Monthly Archives: June 2011

lost in the woods

Getting lost in the woods.

I continually dream about living somewhere with lots and lots of trees.  Yes, compared to other dreams of mine, this one may be rather small, or lack great significance towards accomplishing things in life.  However, it makes me very very happy.  I live in Oklahoma, and while it is much prettier than most people assume, it’s no North Carolina, Georgia, Oregon, or Washington.  I truly hope at some point life will bring me towards a state that has some magnificent trees.  I take after my dad in this dream.  We both love the outdoors.  We love hiking, wandering, reading, and just sitting outside preferably surrounded by beauty.  To me one of the most beautiful things out there are trees, flowers, and nature in general.  I love the forest.  I love our annual summer trip to New Mexico spending days surrounded by such natural beauty.

I love being completely surrounded by trees and nature.  Just being there feels like worship.  One day I think it will be beautiful to live somewhere where I can walk through the woods whenever I like, and soon be surrounded by it.  It’s one of those things that makes me deeply, truly happy.  It’s one of the things that I find to be the most beautiful.  It makes me feel cared for and loved by my creator that He allows me to see such great things.  Being there just me and the woods, it feels like sharing a secret with my Savior. It’s almost automatically intimate and I love to savor every moment with Him.

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in His hands

If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll probably already be aware of this, but I often strive to have sense of control over my life.  It manifests itself in several different ways, and its effects are always crippling.  When I try to be in control and hold the different aspects of my life in my own hands, it is always limiting. I want to try and take hold of my school, family, job, and relationships and hold and nurture them with my own hands, and my own understanding.  I want to hold them and I want to be in charge of them, and oh my goodness, how quickly anxiety sweeps in.  In a very real way I quickly start dropping things.  I cannot live my life to the fullest and hold it in my hands.  Problems quickly escalate and spiral out of control, and my hands are just not big enough to hold it all.

 

Here I am again, at the start of several new and exciting chapters in my life, and I’m trying to hold it all in my hands, and sweeping in around me are anxiety, nervousness, and fear; but there, whispering through the darkness, I hear that still small voice asking me to hand it over to Him.  His hands, and His hands alone can carry each and every aspect of my life.  He and I go through this process time and time again, and each time there is joy when I finally hand it over.  When I finally submit and obey and allow myself to become vulnerable at His feet.  It’s a vulnerability that must move past lies that would have me believe I must hold on tighter, that if I’m not in absolute control things will fall apart.  With these lies and my struggle for control comes anxiety, but through His grace I am able to believe the truth and hand over each part of my life to the only one who can handle them, to the only one who can hold them – and in this there is peace.

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good fruit.

We spend a lot of time stuffing emotions that they are ashamed of.  Whether it’s feelings of jealousy, resentment, hate, or anything under the sun that contradicts the teachings of Christ, we often try to deal with them the same way.  What I see is that people are trying to cover up these negative emotions, or try to pretend that’s not what they really feel.  We become ashamed of them, and try to pile good emotions on top of them.  It doesn’t matter how much good fruit you pile on top of the rot, its still there, and it still stinks.  Instead it becomes a constant internal battle of trying to cover up the feelings that we know are not of Christ.  It happens all the time, and I don’t know anyone, myself included, who has not tried this method of dealing with negative emotions and feelings.

It seems that the gut reaction is to stuff those feelings that make us feel embarrassed or ashamed when we should be dealing with them.  If there’s a person in your life that is triggering jealousy and you end up feeling resentment or anger towards that person, the reaction I see most often is to try to cover it up.  You know you shouldn’t feel that way so you begin forcing yourself to move past it by layering emotions that seem right or acceptable on top of it.  That may work for a while, but it doesn’t solve the problem.  You have to deal with what’s causing the negative emotions.  You have to deal with root of the problem.

When looking at myself, I find that I often don’t want to be that vulnerable, even with God.  I don’t want to look that closely and see those things about myself that aren’t so pretty.  I just don’t want to admit that all that negative stuff is there, but it’s the only way to get it out.  To admit that I’m jealous, resentful, or angry is the only way to start to get rid of it.  Those are not the things that I want to take root in my life, the fruit that those things produce is not pleasant, and is not constructive to the plans that God has for me, and so to move forward I have to address it and lay it down.  I must understand what’s causing it and how to move past it.  Luckily we are never alone in this process.

I really and truly believe that God wants us to be totally healed from the all past hurts and all negative emotions and fallout that have taken root in our lives.  He is right there beside as we deal with those difficult emotions, and He’s right there to take them from us as we roll them onto the cross.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26

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