Monday, September 27, 2010

When He Speaks...

I don't know how YHVH speaks to others. I only know that He speaks to me very clearly either by giving me particular passages of scripture to read (leading me to them, usually using blogs or other media) or by simply inspiring me and causing me to think of something that answers a recent prayer. This has been happening more and more often lately. I am incredibly grateful to Yah for giving me the opportunity to improve myself and my devotion to Him. This walk has been difficult at times, and I think that if it weren't for His voice there may have been times I would simply have given up and chosen an easier path, such as the one I was one before I really discovered Yeshua.

I want to tell you today about the way in which He spoke to me. It was incredibly significant, but I didn't recognize it until only a moment ago, when I was attempting to write an entirely different blog post. 

It began today while I was watching TV and working on knitting a gift for my father. I was watching a television show on TLC and the husband mentioned that his wife was always happy and smiling, no matter what the circumstances. He went on to say that they always had fun together. It occurred to me that although I don't typically watch this show, in this case (at least) she seemed to be a genuinely and constantly happy woman. This clearly pleased her husband, who was happy not only with her, but with the time that they spent together. 

Even had it not occurred to me that my husband and I have not been enjoying our "together time" as much as we could, it would have struck me that I don't smile very much these days. I could try to blame the lack of smiles on overall stress or on the fact that the autumn weather has begun the process of making me depressed (because I need to start taking artificial vitamins or drinking more milk, which I have been craving). This would, however, be displaced blame. The source of my unhappiness is me. It would be dishonest of me to claim that something other than my own attitude and behavior was making me unhappy. Recognizing this, I immediately sent up a prayer to Yah, asking Him to help me to smile more often. I asked Him to give me reasons to smile and to help me to smile even when I didn't feel like smiling. I then went on to spend the rest of the knitting period observing within myself just how much I enjoy knitting. And yes, I did smile. 

But YHVH wasn't finished with me quite yet. Just when I was satisfied that I understood His intentions, He reminded me of a book that I have read off and on over the past year: The Prayer that Changes Everything by Stormie Omartian. For those who have never read (or heard of) the book, the emphasis is on the power of praising YHVH for everything that He is and everything that He has done for us. There is no end to the praise that we can bring to our Father, and the author gives personal anecdotal evidence for the power of praise to work in our lives in order to help us to realize our greatest dreams. She particularly shows us how powerful praise is when we are in a particularly dark time in our lives, because it can help us to see the power of YHVH and to walk more closely with Him. 

I've tried this before, and become frustrated. The reason is usually because during these periods of praise, the attack is strong. I may run into blogs or websites that discourage Messianic believers (particularly Messianic Jews) and lump all of us in with "The Sacred Name People" or who teach dogma that isn't in the scriptures. I become confused and befuddled and suddenly HaShem stops making sense to me. I forget, during those periods of time, that our G-d is not the author of confusion: He is quite clear, and I believe that by reading the scriptures we can find Him and His clear desire for us as His people. I see no contradiction, and yet these people and websites teach things that are contrary to the scriptures as I understand them. In truth, I have now learned that it is best to avoid them entirely. 

I'm giving this another try, and I am determined to see it through to thirty days of praise, without supplication (except for others). I am looking for YHVH to work a real miracle in my life: to show me the path to becoming a happier, more settled and observant Messianic Gentile. I love Him too much to feel comfortable with letting Him down. It is my time now, and I plan on seeing it through.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Identifying Emotions

Clearly it has been a long time since I wrote here. I have never been particularly good at blogging about faith, because I am constantly questioning whether or not what I believe or do is "good enough." I read so many faith blogs (and don't comment) that make me feel as though other believers are so much further ahead of me on the path to righteousness that I just become discouraged. So very much of this faith journey is being taken alone while we continue to seek a church home, and I often feel as though I am struggling with the very basics of serving YHVH.

There has been a lot of emotion running through me lately. I started college and then became so frustrated with the program that I chose that I decided to transfer. The transfer has become iffy, at best, because of complications with financial aid. It is going to very likely be spring semester before I can get started. The stress has sent me over the edge into what I feel is the beginning of a depression. I have been fighting the urge to simply succumb, but what I have not been doing is identifying my emotions as they relate to the current circumstances.

In this exact moment, I am angry. Anger is not an emotion with which I deal well, and it took me several moments to realize that my anger was in no way righteous, and that I had to let it go. I am still struggling with that, as I feel stepped on, shut down and shut out. I feel marginalized and as though I am a nuisance. I feel as though I keep bothering people with my problems and that they would prefer that I simply go away.

I realize that this is coming from the voice in my head and not some external place. It is very likely an attack from Satan that is trying to make me stray from the prayerful path that I have been on for the past several days. This internal voice is not helping me to love myself, others or YHVH. It is destructive to everything that I hold dear, and I know that the best thing that I can do is to renounce it. So why is it so hard to let go of that anger and bitterness that is holding me back?

I believe that Yah wants for me to be happy. He wants for me to continue in the way that I have been, loving others and holding tightly to Him. I need Him so desperately right now, and it is true that I have felt the Ruach Hakodesh surrounding me lately. Satan is simply trying to break that barrier of protection that I have been given to keep him out. I must let YHVH work in my life and I must cling to him in all things.

In the meantime, I need to continue to work on identifying the emotions before they consume me. I have been arguing quite a bit with my husband lately and the emotions have been getting the better of me. Several factors are standing in the way of me living just a simple, normal life with my family, and I need to jump over those hurdles (or better yet, ask Yah to lift me over them).

I will probably be talking a lot about emotions for a while. There is a lot that needs to be said, and I may need help in identifying where I am, why I am there, and how to move forward. Thanks for listening.