I am always with you.

It has been nearly a year (middle of May 2016) since I had my first full on meltdown. When doubts filled my mind, and fear clouded my faith. For the first time in my life I was grappling with the reality of God. I knew He existed, but was He really real? It was a scary reality for me. Where was God? Did He really exist? What I have come to realize is I lost my relationship with Him. He had never moved or changed, I had.

First off, I was angry at Him. I was frustrated and hurt. If He really existed why did it feel like I couldn’t hear Him. Why did it feel as though I were more alone than anything else?

Second, fear had become so prevalent in my life, I couldn’t seem to find peace in Him. I didn’t know how to find Him. I had pushed Him away. I didn’t know how to respond or talk to Him.

Finding God again has been quite a journey. I still find myself doubting He exists, but I am learning more and more as my passions come back that for what I was created to do in life, He has to exist.

For the first time in a long time last week I had one of those beautiful moments. I sat on my bed in my room with my journal on my lap and my worship music blasting in my ears from my headphones. Music speaks volume’s to me, especially passionate worship music. It was a surreal beautiful moment of truth for me. I felt the very essence of my being come to life again. The realness of the Lord penetrated my heart in such a soft and calm way. I felt satisfied. Dreams started flooding my heart and mind again. I could see beyond my current circumstance. I had also decided to open and read my devotional, of which one of the phrases spoke to me. It read, “I am always with you, so you have no reason to be afraid.”

If we could actually visually picture Jesus standing next to us in every circumstance of everything that happens in our day, I think we would be far less worried, stressed out and fearful. I would be. Our decisions would be based on peace, love and joy. We would probably take more risks and dance out of our boring comfort zones.

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For now… I am just standing on the simple promise that He is always with me. I am learning to rebuild the relationship that I lost with Him and holding on to those small moments of refreshing inspiration and life.

In a day and age filled with so much hopelessness and fear, I think coming back to the very simplest of truths that the Father is near is something we need not forget. He is next to you. He knows what you and I are going through. He has never left. How easy is it to forget that truth? In this search, I have found days where I know there is more to life than just day to day menial tasks. There is more. Deep in the wells of my soul lies a refilling of truth and a hunger for more of Him. A more real and tangible reality beyond what I can see or feel. It’s heavenly and pure. It almost seems impossibly real. It’s the journey of getting to know the Father and trusting His promises.

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“Lord, You know all my desires and deepest longings. My tears are liquid words and You can read them all.”

This beautiful phrase is found in The Passion Translation in the book of Psalms (38:9). In the last month this passage is a great depiction of what I have been going through the last half a year. There are days when that depressed feeling becomes stronger than I can bear, and the tears don’t stop rolling down my face. There are days I don’t even realize that those emotions are there until something triggers it. I try to hold them back. But I only feel more down as the day progresses.

I was recently told by a beautiful friend to “let yourself cry.” Instead of being ashamed of it, embrace it. I heard that and thought, “Yes, that is so true.” However, when that moment happens, all I want to do is hold back. Our culture and upbringing tell us to keep it all in. They tell us that tears make you shallow, weak, incoherent or a basket case. Trying to re-wire that thought takes effort and reminders from those close to me.

In my moments of great anguish and pain, crying seems to be my source of its release. I don’t have words to describe how I feel at times, other than I know my soul isn’t doing well. The tears truly have become liquid words to me. They don’t speak, but they share in their expression the grief and hurt that lives within me. Why should I hold it all in, as it lingers and stirs more anguish than I need to carry. God created us with the ability to cry when circumstances happen, whether that be joy, pain or laughter.

The same song writer wrote in Psalm 56:8 (TPT), “You’ve kept track of all my wandering and my weeping. You’ve stored my many tears in your bottle-not one will be lost. You care about me every time I’ve cried. For it is all recorded in your book of remembrance.”

Not one tear will be lost. How is that even possible, and they’re all remembered. I don’t think in all my life I have cried quite as much as I have. Really, it isn’t a pleasurable experience. It’s a mess. Makeup I just put on, soon is all over my face. It leaves me having to wash my face to apply it all over again before I go out. The tears don’t feel as though they bring progress to my life, but I know they are healthy.

I’m not saying to follow your emotions in decisions and cry your life away. But there are seasons in life when crying is really necessary. Naturally, I am a crier, however in this season it seems to be never ending.

In my new discovery of the Father, I am having to hold on to simple truths. Sometimes, that is just holding onto the very fact that He hasn’t left me and that He cares. Many times, I’ll admit, it doesn’t “feel” that way. However, as a wise counselor once told me, “is it true or is it feeling?” God, the Father, is there beside me. He cares. That is undeniable.

He also cares for you. When the darkness feels blanketed upon you, and those moments of pain overcome you, He is there. The rains that don’t seem to cease, still have a funny way of bringing life. In the long days of grey, the sunshine becomes all the more warming and stunning. I have glimpses of those warming days, and then I fall again, but it doesn’t mean that more days of sunshine aren’t coming. I just keep having to learn to get up again.

He understands your tears. He is there beside you, and He has brought you hope: the joyful anticipation of goodness.

Spring is coming. The sun will shine. Keep pressing in.

 

 

i didn’t think it would be me.

Life has a funny way of turning things upside down, or at least what we think is upside down. Instead of moving straight ahead like what we assume, it takes twists and turns and sideways routes we never expected.

I have always thought of myself as strong. That I could easily get past what was tough and moving forward wasn’t a big deal. I have always had vision, and used that as my goal in life. I’m a dreamer. Sometimes I have needed family to pull away from the clouds so to speak so I can enjoy the moments right in front of me. I presume life is flawless and easy by nature, but yet, I fear my future.

In the last year, I have had the heaviest and toughest time of my life. I never thought of all things, depression would come to haunt me. I didn’t understand it, nor did I realize the frustration and pain that goes along with it.

When accomplishing one of my life long dreams as a child in October of 2015 (going to South Africa and Zimbabwe), I did not have a new goal in mind. Nor did I realize what things or realizations I would discover while being there. I learned I was not called to stay permanently, and that my trust was focused on a ministry (without realizing it), more than the Lord Himself.

In coming home, it did not hit me until months later that I lacked vision. I had lost my identity and felt utterly distraught. The reality of real life I had to face was here, at home in Canada. Sometimes we think that our callings involve leaving the very places we dislike or feel foreign to. But usually those are the places God has called us to, to begin with. In Christian circles, most that love their home pray the Lord doesn’t send them on missions trip overseas to a 2nd or 3rd world country. For me… it was the complete opposite. I have wanted to live life overseas and away from Canada for as long as I can remember. I have tried running away from this country many times, since my heart has loved and been fascinated by Africa for so many years. Turns out, I’m called to Canada more than I thought. However, it has been a long, hard road discovering this truth.

So in this realization, I found myself drowning in hours of tears. Completely devastated and baffled in the state I had found myself in. I knew God existed, but my faith felt demolished. All that I had loved and found fulfillment in was now just a shadow of the past. Trying to rediscover myself was a new journey.

The truth is life isn’t about achieving perfection, it’s about growing. Life brings pain, but also in that pain you discover places of great depth in yourself you didn’t know existed. Life’s breath is the experience of finding your identity in the love of the Father. There isn’t any purpose to life without Him. My very existence is unnecessary without His destiny on my life and His identity instilled within me. Living isn’t doing; but being.

In the latter 6 months or so, I have found healing. I am becoming more myself than I have felt in a long time. This is why I find myself writing again, finally. My heart longs to write and teach depth. I love the deep places of the heart and soul. I pray that as you read my posts, you would be inspired and find that you are not alone.

Find the beautiful things in life. Not perfection, but the mistakes. Your identity isn’t about trying or doing, but understanding the name that He has given you. The Lord isn’t looking for you to perfect life, but to live it in the beauty of relationship with Him.

.That we may be.