Tag Archives: faith

All the Feels

As a pensive observer and possessor of an empathetic heart, I frequently feel all the feels.

An acquaintance’s daughter died of cancer. Felt the feels.
A friend’s nephew died in a drowning accident. Felt the feels.
I watched my niece’s joy-filled reaction as she devoured ice cream. Felt the feels.
I had one of a treasured many heart-to-heart conversations with a cherished friend who bared her faith and fear. Felt the feels.

I will tell you — and those closest to me will confirm — that I often walk around as if I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.

Why would that be? I walk closely with the Savior of my soul. I have a fire-tested, unceasing faith in God. I believe in miracles and have seen many transpire. I have a loving family. I have amazingly supportive and hilarious friends. I have a fabulous job that I love. I own my home. I drive a reliable vehicle. I have money. I have my health.

I have access to joy unspeakable and yet I’m morose.

Just yesterday, I spent a good bit of time trying to crack this conundrum. As a result, I’ve a revelation.

I’m an intercessor.

You may wonder what that is. Well, it’s a person who intervenes on behalf of others, especially by prayer.

Knowing I’m an intercessor is not a new reality. I’ve known it for years. At times, I intercede in prayer as much as I should. At times, I don’t. When I say I’ll pray for you, I really will. And sometimes I’ll even make you stop what you’re doing, ask you sit with me, ask you to let me hold your hand, and ask you to let me pray for you then and there.

Most of the time, I’m not all that bothered by the fact that I don’t exercise my prayer muscle as I should. I know I need to pray more than I do. And I just don’t. I feel bad for awhile and then go along with life. However, lately, the atrophy of that powerful tool has been eating at me.

I’m quite convinced that I will not be able to proceed through these dark days for the joy set before me if I do not remedy this atrophy. The weight of observing the world crashing around me will crush me. The sadness of watching those I know and those I love endure pain will consume me. I can mourn with those who mourn to the nth degree, but I must do more than that.

It’s time for me to fight. It’s time for me to take back the ground that has been casually captured over time. It’s time to take action against the apathetic and make strides against the struggle.

I have an identity in Christ and part of that identity is to intercede for others (and myself, of course). I must acknowledge and contend with all the feels and take those feelings and turn them into prayers of faith, thanksgiving, warfare and breakthrough.

I was given a heightened sense and observation for a reason. And that reason is to pray. The old adage remains true: Prayer changes things. And if I’m exceedingly frustrated with life as we know it (and I am) then I can be the change I wish to see in the world one word, one prayer, one intercession, one choice to believe, one more ask-seek-knock at a time.

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Authentic Humility

I learned what humility is the other day.

Humility is properly placing your confidence in Christ.

So simple. But so illusive.

I grew up learning to humble myself. I prayed prayers asking God to humble me. Meanwhile, I stumbled, fell and got scraped up being falsely humble, prideful, self conscious and non-confident.

I tried so hard but I got it so wrong.

I thought being humble meant making myself lower than other people. So I thought myself worse than others. Anytime I felt a shred of self assurance, I chased it away because I thought I was being prideful. I thought true humility meant feeling bad about myself.

But that’s not it at all.

It just means properly placing my confidence in Christ. Not in me. Not in my friends. Not in my family. Not in my talents, time and treasures. But in Christ.

And, since I’m in Christ, I’m confident because I trust His provision, guidance and protection. I often don’t have much faith in myself, but I for certain have a ton of faith in God and what He can accomplish.

And, like a loving Father should, He reminds me that He accomplishes things through me so I should have faith in myself just because He’s involved in what’s going on in me and with me.

That, my readers, is excellent.

Curse the crisis

I believe that America has talked itself into a financial crisis.

If you watch or read any amount of news right now, it’s littered with opinions that we’re in a recession or we’re going into one.

I do not agree with those headlines.

I believe we’ve cursed ourselves into crisis. We keep talking about how bad the economy is and how bad things will get. We are speaking curses over our lives.

As a follower of Jesus, I’ve learned that God inhabits the praises of His people. I’ve also learned that we can prophesy things into our lives. We can speak in faith and expect God to work.

Satan is the thief of joy so he loves it when people speak negative things. Satan covets cursing.

People (except for a few) are not living by Kingdom principles. What are Kingdom principles? Well, living by Kingdom principles means living biblically. It means trusting God to be our provision. It means giving God 10% of the firstfruits our income. It means encouraging and uplifting each other. It means believing and living in faith and not failing and falling in fear.

I don’t walk around every day fearing that I’ll lose my job and end up homeless on the street. I do walk in confidence knowing that God is my provision, my shield, my refuge, my comfort, my strength.

Take a look around you. Most of what you’ll see is fear. God is not a God of fear. That means that an opposing force is at work. Satan flourishes in fear and prospers in panic.

I don’t believe we’re in a recession. We are, however, in an excession. A world in excess sin, idolatry, independence and negativity.

God loves to bless His people with prosperity…when they are obedient. Immediate obedience brings immediate rewards. As I walk in faith and obedience to Christ, I’m not afraid of all of these terrible things that the news proclaims. The world’s headlines are not my heartaches.

Faux Real

It’s Wednesday.  Demonly enough, I’ve felt down every Wednesday in recent memory.  It’s strange because Wednesday nights I get together with my small group at church.  We eat, fellowship, worship God with songs and then hear an encouraging word.  Typically, that combination of stuff is awesome.  It’s enjoyable.  It’s uplifting. 

So why don’t I feel encouraged?  Why am I not counting down the minutes until I leave?  Well, I’ve chalked it up to persecution from Satan.  He’s got me down.  He’s got me unexcited.  He’s put a heaviness in my spirit.  I’ve attributed it to tiredness.  I’d rather stay here and sit on the couch or watch a movie and go to bed early.  I’d rather just sulk here in isolation and pet my dog.

It’s silly how doing uneventful, community-deprived things seem more intriguing to me than spending time with acquaintances.

Wait.  Acquaintances is the problem.  Though I’ve spent multiple hours with these people and even shared a lot of my heart and self with them, I feel like we are only on an acquaintance level.  I haven’t come to a level of dependency with them.  I don’t need them to carry out my day.  They’re an add-in, not essential.

And…what’s worse…is that we’ve talked about how we need to be more than people who meet every Wednesday.  We need to dig deep with each other.  We need to spend time outside of our small group.  We need to make a sacrificial investment of time to each other.

But…we don’t.

Or…I don’t.

It appears (from the outside) that others do spend time together.  Young couples visit each other and eat meals with one another.  Some of the college-aged guys hang out, too.

But me…I’ve distanced myself from them.  I think partly because I don’t want to make their problems my problems.  I don’t want the mental burden of what they’re dealing with. 

Another part of it is I don’t like surface conversation.  I never really have.  I want deep, sincere, loving relationships.  I want people that I long to talk to and connect with.  I don’t want to talk to someone who asks me the same bland question every time they see me: “So, Lindsay…how was work today?” 

*sigh*

Although, I’m reminded that my deep relationships now used to be surface relationships.  They started at a surface level.

However, they quickly changed to meaningful.  After one day or a few conversations, we were steadfast friends.  I’ve spent months with these folks and some of them still don’t even understand what I do at work.

Spirit-led vulnerability enhances relationships.  I haven’t been vulnerable.  Well…vulnerable enough.  I value quality time.  I haven’t really given these people my quality time.  I’ve given them my obligated time.  The hours that I feel I’m required to be there in order to be considered part of the small group.  They’ve got me out of duty, not necessarily depth.

Honestly, it pains me to still be at a surface level with them.  I’m nearly in tears writing about it.  I’m not exactly sure what it will take for me to break through to the next level.  But I do know I can’t wait for them to confide in me first.  I need to be a leader.

I need to be real instead of faux real.

I need to press through the heavy, sad spirit that has fallen upon me and emerge with a light, lifely spirit instead.

I need to enhance my relationships.

Everything Is Tedious

Last week I did a lot of repetitive, seemingly never-ending things.  It tested my positivity patience.  I was working on a few projects that required a lot of editing and restructuring.  With all of the redos and undos it would’ve been very easy for me to become cranky.   However, I kept my attitude at a relatively reasonable level.

If you’re at all familiar with the Bible, you’ve heard of the book of Ecclesiastes.  Solomon, the author of that interesting book, revealed that everything is meaningless.  He had all the riches and wisdom in the world, but it was all meaningless…

…without Christ.

With Christ/God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit, everything is meaningful.  However, without the one True and Holy God, every single thing you’ll ever do, buy, partake in is totally meaningless.  Infinite riches and happiness mean zilch without Christ.

I struggle with doing things that I think are pointless.  For example, I used to work at a grocery store.  Part of my job was “conditioning” the product.  Basically, that means walking around the whole store and making sure the products look good on the shelves.  I made sure that everything was facing the right direction and that all of the rows of stuff were pulled up to the front so that they could be easily reached.  I’d spend hours walking around and pulling the product to the front and straightening it out.  Then…moments after I’d made everything neat and presentable, someone would walk up and take off a bottle of shampoo.  So, my big effort to condition was ruined.  It felt meaningless. 

I did not like seeing all of my effort go to waste.

While I was driving home one evening and pondering all the editing I’d done that day, I thought to myself, “Everything is tedious.”  Not just conditioning in a grocery store.  But everything.  Driving is tedious.  It’s the same thing all the time.  Typing is tedious.  Eating is tedious.  Going to school is tedious.  Sleeping is tedious.  Working is tedious.  Everything is tedious.

It amused me that tedious and meaningless kind of have the same ring to them.  And, since I’m a Bible-believing gal, the similar phrases of everything is meaningless and everything is tedious made me laugh a little.

As encouragement, just remember that no matter how high profile you are or what job you do, everything is tedious.