Anyways, there is a LOT of stuff that needs to get done still. Wedding related, life related, etc., etc. And I know myself. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, because I'll sit there, and I'll stare at the circumstances, and you know what happens? The longer I look at it, the bigger it gets, the bigger it seems, and then I begin to feel crushed and perplexed and frustrated... My emotions go haywire and I start to freak out and I think I just can't handle it and I wonder where in the world is God working in this? and why me? and why can't it just go easy for my like in such in such person's life? and on and on and on and on and ON go the questions and complaints. Then I hole myself away and bawl my eyes out and sleep and sleep, and bawl my eyes out again, then I vent to the Favorite and then, THEN I do what I should've done at the very beginning--opened up my Word, poured out my heart to Him in prayer, and let those burdens go from my heart and shoulders to His.
It's really quite unfortunate that this is the case, but by no means do I desire to purport myself to you guys like some kind of perfect Christian who isn't in need of some serious growth. Because clearly, I'm not! But amazing things happen when you really confront the truth about yourself instead of just ignoring flaws like they'll just disappear over time. (Trust me, they just magnify!)
Now, to switch gears for a sec...James is such an awesome book, man! I love it. As I'm writing, I just opened up my Bible to chapter 1, and there are like fifty billion sticky notes with stuff written on them from that chapter alone! Not to mention most of the verses in the chapter are either circled or underlined. All that to say that this is a well read chapter in my Bible. Even still, I think this is a good time to go over it again!
Now I'm no Bible scholar, but as I read there are three main things I can pull out that James predominantly talks about in chapter one: Trials (v.1-12), Temptations (v. 13-18), and Adherence to the Word (v. 19-27). ALL of it is good and convicting and essential to the life of a believer, but I'm gonna focus on that last one, adherence to the Word. You know, for a while I was in complete denial that I'm the type of person that lets life circumstances affect my emotions and relationships. I think I got really good at hiding it from myself by saying things like, "Oh, I just learn to adapt quickly," or "I'll be okay," or "Things could be worse." Now all of these things are actually true, but deep down I was using those cliches to smother this fear and doubt that this time the change would be too much for me, and I won't be able to handle it, that things could only get worse from here.
My relationship with the Favorite has played an integral role in me admitting that what I believed about myself was not actually the case. (I mean, it's always easier to think better of ourselves than we actually are, right?) Well this is a rough comparison, I'm gonna reference the section where James talks about how we are not merely to be hearers of the Word, but also doers.
Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.Now that was me. Just as though I were looking in the mirror to see if there were any flaws in need of correction, I was confronted with the fact that I really don't trust God with situations (I'd just allow them to overwhelm me until I reached some sort of breaking point). But upon realizing there was something wrong, you know what I would do? Walk away, and completely forget that there was ever anything wrong and in need of fixing. Is the problem gone because I ignored it? Absolutely not! If anything, I am worse off than before because those sins and doubts and lack of trust begin to fester and grow and swell into something uglier and even more self-destructive than before.
Thank God the scripture doesn't end there! I don't have to muddle through my life with false truths about myself and a lack of faith in God. James continues by saying,
But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.
There is so much freedom in allowing God to show us what's real about us and to transform us from the inside out!! I stopped letting what God was saying to me go in one ear and out the other; I stopped and listened, then I acted upon what He was saying.
So now, back to all the gazillion things I need to get done between now and the wedding day. Why sit here stressing my little mind about what could be and what might happen and so on? If it doesn't fall under the parameters of what God says in Philippians 4:8 (thinking on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy), then I need to cast down those imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought unto the obedience of Christ! As I actively DO what God is telling me in order to have better responses to life's situations, the unhealthy and, dare I say, sinful habits and negative responses I've grown accustomed to begin to
There are a ton of unanswered questions in regard to how some pretty important details are going to work out for the wedding and life after the wedding. However, I know my God, and He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end, and before I was even formed in my mother's womb He knew me and knew I'd be getting married in February 2012 and that I'd face situations and struggles outside of my control. This same God who knows all this also has ALL power to work all these things together for my good! That's what He said He'd do, so who am I to think otherwise?