Beauty from ashes

I am bold.
I am strong.
I am confident.
I am brave.
My faith is the strongest it has ever been.

It has taken me years be able to make those ‘I am’ statements and actually believe them. No, it hasn’t been easy and it won’t be getting any easier. It’ll most likely get harder. I expect to endure attacks but I also expect to see the mighty ways of the holy spirit. I live in the expectance of having to fight the devil off. I know I am not alone in this fight, angels are standing beside me.

If I don’t live in this manner, then I will most likely be knock down quicker, longer, and more often. If I don’t, then I won’t be able to discern the reasoning for that current struggle. It might be my struggle or someone else’s struggle that I need to be interceding for.

I may not know what I believe on some of the important doctrinal issues but I do believe that God has saved me and continues to pour out his love and grace onto me; not much else matters. [I’m working to figure out what I believe on some of the doctrinal issues though.]

My faith has always been pretty strong. I seriously find it crazy when looking back on everything that I still gave the church many chances. I find it crazy that I still believe in God’s plans for my life when I have only gotten glimpses. I am marveled at how faith works but never enough to look into it. Then again, that is what faith is; believing in what you cannot see, know, or understand.

 I am thankful, humbled, and joyful that God brought me to Moffett Road Assembly of God. It hasn’t been perfect but what church or group of people are. It’s been fun getting to know the lingo.
Funny moment: It took me about a month or so to realize when people said ‘MRAG’ that it was the abbreviated form of the church name. I thought it was the name for the fine arts competition, but that is just called fine arts. Ha ha, I know.

But in all seriousness, the people of Moffett Road have been His hands and feet to me. They have opened their ears and hearts to me. I have told many of them but this community is the first one that I felt that I am actually part of. I feel that I am part of the family and it’s truly amazing to realize that I have felt this way fully since January and I haven’t even been here for a year.

To get a little bit vulnerable [and random], today has not been fun. I woke up to feeling heavy for no apparent reason. I sought out the possibilities but couldn’t think of why I would have been in a sad mood when I haven’t thought about most of the things in a while. I asked God for strength and discernment. None came. The heaviness got worse. I ended up laying in bed for hours. I tried to figure out what to do with the heaviness and why I was feeling this way. A few things came to mind but no solution. I have been in the state of depression most of the day.

I don’t claim to suffer from depression but from what I have heard, read, and seen of depression; that is what I felt.

Yes, it’s only been one day but it has helped me feel and know how debilitating depression can be.

I truly think this day of feeling depressed is either an attack or a feeling of someone else’s depression that I need to be interceding for.

Side note: It is hard to live life without most likely having a person’s voice in the back of your head. It’s hard to fully believe God and fully commit to Him when you have the words of other’s opinions and ideas.
Quick examples I had a hard time writing the last part without having a few people’s voices telling me that not everyone has gifts of the Spirit or not the particular gift of a feeler.
I noticed that I might have annoyed my roommate who is a grad student studying exercise science [or something close to that] by thinking that most of the time I talk to her, I might talk about some symptoms of some sickness or a physical pain. I feared that because of feedback I once received.

I write that side note because not just those two experiences but many others have caused me to be more careful with what I say and to who I say it to. Words are powerful. Words can put a label on someone or cause someone to not be bold and go after something. So please be cautious with what you choose to say. I know I struggle with this but I am working on it.

Okay, now that I have moved topics twice; I am going to end this.

I have to be reminded of whose voice and opinion matters. He has to keep placing his arms around me when I want to run or when I want to grab my roommate’s alcohol to become numb. I have to let His grace rain down upon me. I have to pray for strength.

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Comparison poisons relatioships

Being bold can result in exclusion. It also can be encouragement for others to step out and be bold.

It is really interesting and humbling to think about how much more confident I am when giving feedback. I still stumble and get nervous giving it, especially if it’s constructive but I have learned that part of living in fellowship means that calling out each other is needed. Building each other up is just as important.

I am a big encourager and love being able to affirm in any way possible.

Being confident enough to call someone out in love has been a big step.

it’s humbling to think about where I’ve come from.

The only problem with always moving from one community to the next is no one gets to see the growth. It can be hard for myself to not realize how I’ve grown and in what areas I have done so.

I am going to be 25 in about 5 months. What?! I don’t feel like I’m in my mid-20′s.

Sometimes I am grateful that I am not perfectionist or someone who compares where I am in live with other 25 year olds that I know. Then, sometimes I worry if I should be.

Should I care that I am still in undergrad when my 21 year old roommate is in her first year of grad school?

Should I worry that I do not [if at all] find myself in a relationship? That I don’t have a ring on my finger? That I don’t have a child?

The answer is of course, no!

If you are at the same place of life I am and in any one of the situations that I have described/name then you shouldn’t either.

God’s plan for each one of us in unique.

it doesn’t mean we are failure if in the world’s eye, we are behind or we chose not to be actively seeking for our spouse.

Comparison shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. It’s poisons relationships.

I get sucked into the comparison game too many times and it has ruined many relationships. It caused for ones to not start.

I became aware of how much I let comparison rule my life while on the Race.

One of my teammates was afraid to let me into their life when we were on a team together which caused there not to be unity within the team. It wasn’t the only reason but it was a big one.

I am thankful that someone drew my attention to it. Just wished it was at the beginning of us being on a team together and not two months later and right before our final month on the race.

Having that knowledge caused me to see why many of the squadmates were or had been distant. It also caused me to start to worry what everyone else thought of me.

Looking back, it was such an amazing learning experience. I am who I am because of the experience. I don’t regret a thing that happened on the Race.

I want to be done with comparison and hopefully I am close to doing so. It is a hard thing to drop.

Are you struggling with comparing yourself to others? Look at yourself through God’s eyes.