I wanted to look at faith and how we have to keep motivated in pressing on and not settling. When we settle we become demotivated and when we become demotivated our faith takes a backseat. It is so important to remember that faith is not about staying in the same place, but it is about a constant progression in accordance with the will of God. Having an active faith is so important, not only for us as an individual but also for those around us too. Sometimes we get so lost in our own problems that we can forget about living with the purpose we have been designed with and I speak from experience because this has been my reality, especially, over the last few weeks. As I am moving away from that now I wanted to write what I have learnt from that time and provide encouragement too.
Since the beginning of January due to the way my job worked out I am not able to go to church in the morning. The area in which I live there are very few churches that do an evening service. I really had some guilt because I really need my job, but I felt awful that I could not make it to church so this played on my mind a lot of the time. Not being able to go to church for me is like missing out on all the great family gatherings because my home church has a small congregation so we all know each other, and we grow together. It kind of put me in a hard place and I became quite demotivated, I would read my Bible, but I would do it as a habit instead of really wanting to learn from it. All those truths that I believed over my life through my faith became fractured. This all began because I wasn’t in a good head space to begin with and instead of asking for help, I just dwelled in all my misery and self-doubt and the guilt of not being at church.
This isn’t the way that we are meant to live in the freedom and grace of God. I was so soaked in my own misery and goodness knows what else, that I had stopped living with a purpose. I basically went to work and then when I was not at work I felt useless because I did not know what to do with my time. I lost perspective on what I wanted to do with my life and believed that I would never feel equipped to live out my purpose. Last week I was writing a post to put up on my blog and I am so thankful I didn’t because it would have been a very depressing and unmotivating post to read. I am all for being real about life’s struggles but, not when it can affect the mindset of others. It made me dwell on how far I had moved away from what I inspired to do. My main aim is to encourage and motivate people and enable people’s inner beauty to flourish. Having been knocked down so many times over the past year I listened to the ‘truths’ of the backbiters and people who were not even friends and allowed that to become my reality. Instead of listening to those who loved me and who constantly encouraged me to be the best I could be.
A few nights ago, I was just living so much in my own mind and I was truly miserable I was sat in the living room with my mum and suddenly just blurted out, ‘Mum I need you to pray for me’. These are one of the moments that I truly see how loving and gracious God is, I was so torn up inside and God used that opportunity to remind me of his truths and his purpose for my life. The prayer that my mum prayed over me was as if God was speaking directly too me, I hadn’t even explained fully what was going on in my head before the prayer had begun. It brought a lot of peace to my life and reminded me how much God is control. God loves me, and he loves you so much and to see you suffer was never in his will or purpose. There is this song on Steffany Gretzinger’s Blackout album called ‘Save me’, it is an incredibly powerful song that fits right into this situation.
‘It all starts with breathing you in,
Breathing you in deeply
I’ve been drowning under my skin
No one but you can save me……
You’re my hero, you always pick me up
Before I self-destruct.’
It was in that moment that I needed to be picked up so that I could press forward otherwise there was nowhere else for me to really go. This week I have been facing the things that bring me anxiety and worry and putting my faith into action in those areas. I remember talking to someone a few years ago when my life had hit quite a hard patch and they reminded me not to lock God out of areas of your life. You do that because they are not the pretty aspects of your life, they are some of the darkest places of you. That is exactly how God wants you to come, there is no pretence, he just wants you and all that you are. That is what makes your relationship with Jesus so beautiful, he died for all of us and still he chooses to love us. Romans 8 has continuously came up in different readings I have been doing so I think that someone wants me to take a hint, but they are such beautiful words of truth.
Romans 8:1-2 ‘ Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.’
Take some time to meditate on the power and truth of these words. If you are feeling condemned over your past, that is not of Jesus at all. Jesus died to give you freedom and that can only be gained through his redemption and grace. It is through Jesus that we have life and that is such a blessing and a truth that each of us should hold over our lives.
We all find our purpose through doing different things because thankfully God has made us all unique so that we could all be lights in different areas of life and the world. One passion I have is reading, I have read continuously since I got my first pair of glasses at four. I have a bookstagram account where I interact with people who have the same passion. While a lot of the books I read are YA contemporary, I also use it to review and talk about the books I have read that have helped me with my faith too. I also love to write although my grammar is not always put together, I try to write my blog to talk about faith and finding beauty and acceptance from within. This is one place that I am truthful about my struggles, if it can help people. I have also learnt with work that it is a place in which I can serve. Working in retail is always interesting especially with who comes through the door. One thing that I try to do is make sure each customer I serve I treat them with respect and kindness, even when they can be a bit hard to deal with. I know how much I am loved and if I can spread that love to others then that gives me joy.
Sometimes I can make my life so complicated, the things that I can fill my head with that are supposed to give me purpose are so meaningless. For example, I started going to the gym about a month ago and I was fixated on was how many calories I could burn, which has been something I have been doing for years. I was fixated with calories and if I did not meet that goal then I felt inadequate and a whole load of other words. Coming into this week I have really began praying over how I view exercise and how I view myself. One of the key truths that I needed to be reminded of is that my worth is not in calories and what is more important is making my body strong and healthy. At the gym, now, I try to focus on pushing myself on doing weights and when I do cardio it is not about how fast I can go to burn calories but rather stepping it up a level so I can see how long I can go on a new setting. Demi Lovato puts it best in a quote where she states ‘don’t train to be skinny, train to be badass.’ Look after your body and just love it for what it is, that is something I am having to learn to do everyday but self-love is never easy when you live in the society that we live in today.
I truly believe that God never wanted us to live a complicated life, the things that we have allowed to fill our lives including the opinions of other people have tarnished a life that was meant to be beautiful and simple. It also stops us from living with the purpose that we were intended to, I never feel more alive than when I am loving God and through his love being able to love other people. Even if I do not have all the riches but I can live with this purpose each day, then I truly believe that I will be fulfilled. Everything else is so fleeting but love is the one thing that remains. 1 Corinthians 13:13 ‘And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.’ Life does get messy because in reality the world is a pretty dark place but where you can spread love and light, that is so important.
The mind is such powerful instrument, so much goes on up there. We must learn as individuals to control our thought spirals. It is not an easy thing to do but with time and with help there is always hope. Over the past few days prayer and talking has already began to help me deal with my mind and my thoughts. I have also learnt to breathe a little more and not always to run to social media, because some of the things on there, really are not helpful.
You are so loved and such a strong individual. I pray that whatever is overcoming you now, that you would be able to find help and peace. God Bless. xx