be present.

Can I take a few minutes to be real with you guys? I'm about to write straight from my heart and for those of you close to me, this may spark some concern. Don't worry...I'm not about to let out some huge secret or cry and whine to you readers. I just feel as if God is really doing a work in my life and I've been cooped up in my room (yep, still sick) for about two weeks. I'm going a little stir crazy and I need to just vent. But it's something that God is working with me on, so I don't necessarily need answers or advice. Just a place to write out some thoughts and feelings. Is that ok?

So, it all started about two and a half months ago when I began to forget where I was. Not literally, like I couldn't remember places or anything like that, but in a more generic sense. I wasn't focused on the here and now. I was not present. I wasn't thanking God for my blessings or trying to grow and fix any struggles I had. I wasn't trying to mend any broken relationships or start any new ones. I was totally and completely wrapped up in the future and my plans and what I was dreaming of for my life and myself after graduation. I even had my hairstyles planned out! Talk about trying to be in control. I wanted everything to turn out exactly like how it was mapped out in my brain; the canvas of my life needed to match what I was picturing precisely. As an artist, I know it is clear that this never happens.
And the worst part about it was that I told myself I was letting God stay in control. I was giving Him my everything. What a joke. As long as I liked how things were turning out, I was fine. This color here, that brush stroke there, but then things started to cause problems. I was hurt by those closest to me. I was unable to trust those whom I had once trusted with everything I was. It brought pain and confusion. A lot. And instead of going to God with it all, I subconsciously lied to myself and told myself that it must not be His plan if I was being hurt. So I ran. I didn't try to fix issues. I didn't think about what I could be doing wrong, just how those hurting me were at the time an inconvenience. And I hurt them. I just tried to cut them and their plans and ideas and what God possibly had wanted for me out of my life. I told myself I was doing the right thing. I tried to replace people and memories and dreams with new ones, and just ended up hurting them as well. 

And then I realized that I was the problem! I needed to truly give God my everything, let Him take control and guide me through the calm and the storm. He's never failed me, so why would He start now?? What have I been thinking? But I had already hurt people that cared about me. So I just focused on God and what He was teaching me, and still is teaching me. I am not in control of my life. Nothing is certain, only what God allows to happen will happen. And yes, this can be scary. What if there's something that I don't want or that I'm not expecting? To this I tell myself, "When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety," a quote by A.W. Tozer. My plans and dreams to get married and move to the city right after graduation might not be God's plans. My dreams of traveling and becoming an art therapist and pursuing the start of a non-profit may not be what God has in store, or His timing might be a little different than I wanted. But I need to accept that. God, my Maker, my Father, the Creator of the Universe and all things in it, the all-powerful ruler that stills speaks to my frail, selfish heart has a plan for me! What a blessing and joy to know! 
If you're one of the people that I brought confusion to or someone that I hurt, please know how truly sorry I am. I was confused and hurting and instead of doing the right thing and completely focusing on Christ, I tried again to do things my way. It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so deeply. I become bent over with grief and regret when I see that my selfish actions have hurt you, but I'm glad that I can acknowledge it and feel this pain because its a wake up call. I need to quit being so careless with other's hearts and start living with people in mind. I went from being used to getting walked all over, to just not caring and I promise you all this: I will find the middle ground! I am trusting in Christ because I know He is faithful. Psalm 73:26 says, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." So although my heart and flesh has failed time and time again, I know He will pick me back up and get me going again. He sustains us.

I'll end with this. C.S. Lewis said, "I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait." This is going to be a helpful reminder when I start to get impatient with the way that life is going. GOD IS IN CONTROL and He has things waiting far greater than any of us can ever plan or dream of. Let that excite you as you see His plan unfold, even when it's not what you're expecting. Be here and focus on the life and blessings that you have currently. Be present.


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