Escape

…from the world that won’t slow down.

Healing January 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — lamatkins @ 3:20 am

Yesterday, I was driving (story of my life) and I felt that I needed to spend some time with God. Since I’m in my car a lot that is usually where I try to catch up on my conversations with Him. I usually don’t listen to Christian radio simply because most of the music is from the 90’s and it is all one dimensional; but last night I was. Two songs came on back to back that spoke to me. One was about letting go and allowing God to catch you. The second song that came on was “Lead me to the Cross.” So, I put these two together and got the message of “let go, trust me, come to me.” This leads me to my next point….

…Today in church, we heard a powerful message about healing. I am really trying to let the wounds from past events heal but because of the wall I have built up around me it has been pretty difficult. I had a minor breakdown (sobbing included) at the end of the service because our pastor invited people up for prayer who needed healing. Where was I? In my seat. I didn’t move for a couple reasons. 1) I barely know my new church family. I don’t even know how to tell them what I need prayer for! 2) I have a hard enough time letting people in on my struggles that I know, much less people whose names I don’t even know!

Looking back, I should have gotten up and gone for prayer. Me sitting in my seat was extra time of me holding on to pain. I’m scared about starting the healing process because of what it is…a process. It won’t be instant; and I want it to be.

Oh, self improvements. Why must you be so difficult?

 

 

Getting Over the Mountains January 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — lamatkins @ 8:05 pm

Well, I may not have blogged in a year but what better time to pick back up. We’ll call it a new year’s resolution.

Before I stopped blogging, my posts all centered around God. I want to continue that…hopefully I can stick to it better this time around.

One thing I have been dealing with a lot lately is feeling distant. It is almost like a “dry spell”. I have often heard that many, if not all, Christ followers go through these kind of seasons. While I am getting back to where I want to be in my relationship with God, I still struggle with seeing Him and hearing Him on a day to day basis. And to be honest, it is frustrating. But, I’m not frustrated with God. I’m frustrated with myself. How do I let myself become so detached from a God who loves me so much…the only one who has never forgotten me, given up on me, or abandoned me? I think part of me gets stuck with the mindset of “I can fix it myself”. By this I mean making our own way. Doing things our own way, on our own time. I have tried this many times before and you would think that by now I would have learned that it doesn’t work like that. Sure, you can be headstrong and determined….but that isn’t enough. I learn a little more everyday that I am not as strong as I think. My pride is bigger than I am and sometimes I let that take over how big I think my God is. It is something I am dealing with and have been working on a lot; especially in this last year.

In my life I have a lot of mountains, as I like to call them, in my life that make it difficult to let go of the past, focus on the future, and most importantly, to heal. Some days I feel like I could overcome all of them in one day, but other days I feel like I am overwhelmed and lonely.

Right now I am reading an online book about overcoming breakup. It has been some time since my breakup, but the wound still seems fresh every now and then. Although I was deeply hurt and saddened at the time, I am learning that it has brought new life to my relationship with God and really has changed my heart and my life. In trying to nourish my relationship with God I am trying to talk to Him more. Not by praying necessarily, but by having conversations with Him. A line in the first chapter of the book states this: “Now that you’re going through this rough time, you should be totally in His face through prayer and mediation on His word.” This is the first mountain I am overcoming and I am really in God’s face about helping me heal and grow in compassion, love, and contentment with my life.

I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with my other figurative mountain. It has to do with my family and I just don’t know how to talk about it without being so angry. My stepdad was a great man for a long time. He is now overtaken by a disease that has totally disconnected him from my mom, myself, and my sister. The effects that alcohol has had on his mind, body, and spirit are heartbreaking. He left his family and faith for a substance that has numbed him. What kind of man has he become? I have become so angry and bitter towards him that it has taken away from my joy and I find that so unfair.

These two mountains have made me build walls around me that I won’t let anyone break down. I don’t let people in to my life very often for fear of being hurt. I am angry at myself for not being able to let go completely and just start over.

I am a broken person.

But, I find joy in the fact that even in this “dry season” that I sometimes feel I am in, God still finds ways to reach out to me. I am being healed. Maybe not as quickly as I would like, but He is working. My mountains may be around for awhile, but my God will be around longer. I know that I have a lot of learning to do and a lot to work on in my life to truly become the woman God has planned for me to be. But, I feel like I have a good start. I just have to keep listening to Him and I have to continue to be “totally in His face”.

 

Hold Fast January 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lamatkins @ 5:25 am

These past couple of weeks I’ve found myself feeling really, well, sad. This last year in general has definitely been interesting and I’ve had times in my life this year where I’ve been overwhelmed with joy and other times where I just want to cry. Recently as I’ve found myself feeling a bit disconnected I’ve hesitated writing a blog. I really want to be an encouragement to people and someone that others can relate to but I guess I’ve felt that if I’m not happy I can’t be an encouragement…

But here’s what I’ve realized. I am happy. Here’s why…

One thing that I’ve kept going back to when I find myself feeling sad or lonely is that I know God is with me. Sure, we hear that a lot but  just pause and think about it…right now. He’s here. Just waiting for us to call out to Him; waiting for me to call out to Him. The song “Hold Fast” by MercyMe has been on my heart lately. Some of the lyrics say this: “what I’ve learned in my life, one thing greater than my strife is your grasp, so hold fast”. I absolutely love that line. To know that my God loves me, and pursues me, and is holding me tight is something I can find comfort in.

I spend a lot of time with God in my car. I drive a lot so when I’m in my car I know that I have time to just be quiet and listen to God and talk with Him; it’s good. In the time I’ve spent with Him recently, I’ve expressed my feelings of sadness and loneliness and each time I find myself being comforted. When we reach out to Him we are not turned away or ignored, and this is something I’ve found encouragement in. In this last year there have been definite times where I’ve felt ignored, forgotten, lonely, etc. But, there have also been times where I’m praying and a feeling of peace just pours over me and those times are the ones that I’m trying to focus on in this time of difficulty.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is this: When we cry out to God, we’re heard and we’re held. His grasp is strong and so is His love. The song, “When the Waters Rise” says this, “You are holding me together, with hands that hold forever, God you are strong”. I don’t let these times of darkness take over my life and consume me because I know that there is someone so much stronger than myself that takes care of me and holds me with the hands that hold forever…and that’s a hand that I always want to hold.

 

Women are Emotional January 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lamatkins @ 2:34 am

I’m getting a little farther into the book “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul” and this last chapter that I’ve been reading is about Eve and women in general. Now, I don’t know about all of you out there but I know that I made a few judgements about our friend Eve. However, as I continued reading I realized just what God had in mind when He created Eve. Here is a passage from this particular chapter that is talking about creation: “Truly the masterpiece seems complete. And yet, the Master says that something is not good, not right. Something is missing…and that something is Eve.” First of all, lets just re-read that and think about what it meant. Creation comes to a finish not with animals, water, land, trees, birds, Adam, etc. Creation was finished after God created Eve. She was the Master’s “finishing touch”.

There are two things I thought I knew a lot about. Me (a woman) and God. Wrong. I have always thought “of course I know I’m made in His image and of course I know that God is awesome and amazing and wonderful and so much more” but I never made God and I one. I’ll explain what I mean by this. When God made Eve, He wanted to show us something about Himself. Break that down. When God made woman, it was so He could reveal Himself in a way so that we (people in general) could draw closer to Him; He gave that special gift to women. We are so important! Now, here is how the book explains what God wanted to reveal about Himself: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. This sounds simple and it sounds like something we have heard growing up knowing who God is. But, do you think that it also sounds a bit familiar to us as women? Don’t we want to be loved? Don’t we want to be a priority to someone? (I’ll raise my hand!) Wouldn’t it make sense that if we as women yearn for a loving relationship and long to be loved and persued, then we run to the person who is asking for the same thing? Jeremiah 31:3 says this: “I have loved you with an everlasting love”.

Most women are emotional and relational, and it’s okay–God is too. The longing in the heart of women to want to share a life with someone and not merely be a “tag along” is straight from God; and He feels the same way. He wants us to need Him desperately. God placed the responsibility of being an example of who God is on Women because He knew we could handle being a little emotional. The next time you find yourself feeling emotional, remember that its okay…you’ve got something in common with God our Father.

In the last few months, I have been finding comfort in knowing that God loves me in such a way that I will never be able to fully comprehend. Remember, He loves us with an everlasting love. And as women, we are able to show others God’s love in a way that only we can. God has trusted us with a great responsibility and I know that as emotional women we will get the job done. Love ’em like Jesus y’all 😉

 

jesus time on a snow day January 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — lamatkins @ 5:46 am

Today was supposed to be the second day of classes, but because of the weather we had a snow day. Too bad, I totally wish I could have been in classes all day (please take note of my sarcasm).

Because of the glorious snow day, I slept in and became a complete couch potato. I watched the complete first season of Glee and don’t regret a single minute of it. After I was done with mindlessly watching television I decided to read a little bit of the book called “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul“. At the end of the day I love reading and spending time with God. I’ve just started this book but so far it is awesome and I totally recommend it. My God moment of the day came when I was reading this book tonight. The beginning of one of the chapters had this verse: “The King is enthralled by your beauty” Psalm 45:11. Wow. I mean, what else is there to say?

I have gotten in the habit of writing bible verses on my bathroom mirror so I can remind myself of God’s love everyday and to bring me a little encouragement. After I read the verse from Psalm I decided to write it on my mirror. After I wrote it, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and just started laughing. Because its a snow day and I’ve just been sitting in my apartment with my roommates not trying to impress anyone, I didn’t shower today….don’t be grossed out. I know at least 1 of you who read this did the same thing. Anyways, I started laughing because I was thinking to myself…”God is enthralled, awestruck, amazed by my beauty right now. I haven’t showered or brushed my hair all day, I have no makeup on and I’m still in my p.j’s…and he is enthralled by my beauty?!” This was such an amazing thing for me to realize. Girls, never lose sight of how beautiful each one of you are. We are made in the image of God…how could we not be beautiful? I hope each one of you remembers this verse; maybe you’ll even write it on your bathroom mirror! Look at it every morning when you first wake up and know that even then, when you’re first waking up and your hair is a mess and you’ve got no makeup on that God thinks you are so gorgeous and so amazingly beautiful.

I will be the first to tell someone that I don’t always think I’m beautiful…a lot of times I haven’t even thought I was “cute”, but every now and then God gives you a little reminder. Even on snow days.

-enthralled: mesmerized, fascinated, enchanted, riveted, intrigued