Friday, October 16, 2009


Let's go to church for a second, k?

Today, I was having brunch with a dear friend from high school, who now lives in Florida with her husband. We began to discuss what we've been doing over the past four years, how we can't believe that many of our friends have graduated and moved onto 'big kid' jobs in the real world, while we are both struggling to get our Bachelor's before we start going gray. We traded lists of friends who've had children, friends who've moved away, just the typical girl stuff. She asked me about my three years in Texas, and who I had dated while I lived there. Oh my. I gave her the extremely condensed version, and we moved on to stories of her wedding and the clash between her new Hubby and her Mother.

And then we began to talk about faith.

She shared with me how she had recently "found [her] faith" in Florida. I shared with her how I nearly lost mine in Texas. We both agreed upon one thing. It is such a blessing to have a God like ours. Now, I have some issues in my past, but it's nothing too terrible. Overall, I have been very blessed and I would be a better person to remember these blessings more often. There was a time in my life that I was severely depressed and constantly considered giving up. I sometimes would find myself thinking about death, not in a suicidal way, but in a very apathetic manner. I didn't want to die, I just didn't necessarily care if I did. I sometimes thought it would be fine with me if I was involved in some sort of tragic accident, because I truly did not see another way of finding relief from the darkness haunting me.

I sat across the table from my friend, sipping ice water and orange juice, and recalling the many opportunities the Holy Spirit had given me that I pushed away, or rather, ran away from. Whether it was a convicting song on the radio which I immediately switched off, or my father asking me, pleading with me through tears, to tell him what was wrong; I denied it. I was given chance after chance to bring my troubles to God and accept the healing which only He can offer, and I responded by closing my eyes and heart, and retreating into myself. It was then I realized something, a lesson I'm certain I have already learned.

I have been so wrong. Who am I to think that I can handle troubles on my own? Thinking I need only forgive myself for the mistakes in my past, and absolve myself by doing good deeds to make up for my actions? One of my favorite hymns reminds us;

"O, what peace we often forfeit,

O, what a needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry,

Everything to God in prayer."

I was humbled. How many times have I stood in church and heard the message, listening to my Pastor ask anyone with a burdened heart to come forward and receive prayer? How many times did I ignore the call of my heart, deciding that I was going to do this on my own. I have taken on such worry and stress over my best friend, sister, and certainly over my ex, fretting over their bad decisions and trying to 'fix' them. I have had myself so convinced that they need me; that it is my job to prove to this man that I will always be there for him and never fail him, that it is my place to prevent my sister and best friend from repeating my missteps and to keep them from harm.

How arrogant of me to think that I have the power to bring about change or salvation in the heart of a man? Who do I think I am, the savior of my friends and family? It is my duty to lift up the ones I love in prayer, and to be a witness to them- not a savior. How many burdens have I carried around on my shoulders, weighing me down, poisoning me, when I could give them up to my God. My God is stronger than the demons of my past. My God is stronger than the pain of my broken heart.

My God is stronger.

-V. O'Neel
"Remember When it Rained" Josh Groban


Tara said...

Amen. Great post!

Tracie said...

Amen sister!! It is such a hard lesson to learn that if we give up that control (that we only think we have) and let God run the shoe, we would be in a much better place.

Lance Lash said...

Im so glad u never did give up. The world would be a far uglier place with out the lovely vannakay in it <3

So many people have this problem, i know I'M one of them. Its just so hard to let go. All these ties to the world hold us back, make us think we can do it all on our own. I'm working on it but its still a struggle.

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