One thing I haven’t lost? Faith.
I don’t believe in me. I believe in a power and purpose greater than me. And this power isn’t one that protects me from feeling pain, fear, scarcity, lack and so on. It’s a power that uses the unfortunate things that happen to make me a better person.
If I listen, I’ll learn. Even if that means the bad thing that happened to me was of my own stupidity . . . and NOT the devil.
How am I here?
The hard way.
I’ve never been one to read a book or listen to sage advice and course correct. No . . . hell, no. I have to learn through skinned knees, a bruised chin and a bloody nose that if I hit my brakes and slide on the gravel the road wins. Road: 1, Bike/Brandy: 0.
So, through a series of painful, personal experiences, I’ve learned to lean on the Bible. Especially in times of trouble – aka: I thought I knew better and acted on my own, now I’m on my knees. Help me, please.
Some of my favorites?
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” Exodus 14:14
“God is greater than our hearts.” I John 3:20
And, then, there are the times when my doubt and insecurities start to scream. When the ghosts of boyfriends past start to chant, “What if he cheats?” And the ghosts of bosses past hit the hook, “What if your new boss acts inappropriately?” And friends past sing the refrain, “What if she stabs you in the back?”
I simply sing louder:
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” Mathew 6:27
“The TRUTH will set you FREE.” John 8:32
“He will BE your peace.” Micah 5:5
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted.” Psalm 34:18
Does it always work? No. My mind is a vicious beast that’s slow to taming. But, it works more than it doesn’t. And, in those times, when I spin myself up, I know who to call to bring me back down.
Would I rather skip the pain to learn to trust in a power greater than me? Absolutely. But, life doesn’t always work that way. So, I’ve failed, messed up, got up, dusted off, prayed forgiveness, began again, rinsed and repeated – because, I’m human.
Pain and difficulties will come. They always do. And, in those moments, I try to remember to let my light shine in the storm. Sometimes, that feels like I’m being Pollyanna Prissypants – but I know that being positive in times of trouble feels a lot better than despair.
I know that God is a source of love and light greater than me, greater than my problems. He is NOT a force field that prevents bad things from happening to me.
So, yes, I will forget to fill my car with gas. I will release a string of swear words that’ll blister the ears of children in 5 counties and feel guilty about it. I will forget 87 things at home and have to go back 3 times before getting on the road.
But, most of all, I WILL rejoice – or attempt to rejoice – because “Jesus replied, you don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday, you will.” John 13:7.