Tag Archives: struggles

Monday Minute: The Ten Percent

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Image courtesy of Carlos Porto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A few months ago, I was feeling terrible and not my usual “wild,” “full of life,” “crazy” self. I went to my church that evening and was subdued, to say the least. Later, someone on my worship team told me that they “couldn’t deal with me when I was like that.” Yesterday, I had another day where I couldn’t deal, and this time (though I attend a different campus now), I stayed home. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to interact with people–it was that I was afraid to. I wasn’t sure I could take someone else saying that they didn’t like me or couldn’t deal with me because I have emotions other than happiness.

Thee truth is, 90 percent of the time, I accept myself just as I am–crazy, wild, larger than life–even though those words are sometimes used as labels to invoke comfort by the giver. But then there’s the 10 percent–those times when I recognize that my full of life personality is the sole reason that people are scared to get close to me. And when I have a 10 percent day, it’s more important than ever for people to break down my walls and love me through it.

We all have those days–the issues may differ, but the days still happen. It’s not a question of if it will happen, but when. The challenge for us, then, how do we care for each other during these times instead of being dismissive? Because we are never more like Christ than when we love others while they are in the 10 percent.

 

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Breaking Bad: The Problem

image courtesy of jscreationzs / freeditigalphotos.net

image courtesy of jscreationzs / freeditigalphotos.net

There’s a whole slew of people for whom being good is first nature. They want to be good people; they don’t tire of doing the right thing; their natural position is to desire holiness. When they sin, they are grieved by it. There’s only reveling when there’s reconciliation with their God. They may struggle with something, but it’s a brief struggle and then joy returns as they know they’ve overcome. They love being good because it brings them closer to holiness, closer to righteousness, closer to the Lord.

Then there’s me. I just wanna be bad.

It’s not that I don’t desire to be good and be godly; sometimes, I do. But sometimes (right now being one of those times), I don’t want to be a good person. I don’t want to be godly or holy, I don’t want to do the right thing, and I don’t want to represent Christ in my actions. In fact, right now, I think it’s safe to say that I want to be the exact opposite of godly. Yeah, that’s right Willa Ford—I get what you were feeling. I don’t want to be evil, killing innocent children or anything like that. But I do want to be a little dirty, a little crazy, and a lot self-indulgent. And I know there are other people out there who feel just like me, because I have been talking around to others and trying to find if there are others like me. And they freely admit it.

I go through this every now and again, where the desire to be bad outweighs my desires to do anything that honors the Lord. My motto right now is, “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” And what’s worse is that this desire plays itself out in my daily decisions. I’m not going to sit here and tell you what the cause is (it’s just sin, quite honestly—human nature, flesh) or how to fix this; I’m just here to tell you that if you’ve ever felt this way, I understand. I’m there right now. The struggle is REAL.

This isn’t one of those times where I have done something wrong and I regret it—this isn’t every day living and every day sin. This is one of those intense struggles with my flesh where I don’t want to be good and I’m not even trying. I’m watching things I shouldn’t watch, thinking about things I shouldn’t think about, and indulging in my fleshly desires—whatever they may be. I don’t have discipline and quite frankly, I don’t want it. Interestingly enough, I’m doing my devotions every day, I’m praying and going to church, and I’m fellowshipping with other Christians. I’m just being very honest with everyone about where I’m at: I want to be bad, and there’s nothing anyone can do to convince me that being good is the better alternative right now.

So why am I blogging about this? Because I think there are more people out there struggling like this than there are struggling about the fact that they said a bad word or had a fight with their spouse or had an impure thought. I’m not saying those things aren’t struggles or that they aren’t real. They most definitely are. But this here, this hardcore struggle against flesh and blood, this is where the rubber meets the road. And nobody is talking about it (except maybe the guys from Bad Christian Podcast, and God bless them). So I want to be a voice crying out in the wilderness…I’m struggling, man, and I want to share it with you so that if you’re struggling like this, you know that you’re not alone. And maybe together, we can start breaking this desire to be bad. Lord willing. 🙂

I Surrender

ID-10027894I haven’t purposefully been avoiding blogging or anything like that…I think I wrote a blog and let you know that I was just stepping back and trying to get my focus in the right place. I also needed to prioritize…and let me just tell you, when you plan to prioritize and put God in His rightful place in your life, stuff happens–and it’s not always good stuff.

The last two months, I have really found myself struggling–caught up in the “sins that so easily entangle.” After a solid six months of not daydreaming, there I was, caught up in my thoughts. I have no idea how it happened…I just know that I kept entertaining them until it was too late.

I’ve never been here to tell you that I have it all together, because obviously I don’t. But I am here to tell you that when you decide to surrender to the Spirit, you will be attacked–not just by Satan, but by your own flesh who “does the things you don’t want to do.” Paul was right. The Christian life is a struggle…but thank God for grace!

The issue with me, though, isn’t that I fell: the issue is that I feel like I fell harder than most. In truth, I didn’t. God sees my sins as no bigger or smaller than any other sins; I’m the one who has the issues seeing them for what they really are. And even worse, I am the one who has the problems forgiving, forgetting, and moving forward. I allow myself to stay down, to remain entangled, to stay distant from God during those times instead of accepting forgiveness that’s offered and moving forward. But the issue is bigger than just my sin: the issue is that I think I can conquer sin on my own.

I CAN’T.

I know that’s not a surprise, but it has been and remains a hard pill for me to swallow. If I can’t do anything to conquer my sin–if I can’t behave better, make covenants, control my circumstances, try to be the best possible me–then what can I do? I mean, I guess…

I CAN SURRENDER.

I don’t even know that I’m aware of what true surrender looks like, because I don’t know that I’ve truly ever surrendered my struggles to the Lord. But I do know that I want to explore what that looks like over the next few posts. I don’t know how frequent they will be, but I do know that I want to talk about it, because while I keep trying new things to keep me from sinning, I know that they are just stop gaps to the true surrender and acceptance of grace that I’m called to. I know it’s something we all struggle with, and I know it’s something we need to talk about more in the church. At some point, I have to recognize that I can’t do it–I can’t do ANYTHING, and that only God can. So starting today…I surrender.

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I Surrender (Hillsong):

Here I am
Down on my knees again
Surrendering all
Surrendering all

Find me here
Lord as You draw me near
Desperate for You
Desperate for You

I surrender

Drench my soul
As mercy and grace unfold
I hunger and thirst
I hunger and thirst

With arms stretched wide
I know You hear my cry
Speak to me now
Speak to me now

I surrender
I surrender
I wanna know You more
I wanna know You more

Like a rushing wind
Jesus breathe within
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Like a mighty storm
Stir within my soul
Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

Lord have Your way
Lord have Your way in me

I surrender
I surrender
I wanna know You more
I wanna know You more