Monday, August 22, 2016

March 11, 2016:

I got a great sleep last night. I am feeling very thankful and hopeful today. Yesterday when I came home, I was feeling a little rough. I relaxed and submitted, laying it into Jesus. I had a nice conversation with one of my roommates after, which encouraged me. It’s always nice when we’re feeling down to be able to connect with other human beings. Even if it’s in a small way. Today, I booked a couple of tickets to go to Niagara in June with a friend. I hope I will be here to go. Anyways, I want to live my life and plan for the future with hope and love. We’re also planning my buddy’s bachelor party. I’m very excited for this too. I really hope we can plan a memorable night for him. Tomorrow, I’ve my third Scrutiny at church. My sponsor is again going to be able to come. I’m so grateful for this process. It’s instilling in my heart a physical element to my hope and baptism. It’s all very encouraging. I don’t deserve God’s love. Yet He offers it so freely. No matter what you’re facing right now, you must know that your Father in Heaven loves you. He is a Father we can trust. Praise God for that beautiful fact. I really want to do the right thing for all. I want to show you that God is a Father who we can love and trust. I want to show you that His love is not exclusive. Please continue to have faith. Just a while longer. This is not about me. No matter how hard life gets, we can rely on the promises of God and the truth that He loves us. What we believe about ourselves will dictate how we act. We have to remember that we no longer have a reason to despair. We have so much reason to hope. When you realize you are a child of God, your actions will start to follow. The Spirit will help us to do great things, even miracles in this life. We have to learn to trust. God, if we allow ourselves to trust Him, can accomplish anything through us. “God loves us and wants so much for our love. Satan is the enemy. That one is the cause of all that is and has gone wrong in our world. A lot of us, myself included, spend our time and energy focussing on the negative things of this world that we sometimes forget why we embarked on this journey in the first place. I pray continually for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted overseas. Of all faiths. We are brothers and sisters. We all share the uniting theme that we suffer. Remember Christ. What He did. Who He came for. And why He came. Don’t let your hearts harden. Was Christ condoning sexual immorality when protecting the woman caught in adultery? Or rather, did he choose to see a human being in need of help and of divine forgiveness? Love.” The rest of today was nice. I went to the grocery store where I bought a lot of fruits. I bought some beets, mushrooms, six mango and a pack of guava. I had lentil soup tonight with a few spices and a bowl of fruit and a mango. I’m excited for tomorrow. I bought some more bird seed too! Looking forward to feeding and watching my friends. This is going to be the last post I write in this journal for now. I’ll still be journaling. I’m going to write a travel novel based on my trip to Iceland! I already have the outline sort of laid out. Please remember that my computer is not a public forum. I’m saying that in the gentlest way I can, knowing how this has benefited me in having a voice. And I want to thank you for listening and for your faith. I will continue to stand up for truth. I suppose I am feeling like I should really be silent in terms of this journal. What is meant to happen will happen. Wish you could see how traumatizing this is for me. I have a right to difficult days as well. I feel as though I am controlling myself very well. I am not judging anyone in saying that a couple of days ago I was feeling terribly overwhelmed. I was proud of the way I handled it. Instead of lashing out or getting upset at myself, I started to cry out, sometimes verbally, that I was grateful, for the help of God. I have noticed how thankful I am becoming and it is not me alone. I recognize my responsibility in this. But I am still very confident that we can achieve something beautiful. I want you to know that I want so much the best for God and for you. I want you also to know how hard I have been trying over the past month. My support group at the Gatehouse is going really well. I am very encouraged by the guys in my group and have been able to share some of my stories in order to get them to open up themselves. It’s not about me. These guys are really brave and committed. My co-facilitator is helping me to alleviate some of my insecurities about my performance. It’s easy to see now that I can’t be doing too badly with the reactions we are getting. I think we’re working well together. Also, I have come up with an amazing grounding/tension release exercise. It’s just where I stomp my feet. It sounds and I am sure looks especially silly. But it really works! I am grateful for whatever the inspiration was to start that. Also, I have made plans to move. It’s about time. I actually love where I am now. My roommates feel like family in a sense. But it’s time for me to move on. Also, I am writing a little novella about my experiences in Iceland. It’s kind of a tribute to my buddy Aaron, an amazing friend. I went to the gym tonight again. Haven’t stopped. For the first time tonight on chest press, I pushed 175 lbs eight reps. Two more sets of 160lbs eight times and one last 145. It feels weird but it feels like my chest is the only part of my body that is increasing in strength. I am grateful for my gains and will commit to continuing! Tomorrow, I am going to my community confession at my church. I am feeling a little anxious about it but I know it will be great. Honestly, as a follower of Christ, I have faith that my sins are forgiven. I have faith in that. Especially with what I have been through. Especially in that a lot of the sins I have committed personally have been a reaction of what I experienced as a child. Still, I know there is no excuse. I know my God is a compassionate God but also a just and jealous God. In saying this, in no way am I diminishing or questioning the value of confession. Just as with the RCIA and Confirmation process, my faith and spiritual strength are given a physical sense of recognition and empowerment through communal prayer, (it feels like a physical process to celebrate my faith), confession also, I can see as being very valuable. It airs your concerns and sins, in order that our consciences can be cleared. It is a physical purge and recognition and afterwards blessing of our sin and for us to go forward, sinning no more. In addition to many more valuable reasons. With God, all things are possible. And there is nothing wrong with having a faith that doesn’t require these things. I have never really felt worthy enough or had enough of an identity to feel confident that I know what I want. What I wanted was always second to the wants and needs of others. I was shown quickly that what I wanted didn’t matter. So, I’ve grown not feeling worthy to want what I want. I think I really need to stop looking at all of the bad things I am doing. I need to stop making up bad situations that were not even there in the first place. I need to stop feeling badly about who I am. I need to stop seeing everything that is bad and negative about me. I need to recognize that I am a child of God. And that that is paramount to any despair, any trauma and any failure I could have. God fills the gap. I want this. I want to live and love. I don’t know how to. I am learning. And I am fighting so darned hard for the life that I know I deserve. I don’t need love as a reward for something I’ve done or said. I don’t even need reciprocal love. What I need, what I crave and deserve is unconditional love. There is only one place from where to get that.

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