As I sit to type, I am grateful for this outlet. Whether others read this from start to finish, or it passes them by, it is still a gift…a gift to me. See I have this calling, gift, maybe a curse; I don’t know what you would call it, but I feel people’s pain. Sometimes it is revealed to me whose pain it is, either during or after I experience his/her emotions, and sometimes I am not given that opportunity.
Regardless, it is like a tidal wave of emotional pain. In my gut, in the deepest parts of my body, soul, and spirit, I feel emotional distraught, anguish, lack of hope, emptiness, unworthiness, meaninglessness; a sense of defeat. It is as though I can somehow see, in an out of body experience kind of way, through people’s facade and see rather, the truth of this battle we all face. The struggles pop out in ways that I cannot explain in words. They become so overwhelming at times that I cannot do anything else but fall to my knees in humility as I cry out to my Abba Father for comfort, strength, and release.
When periods like this occur, it can take days to shake it. As of today, I am on day seven of this. I wouldn’t call it a depression or oppression because I feel God working through it. It always is an eye opening experience for me. It somehow allows me to turn off my own fake facade so I am able to call myself out on my own crap. It is as though God says…..”Stop! STOP! Why are you trying so hard? You are doing through the works of your hand, not mine. Think, Samantha. Did I save your soul for you to preach, or to live it out? Judge or to love? ”
God has so graciously saved me from myself and the darkness of this world. In this, all I should want to do is tell others that there is hope, there is excitement and joy beyond what we see. When I see people truly struggling, I want to want to fix it. Right then, in whatever way possible. This sounds so passionate, beautiful, and ‘good’, but can I stop and tell you that this is something I want to want to do all the time and not just when I feel like it because there are times….when I wouldn’t be caught dead helping that person. I mean, they have been on that corner for weeks. Now, I realize that there is enabling also, so even though refusing to enable is ok, I still pass judgement, and that is not ok…EVER. Praying without judgement or loving without judgement might be the point of that person’s existence. To see them there…again, and to hear within,us pass judgement might be the point. To call to the surface and our attention to something in us that we must acknowledge is a struggle so we can stop unintentionally condemning those around us. God does not necessarily tell us to fix, or take away other’s pain, does He?
Rather, doesn’t He tell us to love them through his/her pain? To speak truth with love and tell them that it is ok? To tell them that there is a hope beyond this pain? He tells us to not forget where we once were, and to tell our story with compassion, love, and grace. He tells us to forgive. He tells us not to judge the motives of man’s heart because only God can change a man’s heart.
Oh how my brain knows this, but somehow, in the hustle and bustle of life, I can get so wrapped up with me…my actions, my desires, my accomplishments, my purpose, my house… that I cannot see past my own nose. Then, that which follows is the tendency to start looking around in comparison to others. Sometimes with envy and jealously, and sometimes with judgement. It is disgusting and I hate this part of human nature. It brings to light so deeply the verse of, we do what we don’t want to do, and what we want to do, we don’t. I mean, AMEN Paul. You nailed that one right on the head.
It is my birthday today. I am 29 years old. I am a stay at home mommy to four beautiful, God fearing kids, ages seven, six, four, and three. I am married to a handsome, God fearing, hardworking husband, who I have been afforded to love, be loved by, and live life with for almost 12 years. I have a Master’s degree in Chemistry. I have a home that I have dreamed about for years, and ‘stuff’ all around me. Yet, I still battle, daily, with “what is the meaning of all this? Am I evening ‘doing’ anything? I want more! What else can I ‘do’ that brings fulfillment to ME?” Because it is all about ME…ME…ME. Blah, blah, blah. I pray, you hear the sorrow, and sarcasm, I am expressing to this awful pit of selfishness.
I said goodbye to a high school classmate yesterday. Seven days ago I heard the news about what happened. I still don’t really know what happened, and quite frankly it is none of my business, but in the midst of hearing this news, I couldn’t help but question his salvation through judging him. I mean, the man is dead, and here I was, judging him. REALLY SAMANTHA!
Later that evening, as I was worrying about the flowers I was hanging in my kitchen, it hit me. That HUGE wave of emotion I was telling you about at the beginning. It came over me all of a sudden and continued to grow and increase until the very early hours of the morning. I recognized what was happening as this is an experience I experience often, but this has definitely been the longest it has ever stayed with me. This one has been long winded, but most effective thus far. It has lit a spark inside of me that I can only pray God keeps lit.
In seeing his life on the screen during the memorial, by reading his page on FB, by hearing the words of others and how he effected them…. has somehow effected me so deeply. I cant fully express in words, but I cannot help but recognize the short snip it in time God allowed him in my life, but the long term effect this will have on me forever. By feeling his pain this past week, it just reminded me… I am not God, and praise God I am not God because if I cannot handle even today, my own self, why in the WORLD do I want to take on others stuff, but yet, at the end of some days…I still do.
To realize, that the purpose of his life, for me, was to allow this past week to really resonate in my spirit as it has renewed my mind, and to be my next tool to help combat this selfishness, as well as the fact that he will never know the effect it has had on me and so many others, until we get to heaven, is such a beautiful reminder of who God is, and an answer to my recent prayer.
I have been praying for God to keep my heart tender towards Him; to help me accumulate another tool of knowledge to sever these thoughts of selfishness because I recognize the selfishness in me. I try to take captive my thoughts, but some days I win the battle, and others I don’t. When I pray, the outcome is not always what I think it will be. Rather, it is always WAY more effective than anything I could have EVER thought up myself, and this answer to prayer has DEFINIATELY been that.
I am so in LOVE with my faith and in Jesus Christ of Nazareth because it is personal. It is a personal relationship that I am afforded through the blood Jesus shed for us.
So here I am, day seven of this wave of emotion, and I can already feel the peace of God in my spirit as He comforts me with every word that I type on this page. So, what was the point of my writing this? The point is, is that you are not alone. We are ALL selfish. We are ALL looking for our purpose and meaning in life, but can I extend the words I felt resonate in my spirit from our Father. “Stop! STOP! Why are you trying so hard? You are doing through the works of your hand, not mine. Think, (fill in the blank with your name). Did I save your soul for you to preach, or to live it out? Judge or to love?”
The reason I extend this to you is because every day other’s life can appear to be more appealing, or less appealing than ours. More meaningful, fulfilling, purpose driven, or not so much. However, regardless of how their circumstances may ‘appear’, I guarantee you that past the facade, they would tell you they struggle with the very same things you do.
So as we strive so hard to do more, may we continuously be reminded to accept and love the place that God has us. If we can love where we are at, then we can love others where they are at. We can hand them more than just a sandwich. We can hand them a hope….a true GENUINE hope. A hope that says, there is something different about me. What is it? His name is Jesus. That is who is loving you through me because He is love. It is not me, my beautiful sister, or brother. I am simply the vessel, but He is the source of all you see.
I don’t EVER want to forget where I came from because no matter how much more God gives me, I will always have to fight my selfish ways.
Thank you God, for Your never ending grace! Your grace is enough. You are in control, Lord. In the middle of this daily war, You guard my soul. You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn. Your love surrounds me, in the eye of [my] storm. (lyrics by Ryan Stevenson; Eye of the Storm)