Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Changing my perspective - Week 3

Has the pain of your past ever made it hard for you to believe God’s promises and and plans for your future? What do you sense He wants to change in your perspective? 

The pain of my past continues to make it hard for me to believe in God's promises and plans for my future. I haven't really dated since my ex left me and my daughter over 2.5 years ago.  My ex is still with the girl that he left us for and sometimes the pain of the lies he's told me in the past creep up out of no where and grab me. After that happens I start to doubt God's plan for me and my daughter. I think: how can God let him and her be together and happy (even though I don't know if that's true) and me and my daughter are alone?

My daughter continues to ask when we will get a new daddy and I always tell her to pray and trust in God. After a couple months of this when I told her to pray to God about it she responded "I don't think He's listening." That response took my breath away when I realized how much pain she was in and how bad she wanted us to have a dad. Trust me, I would love to meet someone and get married and have a partner in life who would be a great dad. However, I also know how lucky I am to have a great kid that I love more than anything. I told her that God has a plan for us and things happen when He wants them to and not when we think they should happen. But inside I started questioning God's plan for us and wondering why I haven't met someone and what's wrong with me. It seems to be a cycle for me the past couple of years. I feel strong and confident in His plan for me and my daughter and like everything will be okay and then I start to question everything.

I also bring the guilt and pain from my past in the fact that I had my daughter out of wedlock with my ex. I feel guilty for my sins and sometimes I feel that the reason I'm alone and that I went through the pain of my ex cheating on me and cancer is that I deserve it because of my past sins. It is really hard for me to let go of the guilt and shame of the past. When I first got pregnant at 23 years old a lot of people I thought were  my friends stopped talking about me and there were a lot of other people who said a lot of hurtful and judgmental things about me. I still carry those hurtful words with me. Also, when my ex was cheating on me he said a lot of hurtful things to me that made me feel awful about myself. It's hard to let go of the past hurts and believe and trust that God loves me and that He has a plan for my life. I find it harder to forgive myself then it is to forgive others...
I feel that God wants to change my perspective in making me more patient and trusting of His plan. I haven't always been the most patient person and this has been a major lesson to me that I just need to sit back and trust in Him. It's also hard for me to trust people in general and again through this entire experience I am learning to fully trust in God's plan for me. It's hard for me to let go of control, but through this process I'm slowly learning to let go of my need for controlling my life and letting it up to God. It's a hard process, but I'm finally ready to stop looking in the past and to only look ahead.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Heart Surrendered to Christ

Renee’s shares her story of the moment she finally surrendered her heart to Christ. Share your story and what made you finally accept His invitation to a personal relationship.

It was December and the holidays were fast approaching. I was excited for the holidays because everything in my life seemed to be going well. In 2009 after my daughter was born I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and I just found out in August 2010 that I was cancer free. It was such a relief to not have to worry about that and I was finally feeling like myself after having my thyroid removed and being on synthroid. However, on December 11th I had a weird feeling in my gut and it was telling me to check my boyfriend of 7.5 years cell phone and I found multiple messages from his 20 year old co-worker that were inappropriate. I confronted him and he said he was hanging out with her.  I swear I felt and heard a crack at that moment when my world was torn apart.

The next four months were torturous as I tried to trust him that they were just friends but kept catching him in lies after lies. The pain and anxiety was tearing me apart and multiple times I actually just dropped to my knees after catching him in another lie unable to find the strength to just stand up. I was broken in every sense of the word.  Shortly, after I caught my boyfriend I started attending church again and every Sunday the sermons spoke to my heart and I felt refreshed. On February, 25, 2011 I met a friend from church for coffee and re-committed my heart to Christ inviting Him into my life for a personal relationship.

The months following my re-commitment to Christ weren't easy. By March I caught my boyfriend in another lie and he wasn't making any effort to try to save our relationship. I couldn't take anymore so I kicked him out, but because of my relationship with Christ I didn't fall apart when he left like the times before...I was stronger. I decided to move with my daughter 3.5 hours away from my family to Pittsburgh to start a Doctorate program for PT. It was not easy being in a new city away from family as a single mom but every time I felt like giving up I found strength in Christ. The Bible doesn't promise that when we accept Christ into our hearts it will be easy, but it promises that Christ will give us everything we will need and He has provided all I've needed and more the past couple of years... I'm excited to continue to grow in my relationship with Christ and to have more confidence in His plan for me.

I originally titled this blog thinking that I was learning to love again and trust other people so that someday maybe I would find a man who would want to love me back. But, just after the first two weeks of this bible study I realized the person I'm learning to love again is myself. This bible study is helping me learn to love myself again the way Christ loves me through all my flaws.

Monday, October 21, 2013

I Believe (Week 1 of OBS)

First of all, I apologize for this post being a day late. I am choosing to talk about about why I believe change is possible. To do this Proverbs 31 encourages us to refute our own thoughts of doubt with declarations of faith.
  •  I believe that I am worthy of love because Christ loved me so much that He gave up His life for me.
  • I believe that I am a beautiful person inside and out because God made me perfect in His eyes and loved me before I was born. 
  • I believe that I am not alone because Christ is always there to turn to in difficult times
  • I believe that I will know the path to take for my life because God has a plan for my life and it's a plan for good. Even if it's not my plan, God's plan is perfect.
  • I believe that I can handle any obstacles that come my way in life because through Christ anything is possible and when you have faith and trust in Christ you can move mountains.

I know that I need to repeat the above affirmations weekly if not daily. Already through this study I have realized how I don't really believe I'm worthy of love whether that's human love or the love of Christ. I consistently beat myself up for having a child out of wedlock and think because of my sins I deserved the pain and heartbreak of the father of my child leaving me for a younger woman, of dealing with cancer and the general struggles of being a single mom in a new city while trying to handle a graduate program. Growing up I usually received the message from my family that I was difficult and my mom and myself did not have a great relationship. She always told me what a mean person I was and even if I didn't act out in spitefulness she always viewed my actions as negative and I began to believe I was a mean, spiteful person. It has taken a long time but I have recently realized that even though I still sin and make mistakes and sometimes hurt people without meaning to, I am trying to be a good person and every day I pray to God to help me become a better person and that means something to. Every night I evaluate my day and the things that I did that might have hurt people and how I can be better in the future. I am a work in progress, but I think the point is that I'm always trying to be a better person and that I don't just hurt people without thinking about it. If I accidentally hurt someone it sticks with me and I think about it and feel awful for what I did and think about how I can make it better and be a better person.

I'm really hopeful that through this study I will grow in my confidence in Christ and I learn to forgive myself and realize I am worthy of love.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Excited Newbie - Confident Heart OBS

Excited Newbie – Is this your first study? Why did you sign up, and what do you hope to gain during our study?

This is my first Proverbs 31 bible study. I signed up because in February 2011 I was going through one of the roughest times in my life. My significant other of 7 1/2 years and father of my child was cheating on me with a 20 year old from work. I was trying to save my family and I was broken. I felt alone until I turned to Christ. So in February 2011 I re-dedicated my heart and life to Christ and became born again. Eventually my significant other left me and my child, but it didn't break me because of my relationship with Christ. I finally had someone to lean on and something to completely believe in. I still felt safe even at a time in my life when everything was changing. I decided to go back to graduate school to get my Doctorate of Physical Therapy and throughout my time in grad school I continued to lean and rely on Christ and feel close to Him, while growing in my trust in His plan for me and my daughter.

However, this past May I lost someone very close to me. A person who was the best person I ever met. Ever since  then I have been struggling with what God's plan is. How can God take away this amazing person and not even punish my ex for the sins he committed? The world stopped making sense and I have been feeling myself growing farther away from God instead of closer. I have been trying to find my way back to Him and to grow my faith and trust so it's like a steady rock and so when tough times come I'm stronger and don't waiver in my confidence of God's plan. I feel that this OBS will really help me to grow in my confidence and faith and give me the boost that I need.