Feeling calm again

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

  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Expect God to answer prayer
  4. Don’t waver in your faith
  5. 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.

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