Lonliness

One of the most difficult things to deal with in this life, in my opinion, is the feeling of lonliness. In my experience, when it hits, it hits hard. How is a person supposed to combat that? Everything is going fine and then all of a sudden, whop! Smacked in the face with the lonliest feeling ever. 

What contributes to these feelings? Is it the lack of friendship? The lack of a relationship or a significant other? The lack of relationship with God? I’m sure all of these play a part, but why does it happen so often? What is it, really? 

Could it be that we come to the realization that no one really knows us, for whatever reason, and that’s what we ultimately desire in this life? To be known, understood, and loved regardless? 

I don’t know about anyone else, but the feeling of someone wanting to  be with you and really actively attempting to get to know you is something that doesn’t happen often, but when it does, fills my heart with overwhelming joy. I don’t know that there’s a greater feeling in all the world than that. Don’t get me wrong, a back massage in a comfy bed is pretty close, but still.. 

We are social beings after all, especially in this day and age where everything is ruled by social media, which in turn has turned the world into an incredibly narcissistic place. Everyone is concerned about how many likes and follows they get instead of what really matters, and that is to leave the world a better place than you found it. 

“And how do we do that?” You might ask. Well, I’ll tell you how. Take down your walls and put your heart out there for everyone to see. If there is one thing that I’ve learned during my 28 years of existence, it’s that people get hurt every single day but they continue to bounce back. The heart is so intelligently designed. It was designed to be incredibly resilient (Thanks, God!). The heart can take just about anything that’s thrown at it, and with a little can-do attitude and hard work, turn something bad into something great. 

People used to know that. People used to care for one another. They used to love each other without fear. How sad is it that we as a society fear love? It’s insane. Especially because deep down, and I don’t care who you are or how “tough” you are, everyone wants to be loved. And I don’t mean in the popular social media kind of way. I’m talking about an intimate love. 

God wants that relationship with all of us, but the world has a pretty good way of making us forget that. That’s where we’re supposed to start though, with God. With the Creator. 

Of course it’s hard. I struggle with it too. I constantly make mistakes. Sometimes I think it would be easier if He hadn’t given us free will to do as we please. But isn’t that true, true love? Allowing His creation to do as they wish, knowing they will defy, turn against, and disappoint Him, but still allowing free will and loving each of us unconditionally? I mean, c’mon guys! God sent Jesus to die on a cross for a bunch of sinners. Jesus knew what was about to happen, and get this…HE DID IT ANYWAY BECAUSE HE LOVES US UNCONDITIONALLY. 

So if you’re like me, searching for something but aren’t quite sure what it is that you’re searching for, you probably ought to start with seeking out God. I know that’s what I need. I’ve got to start doing more and more of exactly that. 

I know for a fact that once we find that love, the love God has for us, that lonliness subsides. We are set free from that awful strangulation of the heart and can breathe again. 

Love… love heals all

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5 things

As you know, there are so many absolutely great lessons that life teaches us on a daily basis. Some are simple, others are complex and have to be beaten into us for us to understand. Today, I’ve decided to list the 5 greatest lessons that life has taight me up to this point. 

1. Keep your family close

I have been incredibly blessed with such a great family. Whenever I need something, they are there. Whenever I’m down, they are there. Whenever I’m up, they’re there. Whenever I’m an ass, they’re there. I realize that not everyone has much of a family, but do not be afraid to hold onto the ones that you do have. Even if they tend to push you away. There is nothing like family so go after them with everything you’ve got! 

2. Go after your dream with everything that you’ve got

We all have dreams and aspirations. There is only one way to fulfill those dreams. Work. Go get it. Sure, you might fail. Let me tell you, I’ve failed a hundred times or so, but that doesn’t mean that you give up. You never give up. We may have to do something else while we attempt to figure out the next path to take, but never give up. 

3. Go for it

If there is a man or woman in your life that you would really like to take out on a date, go for it. Ask the question. What do you have to lose? I mean, you’re already not dating that person. Who cares if they say no. Sure, this scenario doesn’t always work out like it does in the movies. Sure, there may be some disappointment if they say no. All that means is that you can now move on to the next! Trust me my friends, there are few bigger regrets than not asking the hard question and always wondering what might have been said. All you need is 20 seconds of courage. 20 seconds of complete, unfiltered courage can change the world forever! 

4. Life is too short for single-ply toilet paper

This one is pretty much self explanatory. If you don’t know what this means, then lucky you. 

5. Trust in Him

I saved this one for last, but it is absolutely the most important. Trust in the Lord with everything you’ve got. He will never leave you. He wants nothing but the best for you. He has a plan for you. He won’t bring you to anything that you can’t handle. If there is a problem, trust Him. If you are on top of the world, trust Him. 

This tends to be something we only think about when things are going wrong, but we all need to strive to trust in Him at all times. He gives us opportunities to do good, he does not give opportunities to do bad. That’s part of the whole free will thing. God gives unlimited opportunities, but leaves the choice between right and wrong up to us. Have I failed miserably? Absolutely more times than I know how to count. We all have. Do not be discouraged. His love and forgiveness are everlasting and there will be plenty more opportunities to follow! 

Anyway, these are my 5. What are yours?

Purpose

“When man loses a purpose, that’s when a man dies.”-Joel Edgerton as Dan Frost in the movie, “Jane got a Gun.”

We’ve seen this time and time again; a man dying after he loses his purpose. For some, it may be the death of a family member or close friend. For others, it may be something like being forced into retirement. 

What is your purpose? Most of us are likely still searching for it. One day it may be that career we’ve always wanted. It may be that husband or wife we love so much. For many, it will be their children and providing for them. 

So what are we supposed to do until we find our purpose? 

“Begin each day as if it were on purpose.” -Will Smith as “Hitch”

I’ve been thinking about this quote more and more over the past few weeks. Partially because I turned 28 years old on the 5th of September, but also because I’ve spent many a morning lying in bed doing nothing for hours wasting time. 

There is only one thing on this earth that everyone is always losing. It’s time. Time doesn’t stop. We’re always running out of time, so why do we waste time? I understand if people need sleep or rest. I understand if people are forced to wait on something before they can make the next move. But lying around doing nothing but “wasting” time? I can’t figure that one out. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as guilty as the next guy. In fact, I’m more guilty of wasting time than a lot of people that I know. So how do I begin to fix that problem? 

Simple. Get up. 

“Begin each day as if it were on purpose.” 

I happen to believe that each one of us has a purpose. Does anyone really believe that we are just floating through life aimlessly and without meaning? What hope is there in that!? If that were the case, why would anyone do anything meaningful? 

“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.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ 

God has given each of us a purpose! We may not yet know what this purpose is, but I do know that we each have one. It may be something simple or something incredibly complex. The point I’m trying to make is this: if we lay in bed and waste time, if we don’t get up, we’ll never know what our purpose is. 

We’re all always running out of time, so get up. Do your best to live each day like it’s your last. The first step in doing that is to begin each day as if it were on purpose. Actually, let’s take it a step further. LIVE as if it were on purpose. 

No more wasted time. 

New

I’m laying in bed in my room in Midland, Texas. All I can do is wonder if I’m making the right choices or not. It’s an incredibly more difficult process than I originally thought it would be. As I sit there and think to myself, weighing the pros and cons, going through every imaginable possibility, I realize that I am so incredibly afraid. 

I’ve never really been on my own before. Never had to worry about making it from paycheck to paycheck. Never had to wonder if I was going to be able to pay all my bills. Thank God I was blessed with the parents and the family that I have. I’ve never been in any situation where I wasn’t protected. 

That’s all about to change.

I’m making the choice. It’s finally time for me to get out of my parents and attempt to make a name for myself. It’s time to attempt to make it on my own in a town that I know very little about (even though it’s only a couple hours away) while working a job that I have no experience in. It’s time. 

It takes a long while, but finally, I realize that I’m scared to death. What if I can’t make enough money? What if I get in a wreck? What if I get hurt? What if I’m not cut out for this line of work? What if I’m wrong? 

So much doubt filled my head. I actually became slightly depressed. On one hand, I could stay where I was and work in a job that I didn’t enjoy, but make money and continue to live a “safe” life. In the other hand, I can get out on my own and take the biggest risk of my life. 

The biggest risk of my life? You mean nothing is gaurunteed? You mean I’m solely responsible for the outcome of my every day life/struggle/survival? Well, that’s awfully frightening.. 

It’s frightening, but also exciting at the same time. I mean, this is the American Dream, right? Most people think of fame and fortune when someone says the American Dream, but that’s not how I mean it. To me, the American Dream is having the opportunity to work in a job that you enjoy and actually make a living. Opportunity is what the American Dream is all about. 

Yea, I’m scared, but how could I just sit here and not take advantage of an opportunity that not everyone gets to have? That would be an absolute waste and I’m not about to allow that to happen. 

So, here I am. On my own in Lubbock, Texas, selling memberships to a gym, hoping that I can learn the process quickly enough to be able to make a living without running into my savings account too much. 

I’ve been in Lubbock for 2.5 weeks now and while it’s different in many ways, I’m oddly comfortable. I work with good people, I have a few friends and family here, and, the most important part, God isn’t going to let me fail. If this doesn’t work out, it’s going to be because I wasn’t meant for this, not because I didn’t try. 

See, in all my worrying, I forgot that the power that brought Jesus back from the grave LIVES in me. Yes, LIVES. My God is a living God and He wants what is best for each of us. 

Sitting here realizing all of this really makes me wonder, “why in the world was I so worried?” Literally all that anyone has to do is put their faith in God and give life their best shot. I’ve come to the realization that there is literally nothing to fear except for the made up scenarios in our head. 

Boy that devil is clever, isn’t he? He puts that worry in our heads to distract us from the truth. The truth about the one true God that loves us so much that he sent His only Son to die for us, a bunch of sinners. 

Fear? No thanks. I’m going to grab this bull by his horns. 

Fearless

There are good people, bad people, people that are kind of on the fence, and then there are people that are so fantastically, wonderfully great. These people don’t come along very often. In fact, they are almost as rare as unicorns. They are incredibly hard to find, but once you find them, the whole world changes. 

I recently had a few days off from work and got to spend a little time out of town. I spent one day in San Angelo and then another couple days in Lubbock. I always have a good time when in out with my friends, but this time was a little bit different. 

The two friends that I stayed with in Lubbock are probably the best people in the world in my opinion. I played baseball with him in college and his wife is just the nicest, most caring person that I’ve ever met. She is definitely one of those rare “unicorns” that I spoke of earlier. She has always been a nice, caring, humble person for as long as I or any of my friends have known her, but for as nice as she is, she used to be just as shy. During my few days in Lubbock, I noticed that that was no longer the case. 

This absolute sweetheart of a young woman is no longer that shy girl that everyone met several years ago. How does that happen? I’ll tell you how. She met and fell in love with an outstanding young man. Now, she is absolutely fearless. How strong must that love be for a once shy young girl to become an absolutely fearless young woman? And how good of a young man must he be to instill that kind of confidence in her with all the trash that is going on in the world these days? 

These two people are incredible. There are no other words for it. In a world where there are frequent mass murders, frequent terror threats, marriages failing daily, cheating jerks, and just horrible people doing horrible things, these two have found each other and are both so filled with love that neither of them worry about a thing. Day in and day out, they continue to love and care for everyone regardless of the situation. 

While I was in Lubbock, I just watched in awe of how they were together and how they were with everyone else. They are a true example of how to live and love. They are the kind of people that you always want to be around, the kind of people that we all should strive to be. They are the reason that I believe in love like I do. Love conquers all and they are a prime example of that. 

Moral of the story: don’t give up on love. You never know when and where it might come from or who is needing it the most. Be fearless in love.

Am I?

There are so many kinds of people in the world. Some good, some bad, and then there are some that are just there. What determines if a person is good or bad? Obviously, people who hurt or kill people aren’t good. That’s not what I’m talking about.  

People make mistakes. Everyone knows that. If you think that you haven’t made a mistake in your life, then I urge you to reconsider your entire existence. The only One who has never made a mistake is Jesus.

As I lie here in bed, I can’t help but think of all the mistakes that I’ve made. Yes, it’s one of those nights, but it brings up a good question. “Am I a good person?” I’m lying here thinking about the hearts that I’ve broken, the times when I’ve disobeyed my parents, and all the things like that. Of course, if those things are the only ones that I focus on, then I don’t look like a very good person. 

I have done a few good things in my life though. I’ve helped a few people here and there, donated things, done the right things at times when it would have been easy to do the wrong thing. Those good things aren’t the things I focus on though. I am, and always have been, very hard on myself. My parents have taught me to expect the best from myself. Not because perfect was the only thing they would tolerate, but because if I don’t expect the best from myself, how can anyone else? 

Expecting the best from myself causes me to be hard on myself. Which I think is a good thing. It makes me push myself to reach the goals that I have. However, it also causes me to focus on all the things I’ve done wrong and the times when I have failed. 

Can you relate? 

I look back on all these things that I’ve done in the past and I can’t help but wonder, “Am I a good person?” Sure, I like to think I am. Don’t we all? It’s just that on nights like tonight, I’m not completely sure. 

I certainly haven’t made my last mistake. There will be many, many more. Making mistakes is what makes us human, which is beautiful, but what is it that determines if we are good or bad people? 

I know that someone out there thinks I’m a good person. Someone out there also thinks I’m a bad person. Someone else out there thinks I’m a jerk. The list goes on and on. Not everyone in the world is going to like you. Just a fact of life. But it isn’t their opinions that I’m worried about. The one I am concerned with, is mine. 

Yes, there are some things that I could improve on almost immediately. There are other things that I think I have down pretty good. The way I see myself at this point in my life is that I’m just kind of one of those people that are just here. I’m not necessarily a bad person, but I haven’t done enough good to be considered a good person. 

That sucks. 

Which brings me to my next thought. What the hell have I been doing with my life? Why have I allowed myself to fail so many times? Not only have I failed myself, but my family and friends at times as well. If you ask them, I’m sure they would give you a list of good things I’ve done or just tell you how good they thought I was. That’s because my friends and family are great people. If you asked me about me, I probably wouldn’t give you the same answer.

I’m the only one that really knows everything about me. I’m the only one that really knows what I struggle with. I’m the only one that knows exactly what I think and feel. Right now, at this moment, I feel like I’ve failed. I know, we all fail, but one would think that after failing time and time again, one would learn not to do whatever it is that is making them fail. 

We all struggle with things, I realize that, but that isn’t an excuse. All that there is to do is to learn and grow. Hopefully, at the end of it all, I can look back on the things I’ve done and know that I was a good person. 

Thank God for multiple chances. 

You

Who do you think you are? 

Really. Who do you think you are? How do you see yourself? So many people base their opinions of themselves on what others think of them or on what magazines say they should look like. This can cause a very negative self image, which in turn promotes low self-esteem. 

Having low self-esteem can lead to a miserable life, which sucks. Most people do not understand that each one of us has something special to share. Whether it be an idea, a skill, an opinion, or whatever it may be. Each one of us has something special, and that makes us all special. The only problem is that the low self-esteem that people have keeps them from being able to find that something special. 

It does not matter who you are or how successful you are, everyone goes through periods of time where their self-esteem falters. Some people never seem to find a way out of that rut. There are others, however, that not only find their way out, but come flying out. They are the ones that know without a shadow of a doubt that they are special someway, somehow.

Which one are you? If you’re the one that stays in that rut for extended periods of time, why do you do that? Sure, self-esteem can be affected by outside forces, but it is also a choice. We each have the power to decide whether to believe the outside negativity, or to believe all the positivity that is within and outside.

Think about this. No one on this earth has a negative thought about themselves or others until the first time that they are told something negative by another person. When we are young, we are innocent. We are full of love, hope, and joy. Somewhere along the lines, we forget how good life really can be and we begin to focus on all the negative out there. 

Focusing on the negative is what gives the negative power. I wish that for just one day, we could all focus on all the great things in this life. I wish we could all regain the hope and love that we all had once upon a time. The further and further this nation pulls away from God, the harder that is going to be. 

Who are you? Which person are you? Are you the one that allows yourself to focus on the negative? Or are you the one that can see all the positive?  

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” ‭Psalm‬ ‭139‬:‭13-14‬

Each one of us is fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s own image. How then, could each one of us not be special? 

There is always hope. Understand that you are wonderful and special. You have so much to offer. Shift your focus from the negative to the positive and restore that childlike happiness!