Thursday, July 09, 2009

trusting God for who you are

I've been somewhat open about my jealousy issues in the past. 
It really is terrible how my mind works sometimes and I have to constantly stop myself and pray to God for forgiveness. Needless to say, it's a struggle.

I've been reading this book called "Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges. The whole book (so far, I'm only on chapter 12) has been a great lesson on the sovereignty of God and our proper response to the many different occurrences in our lives. Even though I've been reading so much incredible knowledge and wisdom, I can't say it's really hit home. I've never had to struggle with any major calamities or tragedies. I've been blessed so far to live a quiet and peaceful life. Of course, that doesn't mean everything has been perfect, but compared to the struggles many others face, my life has been just peachy. It is still good to know this information, though. We have to get it into our hearts and minds that God is in control of every situation before the tragedy strikes, so when it does we will be [somewhat] prepared to deal with it. 

Anyway, all that to say, when I read chapter 11, it really hit home. The title of the chapter is, "Trusting God for Who You Are." Bridges starts off the chapter by talking about Psalm 139:13-16.

13 For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, 
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place. 
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body. 
All the days ordained for me 
were written in your book 
before one of them came to be.

These are beautiful verses that should remind us that God made us all with a specific purpose in mind. Nothing about us is a mistake. "He was directly involved in creating you and me."
Bridges quotes Rev. James Hufstetler, "You are the result of the attentive, careful, thoughtful, intimate, detailed, creative work of God...He made you the way He did because that is the way He wants you to be." God made us a certain way because He loves us and wants to glorify Himself in our lives. 
Bridges says, "This is the believer's foundation for self-acceptance. I am who I am and you are who you are because God sovereignly and directly created us to be who we are. Self-acceptance is basically trusting God for who I am."
And here's the quote that really got me. Again, James Hufstetler says, "You will never really enjoy other people, you will never have stable emotions, you will never lead a life of godly contentment, you will never conquer jealousy and love others as you should until you thank God for making you the way He did." 
Wow. I often sit around wishing I was this way or that way...wishing I could change one thing or another about myself...wishing my situation was different than it is. But the truth of the matter is, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Everything about myself is the way it is because that's how God wants it to be. Ultimately, I was made to glorify God and He has chosen this body, these talents, these skills, this mind...and I don't need to question it. 

The chapter goes on into more details and different aspects about our lives (such as our vocation and God's will), it's incredible. 

I just wanted to share this with you all because I feel I should be more transparent and honest with my struggles. God really opened my eyes through this one chapter and if anyone else out there struggles with these things, I pray this can be a blessing to you as well. And if you wanna talk about it, I'm here. :-)


Merari said...

oh wow.

What a great thought. I never really thought about it like that.

I, too, struggle a lot with accepting myself. I'm constantly wishing i could change things about myself... from the physical to spiritual. Always comparing myself to others.

Thanks for giving myself something to chew on. "Trusting God for who I am". WOW.

gisellesig said...

Thank you Kristel, you spoke directly to my heart.

Love you,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I have too struggled and wished I could change so many things about myself. Thanks for reminding me that I was "fearfully and wonderfully made". I may borrow the book for you :wink:. I love you friend and will be praying that God always helps you with your challenges. Love, Tati Amador

Jennifer said...

wow, apparently you are not the only one, me included. I've been thinking the same thing lately, about being open about my struggles and everyday this and that. Looks like something I need to read as well :)

thankss & God bless :)

alexita said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way! Jealousy and self-acceptance are two gigantic hurdles I need to get over in my walk. (I was just thinking of this today actually!) That's a great way to think of things. Definitely getting my hands on that book! ;)

Indy said...

Hi! This is a great post and what I appreciate most is your willingness to lay it all out on the table.

I struggle with this more than others may know. I try to justify it or blame others (it's because I'm a first born or because I come from a dysfunctional home) but reading your post reminds me that I need to know what God says about me and believe it (not when it's convenient but all the time).

It's funny though because I gave this advice to a friend who is always looking to improve and now it comes back to me.

Thank you for sharing your are not alone.


Faith Dwight said...

Kristel - this really touched me today. I've been struggling with jealousy as well...for years, even, but quite a lot recently. Everyone else's life seems more glamorous, more beautiful, more stable...I need to remember to give God thanks for who I am and where I am, and to really enjoy living and devote this life to Him...xx

Marcy Ribeiro said...

Hey Kristel... THANK YOU!! This post is just incredible. Oh if the world new what went in this crazy head of mine. Thank you, as we like to say it at FRC, for getting "naked" before us.. it really is so freeing and encouraging to know we are not alone on this journey we call life. God really is creative and so detailed. He loves me. you. and the world. Just gotta keep reminding myself and be surrounded by others that will help on the journey. God bless you girl.. I'm thinking way back in youth group when i first met you.. and to see where & who you are now.. wow.. amazing.. just letting ya know.. hope we can all see each other soon.. peace

Anonymous said...

You are way ahead of most people by just knowing the things that you struggle with. We love you as you are but keep working on them if they bother you. Mom.