Good is not good enough.

I am one sub away from 150, guys! Whoo!

I always appreciate when people look at my stuff on days when I don’t post because it means the traffic is consistent, if you have your own blog, you know what I’m talking about.

Well, I was watching Ray Comfort today.

I know some Christians follow this blog, and if you are Christian, I recommend checking out the Living Waters YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmrVJGUS1u5-Hsm_BFS_1YA)

It’s a great way to broaden your horizons by getting to see the Gospel presented to all kinds of people, and in a gentle, non aggressive, but intelligent way. Ray uses science, reason, and emotional weight. [I was not paid to say any of this, I just like the channel and content ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

Christians struggle with evangelism, which is a long word for going to people and telling them about Jesus.

Me, I prefer it if it comes up in conversation, especially if I can discuss science or philosophy, which many people think Christians hate doing.

A lot of Christians think evangelizing needs to be done through showing people the love of God.

I totally agree we need to be loving to people, but what Ray Comfort has highlighted for me is that we need to be doing more than that.

The trouble with the “love on people” approach that I’ve seen within the Church itself, not just with nonbelievers, is that it’s non confrontational, and it doesn’t change people’s minds.

I’ve heard many pastors reprimand their congregation for the harsh or judgmental approach.

The thing is, often people who go to Churches who preach mercy and kindness are not the ones who are judgy and harsh, those people go to Churches that preach that as the way to be. Really, my parents church shopped a lot when I was younger, I know the drill, it’s easy to find somewhere that echoes all your own behavior.

I find it singularly unhelpful to get the “just love on people” advice because it’s so vague… what am I supposed to do with that?

One of Ray’s tactics is to help people understand why they are guilty of sin.

Everyone already knows they are a sinner, but the average person will claim to be a good person, they think that they do more good than bad, or just not enough bad to warrant punishment.

Some people think they should be spared just because they have a good heart. (All things real people said, by the way.)

It’s easy to get people to admit they lie, and they’ve stolen, and they lust, sometimes that they dishonor their parents and have sex out of wedlock. People don’t even think of some of those things as wrong.

Ray never goes into the things like murder, envy, working on the Sabbath, and worshiping idols. It’s easy enough to show we do all that, but harder to prove on the spot, and the others ones people admit to faster.

I was raised christian, and i try not to lie, or steal, but I still remember getting caught stealing as a kid, just minor things my mom immediately made me return.

I don’t lie now, no directly, I’m not sure I am fully honest thought. A lot of us lie, thinking it’s the truth, but if we really looked at our thoughts and feelings, we’d know it was a lie.

Ever have someone tell you “I’m not mad” and they were so obviously about to blow a gasket?

Or “I’m not jealous” when they were.

Yeah, it’s not too hard to see we’re all guilty.

But most people, and most religions in fact, fall back on the idea that our good can outweigh our bad when we stand before God.

Ray confronts this with the point that even a human judge will not care about what you do right, you go to jail for what you do wrong.

What if a serial killer killed person after person and then donated to charity each time, and the charity saved 10 lives. Does he or she get to keep killing people just because they are saving 10 lives for every 1 they take?

Please, please tell me you didn’t have to think about that one, I’ve known philosophy groups where that would be a tough question, (Philosophy is an absolutely useless field of study without theism, as it turns out. People just argue and get nowhere).

To expound on Ray’s point, is it fair to judge people only for what they do wrong? Why is one mistake, or even several, enough to negate all the good.

There are two big misconceptions of sin in this line of thinking. But most people will understand it once it’s been pointed out to them, because deep down, we know it’s not right.

The first misconception is that our human nature can be bad and good at the same time. I will see this everywhere, from My Little Pony reviews to philosophical videos, to real people talking about everyday life. Hollywood love propagating this idea, can’t imagine why…

Is it possible to be both a bad and good person?

It’s easy to look at the bad and good actions people do, and say “they must have bad and good in them, so they are’t wicked people.”

But, it doesn’t work.

In any area of life, name one thin that can be both bad and good.

I sorted lemons yesterday, I found a bunch that had mold on them. The mold isn’t in the whole lemon, it’s just on part of it, theoretically, the lemon had good parts in it still…should I eat it?

The answer is no. Fruit is tricky, depending on the kind, but usually you cannot eat it once it’s moldy, the sugars are decomposing, even inside the part that isn’t bad looking yet, and you could get sick.

Some foods, like potatoes, the mold can be cut off and there rest of it is good, but you get less of it that way, and you still have to cut out the bad part, only a truly starving person eats a bad fruit or vegetable whole.

Another example, if you have a car that works perfectly, all except for one tire, or one thing in the engine, or the brakes, is it safe to drive? image (15)

The answer is NO.

Yet again, if a human being does lots of good and then rapes or murders one person, who would not punish them? Only someone just as bad trying to cover their own sins. Why else do evil people flock together?

The Bible takes the same approach to sin in a person. Jesus warned “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” meaning a little yeast spreads through all the dough. One sin is never the end of it. If you sin once, you’ll sin again, even if it’s not the same sin.

Jesus also said to do the cutting off thing. “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off, it’s better to enter heaven with only one hand than to be cast into hell” (paraphrase)

Sin is like cancer, it has to be removed. Or like a broken car, replaced with a working part.

The second misconception people have, even more important, is that Sin is natural. That everyone does it, so it wouldn’t be right to have a high standard about it.

It’s true that Human Nature is sinful, so Sin is natural in that way, to man. But it doesn’t mean it’s natural as in it was intended to be that way.

Weeds are “natural” to a garden, they grow there of their own accord, and the weed is a living thing, doing what it’s programmed to do, yet it’s not the plan for the garden to have weeds in it. Some weeds choke out wheat, is it the wheat’s nature to be strangled? No.

Breaking the Law of Morality that everyone knows in their heart is something we all do, but it’s not Natural, in that it was meant to be and is fitting in ourselves to do.

You see, the reason you get punished for breaking one law, even if you keep 9 others, is that keeping the law is simply what you should have done.

You don’t get rewarded in life for doing the bare minimum. You show up to school with your own school supplies because you should, you tie your shoes, you call your mom on Mother’s Day.

You get what I’m saying? This is just average. But do less, and you’re either unprepared or downright negligent.

Fulfilling God’s law to the full is just the bare minimum of good living. There’s a lot beyond the law, like beauty, fun, and freedom, that are what God really intended Life to be about (You know that Eden means Delight? Where God meant humans to live in).

Now, as the world is today, fulfilling the law is impossible, and so is being a good person.

When we say someone is good, what we really mean is “They are someone who being good is important to, and they try, but yeah, they still do bad things”.

Bad means that they don’t even try, they just revel in being bad.

But Jesus rightly said “there is none good but God” no one but God can be the kind of Good God wants.

Even angels have fallen, God is the only being who has remained incorruptible throughout all time and outside of time. That is why evil god stories are so terrifying, if God is not good, than we are all lost.

I find the idea that God isn’t good silly, because anyone who has lived with a tyrant who tries to make everyone miserable knows the power of even one man to destroy lives, and if God was even as malevolent as man, no one would be happy, ever.

That happiness and love still exist is proof God must be good, they would never survive otherwise.

The Bible says human righteousness is “like filthy rags.”

So, the question is, now what?

I don’t consider myself a bad person.

Not because I am good. I have lots of problems. And I am not as aware of my own sins as I should be.

Like all people, I’m conceited about the level of my own sin.

But, the good news is, I don’t need to worry about it. I can do my best, but if at the end of every day I still come up short. it’s okay, because Jesus has covered it.

He has given me his righteousness, as the Words puts it, so that I am blameless before God.

That’s the gospel in a nutshell. We can’t do it, but God can.

The road to God is different for everyone. People have all kinds of issues with self worth, pride, and everything else. But the simplest way to find God is to repent and trust Jesus for salvation.

God can reveal himself many ways, but only one way do we give ourselves to Him, and that is through Jesus.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed getting my take on this angle, and until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

Weaknesses (READ: Strengths).

As you probably know, I love kids shows.

I mean, you get the same themes as adult shows, without the stupid, needless drama of sex and profanity and angst (not that those are never good, but overused.)

And I’ve talked about the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic show before and how much I like it.

Today I thought I’d talk about something this show did well that I don’t see often in any form of writing, books or shows.

The show, for anyone who doesn’t know, relies heavily on the symbolism of the 6 elements of Harmony. The elements are embodied in the Mane 6 (pun intentional) characters. Here’s a run down for the novice to the MLP universe (skip if you already know)

MLP Wallpaper- Elements of Harmony by jhayarr23 on DeviantArt

  1. Magic (Twilight Sparkle, the main, main character.)
  2. Honesty (Apple Jack)
  3. Generosity (Rarity)
  4. Kindness (Fluttershy)
  5. Laughter (Pinkie Pie)
  6. Loyalty (Rainbow Dash)

Elements of Harmony | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

Much later we find out all these elements are reflections or expansions of 6 original elements of older ponies. Which were

  1. Sorcery
  2. Strength
  3. Beauty
  4. Healing
  5. Hope
  6. Bravery

I thought this was really cool, they are all similar, but just different enough to make you think about it (take notes Miraculous Ladybug, this is how you do lore).

Overtime the show does a lot with exploring what each element means.

One of the criticisms of the show by some fans is that each of the Mane 6 characters sometimes demonstrate the opposite of their elements, meaning that it seems like it doesn’t really fit them.

The most common complaint is that Apple Jack, the element of Honesty, lies a lot, in fact, I’d say in most of the episodes about her specifically she lies or struggles with honesty and fair play.

Applejack | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

Rarity also can be a bit selfish and ungenerous, despite being the element of generosity.

Rarity | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

But I gave it some more thought and I realized it wasn’t just them.

Fluttershy, the Kindest pony has a lot of episodes where she is not kind. She gets a dark side, gets too absorbed in trying to be less shy, to the point where she bullies other ponies.

Fluttershy_Trotting,_Staring_at_You

Pinkie Pie actually gets depressed more easily than any other of the mane 6, and it’s visually shown.

Pinkie Pie | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

Rainbow Dash often lets ego get in the way of being loyal to her friends. Or, she goes overboard.

Rainbow Dash My Little Pony Pinkie Pie Applejack, rainbow ...

Twilight, the Magic element, struggles with magic constantly, making mistakes, having to work on control, and meeting other ponies more powerful than her.

Twilight Sparkle | My Little Pony Friendship is Magic Wiki | Fandom

(One might wonder what magic represents in the real life application of the show, and I think the best answer is it represents wisdom and understanding of how to use the other elements. Twilight most often figures out the best application of the other elements, and how to make them work together. Magic is mostly knowledge on the show. It’s studies by scholars, so it makes sense.)

Twilight also often lacks understanding of friendship situations, especially when they involve her, and has to learn the hard way.

What’s interesting is that she begins the show by not valuing friendship at all, and then becomes the princess of friendship halfway through. Making her the alleged expert on it.

If her element is understanding, however, that’s a bit ironic isn’t it?

But it’s this aspect of the show that I think gets overlooked by many fans. Twilight’s journey is the same as her friends.

They all begin with some innate talent in understanding their elements, but the show is about how all of them grow into being better examples of those elements.

You could say that becoming the elements at the beginning of the show was like being chosen for their potential, and the show is how they grow into that potential.

In this way, their constant struggles with fulfilling those roles makes perfect sense, and is much more compelling to watch, otherwise we’d be getting what a lot of shows do, having the specified characters just preaching at others constantly. Which is okay, but usually means they’ll be stolen, corrupted, or killed off to create drama because there’s no learning curb, they are already experts.

In another way, it was a smart writing choice, because I know from my own efforts that if you set yourself up as an expert in any field to begin with, you’ll come off as a fool, since we humans are always learning, and writing about something is a great way to learn about it more.

The writers didn’t put the pressure on themselves to fully understand all 6 elements at the beginning of the show, instead they gave one example in the pilot, then built on it season after season till by the end they do have a very in depth take on each, but they didn’t start out that way. Which is fine.

I write about the steps to overcoming abuse, obht in fiction and in nonfiction, and I’m still learning about it. If I tried to sa I already had it down, I’d be ridiculously arrogant, by saying I am still learning, I give myself the freedom to revise and build on it.

But this is something a lot of young writers gt wrong. The Bible actually warns the Church not to let new believers become teachers because they are too green and might become prideful.

It’s very true.

The principle of maturity has nothing to do with talent. It’s entirely possible a brand new christian may have a strong gift of teaching, I always have had that gift myself, and it got even stronger once I committed to Christ, because I had more inspiration and less fear.

And I probably have more of a natural talent than many of the pastors I’ve known, but that has very little to do with being able to actually teach.

A good teacher needs to be humble, open to learning from their mistakes, and able to not take all criticism seriously, since people will criticize you more for what you do right than what you do wrong, 9 times out of 10.

A young christian has too much enthusiasm and not enough experience, They may believe, they may even have more raw faith than a 10 year old christian who has hit a rough patch in their life, but what they don’t have is experience of temptations and weaknesses to give them empathy and humility.

And a teacher with neither of those qualities is going to do more harm than good.

The Bible is always practical, if you just know human nature.

The same principal applies to any field. Newbs don’t make good instructors. They may be better than the teacher at doing the thing, but that doesn’t mean they know how to teach it.

I once let one of my Sunday school students who knew the lesson already try to teach it for a single minute. Then I encouraged the others to interrupt the same way they do with me, and get distracted. (I didn’t even have to help that much, they did it on their own.) My student gave up before the minute was even over. They realized quickly that getting the class to listen to requires more than a good memory of the lesson.

I had to smile because I had the same experience when I tried teaching for the first time.

So, I think MLP is actually very right to show that an affinity for something is not the same as being an expert. The reason MLP stayed good for 9 seasons is because the progress makes sense. The students become mentors, then eventually teachers, as they learn their own trade better, but they start off making all the mistakes we would all make.

The Bible talks about the principle of turning strength into weakness and weakness into strength. (Joel 3:10, 1 Corinthians 1:25)

One of my favorite books, Hinds Feet on High Places (Hannah Hurnard) explores this principle much more fully, showing how all our weaknesses and flaws become our greatest strengths, because we allow God to help us more in the weakness we can’t deny, then in the ones we think are not so bad, and so those become our strengths.

The good thing is, that all grows with time. My fear was something I knew was a weakness, but later I began to notice problems with being too vindictive and willful. My willfulness is something I see as both a strength and weakness, and I’ve treated it as both over time, and God has brought to light how sometimes I need to strengthen it, and other times I need to bend.

My natural inclination is to be willful, so it’s harder to refine it then to encourage it, yet I need to do both.

I think MLP shows this best with Apple Jack, who can take honesty too far more often than the others misuse their elements, (except maybe Twilight who often gets too caught up in trying to understand magic to actually be a friend,) but Apple Jack’s is easier to recognize.

But Apple Jack also has a hard time telling the hard truth. So sometimes she has to encourage the blunt side of herself. It’s a great way to show the two sides of the same coin.

I think that’s about all for now, in conclusions, MLP is a really good show, and we don’t get many like it anymore.

And weaknesses become strengths. If you want more proof, look up how many great speakers once had speech problems or stage fright, and you’ll start to see how often this is true in real life. Until next time–Natasha.

HappyColor_16479

BPD, it’s not an excuse.

According to my therapist’s recommendation, I am reading a book about BPD, or Borderline Personality Disorder. Which my Dad clearly has.

My dad was once diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and ADD. But there’s now some clear differences between BD an BPD. With BD, mood swings last for days on end, and often come with manic bursts of energy.

I never saw my dad have bursts of energy, he was always tired, often depressed. His mood swings were by the day or hour, generally.

The rage, lashing out, and splitting (diving people into black and white sides of a question, with no room for nuance) are all part of BPD, but not BD.

ADD is part of it, or can be.

Perhaps this was all supposed to come as a shock to me, but I am not really astonished.

I figured he’d fit some category. Borderline is the borderline between neurotic and psychotic. A person who had really never grown up.

The book I’m reading “Talking to a Loved One with Borderline Personality Disorder ” is about learning to live with someone like that, and there’s another book “Stop Walking on Eggshells”. They might be helpful in the future.

But the book makes no mention so far of how someone with BPD could easily be abusive, usually they come from abusive backgrounds. With the outbursts of wrath, and manipulation, why not?

The books have almost a cavalier attitude toward the people stuck living with a child or parent like this (though, if the child id like this, it is usually is the parent’s fault, unless they’re adopted, it’s a learned behavior). Like “you can learn to manage this person.”

I could see some use for this in a day of arrange marriages, marrying for status, etc. In other countries where that’s still the case.

But if you have a choice, what self respecting person signs on for that kind of crazy. BPD people cannot maintain relationships, and should not be in romantic ones, the most intimate, challenging kind.

BPD, giving it a name, is kind of a self defeating thing to do. The Silence, by Bastille, describes it pretty well:

“Tell me a piece of your history that you’re proud to call your own Speak in words you picked up as you walked through life alone.

We used to swim in your stories and be pulled down by their tide, choking on the words and drowning with no air inside.

Now you’ve hit a wall and it’s not your fault my dear, my dear, my dear. Now you’ve hit a wall and you’ve hit it hard, my dear, my dear, oh dear.

“If you give it a name, then it’s already won. What you good for, what you good for? If you give it a name, then it’s already won.”

 

Bastille is right in a way, often when we give these personality traits a name, they win. Because it’s a human failing, to think once we compartmentalize and label something, it’s less powerful.

When really, we just take it less seriously.

That’s the power of stereotypes. You call someone aย  hick, a diva, a geek, a nerd, a jock, and they lose some of their dignity. Between friends, being undignified is okay, even necessary, but when we do it in general, it’s to avoid thinking about the person, really, truly thinking about them. Understanding them.

You might argue, if we give it a label, people might be kinder. Like ASD, ADD, ADHD.

It seems kinder at first, but then people assume you have no choice, you become something less than human, if you have no control over the type of person you are.

I know that there are some things someone on the ASD spectrum cannot control, but those things are actually very limited. Almost all aspects of a condition can be temporary with enough years and effort. It depends on the severity.

Likewise, BPD is a condition people can grow out of, with or without therapy.

But if the person can grow out of it, could recognize it as immature, then they knew what they were doing was wrong. They might lack the self control to stop, but they knew.

I don’t like it when experts deny the obvious. That anyone with mental illness that they are somewhat conscious of has a choice. Good experts don’t deny it.

In my dad’s case, he did things the book hasn’t described so far. Threatening me physically. Being mean, on purpose, even when he was in a good mood, sometimes more so then.

My dad’s abusive nature colored most of his interactions. He had to be in control, even if things were good. So if he was having fun, he’d make you miserable so that it was in his power, he’d sometimes try to make you have fun, if he was in the mood.

Not everyone with BPD is like this. They are not all abusers. I actually have a few of the traits myself, but since I was raised in an abusive house, that makes sense, I don’t have it to the excess I’d be diagnosed with a condition.

But the temptation to always feel like the victim, to think every one hates you, and to desperately want them to love you, is part of my life. Also, the emptiness I sometimes feel.

Victims feels empty because we were neglected, and our expressions of love were usually tainted by manipulation so as to not be satisfying.

One thing that was interesting was the book said the BPD people with hug too tight and too long because they feel empty. My dad always hugged both too tight and too long…and oddly, both me and my youngest sibling hated being hugged and kissed by him, and even by anyone, as young kids. To this day both of us are hesitant to allow people to hug us, and I still don’t like kisses (I wish I did). We always wondered what made us dislike it, but the way he did felt off. My dad blamed us for not wanting to snuggle, thinking it wasn’t normal, but preditcatbly, he was the one who made it abnormal.

My aunt has excused my dad on the basis of being on the ASD spectrum, and having ADD, and BD. But I believe BPD is the correct diagnosis. The others all had holes in the theory, and he grew out of the ADD. He is still BPD.

Which brings me to my real point, my dad’s abuse is not explained away by BPD. It gave him issues relating, but it did not make him mean and controlling in the way that he was. It’s a choice to do those things.

Anyone who tries to say I should have stuck it out has not appreciated the danger of doing so on my mental, emotional, and physical health. My dad didn’t want to be helped anyway.

The bible has a passage about the same behaviors as BPD. Galatians 5:19-21 reads “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders…”

Heresies, my dad believes some weird stuff about God due to his inability to let go.

The Bible does not complicate things. Theses things are from the flesh.

Does that mean these people are all evil? No… but some are.

It’s strong language to say my dad is evil, but his delight in doing these things seems like wickedness to me. I don’t see the point of sugarcoating it.

I think we are too wimpy now. We won’t say certain people are evil. But calling it that was helpful. Because evil can be repented from, how do you repent of a personality disorder?

The bible makes no mention of personality disorders. That is not because it was behind the times, written before psychology, the Bible has many verse about psychology, stuff modern studies are just starting to catch up to. The Bible knew the power of positive thinking, laughter, and power thoughts long before we officially proved the brain and body respond to those things.

Think about it, if the Bible was right about all that, way, way before we could even measure brain patterns, then isn’t it just possible that it’s right when it makes no excuses for evil based on personality.

True Mental Illness in the Bible exists in the form of either demonic oppression, or strong delusion. Otherwise, we are held responsible for our mental health.

Jesus told his disciples “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

Meaning, we can choose to be troubled.

David said “Why so downcast oh my soul? Hope in the Lord” indicating he could turn his soul to hope, not despair.

There’s lots of others verses. I recommend “The Utter Relief of Holiness” or “Free to Live” by John Eldredge, for more on this subject.

In cases like mine, a lot of what we feel isn’t caused by our choices. But everyone has that problem. People can just be jerks.

Our culture encourages us to blame everyone else for how we feel, and not do a thing about it. Just to sit in it.

But while we can’t blame ourselves for being mistreated, we can’t just let those people control our lives. Think about it, you want the person who hurt you the most to be the one calling the shots in your life? Not me.

Maybe you can be classified with a disorder. Maybe some of it never goes away. It’s possible that we never forget what it was like to be abused. But that doesn’t mean we have to act like victims the rest of our lives.

If God gives me the time one day I will have lived longer not being abused than I did being abused. But even if I don’t, I’ll have an eternity of better than I can imagine.

One thing abuse forces you to learn, if you would be free, is that you can’t let people shape your idea of a good life. God is the only one who can give you that image. You will settle for less than you could have otherwise.

It’s not just optimism, people. I have to believe that if I want to ever move on.

A lot of trouble would be saved if people told each other one thing: You can believe what you want… but only believing in the right things will lead you to freedom.

And there are things that will free you if you believe them. The Bible calls them the right steps.

So, BPD or not, we decide what we will be.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

 

Free Wheels.

๐Ÿ’•Well, it’s that time of year. Happy Blogaversary followers! ๐Ÿ˜„

I think this makes it 4 years, dang, it’s been a ride. HappyColor_18012

Speaking of rides, I have some exciting news. I now have a car.

I suppose you all probably weren’t aware I’ve been off the road for a year almost, due to insurance expenses, and until I could get a car and get my own insurance, the price just seemed astronomic. The trouble was, it’s hard to get a job when you can only apply to things within a walking distance of your house.

I managed to do it once, but it was seasonal, and no luck since that time.

So, I need a car to get a job, but I need a job to get a car, pretty impossible cycle right?

Of course I had prayed about it, and just last week, I was talking about it to God, (complaining more than anything), that it was so impossible. Yet, I knew for Him it was easy. That He could just give me a car, or any of the other things I need to become independent.

You see, I don’t usually get those big miracles people tell stories about, but since I was a child, I’ve always believed in them, and growing up I heard enough stories of God’s favor to know that what looks hopeless to me is just an illusion.

We see no rational way something is possible unless we follow certain steps. We treat life like an equation.

Education+ good career options = financial success

Love + commitment = good marriage

Structure + affection = good child rearing.

You know the drill, pick any subject in life, and you’ll find a formula for it, from sex to sleep.

And if you’re like me, you’ve also studied enough to know that real life is not formulaic. Formula works in math, and maybe science, but never in anything outside a controlled environment.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say anyone who implements formula with their children or marriage is a fool, let alone anything less important like business.

Yet, when we plan our lives, we think in formula, if I don’t follow steps A, B, and C, then there’s just no way it can work.

HappyColor_16479

And for me, that was the car thing. If I don’t find some way to work from home or close to home, I can’t make enough money to save up for a car, and I can’t get a better job without a car, and… ugh, it’s exhausting just thinking about it.

But a part of me knew that for God, this mess was not a mess at all. And I’d had someone at my church pray for me to get a car and say they saw one in my future (not like fortune telling, jsut to clarify, just a feeling that God intended that. It’s like a blessing.)

Well, amen to that, I thought.

This same person is actually the source of my newfound fortune. They needed a new car for a new job, and decided to give away the old one, and they knew I had need of a vehicle.

Well, I was quite blown away.

But it gets better.

As a new driver, I’d only driven one kind of car, my family car. So, I don’t have much experience. I figured a new car would mean learning some new stuff.

And it will, but not nearly as much as it could have because this car has a driving system very similar to our family car. Is almost the same size, and is comfy and spacious, in impeccable condition for a 10 year old car.

It’s also a Honda, so… yeah, it’ll last ages.

For free.

I’d be hard put to find a used car at that kind of deal even for a few thousand dollars.

Icing on the cake is it’s a bluish color, which is what I wanted, though it’s not a color I imagined, but, it’s pretty.

You know, one has to really think God must have us in mind specifically when He gives us stuff. All those others things weren’t necessary, I could have put up with a few dents and quirks for a free car that still runs, I’m not in a position to be picky about color or style…but I get it anyway.

This all happened after my prayer. And to be honest, I didn’t expect Him to take me seriously.

I mean, I knew He could, but I supposed there was some lesson in all this that I needed to learn (we love that explanation, don’t we?)

Well, I did have to wait a while, but now it becomes much easier. I can afford insurance on this car, and my mom was able to put me on her towing/assitance coverage too, since my dad had, unbeknownst to her, gotten his own.

Well, good riddance I say, means I can be on it with no extra cost.

You know… a little part of me is a bit smug about this. Which isn’t very Christian, but… well let me explain.

Driving was one thing my Dad used to control me with. And I only drove for a year while he was living here, yet he managed to make it a big point of contention constantly.

I made some errors, nothing huge, but one did cost money, and though I paid for it myself, my Dad always expressed doubt over my abilities. He would also make my nervous while he was in the car, and say things like “you could have gotten us into an accident.” If I made a mistake. Idiots do worse things on purpose than I did by accident, but hey, my dad is not logical nor one to cut you some slack.

My dad also tried to make me run errands for him and grounded me from using the car as leverage, though it only made more work for my mom (of course he wouldn’t pick up the slack on driving me around unless he absolutely had to).

And finally he refused to keep me on the insurance because I hadn’t gotten a job, despite my efforts to do so. My dad makes good money too, at least for a single job person.

It was always one thing or another with the car, I got so frustrated that I hated the idea of succeeding just to suit him more than not driving, so I gave up.

Of course, I am not adverse to earning things.

But… if we face facts, no one is born able to earn their keep. We have to be taught, and some people are not able to ever, they get paralyzed, they have mental disabilities. They experience a series of misfortunes.

Or some are driven out of their homes by evil people with a vendetta.

It’s not their fault, they just aren’t as lucky as the rest of us.

While I believe you need to work in life, I recognize that even the ability to work is a gift. And the tools to work are usually also gifts, initially. We call it investing.

But the principal of investing, even from a company, is having faith in a person that they can pull off success. Parents give their children benefits because they hope they will use them wisely.

My dad’s approach was a bit like tossing me in a row boat and removing the paddle. How am I supposed to get anywhere? The boat is a gift (think of it like life) but the tools to make it work are also gifts, at least at first.

It might be “fair” but…does it work?

I don’t know, for some people it might.

But if my Heavenly Father has taken a different approach, I cannot complain.

God’s way is always to give us the tools to succeed, and in the perfect timing to do it in. There is no ability in us to repay God, or to prove ourselves to Him. He knows we can’t do anything for ourselves, not even make our own heart beat (try to stop it for a second, see how well you do.)

Anyway, that’s a wrap for today, until next time, stay honest–Natasha