Monthly Archives: August 2014

This is not your battle…

Another installment in the Bangladesh series:

What are the things you need to surrender and entrust to Jesus?

What are the things you need from Jesus?

I am a strong independent woman. At least in this earthly world I am, but sometimes that interferes with my relationship with Jesus. I have always felt a very strong connection to St. Joan of Arc… she was a young woman, fierce and strong- willed, she was a warrior- some called her the Maid of Lorraine. She had her greatest victory in battle on June 18 1429… the battle of Patay, which was the turning point for the French in the Hundred Years War- exactly 562 years before I was born. Dates aside, I’ve always felt a piece of her spirit alongside mine… urging me on. But what if “this is not my battle, it belongs to God” (2 Chronicles 20:15)

I could take a lesson or two from Joan. No matter how strong-willed she was, she was also fiercely dependent on God. She attributed all of her victories to God and God alone. Like Joan, I need to learn to choose my battles carefully. I know that sounds like a line from someone who plays the devil’s advocate, but I’m actually referring to the battles within myself. Invisible battles… depression, anxiety, emotion-based battles. God is fighting for me, so maybe I need to drop the sword and let Him do just that… fight for me.

Musically- its kinda like Hunter Hayes song “Wanted” … one of the lines says “I wanna make you feel wanted”. Well- I want to BE wanted. And God answers that prayer/desire… by wanting me, and fighting for me.

What do I need to surrender to Jesus… well for starters, the battles I face. He can’t fight them for me if I lock him out of the room.

What do I need from Jesus? I need grace, and love. And thankfully for me…. He gives both freely.

It all comes down to trust… I used to say “I trust God, I don’t trust people”. I realized that is a bit of an oxymoron. There is a piece of God in everybody– even the strangers you meet on the street. We are all connected in some way or another, and further connected by the piece of God within us all. And a lot of the time, I was neither trusting the piece of God in people, nor was I trusting God as a Father.

Thankfully I can say that has changed…

 

“If you try to fight you will fail. God will fight for you, and it might hurt but He will always win.”

“How you react defines you, it is a test of character.”

sometimes I feel a little conflicted about this second statement. A lot of the time I feel like if I run away, then I’m a coward. But if I trust in God to fight my battles for me, that means in the fight or flight model… flight. Am I a coward for trusting God? I don’t think so- I think sometimes letting someone else fight for you, and turning your back on the battle can be the bravest thing possible.

Sometimes, I’m not gonna deny, turning your back is the act of a coward… but even if it was- one act of cowardice, or half a dozen, or a million don’t define your life– it makes you human.

Grief

There is a lot people say about grief.

People say that everyone experiences it differently. Some say its all in your head. Some experience it prematurely, preparing themselves, and then nothing happens- or it does, and they realize there was no way to prepare…

I say… grief is a confusing thing, and some of what is said isn’t helpful, in fact some of what is said is damaging. 

Some people find a hand on the shoulder or a friendly arm around their back to be comforting. I can say for one that I don’t. Some say that you need a community to help you through… I say that it can be helpful but you also need time alone. Community can be a source of distraction and that isn’t dealing with your emotions, it’s pushing them away.

When you meet a person, they become a part of your life, forever altering it’s course- whether by a little or a lot… even if you only meet them for a moment. I recently lost a friend. I knew him for far longer than a moment. He was part of my life every day from early childhood until the end of high school. We graduated elementary school together and parted slightly, going to two different high schools- we still saw each other every day waiting for the bus and around town. Then we parted a little more drastically, when we both graduated our respective high schools and moved on to our respective life paths.

He was in an ATV accident last friday, he didn’t make it. His fiance has a baby on the way- it’s a boy. 

As I was grieving, I knew as hard as I had it, his family had it so much worse. He was a huge part of my life but in the past day, as my grieving seemed to be subsiding I realized something. I realized he was a part of my past, and that while I still said hi when we were both in town and might even stop to catch up– we had parted ways about 5 years ago. Him being gone- it hurts… a lot… but moving on with my life doesn’t mean I don’t miss him, it just means that I’m not going to live in the past.

I miss him yes, but he would hate to see anybody he knew miss out on life, and I would hate myself too if I did that. I won’t ever say hi to him again, or pass him on the street- but like I said, we parted ways- and I’m going to continue down my path.

Brittany