I was a 4th grader when I went home from school that day. But those feelings are still current in my 23-year-old self. I still become excited and hopeful when I get new clothes. I still long for other people to notice me, accept me, admire me. I sometimes feel lonely when I don't have attention from a loved one or even on social media. When the pressures of life surrounds me, and my feelings overtake me, it’s easy to fade away into a negative attitude and want to “go home sick”. 4th grader or young adult, those feelings are real.
A friend of mine recently reminded me that we can’t base what we know on what we feel. Our feelings are inconsistent and dependent on our surroundings - and God knows that. God’s love and presence are independent of our feelings. Faith is what we have in spite of our feelings.
Like a thief in the night. That moment in life when the only thing that matters is if - in the past - you’ve made a choice to prepare. This is exactly what the Bible tells us the second coming of Jesus will be like. Sudden. No warning. Like a 2am break-and-enter.
We fail a lot. In fact, you could say it’s human nature to fail and to do so frequently. So how can we fail and be "perfect just the way we are" at the same time? Something seems off about that...
Running isn’t easy. You can’t run a marathon and expect it to be smooth and easy sailing. There will be blood, sweat, and tears. Likewise, the Christian life isn’t easy. There are many obstacles in life, and we must be conditioned for the task set before us like a runner is conditioned for his task.
Some days I feel I am in this fight alone. I feel like the enemy has a hold of my parents, and I am the only one that can save them. I put so much pressure on myself, that when I fail to love them, I tear myself up. I have taken all the weight, and tried to carry it myself. But they are not mine to save.
It’s wise to treat yourself kindly, to speak to yourself like you would a friend, and to love who God made you to be. You are stuck with yourself after all. However, so many young women’s ministries tell girls it’s imperative to love yourself. Tell yourself, "You are beautiful. You are worth it." Learn to love yourself! But, is loving yourself really the answer?
I have two siblings, and one statement I think I can fairly confidently make is that siblings are far too often compared and contrasted to each other. “Oh, they’re the funny one,” they say, or “They’re the shy one,” the list goes on and on.
One of my good friends and I decided we were going to change the meaning of New Year’s resolutions for ourselves. We decided to do one thing every day that scares us. We realized that we were letting fear control our life choices - fear of what others think, fear of failure, fear of rejection. Do I take a chance at failing and do this thing in front of me, or do I ignore it and go on with my life? This is much like Jonah’s situation.
If I were to imagine myself there in Bethlehem all those years ago, walking toward baby Jesus in His manger, I imagine I would be met with an inner conflict. Yes, this baby is to be the Savior of the world; however, I think I would be wrestling with the thought of how dirty I felt in His presence. He was born as an act of love to save me, yet if this baby could comprehend all the struggles in my brain and all the sins I wrestle with…well, wouldn’t that be a tad inappropriate?