by Kasia Kedzia
Sometimes I can equate what God thinks of me based on what others think of me. In a given situation if someone is angry with me, isn’t attracted to me, or simply doesn’t want to be my friend (from my perception), I can feel unlovable or inadequate. Not only to them, but to God. I need to be reminded that God’s love for me, for us, is perfect. We are perfectly flawed; there is nothing we can do to make God love us more or less. I also need to remember that when people reject me for a job, friendship or romantic interest, sometimes it really has nothing to do with ( Click for more )
Sometimes it’s hard not to compare myself to others. It’s impossible not to notice someone else getting something I’ve wanted or worked for. It’s envy, and it can be even harder when that someone doesn’t believe in God or has accomplished something by using less then honest means. In those moments, it is tempting to look at their accomplishments and feel unprotected or dropped by God. They didn't do it his way yet they seemingly prosper. It’s hard not to entertain the idea of making my own short cuts. I call this my “other son” moment. ( Click for more )
There are moments in my life when I feel I must have something more important than God in order to be happy; more important than his grace and favor: the approval of man. With Fathers Day fast approaching I find myself cringing just a bit. I don’t celebrate Father’s Day for reasons too broad to get into here. However, as I’ve gotten older I see more and more how parents shape us, whether it is through their presence (positive or negative) or absence in our lives. My childhood experiences influence how I see God and the ways I can seek affirmation. I’ve learned ( Click for more )
My story has always been one of forgiveness. God forgave me and I, in-turn, am able to forgive others and myself. Sometimes people hurt us so deeply that it literally makes our hearts ache. I recently had such a moment, and what made it worst was that the person had absolutely no idea why I felt hurt by their words and actions. This hurt more because, to me, it meant that they didn’t know me well enough to recognize that their actions would in fact hurt me, or that they didn’t care enough to acknowledge that they had caused me pain. I felt stupid, take advantage of, and ( Click for more )
There are many things in my life I try to maintain daily: a diet and exercise routine, my work, my relationships, my looks. Yes, I said it, my looks. The older I get the more I pay attention to my physical appearance. It’s a little embarrassing, but I have used this to my advantage to feel secure more than I care to admit. It’s exposed how much security I can get from how I am perceived. Sometimes I feel like I need to be and look a certain way to be heard. Other times I crave the attention to fill a feeling of lacking and insecurity. This isn’t a permanent state ( Click for more )
Sometimes I take a lot on by myself. While I don’t overtly think I can handle everything on my own or am some sort of super hero, I sure can act like it. I know that I need people, but sometimes it’s hard to tell them that. It’s much easier to get mad at them later when I struggled through it myself and they didn’t read my mind.
At a young age I had to do things by myself and for myself. This made me good at juggling many things and taking on a lot of responsibility; it also helped me to be better at taking care of others. However, this made it hard ( Click for more )
There are these moments in our lives that we refer to as game changers. They are the moments when we have epiphanies that change the course of our actions, or the stars seem to align and we just catch that groove we can move in, where nothing can stop us. Sometimes game changers can be bad. They can catch us off guard and we find ourselves in a place asking, “How did I get here?” In those times we need rescuing.
I have learned that true rescue is a heart issue rather than circumstantial. Sometimes I wish I could rescue myself from my present distress - whether physical, ( Click for more )
I started praying about three months ago for specific people and opportunities. Some of the answers to my prayers are still not clear, but others have begun to form. The amazing thing is the timing of these answers. I am learning that God fulfills requests in such a way as to sustain me to continue to do his will. Matthew 7:7-8 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door is opened. When read in context of what Jesus had just finished ( Click for more )
I have this crazy habit of running certain moments through possible scenarios in my head. At one point, my closest friend would ask, “Are we talking about an actual situation or is this one of your hypothetical ones?” I liked to think that it was me applying my professional skills to my personal life, running possible scenarios to determine the best possible outcome. However, at the core, my hypotheticals were and always will be attributed to worry. I had to admit it, I worry and want control. I want to know the outcome and I don’t like making mistakes. I fear ( Click for more )
The best lies carry an element of truth. To distinguish genuine truth takes alertness and constant pursuit.
2 Corinthians 11:3,14-15 (NIV) But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ… 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light who understands and relates to the yearnings of my heart. I long ( Click for more )
I have seasons in my life when I base my faith on sight and ability. I want to know what’s next. I convince myself that if I can conceive it in my mind then I can be secure in what’s to come, if I know what exactly it is I am waiting for I can wait more patiently. But that’s not faith. Faith is the exact opposite of this thinking. It’s me trusting the creator of the universe to blow my mind with the unconceivable, and there in lies the challenge.
Num13:27-28 (NIV) "We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here ( Click for more )
I knew the millisecond after I hit “send” that I shouldn’t have. It was late, and in the moment it seemed of utmost importance that I send that email right away, but it wasn’t. It was one of those emails that seems so timely, precise and on topic. It’s only after I hit send I realize I should have probably waited a day, or at least ten minutes. The embarrassment flushed my face and turned my stomach.
There is a quote that reads, “Wise men are not always silent, but they know when to be.” This is the quote that came to mind this morning ( Click for more )
Sometimes the right thing to do is not immediately apparent. We can get advice and search the scriptures and still feel unclear. I’ve been there recently, in a situation where all the advice only seemed to bring more confusion and ‘the right thing’ didn’t jump right out. I have been there regarding friendships, career pursuits, job decisions, even deciding where to live or worship.
Pv 16:1-2To a man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the ( Click for more )
What if you had to tell someone the most important thing in the world, but you knew they’d never believe you? Would you still try? I would.
Sometimes that’s how I feel when I think about sharing my faith with people whom I deeply care for. I know that I know the most important thing in the world but feel like I lack the words to communicate it in a way that they would believe. I try anyway. I try to communicate how I see them, the incredible qualities they posses, and how much God loves them. However, sometimes, as much as I see God’s love for others, I can ( Click for more )
As I prepare for my next work assignment I reflect on what’s most important. I have to write up a plan for my friends and family in case something happens to me. As I think of the things I have and who should get what, as well as who needs to be contacted in case of emergency, I also began to wonder if there is anything I have left unsaid. My work, my life experiences, as well as my faith, always bring me back to this place of perspective. I was created for something greater and at the end of the day I ask myself, “Is my life making a positive impact?
Jer1:5 (NIV) ( Click for more )
I’ve been taking the time to pause in a given moment and not allow my thoughts to run away or plow-over the moment. Sometimes, I can overthink all the fun out of the present as I allow my thoughts to wonder down some hypothetical scenario. I can question my own abilities and talents. This week has been different and as a result I have felt so much more alive and content. When I’ve been tempted to worry or get anxious I’ve asked myself, “What truth could help me overcome this?” The two truths I return to often are:
1. God does not withhold: Psalm ( Click for more )
Sometimes I get stuck. I can get stuck in circumstances or in my own perceptions. People’s comments from the past can influence how I view myself in the present. A desire for change in my circumstances can choke out the desire to want God’s will over my own.
Is53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
It’s true, when I stray from the truth of who God is, I turn to my own way. My best friend is my own will because that’s what I chose to rely on. Turning back ( 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 )
Shortcuts…we all take them, especially when we think no one else is watching. Whether it’s cutting corners on a run or shaving my legs only up to the hem (ok, ladies you know you have done this); shortcuts are options we chose when the “right” option requires more time, energy, or work. Sometimes shortcuts are overt but, rationalization can also be a shortcut, a justification to do things we know are wrong. We have all succumbed to the attraction of taking shortcuts but we must not be deceived there is alway a cost to taking the short way.
Ex13:17-18 ( Click for more )
Sometimes I am tempted to run away from the very things God wants me to face head on. Other times, I’m just tired from the fight and flight seems easier, but only temporarily. Short-term, flight works well but it can have some seriously bad long-term effects. Eventually you have to stop running and face everything you have let build up – you have to face yourself. So instead of going on that 10 mile run, devouring an entire tray of dark chocolate brownies, or taking that job in a far away country, I stopped, stood still, and let the tears flow. I let myself feel all the ( Click for more )
I am not the type of person that is motivated by phrases such as, “Good job!” or “That was great!” I am more inspired by, “You can do better!” or “You have more in you!” The latter makes me feel believed in, like I am capable of more versus the former which leaves me feeling like the person thinks I can’t do any better. As a result of this thinking I have run into some potholes in my journey with God. God says in 2Cor12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
I am a worker, a fighter, a survivor. This results in ( Click for more )
Lately I have been learning to believe and live in knowing that God does not play emotional games; he does not deny me any good thing and if something is denied me then it’s ultimately not good for me.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This has been a hard but incredibly freeing lesson to learn. It has allowed me to see a lot of the selfishness in my heart. It is allowing me to learn what it means to really love, serve, sacrifice and yield my rights to ( Click for more )
There are days, even weeks when I can feel like I am playing defense in the game of life. I get into survival mode. My prayers can expose my frame of mind as they tend to focus on me and my desire for comfort. I ask God to, just overcome x, not think of y, and get through my week. I realized, these actions and thoughts do not reflect or align with the faith I profess. Functioning in this perspective is exhausting and just leaves me anxious. It also leads me to feel discouraged or overwhelmed; it exposes my self-reliance. I want to survive my work out, accomplish x professionally ( Click for more )
There are times when I feel burdened by life, when life seams to be moving too fast and too much is going on for me to take it all in; process it and respond the right way. Instead, I can react and try to get things under control on my own strength. When I feel like I am being crushed under life’s burdens it is often an indicator of my self-reliance and lack of trust in God. My anxiety, the feeling of pressure to fix things or get things under control are good indicators of how I have pushed God out and placed myself over him as my idol. In those moments I am saying, “God ( Click for more )
The first step in changing behavior is self-observation. I don’t always see myself the same way others do. If I did I would never have communication issues or arguments with people. Objective self-observation is hard, but through God’s lens I believe it is possible. There came a point where I was just plain frustrated with myself. I was trying to change but couldn't really put my finger on what exactly I needed to change or how. I couldn't see myself.
Romans 12:3 For by grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, ( Click for more )
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