Monday, February 23, 2015

Longing for a Greater Sense of Normalcy







I am unsure of what you are facing in life; what you fear, are upset over, trying to run away from, what brings you anxiety, keeps you awake at night, or might even chip away at your sanity and well-being day by day.


I don't know all the details of your life and everything you have gone through that has played a role in who you are today.  I am quite clueless to what your childhood was like, how you feel about your parents, what you wish you could have accomplished by this time in your life, who you admire from afar, the sort of people you would love to spend time with if you had the chance, how you spend your free time, the sinful bondage you may have been battling for the last decade, how often you engage in OR toy with the idea of self-injury, the loneliness you feel, the companionship you long for, how distant you may feel from what society has coined as normal, or a host of other feelings, emotions, and longings we all have that more often than not, others do not know about.


Believe it or not, I know what it is like to feel alone, to be lacking friendships, to desire a greater sense of normalcy in life, to wish my life was more fun, etc.  I know what it is like to battle addiction, engage in self-harm, have issues with food, feel unattractive, be socially awkward at times due to shyness or insecurity, and to let days and days go by without picking up the Bible or praying to God from an honest heart.


I really want to encourage each of you to get on your face before God, kneel before Him and weep if need be by sharing with Him all that is on your heart; your secrets, your desires, your worries, your joys and sorrows...everything!  Plead with Him to help you make a schedule and follow a daily routine where Christ is kept front and center, where the Lord is acknowledged in everything, and where your responsibilities and walk with God are first priorities.  We all have God-given roles and responsibilities in life; whether that is being a student, having a job, being a stay-at-home mom or wife, or investing in our families as we are still living at home and not yet married.  No matter how rough or tiresome your current circumstances are, commit your life in its entirety to Christ and offer Him all that you are.  Living for Jesus and taking His word seriously as you treasure and study it, then applying it to your life is the best choice you can make; no matter if you are a preteen or a grandparent, a kid or a working mom, a twenty-something wishing you were married already or a husband and father who, if he were honest, feels such pressure at times to give the proper amount of time to each of his responsibilities and the precious people in his life that he wishes there was a way of escape.


Taking up our cross daily and following Christ is not easy.  It requires disciplining ourselves to make the best use of our time, resources, and talent, to place the highest emphasis on God's word possible by "treasuring the words of His mouth more than (our) necessary food" (Job 23: 12) and then obeying what we read out of humble gratitude and thanksgiving for the precious gift of God's salvation and His faithfulness to us.  It requires a total change in how we live, speak, act, think, spend money and time, the entertainment we view, and the company we keep.  Our walk with God must encompass all of life, otherwise it is futile.  God doesn't want just outward obedience.  He wants our heart and our surrender, a commitment to Him from a willing heart.  He wants us to get to know Him through the regular reading of His word and to keep the lines of communication open between us and Him through honest prayer.


"Godliness is the goal of spiritual disciplines, when we remember this, the disciplines become a delight instead of drudgery." Don Whitney


"The Bible was not given for our information but for our transformation." D. L. Moody


"The outcome of [biblical] meditation should be application." Don Whitney


"Surely the principles as well as the practice of Christianity are simple, & lead not to meditation only but to action." William Pitt


"Human history is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy." C. S. Lewis


As I ponder everything God has rescued me from, ways He has restored my life, brought along people, situations and circumstances to show me my need for Him, taught me lessons, made a way out of bad friendships/relationships, and made me whole, no amount of gratitude can suffice for how immensely grateful I am that God intervened in my life.  He did so in seemingly impossible situations that I felt there was no way out of.  He allowed me to have a praying mom, a close friend who has been such a gem by way of example and teaching me so much about life, a step dad who taught my siblings and I about Christianity, other worldviews, and life in general as to prepare us to face a hostile-toward-God world which esteems not the Bible as the word of God but mocks it daily and lives in willful disobedience to it. ...


And even though some relationships in my life have been lost and there have been people who were extremely instrumental in pointing me to Christ and presenting evidence/sharing Biblical resources on the validity of the Bible and Christ's claims who are no longer a part of my life, I cannot help but sing and praise my Savior for His intervention.  His redemption, restoration, healing, and continued work on my heart.  His abundant mercy and love for me.  His kindness and goodness.  His wisdom and power.  His ability to mold and shape us, to refine and purge us, sanctify and conform us more into the image of His Son (Romans 8: 29).




The song Amazing Grace resonates so well with my heart:



Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, 
That saved a wretch like me. 
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.



My hope and desire through my blog and weekly newsletter is to make an impact in each of your lives for the glory of God.  I hope my writings are edifying & enable growth and that you are blessed by what I, His humble servant and willing slave, have to share.


If any of you would like to converse through letters, please don't hesitate to write to me at EmmaJoyBlog@gmail.com


Keep in mind that I, as a flawed sinner in constant need of God's guidance and discipline, can most likely relate to you more than you'd think.  It seems people have the tendency to put others they might admire or like on a pedestal as though that person is close to perfect or doesn't experience the same temptations, trials and tribulations that are so common to man.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Our only hope is Jesus.  Our only source of true transformation is His word.  And our worth should not be assumed by the appearance of our accomplishments nor by what the world defines as beautiful, worthy of attention, or cool.  Whether you have been a Christian for one month or forty years, there will always be room (and need) for further sanctification and becoming more like Christ.


"For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."  Philippians 1: 6

2 comments:

Abi George said...

This was a blessing to me. I thank you so much.

Emma Joy said...

I'm glad. You are very welcome!

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