Poetry Book Update

I am still working diligently on my poetry book about Jesus. I am naming it ‘Atypical Jesus’, because he truly is unique and different from everyone. I have come to love how he stands in stark contrast to the rest of this fallen world.

It’s about my tragic wreck of a life before I met Christ, how I surrendered my life to him, and then it’s about my tragic wreck of a life with him. 😀 That is to say that all my problems don’t suddenly disappear because I start to live for him. It doesn’t magically turn perfect. But in significant ways, it becomes easier.

It may appear the same to some, but I assure you that it is drastically different. Why? Because there is a huge difference between my strength and the strength of God, and I begin to rely on his strength. Life is still very hard on me, but I can cope with it a lot better.

I have found purpose in the everyday things I do, there is meaning for every breath I ever take. I don’t feel like I am wondering aimlessly. I am living out my dreams through him, and it’s a wonderful, breathtaking journey. Surprising and full of heart break along with fulfillment.

There is a huge difference in my poetry before I accepted Christ and after. The poems after are much more heartfelt and overflowing with love.

Annnyway, I thought I’d post a poem that I was working on.

Beyond the Horizon

I still want to help the world
Still have that little girl’s heart
Been sleeping and dreaming for so long
Tearing actual realities apart

Running through fields of orchids
Sunlight and dreams like gold
All these years chasing fairy-tales
Too magical for any human to hold
Only angels could understand
Only their ethereal touch could know

Running mad and wild
To a glowing horizon
If I could reach that place dividing earth and sky
That all of my dreams lie on

Reach that stretch beyond space and time
The line where the world bends
Where everything is thrown into slow motion
And even my breath stops short and ends

If I could reach that shimmering horizon
I know I could taste eternity
Just beyond it lies my Savior
Always watching over me
Pouring love into my bones
Giving strength effortlessly
Whispering truths into my heart
Oxygen for my dreams to breathe
Beyond this place and faithless people
His spirit always rings

Beyond the golden horizon
Time stops and all is still
Except for a passionate Jesus
And his fiery will

The will to love and be loved
The will to sacrifice, to die
The will to stare down creeping death
To look him in the eyes
To challenge him, take him on
And come out on the other side
Still strong and alive
I long to reach my Savior
On the other side
Beyond the horizon
That place dividing earth and sky

copyright Jennifer Clayton

The book really is coming along. I plan to have it done by the end of this year, and hopefully published early next year, before I turn 20. It will help me a lot that my mom self-publishes her own books, which makes a bit of the work easier for me.

I am currently trying to take my old poems and piece them together in a story for my life before Christ, which is very time consuming and slightly monotonous. I am also trying to work on writing new poems for my life with Christ.

The new section is called “Untitled”. I draw a picture to indicate each new chapter.

Every time I start a poem,
I open up word pad,
it says ‘Untitled’ at the top.
But the page is empty.
Nothing old, all new,
White page, fresh start, brand new.

Blank pages
I have a new muse
I’m
Finding the words
I’m
Writing a new story
A new poem
A new song
Untitled.

Hope you like. More updates soon!

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New Song- “Remember This”

A song I wrote about my grandma, who recently passed away from brain cancer. In my life, I like to take all things tragic and find something beautiful in them. I hated losing my grandma, but through it, God taught me to live life more urgently for Him.

I held you close
And kissed you forehead
And I said,
“I love you, goodbye”
Looking in your eyes
You looked at me
And said, “bye sweetie”

One wish
Please help me remember this
One kiss
To help me reminisce
Hold on to a moment of bliss
All of your happiness
Without the sickness
Please help me remember it

In the hospital
Looking out the window
The hours stretch on
I don’t want you to go
Bible in my hands
A prayer in my head
So many ‘I love you’s’
Left unsaid
Granny, my dear friend
Cancer steals you from my hand

One wish
Please help me remember this
One kiss
To help me reminisce
Hold on to a moment of bliss
All of your happiness
Without the sickness
Please help me remember it

We passed the pretty neighborhoods
Your neighbors seemed okay
But your grass was wild and crazy
House fading away
House of memories
With friends, good times with family
Daycare children ran happily
Summer camp in backyard fields of green
I remember your face
Remember your joy
My soul rings empty
For the sound of your voice

And I wish I could tell you
How much I love you
I saw His love
In the things you would do
There’s not always tomorrow
To share His grace
He only gives us this moment
Today

The day comes
Like a thief in the night
There is barely time
To say goodbye
We have only today
To live this life
To know His love
So we can be alive

One wish, please help me remember this
That His love surpasses all sickness

One wish, please help me remember this
That His love surpasses all sickness

I touched your soft hair
And kissed your forehead
I could guess
You have found your peace again

copyright Jennifer Clayton

Peace be with you, Granny. I love you.

Like a Thief in the Night

My grandma just passed away recently. She was fighting a battle with brain cancer, which I believe she had over the last 5 or so years. The first time it came, they treated her and she was alright for awhile. We were so happy. Then, it came around again and she just got sicker and sicker.

We would go visit her in the hospital, taking time off of work to spend time with her. I remember we were just starting to go back to church again on a regular basis, but because of the cancer, we would leave Saturday to drive from South Carolina to North Carolina to visit her, and typically come back sometime Sunday. I felt bad because she was sick and I felt bad because we couldn’t go to church.

It was hard watching my mom cry when she found out the news. Granny was so sweet. She was cool because she always wanted the family to get together. She lived in North Carolina near other family members. We had family members in Virginia and family in South Carolina. So North Carolina was our where we would meet half way, always at her house.

We would get together for Christmas at Granny’s house. We’d get together for Easter and Thanksgiving there. There were cousins and uncles and aunts and nieces and nephews, sisters and brothers, mothers, fathers, and daughters. It was beautiful how we all would hold hands in a huge circle as someone said grace for Thanksgiving. How we would wake up on Christmas morning to open presents.

I remember how I always wanted to spend more time with her, but I would put it off. I wanted to talk to her and let her know how much I loved her, but I never felt like I really made time for that. It’s hard to look back and wish about all the things you could have done.

I wanted to talk to her about Jesus. I already believe she loved him, but I wanted to share our mutual love and talk to her about my experiences, and hear about hers. I wanted to let her know how much he loved her. I could tell she already knew, but I wanted her to know more, because she deserved that.

Sometimes I wondered if she had already accepted Christ or not. But she was so passionate and caring, it’s hard to think otherwise.

Anyway, I want to share with you the scary feeling of not knowing where your family or friends will end up after they die. Some people are sure that their loved ones already love God, by how they act and how they live through him. Some people are sure that their loved ones don’t love him, also by what they do and how they act.

“Now, brothers and sisters, we do not need to write you about times and dates. You know very well that the day the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief that comes in the night. While people are saying, ‘We have peace and we are safe,’ they will be destroyed quickly.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3a

The truth is, we all want to believe that we have all the time in the world to live our lives in the right way. We think that we have tomorrow to talk to this person or that person, or that we can take care of that problem next week. Then next thing you know, it is next week, and we are procrastinating again.

I am so guilty of this. I typically wait to the last minute and put things off, and then rush to get them done. The Bible says that the day the Lord comes will be like a thief in the night. It will take us by surprise, we won’t see it come it. People will guess at the time that he will come, but no one in earth knows. He will come to judge the world.

This spontaneity is also true for when people die. We honestly have no idea when someone will die. We like to think happy thoughts, that our friends and family will die at a good, old age. But statistics and history tell us differently. People die from car crashes, from overdosing and drugs, from suicide, from diseases and illnesses, such as cancer.

I expected my grandma to die in maybe mid to late 70’s, early 80’s. I didn’t think she would be taken from us at the age of 67. I could have sworn she had maybe 10 years left in her, because she was always so alive.

Big mistake making that assumption. I have a few regrets that I didn’t spend as much time with her that I would have liked to, talking to her about boys and God and love and life and happiness, sharing memories.

The fact is, we can’t choose when our loved ones will pass away, so all we can do is make the best of the time we have with them today. You shouldn’t put off calling your friend, making up with your brother; I shouldn’t put off calling my dad, being nicer to my sister. Anyone I know can be taken from me at any moment.

While I am upset that the Lord took my sweet Granny away from me a little too early, I am thankful for what he has taught me through the experience: that we don’t always have tomorrow. The fact that I didn’t get to share my love of Jesus with her puts a fear and an urgency in me to tell others about his love before it is too late. They don’t always have tomorrow, and neither do I. Something awful could happen to me tomorrow and today may be the last time I get to shine bright for the Lord.

He wants us to live with this sense of urgency, that we are here today and gone tomorrow. That we have such little breath in us, such little life in us. Each of us is only a few sentences in his gigantic book of life, so he wants us to be sure that what we say, what we contribute to the story, is something worth sharing. He wants us to have some fear in us, and not so it will cripple us, but to remind us that it’s dangerous to live passively.

Regret is not a good emotion to live with, and once someone is gone, you cannot get them back. He has reminded me to live life to the fullest, because the day comes

like a thief in the night.

Depression part 3- Words of Encouragement

“I will give them a crown to replace their ashes, and the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow, and clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness. Then they will be called Trees of Goodness, trees planted by the Lord to show his greatness.” Isaiah 61:3

This verse says that the Lord ultimately will take all of our sadness and suffering away. We will go through difficult times, but the Lord knows how to take care of the people he loves. I always try to remember that god is a good father, and that we are his precious children. That helps me realize that he doesn’t like to see us hurting or frustrated. He wants to take care of us, but we have to learn to trust him so he can share that love with us.

“But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired.” Isaiah 40:31

Again, trusting that the Lord will lead you and take care of you is crucial. When I trust him, it makes the hard times more bearable. Because then, I am not resting in my strength, but in the strength of God. We can accomplish more, endure more, love more, and be more when we trust in his strength.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

God is a loving God, full of mercy. Now, it certainly doesn’t always seem that way, whenever we ask for his help and he doesn’t seem to help, and we pray certain prayers and they don’t ever get answered. But God is a father who knows what is best for his children. Sometimes we want things that we think are best for us, but they are not necessarily what is best for us. The same is true in regular life: children want things they think are good, but the parent knows it’s not necessarily best for the child. They want to eat candy for dinner, and even though it would taste good for awhile, the parent knows that is really a dumb idea.

We only see the current road we are on in life, while God sees all the roads in the map of our life. We have to allow him to lead us and guide us to the right places, and let him bless us how he wishes to bless us. At the end of it, we will see that God knew what we needed far better than we knew what we needed. Trust him when life is easy, and definitely when it gets very hard.

This verse also talks about how God comforts us so that we can comfort others with that same kind of love. That is how we spread Christ’s love through the world. We take the love he gives us and spread it to others, and then those who are not saved will look at Christianity and see the compassion in us, and know us by our love. God invests time and energy in us so that we become more like Christ, and we need to invest time and energy in others in the same manner.

Depression part 2- But Sometimes it is our Fault

Sometimes, we get depressed because of events and circumstances that are out of our control. But sometimes, we get depressed because of the destruction sin has caused in our lives. I know this very well from experience.

I was falling in love with a guy who was with someone else, and I got really upset with him and the person he was with. But regardless of what happened, I was still in the wrong, living in jealousy and dealing with adultery. This caused me a boatload of pain that lasted for a long time. I woke up in distress, feeling depressed. Our sins can cause so much destruction in our lives.

So we have to be careful with our actions, be careful that we are living for the Lord. I eventually did stop feeling depressed because of that guy I liked, but it was only after I had started turning away from those feelings and started tuning down my desire for him, and all the bitterness slowly followed in leaving. I forgave myself and forgave him and anyone else I felt like was to blame. My depression left when I focused on something else, and started trying to live like Jesus would want me to again.

As Christians, we have to focus on what is eternal as opposed to what is temporary. Being Christian, I still have problems at home, at school, and at work. My family still suffers, we take notice of the effects of this failing economy. I still cry, I still hurt, I still get confused and feel lost at different points. I still get angry. But how am I different from the rest of the world? I realize that there is hope beyond what I see today. Living the Christian life doesn’t mean the absence of suffering. But it means that you find strength in the love of God, and you realize that your problems are only temporary. You are with the Lord, and as long as you are trying to live for him, he will not leave you behind.

“The ways of God are without fault. The Lord’s words are pure. He is a shield to those who trust him. Who is God? Only the Lord. Who is the Rock? Only our God. God is my protection. He makes my way free from fault. You give me a better way to live, so I live as you want me to.” Psalm 18:30-32, 36

So we have to turn away from whatever bad things we are doing. Stop desiring to have what others have, stop gossiping and saying bad about others. One thing I learned from loving that guy and then letting it go: when I let go of the desire and anger, the pain and bitterness let go of me!

When I stopped caring so much about being with him and I started focusing on my own life, I realized that I was less and less bitter as the days went by. I was less angry and annoyed. so let go of your sins and the consequences of that sin will eventually let go of you.

I also realized that God forgives me when I forgive others. So when I let go of that guy and forgave him and his partner and all those who made that experience horrible, I realized that God would forgive me for trying to impose on that relationship. God will treat us how we treat others, he is just in this way.

“But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.” 1 John 1:9

“Don’t judge others, and you will not be judged. Don’t accuse others of being guilty, and you will not be accused of being guilty. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

“I will forgive them for the wicked things they did, and I will not remember their sins anymore.” Hebrews 8:12

Forgive ourselves, forgive others, and seek forgiveness from God. Doing this helped to lessen my depression, and it can lessen yours, too.

Depression part 1- Difficulties in Life are Not Always our Fault

I struggle with depression a lot. I become really withdrawn and closed off from the world. But still, I find hope in God. When the world is grey through my eyes, he is a ray of sunshine that comes through; when there are clouds, he is my silver lining.

I have to admit that even with Jesus, life beats me down and breaks me. I am thrown in all kinds of situations where I am pushed to give up hope. But even with the sadness, I try to carry myself in a spirit of hope and joy.

Jesus lived this way. I can imagine that it was incredibly difficult to face a world of persecution and hate, by those who are closest to you. Hard to deal with having your life threatened over and over, for what you believe in. But he had a hope about him; a strength and love in him that helped him persevere when times got difficult. Where does one gain such internal strength to face each and every day, despite opposition? That strength comes from the love of God.

“But, Lord, you are my shield, my wonderful God who gives me courage.” Psalm 3:3

“He protects those who are loyal to him, but evil people will be silenced in darkness. Power is not the key to success.” 1 Samuel 2:9

“The Lord your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in his love; he will sing and be joyful about you.” Zephaniah 3:17

When we trust in God and hold tight to our faith, he is our protection and strength. That doesn’t mean life won’t get difficult, it doesn’t meant that we won’t get confused or not understand some of the odd things he does, or doesn’t do. But in trusting in him, we begin to stop trusting in the world. This means that when there is chaos in the world, we still have a sense of purpose and mission and hope in life.

I struggle with loneliness, with severe OCD, with lust, with anger and bitterness, and all of these things cause me depression. When I feel ignored and empty, I get severely depressed. At extreme points, I will think about suicide a little. But a hope for something better never fails to push such horrible thoughts away. The love in my heart reminds me that I am living for something bigger and far more wonderful than myself, and I realize that I truly have no right to take my own life away.

I am teaching myself to deal with this as I am trying to teach you to deal with it. I have to remind myself that sometimes, there are circumstances in this life that I cannot control, that are out of my hands, and I have to tell myself not to blame myself.

When something bad happens to my family, I may beat myself up about it, and I shouldn’t. When someone makes life really difficult for me or I feel like I never get anything I want, I am tempted to say that it’s because I’m not good enough, I must have did something bad and God is punishing me for it, he hates me, and so forth. But bad things don’t always happen and make us depressed necessarily because we did anything wrong.

Take Job in the bible, for example. He was a faithful man of God, and he walked with God. His life reflected his faith, and it pleased God. But Satan went to God and said that the only reason Job was faithful was because God had blessed him. If God took away these blessings, Job wouldn’t be faithful to him anymore. So the Lord let Satan take control of him, he let him do anything he wanted with him. He just said that he could not kill Job himself. So Satan destroyed his family, his children, his animals, basically his whole life. And Job and his friends tried to figure out why he was going through such hell. His friends had decided that Job must have done something wrong, and so he was being punished for it.

But that was not the case at all! Job had actually been faithful to God, so this brings me to this point: suffering = God is mad at you is not always true. Sometimes, we do suffer because we sin, but not always. The story of Job also brings me to another point: Job had not done anything wrong, it was some circumstance completely out of his control that brought him such suffering. Again, it’s not always our fault. We should never beat ourselves up for things that are not even our fault.

Sometimes God puts us through trials and difficulties to test us and see how faithful we are; sometimes he does it to get our attention and allow us to come to the conclusion that life is much too difficult to handle by ourselves. He may give us a hard time so that we give up on trusting ourselves and instead, put our trust fully in Christ, who knows how to take complete care of us.

The weight of depression on my shoulders is lifted a little when I realize that it does not always mean that I am guilty of anything. It’s important to realize this so that we can realize that God still loves us and that we are his children. He does want what is best for us, despite what he might put us through. If you always think you get depressed because you are guilty, you fall into a hopeless situation where you may give up on God because you think he does not love you anymore. He always, always, always loves us. Always.

New Song- “Released”, Updates!

Yay! I keep wondering how my love for Jesus will reflect in my actions, reflect in my music. I have written and recorded another song, called ‘Released’. It’s almost of good enough quality to post on YouTube! Lol just kidding.

Download & Listen

These are the lyrics:

High school memories
Remembering the times past
Always went unseen
An outcast to outcasts
They looked right by me
As I stood in back
My movie
Fades to black

Something is released
Deep within me
For all the world to see
It’s overcoming
All the bitter feelings
Of being left alone here
What sets me free?
Separating from the fear?
What helps me start healing?
His presence is so near

Oh yeah!

Eat or be eaten
Find your own way home
But he is leading
Me to where I belong
Heart bruised and bent
All full of holes
But his fingerprints
Are on my soul
Warmth melts cold resent
As love takes its toll

Something is released
Deep within me
For all the world to see
It’s overcoming
All the bitter feelings
Of being left alone here
What sets me free?
Separating from the fear?
What helps me start healing?
His presence is so near

He stood by me
When the world turned its back
His light shines bright
While the world goes black

Something is released
Deep within me
For all the world to see
It’s overcoming
All the bitter feelings
Of being left alone here
What sets me free?
Separating from the fear?
What helps me start healing?
His presence is so near

Oh yeah!
Oh yeah!
Oh yeah!

copyright Jennifer Clayton

Another thing! I am looking for a band to sing and play guitar in. I found this website where I can put up my information and my music and look for a band and bands can look for me. I am going to start talking to people, and get this dream on the road.

My book of poetry for Jesus, named ‘Atypical Jesus’, is well under way. I have been writing and editing and moving and changing and adding and reading and everything. I really am writing this book. I can’t wait to post some of the book on this blog. I can’t wait to get it published. I’M HYPER EXCITED!! 😀

Remember, living for God means dedicating your life to him, making him your priority, and making sure that what you are doing is for him. I am incorporating my love of music and poetry and blessing him, the way he has blessed me. Utilise your talents for him, and see what a difference you can make. Share your love of God with others! 🙂

Anger and Bitterness part 7- Words of Encouragement

“Yes, if you forgive others for their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you for your sins.” Matthew 6:14

The bible says that we forgive others, even when they have really wronged us, God will forgive us when we have really wronged him. See how that works? Be treated how you want to be treated. If you put aside such anger and the harsh feelings, God will put aside his anger when it comes to the bad things you have done. It can help to make you right with God again.

“Patience is better than strength. Controlling your temper is better than capturing a city.” Proverbs 16:32

You want to know why patience is better than strength, much better than capturing a city? Because being patient is so difficult! This verse is saying that it is such a triumph to develop patience with people and with the Lord, because in reality, it’s hard to be patient. We all want things, we want God to listen to us and do the things we want him to do, at the time we want him to do it. But one really hard lesson I am learning is that God won’t work that way. He will put you in situations that make you wait for him to move; that make you completely trust him. I really feel that way in my life right now: like I can’t get anywhere or do anything or really live at all if God doesn’t act first. He is teaching me to be more patient. Sometimes, we get so angry at God when he doesn’t listen to us, but he is teaching us to be patient, teaching us that he does things when he is ready, and not necessarily when we feel ready.

“My friends, do not try to punish others when they wrong you, but wait for God to punish them with his anger. It is written: ‘I will punish those who do wrong; I will repay them,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19

Guys, this is true. When people treat us badly and act horribly towards us, we don’t need to go out of our way to punish them. God sees the things that they do; he sees the things everyone does. We can’t hide anything from him, he knows all that is in our hearts. And he will judge those guilty as guilty. He knows who walks with him, who lives for him. The bible also says,

“They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. They are blessed who grieve, for God will comfort them. They are blessed who are humble, for the whole earth will be theirs. They are blessed who hunger and thirst after justice, for they will be satisfied. They are blessed who show mercy to others, for God will show mercy to them. They are blessed whose thoughts are pure, for they will see God. They are blessed who work for peace, for they will be called God’s children. They are blessed who are persecuted for doing good, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do, you will be blessed. Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven.” Matthew 5:2-12

God will reward those who work hard for him. If we trust in the Lord, when we grieve, God will ultimately comfort us. A lot of times, it’s not instant comfort, but if we keep trusting in him, he will bring us that comfort. When we are humble and put others before ourselves and look out for others, God will lift us up. He will make the proud last, and the humble first. God does opposite things like that. If we seek out justice, God will satisfy us. If we seek out evil, things will not go well for us. God knows when we have pure thoughts, like I said, he knows what is in our hearts. When we work for peace in the world, while holding on to our faith strongly, we truly are the children of God. God loves it when we work for the good of others. And in many different ways, he will let us know that he loves it. People will persecute us. People will say bad things about us.

But if we pursue God even when our worlds seem to be crumbling (which they often do), God will reward us, and we will be a blessing to others, rewarding others with the good that is in our hearts. I try my best to live like this every day; pursuing God, even when my world seems endlessly difficult. Jesus says we don’t need to worry because in this world, bad things will happen, but we should have faith because he has overcome the world. He has overcome all of our problems, before we even have them. He has overcome all of our struggles and worries, before we even begin to struggle or worry. He has overcome all of our sins, before we even begin to desire the sin in our hearts. Trust in God because he is bigger than you, and he can easily handle things that are impossible for us to handle.

Holding on to bitterness and anger prevents God from using us in his awesome and mighty plan. We come to a screeching halt in our relationship with God. We hold on to past things that have happened, and we stop loving and refuse to care for certain people, and then it’s like a ripple effect in our lives. It effects the things we do, how we view the world, what’s in our hearts, and ultimately, how we decide to live our lives. Be encouraged by knowing that Jesus has already overcome the world! He has overcome your world, my world, his world, her world, their worlds, every one’s. We just have to begin to trust that, and then he can reveal that to us!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Anger and Bitterness part 6- Humility and Forgiveness

We ultimately have to learn to forgive, and move on with our lives. We can’t hold all that anger and bitterness in. It can wreck our relationship with those around us and with Christ. Sometimes, you are really wronged. Sometimes, people do go too far, cause too many problems and too much drama. But at the end of the day, we are still called to forgive.

Let me stop right here and say that that doesn’t mean that it will be easy. Sometimes, forgiving is one of the hardest things to do. Forgive that person, after all the damaged they caused you? Forgive yourself? Why should you?

I can’t count how many times I have felt betrayed, back-stabbed, or whatever. People have made me so angry I didn’t know what to do, time and time again. I ultimately do forgive the people who have hurt me, but depending on how deep the wound, it could a short amount of time or a very long amount of time for you to heal. It once took me a couple years to forgive someone.

A good thing about forgiveness is that when you finally work up the courage to, and your heart becomes big enough to, you finally get over all the bitterness. You know how sometimes when you refuse to forgive someone, you say “no way! I am never going to let go of it! They hurt me so much!” Have you ever noticed that when you won’t let it go, that pain won’t ever let you go? The more you think about the person, the angrier you get, and the more you feel that pain they caused. But when you forgive, you stop thinking about them, that anger dwindles down, and the pain finally really goes away!

I know this from experience. When I forgave someone who broke my heart, I wasn’t angry at them anymore, I didn’t want them to die, I wasn’t in pain because they ignored me, it was like I was totally uninhibited. I didn’t think of them and wince or cry or anything, as I did before I forgave them. I was perfectly fine. But that was after a couple years and some hard work. I had to focus on other things in my life and stop obsessing over that one thing. I had to spend time with God, reflecting on ways to heal, and how to fix my horrible decisions. I had to pray and ask God to forgive me for holding so much anger in.

One reason we should forgive is because God forgives us when we forgive others.

“Don’t judge others, and you will not be judged. Don’t accuse others of being guilty, and you will not be accused of being guilty. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. ” Luke 6:37

Every mistake we make, every heartache we cause our Father- if we can turn away from the bad things we’ve done and sincerely apologize, God will forgive us. Every time he saw us lie or cheat or be proud or anything, he never stopped loving us. Then who are we to stop loving him when he challenges us? Who are we to stop loving others when they are challenging for us?

Did you realize that while Jesus was on the cross, he was forgiving all of those people who abused him and beat him and mocked him? He was forgiving those who persecuted and executed him? He was forgiving those who were cheering because he was bleeding and dying? Thinking of that makes me feel so small, and so I wonder: who the heck am I not to forgive?

Pray that God will give you the strength to be able to get over your bitterness. It’s not easy, but certainly you can do it with the Lord’s help. God knows it when you trust in him for help. He can help to take away that pain and brokenness inside. I know from experience. If you can learn to say “I forgive what they did to me, I won’t hold it against them anymore”, God will do the same, and turn his head away from your sins and the bad you do. He will treat us how we treat others.

Anger and Bitterness part 5- Suffering in the World

A lot of people are bitter with God because of the suffering in the world. “How could a loving God be so cruel?” They might say. They have good reason to wonder. But I feel many people are misguided in the conclusions they come to.

It doesn’t mean God is a horrible father- but you only understand my point of view when you begin to understand why people suffer in the world in the first place.

Well, some countries really prosper, while others struggle. In some countries, like in my country, the US, people have jobs (for the most part), have nice houses, cars, money, and they can live the life they want (again, for the most part). If someone wants to go to school, they can go to school. We don’t worry about racism and prejudices nearly as much as we used to, we have a government that listens to the voice of people, and tries to treat everyone fairly.

In other countries, children starve to death, families suffer from diseases, don’t have homes, and embrace absolute poverty. There is danger all around, and people really don’t know what to do.

This is where some people get angry, hating God because of the suffering. Well, as sinful creatures, we are naturally selfish. We want what is best for us, even if it costs others. It’s not that we don’t actually want to help, but more so the fact that we get so wrapped up in our own busy lives, we forget to notice how much we already have, and how little others have.

As Christians, God gives us the awesome responsibility to reach the world. In a world that can often lack sympathy and love, we are supposed to share sympathy and love. We are called to shine brighter than the world, and draw people in with our integrity and our genuine care for the well-beings of others. This is so they will look at God and see the love in him. What we do and how we live reflects on God. Yes, we are supposed to speak God’s word, but we are also actively supposed to live out those truths: giving to the poor, helping those in need, offering a heart to someone who is feeling empty, offer a shoulder to cry on, offer hope to someone with no hope or joy.

Ultimately, it is our job as Christians to take on the hurt in the world. Yes, that is a huge responsibility, but we can start off small, just by merely paying more attention to others, being kinder, etc. And then we start to do more and more for the Lord.

My point, people, is this. When people want to act like God is the blame for everything, when they want to act like he is unloving and uncaring- this is all a big fat lie! God is a father, and we are all his children. A father can’t stand when there child is lost or suffering, so as a father, he loves us very, very much, and cares for our needs. The problems is that his people are slacking off, and not doing their job completely. God changes the world through his people, and if his people are too greedy and selfish to care for others, it will look as though God is heartless. We have to be very careful what we do, because like I said, what we do reflects on God, and we really, really don’t want to give others the wrong impression.

We can get rid of the bitterness in some people’s hearts and give them more faith in God if we live the lives we are supposed to live. As the quote goes, we have to be the change we want to see in the world. So be the change! Be the hope! Be the love! There is so much anger and bitterness we can erase.

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