LSOF: The kind of post I pray I will never write…

My last post I was very transparent, and I almost second guessed a few things that I wrote, but nevertheless, I know I was meant to write it.

I was thinking the other day after writing it. I did my own personal checklist, and one thing I realized I didn’t do enough of was mention God’s Word, give scriptures and share Biblical quotes.

However, I feel like while that might have been what “ I should have done” according to maybe some, I will say God spoke something powerful to my heart:

“ Don’t write it unless you feel it.”

It’s not that I didn’t want to place scripture to that post, because I could have, but more so, its not about going through the motions and finding words to say, I said the words I was supposed to say.

I was real, and I talked about what life was like for me right now. And Jesus is in my life and going through it with me.

But the post I never want to write is one that my heart is not all about.  I never want to write words just to make the rest of the world feel like I met some sort of standard as a Christian writer.

My feeling is that there is enough in this world we try to sugarcoat to make life easier for those around us, but I’m not going to be someone who always writes, about “ Sunshine and rainbows”- and especially now, its just not where I am.

I very much believe that God is amazing and His grace is sufficient for me. I know that Jesus died for me. I know that God is a deliverer, a healer, and our Father.  I know that He sees us in our sufferings and rejoices in our victories alongside of us.

But there are times where even believing it is just not enough.

Sometimes we come to places in our lives that place us at a standstill and we say to God,

“ Didn’t we just go through this?”

Wilderness times are very real, and it is meant to strengthen us. I know that reality.

But when you are a faith-believing Christian and you know what you know, and believe as you do, and then are hit and hit with the same things…it can make someone weary, such as myself.

So at the end of the day, when I continue to watch the pain and suffering around me, I remember He is still God, and therefore there is still hope.

I’m thankful so thankful that He is still here and He is still moving.

I pray I never write a post where my reality doesn’t match up with what I’m sharing.

Advertisements

LSOF: Different Places, Similar Progress

My heart has really been given some wisdom lately when it comes to people.
We are truly all in different places in our walks.
It also occurred to me that different places in our walk didn’t mean necessarily further.

I tried to wear my Sketcher Shape-ups the other morning, and let me just say they live up to their name, ouch would be a total understatement. I only made it around the block before I just couldn’t take the pain in my calves anymore. I made it to the front door, only to be sure to throw them across the room, and off of my pitiful, and might I add, Out of shape, feet.

It made me upset with myself just a bit, because I have allowed myself to get to this state.

I have a job that has me sit down for 8 hrs a day, and I’ve been doing it now almost a year. It is an amazing job, but muscles wear down when they are not used for a long period of time.

It isn’t my job’s fault that I haven’t used my muscles forever.

I think it is similar when it comes to life situations. When things happen to us, we can’t always deal with it like any other time. Sometimes things are so heavy on our shoulders that we are just too worn out to take a moment to just see the purpose of where we are. There is alway a bigger picture.

When we first get back on our feet after being in a pit for a long period of time, it is hard.
This is why you see Pastor’s and other people in position take a break for awhile, its not that they did something wrong, and its not that they no longer want the position, its just that God has asked for some time to reflect and re-evaluate somethings. Sometimes personal, sometimes the view from our side of everything on the outside.

The pit makes you take a look at your life and see that you are in a place and you are to find the purpose from the place you stand now.

I think people have a tendency to look at those who have had rough times, and had the perception that the person just doesn’t have as much faith as they used to, but please if you are one of those people; know that it is in the rough time God makes us stronger.

I learned this walk really is about gaining wisdom, and within the places we feel we are too weak, God has made another area that is unexpected, stronger.

We are not meant to handle everything on our shoulders at once, We cannot be like Atlas, and I believe that is why there is always something weak God is working to make stronger.

We forget that in the situations we go through that we are indeed learning something essential, but it isn’t in anything anyone tells us, but what God shows us.

I am one who has had the opportunity to allow God to do some crazy things in my life, meet people, and visit some places that seem unbelievable to some, to which I actually sat down and asked someone,
” Am I the one doing this?” and the reply I got was,
” It’s too weird to be you, it has to be God.”

I’ve felt pretty inadequate on several occassions when it comes to people. I guess I always let my insecurities bully me into a corner, and many times I let them hold me there.
I’ve compared myself to those who seem better than me, or know better than me.

It was as if God held my face one day and said, ” LOOK CLOSER.”

I got to see for myself that those who appeared to have it all, they were missing more than I knew.
I got to see their insecurities, and sadly, I watched them fall apart.
It took them off the pedastal I had them on.

I’ve shared a lot about different places we find ourselves in, but something else to know is even though you find yourself where you are, we are all working with similar progress.

We are all working one step at a time, one day at a time, to accomplish our personal and professional goals.

We stop our progress when we let the insecurities in our lives get in the way. We have to just keep walking, fall a little, but learn from the bruises we receive.

We need to encourage one another more, and keep ourselves all in check with how far we’ve come.

Just because progress seems small in your eyes, it might mean the world to someone else.

The dynamic of who God created us to be is found in the moments we struggle in.

He knows we are going to question Him, He knows we are going to fall flat on our face at times…

He also knows that we will come out of everything victorious.

Pain truly is gain, whether you believe it or not.

I’ll leave you with a verse that smacked me clear in the face this week:

2 John 1:8 (NIV, 1984)
“Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.”

LSOF: Responding to God’s Will

When I moved to Savannah, I had everything in the bag. I had a place to live, a job, and a new great church.
Everything was going so well for me.

Fast-forward a few months: I am living in a completely different part of Savannah, I don’t have a job right now, but
I still have an amazing church.

The interesting part being that although I was thrown out of my comfort zone not just once moving to Georgia,
but again once I was here a few months; I still have a really good church. I still have a good group of people
that are here for me.

I like the Celine Dion song, ” Love can move mountains”, and just that particular lyric alone, because that is what it has felt
like for me being here in this new place.

Somedays I am SO worried that I’m going to run out of money before I find a job, but my group of people here, they are always the first to encourage me to just continue to trust God.

I also want to share that the group of people that I say are here, some of them don’t even live in my state!

I received an email from a friend that simply said this,
” He had allowed you to be surrounded by many to hold up your arms during this time.”

This is where I can receive people within social networking….in 5 days I actually will meet the dearest of them:)

We have to have people in our lives that will encourage us to follow God’s will…to remind us to just believe, and trust Him.

I do have an awesome church, and the people there they have definitely been so great about praying for me, and just standing at my side during a lot of rough times here.

But the thing I learned today in the message really hit me, because it also provides a word of “warning” to those who do encourage us in our lives.

It was really a word for me.

We have to stop trying to let other encourage us to do what they ” think” is God’s will for our lives. We have to stop being so impulsive, and not give God a chance to respond if we really are doing as He asks of us.

It’s easy to be swayed when you start to know people who are at different ” positions”, I have a professor, event director, An actress, a writer, a counselor, a radio dj, and two women in the church ministry who I look at their lives and think,
” Wow God, it would be awesome to be in their position.”

And for them, it is cool to be in their position. For me, or for you..it may not be what God has called you to do.

So I go back to my gifts that come most natural to me…and I find ways to use them now…and I pray to God and ask Him to reveal to me what my calling really is. I have an idea, but I think I need more confirmation from Him.

I have a heart that really cares deeply for people, I care about their situations and everything they go through on a daily basis. It breaks my heart to watch people struggle, I can’t stand to see anyone in pain.
I am able to talk to anyone pretty easily, but I am sensitive in talking to them. I love to see what makes people tick, I love to look in their eyes and see who they really are in their heart. I love to listen to people tell me stories about thier lives, every little detail is such a treasure to me. I take when someone is ill very seriously. It may be due to my mom having an illness, but regardless, you will find me on my knees praying for someone as soon as I know their is something going on with them.
I love to teach others about God’s mercy, and share with them how He made me into the person I am today.
I also sometimes feel things in my heart deeply that I have to share with someone, and I DO make sure I share it.

All these things do show my spiritual gifts, and I can recognize what they are in myself. So I know its a start, do I know where it will take me…not sure. But I do know, I have to be on the right track if I am seeking after
seeing my spiritual gifts instead of my talents.

We are here to impact the world in someway…its WHY we are here, maybe you are like me and haven’t yet found your “place”, but I want to tell you something….we are exactly where we need to be, until God’s reveals what to do next.

Again, it’s little steps of faith, its’ what its all about:)

LSOF: Rooted and Uprooted

Photobucket

I am sitting here writing this as I look out my window and view the forest. It rained and the wind blew heavily last night, so there are puddles everywhere; water has surrounded a good batch of trees.

I remember during the hurricanes in Florida. The ground would be come so saturated, and the wind would blow so hard,
that it would literally uproot the trees and they would fall to the ground.

Have you ever been uprooted?

When the roots were in the ground: life going well, great people in your life, job going well, family so close, you had a great church, or just a perfect place to go where you could ease your mind, and your focus could just be on God, and the life you were living?

When the roots could no longer hold: People you thought you trusted in your life turned their back on you, family situations became really bad, a church you attended you can no longer face, your job on the line, a child goes wayward,
and you really began to feel ” suffocated” by the deep waters around you.

I was reading the book of Job this morning. And this guy so had his share of just constant pain and anguish in his life.
He was actually considered blameless in the sight of God. And one day Satan came and asked God if he might try to prove that Job wasn’t as blameless as thought. God allowed Satan to test Job; he allowed him to test him as long as he spared his life.

Job’s family, and his servants all died in tragedies, and everything was one thing after another, and his wife saw what was going on in the beginning and told Job to curse God, but he refused.

THAT TAKES FAITH.

As I read on in Chapter 9-13 or so, it was just so interesting to me how many times his friends would tell him what their idea of how God was, and everything, but even though Job was just in so much turmoil; he still kept the truth right at his side.
He spoke up to his friends, he did defend God. I thought that was really interesting, but such a lesson to all of us as well.
And actually, his friends were just as lost as he was.
One friend was all about saying that is was because of sin that their was suffering…Job knew this wasn’t true
Another friend said it was about humility, and that if Job would accept his suffering as sin, that He would be okay,
but the issue was the Job didn’t believe his suffering was a result of sin.
And yet another friend spoke that Job didn’t have the right to complain about his suffering, because he believed traditionally
that the sin was just…that basically Job had no right to question…
That’s so wrong!

Job 14:7
” At least there is hope for a tree;
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail.
Its roots may grown old in the ground
and its stump die in the soil,
yet at the scent of the water, it will but and
put up shoots like a plant.”

but then he adds this,

Job 19:10
” He tears me down on every side until I am gone,
he uproots my hope like a tree…”

These two verses are interesting, because you can just see the fight that Job is having with God,
and he is SO confused, in one instance he believes that God will bring hope to a tree and help it flourish,
and in another he compares himself to being uprooted like a tree.

I very much believe that he speaking of himself here; his world around him, People perhaps, or things in his past.
Let me suggest to you that perhaps Job in his anguish was trying to make sure God heard him,
and also that perhaps he was trying to also make his friends just leave him be.

In any case, this story though very rough to read, it makes such a good point.

Job may have had faith in God from the beginning, but something we have to realize is that God is never done teaching us.
We all have something He wants to teach us about our lives. Especially if He sees we are in a comfort zone.

I have experienced so much since I’ve moved to Georgia.

This past week alone has been such a learning experience.
God really felt I needed to learn something.

I have been so lonely, and just didn’t have anyone here really.
I almost went out with my roommate and her friends one night, but I pulled up in the driveway
after work and sat there saying to God, ” Lord, I don’t think you want me to go there.”
Well, I was probably right. Because I would have felt uncomfortable, and would have had
to drink to be comfortable. I shouldn’t have to drink to feel comfortable around people.
Its important that while I am here in Georgia now, that my foundation is set. And that did not include going to a club until 2am.

Something you should know if you don’t. There is no set time that God says to obey Him or not obey Him, we must always obey Him. He knows we are going to mess up, but we don’t want to get ourselves so far that we are an uprooted tree.
We can knock ourselves down on our own.

We need a firm foundation to keep ourselves going.

I had to get out of the living situation I was in for many reasons.
I had been looking for a place to rent.
And then I went to bible study tuesday night; My friend Lori told me I would enjoy it.

Another girl had just started coming to the church, and in conversation just mentioned
her roommate and she were looking for a third roommate.
My mouth dropped wide open.
I was at the study for a reason that night.

Its always so interesting if you look back on the timeline and can sort of see the battle between God and Satan with our lives.
Even though I had found a place to live, stuff was still happening that wasn’t so great.

My tire was flat when I came out of work, I found out the next day that someone had gouged a hole in the sidewall.
The night after that I had planned to move some stuff over, but was really tired…and due to other reasons, I found myself
moving EVERYTHING to the new place. My pastor, a sweet lady from my women’s group, my new roommate all were moving
me to my new place. We did it in 4hrs!

My foundation wasn’t just being set in a new home that night, its been being set since I’ve moved here. God just started showing me little bits what He had planned.

If you have been following this journey it all began truly beginning of 2009 to now…and looking back, I can’t believe all that God has done.

I love my new church, I love the people, and am really connecting with quite a few of them.

I remain teachable.
We all have to.

“No Tears Passed This Gate”: kat’s poem

No Tears Passed This Gate
By: Katherine Bagocki
(Inspired by: Precious Moments)

There once was a boy names Johnny
Johnny was always sad
He always had a tear in his eye
This boy was never glad
Johnny had always been like this
Since that day
That one horrible day
When his little sister passed away.
But…

Chorus:
There’s no tears passed this gate
This gate that leads to heaven
There’s no tears passed this gate
Because His love He’s given
Everythings going to be ok
You will live eternally
There’s no tears
Passed this gate.

Sara was very happy
In this place that she was
She had everything she wanted
She had His love
She looked down at Johnny
Into his pleading eyes
So the Lord sent her down
In a disguise
To say…

Chorus again

Bridge
She looked up at Johnny
He looked down at his shoes
She reached out and took his hand
and said
“There’s nothing to lose.”
Because…

Chorus