I don’t feel like updating right now, but considering the mood my last update sets, it is imperative that I update you before anything else happens.
Number one: No more watching scary stuff. I avoided it for a really long time because I decided that being entertained by horror is wrong, but then indulged in some ghost stories on youtube the other night. MISTAKE. I am more sensitive to it than I used to be, now that I went on such a hiatus. The past couple nights I’ve been terrified of the dark, thinking of the creepy stories I watched (like haunted dolls and also some local stories), and last night took the cake.
After I had made the last entry, feeling lost again and still terrified of the dark, I went to sleep and had such a disturbing nightmare. Not the worst I’ve had, but enough to really freak me out. So no more watching scary shit. I apparently can’t handle it, and I’M GLAD because I do still believe it’s true that it’s sick to be entertained by that stuff. I had indulged out of fallen faith- since I had all my questions again, I needed to check out the stuff that I’d become convicted against. And learned that I had good reason to avoid it. So at least I know that for sure now!
So to get caught up here… it’s another day of church. I had not gotten much sleep last night ’cause of the nightmare, and had to leave super-early for church, working the tech booth. It’s a 20-minute drive to that campus, and I nearly fell asleep all throughout the drive. Scary stuff. But anyway, the message uplifted me, just like last week. It gave me hope once again that I can count on God, Jesus, and what I learn from the bible.
Here are some notes I took from the sermon:
Embracing Difficulties/Winning the Day
- Embrace difficulty as an opportunity to grow
– Don’t concentrate on what’s so difficult in your life. Focus on the knowledge that God will do something amazing to carry you through.
– Learn to trust God when your life is blowing apart
- Pray for wisdom
– God-inspired ability to helpfully apply knowledge in a situation when you don’t know what to do or where to go
– You can ask God for help. He will help you without blaming you.
– Beating yourself up over the past is not helpful
– We are not nearing perfection. We are headed toward God.
- Expect God to answer prayer
- Don’t waver in your faith
- Refuse to lose
– Blessed is anyone who endures temptation
– Giving up is tempting
– When we cease to endure and battle, Satan wins and we lose
– Tests reveal what we do and don’t know. They aren’t designed to destroy us. They are to assess where we are.
It wasn’t simply these principles that made me re-visit Jesus. It’s the whole experience. I can’t easily explain how it overcame me again. What I do know is, I went in with apprehension since I lost faith in the whole thing, and walked out with renewed spirit, feeling again like the bible tells the truth.
It was true, what I realized last week- once you think it, you can’t just un-think it. I’m not done pursuing Jesus after all.
I spent a lot of time today walking around Centennial Park in the rain, with my big rainboots on and thinking about God. I felt at peace. No stress about where I’m at or what’s to come. I trusted God again, and it felt totally natural, unforced. I wasn’t reaching to him in desperation. I believed in him. I had many prayers, including for whoever had occupied a tiny tent tucked in the woods, partly supported by sticks. My faith and peace felt stronger than ever, in such a humble way- as in, I wasn’t way overcome with emotion of any type, I simply felt… unwavering in faith and able to spread God’s seeds.
I guess that’s how you define faith, since I’m unable to pinpoint exactly what caused this feeling. Which is exactly the explanation that I wanted to avoid from the very beginning of my study of Christian faith. But fuck, I feel it now. I understand now. And I want to be able to explain it so that someone else who’s been through what I’ve been through before I started all this, can have a basis for understanding what faith is and how it came to me.
It’s strange. But I’ll work on that now. Now that it’s happened, I’ll think of a way to explain it… hopefully.