Monday, September 30, 2013

These Times Are Hard, But They Will Pass!

First things first. There IS hope for you and you DO deserve to be successful AND happy!!!

Please believe me when I tell you I've been where you are, just different circumstances. I've felt really guilty for choices I've made and I've felt depression and anxiety over the way things have ended up when I never expected it to turn out the way it did. To mask the guilt I felt, I would overeat and be lazy over and over again. There were so many times I felt like I'd messed my life up so much that no one would ever want me, that I didn't deserve to have a life better than it ever was.


I'm serious. Satan wants nothing more than for you to continue beating yourself up and masking those emotions with food, which leads to health issues, unhappiness, and more depression. God has bigger things in store for you! The fact that you haven't given up means you're STILL MOVING FORWARD!!! You still want this and YOU CAN HAVE IT! It's YOUR dream and it will come true if you keep trying and never give up!

Things happened in your life that you didn't expect or plan for. It hurts. It's not fair. It's not how you ever wanted it to be. I know how that feels. But staying in that place will only keep you from your dreams! You have to forgive yourself for all the times you messed up, for all the things you wish you could do over. Look at those things and find out what you can learn from them for your future. How would you do it differently next time if you were faced with the same choices?
My dad's sermon at church yesterday was about refining. He explained how gold, when extracted from the earth, doesn't look anything like what we see in the jewelry stores and it's not always recognizable because of the impurities that mask its appearance. Yet, for the person searching for it, the ugliest lump of gold is of great value, and the potential for beauty is clear. Our lives are similar to those lumps of unrefined gold. God doesn't see us full of impurity (the way we see ourselves), but full of potential! He is the Refiner and we are the lumps of unrefined gold, full of impurity and full of potential beauty!
Many times we want, even expect, God to remove the junk from our lives, but that's not the refining process; not for gold and not for us. God loves us too much to leave us the way we are. To refine gold, heat must be applied to force the impurities to the surface. As the impurities rise, they're removed and more heat is applied. This process continues and continues, heat is applied and re-applied, until the gold is pure. The refiner knows the gold is pure when he looks into the gold and sees his clear reflection. (Isn't that SO COOL!?!?)
God works a similar process in us. Our lives are a process of God applying heat and exposing our weaknesses, our faults, our struggles and our impurities. Heat is hot and uncomfortable, but if we submit to the heat, each day we're transformed! The process is complete when we meet Jesus face to face and He sees His reflection in us!
So many times I'm tempted to blame myself or others for the adversity I'm facing. Yes, someone is responsible. I could beat myself up for it or hold a life-long grudge against someone else, but why would I want to rob my days of joy and happiness? Now, I remind myself that the heat I'm feeling will be applied by the Refiner of my soul and that heat has a specific purpose, it will get me where I want to be! Health, parenting, finances, relationships, my job, my dreams... God is working in EVERY area of our lives. He's not cruel and He hasn't left you. He's very much alive and He values you and loves you, even when you don't love yourself.
I totally get it. I know this journey is hard. I'm trying my best not to invite hard times into my life, but to find ways to embrace them when they do come. It's really difficult to do sometimes, but I keep surrounding myself with positive things, positive people, anything good! I've been shutting out so much toxic negativity from my life, including people. And some of them haven't liked it. Others may not have noticeds. Some have started to come around and are changing for the good along side me! But I refuse to allow anyone to rob me of my joy or delay my dreams! It's what I must do to overcome. 
YOU CAN DO THIS! Believe in yourself, take it easy on yourself, and don't speak negative things into your life! In the past we were self-sabotogers, but we are BREAKING THAT HABIT! That's the old us, we are SO MUCH BETTER NOW! WE CAN DO THIS!