Discouraged and Frustrated…

I have sat at my desk and have started writing atleast 3 blog entries on different topics, however, I completed none of them. I’m frustrated with a lot of things. I consider myself to be self employed, but have absolutely no money coming in. I don’t have a steady job either, so it’s discouraging when I have bills due and no money to pay them. I am going to Philadelphia this weekend, and while I praise God my plane ticket was a gift, and I have a place to stay, I still really have no funds. I just paid my car note and my credit card bill and that leaves me with very little. When I say very little, that is no exaggeration; it’s true in every sense of the phrase. I’ve been applying for jobs so that I can have a steady income, but no one has called me back. I have management experience and much customer service experience, but for some reason, either that’s not good enough or it’s ‘too good’. I have gotten used to not being able to do the leisure things like buying books and music, going out to eat, etc… but when it comes to putting off gassing up my car, it’s pretty bad.

On top of that, I’m discouraged by my spiritual life. Sometimes I’m so on fire and then it burns out. Sometimes, I’m driven to pray for people and situations in tears… and then sometimes, I feel like I’m just saying words. Sometimes, I drop everything to study… and then sometimes, I’d rather be on the computer surfing the net senselessly. I long for a life of proper dedication without distractions. I long to love and honor God and His Word like the Puritans. Their love for God was so pure, so beautiful. They absolutely adored Him and esteemed His Word high above everything. He was their joy, period. End of story. I want to have that pure love for Him as well.

I’ve been a Christian for almost 5 years and sometimes I feel like it’s been 5 days. It seems that when I started to dig into reformed theology, my whole Christianity fell apart. Until then, I’d only been exposed to the ‘good’ side of Christianity. I thought I was a pretty good person. I thought that it was me that chose the Lord. When I met reformed theology, it rocked my world, and I’m still rocked by it. I’m still having a time trying to piece things together in my life. The Lord took me from years of bad doctrine to correct doctrine, and it’s a whole new world for me. To sin and not honor God properly kills me. Why ? Because I know no matter how hard Jennifer tries, she’ll still sin. I’m no longer a slave to it, but I’m not sinless. When I don’t do as I ought, this frustrates me. I find myself crying out to God in repentance, asking Him to change me… but I feel so powerless… because I am. It’s so different from what I was taught when I 1st got saved… and I still struggle from time to time.

I am also discouraged and frustrated by what is deemed as Christianity today. There’s a Christian hip hop forum that I read where the Bible is taken out of context ALL THE TIME. There have been cases stating that God can be deemed as female (i.e. Mother God as well as Father God), cases stating that the Gospel is not what the Bible says it is, heretics and heretical doctrines constantly defended, Scripture constantly twisted… and sometimes I wonder why the board is not just shut down. It’s going up in flames slowly but surely and it’s hurting new believers more than it helps ANYONE. New believers actually seem to come there before they search the Word. I’ve seen that being taken advantage of. I’ve seen members have potshots taken at them by various others because they don’t have a church home. I’ve seen members call others the ‘n’ word. I’ve seen people advocating that whatever it takes to get people in church, then do it… even if it has nothing to do w/the Gospel as if the Gospel isn’t beautiful enough by itself! I see so much on that board and every now and then I comment, but as I told a fellow brother in Christ, I don’t see the point because at the end of the day – People will believe what they want to believe. I find it hard to see any fruit that the board is bearing, and that is quite disheartening.

My family’s not saved. I’m the only one who is. It’s hard to see and hear their lives because I see them, of course, in light of Scripture, and I’m sad and scared for them. They are all looking for something yet they choose to fulfill that in various things. My father and oldest brother are into occultic things, even satanic. My father’s language can be harsh and even abusive at times. My mother often says disparaging comments about people. I am rarely encouraged by my family. At 26 years old, this should be something I should not care about, but no matter how old you are, family encouragement is always desired. I’m thankful for my family in Christ because they truly do act as a family, however I long for the bond in my blood family that I see so many others with.

I figured I may as well write about the one thing that’s closest to my heart at this time. I wish I could pay my bills. I wish I had money right now. I wish I was constantly on fire, burning with an unquenched passion for God. I wish that people would search the Scriptures and not be tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine. I wish my family knew Christ as Lord. I wish there were a more familial bond. I wish my body didn’t hurt and I wish I knew the pinpointed, exact reason behind it. I wish I wasn’t so discouraged, tired, frustrated, and sad right now.

Lord, please forgive me if it sounds like I am complaining because that’s truly not what I desire to do. I just really needed to get that out. I don’t care about being so transparent; maybe someone else feels or felt the way I’m feeling. Maybe someone will pray. Maybe the Lord will use someone to encourage me.

And while it’s hard to hold fast to this at times, I must…

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 ESV

Grace and Peace.

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9 thoughts on “Discouraged and Frustrated…

  1. Rachel says:

    Hey Jenn, I just read this while at work this morning, and I just want to tell you that you stay in my prayers about all these things you’ve mentioned above. I’m sorry for your troubles; I understand the heaviness that you have in your heart concerning these things(to a certain extent.) I understand that it can be pretty terrifying, not knowing where your life is going, not knowing when your trials and tribulations, grief, sorrow, suffering- will end (at least for a spell).

    Romans 8:28, you quoted right. So hope. And praise God anyway, however you can muster it up.

    God bless you man-
    Rachel

  2. heavypoetry says:

    I am praying for you. I agree with every word you wrote. Stand firm. Please listen to this sermon if you can.

    http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/MediaPlayer/411/Audio/

  3. Brian says:

    Jenn,

    I want to say that what you are feeling is shared by many. Don’t despair! I had a 2 hour conversation with a friend, and it was like you were listening to the conversation by what you wrote. In the conversation I tried to as much as possible point us to the promises of God in scripture. I offer the same food for thought to you. The answer to your need is always here!

    1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 BUT WE HAVE THIS TREASURE IN JARS OF CLAY, TO SHOW THAT THE SURPASSING POWER BELONGS TO GOD AND NOT TO US.

    8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. 13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, I believed, and so I spoke, we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. 16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

  4. Lifey,

    Sis, I wrote some words of encouragement for you after reading this.

    Girl, God is FOR you.

    God is FOR you. I hope it uplifts you a little. I was preaching to myself in there too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Lionel Woods says:

    I will continue to pray for you also Jenn. You have a beautiful heart and it is a testimony to the Lord that you have a burden for the sheep and your lost loved ones. I tell you what as I look at the life of Paul and others he has the same exact testimony. He was burdned for those who were his sheep (Acts 20) he was burdended for his fellow Jewish brothers (Romans 11 I think) and in Timothy he was left isolated and was asking Timothy to bring his coat. I will tell you what my Church family has been the family I never had. No one in my family seemed to ask me the tough questions, I get it in with my brothers like we were blood from day one. Please stay encouraged sometimes life happens and it takes us for a ride. Stay the course Jenn, and maybe I can donate here shortly to help you out.

  6. Spiritual depression is a huge beating, but you’re in good company throughout the history of the church (self included).

    Enjoy Philly and know that folks (self included) are and will be praying for you.

    It’s easy to be content in the high times, but much harder in the low times. Yet, just as Paul learned the secret, so do we (though we learn it the hard way), for we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13 in its proper context).

    Keep the faith, dear sister!

  7. Jennifer Barrett says:

    Hey Sis,
    Just read your blog. I know how you feel as I’m sure most seasoned Christians have the same feelings and/or plight. Regarding the J-O-B, just be encouraged that God is working things out according to His purpose. The jobs you’re applying for (and are not getting) only means that, that is not the door He wants opened for you. If you’re an entreprenuer, He’s going to fulfill that desire/request..etc.
    I’ve been a professional student for I don’t know how long, married and have a kid, so it gets a little depressing not having a career set forth for yourself. Stand on Ephesians 5:20 and Romans 8:18. This is only a season for you.
    I’ve got more to say to you but I’ll have to come back later. I’m glad I’m able to give you a little shout out now b/c it’s been a minute since I’ve been on myspace. That’s a whole other topic!!!!
    For now be blessed and encouraged. Things will work out.
    Stay Motivated About Jesus! ๐Ÿ™‚
    ~ TruBlvr (aka Jenn Barrett/JB)

  8. Dawg….sis, I’m late. But hears what I been thinkin about during my trying time… I know it will speak for it’s self….

    5 who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time
    6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now, for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
    7 that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ

    1Peter 1:5-7

    So be encouraged and you know we got you covered in prayer gurl… So in the immortal words of Charollette in Charollete’s Web…. “CHIN UP”…=) Peace sis!

  9. Czarina says:

    Ahh the many many things I see in and am going through myself. I pray for the both of us sis, and sorry for not keeping up with you. As you know, things are very rough right now and I wish I had the ability to be a good friend to you right now.

    Stay encouraged sis.

    Rina

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