Monday, August 24, 2015

Restoration

The Lord has promised good to me. His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be, as long as life endures.

Monday, June 01, 2015

a yoke of slavery

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1


I have been set free.

...I allowed myself to be burdened, and now I am free again. 

I am realizing I need to find the old Kenzie. The set-free me that was confident, adventurous, fun-loving, and wholeheartedly following God. I have learned so much through recent experiences, one thing has changed: my naïveté is diminished and I have more of a backbone to stand up for my convictions.

I had allowed myself to bend and change. It happened slowly: inch by inch. I allowed myself to be controlled. I became hollow-feeling. I felt depressed and worthless. I would cry often.

I take responsibility for allowing this to happen. I should have had a backbone. I should have left this  sooner. But I thought by staying I was doing good. I believed lies. All of the red flags were there, I just wanted to ignore them. 

Praise God, I was empowered by a loving support group to move forward and out.  

God has forgiven me. That should be enough. But when one is in this mindset, one learns to twist blame around to themselves. Learning to forgive myself and see myself as God's beloved child is so hard.

The spirit laid Psalm 73 on my heart. I felt a surge of joy and a pang of sadness identifying with Asaph as I read his psalm.  
God is indeed good to Israel,
to the pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet almost slipped;
my steps nearly went astray.
For I envied the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have an easy time until they die,
and their bodies are well fed.
They are not in trouble like others;
they are not afflicted like most people.
Therefore, pride is their necklace,
and violence covers them like a garment.

It is difficult to admit that I allowed myself to get totally swept up into things that in the perspective of God's bigness are flecks of mud, not worth a thought. I began to change my perspective from God to things in the here and now. Like Asaph, I wondered: 

"Did I purify my heartand wash my hands in innocence for nothing?" 

I started to wonder if God really even cared about what I was currently doing vs what I had been doing as I followed him. 
In hindsight, YES HE DOES CARE. But at the time I was beginning to be bogged down and not able to see with perspective; I doubted God's goodness and will.

I have been embittered by some circumstances. It hurts. I felt like God was silent, but it was from my own ignorance. I had been willfully ignorant, making it difficult for me to hear God. 
A few weeks ago I began to fervently pray and seek him, and as I became convicted, doors opened and truth was revealed. 

Restoration is underway. 

Knowing that the maker of the world cares this much for me, that he promises to uphold and love me... it's overwhelming. 


21 When I became embittered
and my innermost being was wounded,
22 I was stupid and didn’t understand;
I was an unthinking animal toward You.
23 Yet I am always with You;
You hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with Your counsel,
and afterward You will take me up in glory.
25 Who do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
27 Those far from You will certainly perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
so I can tell about all You do.
I have strayed from being who God has called me to be. But I know that in Him, He will guide my heart. He is my refuge and he is always with me.

I praise him for being my strength when I fail. I praise him for guiding me and for his goodness.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

not resolutions pt 1

It is a new year! Time for that resolution list!

Personally, I feel that resolutions are silly things to make. With the start of the new year everyone does reflect back and think of ways to further improve before jumping back into the whirlwind that is life. Call me a hipster for not wanting to call these planned directions "resolutions", buuuut I'm not calling these things resolutions. These are things that I am going to actively work to improve upon for my well-being indefinitely.

So, during the winter break, I've taken time to assess myself. I've looked at how I engage with work, school, myself, friends, family...and I've realized a few things. As humbling as this is to type out, I know I will be glad to someday (hopefully!) see the progress and steps I've been taking towards becoming a better human. I'll just hit on one giant tender area in this post.

*deep breath* okherewego

LOVE.

"Love your neighbor as yourself"
This line came to mind repeatedly yesterday morning as I was taking some time to reflect and pray.
Sometimes verses pop to mind and play in my head over and over like a broken record.

"Love your neighbor as yourself"
I've been realizing I am so unkind and unloving to myself. If I treated others the way I treat myself, I would have no friends. I always find faults. When others compliment me, I realize that I usually shoot them down (I've realized this is SO rude, I don't like it when people do that to me, why on earth would I think my friends are ok with me not accepting the nice things they say?) Nothing I do measures up to my own standard. I see all the "blaring" things that should be tweaked, be it my body image, the level of academics, even silly things like hobbies...it's a never-ending list. I nitpick and find errors in everything I do. I hang on to mistakes I make. It's perfectionism, and it's not healthy. It leads to those stressful situations I've blogged about before.

This is no way to live. Depressed because I don't live up to my own arbitrary standards?
This must change.
I should reevaluate what my standards are and who I let give me validity. My validity should not come from me or any human (though I do need to accept myself), but my validity comes first from God himself. He says that he loves me, and therefore I should love everyone (including me). He says that I am his creation.

Part of my moving forward plans (*ahem* not resolution) is to focus more on those validations rather than what I perceive.

Beyond even the treatment of others, this made me realize, if I cannot accept myself, warts and all, how can I fully be able to accept others just as they are?

This fight against my negative flaw-seeking mentality will not be an easy one. But by making small changes in my perceptions and with God's help, I hope to reshape my views and become a more loving, gracious person.

It's cliche, but 1 Corinthians 13 is how I hope to treat everyone, including myself:
I strive to:

  • be patient
  • be kind
  • not envious
  • not boastful
  • not rude
  • keep no records of wrongs 






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