Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hi! My name is __________, and I'm....

So I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Something that really isn't a secret at all because it's pretty evident in the pattern of my life, but nonetheless I have kept it under wraps for years and years... I'm a quitter. Terrified of failure to the point that I just seem to choke out and quit before I ever even have a chance to fail.

I've quit all sorts of wonderful things: school, relationships, jobs, etc. It's like a gross little self-sabotage trick that I pull over on myself. I've ducked out on multiple friendships to the point that I don't regard myself as a good friend whatsoever. I know, I know, you're thinking that I'm too hard on myself, but that's only because you don't know me. Really, I'm just being honest.

So now I'm in nursing school and it's tough and that grating little voice is already starting up in the back of my mind and it's saying, "Quit! Surely you don't think YOU can do this, do you??? You'll never make it! You're not smart enough or dedicated enough or whatever enough." And you know what? That voice is probably right. Actually, it is right. But quitting isn't the answer. Nope, not the answer at all.

See, for some reason I feel like I MUST have control and the minute something is too big for my hands I think that I've failed. Really that's not it at all. My hands are only so big, but what I fail to remember is that I'm not alone. Not at all!

I think that sometimes God allows really BIG things to come my way so that I can't even TRY to hold onto them and instead I'll lean into Him and let Him take the reigns. I think He's wanting me to give up some of that control and trust Him to be the controller.

Nursing school is absolutely crazy. It was a crazy idea from the beginning. It's crazy even now. And I can't do it. I can study and study and study and read and read and read, but when it comes down to it there are a million reasons why I can't possibly get through school. And sometimes I'm guilty of looking at those million reasons and maybe even adding to them. BUT there is One (reason) why this is possible. One (reason) why I can actually finish something. One (reason) that ever even made me come this direction in the first place. And if I can just focus on that One (reason), and not those million other insignificant ones, then I'll be just fine.

Hi! My name is Jessica and I'm not giving up!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thinking of a couple dear friends of mine...

Ever been sad? Guess that's a silly thing to ask really since feeling sad really just means being unhappy with something. I used to think that being sad was equivalent to not having faith. But then I've learned that isn't the case at all! Lots of times in the Bible we see accounts of people being unhappy. Unhappy with situations, unhappy with people, unhappy with themselves. Even Jesus was unhappy at times. Like hello?!?!? Remember, "Jesus wept"?

Lately I've felt unhappy. All around me, I've watched as sickness, hurt, anger, and a slew of other dealy missles perneated into the walls carefully guarding the lives of those I love. These toxic missiles have jabbed into the hearts and souls of their victims and threatened sure ruin.

And to be honest, the smoke from the hits has clouded my vision. Somehow along the way, my eyes have become focused on the crumbling stones of each wall. But thank God that He loves me so much, He sees me glaucoma and He clears up my vision!

Yes, sometimes, life is though. Being blasted by missiles is painful. Sometimes we've invited these shots by letting sin creep into our lives. Sometimes these shots are unwelcome intruders that catch us totally off guard. But for each and every one of these painful blows, our God is bigger and mightier than any attack strike.

When I was really sick, one of many scriptures that brought me comfort was John 9:3, "Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, not his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him". There was this blind guy. Sounds like he'd fallen victim to some of these uninvited missiles. But guess why? So "that the works of God should be made manifest in him"!!! I guess that's an easy one to grasp because this guy, blind from birth, was miraculously healed. Sounds like the works of God were definately manifest in him, right?

Let's look at someone totally different, and my personal favorite guy in the Bible. Let's look at Job. Here this guy was a good guy. The Bible calls him "perfect" and "upright". So Job's a good guy, minding his own business, when suddenly - he loses it all. Job loses his children, his servants, his livelihood, his health, and the stability in his marraige. I don't think there was anything left for Job to lose but his life! And as the story goes, Job still praised God and didn't turn away from Him. The Bible says that God blessed the latter years of Job's life more than the beginning. And that may be so, but still he'd lost an awful lot. He still lost his children... He still endured some really rough times... Why? So that Job's love for God was proved to be just as strong in the horrid times as in the good times. Again, it sounds to me like the works of God were manifest in Job.

You know what strikes me? In either case, it was okay to be sad. It was okay because neither lost sight of who God is. God STILL heals, whether He spits in clay and heals your blinded eyes or not. He STILL cares about you whether you lose absolutely everything or not. God is STILL God, no matter how many missiles come our way. No matter if one stone crumbles in our lives or ten stones crumble, He is STILL God.

So I said all that to ask this: Maybe I'm sad. Maybe there are situations that I'm unhappy with. So what am I going to do? The ball's in my court, you know. He's already told me who He is. He's already told me what He can do. So it's really just up to me...