Good Wednesday! It’s been a while since I’ve had even a moment to update you here, but today I am finally able to sit down and write a bit about something that has been on my heart to share for some time: Multiple Streams of […]
Here’s what they don’t tell you about eating disorders: They’re usually pretty innocent at first. An endeavour to “be healthier.” When my restrictive illness first developed when I was fifteen, I never would have considered that I might still be terrified of white flour and […]
In storybooks and seasons past, “Church” is seen as a service to attend for one boring hour on Sunday mornings in order to “keep right” with a distant God who might otherwise look sourly at us from His lofty place above.
I think, when Christian beliefs are not openly talked about, it is common to have this notion. It is common, even, for this notion to carry us through to our adulthood, as we go through the motions of “church” without ever really realizing why. Worse, while doing so because “our parents did,” or “to keep our place in Heaven.”
I am extremely open in all areas of my life about faith, and the reasons I go to church. If your notion of church-going has ever been as bleak as the one above, I would encourage you to think about the very Truth that lead me to a life surrendered to God in the first place.
It was a nagging question I had when I was nine years old.
I couldn’t stop thinking about death.
If I could somehow transport myself 100 years in the future, I thought, I would be dead. And life would go on. So there is no way the purpose of this life can be about ME, or serving myself, or catering to my temporary lusts. There is more.
My 21-year-old brain has definitely filled in some loftier language here, but you get the idea.
This thought led to a long season of entrenched soul-searching, at the end of which I was wholly convinced that Jesus Christ was the purpose of my life, of all lives, and that eternity with Him, for HIS glory and not my own, was a prize worth knowing. Meeting Him myself and falling in love with Him; His perfect, selfless way of loving; His beauty; His servanthood and godliness; His non-judgement and His Words; His lovingkindness, patience; then, understanding His wrath, and how deserving I am of it, but that it’s only Jesus that could save my soul… understanding my soul’s NEED for saving… it was this “fear of the Lord that was the beginning of all wisdom,” as the Proverb says.
Wisdom, that led to joy that wasn’t fleeting, but eternal.
And so, my friend, church isn’t an hour on a Sunday morning to sing songs about a foreign being. It’s a supplement to a LIFE that we’re called to in FULL SUBMISSION to the God who created us, who died for each one of us, and who we will all meet face to face one day. Who says He gives His Spirit in full to those who believe and ask Him.
It is my belief in these things that causes me to live moment by moment in grasping, anguishing need for my Father God. For every ounce of purpose, Life, wisdom, strength, and compassion.
Are you searching for purpose? What questions do you have? How have your views of what “church” is shaped your views of God? How might you go about finding the actual facts about these things, in order to live a life that is more aligned with the Truth?
…I have learned that I struggle. I know that God knows that I love a good story. A self-titled (and, now, professionally titled) writer since I was eight years old, I see everything in life in stories. A good storyline complete with metaphors and compelling […]
Jesus really doesn’t ask for much. Well, yes, when we follow Him we surrender our lives from purpose for dead and meaningless, withering worldly things to the eternal purpose of Jesus’ glorification, and this may certainly be seen as “much” if we don’t know Jesus […]
The first time I met Angie Smith was in the middle of the first service I attended at C3KW.
I was crying during worship, and she calmly and confidently tapped my shoulder and asked if she could pray for me. I didn’t quite know how to get the words out for what I knew I needed God’s help and guidance in, but somehow, I did. And then Angie, through the Holy Spirit, took over, and prayed for me. Since then, I have been continuously inspired by the love and kindness and joy of this precious woman, day in and day out, despite her struggle with a chronic illness. Angie aims to live in full submission to Jesus Christ, and that is evident in the person she is. That is why I was so excited when Angie sent me the following prose to edit, and then gave me permission to share it here. I hope it is as encouraging to you as it was to me.
Find Angie’s uplifting Instagram here.
You know those moments when you are getting to the end of your rope? It starts with the list of things you need to figure out becoming overwhelming. The small decisions suddenly seem life-defining. On their own, these decisions seems manageable, but when three decisions become ten all within a limited time frame, they no longer seem small. The weight of it feels suffocating until you get to the point you just shut down. That fear and worry turn to exhaustion and apathy. You become too numb to care. Your motivation is lost. The apathy slowly shifts from having the feeling of not caring to having nothing left to give even if you wanted to. When you start to experience this, it’s easy to stay here as you compare what used to be or what other people are doing. You question if it is normal. If it is your fault. Are you being lazy? Would this be different if you changed your life trajectory? Maybe if you were truly excited & passionate about what you do, you wouldn’t feel this way. Were the hopes and plans you had just a mirage formed in the whirlwind of excitement and emotion? Are your ideas for your life realistic, or will this always be your reality? Are you dishonoring God by not having that joy and gratitude? Maybe if you worked harder and were determined enough then you wouldn’t crash. Maybe you thought too highly of yourself and what you could do, and you created the very situation you feared. In reality, the more “determined” you are not to crash happen, the more you are only perpetuating & prolonging it. Your determination becomes a way of coping; a distraction from facing and dealing with the reality ahead of you. When we reach this place, it’s easy to be aware of the obvious manifestations that impact our day to day, such as fatigue, apathy, & fear. But there is an aspect to this that creeps up that is buried within each of these things & becomes ever more prevelant the more we push ourselves. That is, our sense of worth. What you bring to each day, your friends’ lives, & community. What are parts of your personality that you bring to the world? What do you contribute? The problem with these statements while in this mindset is the negative tone in which we view each of these questions. It’s easy to allow what people say of you to work its way into becoming your identifier. When we get to this point of apathy & exhaustion, it becomes easy to view through the lens of “do not.” What i am lacking. How I am not the same as I was. How I do not have the same passion. How I do not have anything to give. How I am not living for God the way I want to be. How I do not have the same joy or energy. How my way of thinking & processing is hindered and lost. The ironic part of all of this is that it is only once you’ve truly felt you have nothing to give that you realize how much God does give. His grace abundant. His Spirit working. His love in you. His hope as your foundation. His words. His wisdom. His strength. Though guilt & lies of not being enough can linger, there is such a quiet beauty about feeling empty yet grounded. Empty of yourself. Stripped of everything that made you feel like yourself. Every motivation that you attributed to who you were. And instead it is replaced with this wave of humility. Humility and awe! Not empty humility that builds on worthlessness, but full humility out of awe of who God is & who I am in relation to God. That I am truly empty of everything I thought made me me, but how amazing that is, because I get the honor of being a “vessel” for God. That it is His Spirit, His doing, and by His grace! Humility, because as much as you don’t think you view your worth through what you bring/what you do, it slowly creeps through, lurking behind affirmations. Compliments or comments on who you are, how you influence the lives of the people around you. What started out as encouraging, your mind has twisted it; deceiving you into thinking that you are only noticed when you do those things. That you know have to keep up this expectation of how you think people see you. Even if it is genuinely you, there is a pressure & obligation to be that when you are around those people. Because that is what they get from you. You become trapped in the identity of expectation and you didn’t even realize you were there. That is until it all got stripped away.
Although humility can be tough, to see God’s grace in how He humbles us leaves me not with feelings of anger or hurt but true breathless wonder & awe of His character and love. That He humbles to show where we are putting our worth, our idols, and identity and trust & how easily they fall. Everything you held on to and thought made you you is gone. Empty. Yet He remains! And you realize what you thought made you “you” was only because of God’s Spirit, and further more in that emptiness it can only be God working in & through you. He gives a new depth of understanding of what it means to die to our self. He gives a new understanding of what it means for your life to be for God, and not you. He gives a new understanding about how to wait on Him to provide, and acting only as His Spirit acts through you.
This past Wednesday, May 22nd, I embarked upon a journey that changed my life, and that I will never forget. This time last year, my dear friend and pastor, Nat, came home from a mystery excursion to the Muskokas raving about his experience, and telling […]
My Sweet, special sister,
18 never looked so beautiful.
My sweet pea, you have such a fiercely loving heart. You have always had this beautiful compassion for people that translates to the way you interact with people.
I have watched you feel so deeply and love so boldly, and I love watching you blossom.
Since the first time I saw you dance– really dance– about 3 years ago, I knew you were a shining star. Remember that fame has nothing to do with the gifts God has blessed you with. He’s going to use them whether your name is known or not. That has no bearing on the beautiful talents you have. I will always be your fan, and I will always cheer on your passions.
And your voice. Your speaking voice brings joy and smiles to so many faces, and your singing voice carries such depth and pure talent no one can deny. I am so proud of all of your hard work, determination, and persistence to do what you feel called to do.
Keep seeking that calling, and rest in the fact that you are so loved, so precious, and so called. I am forever your big sister, which is forever one of my favourite parts of who I get to be. Not because I’m a big sister– but because my little sister is one of the coolest people I’ve ever known.
I love love love you with all my heart. You are in my prayers always.
Check out my amazing sister’s music!