.

Peace to me now is what chaos was to me then. I lived in disorder, pandemonium,  and mayhem…and of course it would be. God is the author and creator of peace…He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. That very quote quiets my very soul and breathes life into me. Without God there is no peace.

The me now could not withstand the weight of the me then and yet when I lived in then for years I was content there. Until this moment I had never taken an honest look at then. I had never lived in the happening of then. What was happening then… I was becoming tired, angry, numb and bitter.  Bitterness will kill a soul faster than anything else. I was so bitter and I had been for a long time, because bitterness is what anger turns into if left to fester.

So God’s question to me “What was happening?”What was happening …my soul was dying. I was dying and now in hindsight I can see the symptoms.

The symptoms of a dying soul:

  1. Your gift is extinguished. You don’t paint anymore, you don’t sing anymore, you don’t write anymore, there is no fire, no inspiration.
  2. Chaos and confusion is the norm. You don’t know peace because you don’t have it enough for it to be familiar.
  3. If you have peace it is far and few between and it is marked by avoidance.
  4. Avoidance behavior become daily occurrences…you can even call them addictions. Drugs , alcohol, some people even become addicted to the drama and chaos.
  5. The people you surround yourself with will consume you. Their lives are full of confusion because God is not present.
  6. You can go days, weeks, years where God is never a topic of conversation. If he is a thought he is never something that the people that surround you are concerned with.
  7. Every decision you make is of your own volition. What would God want me to do never enters your mind.
  8. Everything that must be accomplished is on your shoulders. Every burden is yours. There is no surrender to God or anyone else.
  9. There is an inability to be honest with oneself. Which is an inability to change. The only time we stop changing is when we die.
  10. Bitterness is one of the biggest signs of a dying soul

Signs of bitterness:

  1. You think the world owes you something. The what about me syndrome is what I call it.
  2. You compare what you have to others. For me it was the question of why was I the one who had to lose my mother when these people still have theirs.
  3. You talk about people; I talked about God constantly. I spent the majority of my time trying to disprove his existence.
  4. You confuse surrender with weakness and control with strength.

Lessons learned:

  1. When we act without prayer it is a waste of time.
  2. Our gifts and our passions must be fueled.
  3. God is the origin of creation, inspiration, and realization.
  4. Sometimes we have to go back to where we were to realize how far we have come.
  5. Everything good comes from God so if God is not in it then it is not good and anything contrary to God’s word is not of God.
  6. Anger becomes bitterness if left to fester.
  7. Bitterness will kill a soul faster than anything else.
  8. A frozen environment will kill you unless you change seasons.
  9. Never forget what was happening…

 

 

 

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Season 1:Choices

No one begins a journey by happenstance. Even if it feels that way there were choices and decisions that were made.  I can remember going to church as a child when I didn’t really have a choice in the matter. I was told where to sit, to be still, and be quiet. When I was finally given the choice I chose not to go to church unless it was a holiday and that was where I was with God. He was nonexistent in my life not even a second thought I am not even sure if I prayed. I grew up to be a wild child and as I moved thoughtlessly through my life unbeknownst to me at that time God was following me, protecting me when I was too naïve to know that I was in danger. And then something happened…my mother became deathly ill. I could not fathom that she would actually die. I don’t think I thought it was possible as crazy as that sounds.

I was told to pray. I remember talking with my father and my mother’s sisters and them convincing me to go to the hospital chapel and pray as if it would change everything. So I did and now I realize this was not a choice that I made.  I prayed because they said it would make a difference not because I believed that it would. I can recall sitting in that chapel and saying to God “Prove yourself, prove who you are. If you are God then don’t take my mother.” In less than 24 hours she was gone. Now what God was this? I did not know this God and he was no God of mine so I made the choice not to believe in him.

That choice took me down a path where there were people that entered into my life. All of them fostered my belief system. That there was no God and religion was just a way to control people, and how stupid and naive Christians must truly be. I mean think about it. They believe in an invisible God and man who was born of a virgin and rose from the dead. It sounded like a science fiction B movie to me and I made sure everyone knew how I felt. I didn’t know it then but God had blessed me with the gift of evangelism, of persuasion and passion. I was knowledgeable and a great orator, as my father always says I would have made a great lawyer. So I chose to use these gifts against the one that had blessed me with them. See God doesn’t take our gifts away just because we choose to use them how we want instead of how he wills. We have free will and that includes how we choose to use our spiritual gifts.

  So God had put fire in my soul and I used that passion to debate his very existence any chance that I got. In my rebellion I turned his sheep against him. I know now that these were lost sheep that did not know his voice so they were easily persuaded by my words and actions and so they made the choice to follow me and I was a blind Sheppard leading lost sheep. I lead them into the wilderness a barren land without water or bread. Lives marked by confusion, distress, and depression though I didn’t see it that way at the time. I thought I was living a great life. I had graduated from college, I had a great live in boyfriend, friends to hang out with, alcohol to drink and drugs to do…life couldn’t be better. But God was not done with me yet. God had settled that I was his before I was ever born and he pursued me with vigor.

Transformation first touched me when the movie Passion of Christ, the well known Mel Gibson movie, was released. There was so much hype about this movie that my friends and I had bought the movie and we watched it together. We laughed, we ate, we drank and had a great time…though I don’t think we paid that much attention to the movie. We chose to have a good time instead. The next time I watched this movie was out of pure boredom. My cable was out. I was home alone so I decided to watch the Passion of Christ again. I had plenty of other DVD’s but I wanted to watch that one.  So I decided to pop the DVD into the DVD player and I began to watch. I also decided to give the movie my full attention.

This time around something was different. I began to weep and sob saying over and over in my head “he did this for me”.  Meaning Jesus had gone through all of that for me. In my heart, in my gut, at my core I believed it and in that moment I had chosen to take a step in the direction of my beliefs going all the way back to when I was little girl being made to sit in church with my mother. The moment that I decided that this was my belief… in that moment change began to take place just as before but this time I would move in the direction of God instead away from him.

I will continue with my journey on the next blog but before I go there are several lessons learned here that I want you to take with you.

  1. Change begins with choices even if we choose not to choose it is still a choice.
  2. You make the choices for your life. If you let someone else make them you will never receive the outcome that you are praying for.
  3. You do have a spiritual gift and you are using it whether you think so or not. Pay attention to your passion, that fire that God put in your soul. That thing that motivates you that you love to do, that thing you are naturally good at and see how you can use that for the building of the Kingdom and to edify and glorify God. Recognizing your gift begins to align you with God’s purpose for your life.
  4. God chose you as one of his before you were ever born. He pursues you until the end of your time. He will protect you even when you think you don’t need it. He will stay with you even when you actively disobey him and he believes in you even when you deny him. He never leaves us have faith in that.
  5. Raise your children in the way you want them to go and they shall not part. This is so true. So it is very important that we instill values into our youth and teach them about God though they may not understand it and make different choices. In the end they will go back to their foundation whatever it may be.
  6. The path you choose dictates the people that you meet and that will impact your life. Like minds and birds of a feather are true statements. Take inventory of who surrounds you. It will give you great insight to where you have been and where you are going.

 

 

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Seasons

The path to God can be a glorious experience. It can also be a painful lonely path. Many of us get lost, discouraged, even bitter as we try to take on what seems like an impossible undertaking but take heart for everything has a season.

Through this blog I will chronicle my journey and hopefully help others along the way. My journey is not over and never will be. We are never complete in God there is always more that we can do, accomplish, and learn. That being said I will leave you with a passage that I wrote when I truly realized that growing with God is a life experience, never complete and ever changing.

 

As I continue my journey I am realizing more and more how difficult transformation can be. Being stretched by God takes you to such an uncomfortable place and just when you think you are done he stretches you some more. I am learning that growing in God is a lifelong opportunity and an opportunity that I am so grateful to have. I will no longer complain about the season that I am in or the season that will come but simply rejoice that I am in a season with God.

God Bless and I hope to see you on the next blog simply titled Season 1 where we will truly begin this journey….

 

 

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