Where’s my faith?

That’s probably not the best question to ask on a late Sunday afternoon after I spent my morning in church being reminded of how God has a plan for each of our lives, but that’s the thought on my mind tonight, “Where’s my faith?”

A few people who are very near and dear to my heart have recently experienced some remarkable joys in their lives.  And, while I’m extremely happy for them, some deep emotions were stirred up in me as a result of the great things happening in their lives.  I found myself becoming angry (and possibly jealous) about the blessings and happiness that they were experiencing because it feels like God doesn’t deliver on the desires of my heart.  It feels like I continually try to live right and do good by people, yet I don’t get the things I so desperately want.  I think what made things even more upsetting for me is that the friends who were in the midst of receiving God’s blessings don’t go out of their way to help others (I might even lovingly call them selfish) and they don’t really go to church (being actively engaged in the life of the church is a dream for these folks).  In my personal opinion, their blessings weren’t and aren’t fair!  I stated to my mother, “I can completely understand how one could lose their faith in God!  How can God expect me to be faithful to Him when I’m repeatedly getting the short end of the deal!”  I know the super-holy folks in this world would probably look at me like I’m crazy, but really I’m just being honest.  My question…how can I be faithful to God, not perfect, but at least striving to be aligned with His will and His commands, yet He continually denies me the deepest desires of my heart and blesses the disobedient?  It’s not fair!

Yes, my life is nice and comfortable.  Yes, I’m in a better place than many other people, but that doesn’t diminish my anger.  That doesn’t eliminate my frustration…because trust me, I’m irritated with God!  His requirements for me continually grow, yet I don’t see changes in the areas that I would like to see changes in.  And perhaps that’s the problem…I want to see blessings in specific areas, but isn’t God still blessing me in other ways that I don’t appreciate at the moment?  Of course He is, God is faithful to me, His goodness and mercy follow me, He leads me and guides, He keeps His hand of protection on me, BUT I still at times feel like God doesn’t care about the desires of MY heart!  And that feeling sucks!  That feeling makes me not want to go to church…that feeling makes me want to go live like the “blessed” folks…that feeling makes me want to stop caring about others…that feeling makes me want to stop trying to do the right thing.  But I can’t!  Simply being in relationship with God mandates that I have to accept things as they are and allow my mustard seed faith to carry me through the challenges of this season.

Who knows…perhaps some of the blessings I’ve been praying for are just around the corner…perhaps they are just a matter of days, weeks, or months away.  But no matter how close or far, I just have to wait.  So even though my faith is wavering tonight, deep down I know that God’s got it!

 

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Yearly Reflections…

As another year comes to an end, I’m once again setting aside time for a bit of introspection.  As I get older, I find that reflecting on both the positive and negative aspects of myself helps me identify ways in which I’ll try to approach my life a bit differently in the future.  Whereas I once avoided this hard work, I now find that it helps to ensure I’m always moving in a positive direction.  So, tonight, I’m going to share part of this reflection process (I’m taking this one area at a time) as  I feel strongly that writing things out makes one more accountable, and more importantly, sharing my goals publicly surrounds me with individuals who can ensure I’m not slacking in working towards my personal goals.

I’ll start with what’s perhaps easiest area for me…fitness & nutrition!

What will I do?

What will I do?

The first things I shall acknowledge are:

1.  Innately I strongly dislike exercising,

2. I would prefer junk food over healthy food most days of the week, and,

3.  I’ve been an epic failure in the fitness and nutrition areas of my life over the past year!

The blessing is, despite my natural tendencies and failures, I recognize the importance of both exercising and healthy eating, and would sincerely like to live a healthier life in the coming weeks and year ahead.  For several months now, I’ve moaned and complained about gaining weight and additional soft layers, but feeling sorry for myself has gotten me nowhere.  As the picture so eloquently states, “The question isn’t can you, it’s WILL you?”  That said, I will do better in 2013 than I did in 2012.  I fully recognize that I MUST slow down and release the clutter that fills my mind, my life, and my space so I can focus on leading a healthier life.  I heard the question asked in a podcast this week, “What works better for you…finding an hour a day to exercise now or being dead 24 hours day a later?”  Ummm…I’ll take an hour of exercise for $100.

In 2013 (well, really I think I’ll get started now), I WILL be more intentional in planning my meals and snacks weekly, I WILL make preparing a variety fresh veggies every week a priority, and I WILL write protected gym time into my personal calendar.  I know I can become a bit obsessed with things of this nature, but I need to be obsessed…tomorrow is not promised, so I need to take care of the vessel that God gifted me with!

Until nest time…