Take Me Off This Roller Coaster

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise

— Hebrews 10:35-36

So I’ve been struggling quite a bit the last few months. The last few months have been filled with doubts and insecurities and disappointments…basically the opposite of confidence and endurance. I have depended so much on myself and on the hope I tried placing in others. So naturally I was let down. Repeatedly.

To be honest, things have really stunk lately. I have been riding an emotional roller coaster — no stability, nauseating, and filled with a lot more downs that ups. And for what? For nothing. I cast away my confidence in God and in His love and care for me, and I tried to depend on myself instead. What did I gain from that? Nothing but heartache. Nothing but misery.

I lost my confidence. I lost my endurance. If I’m really being honest, I lost my faith in God’s grace. No reward. No promise. Only bitterness and hurt. That’s what resulted.

Can anyone else relate to this? Lord, I hope not, but also kind of hope so.

But you know what? I’m done. I’m done trying to do things on my own. I’m done seeking after things that mean nothing if I’m not rooted in Christ to begin with. No more running after nonsense. It’s time to get back to where I need to be, where my soul will finally be at peace once more, where self-doubt will turn into love for who God created me to be.

I hope if you are struggling with self-worth, if you are struggling to find meaning or are just filled with hurt and doubts, that you will join me this Lenten season to throw all that out so we can fill ourselves with the thirst-quenching Living Water.

May we remember that the Holy Spirit is He who is in us. May we remember that we are the Father’s royal children. May we remember that we are the beloved of the Son.

Now is not the time to give up on hope. Now is the time to renew our confidence, to increase our endurance, and to prepare to receive the promises we have been given.

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I Am Confident I Am His

A journal entry while in St. Bishoy Monastery, Egypt

And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. -1 John 2:28

There was a monk who once said, “Be a friend of God on earth, and you will be a friend of God in heaven.” You can see that here. Everything is about Him. Every word speaks of Him. Every knee bows down to Him. Literally. It was a really beautiful thing to witness in liturgy today. After the reading of the Gospel, EVERY person in the church did a metanoia (prostration), asking for forgiveness of his sins. Every single knee hit the ground, acknowledging our weakness and the greatness of God, acknowledging the we are nothing next to the pure glory of God.

But none of this acknowledgment is in a negative way, an utterly shameful way. We are, of course, ashamed of our sins, but because we know God, because we abide in His body, partake of His blood, we no longer HAVE to be ashamed. We bow down, we ask for God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of others, yet we no longer bear shame because we are clothed by the love and blood of Christ since we abide in Him.

He came and suffered so that I would not have to be ashamed any longer. He purposed all so that I may belong to Him, abide in Him, live for Him and through Him. How, then, can I bear shame when I bear Christ within me?

This is His purpose. This is His aim. He wants me to come to Him as a confident child to her father, not with shame as a dishonored servant.

St. John says in his first epistle: Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! (3:1).  He is the first One to call us His children. He taught us to speak to Him as our Father. It is not I who who come to Him requesting such an honor, but He who says, “You are my daughter”.

I am His daughter, and for some crazy reason, He decides to love me, and to make me confident in Him. He wants that relationship from now, so that when eternity comes along, I’ll greet Him as an old friend.

It’s time to live life in Him.