Today, I was looking through some of my old writing from back when I was first diagnosed with arthritis. I'm talking 2-3 years old. Never "published" old. For some reason, this one stuck out to me among all the tear-stained pages of my journal. It's amazing to me because I don't ever remember feeling this way, exactly. I just remember being drained, exhausted and frustrated at everything that was happening in my life during this time.
That's why I love writing - why I always have. There's just something so freeing and liberating about getting those thoughts out on paper or in a blog post.
Looking back at it now, 2-3 years later, I'm completely blown away at how far I've come and how much I've changed and grown. It's really pretty amazing and I owe it ALL to God for changing my heart.
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"I’m a giver. It’s who I am. Better yet, it’s who God created me to be. I enjoy giving my time to the families I babysit for. I love giving my time to my family in friends whenever they’re in need of a listening ear. I adore giving my time to Jesus while reading the Bible, praying, and living for Him each and everyday. I’m a giver. It’s who I am. It’s who God created me to be.
I love being just that... A giver. But
sometimes all too often, I get frustrated because I am this way. I get upset because even after all the things I sacrifice for certain people… They don’t give anything back. I get frustrated because I'm drained, exhausted, and want so badly just to worry about myself for one day.
But today, I am making a vow to myself and God that I will improve on this particular habit of mine, because I recognize that GOD has ever so graciously placed this heart inside of me... And this heart? This heart is like no other. It's strong willed, it's passionate, and it's God-given. God's set me on a mission that's compatible with my heart and personality strengths.
You know what else I recognize? that those feelings of ‘What will I get in return?’ are Satan trying to turn me into the opposite person God has destined me to be.
However, there is One bigger than any mountain that I face… And that same One is the One who died on the cross for my sin. The One that loves on me even when I've made my biggest mistakes. He’s the same One who first loved me… And He’ll surely be the last.
With this in mind, today is the day it ends. No, Satan, don’t get your hopes up… I’m not talking about the giving. I’m talking about the negativity you are bringing to the glorious task God has trusted me with. And guess what buddy - negativity is NOT welcome here. It is not accepted here, and it never will be. Take a hike!
And to You, Jesus, lover and creator of my soul. I thank You for continuing to challenge me. I thank You for the comfort, hope, and strength You've given me… Every piece of my heart is YOURS! I will serve You – and if that means giving to others even when it's hard, even when it doesn't seem worth it, I’ll do it... And I'll do it for Your glory."
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I can't even imagine myself as the person I described myself as in some of these seemingly ancient words...
Right now, 2-3 years later, I go crazy if I go half a day without GIVING something. My time, words, energy... You name it. I go nutso.
Why is that? How is that even possible?
It all goes back to the day I wrote these words... The day I took that step of faith and that stand against negativity. What it actually boils down to, though? It's ALL God. It's me finally accepting the person He's called me to be. It's growing in faith. It's perspective.
I love that. I love seeing the results of Him working on me, my heart, and my life. I'm so grateful that He cares enough to work on me - but loves me just the same as He did before. That's the love I'm living for. :-)
2 Corinthians 5:17~ "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"