It’s no secret that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome. I talk about it alot. One of the side effects PCOS is mental illness; such as depression and anxiety. This week for some reason has been a hard one as far as my mental health. I am battling depression this week. I couldn’t make myself go to some of my classes. I feel a deep ache for no reason. I have no desire to do anything. Pain and fear, fear and pain. I get so overwhelmed I lay on the floor sobbing. I know logically this comes from my imbalanced hormones. I have a teepee of depression surrounding me. It comes out of nowhere and decides to set up camp. I was mentally wrestling with God about this. “God I am supposed to have a hedge of protection around me how can you let this teepee of depression surround me.” And like He does he speaks to my spirit: A teepee is temporary. A hedge has roots and will last. And even in the depression you are still surround by Me. Even if you can’t see it.
It is really easy for me to see why people turn from God. People, claiming to be following the spirit, frequently maliciously inflict pain on those around them.
If it hurts someone is it of God?
If it breaks their spirit is it of God?
If it chases them away instead of drawing them to Him is it of God?
It is easy to use the pain that “God’s people” deliver as an excuse to turn your back on Him. But we must life our eyes from the people of the world to only see Him. In Him we find love and not condemnation. We know that pain is a temporary state and that in Him we are perfection.
I love make-up. No. I really love make-up. My personal philosophy when it comes to cosmetics is, “if it looks like you are not wearing make-up you are doing it wrong.” Make-up is defined as, “cosmetics such as lipstick or powder applied to the face, used to enhance or alter the appearance.” My make-up style tends to lean more to the Kim Kardashian side of things. I look pretty different without it.
As a woman I have been told my entire life to find a man who, “Loves me without my make-up.” Because make-up is used to enhance and alter a persons looks this statement is implying that you should find someone who accepts you, even your flaws. I think it is universal that we all wanted be accepted for who we are as people. Here is my struggle. I want to come to God with my make-up on.
I can accept that another imperfect human should love me even though I am flawed. I just have a hard time coming to God with the mess that is so often my life. I want to “pretty” my spiritual life up before I come to God. An example of this is when I attended church. I have a hard time letting go in during the worship service because, I have not lived a particularly holy life that week.
But I am so wrong. God looks at the mess of my life and sees perfect beauty. He knows that our lives would look better with more Jesus in them but, He loves us any way. In Mark 2:17 Jesus used a different example He said,”Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit,” (MSG). God does not want us to feel judged and shame. That is not what He came to do.
“For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” John 3:17 (AMP)
You are loved with out make-up on your life by the one who knew what you looked like to begin with. Let Him accept you.
One of my best friends, Amanda, and I somehow end up having deep discussions about life in the car. No, not while we are driving together, but parked in a parking lot somewhere. These conversations always take place late at night. We are convinced that we will not only solve all of our own problems, but at some point the world’s problems too. The solution for world hunger will come out of one our late night car talks, mark my words.
It was in one of these talks that a phrase popped into my mind, “you cannot invite someone into your lifeboat, in hopes of saving them, if your lifeboat is full of holes.” Let me expand upon this idea a little more for you. Watching someone struggle with sin, addiction, or just life can be hard. It is common when you see someone struggling that you want to “save them,” especially, if you care about this person. I am someone who feels empathy deeply so it is really hard from me to not be able to fix everyone. However, if you are struggling with sin yourself and you are trying to pull someone out of sin the chances are you will both end up “sinking” into sin.
The Bible talks about this in Proverbs 12:26 “The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.” (NLT) Most of the time this verse is used to convey the importance of having godly friends. But it can also emphasis that it should be necessary that we check ourselves before giving advice, so that we do not lead someone astray. I do not ever want my sin to be a hazard of to someone else.
Set my heart on You. Give me tunnel vision for only You. Keep me from evil and help me not to cause others to fall because of me.
One of the first things you will notice about me is that I am a momma’s girl. This is a key piece of information for my little story. I was sitting in the library between classes working on homework when suddenly my ears perked up. Out of my homework stupor I heard a sound that was familiar to me. A cough. Not just any cough but my momma’s. The following conversation took place:
This library has three stories and many sections. I was not listening for my mom. I was not even thinking about her (Sorry Mommy). But I knew that sound well enough to recognize it. To know without a doubt that is was her.
When God speaks do you recognize His voice? The word Recognize is defined as: identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again. The only way to recognize God’s voice is to have encountered Him. We cannot recognize what we have never known to begin with.
“Jesus answered, “I told you, but you don’t believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words. You don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind.” John 10:25-30 (MSG)
I ignore God.
Until I have to sound like a good Christian.
Then I drum something up.
I fail at basic Christian functions.
I never respected those who would try to “preach” to you,
be it from a pulpit or in a conversation,
if they were not living what they were advocating.
Yet, that’s what I do.
If you don’t speak to me, how can you be My voice?
We are called to be His voice in the world.
Everyone is broken. Everyone needs Him. Everyone needs to hear Him.
If I don’t have the words how can I show anyone Him.
I get my words from Him.
But if I don’t actually talk to Him where are they coming from?
Who are they coming from?
I let my busyness and brokenness come in between me and God.
“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
My mom has this cruel practice of buying gifts when we say we like something and not allowing us to have it till the actual holiday. This was the case of several of my presents this year and the one that drove me most crazy was a stuffed animal. When my family was at Disney this past thanksgiving I saw a stuffed Stitch (as in Lilo and Stitch) that I fell in love with. Not just any stuffed Stitch, but a giant one, the size of a small toddler. I have a collection of stuffed Stitchs and naturally an abnormally large one need to be a part of it. But my mom wouldn’t even let me carry it and I had to suffer through November and December before finally getting my Stitch.
So why Stitch? Why a collection of him? That’s a good question. One I had no answer to for a while. I have in a previous post discussed my connection with the movie Lilo and Stitch and in my mind just attributed my love of Stitch to that. But then it clicked in my mind. I am just like Stitch. Let me elaborate.
He is an alien.
When Lilo goes to look for a dog Stitch tries to hide his extra set of arms and the things coming out of his head. He knows those are qualities others would call weird or bad, so he holds them not allowing others to see who he really is.
He is bad.
At the beginning of the movie he is just bad, and bad for the sake of being bad. That is how he was made. To be bad and do wrong is in his nature. He tries very hard to be a model citizen but, sometimes it doesn’t work out.
I hide who I am because I know sometimes others will not accept my weirdness. It is human nature to sin. Therefore, it is in my nature to be bad. Stitch didn’t know he wanted a family or to be a part of something. He didn’t even know he wanted to stop being bad. Lilo had to come find him. She had to accept him, show him how to love, and that being a part of family mattered. So we (you and I) are Stitch. Don’t see it? I’ll show you.
Thousands of years ago a man came from heaven to earth to find you. You didn’t even know you were lost. It is in your nature to sin, to be bad, to create hurt, and to do wrong. He accepted you knowing you were bad and that you may break His heart. He saw all the things others call weird and said that they are what make you special. He will love you no matter what you do and you will be a part of His family.
All the presents have been opened, the Christmas dinner eaten, and I have spent a good part of the day watching Agents of Shield on Netflix. It has been a lovely Christmas. But if it were not for the kindness and love of Jesus I would just be a bad little blue alien.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 KJV