Trust in God, in Self, and in Others- Tricky Business For Outliers

I believe this may be my most important blog!

Trust has always been one of the most challenging things for me. I think I understand why.

I was reading a book by Joyce Meyer, Get Your Hopes Up!, and in my mind raised the ugly head of doubt. I said to myself, hum, why? God has done so much for me and I truly believe and trust Him with everything and my life.

I read this section and the thought came to me- let me tell you what it was.

Trusting God, not yourself

As a child and a young person I questioned God why I struggled, in fact I trusted God and others more than myself. I saw my performance and abilities compared to others- not by my parents- but by others in school and other situations that kept telling me over and over again not to trust myself. In church I was suppose to memorize scripture  to please God and be a good christian, something that continues to be difficult for me. In school, not keeping up in math and not knowing right from left- feeling set apart and different. It always was so subtle because I have processing issues that are not visible and also being intelligent it always looked like it was a lack of effort on my part, not reaching my potential. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard that. I could pay off my student loan and perhaps my mortgage! I had been conditioned to believe others knew better than me and simultaneously being told of course you can do it, just believe you can! Crazy!  I have been set up.

But God has done an amazing work in my life because I did trust and believe in Him. But always with this conflicting trust issues with others and how I looked to them. And in fact I still use many compensation strategies and techniques that do rely on others to use my abilities and strengths that God has given to me. But there is a shift now!

Truth is- God made me to trust Him in my weaknesses, to rely on Him first no matter what my issues are /were. He knows best! And no matter what people believe, judge, think of me it really doesn’t matter as much as I have been conditioned to think. I need to concentrate on being a person of excellence- doing my best and leaving the rest up to God. I am  not an island- no better, no worse than others. I can follow a life’s plan designed by my heavenly father that is one where I can enjoy life and feel my purpose is fulfilled without comparing myself with others.  He does send people into my life to partner with me to do the parts of my tasks that are difficult for me but I am to rely on God first, not them. And  I am loved, cherished and well thought of in my areas of strength. I can Trust myself because I Trust Him first and lead by the Holy Spirit.

I know God is no respecter of persons so if He has done this for me, He will do the same for you! His greatest gift is that He loves us and wants us to enjoy our lives, relationships, and love ourselves!

Proverbs 3:5-6

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

A great song to go with this is by Nelson Hawk, Live Like You’re Loved!
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Where We Can Find Acceptance & Approval

 

I was just reading the story of Jesus calling out to Peter step out of the boat to come to Him on the water while a storm was raging.  Peter did! but then he panicked because theImage result for jesus walking on water surroundings appeared, felt, actually were dangerous then he then lost sight of Jesus and His ability and strength.  Jesus said,” Oh you of little faith.”  Matthew 14:28-32.

It takes a radical faith and a secure knowledge of the Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to step out when we are asked by God to step out and believe despite the appearance of our surroundings to follow through with what  He is telling us to do and believing His words to us that He can be there for us.  And in the case of the life of an outlier, someone who doesn’t appear to fit in, to be who He created us to be it is especially challenging.

God did not make a mistake when creating those of us in this situation, but it feels like it sometimes.  When we are adopted into the family of God in His Kingdom, we are instantly accepted and approved of by Him because we are seen by God with Jesus as our middleman
even though we aren’t perfect. If our intent in our heart is to be all that God wants us to be. We seek Him in relationship and in His Word, it’s all a green light, GO. He has a great plan for our lives that is not based on others opinions or views. We just need to keep our eyes on Jesus and lead by the Holy Spirit realizing He is stronger than our surroundings, circumstances, other people’s opinion, and not to give in to the feelings of being overwhelms or pegged as different.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.

I have struggled with for as long as I can remember and He has been been there for me when things aren’t going as planned in my life. It is so easy to rely on the acceptance and approval of others to guide one in decisions and when that is not there it creates a insecurity. When I have stepped out on my own because I felt it was right for me and who God make me it hasn’t always been the road others would have chosen for me. He has directed those steps and worked them out out for my good when I relied on Him. I am at peace and I see His hand in my life guiding my steps each day which is amazing. It is not without clutter and problems, but He has kept His word. I have peace when I chose to rely on Him accepting the offer of peace when I pursue and depend on it rather than my natural responses.Yeah God!

 

Time is precious and an Unkind Taskmaster….

 

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It is difficult to explain the difference in the passage of time when things take longer to think about and do. Everything is elongated but time passes at the same pace for those around me. Sometimes it’s like living life in slow motion and everything is whizzing around you like when you are in an accident and the motion slows.

Tenth Avenue North-Worn- song and video

I constantly look for better and faster ways to do things. I want to cut corners and do things efficiently so I have time for all the things I want to include in my life.  Others have more time for things they want to include in their lives without even thinking about it. They do them in a whisper of time. I until recently would run through  the whole gamut of emotions-out of control, helpless, anger, jealousy, depression, anxiety, overwhelmed, despair, fear, to name a few- when I would experience/ need to do something that would trigger the feeling of not being able to perform in the same way and speed as those around me.

I want to hide and hunker down in a safe place until I can figure out how I need to approach it and do the thing that triggered my delay. You don’t really want to tell anyone because they judge you and don’t think you’re capable. So you’re alone a lot, even in a crowd. You are alone in your thoughts, not lost, just thinking, but things and people keep living, talking, working around you, damn. Can’t it stop just for a bit until I can catch up!!

 

Don’t get me wrong. I have obtained my goals but until the last couple of years I pushed myself like a slave-driver and I did miss things in life to obtain some of my goals. I lost a lot of sleep and believed pleasing people to give them what they wanted would protect me. I gave them the performance they wanted, I gave them the image and mannerisms they expected to make them comfortable so I could fit in to their world of fast moving and competitive environment. I did and I didn’t, Why? Because in that world you’re great in one person’s mind and not in another. It is not a stable variable. I learned you can’t trust and  depend or count on them. I am not perfect and no one is. I was holding myself to a standard too high in order to protect myself against criticism and judgement; because of my processing disorder I am hypersensitive to someone telling me I am not performing well enough. It made me drive myself harder and longer.

I finally came to the end of myself and even as a Christian, having a long standing relationship with Christ and being filled with the Holy Spirit. I just didn’t get how He could work out all of these issues in my life. So many scriptures I read about not having anxiety, fear, that I was His handiwork and He had a great path all planned out for me. He had done amazing things in my life, protected me in my rash impulsive behaviors, lead and guided me in so many things. I definitely believed I was doing exactly what He wanted me to, but I still suffered and had little enjoyment or peace. I just had a hard time trusting Him because He allowed and created this processing disorder in me without giving the adults or me any direct and concrete ideas on how to handle it. How bad would it get? How much more suffering would I have to live through. I wanted it to stop. How was I suppose to do all the things I needed to, I tried to gain His strength through the Holy Spirit, but I was exhausted….

But Then God…. to be continued

Kari Jobe- I Am Not Alone- Song and video

 

 

 

As For Special Education…..

Whether you’re a SPED teacher or have a connection to a student or you are the student, I have a word for you! Think of your life as a marathon race. We are compared to others in our culture to hold us to a standard. This is to ensure that we are hitting the mark to continue on to success! Which in theory it is a good idea but it is always leaving someone out because we are not standardized models like automobiles we are people.

We have very varied strengths and challenges which make us unique so when we say there is a standard we are missing the boat. In the body of Christ, believers make up the Kingdom of God on Earth; we all have our place and purpose uniquely designed for us. 

      Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts     and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

We don’t need to compare ourselves with others. I am not saying to cash it in and not strive to grow, but it is a different approach. There are basic things we need to learn: skills, background knowledge- a foundational education that maintains rigor, but let’s not force everyone to be march at the same pace, learn the same way, and show what we know in the same ways.  School is for the learner to gain an education not to showcase the teacher and knowledge.

              Hebrews 12: 1 Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,   2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

You think what does that have anything to do with school? Well, a lot! God means to have a personal relationship with us, 24/7 and wants to be involved in everything-not in a creepy way but in a loving- I want to make sure everything is going OK for you. So He wants to be the center of education because it is forming who you are, what you are thinking, how you think of yourself! There is free will.

We choose to include God in what seems to be a impossible situation. We are asking Him to give wisdom, power, love, and discernment for what course of action to take in education. There are great schools, great teachers, great intervention tools for struggling students and one must understand the student to find the right fit for any of those things, even then the student needs to be ready and they choose to believe that they can learn. When we have God in the middle of that situation He can make things work out for our good as we trust Him.

As we choose to trust Him and He leads us by His Holy Spirit to the right educational setting, then He helps those in that setting to meet the needs of the student(s) to help them progress forward with their purpose and plan considering their strengths. talents, and gifts. They see themselves as a developing individuals not comparing themselves with their peers which is a natural thing for us to do. The analogy that we are running a race is a profound thought in Hebrews 12 and we can apply it to the idea of not fitting into a certain group performing like them. We aren’t meant to compare ourselves with others but to strive to find our purpose, strengths and gifts.

 Let’s consider two types of running, short distance sprinting and long distance marathon running. They run very different races, train differently for competition, different mindset for the race. We should consider ourselves as marathon runners- we train for endurance, training to better our own time and performance. Many times a long distance runner will be running alone then come up to a group and pace themselves with the other runners but if they continue in that manner they will not progress. We need to be looking to God through His Holy Spirit to train us as individuals for our own performance and task then we will find our groove, our niche in life.

There are great demands on special education teachers, Speech,Occupation, Physical Therapists , instructional aides, paraprofessionals who work day in and day out to bring an individualized education to students in a system that believes in standards and routine to get the job done. As believers we can bring our beliefs and our kingdom perspective to school believing God can work through all situations for our good. We can’t expect the school and people to meet every expectation even with a legal document, but as we trust in God. He can work through them or move you to a setting that will.  This is where the story of riding in the boat with Jesus as He rides out the storm with us is a something to meditate on.

We will explore what it means to be in the world but not of the world….

Blessings!

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As Far As Finding God’s Protection from Things that Cause Distress…..

Can we find God’s protection from things that cause distress. The interesting thing is the cause of the distress is not always removed, but the we find relief from the panic of the experience. What?

 God gives us the Word which we can apply to our life as an outlier.

Let’s keep in mind who God is:

  • He is based in Love not judgement even though as a just God He calls things that are not beneficial to us and hurtful wrong then expects trust  from us enough to listen and change with His help. He knows more!
  • He sacrificed His most precious person/relationship for us
  • He created us to be in a  relationship out of love and not out of a need for domination- why there is free will
  • He has a good plan for each person
  • He is no respecter of person- all are equal and loves us equally
  • He is all wisdom, all goodness, and all powerful
  • He is on our side
  • He’s got our back,
  • He has provides a power source, mentoring, comfort, guidance, knowledge, counseling, peace, assurance, resources through His Holy Spirit, 24/7 absolutely free!
  • He does expect us as His adopted children to be trusting and obey His leading but if we blow it He does not abandon us. He is patient and goes over it again and again until we get it
  • He treats us all as individuals- how he relates to me will/may be different than others but the principles (found in Bible) remain constant and well as His character
  • God wants to you to seek Him and join your life with His just as you are, no preparation necessary

YES REALLY! This is not a fairy tale or ploy to give false hope or manipulate you

The Bible gives us visual images and settings that we can understand. Of course as individuals God uses images and settings that will speak to each one of us that will give us a sense of God’s protection. What you read or hear from God’s Word will resonate with something in your own life.

For example, in  Psalm 91 :1-4 ,the whole thing is awesome!

      1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].

      2 I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely,and in Him I [confidently] trust!

     3 For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

[Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. (Amplified version)

When I read this I had an image of a giant umbrella from the commercials for an insurance company with the red umbrella that follows you everywhere. You are always protected. Under that umbrella I think of it as God covering me. I am completely safe. I am under His care and no matter how hard someone or something tries to override His authority, it can not. He has the last move and word to work everything that happens to me for my own good as long as I am trusting Him to do so.(Romans 8:28)

The conditions are in the first two verses, I will trust in you, no matter what!  He has made good on His promises. My life is not perfect, but it suits me and I really enjoy what I do! He has made it possible.

How does this apply to an outlier, how does it not!

When you feel out of sync with those around you/ misunderstood, please fall back on God’s Word rather than your limited emotions and thoughts. Hang on and trust God in the situation. Ask Him, “Hey what’s going on?”Then listen and watch, He’ll make himself known. Sometimes it takes awhile and the what, why, and how may not be what you expected but it always works out. It’s like riding a roller-coaster in the dark. It’s scary and exciting. You get off and then you want to go again! TRUST is the word to focus on.

In Mark 4:35-41.

Jesus and His disciples were crossing a lake. It had been a long day and Jesus had fallen asleep and a storm of hurricane proportions came up and water began to fill the boat which scared the disciples enough to wake Him. His response-

       39 … He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased ([sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness).

      40 He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?

     41 And they were filled with great awe and feared exceedingly and said one to another, Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him? (AMP) 

Our response to life’s storms is Trust in the love and character of God as we join our life with His. As we get to know Him then your trust and love of God grows.

How does this apply to someone with continual difficulties that won’t go away. He sometimes leaves the storm but He calms us with peace and a sense of security in His abilities. He sees us through the storm. He rides the storm out with us. He becomes our umbrella in the middle the rolling and crashing waves, horrific winds, and the filling boat that threatens our security in life.

But how does that play out in everyday life? to be continued….

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