Sunday, 29 November 2015

Emotional Overload!

It's been a weekend to remember but also full of changes that have left me at the end of it feeling a strange mixture of happy yet sad and just generally emotionally overwhelmed.

Something I've been thinking about amidst all of this is how emotionally drained and overloaded I tend to feel when grappling with changes or just dealing with too much at once and facing uncertianty regarding the future. Okay, a lot of it may come down to introvertedness and being a fairly sensitive person, but more recently I've been wondering how much of it actually comes down to my trust in God (or lack of it). 

You see, how can I be truly happy and content with what is happening in my life, the good and the bad, if I am constantly worrying about how things will end up and feeling the need to be totally in control of it all? How can I trust others, let alone myself, when I can't even trust that God already has my future in His hands? It's a recipe for disaster and frustration at both myself and others as well as the Lord when things don't go the way I want or when I simply can't accept how He is working in my life and the lives of others!

Don't get me wrong: it's okay to be more sensitive than the average person and to feel emotions deeply. Its okay to have crying or laughing sessions when trying to adjust to different circumstances or changes in my life. After all, there are blessings in these things too: for one thing being this way has helped me many a time to realize when others may be feeling that way too and need a bit of encouragement. But I've been learning that problems come when I let those emotions be in control and grip me, filling me with fear and a mistrust in the Lord and that He is control and holds the future in His hands. 

Reader, are you, like me in the process of growing up and struggling to emotionally adjust to changes in your life? Maybe you too want to be in control of it all and don't trust that the Lord already knows what is ahead? I don't pretend to have all the answers or even many Bible verses to share but I am reminded of my favourite one: 
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:4-7
Praying that you too are able to continue to trust in Him no matter how you feel or what your emotions tell you!

God bless!

Monday, 9 November 2015

Wisdom from Ruth Bell Graham

I saw this today on Pinterest, and thought it was pretty cute, but also with a lot of wisdom behind it!

God bless!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A Letter I Wish I Could Send to My Teenage Self

Dear Teenage Violet,

I want to write this letter to you today to reflect on who you've become but what I wish I could tell you were I able to sit beside you right now.

I wish I could tell you that now that your older self has her future all sorted out and neatly packaged. It might come as a surprise where your older self is, and that the reality is she doesn't but her life is still exciting while unexpected! At the moment, you might be both sure you have your future sorted out, and be excited at what is in store, and yet at the same time terrified at not knowing entirely what's around the corner! Well, I have news for you . . . that doesn't stop once you become an adult! If anything plans change, you change, and everything becomes even more uncertian! But don't be anxious - focus on the Lord and make Him your priority and trust Him that everything will work out for your good even if it isn't always easy. Realize that all of life is an adventure in learning to trust the Lord and that He's got you and so focus on one step at a time and trust Him with the rest.

Consider carefully once you finish your schooling what you want to do. Don't go to university and get in debt only because everyone else is, or because that's what you are being told to do by society or others. Recognise that your actions will have future consequences but at the same time don't over-think it but again trust that the Lord will help you each step of the way. Persevere with your schooling knowing that it will feel like forever but will really be over in the blink of an eye.

Don't be so focussed on finding your future spouse. Trust God with that part of your life! That day will come eventually if the Lord wills it, and while I know at the moment being of an "eligible" age feels miles away, trust me when I say that it goes so, so fast and before you know it you will be watching friends your age or even younger getting engaged, married and having babies. Rather, invest in the wonderful people the Lord has already placed in your life and take the time to develop life-long friendships. 

Trust that the Lord will bring your man along at the right time and in the right way without you needing to force it to happen. Don't obsess over how your love story will play out or the "right" way to date or court, or be so quick to judge the way you see other people date/court, rather have a humble, teachable spirit especially as you have never been there yet. Be slow to create presumptions as to how you feel this should be done and don't create unrealistic standards for a guy to meet. Expect a best friend who is perfectly imperfect, someone who is a sinner like you but whom the Lord can use to teach you so much about Himself, but recognize that this may not always look like what you expect and be prepared to let the Lord suprise you in this area! Yes, do start to think about your personal standards, as that is so, so, so important, but don't let it stand in the way of being open to let God be at work in your life in new and unexpected ways.

Focus more on grace than legalism. Remember that Christ has saved you and extend the same joy and love you have through this fact to others. Do spend time with the Lord, and allow Him to sanctify you but don't look so critically at everyone else in the process. Trust that He is with you even though He doesn't "feel" near. You've got some rough days ahead but also bright sunshiney ones, so realize that what is most important is not your circumstances but rather your relationship with the Lord. Find your ultimate fulfillment in Him, not in anything or anyone else as only He can ultimately satisfy you, you were made for a relationship with Him, so make your life all about that.

Read as many theological/Christian living/Christian autobiography books as you can now! They will have a big impact on your faith as you grow up and you will never regret it!

Sometimes its okay for you to stop trying so hard to achieve that excellence grade or an A+. Sometimes its best to be avaliable to reach out to other people, especially those who are hurting or just need a friend. Being avaliable for the Lord to use you is far, far more important than just focussing on being the best academically or at work. But don't slack off either, realise that you need a balance of both, but ultimately invest yourself in looking out for people and their spiritual wellbeing and trust that the Lord will help you with the rest.

Try to learn important life skills already and don't be stuck-in-the-mud stubborn about it! Get your drivers licence as soon as you are able and go for it! Please, please learn how to sew and cook and clean, all while you are young. You have no idea how many headaches you may have over not knowing these basic skills one day. 

Don't be so anxious that you loose the joy and peace that the Lord has given you. Never loose the joy - this doesn't always look like a smiling face, but rather that deep seated peace and trust in Him.

But more than anything else, make your life all about God and bringing Him glory no matter what you do or what choices you make. Keep spending time with Him and trust that if you have Him ahead of you, you don't need to fear but He will help you not to stray!

God bless you!


("Older" Violet in her twenties)