Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me?

Why didn’t anyone tell me THIS is what it feels like?

I’ve been around church people my whole life. I used to get so mad when my mom would make my younger brother and I go to church with her on Wednesday evenings. I remember how annoyed I was when I went to school the day after the blinky do shoes episode of My Wife and Kids aired, and everyone was talking about it. I was mad I didn’t get to watch it because I was at church. I couldn’t comprehend why people would willingly spend a week night in church. And then there were the night vigils! Those I really couldn’t understand. Whyyyyy would anyone want to be in church on a Friday till 2am? I remember many night vigils when my friends and I went down on our knees, faced our chairs, and pretended we were praying. We were actually taking a nap with our heads buried in our arms.

I remember car rides with my mom always meant worship music was the genre of choice. Sometimes when I was in the car with my mom or dad, I would find them mumbling to themselves. But they always insisted they were praying.

I remember learning the Sunday school mantra – read your bible and pray everyday. I learned all the major bible stories and many praise and worship songs. Even after leaving home, I continued to go to church and hold God in high esteem in my life. By high esteem, I mean calling on God mostly when I needed a crisis manager.

But now that I’ve come into this deep relationship God, I’m so confused why nobody told me THIS is what it feels like! It’s so much more than just going to church late at night, praying in the car and singing songs of worship. They were feeling something! Something deep down on the inside of them that cannot be explained. Something that made it a blessing to go to church at night. They were feeling the unexplainable peace and joy of God. The joy that won’t let any situation hold them captive. They were experiencing the presence of God. A presence that will have you waking up with the biggest smile on your face, simply because you know him.

Most times when we learn about God, we’re told so much about what God can do for us. How God can fix our problems. But there’s something so much deeper than that. THIS feeling. I really can’t explain it, but it is the most amazing, life transforming feeling ever. If someone would’ve told me THIS is what it’s like, I would’ve been here the second I came out of the womb.

I remember looking at people that were obsessed with God and thinking that their lives must be so boring. I wish they told me what they were experiencing! It’s more fun, more fulfilling and more amazing than anything this world has to offer.

Striving to live a life of worship to God in everything we do, rather than turning to God only when we need a crisis manager, leads to a far more fulfilling life. THIS feeling is a part of living a life of worship. THIS unexplainable feeling.

 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. John 4:24

I Want To Be Free!

“I thought by now everything would have worked out. I thought by now I would’ve accomplished my goals. I thought I’d be there by now. God if you love me so much why am I still struggling? God when will I be free?”

Do any of these things sound familiar?

When everything is going wrong, it’s easy to turn to God and say, why me? Don’t you love me? But it’s important that we don’t equate God’s love for us with what he’s doing or not doing for us. When things are tough, we might want to console ourselves by thinking God will move swiftly to free us from a place where we feel trapped, because of his goodness and love for us.

But what does it mean to be free? Freedom is what Jesus did on the cross for us. Freedom is knowing that we have eternal life with God. Freedom is finding peace in a place where we feel trapped. Freedom is still being able to worship God in spirit and in truth even when everything else around us is falling apart. Freedom is having God so deep down on the inside of us that external circumstances don’t shift our view of God’s love and goodness.

God did so much for us when he sent his only son to die on the cross for us, so that we could have relationship with God.

But even though God did all of that for us, he still wants to move in our lives. Yet it’s important that we don’t equate what God can does for us with how much we love him, or how much he loves us. Because you know what? Sometimes we’re trapped a lot longer than we thought we would be. Sometimes goals aren’t achieved. Sometimes that sick person we’ve been praying for still passes away. Does that mean God isn’t good? Does that mean God doesn’t love us? No it doesn’t.

The issues we’re dealing with will most likely be resolved, but there’ll be another one after that. How we see God, can’t change every time things don’t turn out how we would like them too, or aren’t moving at the pace we’d like.

I’m not saying we should become comfortable when life isn’t going great, or shouldn’t work towards making things better.

But loving God just as much when everything is great, and when everything is bad, is a huge step forward in our relationship with God. When everything around you seems to be crumbling, but still feeling that peace from God that passes human understanding is amazing.

Then there’s also remembering that God will work the situation together for your good.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to HIS purpose. Romans 8:28

He’s going to use the current struggle to help you bring words of wisdom to others in the future, and to keep you stable during the next struggle of your life. Yes, it’s amazing to be free from bad circumstances and hard situations, but the ultimate freedom is God himself.

Learning To Let Go And Let God

You know how people always say we shouldn’t worry and trust God to take care of our worries? I’ve always felt like it was so easy to say, but so much harder to do. But you know what?

I’m finally learning to let go and let God. Things I used to worry about so often don’t even get the time of day in my thoughts anymore. I’m finally learning to take the things that are bothering me to God and leave them at the altar. My whole life I’ve been hearing that’s what I need to do, and I’ve always been like how??? Do you realize how hard it is to just forget about what’s bothering you?

But somehow I’m managing to do so.

How? By spending time with God. All this time I thought I had to will myself to give the burdens on my heart to God. But me learning to leave the burdens at the altar has been happening without me even trying. I’ve furthered my relationship with God by spending time praying and studying the word. I invite God into my daily activities and talk to God throughout the day. I’ve become much less stressed about my life. I don’t have to will myself to take the burdens on my heart to God. God kinda just sneaks them away from me while I stand in awe of Him.

More than just learning to give God my worries, my behavior and my desires are changing too.  My heart’s desires are being filled with His and it’s pretty awesome!

But it’s definitely been a process for me to get to this point. It used to be a chore for me to set aside quiet time to study my bible and pray. I had to force myself to do it. Then over time it became something I looked forward to. Then there came a peace that fell over me during my quiet time. Then I started praying and quoting scripture throughout my day. Then the peace that fell over me in my quiet time started staying with me all day long.

Stress and anxiety are being pushed out. Not because I try to force them out, but because I have become so filled with the things of the Lord, that stress and anxiety no longer have a place to call home in my heart and mind!

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7