Well folks, another year gone. As I reflect on this last year, I don't think I can recognize myself right now. There have been so many changes over the span of this year. Some have been good, some have been bad, but all have been for the better. I am beyond proud of who I am right now, though I'd be a liar if I said I am truly happy with this year that has past. It had it's ups but had a lot of downs. It has been a challenging, emotional year but the amount of growth I have experienced makes it so worth it. As I kiss goodbye this year, I'll miss those I lost and embrace those I've gained. So here I go off to this new year embracing everything it has in store for me. I know no matter what comes my way, I have God with me now, and that excites me. I look forward to the challenges to come. I pray that I continue to grow more and grow closer to Him. I pray that my heart just sets on fire for Him, that everything I do this year is for His kingdom. I pray that I stay on His path for my life. I pray all these things for myself and for all of you. I love you all and may God bless you all on this new upcoming year.
I'm broken. I'm heartbroken. I'm literally hanging by a thread. I broke a little yesterday. I'm still breaking today. And will probably break more tomorrow. Somehow though I am not alright, but I am okay. Words of encouragement continue to surface from all sorts of different directions. Whether it be messages at church, passages of scriptures found in reading, encouragement and advice from friends, simply just a friend's hug, or a license plate of a random car in front of me. It's crazy. I really am in shambles and my love for God is the only thing holding me together. But lucky me, my God has a mighty firm grip. I just want to share a quick statement with you guys. It is something I heard at church and that is that we need to stop focusing on the circumstance and keep our eyes on the one who will get us through the circumstance. This was shared by Pastor Pedro at church last week, and it truly spoke to me. It is so true though, we all look at what has happened and what we're going through and start thinking to ourselves instead of speaking to God. Why don't we? I mean He is in control. So screw what we're going through and let's keep our focus on Him. He obviously knows what's going on and is allowing the unfortunate things to occur for a reason. So why not seek Him, and keep our focus on Him, and see what it is He is trying to show us. I have had a few friends encourage me that God is building character in me through this. He is developing me into the man He wants me to become. With that I started thinking, I might be like gold in the fire needing to go into the fire process to be purified. I started thinking also, I did pray that God would truly humble me and break me. So praise to Him. I am falling in love with Him more and more. I realize how much in control He is more and more. I am hurting but I am thankful.
I'm filled with a lot of different emotions right now. This might be the toughest Christmas of my life thus far. It's been a rough couple weeks. This is my first Christmas without my Abuelo Manolo, which is tough enough to deal with. Then add some other things I've gone through these last few weeks, and well let's just say I was looking forward to today to get a chance of regularity and normalcy.
Then I get woken up early today by my mom because sadly my dog had just passed away. I loved my dog so much! She was my first dog, and the only pet I've ever had. To say the least she was just as much as a part of my family as anybody else. I had her for 12 years, she even had her own stocking. Truly, this hurts. I'm really going to miss my dog. And I haven't started thinking about my grandfather yet. Last night was a little difficult to go through thinking about him, but I made it through with just a tear here and a tear there.
I really feel like this is the culmination of what has been the toughest year of my life. Looking back at everything I've gone through this year, I can truly say wow. I've had a lot of downs but some major ups as well. So looking at this year, this is what I have concluded; I am blessed. This year I made the best decision of my life to truly accept Jesus Christ into my life. And looking through the year I can see how I arrived to finally deciding to surrender. It is such a beautiful thing to sit and realized steps I was making little by little without knowing that would soon define the new me that would be born again September 14. It is honestly crazy to see the steps I was taking all along to get here. Amazing to see the work He did all along, and how He was present all along. All the bad times, and all the good times this year, really have defined me and my character I think, especially who He wants me to become. And I thank God for that. I thank Him for everything.
And it is all so fitting, that this would all culminate today, on Christmas day because I celebrate today. I celebrate the good, the bad, just everything because today is special. I celebrate His birth today. I celebrate His humbling of Himself to become a human so He could one day fulfill the prophecies of old and become our Savior. How amazing is that!?!?! My God became flesh today so He could die therefore I could one day truly live. That is special to me. What a sacrifice; yet again He is quite the sacrificial Savior. He sacrificed so much for us. I always knew this but now I truly believe it. He is the reason for my season. He is my everything. He is my all in all. I truly serve an amazing God that is amazing love.
If you're reading this, and you don't know Him. If you don't have a personal relationship with Him, talk to me. I'm not going to sit here and force my beliefs down your throat. I am nobody to do that, but I challenge you to give it a listen, and try to get a relationship with Him. Feel free to message and ask me why I truly celebrate the day today. What it exactly means to me, and who knows it could open your eyes to something new and different you have never seen before; like it did to me just over 4 months ago.
Now if you do have that relationship, then I'm going to challenge you along with myself to let's not just celebrate today, today. I feel we should celebrate this everyday. His birth, His life, His ministry, His death, and His resurrection should be celebrated by us everyday! By giving thanks to Him every chance we get. By living a life of pure walking worship to Him. By submitting ourselves and dying to ourselves everyday for Him. It is what He deserves. Our lives have been surrendered to Him, so let's live like it. Do note I include myself in this challenge because by no means am I there yet. I'm still a ways away from it, but I'm trying. We all need to.
With that my friends, I'll wrap it up. Today as we spend time with our families, opening presents, eating, and enjoying each other's company let's not forget what we celebrate. I know I won't, because today I celebrate the day.
Here is a little song for ya'll. It's probably my favorite song of all time and it definite is along what I'm talking about.
I Celebrate the Day byRelient K
And with this Christmas wish is missed The point I could convey If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You've touched my life Because here is where You're finding me, in the exact same place as New Year's eve And from a lack of my persistency We're less than half as close as I want to be And the first time That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior And the first breath that left Your lips Did You know that it would change this world forever And so this Christmas I'll compare the things I felt in prior years To what this midnight made so clear That You have come to meet me here To look back and think that This baby would one day save me In the hope that what You did That you were born so I might [ really ]live To look back and think that This baby would one day save me And I, I celebrate the day That You were born to die So I could one day pray for You to save my life
When You're around, nothing is the same with me. When You're near me, nothing matters anymore. Everything is so meaningless. There is nothing that is greater or anything that leaves me more awestruck than You. So help me, only see You. I only want to see You. I concern myself not with the nonsense of this world anymore. I'm not on a high horse, I'm not on some holy pedestal; I'm just so solely focused on You. I still fail over and over again, I'm still filthy, but You don't seem to think the same. In Your eyes, I'm guiltless. In Your eyes, I'm now washed clean. No stain of sin can mark me anymore. I have been washed in Your mercy and grace. Nothing could ever be more gratifying knowing that You love me, and to You I matter to the point You died for me. So knowing that, what else matters. No fight, no worry, no stress, no pressure from anything of this world should ever allow me to not continuing realizing how amazing You are. But this realization only remains when I'm neck deep in You. When I'm constantly talking to You, when I'm constantly reading and learning more about You. When I'm living a life praising Your name. So drown me in You, I beg You. I don't want it any other way. I want nothing else but You. You may chose to bless me, but I want nothing but to take those blessings and give them back to You for Your kingdom. I can't be heartbroken when I know I have a God that loves me so dearly. I have a God that will never leave me nor forsake me. I can forget these things, when I consume myself with myself. So help me always just keep You around because I don't want to experience another moment without You on Your path.
I'm taking You with me, really? As I really think about that, I'm no longer sure I want that. Don't get me wrong it sounds awesome and could be promising. But I have something else in mind. Now first I do agree with Relient K's song "I'm taking you with me" in this, that it is simply stating everything I do I'm bringing You, everything I take part of I want You to be a part of it. That I do want. But we as people don't take this approach, we approach it as I'm going to go do what I want and I'm bringing You with me, or try to.
Here is a newsflash, God doesn't walk according to our plan. We are created to live according to His plan. So it is indeed He who is taking us with Him. That's how we got to view things. Too often we get caught up in our heart's desires and our "necessities". My biggest theme again is die to thyself. I'm going back to it. Screw me and what I want to do. Screw me and what I want. I'm not important anymore. God died for me, I gave Him my life, so I'm determined to give Him my life. I'm not here to do what I want and just bring God along for the ride. Not here to follow my plan and have God just bless me on my merry way. No, I'm here to fulfill His plan, His purpose for me. Do I know exactly what that is yet, honestly not 100% sure yet. But I'm going to do the only thing I know I can do, grow in Him more and more. I can't get too anxious, too eager for it is in His due time, His perfect timing that I'll get to His plan for my life.
Last night was so perfect for me, I got reminded again of how great He is. Back up a little bit, over these last few weeks. As good as they have been for me, they were kinda negatives aspects too. I grew a fear. It was a general fear, it arose from a collection of events and thoughts. Now back to last night, that fear met its match. It met my God, and let me tell you if you don't know but God is undefeated. He doesn't lose. And I realized that last night. It was about fear last night, and how we face fear with the fear of God. And I realized I had lost that fear for some reason. But that message broke me. Then we did communion, and boy oh boy did I break. God, I'm still in awe of You. This was my first communion as a Christian, and wow. There I sat, realizing what I'm partaking in truly represents. I have a God, that died for me.
Who am I, seriously. Who the heck am I to sit here and fear anything. Who am I to tell God this is what I want to do. No, I am sorry. I am nobody. I am just a child belonging to a Savior whom I am to serve. I lost track of that a few weeks ago. I got caught up in the positive and blessings, and lost track of Him along the way. I tried to bring Him with me, but it doesn't work that way. He is the one who I'm following. He is the one leading my life. I shall remind myself of this daily. I shall remind myself to die to myself everyday. I need to, if not I'll end up in an endless rut, just circling over and over. So I'm sorry Father. I forgot I'm not leading this race, You're my Lord. I shall follow You. Thank You for allowing me to come to terms with this again. You really are so faithful despite my stupidity. You love me so much, and I long to match it.
You can sit and ask how? But it is so true. I am not who I want to be. I still give in to the flesh. I sin so often. My passion isn't feeling how I felt it was a month ago. Don't mistake this as me not growing because I truly feel I've grown more in the last 3 weeks than I have in the last 3 months. My faith is stronger than it was before. But yet something doesn't seem right, I now know what it is. I know why I'm not being as strong as before when it comes to different temptations. I need more of Him. I was satisfied because I was growing and feeding it at times. Instead of purely feeding it like I was before. Reading and praying all the time. I need to get back to that. God, You deserve more from me. I need to give You more. I need to give You all of me. I need to submit everything and stop trying to bring things along for the ride. You ask for me, not for me and what I want to bring. You ask for me just as I am. So I'm done trying. That's it. I give up. I'm tired of fighting things inside my head. I'm tired of the torment. I'm tired of the anxiety. I give it up. I hate who I've been because who I've been might be better than before but I'm still so not worthy of You. I want to be a walking image of what God asks us to be. I want to be that image of the invisible. I'm tired of being me. I want to be your pure servant. Forget me and my desires for my life. Forget my selfishness. I want You and only You. I want Your plan. I want Your desires. I want to be in complete adoration of only You.
I'm sorry, I just needed to get this off my chest. It's been eating me alive, these last few days. I think this why I haven't had the desire to post anything. It's probably why I haven't been sleeping very much despite my efforts to. Probably why I haven't been very emotional, other than when I think about Manolo. But I'm coming back to heart of worship now. I'm getting back at it. This walk we are on, is a daily struggle. Like I mentioned in early posts, we need to die to ourselves daily. Renew the joy daily. We can't get complacent. We can't get satisfied. We need to want more and more every day! When we get complacent and satisfied, we're giving Satan exactly what he wants. We fall away from God by it. We don't grow as passionate. Our flesh takes over, and we all know the flesh sucks. So we need to stay rooted in Him. Rooted in prayer and in the Word. So I'm making it my goal to get back to it. To get rooted deeper in Him. We all need to, especially me. That's all for tonight.
As I'm struggling to find topics to write about, I figured I go and start sharing some of my poetry. I've been writing for 3 months now. It all started the night I got saved, and it's rolled from there.
From the start you've been a blessing to the world
In His arms you've always been curled
When things are crashing, when people would start thrashing
You stand firm, you don't waiver despite the bashing
For that I thank you, you've set a standard
But the fact I fail to meet it leaves me angered
The thought of it brings a tear to my eye
I sit sobbing staring at this night sky
You're the reason I made this choice
I used to hear God's love in your voice
You were mom's rock, a faith so strong
Man, I was mad at God, and I had it all wrong
You knew God would be our miracle postal service
How you were so strong, while I was deathly nervous
It was your walking testimony that made me change my mind
It was that and your friends, how they were so loving and overwhelmingly kind
I was just so envious of what you had
Cause I got tossed out like a fading fad
Through your silent guidance I left a troubled past
Looking back I wish I would've followed you twice as fast
You've always helped me through my trials and tribulations
The saddest thing, until now you didn't know you were my inspiration
This is a piece I wrote for my brother, Alan, and this is also the first time I mention a name on my blog. Rightfully so, that it be the man who has influenced me the most other than God. How blessed I am to have him in my life. I know we don't always get along but he has always been the best big brother any kid could ever ask for. He always been such a role model for me. I know I didn't finally accept Christ until 3 months ago, but he was the one who has influenced me through his actions to apply Godly principles in my life. I was a punk growing up, and he helped me grow away from that.
When my mom was sick, he was my mom's rock. He was the words of comfort. His faith was in our God, and he shared with everyone that if we had Him everything would be alright. He doesn't know, but seeing that faith of his, made me realize I needed to change how acted. He was the seed to make me realize I was missing something. Even till this day, the way he stands for what he believes in is a true inspiration to me. Looking back at him then, truly empowers me to be who I am through the power of Christ.
He doesn't know any of this, and I hope one day he'll read this. He means the world to me. It broke my heart one day when I was younger when he said, if we weren't brothers, that we wouldn't even be friends. That killed me, because I love him so much. I know that statement isn't true anymore. He doesn't know but he is my best friend. I know at the end of the day he is all I have, and my sister too. I know he probably doesn't think he means that much to me, but you do. I have some of the best friends in the world. My friends truly are special, and are like family to me, but my brother is the most important thing in my life.
It kills me to see him the way he is now, because of who he was before. I'm not sure what happened, but I pray to God to help him through whatever he is going through inside and bring him back to You. I miss my old brother, he still inspires me but I know he is better than where he is at right now. He is the best man I have ever met. The heart he has is beyond anything I've encountered in anybody else. His intelligence is mind-blowing. His passion for the things he loves is immense. I just pray he makes his way back to his first love, Jesus.
My goal is to do what he did for me. He helped me get away and start heading towards meeting my potential as a real man. I owe it to him to show him through my life that he is better than who is right now. I don't doubt that my brother is a child of God, his faith and morals is stronger than most people I know. But he deserves so much better than where is at right now.
I know you probably won't read any of this, but Alan I love you. Thank you for everything you have done for me. You have been more than a big brother, but the truest of friends. You are beyond a great man. I hope one day I can be like you and have the heart of gold that you have. I loathe to be as intelligent and wise as you one day. I thank God everyday for you. You are a blessing to me and to everyone who comes in contact with you, and I pray that you see that. I pray that you realize God wants to use you again. I pray that you fight through the rut you're in. I pray that you come back to actively serving Him, because you are a vital asset. He loves you, and I do too.
Thank you to all my friends and family. I love you all.
Hey guys well it's been a while I know,but I just haven't really felt inspired to write very much, at least not to post publicly. So I'll suck it up a bit, and try to open up. I'm struggling yet not with where do I go from here. What am I doing with my life, what am I going to do with my life, and most importantly and truthfully the only one that matters is where does God want me to go and want me to do with my life. I've had a few enlightening and encouraging conversations with a few friends of mine. I really do have a peace inside that right now God is in control of my life and is guiding my life. Just the human side me wants answers. But I'm focusing right now on what I need to do, which is growing. I'm praying harder so they can become more frequent and sincere. I'm trying to read more often, in hopes that I'll read out of desire and hunger, and not just for the sake of reading. It's tough, because I can taste glimpses of my future but I know I'm not there yet and I have work to do. I know this is something we all struggle with. Whether you're Christian or whatever faith you choose to have. We all have that struggle of what are we going to do with our lives. I get through it knowing I have a God with a plan for me. That everything that is happening is for a reason and is in perfect timing. So I just pray that God continues to have a grasp of my life, and that I give myself up daily so that my life remains in His hands. Whether I know of His future plans or not, I do know one thing. I still have the great commission, to live my life for Him and show His light to others by showing His love that is in me. I'm sorry this might not be so insightful, powerful, moving, or anything at all but it's what's on my mind. And for now that is all I got, hopefully I can help someone, somehow.
Everything is not alright. A lot of things I have no control of. I am not sure of a lot of what I am doing. I am still heartbroken inside, I miss him terribly. Despite the Lord's peace, comfort, and love, I am still in this body and bound to mankind's selfishness. I want more or I think I do. I know I shouldn't, I have Him and that is enough, but I suck. I take a hard look at my life over the last year, and realize I am no where near the person I was 11 months and 2 days ago. I am not even the same person I was 3 months ago. I am thankful and I am beyond ecstatic to be who I am now and who I am becoming, but it does not take away that I am suffering inside. A lot of thoughts and people of my past haunt me in my head. I have moments of weakness. It is like I'm racing in mario kart and I am in first place, and some jerk face keeps throwing shells my way (green and red ones lol). I may stumble but I know I'm going in the right direction. I may be weak, but I am strong in Him. I am okay, and not at the same time. I feel I am struggling simply so I may continue to grow stronger. For those around me, that see me and may think I am okay, don't take this as I've been fake. It simply me not allowing myself to be selfish, and allow myself to get in the way of God's praise. That is why I walk with my chin up. I may be hurting, but He has been too good for me to walk around pouting, and I am determined to allow His light shine through me. Life is tough man, but I can't imagine how I would get through it without Him. He is good, He is great, He is love.
Here is a verse for those going through struggles, I encourage you including myself to stop being selfish and allowing ourselves to get in the way of His glory in our struggles.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I love and need You more than ever.
thank you guys for hearing me out, hopefully I can help some of you as I help myself.