November 12, 2016 – Trusting God
I was raised with the Ten Commandments. Maybe my mother didn’t completely quote them as they were in the bible, but I was taught that you don’t lie, you do what your parents instruct you, you don’t cheat, you don’t purposely hurt anyone, you were to be kind and polite to everyone, you didn’t take what didn’t belong to you and so on. I trusted mother, I had no reason not to.
Not every parent is like my mother, and unfortunately sometimes good people changed, especially when they are influenced by others. Now don’t get me wrong, my mother was a good woman, but later in life, when I was nearing the end of school, her and my step father did lie to me about one thing, and I found out later that it was my step-fathers idea.
I had been baby-sitting and working an after-school job for the last year an a half, and they were taking most of my money. I was told they were putting it away for me for college. When I moved out at age of 18 I asked about the money and was told that it was used for my room and board, which meant that I was actually paying their rent each month without knowing it. I felt betrayed, I lost my trust in them, but I was young and soon forgot about it as I found work and moved into my own place.
Throughout my life, sad to say, I learned quickly that you couldn’t trust too many people. Many times I would share something private with people I thought were friends only to find that they had blabbed everything I told them. I finally got tired of being lied to and finally chose not to trust anyone. I clammed up, and wouldn’t tell anyone anything, and my circle of friends became very small, even at times zero.
When I first became a Christian I still found it hard to really trust anyone. I tried to make friends but discovered that many “church” people were not as trustworthy as I thought and many of them were “big” gossips. It was heart breaking to have these new brothers and sisters of mine come and tell me they had heard such and such from so and so and wanted to know if it was true. I can’t even count how many tried telling me tales about others and it really diminished their trust in my eyes.
It’s been many years since I had those experiences at the first church I attended. I have found that it occurs no matter where you go, because, after all, they are human and it is one of the pit falls of human nature. I just didn’t give those who gossiped any fuel for their fire.
Over the years, the Lord has shown me that there are still people who are trustworthy. I am surrounded by a few who I would trust with my life. My circle of friends has grown but through hints from God, I have been able to decide how much information I should share with some of them. Through all this, I have learned that there is one whom I can completely trust, one who will not gossip about me or tell my secrets to people who don’t need to know. That one is God and today I am thankful I have learned to trust in him.
November 13, 2016 – Courage
The dictionary defines Courage as the quality of mind and/or spirit that enables a person to face difficulties, danger and pain etc. without fear. Psychology today says there are six attributes to courage:
1. Feeling fear yet choosing to actually
2. Following your heart
3. Persevering in the face of adversity
4. Standing up for what is right
5. Facing suffering with dignity of faith
6. Expanding your horizons, letting go of the familiar
I don’t know if I would consider myself courageous but I have met a few people that I considered courageous, some who faced one crisis after another without crumbling, standing strong and standing up for what was right. There were others that suffered from debilitating diseases and physical problems, but chose to wake up and face the world each day with a smile on their face and continued doing what they could as normal as possible.
When I think also, of all the soldiers that have gone to war to protect our freedoms and to help other countries fight for theirs, of the injuries and death that they suffered, I see a picture of courageous men and women, and even more so are the ones who return home with loss of limbs and PTSD that struggle each day to live a normal life, never giving up.
In my opinion it takes a lot to be courageous and I am sure that at times in our lives we have to be even without realizing that we are. Life isn’t a promise of Utopia and there are circumstances in everyone’s life where they have to face unpleasant and sometimes dangerous situations. Today I am thankful for the courage God gives me when I need it and for all the courageous people I have been blessed to know.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
November 14, 2016 – Fear
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
We have all been afraid of different things in our lives, in fact some people live with phobias most of their lives. Fear of the dark, fear of heights, fear of failing, fear of never being loved, fear of animals, and fear of going out or being around people are just a few that I have heard of.
There were times in my life that I feared dying, I feared that I wouldn’t live long enough to raise my son, talk to mom or my sisters again. Because of wrong decisions in my life, getting involved with the wrong person / people, there were times that I feared I would not live to see the next day, and this was normal for over 15 years of my life.
But one day God took that fear away and gave me the strength, the courage and the means to get out of that situation. I still have doubts and fears, but nothing like they used to be, and I know that I can take my fears to God. I know that he is in control and no matter how afraid I might be, he will give me peace and he will resolve whatever might be going on. Today I am thankful that I can give him all of my fears.