Alive Again

ImageI’ve always loved being a Confirmation peer, but I don’t think I ever realized just how much it matters to me.  I really do think that leading people to Jesus and faith is the greatest joy in my life.  Right now, I’m so at peace, my heart physically aches, if that’s even possible.  Do you ever have moments in your faith when you’re just so incredibly taken by otherworldly joy that your whole being aches for more?  I haven’t had a moment like that in a while—until now.  Lately, faith has been a struggle to some extent.  I’ve been so surrounded by cynicism and bitterness and despair, it seems.  So many mixed feelings about my own inadequacy, my guilt, the burden of feeling like nobody’s on my side and I’m fighting an internal faith battle alone.

 

This past year, I think, I’ve been a little lost.  I stopped going to youth group stuff because I was busy or tired or couldn’t get a ride.  I couldn’t go on the Confirmation retreat in September, and I’ve been so worried about my sister and her apparent disinterest in faith.  But last night, I went to a retreat lock-in for Confirmation peers, and for the first time in months, I felt at peace.  I love the people in my church family, I love how close we are, I love the acceptance, I love the giggling and goofing off, I love how dedicated we are, and most of all, I love—with my whole heart, I love it!—seeing and feeling and experiencing God shaping each one of us in beautiful ways.  In my experiences as a Confirmation candidate and later as a peer, I’ve seen so many iceberg hearts just melt, so much bitterness fall in surrender to His love for us.  In my almost-eighteen years, I’ve never known anything nearly as incredible as being a part of that love and sharing it with others.  Lately, I’ve just forgotten that part of me, I guess.  I’ve been mixed up about what I want to do with my life, but last night reminded me that He knows just where I belong.  I feel so called to actively melt hearts and change people through Jesus’s love.  I’m praying that I don’t lose my way again.

 

Thank You, Lord, for everything.  Captivate my heart and lead me to You.

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a hard bargain.

Something I need to remember.

There's a Spirit

The further I get into life, the more I’m becoming aware that if a guy doesn’t have a heart for God, he’s going to have a difficult time feeling at rest in mine. I don’t think I’m the only one that struggles with this. I don’t think I’m the only one that finds themselves settling for guys that may not have what I would consider to be the most desirable relationship with God. Maybe they’re Christian but not practicing. Maybe the whole following Christ thing just isn’t in the cards for them right now. Maybe they aren’t on the best of terms with God at the moment. More often than not, I find those guys holding an important position in my life. A position that I ultimately want to be held by a man who is actively pursuing the heart of Christ just as much as they are mine. And…

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Why do so many Christians fail the “practice what you preach” standard?

Lovely.

altruistico

Christians have often heard the accusation that they don’t “practice what they preach.” There are several reasons why Christians do not practice what they preach or at least appear to others to not be practicing what they preach.

First, not all who profess to be Christians really belong to Christ. Jesus warned in His parable of the wheat and the tares that there would be false believers in the world, sown by the enemy Satan, whose aim is to cripple the testimony of Christians so that our witness to the world would be compromised. Satan tries to destroy Christ’s work by placing false believers and teachers in the world who lead many astray. One has only to look at the latest televangelist scandal to know the world is filled with professing “Christians” whose ungodly actions bring reproach on the name of Christ. In Matthew 7:22, Jesus warned that many…

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After a Long Hiatus…

ImageWell, I haven’t blogged in a long time, I know.  Things have been pretty crazy, but I’m working them out, little by little.  I’m getting better, even though it’s difficult and I sometimes resist the changes.  The thing is, in November, on my senior retreat, I told my whole senior class about my eating disorder.  I’d never told anyone before, except the priest in the confessional, so I don’t entirely know what, if not Jesus, moved me to speak up about it.  So, yeah, my mom found out about my bulimia, which was scary and confusing, but somehow it ended up okay.  My school was understanding and helpful, and they were prepared to be flexible as I received treatment.  On November 20, I started the day program at the #1 eating disorder treatment center in the country.  Twelve hours a day, seven days a week (yes, that meant missing Mass and school).  No mirrors, monitored bathroom breaks, intensive therapy, a whole personal treatment team and a super-strict meal plan.  I spent five weeks there, and yes, it was crazy and stressful and emotionally draining, but I do think it helped.

I think my attitude really did change.  When I got there, I was so consumed with self-loath and guilt.  I couldn’t even think about getting better because I was so damn focused on how horrible a person I was.  If you’ve ever felt absolute despair, you must know what that’s like.  You can’t forgive yourself for your own mistakes, and you certainly can’t bring yourself to ask for God’s forgiveness because you’re soooooo caught up in your own feelings of unworthiness.  I just had this attitude of “I don’t deserve God’s forgiveness”—and it’s interesting because I now realize that I’m not sure whether my shame came from extreme humility or extreme pride that kept me from asking for God’s mercy.  Regardless, I’ve found it.  He came to me while I cried over myself and my own unworthiness.  I’m doing my best to remember that God really, truly does love us at our very best and very worst.  It’s so important that we allow ourselves to be forgiven, that we are open to God’s saving grace and mercy.  Right now, I’m focusing on Psalm 95:

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”

No, I can’t think of any situation where this advice wouldn’t help.

– thelightiswhite ♥