To My Future ❤
My cousin Patrick died in a car accident this week. He was only 35 years old. Today, June 16, 2012 he was buried. I’ll never again get to see him in this life. It hurts me tremendously even though I know he’s in a better place. I get on Facebook, and pictures and statuses about Pat are trending. It seemed like everyone in my hometown of Bassfield, MS was at the church today for his homegoing celebration. But I wonder if these same people, including me, let him know just how much he was loved? I wonder if he remembered all the times we spent together, the kind of impact he had on my life, on everybody’s life that he touched? See, Pat was a big old ball of happiness, goofiness, and smiles. ALL THE TIME! When you saw him, out and about, the first thing you’d see is his pearly white 32’s. Then he’d embarrass you by screaming out some kind of elementary school pet name for you, all the while grabbing you in a smothering bear hug. Every. Single. Time. He didn’t just treat me this way either. He made everyone he came in contact with feel like the only person in the world that mattered. He didn’t see color. Black, white, green, purple, he just saw the person, and he liked who you were. Pat was never a rich man, monetarily, he worked every day of his life, from High School, up until the day he died. But, Pat left a legacy. He touched everyone with his way, his selflessness, his love.
Time is so precious. We forget that we don’t have forever. Big cousin’s death was a wake up call for me. I’ve spent far too much time and energy being angry and holding grudges, and life is much to short for that. If I die and don’t get the chance to say I’m sorry to someone I’ve wronged, or accept the apology of someone who wronged me, then all that I do, all that I have done to be this “Better Sonya” would have been all in vain. Each and every person is important enough to love “in spite of.” Someone out there loves me “in spite of” simply because their love for God and His commandments, are more important than a grudge. We have this one life to live. Let’s not waste it creating grief. Tomorrow isn’t promised, I realize that. I want my legacy to be one of love, and joy, and I’ll live my life, one moment at a time, being grateful that God has blessed me to be a part of yours.
To you, you, and you: I apologize to you. I love you. I’m grateful for you. I’m blessed to know you. You are a gift to me. I am better because of you.
I’m Sonya, and I often have a problem acknowledging God‘s will as my own.
There, I said it. I’m not perfect. I fall short of His Glory daily, and this is not okay with me.
I think I’ll list my imperfections. You know, just for the few who may think I’m a bit self righteous in my posting.
1. When I get angry enough, sometimes I curse… then I repent.
2. If I’m stressed, I sometimes forget to pray, and I crave a shot of liquor, and if it’s bad enough and have a temporary loss of sanity and forget I’m saved, I might have it… then I repent.
3. When I see a fine, handsome man, I don’t always wonder if he’s a Christian, I just start to have those lustful thoughts… then I repent
4. I don’t get along with everybody and loving people who don’t love me back just gets under my skin… then I feel convicted, I repent, AND ask for a clean heart
5. I sometimes take credit for my accomplishments and don’t give proper credit to God… so I repent
AND THIS IS TO BE EXPECTED!
Point is, I do a lot of repenting. I’m constantly asking God for forgiveness for something because I AM NOT PERFECT. I can only strive for perfection. Every single day of my life, I want to be a little better than I was the day before. I used to think that God had all these unfair standards that he set for Christians that they could never live up to and I just couldn’t wrap my mind around how being under submission to His will was even POSSIBLE. But I understand a little better now. Jesus gave His life for us because even though we sinned in so many ways, He still felt like we deserved a chance. He knew that there were possibilities in us. He knew that if we just took the time to understand Him, to get to know Him, then we would accept Him. He wanted to save me, you, us, from eternal damnation so that He would be able to spend eternity WITH us. He did all this while living an absolutely pristine, white as snow, pure and perfect life. He created a standard of peace in the middle of a storm. In the midst of being tempted, tortured, talked about, abused, scorned, lied on and hated, He never once sinned.
Do you understand just how amazing that is? He dealt with so many more trials than me and He never once sinned. When Jesus experienced hell on earth, He simply chose to tell His daddy about it. He got closer to His Father. He spent time in worship even when the “chips were down.”
We don’t experience even half of the adversity that Jesus did, but we (and I’m talking about me here) take matters into our own hands… and fail miserably. Now I see it! It’s not hard at all. I’ve just got to stay prepared for whatever happens next. And the good thing about it all is, my Daddy has my back.
I’ve heard all my life that everything that looked good to you wasn’t always good for you. I’m a hard head, so I always chose what looked good. From the easy path, to the handsome man, even the “surface” friends. If it looked good, I was THERE! Then the consequences came. With consequences come regret. All of this is a never ending cycle of “why me’s” and “I’ll do better’s.” Once again, life turns around and sucker punches me square in the jaw. That does NOT feel good.
I’ve cried, repented, prayed, asked God for forgiveness, talked to the trusted friend, and done it all again and I keep getting hit in the face with the past. Sometimes memories of yesterday become so real that they begin to drown out my gift, my present. It gets hard to enjoy now because of then. We have all, at some point in our lives, sinned and come short of God’s glory. But when do I get a break? I know I’m not THAT bad! Why is this movie of my past constantly replaying in my mind. I thought God forgave me?
Now, regardless of the life I lived in my PAST, I have always known with 100% certainty, that the Bible is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Every single word of it is totally guaranteed, and even as old as it is, God’s word is TIMELESS. This means that the word of God, and all the promises it holds, continue to remain valid and relevant, even today, even for me. FOR ME!!! Even, for a wretch like me.
FYI BREAK — All of this is coming to my mind as I’m speaking to you. The Holy Spirit within me. This is my revelation, my testimonies in black and white. I’m not the only person feeling this way. My hope is that you gain some clarity in your own struggles from my mistakes.
When God forgives, it’s over. The slate is clean. Now, we still have to deal with the consequences of our actions, and OUR memories will still linger, but a humble heart seeking forgiveness receives just that. The issues come in when we decide to hold on to the past, when we don’t forgive ourselves.
These scriptures are examples of His Mercy — Micah 7:18-19 & Nehemiah 9:31
This scripture, Luke 6:37, stuck out to me. The end of it says … forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.
Okay, so, am I the only person that just had a “I could have had a V8” moment?
It seems so super duper simple. If I forgive myself, if I forgive others, I shall be forgiven. It seems so simple yet so hard. I realize that we tend to focus on what’s important. We build a life around our main focus. If my life is shaped around a problem, then it gains priority. Is there any room left for God?
Well, once more and again, God is putting things in perspective for me. I’m not perfect, but I’m willing to obey.
Looking back over my life, both before and after being saved, I realize that God’s carried me and brought me a LOOOONNNGGG way from the person that I used to be. I’m definitely not perfect, nor will I ever be, but the Sonya of my past compared to the Sonya of the present are two totally different people.
While meditating, I began wondering whether my reflection is of Religion or Spirituality? Do I display just the LOOK of a Christian or the ACTIONS of a Christian? Because this is a process, and I am still learning constantly, I realize that sometimes, maybe even more often than not, I am merely a display. That’s not a good look, and things have to change.
John 4:24 states that God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Everything in my life and my actions must change to reflect the light of Christ. I tend to hold on to some things and release others because my comfort zone is just so familiar. If I’m honest with both God and myself, then I recognize my faults, admit my sin, and step back to allow Him to transform me into a brand spanking new creature.
The world and all the sin in and of it is what I’m used to. It’s what we’re all accustomed to accepting as the norm. This is not His way though. Romans 12:2 reminds me to Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
I don’t know if you notice, but Daddy’s whooping my behind pretty good right now.
Outward actions that are not of a positive nature are not of God, at all, in any way, shape, or form. I’ve often had a smile on my face, but not necessarily in my heart, so it’s not real. I’m not exactly fake, but spiritual things aren’t always in my head 24/7, so sometimes I step outside of Him and back into myself. We’ve got to do something about that.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. So basically, if I am on team God and His spirit resides in me, this will be what I reflect. I’m trying Lord, I’m trying. Every day, I’m a little better than I was the day before, so that’s progress right?
Please be patient with me. God is not through with me yet.