Two words

Life is hard. So many aspects of this existence are challenging. The day to day stuff of bills, stress at work, weeds, dishes, and laundry can all tend to weigh a person down. And then on top of all of the “little” stuff like that, there is the big stuff. Relationships, emotions, self-worth…the “Why am I here” sort of ideas that can overwhelm. It is a challenge to maintain sanity at times, much less a positive attitude and outlook.

As I sit here in the quiet if the morning, I have to be real honest with myself and face some of the messy, ugliness of life. And yet as I face it, I almost feel guilty. I feel bad for not being “stronger” of mind. I feel selfish for focusing on me and how I just don’t like some of the trials and the manner in which they inconvenience me. But if I’m going to be honest here (and really, what’s the point if I’m not) I’m really struggling with some of the “big” stuff. Some of the stuff for which I have no idea how to “solve.” But as I ponder and wrestle with them, even as I type, I already know the answer. God must be in it. God must be the source of my strength. I hear his gentle whisper…uttering the same words to me He has said often. “Let go. Let me take this from you.”

Do I really believe that He is in control? Or is that just something that sounds good when I have no solution? Am I truly convicted of the fact that there is NOTHING that my God can’t handle, fix, change, or resolve? Is it just a convenient tag line that I speak when I say “Where God guides, God provides,”?

If I really get honest, I DO trust and believe that God is in control. I do. And as I feel that comfort envelope me as I sit here this morning, I am relieved and peaceful. I don’t have to carry the burden. I don’t have to do all the heavy lifting. God’s got this. He will get me through the darkness and guide my way. I have to let him. I have to accept the reality that I may not ever know the why’s of certain situations…but that God is in the how and when. My role in all of it is to trust and obey. Trust that God is guiding, and obey when He directs me. Let him speak, and listen.

Two words….Trust and Obey. Wow. It’s really that simple…Trust and Obey.

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Authentically me

A few months back there were a series of commercials that ran, seemingly every other 30 seconds, about depression. They started out with soft, meloncholy piano music. The first line of the commercial was…”Depression hurts.” I must say that I agree. For a long time (decades) I think I was in denial that I suffered from this ugly disease. I blamed hormones, post pardom, relationship issues, seasons, and anything and everything else I could think of. I’m not sure that I used to even believe that depression was a “real” disease. I thought that it was just me that felt the way I felt…like it was all in my head…and I just wasn’t “right.” My understanding and acceptance of this dreaded disease have changed and after a lot of reading about conversations with others, I know that I do indeed suffer from depression. Continue reading

Why worry?

Today I am feeling a bit guilty. I feel guilty for letting myself get caught up and run down by my “problems.” Guilty for worrying about stuff that really just doesn’t matter. Guilty for allowing the frustrations of my world cause doubt and fear. The reality is that my problems are nothing. While my daily challenges may seem like moutains, they really are insignificant in the big picture. I work with children every day who deal with more than I could even imagine dealing with – even as an adult – and yet they are trying to navigate their way through minefields as children. Continue reading

“I know the plans I have for you…”

The house is completely dark and quiet this morning as I sit and reflect. Recently I have been battling challenges and adversities – mostly within myself. I do my best to be a positive, happy person…but sometimes I fail miserably. Lately, this has been the case. I feel like I have been bombarded with one thing after the next just trying to with test my will, or topple me. Through the difficulties, I will have a few bright moments when I can calm myself and remind myself that God – the creator of the universe – is truly in control of my life…I just have to let Him lead. During these shining moments, I am at peace and can just let go and let God. The problem is that I don’t allow those feelings of peace last. Yes…I’m a control freak…not only do I feel the need to control the moment…I’d be happy if I could control the next – say 20 years. And yet I know that each and every time I get in the way of myself and try to lead, I fail miserably, end up worried, upset and in a pretty deep state of depression. I spent a lot of time over these last few days truly listening to God and trying to just be in His presence. He wants me to count the abundance of blessings He has given me. He truly has plans for me – I just keep getting in the way. Big plans. God gave me a wonderful person to journey with…a person who loves God, loves me unconditionally, has a heart for those who are hurting, and has an amazing talent with which to share God’s message and His love. I can’t imagine my life now without Brian Suman. God knew that Brian and I would be able to do great things for Him together. God gave me a mission field of children to teach and to nurture every day. God gave me two awesome children of my own. God gave me the desire and the drive to write music that will share His good news and His love. He has chosen me – ME! – unworthy me, to minister to others through music. As I type I am humbled to see just a small number of the blessings God has covered me with. I am in awe of His love for me. I am comforted by the fact that I know He has a plan for me and for my life…and that the challenges that I face are blessings too! God is making me stronger through adversity. The sunrise is beautiful this morning…yet another gift from God. My prayer for today is that I will not dwell on the small challenges of my own life, but that I will go out today and be thankful for the abundant life God has granted me…and that I may be a blessing to someone else.

Taking the stage

Just over 6 months ago, Faith Passage played our first live show. I can still remember those feelings that accompanied that debut performance. We had only been writing music for a few months, had never played in front of an “audience”, and yet we were going for it. I remember those feelings that led up to that first song. They were feelings of fear, anxiety, self-doubt, excitement, and happiness – pretty much in that order. We did it though, and we were both so proud reaching a goal that we had set for ourselves. Tonight we are scheduled to play at Offering’s Cafe in Hamilton. We have played there many times and always have a lot of fun! As I go through my day today, I’m thinking about the show and my feelings compared to our very first show. The nerves are gone. I am no longer filled with the fear and anxiety. I think that the biggest reason for this is because we have grown in our style and our confidence and really know what to expect. I also feel like I have gotten over the self-doubt that I originally had when we would perform. I have truly come to realize and appreciate the fact that it’s NOT about us. Brian and I – Faith Passage – formed so that we could share the talents that God has given us. We love the chance to share our message and our faith and our music. We may not hit every note or every chord – but we do what we do with hearts full of God and a passion to share his love. So, no nerves or anxiety here…just excitement and happiness for the chance to meet new people and share our music.

Who moved?

So I woke up around 3:45 a.m. unable to breath, feeling the onset of a panic attack and carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I hate waking up like that. I am a worrier…its just what I do. I fight it and try earnestly to turn things over to God and let him take care of them. I try. And some days I am very good at that…and some days I am not. When I sat straight up in bed with tears of worry streaming down my face, it caught me off guard. I hadn’t had a night like this in a while. I was worrying about immediate things, things that are out of my control, things that may or may not happen in 20 years. I tossed and turned and tried to clear my mind. I tried to be rational (not an easy task at 4:00 a.m.). The harder I tried to stop worrying, the more I worried. After about an hour of exhausting my list of things to worry about, it hit me. I had been a slacker…I had not been turning things over to God. I had not been praying as often and as focused as I know I need to do. I was not feeling especially close to my God. It had been a subtle “lull” in my relationship with him. And then it hit me some more…I was the one who had changed. God is always ready to guide and lead and listen, but I was the one who had created distance. Just a small bit of space in my relationship – a lack of focus in my prayer life had caused my sense of panic and unrest. I had moved. I find a bit of comfort in that – not that I had let myself down – but that as easy as it was for me to lose my focus, it was just as easy to find my way back!