Replacing Fear (Or Trying To)

*I was debating whether or not I should write this post. I already wrote over 10 posts where I talk about my issues. I complain so much. But that’s the point of this blog- that I can talk about my life so that others don’t feel like they’re the only ones. There’s always someone who has gone through something similar. Here we go.

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This week has been pretty difficult so far, and I’m ready for the week to be over. It was so good a few days ago; I even blogged about it! I don’t understand how it could flip so quickly. I can’t even pinpoint why this week was so bad. I got the feeling like I was bothering everybody who talked to me over the last few days. I feel like everyone perceives me in a harsh light. I’m in a constant state of freaking out about the future. I’m in this really weird & terrifying position where I need to move, but when I want to move, I can’t budge. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. What will become of my life, or of me?

I was reading Zechariah this evening & I wanted to share a passage from chapter 3.

“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?” 

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 

The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.” Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.”

So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.” – from Zechariah 3:1-5

God rebuked Satan because Joshua was a “brand plucked from the fire”; implying the idea that he was saved from complete destruction.

I might have had a bad week so far, but that doesn’t determine my life. And although I’m not promised an easy life because I have Jesus, I’m promised His Spirit because He said He wouldn’t leave. He has me, therefore I need to give into peace & bravery, not fear & anxiety. It’s never easy, because I struggle with this almost daily, but I’m still learning to keep leaning on Jesus- He’s the only one who will get me through the day.

This week’s just been hard on me, mentally. Maybe I just need to chill out. I hope it gets better. If you read this, I hope you have a good day tomorrow.

The 4 C’s of Friendship

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This week was great. I had something to look forward to almost every day! Monday, I had dinner with someone I deeply care about and we watched a Shrek movie. On Tuesday, I had coffee with my best friend & we talked about tv shows, worship (always love talking worship with them), music we’re currently loving, and the weekend to come. Thursday was worship night & I led alongside my best friend, and it was beautiful. Everyone’s voices together made the most lovely sounds I’ve ever heard! On Saturday, I went thrift shopping & got coffee with my best friend, and then we went to church. Again, we led worship with all our friends. Mix some vulnerable conversations & forgiveness in there and you’ve got the best Saturday. On Sunday, I woke up early & met up with a friend. Buying coffee for people is one of my favorite things, when I can afford it. Then we went to church, where we worshiped some more.

I swear, the weekend is fueled by company & coffee. I was thinking about this weekend & why I loved it so much. I came up with 4: Community, Conversation, Company, and Coffee. Let’s talk about these points, shall we?

Community: This is a favorite word in my circle of friends. We value this concept. From my knowledge, we’ve all experienced isolation. It’s disheartening & lonely. I remember in high school, I saw someone sitting alone at the cafeteria, and it hurt me; I knew what it was like to be alone. I went over to them, and asked if I could join them, & I had made a friend just then. We can learn so much from each other when we’re together. It broadens our minds. There’s a joy in just being together & my friends and I are always learning this. My friends bless me deeply & I’d like to think I bless them as well.

Conversation: I really enjoy talking to my friends; we always have encouragement & a helpful word to offer. We need to constantly be in conversation with one another- how else will we be able know the other is doing? And with conversation & communication comes with vulnerability & honesty. Putting all our feelings out on the table is hard sometimes. But here’s the thing about community: we need to support each other- nobody can be left in the dark. Even if someone hurt your feelings, we have to say something. Only then can we give forgiveness & things can be fixed. I’m learning this, and it really is harder than I thought. I don’t like confrontation of any kind, because the thought of potentially hurting a friend’s feelings or making things weird, makes me feel awful. Sometimes I just need a push. Friends don’t want to hurt me,in fact, they love me, so it’s best to speak up when they do.

Company: This goes hand in hand with the point I made on community. Isolation is a slow killer, and ruins the soul. I think communicating when we are going through a tough time is very important, because we can’t push our struggles to the side. But reaching out when we know someone’s in need of it really helps. Being together is important & strengthens the friendship itself. All we really need is someone to help us carry our burden.

“Bear on another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” -Galatians 6:2

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you are also doing.”       -1 Thessalonians 5:11

In carrying each other’s burdens, we are showing an example of love. And I love my friends. They mean a great deal to me, and I’m pretty confident to say that I would die for them if I had to. They’re incredible & precious people, with so much potential to be even more incredible, and I can’t wait to see how they are shaped. But I digress. Being alone can hurt us when we’re struggling, so we need to reach out to others, & ask others to reach out to us.

Coffee: I don’t know how many cups of coffee I’ve consumed throughout the week, but the majority have been consumed with the company of people I love fiercely. I love meeting friends for coffee- it adds to the warmth that they already emit. It embodies the community & conversation that I’ve talked about already. I love asking or receiving the question, “Wanna go get coffee?” because you know that some intense stuff will be going down at some point. It’s just nice to be with people, you know? I also just love coffee & I know lots of my friends do too. It’s a bonding experience.

I’m gonna gush about my friends because I feel like I don’t do it enough. They fill me with so much warmth & they’re incredibly wholesome. I’m so thankful that they open my mind & encourage me to open up to them. My friends give me so much joy, and I really love being with them. They’re the best, truly. I can’t explain it (I’m welling up with happiness as I type- they overwhelm me sometimes, and it’s the best).

I hope you get to pour into your friends with all the intention you have, and that you become closer as a community together.

Something Is Lacking

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I decided to post something that I had previously shared with the girls in my bible study. I hope that you either find that you’re not alone, or that your struggles aren’t alien to others.

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”

// psalm 94:19 //

 
I’m a total worrywart. I really enjoy being positive, and I strive to be as joyful & positive as I can be around others, but a lot of the time, I can’t help it. Here’s an example of some things that can go on in my head: “What can go wrong this time?” “Let’s think of the worst possible outcome.” “This is what’s wrong with me.” “I’m going to worry myself to sleep because that’s seemingly all I’m good at anymore.”
 

I can be a total downer sometimes, and it’s truly awful. I often forget about the goodness of God in times like this & because I forget, I’m prone to worry, & it leads to a lack of trust in my God.

 
Why is it so hard for me to trust him? Is it because I don’t want to give up being in control of the things that happen around me? That’s probably the answer, to be completely honest. I wish it wasn’t the answer though.
 
But when I go to God & explain to him my worries, most of the time I’m met with that very consolation that the bible talks about, and it does indeed bring my soul joy, because the One who knows ALL THINGS, is telling me not to worry. He replaces my worry with unexplainable happiness. It’s incredible, the ways in which He helps us when we go to Him & ask. I should do that more- it’s refreshing, trusting God. It’s like a breath of fresh air.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been talking about prayer with my bible study  group. And although I write down a lot of my prayers, my vocal prayers are lacking. I know there’s power in prayer when I actually speak, and it’s very easy for me to do it in a group. It’s difficult for me to pray out loud when I’m alone, and I don’t know why. It could be because it’s just me & God. It’s a very vulnerable feeling, exposing your deepest thoughts with the Creator of your soul. I shouldn’t be hesitant to open up on a daily basis, because I need that community with God. I’m keeping myself from something wonderful if I don’t do it. I know it helps me trust Him, the more I talk to Him. I’m trying to fix it, because there comes a point where I begin to miss talking to God, and that time is now.