Blessings

I’m not sure if you have ever heard the song by Laura Story called Blessings, but it is song that I absolutely love. I thought I understood the message of the song clearly before, but it was only until recently that I understood the lyrics on a deeper and more personal level. These past few months have been quite a struggle for me. It seemed that I was fighting not just one but multiple battles at once, ripping the very core of my being…my heart. I felt exhausted, depraved of love, and hopeless that the darkness would not overwhelm me. I cannot begin to say how many times, I felt lost, alone, and betrayed by the injustice of what was going on. Yet even as I clung onto Christ, my hope, the heartache and pain began to wear down my strength and patience. Up until about a week or so ago, I was so ready to just give up. What was the point in trying so hard to maintain hope, love, and faith in people when even the people you love fail you, hurt you, and give up on you? What was the point on waiting for God to take you out of this storm, when you can’t even understand why you were placed there in the first place, let alone be taken out of it?

However, even when my mind gave up, when my heart lost its strength, and my ability to continue fighting faltered, there was one thing that never stopped working…God’s unfailing love for me. Despite my lack in confidence that things would be resolved or that God had been listening to my prayers, the truth is God was always at work, whether I could see it or not. When we are downtrodden, angry, lost, and confused, when our hearts become weak and the burdens are too much to bear, God hears and takes into account all that we are going through. It is these trials and sufferings that make getting out of the storm, so much more meaningful. We need to understand and feel the pains of this world, in order to experience and appreciate the true power of God and His love.

I realized this week, how truly blessed I am. Though there are times I am caught in the most hopeless situations, I have a God that is stronger than anything the enemy tries to throw my way. Although these battles are often painful and unending, the war has already been won, with Christ as the victor. These battles are just a prelude of what is to come, and what is to come is an incomprehensible joy that will last for eternity.

In my favorite verse, John 16:33 Jesus says it best:

In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.

Our lives will be filled with raindrops and tears, but God will always turn those raindrops into rainbows, those tears into joy. He is at work, though we may see it or not, there are blessings all around us. God’s love never fails, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

❤ always,
Kat

Blessings

Say something…

Say something, I’m giving up on you. I’ll be the one that you want me to. Anywhere I would’ve followed you. Say something, I’m giving up on you.

I currently love this song, it’s both sad and beautiful, which kinda prompted me to write something that I have been struggling with.

With the holiday season approaching, it is so easy to fall into the traps of busyness, forgetfulness, and loneliness. With church events, Christmas parties to plan, and regular responsibilities to maintain, I’m finding it hard to remember the true meaning of this season, Christ. On top of these yearly struggles, in the midst of going through trials during the holidays, it seems almost impossible to feel contentedness, joy, hope, and love. The weight of these burdens grows heavier and heavier as days pass by waiting for some sort of resolution in my heart.

Waiting…this is probably the most painful, most uncertain, most frustrating, most heartbreaking lesson I am learning right now. I am that type of person that just wants to know at that moment. Tell me good or bad news. I don’t really care as long as it’s right now. Don’t make me wait or say nothing at all. Say something. Anything. It is closure that my heart craves for. I would say I am a pretty patient person in most situations, but in the midst of heartache, that is where my patience fails. And where patience falters, anger, bitterness, and resentment finds its way in my heart. It is something that I have been desperately trying to fight recently. To experience loss, to have no control over a situation, to have to just sit and wait, wait on God to answer my prayers, is a true test of my faithfulness to Him. These past few days, if I’m being honest have been a real struggle. There have been moments that these burdens, these emotions just overwhelmed me, so much so that I couldn’t help but to cry out, pound on my steering wheel, and just break down. It is in these moments that we are so susceptible to the enemy. It is during these times, the enemy fills our head with doubts, lies, and desires to do things we know are not good for us, though in the moment it would relieve any anxiety or heartache we have. If God didn’t exist in this world, I would definitely be a lost cause. Somehow I know that I just would not have the strength to get through some of these events. But how blessed am I that He does exist, that He watches out for me, nudging me this way and that, always leading me back home, where I belong. Even now, I cannot say that I have the strength to overcome even the littlest trials, because in reality, I really don’t. I am a weak, imperfect being. The only thing I have going for me is that I believe and have faith in my Creator, my God that is stronger than anything of and not of this world. A God that has always proven Himself to be righteous and true, God that is gracious and merciful, pure and intentional. God, who loves and is love itself, is perfect. So although I am this imperfect being, full of weaknesses and lacks in much, how can I lose hope when God covers all of me, filling every void? I must strive on, fighting with every ounce of my being to wait patiently on Him.

To B:

And I’ll swallow my pride. You’re the one that I want, and I’m saying goodbye. Say something, I’m giving up on you. ~A Great Big World

Say something…I won’t give up on you. ~K

 

We are not fund…

We are not fundamentally free; external circumstances are not in our hands, they are in God’s hands, the one thing in which we are free is in our personal relationship to God. We are not responsible for the circumstances we are in, but we are responsible for the way we allow those circumstances to affect us; we can either allow them to get on top of us, or we can allow them to transform us into what God wants us to be.

My Utmost for His Highest-Conformed to His Image, 354 L

It’s not about me…

I stumbled across this article on Facebook, and it just hits home for me. Being in any relationship is hard work. There will be times when you make mistakes. Moments where you will fail. There will be times when you want to be selfish and want to fulfill those desires. But it’s not about you. When you choose to love someone, you choose to sacrifice the biggest thing in your life. Yourself. It’s not about you, it’s about them, that other person, friend, God that you love. It is about doing everything you can for the sake of “US.” No giving up, no backing down. Confronting head on through the pain, fears, struggles, and temptations. It is not a conditional type of love. It is love at it’s rarest form, an unconditional, selfless, Christ-like love. A love like Jesus. That is what we should strive to possess, to give to others, true love. Love with a heart like Jesus, because it’s not about you. It’s about them, us, others.

Marriage Isn’t For You
This Recently Married Man Just Realized Marriage Is Not For Him. You Have To Read What He Wrote.
Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget.

My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.”

It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.

My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one.

No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”

Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish.

But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.

I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better.

To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love.

And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered.

Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.

The way of love.

I was reminded about what it means to truly love last night. Even as I was trying to forget these last few days due to some events happening in my life as of late, God reminded me at the most opportune moment (like he always does) that love never fails.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 ESV)