Thursday, April 17, 2014

Handful of Heartbreak

Have you ever given your all to someone only to be passed by? You know, you give and give and give only to get back empty handfuls of heartbreak and rejection. Someone who you give the benefit of the doubt to even though all you hear says they aren't true to who you've believed them to be only to be made to feel stupid for standing up for them in the first place? Someone you've been caring about, shown kindness and love to only to receive disrespect, unthoughtfulness and hurt in return? How can people be like that? Why must we continue to love the ones that don't reciprocate? I've been thinking about this a lot today... Why, how? 

Moreover, have I been this way to Jesus? Have I passed Him by in my busyness? Have I taken far more than anyone would deserve and broken His heart through rejecting to show His love through giving to others? Have I been true to who He says I am or have I shrunken back into the shadows of less than I'm meant to be? Have I made Him regret standing for me? Have I disrespected the sacrifice of the Cross just because I've not been mindful of the hurt all around me? Have I hurt Him or reciprocated His love and passed it on? Have you?

The truth is, we have all hurt him, been unloving toward Him, thoughtless of Him, disrespectful, been less than we are capable of... Each one of us has taken far more than we deserve, none of us have given enough... We've all broken pieces of His heart, we've all stepped over Him in walking our own paths. And you know what? It doesn't matter. No, it's not right or good or acceptable but it can never dampen His love for us. He knew all along we would fail and purposely shut doors in His face and still he chose to die for us.  He chose to give His all, to give everything, to extend benefit of doubt, to stand up for us, to continue to care for us.  He chose to be kind toward us, and to show us love through complete sacrifice of self. How can He be like that? How can He continue to show love to us without reciprocation? How can he be mindful of us? And that's where it ends... I don't know... I only know he does, even though we've brought Him pain beyond measure he continues to come back with love... 

We can never be worthy, we can never make up for all we've done wrong, we can never give enough for Him, we can never measure up to His sacrifice.... But that's not what He is asking for... He's asking the same question He always has "will you follow me today?" There are no prerequisites, no qualifications and no caveat, only a call. Consider His sacrifice, it's Easter weekend, give Him just some thoughtful time, think of the Cross, the price He paid for your love, and the victory he ensured through the resurrection... What will you give now?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Out on a Limb

I saw this quote the other day and it got me thinking... How often do we do this!? How often do we let the doubts and judgements other people put on us become our fences keeping us in the same place? How often do we not allow ourselves to flourish and grow all because of what someone said about us? How often do we allow the negative words of others become what we say to ourselves? How often is the strength of our inner voice weakened by outside pressure? For me, it has unfortunately been all too often... You know, I have no regrets about the things I've tried for and failed to reach, only things I turned back from trying because I didn't have others believing in me... No regrets from falling but only from not moving forward.

There have been many things I've been too afraid to step into... I, like a lot of people, don't love change, a paint colour here and there is great and I love those changes but a direction in life, not so much. Maybe because I've heard a lot of "you really think you can do this?" and some "I hope you've thought this through..." and not enough "you never know until you try!" or "if you think you want to try I think you can do it!" Whatever it is that's held me back has later been realized to be from... Well, idiots... I mean, that may be a little strong but I can definitely guarantee it's never been from people who actually love and care for me... Maybe there were no ill intentions but there also was no prayer before speaking.  Anytime I have been held back by allowing the negativity of someone else to become my inner doubt is on me, I should have known better, I should have believed harder, I should have been stronger, I shouldn't have backed down on my dreams... And neither should you!  We cannot continuing being echoes of what someone else has spoken over us, we must become our own voice!

A friend of mine recently told me someone in her family spoke negatively over her daughter's life... Not like, "she's going to be a horrible person" type thing just a question "if she disappoints you in this way are you going to judge her, what will you do?" sort of way... And instead of answering that question my friend rebuked the question right then. She said she would not speak that into existence, she wouldn't allow that person to speak it either, she simply posed her own line of questioning along with a few reminders... "She has people praying over her life! Family, friends, the church and I plead the blood of Jesus over her life all the time. The blood has power, the blood works... Have you forgotten the blood saves!? The blood heals! The blood keeps! The blood has power to change!"  The is exactly how we need to be answering a few of our own critics and even some of the thoughts we allow to pass through our own minds... Challenge the echoes of negativity from words spoken in our pasts with the blood of Christ, nothing is stronger, nothing can stand against the blood!

Listen, you're never going to become what you dream of if you never climb over the things, thoughts, doubts and words that fence you in.  Sometimes to reach for new and better things you have to crawl out on a limb... I know it's scary but one of my favourite cowboys said "courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne. And John Wayne didn't even have the blood of Jesus backing him up, you do! So just grab a little courage, remind yourself God is with you, do something to move forward, no matter how small and see where it goes, it probably won't turn out exactly how you've thought out but it may turn out to be exactly what you need anyway!  Either way, at least it's on your terms, at least you're moving, at least you are trying!