Faith without the Life Preserver

Faith without the Life Preserver

God has recently put on my heart the topic of faith…especially the time when He called Peter onto the water.

How many times has God called us to “walk on water” yet our fear makes us want to take a life preserver or even use a paddle board to get to Him?

I don’t know about you, but I have reached for that life preserver a bunch of times before following God’s voice as He calls me onto the depths that will test my faith.

Now, as some of you know, God healed me from a chronic infection in my jawbones from wisdom tooth extractions. This illness caused my whole body to be out of whack—chronic pain, tons of food allergies, dizziness, multiple chemical sensitivity, etc. The blood cultures from my jawbone had every kind of bad bacteria that were off the charts. God healed all of these areas of my life several years ago.

When I was first sick, I could hear God’s voice calling me to trust Him and accept Him as my healer, but I was too afraid. I went to multiple doctors, specialists, etc. in attempts to find the cause and trying to find the remedy (this took years to figure out my jawbone infections).

I did learn a lot down this “illness road”, which even led me to a more holistic/natural life…but there was a big piece missing—the amazing faith that I read continually about in the Bible.

The faith that could heal the blind, call the invalids to walk and the dead to rise.

I was so engrossed with these Biblical stories and often would stay-up late—pouring over the Bible—searching for all the verses of faith.

Then it hit me—I was bringing a life preserver with me whilst attempting to walk forward onto the depths of faith. Also, my focus was on the storm instead of the One who could speak peace to its torrential waves.

I remember the day that I accepted God as my healer and stepped-out in faith–with no doubts. My focus was on Him. I dropped that preserver and discarded that paddle board. All I could see in my vision was God.

At this time, I entered into a spiritual battle with the enemy—he attempted to make my fear bigger than my faith…but I pushed-on and accepted the healing that God called me to.

I was free. #bestfeelingever

Now, as I continue in this temporary life—this earthly journey to eternity—my faith has been tested even more so.

This made me realize that God wanted me to walk in faith in every aspect of my life…and, to be honest, this was more difficult than walking in faith for my physical healing.

Through the following years after being healed, I have struggled with very toxic people being thrown into my life. I tried to help them with my own resources but then realized that, yet again, this was taking my life preserver to assist them.

God wanted this part of my life too. How to deal with people in a loving way—not relying on my own ability but my capability through Him as He guides me through faith. How to help them and/or when to step-back and let God deal with their hearts in His own way, etc.

…and it doesn’t stop there! 😊

My goal is to become a faith walker in every bit of my life. From continued health, to relationships, to finances, to everything.

Yes, mistakes and hiccups will happen—the times that I focus on the storm instead of Him—but these are the moments that grace comes in and it ends-up being an even better lesson in this journey of life.

Now, I will end this blog post with some of my favorite verses of faith (I hope they help and inspire you on your own journey).

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

“And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:22-24

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

~ Toxic Christianity ~

~ Toxic Christianity ~

I have known many Christians who:

  • set the bar of “perfection” when they themselves have yet to reach it…
  • speak greatly of conflict resolution, yet their family is divided…
  • speak of being kind to one another, yet they yell and mentally abuse their family at home…
  • speak of love yet have physically abused their spouse behind the scenes…
  • use the verse “Children obey your parents” but belittle and bully their kids whilst ignoring the verse “Fathers don’t provoke your children to anger.”
  • are church leaders that speak of helping others but were absent when their own family had a crisis.

These toxic “Christians” put such heavy burdens on others whilst refraining from walking in that path themselves.

And they tie up heavy burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as their finger. And they do all their deeds to be noticed by other people; for they broaden their [c]phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garmentsAnd they love the place of honor at banquets, and the seats of honor in the synagogues…” Matthew 23:4-6

When it comes down to it—bring this heavy burden that the hypocrites have put on you and lay it before God’s feet. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring truth and revelation to you.

Let me add this—a toxic hypocritical Christian and those with narcissistic traits will tend to side with the accuser and abuser because they are one and the same. They will even use verses to back their belief (as stated below). You may ask, “Why would I accept a toxic Christian’s advice in my own life?” Well, you might at first, because they appear good on the outside (like previously mentioned). The revelation of their true character will arise eventually and/or if God reveals it to you.

“For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” Luke 8:17

Yes, the hypocrite’s words can be in tune with what the Bible states, but did not Satan use verses to tempt Jesus in the wilderness? Does not the enemy appear as an angel of light? What seems good and right may not be in accord with what God is telling you in this moment, in this season you’re in.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every matter under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

I believe that the Bible is like a map, and one that we can reference to our lives, but we need the Holy Spirit as a compass to guide our ways in it.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[b] may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

As an example, let’s talk about conflict resolution. There is a time for it, but there is also a time to kick out the scoffer, be absent from the reviler and run from someone who is bursting forth with temptation—it all depends on the season and predicament you’re in.

  • “Drive out the scoffer, and strife will leave, Even quarreling and dishonor will cease.” Prov. 22:10
  • “But [a]actually, I [b]wrote to you not to associate [c]with any so-called brother if he is a sexually immoral person, or a greedy person, or an idolater, or is verbally abusive, or habitually drunk, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a person.” 1 Corinthians 5:11
  • The verses that really stood out to me about temptation was Joseph and Potiphar’s wife…how he didn’t stay and attempt conflict resolution with her about her tempting him—he ran. “She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside.”

In addition, we should always be kind to one another, love one another and those who are parents and married should love and respect their children and spouse as they expect their children and spouse do in return, and so-on.

End thought: Take everything that someone may tell you, with a grain of salt, for they don’t know the season you’re in, but God does. They may not be living-up to their own standard of Christianity and may just be projecting their own mistakes, horrid behavior, insecurities and flaws on you. Don’t allow that burden to be put on your shoulders, lay it at God’s feet.

To all the Nice People Out There…

To all the Nice People Out There…

To all the nice people out there…

You know you’ve been raised to be a nice person, when you tend to keep your opinions to yourself due to not wanting controversy or due to the fear of hurting a friend’s feelings or even due to the fear of being shut-down and bullied for your beliefs.

First of all—a friend might believe you agree with them if you don’t state your opinion. This could lead to an unbalanced friendship—and the uncomfortable situation of having to sit and be silent while they continually bring up a topic/dislike/etc. that you disagree with. It creates a wedge rather than a bond, as you would by trusting a friend with your opinion as they trusted you.

Second—there is a gracious way to bring your beliefs forward. Such as the following: “I totally respect you, and I’m grateful that you are comfortable enough with me to share your beliefs and opinions. Although, I do disagree and here’s why…” This will help identify that you are not disrespecting your friend—just giving a different opinion to theirs. This is how iron sharpens iron—for we all have walked different paths and have different difficulties in life that influence our ideas on different subjects and matters—these views can help us both grow.

LastlyIf they put you down and bully you—they are not your friend.

Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times.”

What is love?Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Also, I like to look-up definitions of words that bring a whole other understanding; thus, the definition of the word “friend” via Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary is as follows:

  • one attached to another by affection or esteem
  • one that is not hostile
  • a favored companion

Affection: a feeling of liking and caring for someone or something tender attachment: fondness
Hostile: marked by malevolence having or showing unfriendly feelings : having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature
Favored: providing preferential treatment
Companion: one that keeps company with another

And here is the best part about being open with your opinions in a kind manner—those who are respectful of them, no matter if they agree or not, prove that they are truly friends. The ones who are bullies and irate—will dislike you and possibly leave and that is totally fine. You and your opinion matter. I truly love the saying, “Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”

Stay kind, friends, and remember you can have your opinion and still be nice.