Conversations With God
Updated: Mar 3, 2022
We talk to ourselves a lot. No one talks to me more than I talk to myself. We are in our own heads every day, building belief upon belief about how we engage with the world around us. Sometimes our innermost thoughts speak encouraging words, often they do not. Many times our thoughts and words spoken in silence are discouraging and harsh. This internal thought life is as important as our outward behavior and actions. Whether we like it or not, what we believe and how we think makes a BIG difference in the emotional landscape we walk in every day.
I remember playing house growing up. Using dolls, stuffed animals, even making my own house out of cardboard and extra scraps of material my mom had around the house. When I learned to sew I would hand sew small pillows and cushions, stuffing them with cotton balls and pillow stuffing. At one point I had a village of tiny people and their families, complete with a mixture of handmade and purchased houses, clothes and pets. The life I created in my head and within my make-believe community of people was more than just pretend - it became my dream.
We all have dreams of what we want our life to look like. These dreams are either hopeful or sad, attainable or unrealistic, practical or dramatic, life-giving or discouraging. Either way, our brains cannot help but consider the possibilities and live within the framework of how we hope and believe our timeline will play out.
Dreaming and imagining are not bad things - it's how God made us. God's human creation is filled with ingenuity and creativity. Man has the capacity for great love and flourishing, because God built us as a reflection of him. A life of possibilities is both incredibly invigorating but also intrinsically scary at the same time, because life seldom turns out exactly as we plan. People and circumstances often block the expectations we have for ourselves and others. The seasons where we are walking in valleys of darkness more than goodness often become overwhelming to deal with. During these seasons of hardship we talk to ourselves so much we sometimes drown out other voices, isolating us from life-giving community and from a Savior who offers comfort.
But God never leaves me, and God never leaves you. In our isolation and loneliness, God is there.
Hebrews 13:5 says, "Keep your life free from love of money, and content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' So we can confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?'"
Wow. So much to ponder in just a few words. God tells us love of money is a trap, contentment is freedom, and we can with confidence say there is nothing man can do to cause me to fear this life. But (and there is ALWAYS a but) in order for us to speak with confidence, you and I have to BELIEVE. We have to believe God when he says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." In order for me to keep my life free from love of money, and feel content with what I have, I need to believe God and confidently say - "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?"
This is easier said than done, of course. Our commitment to our personal dreams and ideals can pull us away from our commitment to our Savior. We value independence and the American Dream to such an extent we never fully stop and see if that is actually GOD's dream for us. Culturally, grit and determination in pursuit of personal goals is applauded, and a life pursuing money and what it provides is deemed successful. However, freedom from caring about any of those things is what allows us to believe God when he says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" so we can say with confidence "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear."
My love for family and friends drives me to continue creating ideals in my head, a real-life continuation of the dreams I previously lived through child's play and now reimagine in real life. I love my life; the family my husband and I have built together as well as our extended family members. Each and every one of the flawed humans in my world hold a special place in my heart. That is as it ought to be. We are to care for others because God first loved us, we are to love sacrificially so others see the gospel of Jesus in our motivations and actions. And we can do this with freedom because we believe God will never leave us, no matter how dark the world gets or how much suffering we experience. God is always with you and me, and I can talk to my Savior and Creator, whenever I want. No one can stop me or keep from from my Lord. That is amazing. That is Life-giving.
Along the way as we are learning our purpose, how to live justly and love mercy and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8), we will experience trials and tribulations. Our earthly dreams will shatter, our deepest most heartfelt desires will not always come true. You and I will live through heartache and suffering, we will watch those we love hurt and hurt others. We will walk through amazing joys and live a life of love and significance, because God made us and loves us and we matter. The lessons we learn are often through seasons of incredible struggle - and we come out stronger for it on the other side. Not because we did it alone, but because God does not abandon his children. He comforts us in ALL our troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
Today our podcast is with Nicole Clark, founder of Twelve12 Ministries, a group of women dedicated to helping you find freedom through active faith, healing and renewed direction. This ministry focuses on issues surrounding infertility and miscarriage, but we can all learn from Nicole's story. We hope this podcast is a blessing to you all.
Romans 15:4, "For whatever things were written for our learning, that we thought the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."