I know the plans I have for you

Like so many, I’ve been having a hard time of it lately.

Frustration, resentment, bitterness, anger, stress, and despair have been my intermittent companions.  I feel like the cartoon woman with the cloud that follows her around in the antidepressant commercial.

The Denver shootings followed by the outpouring of vitriol about guns and gun control along with bloodthirsty cries for vengeance.  The vilification of a fast food CEO for his response to a question setting him up for a flash-fire of opposing viewpoints expressed in ways reminiscent of schoolyard bullying, including juvenile slandering (for the sake of ratings, I’m sure). All exacerbating the standard political posturing and mud-slinging in an election year already rife with shame and blame over war, unemployment, healthcare, and poverty.

Reading the updates and posts of soul-deep beautiful, caring, loving, and already wounded people, expressing how they’ve been harassed and verbally abused by (not so) well-intentioned strangers and “loved ones” trying to save them from hell. Witnessing otherwise intelligent and reasonable people turn into unthinking zombies and attacking anyone whose beliefs and opinions differ from theirs. It’s all very disheartening.

In the midst of these things is my day to day reality of bent, broken, and damaged relationships with just about every one I care about.  Relationships which are a microcosm of the same issues described above. Most of the people I know are hurting and causing others pain.  Often, I’m afraid I’m one of them.  I don’t feel free to voice my thoughts and opinions, my needs and hurts, or my dreams and desires, because it seems there’s no one to hear them.

Then I read The Silence of God – I Am With You Always.  If you have some time, please, go read it. Otherwise, please bookmark it and go back to it when you have a chance.  It will be worth your time, I promise.

While reading it, I had a revelation. I’ve been carrying everything by myself again. Rather, I’ve been thinking, feeling and acting like I’m alone. Forgetting that in my weakness, God is strong.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. This means I can love the unlovable, forgive the unforgivable, and achieving the impossible becomes possible.

Whether or not these are “the end times” I don’t know. Honestly? I don’t care. If it happens, it happens. It is more important what happens in the here and now, today.  Am I living my life to the best of my ability? No, not yet, but I’m working on it.  Am I showing my love to people in constructive and healthy ways? Sometimes. It’s a struggle, but I’m getting there.   Am I open to experiencing love, light, and happiness or have I lived in chaos, darkness, and depression so long my senses are twisted and what feels good, seems so wrong?  Have I made room for what’s good and right or are those filters clogged and all that’s getting through is warped and wrong? (click “open” and “made room for” and you will understand what I mean) Hmmm, time to check and clean those filters, I guess.

While thinking about all of these things, I was reminded of one of God’s promises.

The people of Israel had been exiled from Jerusalem and carted off to Babylon.  Because that’s what mighty conquerors do, they displace the conquered. The religious leaders kept pumping people up and rallying them around by saying God was going to save them and take them home soon. Jeremiah, a true prophet of God, because he listened and was open to hearing God, had a different message.

He told the people to settle in, settle down, make the most of their “bad” situation, and pray for prosperity and good times for their conquerors, because they were going to be there a while, 70 years as a matter of fact.  Work with what you have, find what works and make it work harder. Benefit those around you, even if you don’t like them because it will help you out in the long run. Figure out what’s important: family, community, love.

Then he says something I found very interesting,

” . . . ‘Don’t let your prophets who are living among you and your diviners deceive you, and don’t pay attention to the dreams you urge them to dream.” Jeremiah 29:8 CJB  

Hmmm. Is it possible that we have all this dissension, conflict, and confusion over religion, end times, and such, because, we the people, on some level are encouraging it with our attitudes and actions of dissatisfaction and inability to accept that we are where we are?

11 For I know what plans I have in mind for you,’ says Adonai,‘plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. 12 When you call to me and pray to me, I will listen to you. 13 When you seek me, you will find me, provided you seek for me wholeheartedly; 14 and I will let you find me,’ says Adonai. ‘Then I will reverse your exile. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have driven you,’ says Adonai, ‘and bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.’

The difference is that He didn’t exile me, I exiled myself and He is waiting for my return.

I have been living in an exile of my own making. Inside of my mind and heart I have been living in areas that seem devoid of God’s presence.  I have been driven by fears and insecurities, false beliefs and misplaced desires, good intentions and bad practices.  God has plans for my well-being. I have a hope and a future.  When I call and pray to God, He listens.  If He is sought, He is found, but only if sought with a whole heart, meaning, I need to clean out the filters that prevent me from seeing and hearing Him.

I want to thank SaraDan, and Marc for their unknowing contributions. The biblical references are from biblegateway.com.

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23 comments

  1. Thank you for that Kina. Jer 29:11 is my favourite verse and so I saw your post and was keen to read it, but it has taken a while. 🙂 Inspite of everything I hang on to that hope and a future. I don’t know what it means and I don’t know when it is going to finally happen, but somehow I still believe that God has it under control so I don’t need to worry. Now if I could just quit worrying on my own, I’d be sorted. 🙂

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  2. Hey there! How cool to find your blog. I had no idea you were doing this. Your back-link to my blog brought me here. I’m glad you’re writing and chronicling your journey of growth. I’ll be excited to follow and see what develops. Thanks for sending your readers my way, too!

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    1. Marc,
      Thanks for coming over.
      Only a few people who know us both do know of this. I guess you can say this is my TRY. A lot of what I think about and wrestle with is informed by things I’ve read, heard, and witnessed when I “show up” where you and our mutual friends are. It’s something I’ve been hesitating to share widely for many reasons: most having to do with fear and insecurity. I figured it was time for me to join the conversation a bit more openly.
      Be well,
      Kina

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  3. Kina, I related so much to this post! I struggle with being open with those around me and with accepting help from others after years of going it alone. I struggle to lean on God as faith has always been difficult for me. This post resonated with me on so many different levels that, like my “Redefining extraordinary” post, I could go on for quite a while. Instead, let me just say that I really enjoyed reading this. And you may or may not see my own thoughts in your blog reader/email inbox/whatever in the near future. 😉

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  4. This is great! And a great lesson to be learned. I, like you have such a hard time with the world around me. It’s divisions and everything that goes with it. And I too think alot of what we are experiencing we have brought on ourselves. I’m sure good ol Satan himself is having a field day. In order to combat all this dissension we surely need to stay in the word and take up our armor and sword in our battle against Spiritual Warfare.

    I am hoping you have a most blessed day. A good reminder for us is that God is in control and we aren’t.

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  5. Beautifully written Kina…and with the events I have been reading about and seeing on the news over here…a very apt message you have forwarded. I wish you well.
    Kindest regards, Torbs!

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  6. I love the footsteps poem about there where two sets of footprints and then there was only one. That was when Jesus was carrying us during difficult times. He never leaves us we tend to wander off but he is always there.

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  7. Thanks for this post today. My life is a bit stressful right now. Among other things, I’m dealing with my mother’s illness everyday. (I was in the E..R. until 3:30 this morning) They eventually took my mom in ICU. I tend to isolate myself from others when I get so stressed out. Nor do and I eat as well as I should. Even the healthy warrior can get a little stressful sometimes. I realize that I have to take immediate steps to correct this as soon as possible.

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  8. A well thought out post with essential truths…I know how it is to exile oneself. I did it for many years. I called it “walking in darkness”. Thanks for reminding me the importance of the light.

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  9. As they so often do, your thoughts find fertile ground with me. While you’re welcome, I’m the one that needs to be doing the ‘thanking’. I wish for you all the best that’s resident inside of you already and waiting to be freed. I continue to vervantly believe that if we each bring our best, we all get there together – one by one. Peace out. Dan

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  10. Hi.. I really enjoyed reading your post. I was truly challenged and reminded that our God is big enough to deal with our problems, however big they may seem & that there truly is some method to this madness.. Take care of yourself… On a positive note, I have been so impressed and inspired by your blog that I have nominated you for the Sunshine Blog Award – See http://fmsfaith.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/my-very-first-award-sunshine-blog-award.html for details of how to accept.. Keep strong, sister!

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    1. Thank you very much. I’m glad you found me and gained something from being here. I am truly thankful for your nomination. It may take me a little while, but I will get back to you about that.
      Be well,
      Kina

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  11. An extremely well written and thought out post Kina. This is like the Kina I know and love. We all exile ourselves from life and that is the worst thing we can do to ourselves. We dont need enemies when we act like one to ourselves.

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  12. Yeah, it’s very important to keep in touch in whatever way possible with your religion, whatever it might be. I still remember clearly that when I was in rehab for the second stroke many years ago, a very kind female minister came to talk to me. She then went to great lengths to find me something that would help me connect with Nature, even in that sterile rehab center. So she got me a picture of an acorn, to have as a visual aid. It helped a great deal!

    My hugs to you; may you get through this trying time with as little extra stress as possible.

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    1. From my perspective the Divine comes to each individual in whatever way will reach through the layers of this life and this world in order to connect us all to ourselves and each other. The label we place on it, the form in which we connect, may all seem vastly different from the outside looking in. It is important that we realize that we can be on the inside looking out and the view is much more inclusive and comprehensive.

      Thank you for sharing your hugs, thoughts, and comments.
      Be well,
      Kina

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