Thursday, April 29, 2010

Worship in Brokenness

What does it mean to worship in your brokenness? Let me first tell you what it doesn't mean. It doesn't mean to ignore, minimize, or pretend your brokenness isn't there. Worshipping in your time of hurt and pain is not another coping mechanism. It doesn't mean to put on the happy, fake christian face that so many people are used to seeing or portraying (depending on which side of the coin you are). It is not the hypocritical, cliche christian answer to dealing with life. It is something so very real and more life changing than any other solution out there.

Worshiping in the midst of your brokenness and pain is to first acknowledge the reality of what is happening; your circumstances, the feelings you're experiencing, and even the thoughts in your head need to be exposed, brought out into the light. You need to be willing to admit, first to yourself, then to the Lord, what is going on. This process of release is part of your worship. How can this be worship you ask? Easily. Our Father wants nothing more than for us to draw close to Him, and how can we get any closer than being the most vulnerable and raw possible. Whatever the reason for our brokenness, whether it is because of our sin, awful circumstances, or a hurt caused by another person, He wants to hear it from our own mouth. He wants us to share from our pour out our pain and frustration to him. This is our sacrifice to Him. The reason this sacrifice is so fragrant to Him is because once we have given it, He can then fill the space that these feelings were once occupying with His grace, mercy, love, comfort, strength and Presence. The sense of freedom that this brings can drop us to our knees with thanksgiving. Even though our circumstances might still be the same, we have less pain in our hearts, more of His Presence, more of His strength, and more of His peace.

Last night was when I experienced my freedom. With re injuring my knee a couple of months ago I entered in to my brokenness. I was 2/3 through my p90x program, eating healthy, and transforming my body. I had an outlet for my stress and was feeling really good about myself. Then, I hurt my knee...again, and it was taken from me. My thoughts of excitement quickly turned to hopelessness. I wondered what the point was for eating healthy if I couldn't exercise as well (which is ridiculous by the way). So in my misery, I chose not to worship, but to eat. I gained my pounds back, felt horrible, and very stressed. Everyday was getting worse, feeling worse, clothes getting tight, and losing my mind with stress. I had a continuous pity party, complaining that I was always being robbed of my health despite all of my efforts. And since holding onto these thoughts and feelings were taking up so much of my life, there was very little room for anything else. So last night I was done...done with my pity party. I chose worship. I chose to pour out my pain, my frustration, my heart to my Father. He listened. He comforted. He told me which scriptures to read. It changed me. My knee still hurts, but my heart doesn't. I still can't run, but I can find other ways to exercise. My clothes are still not fitting like I want, but I can still eat healthy. I have hope.

Knowing this process means that we can thank Him and worship Him even before the feelings of gratitude come. His faithfulness never changes. His love for us never changes. His desire to see us free never changes. Worshiping in our brokenness doesn't mean that life becomes perfect, it means that we are first acknowledging and trusting His holiness, and second allowing our character to become more like His.

Worshiping in our brokenness doesn't bring us happiness. It brings us joy. Happiness has to do with our circumstances. Joy is what we feel in spite of our circumstances. I don't want my circumstances to determine what I feel. Therefore, I choose to worship in my brokenness!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Unforgiveness and Fear

So many of us live in fear. It drives us, leads us, tells us what to do and what to controls our life. Whether it is fear of failure, fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, fear of what others' think of us or any other millions of fears that are possible, most often it is rooted in unforgiveness!

We live in a world of sin, pain, and suffering. Therefore we have ALL been hurt by someone. Some of us have been hurt by many. Sometimes it is the same sin or pain done by many to reinforce the logic to have the fear. Unfortunately, holding onto the fear doesn't do us any good and it doesn't bring us any justice! If you've read my last blog entry from my birthday last year, then you will get a good glimpse of how the things done to me so many years ago bred a lot of fear, and it did me NO good! It wasn't until I forgave all of those girls for the specific actions that they did to me that I was able to release my fear of rejection. My fear of what others thought of me was so gripping, my life used to look so different (and obviously, not in a good way!) But since I forgave, I have been set free!!! God's love was able to come in and fill that part of my mind and heart that unforgiveness was once taking...and where there is perfect love there is no fear!

My God is so much bigger than anything I can possibly fear! Our God is so much bigger than anything we can fear!

If you are living in any kind of fear, ask the Lord to show you where it's coming from. Is it from someone in your past that has wounded you deeply that you need to forgive? And when I say to forgive I don't just mean in general...BE SPECIFIC...that is crucial! There is often so many little hurts hiding within the huge obvious pain. To bring justice to your life is to let that person/s, and his/her actions, go and allowing freedom to rule your life! And just and FYI: forgiveness is NOT a feeling...don't wait until you feel like forgiving to actually'll never come! You must speak it out, especially when it goes against every fiber of your being, speak the words, "I forgive ________ for _______." And if there are 100 things, then speak all 100. Sometimes the release and the freedom will happen in an instant, sometimes it takes saying it over and over for days on end until you feel the freedom. BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT!!!! Forgive and be free of fear!!!