Control. It’s something we’ve all fought to have at one time or another.
OxfordDictionaries.com defines “control” as
- The power to influence or direct people’s behaviour or the course of events.
- The restriction of an activity, tendency, or phenomenon.
- The ability to restrain one’s own emotions or actions.
I decided to do some extra digging and found the root of the word…
from Latin contra “against”
The meaning of control is to quite literally go against something; to have authority over something. And because all our authority comes from God, when we try to exercise our own authority apart from him, we must do it through limitation. Why? Because we as humans are limited. But God has no limit. We can try to put God in a box, but will always fail. He stretches outside the limits of all creation. Control is like a tug-of-war. You pull and tug to get things on your side, all while you’re being tugged and pulled by the very things you want to control. You fight against the pull until you can’t feel your arms anymore. But God’s control is better than our control. He doesn’t control through limitation like we humans do, but rather, through expansion. So, rather than going against what we want to control, we must go with the one who has true control. When we try to take control, we subtract from our lives. When we give control to God, he adds on to our lives.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” -Isaiah 40:28
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].” -2 Timothy 1:7
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” -Proverbs 29:25
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“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)
In this world we will have trouble. But… Again, looking at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “Trouble” is defined as this,
- the quality or state of being troubled especially mentally
- public unrest or disturbance
- a state or condition of distress, annoyance, or difficulty
I was about to face a whole mess of trouble, and in order to stay afloat and not drown in my pain, there had to be a fight for peace. One usually doesn’t think of fighting or battles when they think of peace. But I was about to learn that Godly peace, Shalom, is different from how the world might define peace. I was about to do a lot of fighting for this peace; worshipping, mental battling, reading scripture, praying (or yelling at God I should say), and a whole lot of tears. And it was a fight I definitely couldn’t survive on my own.
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“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:11 (NIV)
We will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. I once heard Pastor Robert of Gateway Church say that you cannot argue with testimony. Testimony is one of the most powerful tools we have to further God’s Kingdom and conquer the enemy. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “Testimony” means–
“a : a solemn declaration usually made orally by a witness under oath in response to interrogation by a lawyer or authorized public official
b : firsthand authentication of a fact : evidence
c : an outward sign”
The story I’m about to share is one of the many testimonies about what God has done in my life. While I experienced a lot of sickness, hurt, and brokenness over this past year, this story is not about that. This is a story of healing; physical, emotional, and spiritual. And it is about the One that can truly and completely heal you inside and out. This is a story of how God led me to come out of hiding and allow him to heal my brokenness.
And let me tell you, he’s not finished yet. How do I know? I know because this very week I have been faced with a new set of challenges and difficulties. And I will face more. If I’m completely honest with you, I have had to battle and fight to write and share this story with you. “How could I write about healing of the body, mind and soul when I still, at times, feel broken? Maybe I should wait…” But wait for what? Till I’ve “arrived”? I will never be perfect and was never asked to be. I am, however, called to testify God’s goodness. I may be hit with new challenges, but God is a constant God. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And just as trouble continues to come, he continues to save, continues to heal, and continues to set free. And so, I am sharing this story with you now, in hopes that you may see God’s goodness in all things. I pray that as you take this journey with me, you would be blessed.
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Lately on my drive home from school or work, I have been leaving the radio and all other devices off and driving in complete silence. Now, if you know me well, you will know that “silence” is something I tend to leave on a shelf in the corner of the room collecting dust and cobwebs, only to be taken down on rare occasions. This, my friends, is no good. And for the past year or so, I have become more and more aware of the fact. Silence is a key discipline in our spiritual growth that allows room for God to speak into every crack and crevice of our hearts. But before he can fill those spaces, we must remove the noise and rattle of everyday life that’s constantly trying to clog up the arteries of our spiritual hearts. And so, I have slowly been changing my diet from hearty helpings of hustle, bustle, and noise to slices of solitude and rest. Read More »
On January 1st, 2018, around 1:00 am, my best friend, Sophia, came up with the idea for us to write a letter to the new year; No conditions, rules, or limits. After a period of time we would read our letters aloud to kick off 2018. We began, and as my pencil reached my notebook, I struggled to etch out a single word. I was flooded by the overwhelming memories of the previous year. I wanted to write something, but the fear of being an absolute bummer stilled my pondering hand.
I sometimes have a tendency to drift out into a sea of melancholy and emotion without realizing it. I do not do it for the purpose of being dramatic, to gain attention, or to throw myself a pity party. I do it, because I believe in honesty. When I feel something, whether it be considered a positive or negative feeling, I need to express that feeling in the most truthful way possible. I do not believe I am being dramatic if I feel dramatically, and choose to express that in its purest state. But still, as my hand approached the page, I hesitated. I feared that maybe, on this fun New Year’s night, total honesty might not be accepted. But deep down I knew that was a lie.Read More »
One thing that always amazes me when looking back on my past, is how much my world has changed. My world was once so much smaller than it is today. I lived a small life because I felt small. The way I lived had become comfortable and it felt safe. I remember the lies I use to believe and the borders that I had created as a false sense of “protection” that, for years, limited my ability to live the life God calls me to. The life I envisioned for myself was much smaller than the life God was offering. My world might be bigger now than what it use to be, but everyday, God is calling us all to experience a larger life. He expands our world to make room for new relationships, bigger dreams, renewed faith, and a larger way of living. Read More »
Why a blog? It’s the question that’s been on my mind for a while. What do I have to say that could add value to someone’s day? Something that will make people stop and actually take the time to read in a generation where only 44% of adults this year will read a book, A -Singular- Book, according to the Literacy Project Foundation. Now, to call a blog a book is definitely a stretch, but they both allow readers to delve into the mind of the author. I guess that’s me then. Intimate stuff right? So, why am I blogging and why now? I am simply one blogger in a vast sea of other bloggers trying to write their thoughts and stories down and send them off into this crazy dimension we call the internet.Read More »