as i am taking a little break in blogging while i work on my writing projects i thought i would have a few of my writer friends here for a visit…enjoy!
WHEN YOU HAVE DONE ALL YOU CAN TO STAND
You stand some more. Don’t let anything move you. When wind of doubt threatens to throw you off your place, you plant your feet firmer. When obstacles hurl themselves towards you, duck but don’t back down. Stand. When you are about to be pushed over by the weight of hardship, lean in and push against it.
Its harder to stand than to move. Try standing in one spot and not move for fifteen minutes, thirty minutes, an hour…. it’s hard. Likewise, it’s hard to stand and face your doubt square in the face. To be honest with your inner emotion, to have the courage to hand it over into the hands of a loving God…. to believe. To still believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that what He says He is, He IS. It goes against the very fabric of our culture to stand and still believe when the message everywhere is to run to things that will help make it all better; shopping, another coffee, a promotion, a night on the town, the image a group of friends can bring, a new shade of lipstick.... but all it does is keep us in its grip, only to repeat the cycle again, and leaving us empty.
Can you still believe He is love, He is good, kind despite what’s been happened to you? Can you have enough faith to believe in God’s complete ability to restore your life? Even further, can you have enough faith to believe that in the meantime brokenness can bring life to you greater than you’ve known; fellowship with Jesus and His sufferings.
Suffering? There's a word that our culture avoids at all costs.... because it goes right against the god of self.
Do you blame yourself? Do you think its because you somehow haven’t met God’s ideals? Do you feel you fell short and he’s punishing you? I went through a season like that. I lost a job I loved, my father passed away suddenly from cancer, three months later, I lost my grandma who I was very close with unexpectedly to heart failure. All I was left with was doubt. The next few years I lost more; my grandpa, my hip hop business I started from the ground up, almost all of my friends, and the hardest hit of all; moving to a new city, bringing me to the loneliest place I’ve ever been. I thought God had left me. I was numb. I wanted to live for Him, but felt I was no longer invited. All I could say to God for two years was; “I’m so sorry…” I could only pray He would hear me. Too bad I didn’t stick around long enough to hear his response.
What do you do when your life isn’t turning out the way you thought? Where’s God?? Maybe there’s more to suffering and this life than we think? Looking back, I can see the depth brokenness and hardship created in my life. That depth wasn’t there before. Mountain tops give great views, but it’s the climb that builds the muscles. You can’t always have the spiritual-high. At some point, tension needs to make you stronger. So, back to the question: will you stand and stay standing?
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way”. (James 1:2-4 The Message)
It takes guts to stand through the challenges without falling for the culture's typical remedies. And just because the verse says the end result is being mature and well-developed doesn’t mean you can’t be honest about the journey. Once I finally realized God didn’t hate me, I was truthful with Him about my emotions; my grief, my disappointment, my pain, my anger…. and He was able to handle it.
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. (Philippians 3:10)
When we “participate in His sufferings”, we know Him more. Is that the cry of your heart; to know Him? Are you willing to allow suffering to bring you closer to Him, rather than cause your heart to run from Him? Are you willing to see suffering as an advocate rather than something to detest? That's probably one of our biggest challenges as culture rebels; to have the guts to participate with Christ IN suffering.... and to do it willingly. Who DOES that??
It will take more courage than you know you have… but you DO have it. Don’t quit. Dare to stand firm and let nothing move you.
And when you have done everything to stand…. stand some more. That is the marking of a rebel...
Connie Jakab is the author of the blog, Culture Rebel, which is also her first book title released this fall 2012 Connie is passionate about rebelling against status quo living and encouraging others to branch out. The founder of WILD (women impacting lives daily) as well as Mpact (www.mpactdance.com), a dance company that produces shows based on social justice issues, Connie drives her passion outward into the arms of those wanting something more radical and meaningful in life. Connie is an active speaker and lives with her husband and two boys in Calgary, Alberta Canada. She can be found on twitter @ConnieJakab