by Kasia Kedzia
Sometimes the 6” distance between my head and my heart can seem like a chasm. The heart of the matter: trust. It is hard for me to trust people and for many years I did not link it to distrust in God.
Trust - firm belief (faith) in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Other synonyms for trust are: confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence; reliance.
Proverbs 3 (NLT) 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path ( Click for more )
In my mind I can often have a perfect picture of what things should be. What I look like; what my relationship and our story should be; what my career trajectory should be. Yet it's a facade, one I cannot live up to. It only frustrates me and those exposed to it.
Jms4:2-3" You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."
When I hold onto ( Click for more )
I started off last year learning about God's long-suffering love for me. When I have looked at life's circumstances and been tempted to think Him angry, disappointed or withholding, I have instead found Him patiently waiting for my realization that he is working miracles in my heart and mind. For me, the greatest spiritual battles are played out on the field of my mind and heart.
Eph3:20-21 "20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout ( Click for more )
At the beginning of this year I chose my word and theme for the year. It was love. I sought to understand God’s love more. I wanted to learn how to love others better. I thought that God would show me how to sacrifice more, that he would challenge me to give more of myself. And he did, but not in the way I thought he would. I’ve learned God’s greater love for me is to accept His love and recognize he does not love me any more on the days I fall short than on the days I shine for him.
Philippians 3:12 “I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, ( Click for more )
Stress. We all experience it at one point or another. However, left un-dealt with stress can result in us forsaking God’s ways and losing sight of the relief he can bring.
A friend recently posted on Facebook, “your system is perfectly designed for the results you're getting.”
This statement was really convicting to me, as I have not been getting the best results in my relationship or at work recently. In fact, I had been getting the exact opposite results I was aiming for and the stress just kept mounting. To make things worse stress in one resulted in more ( Click for more )
What inspires you? I am inspired by people’s stories of overcoming. I’m inspired when I hear true accounts of unbelievable things. In my life, I seek transformation. I want to see change. Yet when it doesn’t come fast enough, I have gotten frustrated and doubt it’s even possible.
Ps32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you with my loving eye.
I must be faithful to God’s love for me, and the truth, that he is not withholding any good thing. He is working in his time, and I am called to continue to invest ( Click for more )
To submit is to arrange under. It means to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.
Power is defined as the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality; the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.
I like being in control, making decisions and influencing others. I don’t mean the, take-over-the-world kind of power, rather the change-the world-for the better kind. You know…the power to influence your friends to go with your movie ( Click for more )
Loving people deeply is hard. Considering someone as better, looking at what they need in a moment when all you want to see, in fluorescent flashing lights is your own need –this can be difficult. Ultimately, loving deeper means being able to see past myself. Ironically, when I’m able to lay down my own needs for the sake of someone else I don’t actually sacrifice my needs at all. Instead, I see that what I was most desperate to hold on to was control.
Romans 12:9 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another ( Click for more )
If I do the best I can in a given situation, there is absolutely nothing more I can do. As a perfectionist this is a really profound concept. I can often question what else I could have done better in a given moment but as I have been learning, sometimes there is nothing else that could have been done and it’s important to acknowledge my best efforts and accept that I did the best with what I had in those circumstances. There is nothing I can do to change what has been I can only learn from it and do differently in the future. I’ve realized, perfectionism is an enemy of ( Click for more )
Love is costly. God’s love brings vulnerability and seeks others highest good. When I love others the way God calls me to I will get hurt along the way. I am guaranteed to be hurt because I love imperfect people just like me, and in my love, I don’t always seek the highest good of others before myself.
Zephaniah 3:17 “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.”
I am learning a lot about love through conflict. You may be familiar with the ( Click for more )
Timing can be frustrating. I wait for something to happen and it seems to take forever or suddenly an event is thrust upon me, catching me by surprise. Believing that things happen too slowly or too quickly is an illusion. God's timing is perfect.
Rm 5:6 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. "
I wonder if He laughs at me sometimes when I bring a particular circumstance or desire before him, as though he is not working in every single moment, even the ones I tend to overlook. He sets things into motion when we ( Click for more )
I’m a perfectionist. I would have never identified myself as such, but the more I learn I see the stark contrast between my and God’s definition of perfection. My definition of good enough and the expectations I have of myself and others, often tend to be too high. As I read, 14Signs Your Perfectionism Has Gotten Out of Control, in the Huffington Post; I started to see it more clearly.
At the root of perfectionism and control lies fear.
1Peter3:6 “…you are her daughters (Sarah’s) if you do not give way to fear.”
God never fails to bring ( Click for more )
The fear of failure in anything is real. However, fear can add a healthy tension between the need to step out on faith and facing the possibility of failure. It’s easier to handle failure when you are confident that love will be there no matter what. The more I grow in my understanding of God’s love for me the less I fear failure.
“I have won at a lot of things, but I have failed at much more. I have learned to embrace failure because failure has never failed to deliver me from something. Through failure I have learned to discard behavior and attitudes that no ( Click for more )
Being faced with the things I need to change can be scary. It’s a call to greater faith. The need to trust is my invitation to look to God and no one else, to let myself be loved by Him. I can grapple with trusting, sometimes perceiving my failure before I even try. My past, my fears, my brokenness, all of these things are best placed in God’s hands. When I allow God to love me it gives me courage to face whatever I need to - the things in me I need to change or overcome.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.”
Putting ( Click for more )
As the New Year unfolds I chose my theme/word for the year: Love. Lesson No.1: It is not about what I will do. Rather, it is about who I am and who I become as a follower of Christ - who I am in Him, because of His love for me. The character of who I am as a follower of Christ is most important. It’s a character that recognizes and confesses my need for God.
Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
When I recognize how much I need God, I am more willing to empty myself of my self-sufficiency and fill myself with ( Click for more )
This past year my word, theme really, has been Hope. I have focused on what it means to hope. In my mind, learning to hope was me being less afraid to ask God for things I long for and He would fulfill them. God had a different plan. He has taught me to be more vulnerable with Him through this journey and to trust when I lay my needs and longings before him he sees hears, and meets them in his time and his way.
Hope is not circumstantial, it is non-contingent. When things are going sideways in life, hope tells me that God is shifting things around to get them in the best place. ( Click for more )
Doubt is a powerful thing. It can disarm us in the small and large fights we face each day. It disarms us by making us question ourselves but more importantly it can plant uncertainty in our heart of God’s love for us. It is in that love that we have great power to overcome our doubt. God’s love for us is the source of our faith. It gives us the power to do the things we think we cannot, that God knows we can.
Lk15:20 “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him ( Click for more )
Apparently Hanuka has fallen on thanksgiving only twice in history. I think this is a pretty cool historical moment. Hanuka is the celebration of lights to commemorate the re-dedication of the holy temple. As Christians we are God’s holy temple. The origins of Thanksgiving were that it was a time of gratitude for God providing. The merging of these two holidays is a powerful one. The first, reminds to celebrate how God delivered his people and provided for them. The second, calls us to remember how he provides still.
Psalm 27:8 “My heart says of you, “Seek ( Click for more )
You don’t need to be around this world for long before encountering your first heartache. The first time a parent disappoints you, or a childhood crush breaks your heart. That first pain can go deep and over the years new hurts pile on. We find coping mechanisms to deal with this pain; some good, some bad. When we become Christians we are freed from the pain of the past and have the new choice: allowing God to re-define us. We can choose to hand pain and disappointments to him or we can chose to defer back to our old coping mechanisms.
There are times in my life where I ( Click for more )
Our dominant traits can be our biggest assets and simultaneously our greatest weaknesses. Striking a balance can be hard and takes an unusual level of discomfort. It is in this uncomfortable place that I grow.
Heb10:22-23 “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…”
God wants me to be sincere and assured of my faith. My sincere self isn’t always all that great. I’m a critical person by nature, and very direct; God created me this way. Both are good traits to have, but critical and direct have to be tempered ( Click for more )
I’ve heard a lot of people say that they want to marry their best friend but then consistently fail to put the time in to build a foundation of friendship with those of the opposite sex. Most of my friends who are happily married also emphasize friendship with their spouse over anything else as key point in the success of their marriage. We stand to learn so much from opposite sex friendships if we pursue them God’s way.
When I was younger, out of fear, I would try to protect myself in my friendships. Instead of seeking security in God, which would give me the confidence ( Click for more )
Sometimes the things that I try to count to indicate my progress or my success are things that don’t count to God at all. A few months ago I came across an Albert Einstein quote at work; it’s an ironic quote because my field, Monitoring and Evaluation, is a lot about trying to quantify and qualify progress towards development. A lot of what we do is try to define what success is in a given context and then put systems in place to show that we are making progress towards that success. As such the quote reads,
"Not everything that counts can be counted. And not ( Click for more )
There are times when what I know to be true about God does not resonate in my heart. I know God is good and sovereign but in a given moment I can feel vulnerable or unprotected. Our hearts are full of needs, fears and longings. Before I knew God I addressed those needs myself or tuned them out altogether. Although God has redeemed my heart, it can still be hard for me to engage it in the way he has designed me to. Sometimes, unknowingly, this results in me responding in ways that can come across cold or uncaring. In those moments he calls me to acknowledge and deal with what is in ( Click for more )
The value of all I do depends on the kind of person I am. Being comes before doing. Too often I can become pre-occupied with doing and forget to just be.
Psalm 105:4 “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.”
God is a lot more interested in my character than the things I do. He looks for my self-denial, patience and humility. There is a healthy tension in my walk with God when I’m reflective on my character and am deliberate in my pursuit of pleasing him. He ( Click for more )
“The story of your life is the story of the long and brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it.” John Eldridge
The heart is where belief lives and this is why it is under attack. Behind every struggle there is unbelief. When I give into my unbelief I focus on my circumstances and can even feel unloved by God. I lose sight of the true words he has spoken and replace them with my false perceptions. I can be more focused on the role I think I should play rather than who I am in Him. When I do, I need to understand the real fight ( Click for more )
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