Monday, September 29, 2014

{ " Fear " }

"Do not fear, for I am with you; 
Do not anxiously look about you, For I am your God. 
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. 
Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
~ Isaiah 41:10

I am writing about fear today, because to be quite honest, I'm feeling rather afraid.
I have been applying for part-time jobs during the past week, and none of them looked very promising, until now. I have applied for four jobs, and I have already received one email letting me know that I'm not needed for the position I wanted for one job. I wasn't too bummed about that, because it wasn't my first pick anyways. I was applying for another job online last night, but I noticed that they application needed my social security number, so I asked dad what I should do. We decided that I should just swing by the store, and ask for an application there. The manager happened to be there, and I talked to him. He was very impressed by the fact that I hesitated putting my social security number in on the online application. I took a paper application home with me, and filled it all in last night. So, I brought it by today, and the manager was actually outside when I got there. He recognized me immediately, and told me he had just been talking about me with the co-manager. I was very confident, until I met the co-manager. Let me tell you, men kind of make me nervous to begin with, and this guy was no exception. He made me feel like finding somewhere to hide. He was very short with me, and he didn't even offer a smile. I'm hoping the manager couldn't see how nervous I had immediately become when meeting the co-manager. I hate to say it, but he just wasn't a very pleasant person. I wasn't really sure what to do with myself in front of him, and I ended up stumbling over my words, and shaking his hand with my pen in my hand. It definitely wasn't a great first impression, on either end. I realized I wasn't even able to tell him what days are best for me to work, and what hours. I think I just answered "yes" to everything he asked me, because I felt paralyzed. He told me they would call me, and that was about it. It was like going from one extreme to the other in a matter of seconds. Hopefully my nervousness wasn't too evident.

I was filled with excitement, and anticipation when applying for jobs, and now that it's finally looking promising, I was feeling terrified! Is that normal? I'm still excited, but there is fear lingering in the pit of my stomach. Growing up is fun, and scary at the same time. Putting myself out there for speculation, and judgement is very scary. I'm not used to being looked at from every aspect, and being considered for something so important.

I spent most of the afternoon worrying about this possible job, when one of my favorite verses came to mind. That verse is Isaiah 41:10. I had no reason to feel afraid, or anxious. I have a great God who will strengthen me, and uphold me no matter what might frighten, or intimidate me! I was reminded that I shouldn't let my nerves get the best of me, because the Lord tells me not to fear. It is so much easier to fear, than to trust though. When you think about it, it takes a lot more effort to actually trust than it does to just give up in fear. I'm going to try my hardest to trust, and not to fear. Maybe the Lord brought this person into my life to strengthen me, and to show me that He is in control when I'm afraid. Maybe I won't even get this job, and I'll move on searching for others, but at least I can go on to the next with more confidence, and trust!

So, even though it's easier to fear; don't. God is in control, and He will always uphold you.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

{ " Pour Out Your Heart " }

"Trust in Him at all times, O people; 
Pour out your heart before Him. 
God is a refuge for us." 
~ Psalm 62:8

Do  you ever have something on your heart, that seems to be weighing it down? Something so heavy that you feel as if you can barely even feel your heart beating anymore? I know I have. Sometimes it's something so heavy, and so hard to explain, that we hold it in. I often let things weigh heavily on my heart before I even speak of them. Sometimes I never let them leave my heart. I just let the weight grow heavier, and heavier. I let the pain burrow deeper, and deeper, until eventually, it becomes numb. I find that we often hold in our own worries, and sorrows, to keep from upsetting others. Maybe we see our friends going through struggles, or hardships, and we think that our struggles aren't worth mentioning. We fear that people will grow tired of hearing us pour our hearts out onto their plate, and giving them more to rest on their shoulders.

Well... There's someone who will never get tired of hearing us pour our hearts out. That someone is our heavenly Father. We can tell Him everything, and anything that is weighing on our hearts, and He hears. He doesn't just hear, He listens. Not everyone can truly listen, some people only hear us. God listens. He sees every tear that falls, knows everything we think, and He hears us no matter how quiet our whisper may be. Sometimes when you're pouring your heart out, words don't even escape your mouth. You don't even have to speak to pour your heart out to the Lord, He already knows what's buried deep inside, which is both encouraging, and convicting.

So, if you're ever feeling burdened, and like you just need to pour out your heart... Remember the One who is always there to hear you, and be your refuge.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

{ " Sometimes Loving Hurts " }

Pain is something no one likes.
In fact, it's something most of us try to avoid completely. We try to push away things that might cause us pain, and we with often do everything we can to avoid painful situations.We practice hiding our feelings, hiding our pain, in hope that it will make us seem stronger.

Guess what; it won't.

There's this thing about pain, physical, or emotional, it needs to be felt, in fact, it demands to be felt.
Emotional pain (along with physical pain) often has the power to weaken us, and to overtake us.
It can cause us to stumble, cause us to stew in a pot of overwhelming emotion. It can cause us to say, and do things we don't mean. At some point, we're just going to explode. I am guilty of holding in emotions until I just completely burst. It is something I have done too many times, and I regret every one of those times.

If we live in a way in which we are constantly trying to avoid pain, we will never truly live, and never truly love. People hurt other people. Sometimes it's an accident, sometimes it's deliberate. When it's deliberate, it is one of the most agonizing pains. Especially when that person is someone we love. If we avoid people at all costs, in fear of being hurt, we'll never experience what it is like to love someone, or be loved by someone. If you've been deeply hurt by someone, you know what it's like to love someone. I'm the type of person who loves everyone. I've always been that way. The other person might not know it, but it's there. I might not be the best at showing it at times, but I have a compassion toward people, that sometimes causes my own heart to be broken. I can't not love people. I guess I could say: I 'fall in love' (not in a romantic, fairy tale way - so don't worry) with people, in a sense. I grow attached to people quickly, I love their ups, their downs, their quirks, and I accept them despite their mistakes. I like to learn people, and listen to people. So, that also makes me the type of person who tends to want to push people away, in fear of 'falling' for them too quickly, and in turn, being hurt. No, I am not trying to say that I love everyone no matter what they do.
I'm saying, I have had my fair share of hurt, because I give little pieces of my love away too easily. I know what it's like to have heartache for others. That heartache might not always be caused by other people, but it could be connected to that person. People you love moving away, moving on, or even passing away... It can all cause pain. Pain we can't do anything about. It can cause a crippling ache in our hearts, something we think we can't get past. We shed many tears, and sleepless nights go by, but we don't stop loving. Loving people is definitely worth the pain. I guess it's kind of like when they say if we didn't experience pain, we wouldn't know what joy felt like. If we didn't experience heartbreak, or heartache, we wouldn't know how wonderful it feels to love, and be loved.

In the end: I think we can all look back, and be thankful for the times we were hurt, or pushed away. It opens our eyes to other things, and people we often put on the back burner. It also makes us a little bit stronger for the next one, and shows us that it's possible to move on.