Everyone feels sad sometimes

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It feels odd to write down, but it’s so true.  Everyone feels sad sometimes.  I don’t know why I imagine that I am the only person who feels the way I do when I go through rough patches in life.  Sometimes that sadness can seem engulfing and the scariest thing in the world to do is to address what I’m feeling.  The bible says that there is a time for weeping and a time for rejoicing.  But all I want to do is rejoice!

I’m sure that there are lots of people who feel the same way that I do.  I don’t want whatever situation I’m going through to burden others.  I don’t want other people to know that I’m experiencing pain.  And I imagine that everyone really is exactly the way they appear to be on the surface.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.

Absolutely everyone we meet in life is facing his or her own battle.  And this is all the more reason to love and to love like never before.

My mother was the first person to make me realize this.  She told me to be kindest to the people who seemed the meanest.  Because when you stopped and took time to get to know them, it’s like peeling an onion!  There are layers and layers underneath and everyone has a reason for being the way that they are.

In particular she told me there was a woman who she saw daily who seemed to hate her.  It’s so hard to love those who hate us.  The bible can vouch for this fact.  But she told me that when she learned of the pain this woman experienced in her life, she suddenly understood the bitterness.  She understood it instantly.  And her love for this woman was not in vain, now they’re actually really great friends!

The perfect biblical model for this kind of compassion is embodied in the life of Jesus.  He looked at the defects and the outcasts of the world and somehow he chose to love them.  I guess he saw us in a way that we cannot even see ourselves.  It’s funny because sometimes it’s not even people who are putting these labels and ideas on us.  We do it to ourselves.

If there is anyone like me, who is reading this, please know that you’re not alone.  Sometimes I feel so sad tears feel like tiny needles shooting from my eyeballs.  Or so angry that my veins will burst!  Or even so happy and loved that I imagine my happiness is contagious.  We are not our emotions or our temporary feelings.  Feelings change.  And we are never ever really alone, never at all.

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The art of forgiveness

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Forgiveness.  Is there anything harder to do in the entire world than to forgive someone you feel wronged by?  I sincerely doubt it.

The funny thing is that so many times, people act as though they do something amazing by forgiving others.  But in many ways, once you are able to forgive, you are the one released from all bitterness and hate.  Forgiveness is not even something that is entirely our own.  Jesus came into a corrupt, desolate and hateful world, but still forgave.  Giving up his own life to atone for the sins of people who spat and mocked him.  As Christians, this is the type of love we strive to emulate in our lives.  A type of love that is willing to forgive others because we understand that we too need forgiving.

Matthew 6:14-15

Yes, if you forgive others for their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you for your sins.  But if you don’t forgive others, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins.
The above verse explains this to us so well.  Forgiveness isn’t in our hands.  How can we refuse forgiveness to others when God forgave us so freely?  Knowing that as human beings we hold a sinful nature- that only God can help us escape.

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There have been so many times in my life, when I’ve wanted nothing more than to hold unto hate.  But there have been so many more times in my life where people have forgave me, even when there was no reason for them to do so.  No other reason than the fact that they are a child of God and when you’re really close to God- you become like him.  Silly things don’t matter and you’re able to forgive someone who seems unworthy of forgiveness.

Being on the other side of the coin, I value value forgiveness so much.  There comes a point where we need to learn to even forgive ourselves sometimes. And that can be the hardest thing of all to do.  Because realizing we are wrong is so painful to admit, especially to ourselves.

More than anything when we realize how wrong we have been, we value the gift of forgiveness so much more.

Hey there Delilah?

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I was looking through my checklist of bible passages to read when a passage about Samson appeared.  I decided to keep reading past the passage assigned and I saw something about Delilah and Samson.  I read through it and saw how unhealthy their relationship was.  She was prodding him.  She didn’t really care for him and she betrayed him.  His interests were most important.  She wanted something and that was all that mattered,
I kept looking at that passage trying to imagine myself as Samson.  I’m obviously the brolic one!  The one anointed and ordained by God, right?  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was actually like Delilah and my friends in general are Samson.  My study bible said that Delilah was never mentioned in the bible again after this passage, but she stripped Samson of his honor.  How did one person leak their poison so powerfully into another person’s life?
Sure, it was Samson’s choice!  How could he make the same mistakes over and over again?  Stupid.  Not like I’ve ever ermmm done anything like that before.  *cough*
But how many times have I been a Delilah to the people important in my life.  The best thing we could ever do in our lives is encourage people.  To love people so much that they can feel the warmth of God.  But we’re predisposed to just hate.  
Human beings feast on hurting other and I fear that one day this nature in me will really hurt me or the people close to me.  Little people talk about other people right?  And I stand by the belief that it’s okay to share feelings, but there’s a point where it crosses the line.  I think I should know how to gauge that.
I don’t want to be remembered as someone who broke other people down.  I want to build other people up.  Samson was defeated by Delilah.  But we are made strong in Christ because our weakness is perfected in him alone.
I guess the problem comes when people who are filled with the Spirit stop listening to God.  Then just as Samson, God will leave us and we will not realize it.

I hope this was interesting to you!

One word can both build and breakdown 11/365

I almost forgot to BLOG TODAY!  I can’t believe it myself!

So I was rushing to think of what I should blog about today and settled on a topic I thought had affected me a great deal in my life, and that is the power of our tongue to build and break down.

I’m currently reading  “Nineteen Minutes”, by Jodi Picoult.  The cover has a boy and girl holding hands, leading all my friends to “ohh and ahhh” asking me “so what’s THAT about?” jokingly, and it gave me a sick pleasure to say nonchalantly,”..oh THIS book, well its about a school shooting!”

I know , I KNOW!  I sound like such a horrible person but that IS what the book is about, and its actually VERY good!

One idea that stuck out the most in this book to me was the power of words, the power they had to break down people and reduce them to nothing.

I remember a while back my naive self opened up a formspring out of boredom.  I expected mean comments but I always thought of myself as a strong person, SO I never expected anything that would truly upset me.

Boy was I wrong.

Someone commented on a mistake I made 2 years back and it left me feeling horrible, as if “forgiveness” was an attribute too worthy to be attained by myself.

It broke me down.  [That may be a TAD dramatic, but you catch my drift!]  Words have this power to break people to reduce them, to hurt them.  But with the same token they can build, they can empower, they can guide and give hope to the hopeless.

I remember I was very upset one afternoon , and what seemed to make it worse was the fact that my birthday was the very next day.  I was so upset I decided I was done with giving my “100%” into everything I did.  I wanted to pack up and move and just start all over again, I wanted to be a coward.  Luckily someone’s word had the power to help me.  They sent me a facebook message and consoled me and brought me from feeling horrible, to great.

Something I only recently realized is that when people try to  bring you down, they only win when you LET them bring you down.

Today’s message is to think before you speak [ I NEED that message in my own life!].  AND that there will always be people who will hate you, even for no reason, all you have to do is be the best version of yourself that you can be and not let them hurt you!

Listen to the word of Eleanor Roosevelt “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

And remember the power of your own word in other lives!  You have the power to build or break people, its all you choice!

Proverbs 12:18

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

See you tomorrow,

Nina