It truly is amazing how God works in our lives. The more I try and focus on the blessings and a positive outlook on life, the more I realize how uncliche I can think about God's love. Hearing wishful thinking from others while going through painful circumstances can sometimes just get right under our skin. We put God in a wishful sort of box, sometimes, when we aren't sure how He can really work in a person's desperate situation.
I want to clarify this confusion. God is not wishful thinking, he is true hope. A destination that can be reached and not dreamt about. He can give us visual cues to His passion for us. We can physically see His leading and determination to get us Home. In saying this I want to invite you to read the rest of my story. If you stop here at the end of this paragraph let me leave you with this... God gave you a brain and a talent to use. Don't let the devil and our sinful natures think we are any less.
The small trials that I have experienced have for a long time really nagged on my personality, character, and thought processes. Like a weight dagging behind you from a chain connected to both legs. Others would tell me that the trials weren't that big and that it would be better on the flip side, but I just couldn't get myself to wrap my mind around these metaphors. I just felt downright physically drained. When the negativity starts to affect you physically, abstract thoughts just don't quite measure up or matter.
Well, after being fully pushed to the brink of my negative reality, I realized I needed to make a change. No one else could tell me to do it. No one else would have been able to give me the drive to wake up and *BAM* have a plan. I gave myself a physical plan for my mind. I determined to not only keep my thoughts to myself and only share important aspects with those that I knew would help me, I decided that I was going to have to say no to all the wrong thoughts. I had to physically tell myself, in my mind, "no these are wrong thoughts." Making yourself aware of the automatic urge to be negative is very eye opening and complex. It is a hard step to discover but once that moment is reached, the rest feels more conquerable.
Once I established this exercise I slowly began to have a small discovery. The more I became less negative in my own head, the more I saw beautiful things. Simple moments. Like seeing the rays of sun through the trees in the EARLY, baggy eyes of morning or hearing family laughing together about some witty banter. I began taking photographs of the positive things I experienced as much as I could. I took walks A LOT also. More and more I found these times, and less and less did I worry about what people thought of me or what I could have done wrong.
Don't get me wrong, once in a while I have moments of "doom and gloom" but they are fewer, farther between, and not as strong and over powering. This can be a discouragement sometimes, but when we realize that the progress is moving along we start to see the BIG picture. Like all those positive thinkers out there I began to forget the small picture that I used to latch onto like a leech.
Why am I explaining this situation to you? Well, honestly it is because I want others that feel this sense of "doom and gloom" in life to know that there is a physical way to get to where we can see God and His goodness. Those blessings that I began to discover were all from Him and it showed me that I have nothing to be afraid of. It showed me that God is REAL. After reading His words and comparing it with the things that people do for others (that makes us feel good inside), I could see Him. I see Him even in those that don't even acknowledge Him.
The devil wants to distract us from this discovery. He wants us to ignore God's character written all over the world and pay more attention to ourselves and our shortcomings. He wants us to see the disaster, pain, ridicule, supersitition, and fears so that we miss out on what really brings us joy. His voice will tell you that you aren't enough, that you just can't get it together, and that there is nothing really to live for. For everyone, that voice comes at different levels of intensity. For me it was real.
Lastly I would like to point out that the skills I used to get me to a better place were not of my own. God designed my capacities and equipped me with the ability to use my stubbornness for His glory. I prayed A LOT during the time that I was coaching my soul. That determination came only from Him and His strength gave me a power that changed my life. No, it wasn't a sudden miracle. Just small simple steps that He coached me through.
He has a GREAT plan for our lives. For YOUR life. Don't let the mistakes of the past and the fears of the future stop you from noticing His great love.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. - 1 John 4:18 NLT