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Sometimes, “Goodbye” is a Second Chance

Courtesy of Google’s “Free to Use, Share or Modify, Even Commercially.”

Over the past few months, my heart hasn’t been feeling very “Jesus-y.” I was having frustrations with my church that were causing my heart to turn away from God when I needed Him the most.

I had previously had problems with my church and was recently starting to see my church for what it really was.

My friend and I actually met up at Denny’s after I got off work one night. I’ll never forget a few of the things she said that really made a lot of sense to me. I remember her saying that my frustrations with the church were going to prevent spiritual growth, which another friend of mine said to me as well.

The one thing I’ll never forget is when she said, “Tell me about your personal walk with God right now” and I replied, “I don’t have one.”

And the truth of it is that I think I was so caught up in giving to others that I forgot about myself. One of the reasons my relationship with God has lost its strength is because I wasn’t attending service, listening to the podcasts, reading my Bible; doing the things I needed to be doing in order to maintain my relationship with God. I was volunteering with kids, so worried about others’ relationship with God, that I wasn’t committed to getting what I needed to stay healthy with God.

Flash forward to now: I have recently left the church I called home for 9 years. There were certain events that took place that led up to this decision, as well as frustrations with certain choices that were made.

 

But that’s not what this post is about…

 

I wake up almost every morning and when I think about my love for Jesus, it’s more or less in the back of my mind. My heart hasn’t been it for a while now. I felt like I was only going to church for the kids I was taking care of down in the nursery, not for Jesus. Writing this right now, I don’t feel in it. Every Sunday, it used to be, “Yes! Church!” But now it’s, “Okay, I guess I’ll go” or “Nah, maybe next week. I’m sleeping in.” I think one of the reasons my heart is not in it  is because I still went to this church. I honestly tried to make it work because I really hoped and had faith that God had a better plan for all of this. But, maybe this is my chance to feel whole again. I do still have a shred of faith and hope left that God can make me whole again, even though my heart is shattered.

I’m trying to remember what it felt like to have a heart on fire for Jesus, but I’ve been so brainwashed and had my heart destroyed continuously that I’m wondering if it can ever be repaired.

But even with a heart that is trying to mend, I will not stop. I will not quit. I know that there is a man who loved me so much that He died for me and everything I do wrong. He took nails through His hands for the person sitting here, writing this, whose heart is not in it. And my heart may not be in it now, but I’m hoping with time, my heart will heal and I will be whole again. Because I will not break. I will not sink. I am not an anchor, but He is an anchor for my soul. And as Shinedown says in one of their songs, “sometimes, ‘goodbye’ is a second chance.”

 

STEPS I’M TAKING TO MAINTAIN MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AGAIN:

  • New church: I’m currently looking for a new church to attend. I’m committed to getting my relationship with God back on track and where it needs to be. The church I went to before was once the place where I was actively getting my fill, but it is not anymore.
  • Bible app: I have been reading a Bible plan on a Bible app called “Bible Study” since Valentines’ Day. It was the first step I took to get my spiritual strength back. The Bible plan is a chronological 365 day plan that gives you a few chapters each day.
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13 Reasons 13 Reasons Why is Important (Part 1)



13Reasons13ReasonsWhyisImportantThere’s been so much talk lately about the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why that I am about over hearing about it.  Not because I didn’t watch it — I did, twice. The first time by myself then I convinced my mom that she should watch it so we watched it together.  It’s not that I don’t think we should be talking about 13 Reasons Why, it’s that we all need to realize that we’re not just talking about a Netflix series when we’re talking about it.  We’re talking about people’s lives that hang in the balance of whether or not they decide that will be their last day.

So, as the title suggests, we’re going to talk about 13 reasons I personally think that 13 Reasons Why is important.   But I’m going to break it into a couple posts because this post ended up being pretty long.

#1 It opens up room for discussion. 

Yeah, I just complained about the fact that we’re still talking about 13 Reasons Why, but I don’t think it’s the series itself that was the goal of the series for us to talk about.  It was suicide prevention, awareness, etc.

#2 It’s honest. 

I realize that the scene of Hannah Baker’s suicide is graphic, and I don’t think that younger viewers or those experiencing suicidal thoughts should watch that scene (or possibly the whole series, for that matter).  However, the scene of Hannah’s suicide as well as the rest of the series is raw in exposing the truth behind what led her down that road.  One thing that television is not is honest, so I think we should appreciate the honesty and the rawness of 13 Reasons Why. There were also objections in the way of this series purely being about Hannah’s revenge rather than about her feelings and how she truly internalized everything.  I disagree, I think the show does a good job of showing how Hannah felt as she endured everything she went through.

#3 It’s Real Life. 

Gosh, I wish no one ever had to experience all of the things that Hannah did.  But the truth is, girls do and so do guys, and I think that we need to be more aware of this and be there for others if someone is experiencing things like betrayal, harassment, being stalked, raped, or feeling alone or unloved.  It can only take one of these things or one other completely different thing to cause someone to commit suicide.

#4 It’s Not Funny

If someone’s “joking” about killing themselves, please, please, please address it.  Even if it’s said jokingly, you shouldn’t ever ignore someone saying they’re going to end their life.

On the other hand, if you’re joking about suicide in general or killing yourself and you aren’t having suicidal thoughts, just stop. 

#4 It Encourages Us to Be Aware

Just my opinion, but I think the furthest thing from the goal of 13 Reasons Why was to make people feel that they should feel guilty if they have lost someone in their lives as a result of suicide.  However, we can all do a better job of being there for one another and could possibly prevent someone from deciding to commit suicide with a simple smile or text.  You never know what someone else is going through, reaching out to them is worth it.

#5 Love Before It’s Too Late

If you’ve seen the series, you know that it primarily focuses on Clay Jenson listening to Hannah’s tapes.  Clay loved Hannah, but it was too late to tell her.   Point being, whether you think someone else feels the same way or not, tell them.  You’ll only regret not telling them.

This one goes for every single person in our lives, family, friends, and those you don’t know.  You never know how much time you’ll have with people, and whether you have 5 days, 5 years, or 50 years, better to spend your time together richly than to spend it focused on your phones, television and video games.

Come back for Part 2 next week! Until then, check out some “old” posts:

Christian Relationship Goals (Part 1)

Watch Out for Ticks