Sunday, April 24, 2011

Life 'Til Now And What's To Come

You ever have the feeling that you have your life all figured out? That you know exactly how you want it to end up and how you think it might end up that way? Like where you're going to live or what you will be doing in your career.  Maybe even once you get married you know what kind of job and how much money your husband will be making and you already have plans for that alleged money to be made?  You think that once you have a plan that it becomes all smooth sailings from then on out.  That you might not end up with financial issues. That you might not end up paying more in your bills than you make in a month.   That since your parents always seemed to pay the bills "with ease" that it would be a cinch for you since you were so great in school and all. That you'll never have to worry about not being able to afford things or choosing what to "downsize" to make your budget. That your car that you bought will be require no repairs because it's the "perfect" car and since it's yours then it's obvious that nothing can go wrong.  That it would NEVER be a problem to keep your house clean and laundry done because you took such good care of your room as a child and your one load of laundry a week was so easy to take care of from start to finish.  That cooking would never end up like your moms did sometimes in ruin because you knew that you would pay such good attention to the recipe and fix it right.  That the yard wouldn't be as hard to take care of as everybody made it seem like it was.  That the perfect dog that you wanted so bad will be the best dog in the world and will almost "take care of itself" so-to-speak.  That you and your spouse would never fight like your parents did or those crazy people that sat behind you at your church that you always avoided because you knew they didn't have it all together and that you'd never wind up that way in a million years because you were "just that cool." The scariest thing to you is that you know that I'm right and I'm well aware of that too.
I know I asked a question, but it was more like a statement.  Because you and I both know that we've all had those thoughts before.........and then we "woke up from our dream".  Your job isn't going quite like you thought it would or maybe you can't even find one at all, your bills need to be paid and the money isn't in the account to be able to pay them, downsizing is a must to survive the ever-crumbling economy, gas prices are so expensive it costs you almost more to work than to stay home, your grass needs to be cut again because it's up to your knees and you only just cut it not even a week ago, you sometimes think you have the world's worst dog, your house is a mess, supper's burnt again or didn't turn out "like the picture in the recipe made it look like it would", you and your husband are at each other's throats for something that you can't even remember what you were already arguing about in the first place, and then he proceeds to inform you the he has forgotten to let you know that is out of underwear and needs to be at work in 15 minutes.
Whether you will admit it or not, it's happened to everyone in some way, shape or form.  Some may not have been that dramatic and others may be sitting there reading this saying "Man, she doesn't even know the half of it." One thing I do know for certain is that personally I can admit that it was like that for me.  When a person's in the dating part of their relationship, still living at their parents house with little to no responsibilities, and having almost everything handed to them, it's almost impossible not to have the kind of attitude that I explained in the first paragraph no matter how many times you've heard people warn you of the opposites. Because I had heard that it would happen it didn't come as such a big smack in the face as it does to some others who had never been warned about that kind of thing before. 
It did however make it a little harder to believe that God would take care of things like He always had before because there were so many things that seemed to be going wrong because they weren't "perfect" anymore.  When that kind of stuff happens I think its also hard to be willing to be as faithful in church and church activities like you used to be because you feel apart or separated from God in a sense.  Now as readers we all know that that way of thinking sounds almost silly but as I was going through all that I did in just about a little over a year's period, it becomes harder to think biblically and rationally if you aren't seeking Him and sticking to His Word.  Without going into great detail about all the measures I went to in that period of time, I can basically put it as a very slow, steep, downward, spiraling staircase into the "dump yard" of the world of sin. It looks so good from the top because you can't smell the stench of the waste yet and all you can see when you start your journey is the beginning of what seems like a pretty, spiralling staircase that leads you somewhere and because you think it looks so good you don't really care where it makes you end up.
As you start going down this seemingly pretty staircase you continue walking and though it seems almost "wrong" to be doing so, you can't tell any major differences in it and where you were before you started walking down it.  Pretty soon you've gotten a lot farther than you think you did quicker than you thought you should have because of how steep this spiralling staircase was.  As you look back you think to yourself that it's too late to turn around because you've already walked this far and you might as well keep going down the stairs to find out what's at the end of your journey. Although its starting to stink a little on the way down and the stairs aren't looking as pretty as they did when you first started out because they are pretty warn down from the people before you, you continue to proceed anyway because it just seems easier to keep going on than to turn around now.  Shortly after this, you forget that the stairs are leading you to a place that stinks like you did when you thought it was too late to turn back.  You even have forgotten by now what "normal" was before and how good you had it since you have become used to the stench and the wear and tear that the staircase that you've been walking down.
So as you continue on this journey you begin noticing about a little over halfway down things that even though you are used to your surroundings that no longer seem wrong to you, actually start seeming peculiar.  The stairs are starting to decay and there are writings on the wood on the way down warning you about what you are about to go to because they've been down that road before.  But because you are such a curious person and it seems like everyone else has tried this out before you need to keep following these winding stairs that now are apparent that they lead to a place that's not so great.  You stop for a minute to rest and realize that the stairs are not the only things that are dirty and worn down now. You are too.  Its obvious to anyone who looks at you that you've been somewhere that's rough and dirty and you realize that you need to go back up the stairs to clean up, but that little thing that is the downfall of many people, called pride, kicks in.  You think "What will they think of me if I try to go back and clean myself up now? They'll know where I went" or "Well they didn't try to come after me to stop me so I don't need them or to clean up anyway."
Let me just tell you personally that this is such a dangerous place to be in a sense of Christianity.  By this point God has tried to get your attention and convict you to turn back around to Him so many times that you begin not to get convicted anymore.  My husband and I were pretty much out of church for a while and had not been faithful like we needed to church or doing the things that we should have been for a long time now.  It had gotten to the point that preaching when we did happen to go to church wasn't really "working" for us.  Thankfully we were able (through a series of events that just didn't go our way) to go to the New Manna Youth Rally and even though God wasn't really working in the preaching in our hearts like it seemed obvious that He should, my husband begged God to work on us so we'd have this opportunity to get right despite all the fears we had through all the pride and shame that we had worked up.  And God gave that opportunity just like we asked during the invitation while Daniel Waters was singing It Better Be Real . We probably would have been running to the altar needless to say if my feet weren't so sore from my heels that I was wearing for church.  It "got on" down at the altar and we wanted to get everything that needed to be right so we could serve God with our lives like we knew in the first place that He wanted us to.
Hopefully anyone who reads this will know that they shouldn't need to go down that spiral staircase before they realize how much they need God and how important Him and His Word are in their lives before they turn to Him.  Because just like many others before us we could have very well not got the urge to want to get right with God and ruin our lives forever like many of you would if you were (or are) in this situation with no warnings or guidance. This is mainly meant to just be a testimony of how good He's been to work in our lives and show us how wrong everything was without Him in our life. That we needed Him and to be faithful to His house and what's going on there again.  We are planning on going back to Bible college in the fall at Victory Baptist College in South Carolina (almost in Georgia lol).  Hopefully, because He got a hold of us and our hearts and let us know that even when things go wrong we shouldn't turn to temporary fixes for happiness but turn to Him instead, that we can do something great for Him and for His Glory! We may not have it all figured out like we thought we did in the first paragraph of this post, but God sure does have it all figured out before the world ever began and with His help we can get to the place where we need to be going with our life! :) AND YOU CAN TOO!

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