Friday, June 3, 2011

Don't Worry; Be Happy

  Recently I've gotten involved in a bible study at the church I attended as a child called "Experiencing God". The whole idea of a bible study makes me a little wary (as do a LOT of churchy, christiany things). For one, "bible studies" usually revolve around a book that a human being wrote, and thus depend completely on the perceptions of a human being. While I admit that these perceptions can be correct and inspired by God, I've always been afraid to paticipate in a bible study, afraid of swallowing the words of a flawed human being, knowing how much faith I tend to put in the written word. I also dislike filling in blanks and answering obvious questions; I feel like I'm being spoon-fed a message. One more thing that I dislike about the idea of a bible study is the fact that I don't want to feel closer to God because of a ritual I perform; I want to be closer to Him because I'm seeking. However, lately I've been rethinking this a little bit. I think that if anything brings you closer to God, it's a good thing. It doesn't have to come about a certain way. It doesn't have to be some deep, life-transforming thing like I've expected it to be. I think anything that reminds me of God's presence in my life is worth being a part of. I also think that while I would like my spiritual experience to be more "earthy" and not as contrived as participating in a bible study seems to be, that everything happens for a reason. God is working behind the scenes all the time, even when we don't realize it. I think that God has put me in a position where I am able to take part in this bible study for a reason. I don't know of anything more earthy and real as far as spirituality goes than God putting something right in front of you, and you consequently following the steps as he puts them in front of you. All that to say that I am really enjoying this bible study. I really feel closer to God because of it, and when I do it, I feel that I am exactly where I need to be.

  I just got through the first week of the "Experiencing God" bible study, and a lot of points have been made; but the main message I have taken away from everything I've read is that faith in God is SO important. I've read story after story of famous bible characters having such low self-esteem and confidence in their own ability to accomplish great things, and God choosing them anyway. One of the verses that has become so important to me (as well as the rest of the people doing the study) is Phillipans 4: 6:

"Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Present your requests to God, and thank Him for all He has done."

  Lately, I have been SO worried and stressed. I am 20 years old. I have never had a car or a license. I am engaged to be married, and we plan to have our wedding in October. I barely have any money and have been hardly getting any hours at work. Not to mention, I start school at APU in a month and I don't know what level of academic intensity my classes are. I have been trying to assuage my worries by dreaming. I get online, browse for places to live, things to buy, wedding dresses, wedding bands, etc. I don't have the money (at the moment) for any of these things! Instead of helping, my "dreaming" and "planning" has only made my worries worse.

  For awhile now, the voice of God has been lost to me. I have not clearly "heard" Him speak for awhile now; however, for the past few days, I have clearly felt Him reaffirm this bible verse. He has asked me very specifically not to plan so far ahead. Right now, He has asked me to focus ONLY on what I can actually accomplish in the here and now, which is getting my driver's license and a car. He has asked me to catch myself worrying, and to bring each and every worry to Him. It has been hard, and I have failed to do so here and there, but for the most part I have been trying hard to trust God to provide for me, and He has. Ever since I started praying about the financial burdens I am facing, I have been asked to work shifts for others often. I have been called in to work often. I've even been offered a babysitting job, and just tonight my mom told me about the possibility of a summer job for me. I am continuing to pray for my fiance', who is working a very stressful and physically taxing job waiting tables right now, and I trust God to provide for Him as well.

  The point of this blog is just to share about the good things going on in my life, and to remind all of you that God is there, that He loves you, and that you don't have to worry about tomorrow! In another verse about worrying, Jesus states that "today has enough trouble of its own." Take His words to heart. I did, and my life has improved drastically ever since I put my future in God's hands.

  I would like to ask for prayer (and suggestions, if any of you have any) for my car. I don't need anything fancy, just something reliable. Please be praying that I would find something that meets my needs and doesn't break the bank for me! If anyone is trying to sell a car, you know who to call! =) Please pray also for my fiance'. Like I said, his job now just isn't working out for him, especially now that we're trying to get married. Please pray that God would provide him with a job that is just perfect for him and for us!

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