October 29, 2018 at 10:36 pm #56446
Every Monday(ish) for the beloved Story Embers people! 🙂
This week, I will choose the verse Jeremiah 29:11.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
A very well known verse, I’m sure, but I thought it would be a good one to start with.
I chose this because, regarding me personally, I have been struggling with wondering what God’s plan for me is. I suppose I’m just stuck in that teenager-identity-crisis phase that some people go through, where they’re not really sure who they are or what they’re doing or what they’re going to do – needless to say, I’m sure some of you at least remotely know what’s going on. But that aside.
This verse is such a comfort to me because God knows. He knows! He sees me struggling, and He cares. He sees me floundering around in search of purpose. He hears my prayers. And he knows my future. Every bit of my life is held inside His hands, even when I feel like He’s a million miles away. He chose me while I was in my mother’s womb to do something that no one else but me can do. And he chose you. He chose us. And He sees us. He knows.
His hand is in every aspect of our lives, even if we can’t see it. And everything is going to be okay. More than okay! It’s going to be beautiful, and wonderful!
For I know the plans I have for you. You. He knows the plans He has for me. Plans to prosper me, and not to harm me. To give me a hope. A future.
It’s an absolutely beautiful thing, and it makes me feel infinitely grateful. He has our lives in His hands, guys. So we have no reason to worry. <3 I, personally, have no reason to worry. You, personally, have no reason to worry. Let that just sink into your soul, and give you peace.
Love y’all! <3
Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.October 30, 2018 at 9:41 am #56504Parker Hankins@parker
Wow!!! That’s really good and encouraging!! Please tag me next time!!
Living in a world of mystery and dangerous predicaments while working with the AWESOME Meraki's.October 30, 2018 at 10:00 am #56509I, David@i-david
Thanks, @h-jones. That really is a great verse of encouragement. I know I personally fall into doubt, anxiety, worry, and distrust against God so easily. But the reality is that He never leaves or abandons me; it is I who has to stop trying to run away from Him.
songwriterOctober 30, 2018 at 10:36 am #56542Eden Anderson@eden-anderson
Great choice…thanks for sharing. It is so easy for me to forget that God has my future in His hands…everything- the joy, the pain, the sorrow, the peace, every moment of my life-He’s got it all under control.
I look forward to following this thread. 🙂
"But how could you live and have no story to tell?" - Fyodor DostoyevskyOctober 30, 2018 at 11:32 am #56561Evelyn@evelyn
Such a beautiful verse! Thanks for the encouragement @h-jones!
Like Eden said, I’m excited to follow this thread. 🙂October 30, 2018 at 11:51 am #56586E. Grace@emgc
What a beautiful piece of scripture you picked out, @h-jones! One of my very favorite passages. Such an important reminder for especially us young’uns who can worry so much about our futures. But God wants us just to live in the moment, not worrying about next week, or next month, or next year. Just staying right here, right now, seeking out His will and living our lives completely surrendered to Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” He has promised to direct our paths already, but only if we’re truly trusting in Him to do so. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing!
"True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less." - C. S. LewisOctober 30, 2018 at 1:36 pm #56675Chalice@chalice
@h-jones, Wow. I hear this verse so often that it almost seems to lose it’s meaning, so thank you for taking the time to break it down. It’s very encouraging. 🙂 Would you mind tagging me when you do this again in the future?
“Creativity takes courage” -Henri MatisseOctober 30, 2018 at 3:19 pm #56723
@parker Absolutely! I’d be happy to. 🙂
@i-david I feel you, and it is such a comfort to know that God is there – no matter how much we fight or doubt Him, He holds onto us. <3
@emgc Exactly. <3 He directs our paths! Such a precious picture. <3
@chalice Of course! I’d be happy to. <3
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Grace.
Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.October 30, 2018 at 3:20 pm #56725
Also, everyone, feel free to let me know if you want to take a turn! 🙂
Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.October 31, 2018 at 10:05 am #56984Parker Hankins@parker
Living in a world of mystery and dangerous predicaments while working with the AWESOME Meraki's.November 1, 2018 at 10:30 am #57371Selah@selah-chelyah
@h-jones Mm, so mutual for all of us to lose our focused mindset on God! Thank you far sharing… Scripture is powerful!
Assistant Guildmaster of the Awesome Meraki
~ Created to create ~November 6, 2018 at 1:07 pm #58297
*poof* I’m here! Monday was chaotic, so Tuesday shall be the day you receive your weekly dose of scripture form ye olden moi.
Today, I actually have two passages:
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17
And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
And the bit I would like you to glean from them is this:
So, I suffer from what could easily be referred to as the “Impossible Standard.” Basically, you know, that perfectionism-level-type thing where you can only be satisfied with the absolute best. In everything. I’m essentially President Business form the LEGO Movie.
“Badcop, do you see what I’m talking about!? All I’m asking for is total perfection.”
– President Business
Slip up once, and man, you better get a raincoat because the storm is coming, with lightning and thunder and scathing insults that come down on you like acid rain – not even onto other people necessarily, but also onto yourself. And I know that I am definitely not the only one who places such a heavy burden on themselves and others. It’s an impossible weight to lift – it strains your soul, beats you into the ground, and tramples on you like so many thrown out onion peelings, because simply put: we are imperfect, and so long as we live in this fallen world, we will remain so. For those of us who strain and fight and bloody ourselves for the idea of absolute perfection, this is a hard pill to swallow. But it shouldn’t be.
I suppose, perhaps, the reason why I personally feel so inclined to try my best is because I feel like, otherwise, I am not enough. I give value to myself (and others) based on performance, on deed, on action. It’s like an uphill climb, and those who are at the top are the winners. The rest are losers, by default. So I strive for the mountaintop, because obviously, I don’t want to be a loser. I mean, who wants to be a loser?! It’s humiliating, and disappointing, and I feel like everybody must see me the same way as I see myself: a failure. God included. I never think this consciously, of course, but it etches its way into my soul and sends me on a wearying chase for the elusive butterfly of perfection. And, in obtaining said butterfly, receive the gem of God’s approval. Instead of having the ever-lingering feeling that God is looking down on me with disgust, waiting for me to take one step in the wrong direction so he can be done with me completely, I long for that assurance that I am not a failure and that He loves me.
But here is the thing: God has never looked on me with disgust. He has never looked on me with hatred. Even at my worst, when I’ve tripped and fallen and spat at Him and His forgiveness and yelled at Him for things He didn’t even do, when I ignored the promises He’s given me and refused to believe that He is the wonderful God that He is, when I kicked and screamed and cried and still begged Him not to leave despite the way I’d been horribly treating Him, He wasn’t just staying with me – He was holding on to me. Because what I’ve done has no bearing on who He is.
God is a loving God. He is our Father. He is the never-changing binder of the universe, Creator of every good thing, Father to the fatherless and Defender of the weak. He knows that we need Him, because He is the only perfect being – the only person who can satisfy our deepest desires for love and joy and peace. He is a just God who intended for our world to be this beautiful, glorious thing, and even when His paradise fell, He stepped down from His throne to save it. To save us. Regardless of all the horrible things we’ve done. His actions had no bearing on whether or not we deserved it, because we didn’t. We don’t. We never will be able to deserve it. And that’s okay. Because there is nothing we could ever do that could change the fact that He loves us, and if we want Him, there is nothing that He wouldn’t do to come running out to us, covering us with warm embraces, bringing us into His palace where he has prepared a feast for us. He loves us enormously. He exults over us with loud singing. Drag-you-through Wal-Mart, embarrass-the-snot-out-of-you, pick-you-up-on-your-shoulders-and-cheer kind of singing. He runs to you with hugs and kisses, celebrates and brings you His robe and ring when you come to Him, parading you through the streets, overjoyed that you have finally returned home. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. There is no reason left to cry. The sorrows of yesterday are forgotten, because you’re here, and you’re home, and there is no greater reason in the world to celebrate.
So lay down the Impossible Standard. Perfection is a million miles away, and that is alright. God sees you where you are, and He loves you all the same, and He celebrates you. He celebrates with you. He wipes every tear from your eye, hoists you onto His shoulders, and shouts so that the entire world can hear His voice proclaiming, “For this my son is dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”
We will be perfect one day, but that day probably isn’t going to be today. But all is well. Lean on your Father, and He will lead you gently through the rain – trip and fall, and He picks you up; weep, and He will wipe away your tears. The road of life is long, but He is with us all the way, because He loves us.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Grace.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Grace.
Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.November 6, 2018 at 1:23 pm #58305
Ignore typos. I was sort of rushed. xDDD
Also, a further note I feel needs a little bit of explaining: I’m certainly not saying you shouldn’t strive for righteousness, because that is a worthy goal. Just, for anybody who may be like me and stress about it way too much, I thought it’d be nice to point out that every time you fail, God isn’t standing over you with a lightning-bolt – Jesus died so that we wouldn’t have to stand under God’s judgment and rage. He still loves you, infinitely so, outrageously so, regardless of your failures. 🙂 So, feel free to breathe.
I feel like I did a better job summarizing in this post than I did in the above one. xDD Ah, well!! Love y’all, and I hope you found this helpful or uplifting or encouraging.
Heather, out. *mic-drop*
Secretly Hedgehog Jones. Don’t tell anyone.November 6, 2018 at 2:05 pm #58310I, David@i-david
@h-jones Thanks so much for sharing! Those are some great reminders about God’s love, forgiveness, and mercy, and a humbling reminder of our own tendency to stumble so often
songwriterNovember 6, 2018 at 2:22 pm #58313The Fledgling Artist@the-fledgling-artist
Man, I can relate you so much Heather. It’s so hard for me to juggle wanting to be the best me I can be for God, and accepting that I am flawed, and wont experience perfection till I get to Heaven.
Thanks for sharing. <3
"Though I'm not yet who I will be, I'm no longer who I was."
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