Flowing in the Vine Life Diary – 2
10 For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you. Isaiah 54 vs 10 (NKJV)
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15 vs 5 (NKJV)
(Original version was written on 30 September 2018)
It’s time to say goodbye.
It’s time to say goodbye to the pain, goodbye to the worry, fear, depression, and anxiety. Its weird to have to say goodbye like this as we were once friends, we were never friends, but whether I would like to admit it or not, we kept each other company for quite some time. Not really by choice on my end of course, but maybe as a consequence of my circumstances? Or at least my failure to deal with the circumstances. I mean it really wasn’t by choice right?
That’s a bit of a weird question to have because why would anyone choose anything else other than to be happy and at peace. But then again what does that even mean? What does it mean to be happy or to live a life of peace? As I think on this I realize that I have even more questions, like what does it mean to be loved or to love? What does it mean for someone to love me? Or even worse, what does it mean to love myself. The idea of loving one’s self is very popular these days but what does it even mean? I realize as I am writing this that I really don’t know a lot of things and I try to figure them out I confuse myself even more than I was to begin with.
So the next obvious question is what do you know Cassie? You don’t seem to know a lot of things, you think you know what you want to do with your life but you don’t know how to do it. You don’t really know how to write, yet you want to be a writer, you don’t know how to draw, yet you want to be some kind of artist- you don’t even know what type of artist you want to be.
To try to answer that question I can pick off three things that I have known and have been somewhat sure of in one way or another. One is that I want to write, I love the idea of being able to share these stories with the world one in whatever form I can. Secondly, I love ART. There are two things that enjoy, stories and Art, whether its reading other people’s stories or imagining my own, or it’s looking at Art created by other people and imagining myself being able to create my own one day. The third thing I have known is that Jesus Christ is always with me. Sure at one point in my early teens I may have told Him that I wasn’t in the right mind to deal with Him and I would find Him when I was grown up but He never left.
We have already established that I don’t really know how to write, like I can tell a story, but I don’t know how to write one, and we have already established that no matter how much I love art and see myself drawing one day I can’t really draw so that just leaves Jesus. I did tell Him I couldn’t deal with Him but He never left me and I know He never will. And so with confidence, I can say that the one thing I know for sure is that Jesus loves me and I am His. I am I AM’s, and I am loved.
Now I know I just said I don’t know what love means but you have to admit that for someone to die for you and then still stay with you when you tell Him that you really don’t want to deal with them they must really care for you. Plus He tells me He loves me in so many different ways in the bible. He had no other reason to die for me if we want to think about it, well, not a reason I know anyway. Like there is no possible reason for Him to want to stick with me even when I am being a brat. The closest people you could have as examples of His love would be our parents but to be honest, they could be taking care of us because of a sense of obligation. Like that’s what they know to do as they have been taught by their own parents and by society. They brought us into this world so they better make sure we are taken care of (of course the truth is not every parent lives by this rule). While other parents may be using their children as insurance for the future as they like the idea of having someone there to take care of them when they are older.
Yes, I know, I am being totally absurd and I am probably way off base but to be honest, out parents don’t get to choose us, well, unless you are adopted of course. More likely than not, they just sort of get stuck with us. Even if they planned to have a baby, who is to say that you met their expectations when you came along? Jesus though, Jesus chose to die for us. He said I lay down My life, no one can take it away. And He promises that nothing could ever separate us from His love and His covenant of peace (Isaiah 54 vs 9-10). I am pretty sure there have been times when my mom has wondered why she had to have such a daughter…or of course maybe she never has and these are just my thoughts. Another thing of course that maybe makes it easier to know and believe that Jesus loves me is because I don’t actually have to feel it. Like its all about believing whereas as human being we have put much more emphasis on feeling love or seeing love in one’s actions. But how do you tell apart obligation and love?
Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that my parents love me…sometimes…most of the times? Maybe just that the type of love they might have doesn’t really cover all my needs(yeah yeah, I know I am still being absurd)? Or something? Like they just don’t seem to understand sometimes. But then again, how can they understand when even I don’t really know what it is?
A thought then jumps into my head, ‘You were just crying about not feeling the love of Christ and not seeing much concrete proof of it in your life.’
Okay, that’s true.
‘You were also complaining not hearing God and now knowing His voice even as constantly ask Him what He sounds like.’
Also very much true and before we think of something else to point out that I been crying about and complaining about, I get it. I complain a lot too but everything, even when it comes to Jesus. I would love to blame that on let’s say the feeling of depression or maybe the fear or something else but be honest, it all really just falls back on me.
You see, for the longest of times, whether by knowingly or not, I have been choosing to be this person who complains a lot. I have been choosing to have a pessimistic view of life and I have chosen to look at life through a series of disappointments and through the lens of fear and of pain. And recently adopted the use of the word perceived in my mind. Like perceived rejection or failure, two different types of lens I have also viewed my life through.
So this should probably be about time that I also mention that I don’t think that people who are suffering from let’s say depression or anxiety are choosing to be the way they are. I am the last person to want to blame someone for feeling the way they may be feeling, firstly because I did psychology for my undergrad and so I know to take these things seriously but also because I have had a little bit of a taste of what it feels like. But somehow that rule doesn’t actually apply to me when it’s from me. Like I could honestly say that someone going through some of these feelings should not be blamed but instead, they should get help but this almost never applies to me.
And to add to that, I have also avoided going for counseling or getting any sort of professional help because would ruin everything. Like if we are officially diagnosed with something that could be bad because then we would have a legitimate excuse, and yes, my mind says excuse not reason, for being the way we are. And if we don’t have anything that needs that kind of professional help then we have no excuses at all and that’s even worse. Like having a legitimate reason to explain some of our behavior is unacceptable yet preferable? Like I don’t even know if that makes any sense at all.
And why are we referring to us as we? I mean to me as us or we. I think I have a theory as to why I do that sometimes. Its like there is three of us or three ideas of who we could be? Firstly there is a legit chance that we may be or may have at some point suffered from depression and or anxiety. Or we could really be suffering from a spiritual attack of sorts. Or thirdly, and loudest of all, we are just lazy, impatient, rude and whole bunch of other things that we don’t want to be. Plus of course there is the idea of the me who’s got it all under control, then we have the me who’s got nothing and is destined to fail. And then we have the real me, the one who goes back and forth between both.
Sigh, either way, I should probably stop thinking as us or we.
One idea that has merit is that since I am spirit soul and body, all three options I mentioned as reasons could actually have all been playing part in the stagnation and recurring failure to move forward that had been my life for the longest of times. Sure there is probably only one that was the root cause but they all have been playing a part in one way or another. However, I recently got a revelation that at the end of the day, the final solution would be the same, as a child of God, in Christ, I have been set free from all things. I have my victory in Christ Jesus who has become unto me wisdom from God, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. And because He loves me, He is always with me and the battles are His. He is my righteousness and so no weapon formed against me shall prosper.
However, before I got this revelation, I was stuck on trying to figure out what was what. And as I went on and on trying to figure it out, I realized that my current problem was that I was looking at me in all of this. There was no mention of Jesus or what He was doing in my life and what had done for me. And where was He in all of this? He was right beside me but I just seemed to forget sometimes. I have forgotten a lot of things in my short life but whenever I have forgotten something to do with Him its been the most frustrating experience ever. Like Jesus is super important to me so how could I be forgetting anything to do with Him?
Anyway, the point I have been trying to make through all this rambling is that I know that Jesus has always been there. Sure I didn’t always acknowledge His presence and definitely didn’t feel His presence most of the time but He is always there. I may have failed to listen to Him or maybe listened and then went on to forget what He just said but He never left my side. And be honest at times I didn’t know or comprehend what it meant to have Him here with me. That’s all on me however and not on Him. I mean sure the devil could have also had a little bit to do with it but he’s not my focus, Christ is. The Lord Jesus was always there and He loved me all along. He has truly been the only constant in my life.
I feel like I should also add the fact that the bible does literally spell out to me what love is, I guess I can just be dense sometimes? Like it literally says that in this is love, that Jesus laid done His love for us, and we ought to do the same for our brothers and sisters…ehhh, okay. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not boast and it is not proud. I am disqualified by the first word. I know not what being patient means…I am not even patient with myself, let alone with other people. But I do know that He is patient, He is kind and He is all those things that 1 Corinthians talks about. He is love itself really.
And so I have made a decision about how I am going to live my life from now on, I choose to look at myself through the lens of His love for me. I would love to say that I thought of this myself but to be honest, I have had it hammered into my head by Joseph Prince sermons for a while now and recently also by Steven Furtick but it’s only just beginning to take root. But hey, I get credit for making the decision right? I mean sure it’s like at least 5 years too late (I have been listening to Joseph Prince for about 7years now?) but hey, better late than never right? I finally choose to look at myself through the lens of His love. I choose to see His love, His grace, His supply, and His glory in every situation. Like praise the Lord hallelujah and praise the Lord anyway.
Last month I watched a YouTube video by MahaMaven where she was explaining what ‘consider the source’ meant to her and it really resonated with me. Again it wasn’t exactly a new concept but I guess I just really needed to hear it in that moment. I started to think that Jesus Christ is the source for my dreams, He is the source for my peace, joy, and love so I just needed to do was to flow in the vine (A concept I am still trying to grasp, I mean since I already a branch, why is it so hard live like it?).
So Jesus not only loves me, He is not only always with me, but He is also my supply (He is my Shepherd and I shall not want), He is the source for my peace, my joy, my happiness, and my success. I mean, He is the great I AM, and I am His. So this basically means that I have nothing to fear or worry about. I mean duh, that should be obvious. So why oh why Cassie, have we been living in worry? (There we go again with the ‘we’) Let go and flow in the Vine girl…
And an immediate defense comes to mind- I am!!! I have been!!! I am trying and somehow it just never works out for me and the peace hasn’t been sustainable for one reason or another, maybe depression or anxiety?
And immediately another part of me jumps in to shout, EXCUSES!!!
Honestly the back and forth can be exhausting so how about this let’s just choose to look at every situation from the point of view of God’s love for us. Let’s look at our life and at the obviously dumb and totally offensive things other people say or do from the lens of His grace and love towards us. Other people may not care about us or they reject us and they may or may not take advantage of us ( depending of course on whose point of view) but Jesus always loves us. Our Abba Father cares for us and loves us with an unfailing love. So who cares what anyone else says or thinks…or what we think others are saying and thinking?
I mean in all things praise the Lord anyway. He is in control and He’s got us.
We just need to praise God and do everything we do after that as unto Him and not according to anyone else, including ourselves. As unto Christ not as unto how we feel or what we don’t feel.
‘Sigh…this is going to be fun…’
Hey Cassie, the Lord loves you and He is with you in it all so it will be fun. It will be completely all through Him, by Him and for Him. The joy of the Lord is your strength and in all you do, never leave God out of the calculations. In all of your reasoning, put Him first and you will be alright.
And so I just want to say bye pain, bye depression, bye anxiety and bye to all the bad stuff; and hello to the love of Christ, well that’s always been there but hello to the consciousness of it and hello to our new identity-based in the love of Christ.
And remember Cassie, He is your righteousness and your salvation. You are I AM’s, He’s got you.