Where do you turn when everything around you is complicated and full of drama? You turn and face a corner... then you let go and let God.
The burdens that we put upon ourselves is just staggering... when you realize that very little is actually within our control. Maybe it is human nature to worry but man, I have a degree in worrying... with a minor in anxiety. I’m a professional.
I chased this vicious cycle for years. I would make snap decisions, then worry over those decisions and work through the consequences and then again... stressing over the outcome. How much time I wasted.
A long time ago someone told me that until I loved myself, I couldn’t love others. How utterly wrong they were... because when it comes down to it, it’s not about me. It’s about the very fact that I’m not a big deal. We are each put upon this Earth with crosses to bear, yet there has only been one who walked this Earth without sin and literally rose from death to pave our path... we have a path to God that didn’t exist before Jesus.
What does that mean... for me it was realizing that I’m so much more than the sum of my sins. And folks, I got me some sins... and so do you.
The world around is steeped in sin but we can move forward knowing that all our sins are forgiven. Not sure that I could share any news bigger than that... but after loving God for years and knowing that my future was secured... I didn’t really know what to do with it.
Like sitting in one of those sermons where they keep hammering how you have to know Jesus... how you have to accept him into your heart... and then repeat. So what do you do once you have that? There’s so much more to it after that point.
First, you open the book. The Bible is food to the hunger of our heart. Once you know Jesus, then you have to learn about him and his ways. The Bible is our path to really changing our life. The book is the answer to any question you have.
Why is the world such a horrible place? Because it is sinful. Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Because we aren’t good people, we are sinful and our choices in sin cause us to incur repercussions.
(Telling a toddler that the stove is hot isn’t the same as the toddler learning the hard way by ignoring you and burning their hand!) Why are you eating bacon then? Because the new covenant in the New Testament means I don’t have to meet all the rules of old, same as how I can wear clothing of mixed materials (wool and linen).
I’m not good enough for Jesus yet? Fiddle sticks! You are exactly where God knew you would be (before it even began he knew) and yet he loves you so.
So if I’m not loving myself first and I’m accepting Jesus as my savior ... what then... simple. Live. Live and love. A friend once counseled me that sin is selfish. How very true is that?
Whenever we are living just to please ourselves... we are selfish. When we put our wants and needs before those we look to us for care.... we are selfish. We take that love and we focus outside of ourselves.
Sin doesn’t care about you. In fact, misery loves company. Start in your home and work outward... share God’s love. What does that look like? For you, it could be serving someone. Listen to someone in need and really hear them. Love your neighbor... like Jesus loves you.
Keep trying to connect to someone lost. Smile in the face of distress and pray over someone. Give your time, your money, your efforts and your love to your church and community. Look for the needs in the people around you. By shifting the focus off of yourself, you shine God’s love... and the reflection upon your own soul will blossom.
What do you have to lose? Nothing but burdens and worry.
Kalynn Brazeal is a conservative, Christian wife/mom/country girl carrying around an MBA, several decades of business experience and a strong opinion. Dividing her time between Grand Lake and North Dakota, she continues to share her column on life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and cake. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.