Beyond the Blank Page

My Journey to Telling the Untold

Faith Dare: Day One

Okay guys, new category in my blog! YAY! Anyway, Faith Dare is a devotional book that I started reading six days ago when a friend recommended it. It is a great book that includes three main parts: Prayer/praise, Truth, and Dare. It’s like playing Truth or Dare with God in a way. So, you’re probably wondering why I’m still on Day One if I started six days ago. Well, even the author says that some days may take more than just one day to complete. The first dare was to let God replace your heart with a new, perfect one. This is tough, guys. It sounds easy and amazing, but it’s really hard. It’s even harder than just giving your baggage to God, because your heart contains so much more than just one thing of baggage. So, needless to say, it has taken me six days to get the fullness of the situation. I went into it actually feeling excited for the challenges that I knew would come against me. Well, I certainly found some along the way..

While the first four days did find me facing challenges, it wasn’t until yesterday that I truly faced a challenge that gave me a hard time in giving it all to God. I had a panic attack, far away from home, in my car. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t drive. And no one was there to take the wheel for me. I can’t even explain how terrifying this was for me. I was mad at God for letting this happen. I even thought I hated Him for a few minutes. I sat and bawled, people staring at me. Finally, after encouraging words from my mom and a blaring radio to distract me, I got back on the freeway and drove a little ways. All of the panic and lack of food all day ended with me being really sick and unable to get any closer to home than the mall, where my aunt had to drive my mom to come drive the rest of the way home. The point of sharing this potentially embarrassing story is that I hadn’t had a panic attack like this since I was really young. I hadn’t been trapped far away from home without a way to get back in a long time, either. These things terrified me and made me really want to blame God. There was a moment in my short drive to the mall where something switched inside of me and I started thanking God and begging Him to forgive me. I know this doesn’t by any means mean I’m perfect or that I’ll never experience difficulty again, but it was one of the first times that I had nobody but God in the car with me to keep me safe. I had to fully trust in that, and I did. And hey, guess what, He DID keep me safe.

So, now I am on to Day Two. I will share those experiences with you within the next few days! Until next time: Do a reality check. How much time, effort, thought, and love are you giving to God? How much are you giving to things that, in the long run, aren’t that important? It’s a reality check I needed, and to be honest, still do. Give it some thought!

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Write Your World: What Would You Choose?

Confession time, guys! Not necessarily something I look forward to, but something I feel the need to do. Until this past Sunday, life had been a living hell for me for a couple weeks. I had fallen back into depression, but how? I KNEW I had already been healed of it, so why was it plaguing me? I eventually realized that I had fallen into that trap again because I was allowing myself to. I fell away from my friends. I fell away from church. I fell away from anything and everything that brought me closer to God. I was mad, which was just a cover for being sad, which was going arm in arm with being afraid. The first week I had the knowledge of my dog being put to sleep in the near future hanging over me. The second week I had the knowledge that he HAD been put to sleep hanging over me. That sucked, but there was more to it than that. I just had no idea what it was…

There are so many things that were happening that I could easily blame, but the fact is that I was losing faith. I was pushing God away. I had gone back to the mindset that it was up to me to make everything okay again. I didn’t understand why this was happening. And then I remembered the night my dog died.

I experienced something really strange the night that Licky passed away. I had gone through grief, of course, but I was handling things better than I expected. I wrote it off as having been prepared that this was going to happen. But then there was more, there was GOOD. I couldn’t accept that, not at a time like that! Basically God told me this. He said, “Hey, I know this is tough, but I need to tell you something. I’ve been keeping a gift for you wrapped, just like your friend told you a while ago, and I want to show you a little peek of it. Here, look. See that? See all of that amazing stuff I have in store for you? I know it’s really vague right now, and everything is just an outline that you can’t fully visualize or understand, but you know it’s good. You can just feel it, can’t you?” And the answer was yes, yes I could feel it. I didn’t want to, though. It was wrong. Wasn’t it?

Of course the answer is a resounding “No!” it wasn’t wrong to accept that God was giving me goodness! It may have seemed like weird timing to me, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s that my timing is not the same as His. How could I forget that?

So, because I’d like to focus on the positive, let’s just fast forward. You now have some idea of what was happening in my head. Things were looking up, and guess what? They still are!! In fact, I have had two or three new avenues open up to me. I’m praying about them as we speak, and am not ready to reveal them yet, but they could be really amazing if they’re what God wants for me! One of these potential directions is something long forgotten, a desire and dream of my past that I had let go of. This may be the season in which God brings it back to me. How amazing is that? I had forgotten my dream but God hadn’t!! It’s kind of the opposite of how stars make us feel so small at night. This made me feel so big! I’m no more or less special than any other person, yet at the same time God is paying complete attention to me. One of my best friends constantly tells me that I’m God’s favorite. You know the cool thing? We all are! Unlike us, He can have multiple favorites! The closest my earthly mind can relate is by the fact that I have multiple best friends. His situation, of course, is much bigger than that!

So, since the title may not seem to fit much at this point, I’ll direct your attention back to it. What would you choose? Would you choose the amazing things God has for you, that He has promised you? Or would you choose to try to take control all by yourself, most likely steering yourself right off course and into a pit? To me the answer seems obvious, now, but at first it didn’t. I didn’t realize the decision I was making and it almost cost me a lot. I’m honestly happier than I have ever been in my entire life right now. I didn’t even realize that until a friend asked me today how I’ve been. My answer was something like this, “I’m amazing,” *pause to consider* “I’m not really sure why, there’s nothing specific, but life is just amazing right now!”

So, what would you choose?