Friday, March 18, 2011

Friendly Friday: Eternal Lizdom


Welcome to Friendly Friday! Sorry I've been MIA all week. Just one of those weeks, you know?

But today's Friendly Friday won't disappoint! Her name is Liz from Eternal Lizdom. I had the pleasure of meeting her last month, but I feel like we've gotten to know each other so much better since then simply through our Tweeting and blogging. 

Tweeting and blogging. What weird words. Isn't the Interweb so weird?

Anyhoo.

Please enjoy this post from Liz, and be sure to check her out over at Eternal Lizdom!

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Eternal Lizdom


First, I just have to say that I am so excited to be part of The Lazy Christian!  I met Rachel back in February when we attended an event together at the Indiana Statehouse, but I feel like she and I have so much in common and have this fantastic connection!  And I was so thrilled when she asked me to write a post.

But what on earth would I write about?

Rachel suggested sharing something I struggle with when it comes to my faith.

Sometimes, I struggle with life.  I rarely struggle with faith.

Let me explain that a bit.

Early in my life, I faced a lot of difficulties.  In the midst of those hard times, things happened that were solid proof—for me—that God existed and that God was all about love.  And that even when really bad things happen, He is with me. 

Here is what I know, believe, hold dear, cling to, and more

  1.  God loves us.  All of us.  Any of us.  You, me, him, her, them.  It’s a love without definition and without limits.  It’s a love beyond our comprehension. 
  2.  God doesn’t make bad things happen or create bad things or plan bad things.  Life is full of hard times.  That’s life. I think God takes care of us in the hardest times.
  3. God celebrates with us and delights in us.  This is my favorite part!  I think of God in that parental role—watching us, delighting in us when we make the best choices, when we help others, when we learn, when we laugh, when we praise.

One of the hardest lessons I've had to learn is the importance of a church family. I grew up in a church.  My mother’s father was a pastor.  Church was very important in my childhood, but I grew up in a more conservative congregation where the pulpit was used to separate “us” from “them.”  That part never felt right.  So when I left home for college, I left church behind as well.  I searched for the answers.  I knew that there had to be a place that recognized God’s love for what it was- but I wasn’t searching in the right places.  I visited churches and faiths and learned so much about spirituality and belief and faith.  My belief in God never faltered- but my eyes had been opened to all of the beauty in all of the different ways that we worship and turn to Him.

I did eventually find a church home and over the past few years, as I’ve begun to raise a family in my church home, I am realizing more and more how much that love expands and grows and takes a life of its own when you have a family to share it with.  Can I love on my own?  Can I care and give and help on my own?  Absolutely.  Is there a greater depth when I can share my passions, my worries, my joys with others who understand and come from the same place?  Absolutely. 

Life can be a struggle.  Life can shred your soul, dislodge your compass, leave you questioning everything you thought you knew.  I have been hit with big problems and little problems.  I have suffered through terrible times and limped my way through everyday stress.  And there is more of it ahead of me.  Life isn’t all sunshine and roses.  But having those hard time makes the gift of sunshine and roses even sweeter. 

What I continue to work on is figuring out where I can make a difference. What I have control over. Where I have a choice versus what I can’t do anything about so I need to turn it over to God until I see what my choices are.  When life is hard, when stress overwhelms, when the kids are acting up, I’m overscheduled, my husband and I are in a fight, money is too tight, the house is dirty, and work is slamming me with projects—sorting all of that out into what I can take action on and what I need to let God handle can be hard.  

I believe God gave me my instincts, my feelings, my brain as tools to get through hard times and to help others in their hard times.  Learning to trust Him and to trust and use those tools he gave me on a consistent basis, having that full trust in Him and His intention for my life— that is the part I strive to stay focused on day in and day out.  Life works hard to pull me down sometimes.  But remembering those three points up there—God loves me, God doesn’t make the bad things happen, God delights in my good choices—guides me through those hard times.

If you are going through hell, keep going.  Winston Churchill

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1


© Eternal Lizdom 2011

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder that God loves each one of us!

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  2. Wow! Excellent post! I've really been thinking about why God allows bad things to happen to us a lot lately. (Not that I've had anything really bad happen to me) It's such a hard thing for me to wrap my head around sometimes. Does that sound weird? I keep thinking, "Is there something I still need to learn from this? What am I missing?" But maybe it's nothing. Maybe it's just that we live in a fallen world and like you said, God is there for us in those hard times. :) Thanks! *Off to check out your blog..*

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  3. Thanks for reading!

    Catie- thanks for "getting" what I was trying to say! Always feels great when you reach someone. It doesn't sound weird at all. I think it's very natural to question God when things aren't right by our definition. I also see things as being on such a larger scale than I can imagine... so trying to figure out the growth of population and how the Earth was designed to work and all of that can just be so overwhelming. Instead of trying to figure out, for example, why earthquakes and tsunamis happen, I pray for comfort and peace for those stricken and I pray for guidance to find my purpose (what group to donate to or what giving or mission opportunity may come my way). Does that make sense?

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  4. Liz that is my belief exactly: that God doesn't bring those awful things in our lives, life just happens. But coming from a very conservative background myself I was taught for years that God gives us all trials to teach us lessons. Thank the Lord I finally saw His love for what it truly is. Thank you for this post. Loved it.

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  5. I don't think he GIVES us trials so much as he allows trials to happen. Exhibit A: http://bit.ly/hP9umH

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  6. You know I think you are awesome Liz...so glad you are my friend (and family :))

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  7. Julie, like Rachel said, I also don't think he gives us trials, specifically. I was also raised in a very conservative Christian environment. And for a long time, I almost believed that the horrible things that happened in my childhood were things that I had been chosen for because God had something planned for me that required my having suffered terribly first. Now, I see that the world is broken, that a human being chose to do terrible things to me, that God was comforting me the entire time, and that he gave me those wonderful gifts of courage, strength, intuition, feelings, and so on to be able to learn from what happened to me and be able to help others based on what I learned and experienced. It's kind of a slight difference- but I have a feeling you know what I'm saying!

    Rachel, off to rid your post that you linked up!

    Ashli- I love you and love having you as my friend (and family), too!

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  8. Liz - wonderful to read your post and find a kindred spirit who fully grabs hold of life in all it's funk and struggle. Love that Churchill quote. I've got a life that regularly challenges me to keep sticking with my faith (raising to foster/adopt kids with special needs and mental illness), and like you, I'm just sticking with Him. He hasn't disappointed me yet!

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  9. Thank you for sharing, Liz. My belief exactly.

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  10. Laurie- Funny, I used to be a social worker in therapeutic foster care. We have something in common on some level- kindred spirits!

    Thanks for reading, Anne.

    And I've already come to visit or will be visiting (and most likely following) all of you who have commented! Nice to meet new people and connect!

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I wrote the thing. You read the thing. Don't be too lazy to comment!