Hard decision to make

I have felt unsettled.  I know I am not living out God’s laws.  I get so irritated and impatient.  No matter the good I do.  Something has been missing.

So I searched online today for, “what’s the point something is missing.”  And found an article that suggests pinpointing the triggers for what makes you feel this way.

Mine came to be as follows:

  • My distrust in my partner
  • The reasons his actions provide for me to distrust him
  • My pursuit of money- even just for survival- and utilizing it once I have it
  • My lack of ability to be truly content with what I learn/believe
  • My pickiness of food… pickiness in general

 

Next, I had to come up with what plan is required in order to fulfill the missing parts of me.  The answer is easy- giving up money altogether, whatever the cost.

My distrust in my partner is something I have to let go.  I love him and don’t want to leave.  So I need to accept his ways- especially knowing he is constantly working on himself and makes progress daily- and move on to the other things I can actually change.

I had to pinpoint my fears over implementing my true beliefs:

  • Dying of starvation
  • Being cold

It is, after all, heading into winter very soon, and getting really cold outside.

What would it take to let go of money?  There are other steps in the way:

  • My friend’s dad co-signed for my car, and I do not want him to feel screwed over.  I would have to sell the car before I give up money.
  • I have steep financial debt, of which most I cannot pay if I give up income.  I would have to sell my laptop and whatever else I can, to pay off as much as I can, and apologize to the lenders for what I cannot repay.

Being cold and eventually dying are what I’d have to face.

My family is very loving, and I know that many of them- notably my parents- would ask me to stay with them if I really went this far.  They would try to encourage me to make money though, and I’d have to say no, and I have no idea how long they would want to keep me alive before saying I must go.  And I definitely would not ask for their help, but I know they’d insist on helping me, at least at first, so that stage is inevitable.

I don’t know how long I’d live if I do this.  But I’m tired of feeling empty.  I’m sick of handing over dollars and cards when they don’t matter.  I cannot end the cycle of money.  I can only step out of it.

I have to be willing to face the consequence of death, and also the possibility of my death amounting to nothing in the public eye.  Facing only God with what I’ve learned, and giving all I can until the end.

My notebooks are all here in this house.  I realized recently that my story is already written.  All the wisdom and all the mistakes have been recorded.  I need no more.

My partner will be home soon, so I will discuss this with him then.

I’m tired of living out the life they impose on us, knowing the truth, and being too afraid to face it.  I must grow out of it.  Will I dare?  Will I trust God and fully let myself go, and give myself to him completely?

That’s where I’m at now.  Working on these questions.

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Uncomfortable truth

Once you’ve learned something, if you’re really listening, it’s impossible to un-see it.

It takes stepping out of my comfort zone in order to face what I have seen, especially since the compliance, acceptance, and ignorance of most other people makes it way too easy to stick my head in the sand.  But lately I’ve disallowed myself to simply live with the bullshit that I see.

Companies’ bottom line is always money.  You can go through the worst tragedy in the world, or have the most noble cause, but every single need you have demands a return from the crooked powers that rule this world.  Your mom died today?  Sorry, you still have to pay rent this month on top of all the horror you’re facing.  Better get your ass to work, no one cares about your feelings.  That’s what money says to me.

I genuinely believe that most people, even people we consider to be rich, don’t fully realize what’s going on, and therefore are unaware of the evil they contribute to.

Most of us will randomly say, “Yeah, this soda has high fructose corn syrup, but it tastes so good,” or, “Yeah, I know these paper plates will only be used once, but they’re so much easier and time-saving to use for the picnic.  I’ve got too much other shit to worry about today.”

All the wasted packaging, all the toxic ingredients, all the lies advertised in order to make you buy a product… they are absolutely everywhere!!  You can’t go almost anywhere without seeing it.

Many of our products are made by slave labor, including that of children.  But we continue to buy them, even after knowing the truth, because it’s difficult and more expensive to do things the proper way.

But our complacency will hurt us in the end.  Convenience will not save you, when it comes down to what’s important.

It’s like Saint Peter.  In Jesus’s final days before crucifixion, Peter lied about being Jesus’s follower so that he could take part in standing around a fire to warm up.  He was cold.  It was harder to do the right thing and tell the truth.  In the moment, it was much easier to make himself COMFORTABLE instead of being real and loving toward what he actually believed in.

I don’t want this to be my fate.  I like to think I can gain the strength to stand alone from all this.

And that’s what’s scary: Knowing how alone I will be when I stand in real truth, at the bare-bones of it all.  In the moment when it would be much easier to settle for less.

I am doing better than I was, but could always be doing better.  I stared at an aisle in the grocery store tonight, looking at different packaging from the same company.  Half the products had no special claim on them, while others had a green logo that said, “Naturally!”

Shouldn’t it have been natural already, when it’s food?  What’s really in the other package?

I became overwhelmed, staring at all the plastic wrapping and pretty labels, and told God, “You’re the only one who really gets it completely.”

I’m sharing what I know, but there’s so much more that I don’t.  Like how to stand up to all this by example.  The alternative to buying this crap is only ever buying from the local farmer’s market, and even those food sources are questionable.

Grow my own stuff then.  But the source of the seeds/bulbs/etc is going to be questionable anyway.  “And I don’t have time LOL,” says most everyone.

The least I can do is continue to talk about it.  The momentum builds, the more I force myself to face the facts.  And I know something big is happening.  I want to be part of the force that is good.  God, I want the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable.

Breaking it down

There’s a lot of evidence of Jesus having actually existed.  And I have lots of moments that feel supernatural to me and show me that I’m on the right track somehow, even if I’m not seeing it clearly.  I used to feel strongly that I need to determine one way or the other whether he existed and whether he is God.  At this point, though, that goal has shifted.  As if I’m realizing that the learning experience is never what we expect.

Walking around town tonight, I concluded a few things aloud: There is always a contrary statement to anything we can possibly say, when it comes down to small details.  And it can be hard to decide what’s truly best since the right answer for one person can be different for another, yet still be correct.

Upon thinking that, I reasoned that there is still something all these details come down to, behind the scenes, in the deepest sense: Love is the only thing that saves someone from darkness, in whatever form it manifests, big or small, even if only from within yourself.  Hate, when present, will always seek to destroy.  These 2 things are undeniable in my eyes.

Those 2 conclusions are in line with what Jesus says.  And still I cannot disagree with anything he said.

No matter what the truth about his supposed life is, I still stand by all the teachings.  They work in real time.  They make me stronger.  Not because I’m truly strong, but because I let strength in, in a way I always spoke of and wanted, but usually felt powerless to absorb.  It was all talk- letting the wisdom flow from me without seeing it applying to me, just believing in the principles anyway- and I couldn’t see what I was doing to prevent the blessings I needed.  It wasn’t money or beauty I needed.  There’s a sense of peace and understanding that has moved through me somehow and changed the way I approach this life, with enough time and patience to see the fruits of my latest labors.

Whatever this is, it works to clarify truth for me, even with all the additional questions that mount.

The more I’ve let this take me over, the more I see God being like- “Hey, look, here’s something you need to see as well, and I know you have wanted to see this.”  Like I’m in tune with some fundamental truths about what’s going on in my life and I am not left in the dark.  I am pointed to the truth constantly, in closer intervals all the time.

Something is happening, whatever it is, and I like it.

Random revelation today

The human body is limited, and the spiritual body is unlimited.  This is our great struggle between knowing we can do anything and everything, yet knowing we somehow cannot.  But think of what we could accomplish if the meaning behind everything became more important than paying taxes.  If we consciously utilize the spiritual side to guide the human side.  If we would focus so hard in this venture that evil can be overcome more easily.  To eventual eradication.  It sounds far-fetched, but if no one ever dreams it, it probably won’t ever happen.  So here’s to that idea.

“…with words that pierce the dark with light” – Lauren Daigle

OMG had a total God moment tonight.  One of those times that I feel is evidence of intelligent design.

Tyler and I were on a time crunch, and picking up food for me.  I ordered from a mexican restaurant on the phone.  Their website was down, so I wasn’t able to use a menu.  I ordered generically on the phone, simply picking each detail of what I wanted in 2 steak tacos.  The girl was really patient and even let a normally-costing thing be free for me.  So Tyler and I drove to the place then, just a few minutes away.

I told the guy at the counter that I could pay now (they normally wait until your food is brought to you).  I had $11 cash, and more in my bank account.  The total was 11-something.  I looked at the money I had, and started to grab my debit card.  The guy said not to worry about the change, and just accepted the cash I had.  Sweet!

He headed to the kitchen to check on my order, then came back and started writing up a new kitchen ticket for some reason, asking me about what I ordered.  I gave vague detail since I’d already placed the order.  He then asked about the fact that I said I’d ordered already.  I was like… yeah, a girl on the phone helped me.  He went back to the kitchen, and I assumed he was going to track down the original ticket.

Then it dawned on me that I’d actually called a different restaurant.  I quickly ran out to let Tyler know that I’d called the wrong place and that it would be another minute.

I went back in and waited at the counter for a minute or two, before it occurred to me that they might try to make the food without coming back out to question me again.  I ran to the kitchen and began explaining the situation, starting with an apology, and ending with asking for my money back.  He informed me they’d already began making the food, though.

It wasn’t surprising to me that he basically said then, Take this food.  With a smile, gently, and I understood the gesture.

I did not expect it to escalate from there.

I explained that I have to go pay the other place, and that I’m sorry but I do need my money back, for it had been a misunderstanding.  To my surprise, he basically told me again that No, I am to take this food.

I hadn’t even told him the complete order when we’d spoken 2 minutes ago… it wasn’t my fault that he had jumped the gun.  But I didn’t bother mentioning that menial detail.  It didn’t really matter.  It was a busy night at the restaurant: Tables and booths were full, a bunch of waiters and kitchen people were standing there staring at us, and it was time for me to leave.

Unfortunately- but not way too badly- I went straight to last resort.  I went on a bit of rant until he began walking back to the cash register with his head down and a pissed-off look on his face.  “No, this was a big misunderstanding, I told you I’d already ordered, and I have to go pay them!”

“I’m not paying $20 to go to 2 places, I need my money back!”

“I promise, I come here all the time, I always tip like 10 bucks, I’m not trying to screw you!”  Petty, yes.  I was desperate to get this guy’s understanding.  Making it worse every second, I know.

Our shared walk through the crowd, now including bar-dwellers and people waiting to pay and people waiting to be seated that are standing all around the register, was heated with all those words and his silent but boiling resignation.

Money was taken from the register and handed to me, the $11.  I thanked him and left one of the dollars on the counter.  It was one last tactic to prove I had not meant to cause trouble.

I found that ironic, because I was pretty sure the total at the other restaurant was $10-something, and now I was going to be short on cash in the same fashion at this next place, too.  Nothing I was upset about, just something interesting I noticed.

Tyler and I then drove to the other restaurant.  The girl at the counter was clearly the one who had taken my order.  She was being genuinely friendly, but you could tell tonight’s shift had been hard on her.  I decided she would get the ten-dollar bill in my hand.  She’d been super patient on the phone, went through a really hard time, and then was still being kind.

Once it was my turn, it became apparent that my money total had not been recorded.  At this point I wonder if I’d actually been given one in the first place.  Minor detail.

She remained friendly, but her face screwed a little as she pondered how to ring up my order, since it wasn’t exactly on the menu.  I kept my 10 in hand, ready to hand over as soon as the food would come out, and paid with the debit card.

As I signed the credit slip, an interesting conversation took place between her and a worker that came up to her with a bunch of cash.  She told him, “I need tens.”

I was stunned.

He asked her something like, “You do?”  (As in, how much demand is there for them?)

She said, “Yeah.  I have one.”

Then I was double-stunned.

 

 

 

 

 

Did that really just happen?  I didn’t even ask myself that question.  I knew immediately that I was meant to be there at that moment.

My entire body felt supernatural.  A very strong feeling of knowing that this is what I mean when I say God speaks to us!!  It’s not always hearing words in your mind- in fact, that’s probably the least common type.

3 days ago (below) when I said that I heard “Repent” in my mind, was an extremely rare occurrence for me.  It’s only happened, at most, a few times in my life, and can be easily be written off as just something in my own mind.

But experiences like tonight’s, when something happens in “real time” with “real people,” are the type that make me go, THAT’S God speaking to me, and gives me another reason to believe something higher is at hand than earth here!

Once the other worker was gone and we were just standing there waiting for someone to bring out the food, I asked her if it had been crazy there tonight.  She said it really had been, and some people weren’t very nice.

With that statement, I was even happier that I would be tipping her this 10.  I kept it held out as we talked further, and she glanced at it now and then, surely wondering why I was holding it out, having paid already, and with a card…

I explained what happened at the other restaurant.  I wanted her to understand the true meaning of my tip, the bigger picture than what she’d been through tonight.

She didn’t appear to exactly appreciate my story, and I felt bad bringing her this upsetting story after she said customers had been rude.  After all, she hadn’t seen what I had gone through either, and could easily assume that I just fit in with all the people who gave her a hard time tonight.  I understood it.  But I knew she’d ponder the situation later and figure it out, and wasn’t yet aware of my tip, so I stuck with it.

On the last word of my story, the food came out, God’s perfect timing.  No time for her to react to me, and we all know that customer-hostess conversations only last as long as they have to, so it was good to end without expectation of a reaction.  It was perfect for both of us.

There’s a little more to the story- what happened after I left- but this is all I have time for tonight.  I thanked her and left the 10.

Forced to face

Minor car accidents are one of those things that, when they happen to you, your plans for the day and beyond are stopped short all of a sudden.

You have the initial shock, making sure everyone’s okay.

Then you call the cops out so they can do their job, and possibly an ambulance and tow truck.

Once the accident itself is handled, and everyone has gone their separate ways from the site of the accident, you each have your own aftermath to tackle.

I’ve been in A LOT of car accidents.  Many of them were my fault, but many of them were not.  The one I was in today was my fault.

Usually I am shaken after an accident, especially ones that I caused.  But this time, I have gotten so used to dealing with them, that I didn’t get all shaky.

Also, something is really different this time, and I’m glad to see it.  This time I had the knowledge of God in me.  I didn’t let worries about money or insurance go far at all, and I didn’t hate myself for what I’d done.  I did not embellish more than one or two thoughts related to how it could have been avoided, what different choices I could have made.

Because this time, I was aware that the accident itself was not the lesson.  The aftermath would be, and I knew it.

I could “hear” God telling me: Hey.  Slow down.

The accident wasn’t caused by having driven too fast.   I was hardly moving when it happened.  It’s that I’m hasty in my life in general.

I have zero patience for people who use “a lot of words” to convey simple meanings.

I have zero patience for people who drive or walk slower than me.

I have zero patience for much of anything.  It usually feels forced when I’m patient about something.

I have neglected what’s most important to me, in order to keep up with earth’s bullshit demands.

As in, I have hardly written in my notebook lately.  I always feel overwhelmed with objects and obligations.

I have not put God at the forefront, though I think of him often.  And present a good image of God to the people I’m close to.  But God knows the truth, and he had to hit me with it.

I had thought the worst was over.  I’ve been suffering for over a week because of a staph infection, which I had a horrible allergic reaction to the antibiotics I took to treat it.  My fiancee’s mom had heart surgery yesterday.  And my fiancee severely burned his hand last week.  And in the midst of all that chaos, things were crazy at work.  I normally have lots of downtime there, but I couldn’t keep up.

So we were finally past the worst of it all by today, or so I thought, because the car accident happened today.

I hadn’t really been hearing God.  He tried all week to get me to stop and look around, but I ignored him, thinking I’d just weather the storm and get back on top once the earthly disappointments had passed.  So BAM, I am now without a car and FORCED to slow down and really look at what I’m doing.

I was laying in bed, just waiting for my fiancee (Tyler) to come home and handle all this with me.  But then I realized I didn’t wanna live like that.  I sat up for a second and then buried my face in my hands, and heard just one word in my head: “Repent.”

So I did.  I knew just what to say.  “God, I’m so sorry that I’ve been hasty.”

I was really lucky.  I have a little Honda coupe, and was rammed on the front left corner by a sizable SUV.  Hit my head on the window but nothing major.  God took my car away temporarily, but he saved my body.  I have the luxury of mulling all this over without the complications of physical impairment.  When I’m finally over the infection and allergic reaction.  I’m in a good place to assess everything… if I’d only known a car accident was to follow, perhaps I would have done this sooner, in spite of my discomfort, but my time is now.

We cannot wait for the perfect moment to evaluate what we’re doing on a moment-to-moment basis.  All time is God’s time.

It’s like when someone once told Jesus, “I want to follow you, but I have to bury my father first,” and  Jesus told him, “Let the dead bury the dead.”

It sounds so callous and wrong for him to have said that to the guy, but what we have to keep in mind is that Jesus was God- which means he didn’t take the man at face value like you or I would.  Jesus knew the man’s heart before he even spoke.  Jesus knew he would have used another reason to not follow him at that moment if it weren’t for his dad’s funeral anyway.  Thus, his seemingly unkind response.

My takeaway from that story today is: Am I going to dig the hole deeper, or will I embrace the gospel better than before?  Am I going to pretend things must be squared away before I can do what’s best, or am I going to choose what’s best FIRST?

God, I believe in the gospel no matter what.  The principles are true and they bring light to the world when executed.  The more I get into this, the more I see both sides- why not to believe, and why I’m yet more convinced that Jesus is who they say he is.

God, thank you for reminding me of what I was still able to come home to after the accident.  Thank you for helping me figure out why something felt missing.  Thank you for making it clear that I CAN and MUST slow down in order to truly breathe you in.  Thank you for giving me a huge opportunity- a huge fucking neon sign- to draw closer to you and listen.

Enough is enough

I cannot continue to deny the truth, though I’m pretty sure I will be doing just that for some more time.

Money is not what we need, and Jesus proved that.  He also was very clear about the fact that we must accept people who think that money is important.  That doesn’t mean we should participate, however, even though it’s the popular thing to do.

Our society is brainwashed into thinking we have to earn money.  But it doesn’t measure real value or any person’s worth.  The numbers come out of thin air.

The solution is to not worry about money, as Jesus directed.  Though you may end up homeless, hungry, or disliked, it’s no matter- God’s word says so.  But how many of us follow this?  Everyone I know either has a home, or asks for handouts, yet Jesus had no home of his own and he never asked for donations, only accepted what was offered him.  He fully trusted God and said we should do the same.

Again, how many of us follow this?  NO ONE THAT I KNOW.

Would it work?  I feel the reason Christians do not try is because they don’t actually have faith that they will be happy with the results.  They deny one of God’s most important lessons.  I use that blanket statement about self-proclaimed Christians because I don’t know of a single person, Christian or otherwise, that actually lives by these principles.  But since Christians strive to follow Jesus, I’m calling you out, in order to grab your attention.

We don’t trust God.  We look to money management as a means for determining what we can get.  Moreover, we want our fortunes as we see them to be- acquiring money and material possessions- rather than God’s pure blessings.  We discount the incredible value of pure blessings, it’s never enough.  We are willing to sacrifice important things every day in order to attend to jobs that will replace us if we leave.  God will never replace your soul, you are irreplaceable in his eyes.  That’s the message of pure love.

Working for the sake of earning a paycheck is NOT love.  The employer is saying, I will only help you pay rent and eat food if you spend most of your time doing as I say.  And the employee is saying, I will only spend most of my time with you if you give me something to use when you’re not around.

We are hardly aware of this truth.  We are blind to our own misunderstandings.  But if you really look at what Jesus says, and genuinely pore over each statement, you won’t be able to miss the fact that money is worthless to God, and you won’t be able to lie about the fact that your ways are not Jesus’s ways.

When will we embrace the gospel and stop using money?  It could mean losing your spouse.  It could mean losing your house, car, and easy access to food.  It would mean possibly going hungry while looking for a place to sleep.  It means obvious discomfort, at least at first, or at least eventually, depending when you are blessed with the things you need to survive.

The deeper I dig, the closer I get to the edge.  I just can’t keep living this lie, now that I am seeing it even more fully than ever.  I’m building the confidence and knowledge I need in order to carry this out.  It’s a good thing I don’t have children, because this would be much harder to consider if I did.  Another blessing that I must not take for granted: God setting me up for this mission.

The only thing I fear is my death amounting to nothing.  If I just died from starvation or something else that’s terrible and my community were sad, but others never hear about it or it becomes just a passing story, it’s like it would be in vain, and that is something I have no control over, or should even care about!  Once again, we are vain and we don’t trust God to cover us.  We don’t trust love.  But maybe I’m finding ways to make a big change and really let love shine through.

Our familiar survival tactics are hard to give up.  God says they’re really not.  We’re fooled into thinking it’s hard.  No one steps up to God’s word when it comes to money.  Will we?  Will I?  God, I pray that I will continue to receive wisdom that guides me in the correct direction.  Thank you for filling me with your word and promise.  I wish I could say I am sorry that I’m not already giving it all up.  If I were, I would change it right this second.  I can at least be honest with you.  God, just watch, please give me a little time, I’m not leaving.