Life isn't the same. Not for me anyway. It took on a different twist to where I almost nearly had given up most things I enjoyed. I started fasting with certain things: food, alcohol, people. I would isolate myself and only drink water, bone broth and light meals in order to become closer to God. I obtained from any intimacy, hoping to find a deeper level in my spirituality. I pushed away my earthly desires and went straight for the one thing we all try to strive for: GOD. It wasn't easy. It took a lot of plea-bargaining and denial. It took a ton of strength and ability, with a dab of self-doubt which kept rearing its ugly head. But the more I prayed for inner strength, the more courageous I became in conquering my fears---the fear of failing---the fear of being a prisoner in my own rusty chains. I wanted to know that I wasn't a slave to my earthly desires, but merely just a spiritual being in my own weakened humanness passing through this earthly experience. I was hoping to find some hidden meaning to it all. It took avoiding people, to only face them again. It took isolation, and then facing the crowd again. It took a heap of loneliness, to find that I was still lonely even in a crowd of people. The only thing that filled that loneliness was my relationship with God.
My prayer time requires a prayer room, or you can simply just designate a special chair that you go to in order to be alone with God. I grab my coffee, my Kleenex, because I know I'm going to be a bit weepy at times and my Bible and notebook. My prayer consists of meditating on His presence, repenting, crying, and reading Scripture to help gain my strength by His written Word. It's sometimes messy and a bit revealing. Other times, it's just glorifying Him, praising Him for all of His blessings and answered prayers. It's also important for verbal prayer, not just bowing your head in silence and letting God read your thoughts. Verbal prayer also sets up the atmosphere to where you are actually cleansing your living space. The power is in His name: JESUS -- and when you say that out loud or listen to worship music, your will feel a shift in the atmosphere. This is just what works for me though. But I do stress on finding a secret place that you can have privacy in order to speak to God about everything that's in your heart.
And it clearly states that in this scripture:
"And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you. When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don't be like them because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!"--Matthew 6:5-8
What I started to do was write a longhand journal about my communication with God. So each section will have a "P" or an "A" on it for "prayer" and "answer." The answers I receive sometimes come in the form of an impression I get, like a revelation or an idea, other times, it's through someone's text, or a song's name on the ambient music channel I listen to while praying. It can even come later in the day, to which I'll jot down that evening.
For instance, I had an issue with tachycardia due to drinking because I was trying to self-medicate my anxiety away, to only make it worse. In one section of my notebook, I had written, "My heart races, I'm having anxiety and in extreme pain."
During this time, I would get these pseudo painful episodes that left doctors clueless. I must've gone through a hundred cat scans (which isn't good) and other testing to only find out that I was in perfect health....thankfully!
Immediately after writing that prayer down and letting God know how scared I was, I came across this scripture.
"My heart, my heart---I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me. I cannot be still." --Jeremiah
Right after reading this scripture, not even a minute afterwards, the doctor calls me regarding my pain and if I was feeling better...and I was.
Another prayer in this notebook is probably an interesting one, and perhaps a bit personal, but I'm going to share it with you anyway. I think it's important. Just a brief rundown on what's going on---as some of you know, my parents who we took care of passed away from cancer. We were left the ancestral home, which we love, but it's too big of a house for just the two of us. A lot of little things add up to a huge bill and we do the best we can. My main issue is that I work from home and although that has been my dream to do what I love and work from my own home, in the winters, I sometimes end up stuck and stranded on this huge mountain all alone. At times, the power goes out, where I have to fill up the wood stove and keep the house warm in the dark. It's quite frightening to tell you the truth. I asked my other half if we could move before the winter last year, and we both agreed it would be better since I would probably drive her crazy with my fear of staying here alone in this big house.
Needless to say, it's been taking a long time to get things moving, and of course, to get us moving as well. And wouldn't you know it---here comes winter with its snow and ice. Once again, I'm freaking out. We've been arguing over this for a long time and for some reason, she doesn't seem to want to move out. It's a beautiful home when it's lived in. It's a perfect home, if more than two people lived here. It's also a very lonely place if it's just you and the sounds of coyotes, just to remind you of how scary it is to just walk your 10 lb chihuahua outside.
So this was my prayer word for word:
"I can't understand why God isn't coming through for me - why am I still fighting, arguing over what I want with Mad still? Why am I so depressed?"
The answer came through scripture:
"So put away all falsehood and tell your neighbor the truth, because we belong to each other. And don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a might foothold to the devil. " --Ephesians 4:25-27
"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words and slander, as well as types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." --Ephesians 4:31-32
"Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again--my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember your kindness--from Mount Hermon, the source of Jordan from the land of Mount Mizar." --Psalm 42:5-6
Many people ask why God doesn't answer their prayers. The reason for this is because that person is slightly or greatly
doubting that God will answer. It's kind of like going to a psychic medium. If you put walls up and you doubt their abilities, you are blocking the answers that they'll give you. They'll sense it and you will waste your money on a negative reading. And not that I am into going to psychics---this is just an example. So when you believe, you will receive. But you have to believe with all your heart. Now that I placed my faith in God so strongly, I receive His answers, and these answers are not coincidences nor are they hopeful 'finds' that I happen to seek out.
I'm not perfect. I'm a little messy, unraveled and sometimes rude. I make mistakes, I curse a little and at times, I can become depressed and hopeless. This is all the more reason I need God. Every single morning, I make Him first. If you make God first in the day, your attitude completely changes. He gives you the strength to face anything. I definitely want to make God first on my schedule rather than anything else that comes flying my way. You don't have to have Christian paraphernalia hanging from your neck or Jesus bumper stickers, in fact, most people who do are often the ones who will flip you the bird on your evening commute home.
The more time I spent with God, just meditating on his presence, the more awareness I received. I could hear and read messages that are straight from the Spirit. If you ask God for discernment and especially the motives of other people, He will definitely show you in ways that will surprise you. Sometimes, our energy is drained from just being around another person who holds a lot of negative energy. That energy can rub off on you, and if you let it, it can make the communication you have with God a bit static and hard to understand. That's why for me, it's important to surround myself around those who will edify me, not tear me down. I don't mean that you need to be with these fake 'happy-happy-go-lucky' people all the time, I'm talking about being around those who at least give off some positivity and compassion, and less of the negativity---the gossip, the bitterness and betrayal. Be there for them if they're sad or need you, but when it comes to people who treat you poorly, it's OK to set boundaries. Forgiveness doesn't always mean reconciling with the person and making them your best friend again. It just means looking past human flaw--to pardon them, whether you choose to befriend them again or go your own separate ways. I realized that some of the people in my life never ask an important question.
"HOW ARE YOU?"
It seems to be the new "hello." They don't want an answer if they do actually murmur those words. Sometimes I'll receive a text/novel from someone immediately rambling off all of their woes in life. As much as you try to be there for them, they will keep treating you like a psychotherapist. There has to be a give and take. In my world, when I text or call someone, the first words out of my mouth or text are, "How are you? Is this a good time to talk?" But I really want to know how they are doing. Are you feeling well? How are things at home, at work? But nobody seems to ever ask those questions anymore. I slightly blame social media for this narcissistic behavior. Everyone wants everyone to know their business and what they're doing. But have you ever seen someone write on their FB status message or tweet out----"Hey, how is everyone?" Ha, funny to even think about that happening. Compassion is somewhat lost in this world. I'm finding a lack of empathy with many people who I once admired, loved or surrounded myself with. Everyone seems to be too self-absorbed in their own world to actually life up their head and see the world as it once was. For the people I care about, most only call me because they need something from me, and I am more than willing to help or give to whoever. But once in a while, I pray that one day, they'll just call me up to ask, "Hey, how are you?" If I want to ask someone how they are doing, I simply call them up---no social media comments or text messages---a good old fashioned telephone call.
During prayer, I brought up this issue, about people just venting out their frustrations to me, with never even asking how I'm
doing. I actually heard my mother's voice in my heart saying, "It's the only way they know, forgive them." It's like Jesus saying on the cross, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do." Funny thing is, even if they did ask me how I was doing, I'd probably just say, "Fine, how's it going?" I don't like to burden others with my issues, and usually, I am pretty much a private person. When it comes to this blog, I tell personal things about my life in order that it may help someone else dealing with similar issues.
Anytime you're feeling unsure about a situation in your life or a problem with someone else, whether it be family or friends, pray about it, but most of all, put faith behind it. Expect God to answer. Watch Him work in your life as He does in mine. I can't tell you how much peace He has given me just by communicating with Him every single morning. It's the one thing that has truly saved my life is many ways.
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