Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things I Learned When I Was 24

(My birthday was last Tuesday. I turned 25.)
  • Protect your heart. But not too much. If you're too protective, you'll shut out the ones who really care about you.
  • It's okay to be lonely.
  • It's okay to make mistakes. They're not the end of the world. Try your best. Apologize sincerely if you hurt someone. Most of the time people will be able to forgive your mistakes.
  • Sometimes, life hurts. 
  • You can do more than you think you can.
  • You will lose people you love. And it will hurt. Badly. And the most random things will remind you of them and send tears down your face. It's okay to cry.
  • God wants you to enjoy His creation. Get off your phone or computer and GO OUTSIDE.
25 is going to be AWESOME. I just know it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Will Allure Her, And Bring Her Into The Wilderness

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, 
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.

I've been reading the first part of the book of Hosea a lot lately. A LOT. Almost every day. God is really trying to reach me, using this specific book. 

To fill you in, if you aren't familiar with the book of Hosea, it's a story. It's the story of the prophet Hosea. God told Hosea to go marry a prostitute named Gomer. Yep. A prostitute. Someone who was destined to be unfaithful to him. 

Hosea was a living illustration of Israel's relationship with God. Israel's history was a constant running away from and going back to God. Over and over Israel would turn away from God and then repent. 

This is the story of Hosea and Gomer. Gomer would leave Hosea, then he would bring her back, then she would leave again. Over and over.

I feel as though I've been like Gomer. I've been unfaithful to God. I haven't made a relationship with him a priority. I've been going to church, but it's mostly been going through the motions for me. I forget him for work, friends, etc. 

I build walls around my heart to protect myself from the hurt I'm feeling, and I shut out God in the process. I recognize that in order for God to heal me, I'll have to hurt more. And it scares me. So I run away.

Last week or so, I picked up my Bible and read the book of Hosea for the first time in a long time. And one passage really resonated with me.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her, 
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
Hosea 2:14

The past year or more, I've been unhappy. I'm unhappy living in Branson. I'm lonely. But at the same time, God is trying desperately to reach me, to change me, to win me. 

Is this making any sense? I suppose I'm still looking for an explanation as to why I'm in Branson. I'm trying to find something I can learn from all this. I feel like I've been operating without a purpose for so long. I've been operating without God for too long.

I think this is my wilderness, this stage of life I'm in. God has led me out into the wilderness to teach me. And I'm trying desperately to listen.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goodbye, Television

I couldn't sleep last night. So what did I do? I turned on the TV.

I channel-flipped until I realized something.

The commercials.

For skin products.


Hair products.

Workout DVDs.

Diet programs.

I'm sick of it. I'm sick of it all.

I'm sick of turning on the TV and being bombarded with messages telling me that I'm not good enough.

I have too much acne. I'm too fat. My hair is too frizzy. I don't wear the right clothes. I'm not good enough.

And I believe it. Every time. Every time, I buy into the lies they're feeding me. Lies the devil wants me to believe. Lies that say God's love isn't enough, that say He didn't make me beautiful.

And I'm so damn sick of it.

Because I need to believe I'm beautiful just the way I am.

I need to believe that God's love is enough for me, that I don't need anyone else's approval.

I need to believe that I don't need to wear the right clothes, have the right hair, be skinny enough. 

I'm done. I'm so done with television. It's nothing but lies and manipulation and commercialism, and I'm done.