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Posts Tagged ‘Perfectionism’

Stepping Out In Faith

March 13, 2011 2 comments

Westminster AbeyThey say that in the road to recovery you have to first admit that you are powerless over whatever it is that is plaguing you or causing your life to be unmanageable. Well, I think I’m prepared to admit that, I think I already have. I’m affraid and I am/have allowed fear to dictate how I am living my life.

I struggle at times about the existence of God. Although I may doubt Him, I cannot deny him. I know that may seem strange to some people, but it’s where I’m at. One of the things that I am learning more lately as I blog and I’m in this place, is that I need to rely on Him more and more to see me through. None of this is really all that new to me in theory. We all know that we need to rely on God and to trust Him. But do we really trust God and rely on Him?

As a child growing up we went through a long peroid of time where we relied on God as a family to provide our needs. Where we prayed and believed God to supply our needs, all of them, and God provided miraculously time and time again. During that time we never lacked for anything, at least anything that I can remember. We saw signs and wonders and I had the faith of a child that faith that believed that “with God all things are possible” – Mathew 19:26. Thinking of those times stirs the “spirit man” in me. That part of me that has been lying dormant for some time now, but is reawakening.

In the last year-and-a-bit after having lost two jobs in six months I’ve heard many people say to me; “everything happens for a reason;” “don’t worry it will all work out,” “trust God, He’ll make a way.” As I begin to look back on that part of my journey I can see how God’s hand has been at play. I am beginning to believe that God has brought me to this place so that I can once again rely on Him to be my provider, to trust in Him again, to guide my steps, to bring me to that place where He wants me. At this moment, that place is here, a place where I’m dialoguing about what I’m living and what I’m going through spiritually.  I honestly believe that if it weren’t for my job losses I wouldn’t be in this place.

It’s not easy, but God never gives us more than we can handle, because when it starts to get rough and it starts to get difficult, those are the times of growth and the times where we need to press into God more to gives us the strength to see us through. Sometimes we need to broken in order to be made whole again. And although I wouldn’t say that I’m broken right now, I am at that place where I’m willing to say: “God; I need you to get me through this, I need to rely on you, trust you and seek your will for my life.”

Today is the start of a brand new day, I can’t change yesterday, I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but today I’m going to go after God. I’m going to seek Him and His will for today. Yes, I know I may stumble, yes, I’m scared out of my mind and the statements I’m making, but I know that I have to put a stake and the ground and get going.

As I was writing the last little bit I remembered how Peter had to have faith to step out of the boat to walk on water. So I went and looked up that passage in the Bible. And, it spoke to me more than just that little bit that I had remembered. In the passage Jesus walks out to meet the disciples in their boat and they are afraid.  Here’s what it says:

Jesus said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” – Matthew 14:28-31

So, basically what I got out of that is this – “Eric, if you are going to go after God, put your eyes on Him, trust in Him and don’t let the obstacles that surround you pull you down. I’ve given you the faith to believe in signs and wonders and in the miraculous, keep your eyes on me and I will see you through.”

I’m chuckling to myself right now because I had no idea where I was going when I first started blogging back in December. Isn’t it funny how God works?

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Forging Onward

January 7, 2011 5 comments

Journey OnOk, so I want to start this post by saying thanks for reading.  Knowing that people are reading and even offering words of support or comments, has actually challenged me to look deeper into myself and my faith. Not only that but I’m spending more time thinking about this blog and what I’m going to write about next.

So, the last few days I actually felt that the need to get out my bible, something that hasn’t happened in a long time, in fact I had to look in a few places before I found it. I wasn’t really sure where I was going to start when I found it. I thought maybe I’d go to one of my favourite passages of scripture and read it, maybe I’d read through my old journal entries to see what I’d written in the past. I was disappointed to find that my journal was missing. I often find it interesting to read over my old journal entries from my quiet times, if you don’t journal your quiet times I highly recommend it. It’s quite interesting to see your journey with God.

I also keep copies of some of the prophetic words that I’ve received in the past in my bible case. (I don’t know where readers will stand on prophecies and the prophetic and I don’t want to open up a debate on that.) Until a few years ago I never wrote down prophetic words that I’d received, I just never thought of doing it. Then I attended a church where they used a small cassette recorder to record personal prophecies so you could listen back to them. Today I looked at a few of these prophecies but there is one that jumped out at me. I’m not going to copy it all here but here’s just a snip it of it.

“The Lord says the enemy is so jealous about you about your skills he would want to make you trip, especially with offence. The Lord is saying be careful not to fall into offence because that’s a trap that the enemy would try to put before you on your path.”

There is more to this word but that’s not really pertinent to this post. In hind sight I can look back on this and say that I didn’t heed this word. I know that I’ve taken on offense, some of it “justified”, some of it mine, some of it others. As I write this I wonder if I have missed out on the “good” parts of this word? Or if I was meant to find this word at this time to ensure that I broke the pattern in order to see the fulfillment of the rest of this word? I don’t know that anyone has the answer, but I now have the knowledge and have to make the decision as to what I’m going to do with it.

I don’t know what I’m going to do. I wish I could tell you that I‘m going to make a drastic change and transformation, but realistically, that’s not me. I need to noodle things around in my head and then work things out in my “heart” first. I want to know that whatever decision I come to, that I done it because of my own conviction and belief then because of someone else’s or blindly because it’s the “right” thing to do.

Honestly I think the next step for me is to start getting back into relationship with God on my own. Work things out with Him. Get back to a place where I am comfortable communing with God one-on-one and then work on corporate/group worship. I don’t know how long that will take, but it’s what I feel is the right thing to do right now.

Church… Not Right Now Thanks

January 3, 2011 7 comments

Having grown up in the church I’m still often surrounded by Christians. Some have known me for years and have seen me “minister” in the church and others who have only known the person that is writing this blog. For the most part it doesn’t seem to matter who they are, if they are Christians they don’t seem to understand why I’m not going to church or involved in the church.  Some want to know my reasons and what has caused me to “write-off” God and the church. I want to stress that I haven’t written God off or the church for that fact. I still think that I believe in God, just not sure I completely get the “Christian God”. (Note, that I put that in quotes because I don’t want to offend people, so please just move on and keep reading this post and posts to come, and maybe you’ll understand me better.)

I guess there are a number of reasons that I’m not in “church” right now. One of the main reasons is that over the years the church and its members have been the cause of great hurt and pain in my life, Pastors and layman alike. Yes, I know that they are just human being and that they aren’t perfect, but it just gets repetitive. I think that at this stage there is significant scar tissue around my “soul” and I’m just not ready to get back in and have it cut open again. Now, normally at this point is where the good Christian will tell me that I need to let go forgive and get back in there so God can heal the hurt and take away the scar tissue and I can be made whole. My response to that, “been there, done that, got my t-shirt signed and oh yeah, it happened again.” How’s that saying go “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” I’ll admit it, I’m a wounded person, but aren’t we all in some way or another? I guess I’m just sick and tired of being wounded, getting better and being wounded again.

They say hurt people hurt others out of their own hurt. Well, I hope that I haven’t hurt anyone in the church in my day although I’m sure I have. I do know that at this point in my journey that whenever I do step foot into a church I become someone who I don’t necessarily like. I become judgemental (how’s that for honesty). I judge people and I look at them and scrutinize the way they worship and pray. I wonder to myself how much of what they are doing is real and how much of it is for show. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t want to judge people and be so pessimistic, but it’s where I’m at right now. I know that according to scripture I’m not supposed to judge others and so for me in some way I feel it is better to abstain then to get involved.

Not sure if it’s conviction, guilt, my own perfectionism but when I’m in church I just feel like crap. There’s no other way to put it. (trust me I struggled to finish that sentence for a few minutes) I sit in that pew or stand during worship and just don’t want to be there. I know that I’ll never be perfect, but right now the last thing I want to do is to go to church to feel that way, I can feel that way all by myself without entering a church.

Someone asked me after my last post “How has this affected my relationship with God? Positively and negatively”. Well obviously not being active in the church can make you feel more distant from God at times and even question whether He is still there and whether or not He still uses you. And although I’m questioning a lot about God and Christianity I believe that God still does use me.

Do I know if I died tonight where I’d spent eternity because of where I’m at in this journey? The answer. No, I don’t, but then again do you? No you don’t, it’s all based on faith and a belief in the Bible, none of us really knows until we die. I think what has been most impacted in my journey is my relationship with other Christians simply because many of them don’t understand me or where I’m a coming from. They want to save me and get me back on track and serving the Lord with all my heart and most of all “get over it.” I tend to stay away from those people, because for the most part there’s nothing they can say that I haven’t already heard and I need to work this out to get to the other side. I know that God knows who I am, where I am at and understands what I’m going through on this journey. He knows what is on the other side and He knows what the future holds and He will judge me in the end. 

As I mentioned in my last post this blog is probably more for me than it will be for others, but knowing that people have/are reading helps me dialogue more. If you are a Christian reading this and your first instinct is to pray for me, I understand that need; please feel free to do so. Believe it or not I appreciate the gesture. Please comment and ask questions, my goal is to be as transparent and as real as possible here and your questions my answering them helps me think things through.