I think I can see why I’ve been having so much insomnia.
This has really been a turning point for my walk of faith.
I’ve had such a desperation for God in these times.
And even though I could feel like I’m losing my mind, like I’m losing control of everything, I really was able to hold onto Him in this way I can’t fathom or explain. It’s just this sort of warmth, calm, peace that remains in the background of all the noise.
These days I’ve felt my heart filled with such strong emotion, moved to tears by so many things. It almost seems comical how many tears have escaped these eyes lately. Somehow it makes me laugh in a way. I just feel sometimes that my heart is no longer my own. Somehow I’m feeling my Father’s emotions in those moments.
But I’ve also been having the fear that I’ll see something when all the lights are off, some sort of shadow lurking in the dark. I’m scared that Satan will be able to touch me, harm me. This is all at night, when everyone’s sleeping, and everything becomes too quiet. I’ve noticed that I feel relieved once daytime comes after not being able to fall asleep in the dark, and find it easier to rest and relax especially when I’m surrounded by people. Even though I do know the truth of God’s Word, I still have those intrusive thoughts that try to torment me. Some have manifested as nightmares that left my heart racing.
These days I’ve noticed more and more that I really don’t like being alone at certain times. I want to at least be accompanied by someone who I feel can protect me. I want to feel that I have at least an ally. I really feel like sometimes I don’t have enough spiritual strength to stand in this spiritual battle.
Please send me those people, Lord. It’s so hard to walk so many moments alone. I’ve been fighting that voice, the one that tells me that no one really likes me, that everyone would much rather spend time with anyone besides me. That I’m not enough. That I’m a complete failure and my contribution means nothing. That none of my efforts are even worth it and I should just give up on everything. That even my faith in God is fake and all of this is a waste of time.
It’s the worst when I’m alone for so long. It’s so difficult changing what I’ve been used to for so long. I really do want changes to take place in my life. Please give me strength to overcome all of these things.
Help me to focus on enjoying what You have given me. Help me to acknowledge but not indulge Satan’s voice of negativity. Help me be strong and courageous, for You have overcome everything through Your ultimate sacrifice for us. You truly are a good, good Father. Thank You.
Thank You for helping me grow closer to You through Scripture. Thank You for answering my prayers. My faith feels revived. My unbelief feels as though it’s getting better. Even though the hardest thing right now seems to be giving enough effort in my relationships, I am praying that You will revive that in Your good timing as well.
Thank You for healing.
Thank You for demonstrating Your love through so many avenues. I truly do feel immersed in Your warmth during those times. I never want to forget. I never want to escape Your embrace. I never want to turn from You again.
I want to be able to have confidence in the fact that You finished it all, and that no weapon formed against me can prosper. I want to fully trust in Your strength and that whatever You have provided to protect me will do its job. Trust that everything really will turn out to be okay.
I can’t wait for more of Your promises.
I can’t wait to return Home to You.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NLT
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT
As I went to the APIH (Asian Pacific Islander Heritage) Fest yesterday night at MSU, I was nervous because it was a chance to meet David So and Joon Lee (joonleecomedy). They’re both Korean-American comedians who became popular online. Of course like anybody else, I want to see what all the hype is all about when it involves famous people.
But wow, I still wasn’t completely prepared for how secular this event would be. I guess in a way, it was a good sign that I kinda felt out of the loop when it came to so many references that were made, especially with the newest popular music and dances. I can’t even list them off because that’s just how little I know about them now, haha.
When one of the sororities came on stage to perform their dance, which apparently is called strolling (I think…), it reminded me of when I was a freshman in college, straight out of high school—that’s 2011 for anyone trying to guess my age, lol. It was Welcome Week at the University of Minnesota (U of M). I still remember the sororities promoting themselves with their dances, etc. What stood out then and last night is just how sexual the dances were.
I get that college is a time of new experiences and all. It’s what the world teaches everyone. But the culture is just getting more and more extreme as the days pass. I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years since that first day of college…and somehow it breaks my heart that in that moment where I felt uncomfortable watching that sorority’s performance on stage was the trigger to bring me back.
It breaks my heart that we’ve all been led to glamorize so many forms of sexual sin. And also that it’s all become so accepted and normalized. During so many moments of that night, I felt like I definitely didn’t belong there. My heart was so conflicted basically 90% of the time, and I had to keep consciously thinking that I’m not the same person I was 8 years ago, that perhaps I’m here because it’s important to know what the current culture is like.
But now, now I realize that maybe by just being there, I played my part in somehow blocking or lessening any spiritual warfare that was going on. What’s unique about MSU is that apparently it’s a “dry” campus (which means that there’s barely any typical college parties, etc.). This is absolutely the opposite of what the UofM was like…there would constantly be news and reports sent out to all the students about incidents, most of which were connected to the party culture on campus. Plus, Minneapolis even then was very liberal.
But despite this, our enemy Satan will use anything to try to corrupt college students. The college field is so deeply engulfed in spiritual darkness. Last night, I could really see how that was true. I know many might say this event is so tame compared to others, considering what happens these days in America. But that’s not my point. In a way, I can see I’ve been healed from how desensitized I was through consuming so much of the enticing culture.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
I don’t want to go back to how I was back then. I want to stay “woke” (lol) and spend much more of my time in the Word than anything else. Because honestly, it’s just not worth it. Everything else will just provide temporary pleasure and leave you feeling emptier. I know I did when I left early after the meet-and-greet session at the end. I arrived later and left earlier than most of the people there. Perhaps it was for my own good. God was protecting me. I could feel that sense of emptiness creeping in again, creating that void within my heart that accompanies so many worldly things.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 NLT
I’m so thankful God has placed me in this church that has so many trainings and events to keep me on track spiritually. They keep me sane. They keep me in community. When I let go and let down my walls in this safe environment, my joy is revived by my Creator. I’m so thankful God led me to join KCC (aka Soon movement) on campus too. I need more friends who have the same vision, the same heart for God’s Kingdom. I’m still seeing how God is changing literally everything in my life. Especially the people.
I want Godly relationships. I want my life to be filled with those people He has predestined, chosen before time began to serve Him. Those who will walk this journey with me as we head toward those times of greater uncertainty and face the darkness of this age. Everything will be okay. We are the light to shine in the world.
Guide us and lead us in everything we do, Lord. Help us to speak life into others. Protect us and keep us from falling. We need Your strength more than ever.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts of the Apostles 1:8 NLT
My heart grows more desperate for those lost souls. It aches more as I see the world through Your eyes.
Our home is in Heaven. May we carry out Your works until Your day comes.
“Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36 NLT
I’m so thankful that You chose to save us.
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25 ESV
Help me rise in the morning to praise You first before everything else.
Give me the burning desire to run after You.
Change my heart, O God.
Let me take pride in everything that complements Your Kingdom, that gives You glory.
May I be able to deny my flesh, to die to myself and be renewed in Christ every day.
Refresh me Lord, as You lead me beside still waters, may my soul be once again restored.
Give me faith.
Heal my heart.
Create in me Your masterpiece.
And change my Gen 3, 6, 11 imprints, roots and nature. I’m still so consumed by these. I want to become more selfless, more concerned about serving You.
Help me to let go.
“For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,”
Matthew 6:14 ESV
I know the end is nearing with each passing day. This gospel is being preached, and nobody knows when You will return.
But I want to still experience covenantal love—marriage, kids, growing old together with my future husband in a life that can only glorify You and be used to serve Your Kingdom.
As much as I want so many things, I know that nothing compares to the promise of Heaven. We can’t fathom it in its entirety, and I’m sure You have Your reasons why.
When the time comes, there will be no more suffering, no more pain. Our lives will be within the span of eternity and devoted to praising You. We will once again be reunited with You.
Thank You for this peace You’ve given us. Help us to choose You first. Help us not forget why we need You. Help us remember daily Your ultimate sacrifice for us who are so unworthy. Help us to remain grateful for everything You have given us.
Help us especially to stake our lives on the gospel, for the gospel. I can feel that day coming sooner than many may be anticipating.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,”
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:11-13 NLT
I don’t like feeling weak. In fact I also don’t like feeling incompetent. I like feeling like I can do it all on my own.
But that’s all rooted in Genesis 3. Satan wants me to only rely on myself and to become my own god.
In all these moments of weakness I’ve been having so many of lately, it sounds like this is God’s way of telling me that I need to find rest in Him. That I need to get away from it all even if just for a moment and abide in Him.
So much mental and physical exhaustion, so much anxiety and also moments of anger and pure frustration, and feeling spiritually oppressed—experiencing all of this for so long. Today, God spoke to me through someone and reminded me that He is the only true source of lasting rest.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’”
Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
I think maybe I’ve been running for so long and it’s all caught up with me. This season is one where I have to deal with many things. A time to process so much. But He is with me through it all. I just have to trust that He will keep me floating and not drown, just like Jesus said to Peter.
When I went with my mom to Connecticut this past weekend, it was so nice and such a blessed time. We celebrated my aunt’s birthday and had some good talks/catching up. It was so great to have this time even it was short. This is what I want so much more of.
When I came back, I just felt so lonely and empty. It’s so hard because I don’t feel comfortable letting people get close unless I know them for long enough. But it still takes a while and I don’t exactly let everyone past my walls. It’s hard to feel truly at home here.
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.”
Philippians 3:20 NLT
Living here in Jersey is so great but I barely have anyone I feel close to. I did have a couple coworkers—back before I started school again—that I could actually feel like I could talk to on a deeper level. I felt a strong connection with them and felt comfortable enough to be more vulnerable.
I know there’s so many words about Jesus being the one we confide everything in—that He knows everything and we can’t hide anything from Him. But right now I’m having a hard time believing this. It just doesn’t feel true. I know it’s unbelief that can be combatted with spending time in His Word, but I don’t even want to do that right now.
There’s just been too many moments where I know what will fix the problems in my life but either I just don’t feel like doing what He says, or kinda just forget the power of His Word.
So many times I just went through the motions without my heart fully invested. Especially prayer. I read somewhere that prayer is also a form of devotion. That we won’t feel that burning passion every single time we pray. Sometimes it’s like having to declare His truth over our lives. Not every moment is dramatic with the feeling that it’s ultimately life-changing.
I suppose that’s also what Christ-centered, Godly relationships are like? Even platonic ones? That not every moment is going to fit my idealistic standards. That life is not all picture-perfect the way I want it. I’m still learning healthier relationships. In the end, I want relationships that will honor God and reflect His Kingdom. But I can also feel myself taking this to a bit of an extreme as well. Living in Montclair, I see such a mix of people around this area. Evidence of the huge wealth gap in particular.
Jesus never discriminated. He spent time with people that were considered the outcasts of society. People that many others looked down on and judged harshly. I want to be more like Jesus. I really need help in casting aside so much materialism I’ve become so familiar and comfortable with.
“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.”
Philippians 3:7-9 NLT
I’ve had many moments I could feel my heart harden and turn cold. I instantly regret those moments where I chose arrogance over humility. Those are all moments where my heart has lost its warmth or just simply becomes fearful of what I could possibly lose. Truthfully, I’m losing out on potential relationships because of so many unnecessary barriers that I’ve built so securely.
“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?…Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:1,3-8 NLT
I did see this coming to an extent when I left Connecticut to move here. I knew I would be leaving so many people I would miss. I just don’t like being so far away from people I felt close to. And even being a Remnant—one of the scattered—is so disheartening at times because of those people I want to see and spend time with but can’t, at least for a while.
I’m probably being emotional but who really cares that we have social media to stay connected? It’s just not the same as being with someone in person with their actual physical presence. You can’t hug someone online. There’s just no comparison. I see how social media is just making people lonelier as well. We don’t see completely accurate interpretations of peoples’ lives, we see what they choose to show us.
A lot of times I forget how even a simple hug can go a long way. Particularly for me, that’s one of the ways my heart can feel full. I don’t know if I read this in Gary Chapman’s “Five Love Languages” or somewhere else, but since touch is so important to me to communicate affection, I feel depleted and deprived if I don’t have enough of it. It’s hard when you don’t have too many people you feel close to or are just plain afraid to let them get closer.
I don’t want to choose passivity because I know that being vulnerable is certainly possible. I think I’ve just reverted back to doing so much by my own strength. College can be pretty lonely too on its own. In general, I’ve always felt closest to family or people from church. I automatically feel like I can trust them the most.
Nowadays it’s extended a bit more to other people who share the same faith. But being so choosy gets tiring too. I miss those days where I was working jobs where I felt underappreciated or that I was too good for; God sent me to those fields for a reason. The reason I miss those days is because I always come out of my shell more when I’m forced to do so on a daily basis. It’s good practice and you get used to that. When you’re in school and just so focused on studying and the stress gets to you, it can be hard to feel like doing much else. Especially if meeting new people feels like a chore.
I think this season is so difficult and I feel stretched so thin so often because God is making a big change in me. He’s probably doing so much work on me that I won’t be able to see the results until later.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Philippians 1:6 NLT
Let’s finish strong in whatever we’re commissioned to. Keep pressing on.
“No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
This week has been a stressful one for me and I know it’s because it really lacked enough scheduled time with God. I really want to have that time first thing in the morning, where I’m not rushed, and sit down to enjoy that quietness while I meditate on His Word. My insomnia has been pretty bad too and I just didn’t know what to do about it, so waking up in the mornings has been one of the hardest things.
Even now I’m struggling with anxiety and feelings of overwhelm as I get through this week. I just really could use a break from everything.
Sometimes I wish God could physically carry me away from everything that makes my load feel so heavy.
I’ve been pouring pretty much everything into my studies, to be honest. I feel bad because I’ve been neglecting church and I feel like that’s another responsibility to take care of. And I’m scared that my grades won’t be good enough by the end of the semester… I want to get accepted into the Dietetics program at MSU which requires a certain GPA. With everything I’ve been going through for a while, this feels less and less like a reality.
I noticed when I got up this afternoon I just wanted to lay in bed and just not face things I had to get done. I guess my season of struggle is still here then. I thought things might get better by now but maybe it’s still not time.
But I want to meditate on His Word and not just get by on the bare minimum of spending time with Him. One piece of Scripture that I want to become truth in my life is this:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
I’ve heard these words so many times, even if the words were slightly different. It’s definitely easier said than done. I don’t want stress and worries to take over because they’re signs that I can’t fully trust in God. I don’t want to stay this way of being so reluctant to let go and let Him take care of everything. The hardest part is that I can’t see Him. I get so easily swayed and deceived because I can’t just reach out and physically touch Him.
“But Jesus [said,] ‘Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.’”
Mark 5:36 NLT
Lord, help my unbelief.
I need a double portion of Your Spirit.
I want every single spiritual problem of mine to become a platform of blessings.
And my identity is a child of God. Nothing else can define me.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
I just can’t seem to hold onto any consistency lately.
I realized I really like when things are organized, especially my room. It just clears my mind and I feel so much lighter.
But in the end I know that while it feels great to have things clean and tidied up, or to accomplish everything on my mental list, that’s not going to solve the most fundamental problem in my life.
Only Christ can give me what I’ve truly been designed to feel complete. Only He can provide a complete solution.
I just wish all this wasn’t so hard.
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 ESV
I know Satan is trying to keep me from God’s plan. I know he’s trying to do anything to make sure I stumble or wallow in guilt, shame, self-pity… basically anything that will keep me from especially enjoying the blessing of Immanuel.
How can I stop from continually chasing what I want? I feel so selfish, immature, irresponsible. I feel like I’m neglecting what I should be doing and choosing things that aren’t quite what God wants.
I feel myself getting so focused on material things and also becoming arrogant. I pray sometimes for God to humble me but it’s not all the time that my whole heart is in those prayers. There’s so much I don’t want to give up or let go of.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”
Proverbs 3:5 ESV
How can I deny my flesh and worldly desires and choose Christ when there’s so much that catches my eye?
How can I wholeheartedly trust in Him to do all things again?
My anxiety and inner turmoil has been pretty up there this past week. It kinda scared me that I had to stop and catch my breath sometimes. I found myself tensing and getting worked up over things that I later realized weren’t even that major. I really have been stressing and not letting God take control.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.”
Psalms 55:22 NLT
Why is it so hard to just let Him do His thing?
God, examine my heart. I need You to renew me. I need You in order to stop and truly see what You want me to see, but also enjoy Your blessings.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 ESV
I want to do well, whether it be in my studies or other things, but I don’t want it to come at the cost of neglecting You.
As easily as the idea of success and a comfortable life can entice me at times, I want to be able to consider all these things as lost and truly develop a passion for the things of Your Kingdom first.
On a slightly different note though, I really have this urge to just go out into nature and spend that one-on-one time with Him again. It’s something that always calls me during these warmer months. There’s just something about taking in that fresh air and walking with God, having conversations with Him that just have to be felt and can’t quite be quantified in words. It’s moments when your heart swells and you feel absolutely full to the brim with some kind of warmth that feels like it’s not of this earth.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 ESV
That kind of peace that makes you feel like, yes, I am sure that all His works will take place, everything truly will be okay. Why was I so worried and scared of all those things? It’s that peace that surpasses all understanding.
I think that’s one of the reasons why I love summer so much. Even though I’ve always lived in places where summer eventually means sweating in extreme temps and having to rely on AC to feel sane, I like that it’s hard to feel cold. Plus, a good sweat really is just what you need sometimes.
It’s almost ridiculous sometimes how instantly my mood can change by merely being touched by a beam of sunlight. I just bask in that warmth in the way sometimes music with rich and sweet chords envelops me.
I used to take pride in the fact that my emotions don’t make me all that stable, because they make me interesting (or something like that). But I’m learning in different ways that a rollercoaster ride isn’t the model I want to base my lifestyle on. I do want consistency and stability. Perhaps sometimes I confuse this with comfort. I love my comfort and all the warm fuzzy feelings it brings, but it won’t make me grow. It won’t fulfill me or bring me into my calling. I don’t want to miss what I’m truly here for.
So please pray for me, anyone out there who knows the same God I do. I need prayers right now. I don’t know how long I’ll be in this spiritual battlefield. I really need reassurance that I’m not alone. And the humility to let others closer as well as their support. Vulnerability has always set off a sort of defensiveness in me, and I’m trying (praying) for that to change dramatically.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.
Genesis 28:15 ESV
I’ve been praying a lot about my faith and unbelief. I’ve been having lots of doubts, sometimes even about if I’ve truly received salvation and believe that Jesus is the Christ.
I don’t really know what to say except that today’s Remnant day was such a blessing, and I truly felt uplifted and renewed. I also felt as though I was able to remain focused on Him and was able to block out many distractions, despite how sleep deprived I was.
I’m choosing to focus on the positives because I really have grown weary of a lot of the negative moods I’ve been so used to for quite some time now. I’m just so thankful for how much I was able to enjoy today. I want to declare that it was His presence that I felt and that I was able to see a glimpse into what His Kingdom will be like once we return to our true home. I don’t want to keep doubting if it leads to a habit of disconnecting what I feel from what is His truth.
Of course I want everything to become connected and united within me, but I also don’t want to force anything. I guess this is tricky for me because I keep hearing to not be so ‘diligent’ and strive—rather, to just be still—but I guess now that I think about it, yes, I think I am just falling into old habits of legalism/humanism again.
I can’t believe spring is here at last, though. It was so nice to have this great weather. I wish it could be warm every day. I’m SO over winter and all the cold it brings lol.
But this is important: I don’t want to forget that this joy comes only from Him. I could spend hours on end contemplating, arguing with myself and God; doubting once again or even forgetting what truly makes me happy for longer than a short moment. It’s spending time with Him. That’s all there is to it. It’s just so easy to forget, especially because I’ve lost that consistent rhythm that I’ve had before but fell out of. I can blame external influences but when it comes down to it, I do admit that it was me who made the choice.
I chose to put other things first, to pursue so many temporary pleasures. The thing I hate most about this is that once I fall into it and have that moment where I catch myself, I keep going not because I’m actually enjoying it so much, but I can feel that numbness and self-loathing grow stronger as I spend more time.
But I’m also trying to return to an attitude of gratitude again. Be grateful in ANY circumstance. I’ve struggled staying positive for a while. Thank God I haven’t completely lost the discernment to know what things will harm or heal me spiritually. I am hoping that this good day I had today can turn into many more in the near future. But I also want to be obedient and set aside my own wants/desires/standards/expectations in favor of His better plan. I have had a lot of inner conflict for a while. It was my Genesis 3 self (trying to be my own god) vs. the ‘me’ that is part of God’s design.
How long has it been since I’ve laughed like that? That was another thing I’d wanted back in my life, to have moments where I could feel my full heart being expressed. I wanted that weight to lift, and to experience that full-bodied warmth again. Joy that comes easily and without effort.
I’m hesitant on making promises to myself or others that I’m not sure I can keep, especially when it comes to reviving my consistent quality time with God. I’ve been collecting these suggestions (or perhaps more fitting, ‘prescriptions’ for my current condition) that I’ve gotten from church deacons/deaconnesses and they’ve been kept in the back of my mind. Am I ready to go ‘all-in’ for what He’s prepared for me? Am I ready to not just anticipate healing and restoration and renewal, but actually invest enough time into my personal relationship with Him so He can fully work within me?
I’m sure I could do much better when it comes to this relationship. A lot of times I feel as though my relationships with others could use more work too. It’s all connected though, isn’t it? Everything will follow when I abide in Him.
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the Word that I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
So recently I feel like God has answered one of my very urgent questions that I was desperate to know but just couldn’t fully understand for quite some time now.
And I’m realizing more as God speaks to me and also having my eyes opened to see the spiritual reality of what’s really going on where I live.
I realize now that the presence of idols has really affected the spiritual atmosphere here. I see it everywhere—whether it’s posters or statues or even more subtle things like what appears to be a shrine in the bathroom. I think it’s mainly Hinduism (and more generally, New Age roots) that these idols come from. I did notice a lot of them right away and got the feeling that something wasn’t quite normal around the time I moved in last fall. That’s the thing that frustrates me the most, that it’s mostly a feeling that something’s off. But thankfully, my room is the one place that feels safer (I’d feel better if there was a clear presence of not being alone spiritually here).
It wasn’t until one of the deacons at my church confirmed and actually gave me an explanation that made SO much sense. I’d told other people at church too, but I guess it still wasn’t time for the complete picture to be revealed yet. He told me that even the mere presence of physical idols can cause physical sickness and mental affliction, and of course, spiritual warfare. Which is the most important of them all but is the trickiest especially in this age because it’s something we can’t see and the world is becoming more and more blinded to this fact.
I really want to change my environment as soon as I can, but I can’t seem to find a good place to move to just yet. I’ve been searching but perhaps He’s still telling me to wait. Another thing that really stuck with me after talking to that deacon is that perhaps I’m sent here to this house to actually block what has been happening before I came here. He shared that he’d been to events where idol worship was actively taking place. The person who was trying to place a curse on someone (or whatever it was exactly they were doing) during that time realized it wasn’t working. They were surrounded by a crowd as well, but they knew that it was that deacon’s mere presence that was blocking it. They got angry of course, and I don’t remember the rest of the story. But my main point is, if my presence alone (since His Spirit resides in me) as well as my prayers can truly stop or hinder whatever is happening in this house, then that must be my role/mission for now. Even if it doesn’t directly lead to sharing the gospel with anyone living here, my reason for being here is so much clearer and I am determined to be used for whatever God has planned for me.
Of course, it has been far from easy. You have no idea how difficult and agonizing some of the things are that I’ve been going through lately, which I think now coincides with the day I moved into this house. Perhaps it was for good reason that I wasn’t able to see the entire picture until now. There were so many days and nights I couldn’t stop crying. So many times I just felt stuck in a depressive mood, and there were so many other symptoms that gradually piled on until I felt like I was suffocating and just downright oppressed. After RCA, there were days absolutely nothing could lift me up except holding onto Christ—and even then it was holding on for dear life (I felt like I was being pressed down) because I felt like everything had lost meaning. I don’t think I was suicidal but everything felt dull and pointless. I think it describes what the darkness can truly feel like.
More recently, I had a few nightmares that just felt spiritually different from what I’ve had before (at least for a long time). Once again, just unexplainable in nature. But basically, the entire time I was going through all of these things, I could never truly find a complete explanation. I was just grasping for any reason that would make sense of it all. It was so frustrating and I felt like I was living in hell during so many moments. It was so hard to get through so much of it. I think the most difficult part was that it felt like I was spiritually blocked or hindered in some way, so even my prayers felt dampened or stifled. Like they couldn’t get through some sort of barrier. So you have no idea how relieved I felt when I received this answer I’d been so desperate for.
Now that I think about it, there are hints of all this in my earlier posts too, but the only thing missing was the answer I now know. Thank you, Lord. I don’t want to be deceived. Please continue to show me the truth and not let me fall into any of Satan’s lies. I don’t want to be blinded like so many people are.
You can choose not to believe this. Maybe you think I’m crazy in some way. But whether you do or don’t, the truth is there in the Bible. His Word is living and active, and there is evidence of His existence around us. And maybe if you can’t believe my situation specifically, God will show you Himself. Trust me, it’s not something you’d want to go through if you had the choice. I’ve never experienced anything like it, and it’s not in a good way. But then again, the upside of all this is that I truly do understand more of the spiritual darkness that is so prevalent in America. As well as in third world countries that are so heavily reliant on idolatry.
I really wish this house could be spiritually healed. What else can I do while I’m here? Please Lord, help me be patient to wait on Your timing and not do things by my own strength. And if it’s Your will, send me a sign that I’m not alone here. It’s been so difficult getting through the days in the midst of all this spiritual warfare that I can’t even see happening. I think these symptoms I’ve been experiencing has been the most evidence I’ve been able to confirm (besides the physical idols around the house).
Now I see that the first deaconness I told about my situation also gave me more subtle advice (though not at first), which was to constantly have Pastor Ryu’s message playing. If you don’t know who that is, he’s the senior pastor of this upper room (or, remnant) movement I’m a part of; he’s in the ‘headquarter’ church in Korea.
Another thing is, a lot of people who aren’t a part of our church system believe that this movement is a cult of some sort; a heresy, etc. I didn’t grow up in this movement so sometimes I have my doubts too of course, but overall I believe that’s only Satan trying to deceive me. This notion that this movement is a cult certainly isn’t a secret; Pastor Ryu mentions it often in his sermons as well. Early in the church’s history, there was a time of pretty severe persecution that took place too. I still need to hear the entire story again but my main takeaway is that it shows a parallel to how the early church faced persecution in the Bible.
Sometimes I get sucked into the downward spiral of trying to figure out what would make the movement an actual cult, or what separates us from other ‘false teachings,’ but I think that’s also another form of deception I’ve fallen into as well.
God wants my faith.
It’s never completely easy, or else perhaps salvation would be for everyone. Then again, perhaps those same people who choose not to believe would come up with other reasons not to do so. These aren’t the kind of questions/answers that are most urgent. If I focus on these kinds of things that require me to think too much, am I truly focusing on the right things?
To be honest, I think the simplest things regarding His Word are the things to focus on. Plus, I like things that are straightforward. It just cuts out any unnecessary stuff. I know that this gospel is simple and far from complicated. I think that’s why children have the easiest time believing. I long for that childlike faith again. The older we get, the more complicated life becomes, and I think we also tend to bring that complication into so many aspects of our own lives.
Please pray for me as I fight this spiritual battle.
Lord, please protect me and give me a double portion of Your Spirit. Without You I won’t be able to do this.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.