Monday, May 21, 2018

Guest Blogger, Cassidy Lemoine

Hey Y'all, my name is Cassidy Lemoine.  I am a 20-year-old recent college grad, currently working as a COTA, Navigating adulthood has proven to be more difficult than I thought!  But I am comforted knowing that I am not alone.
Confession, I’m a bit of a control freak. Yeah as if God didn’t already know that. He created me for crying out loud. Psalm 139:13-14 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full and well." Before I was even a thought in my parent's lives God stitched together each thread of DNA that make up who I am. Not the same as anyone before me, nor the same as anyone to follow. But uniquely me, beautiful and precious in His eyes. He knows the depths of my heart, my every thought, my every desire. Yet, I still think I can hide from Him. I am full of shame and embarrassment to reveal to Him or anyone else just how flawed and unworthy I actually am.

Control…none of us have it. Yet, we all want it. Why is that? Why do we so desperately cling to something that is unattainable? In my walk with Christ, I’ve learned that being in control is not an option. I chase after situations that I think I can control the outcome and when inevitably it doesn’t turn out as I imagined everything comes crashing down around me, or at least so it feels. It’s not my true desire to be in control. Honestly, I want nothing more than to not be in control. I want to know without a shadow of a doubt that everything is out of my hands. And I can know this if I would just believe the promises God tells me. But the devil somehow convinces me time and time again that letting go of that control I think I have is much more fearful than holding the fate of my life and the lives of those around me in my hands. I admit when I look at the big picture it seems silly to attempt to hold onto control. But, day to day, moment to moment, the devil convinces me otherwise. Differentiating me trying to control my life from letting God control my life becomes much more difficult.

I am 20 years old, I’ll be graduating in December with my Associate’s degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant and I’m currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. No job, living with a couple from my church, who might I add are amazing, away from my parents, single, and altogether just completely confused. So, what do I do? I cling to any and everything I think I can control.

The crazy thing is these past few months have been some of the toughest months I’ve experienced. No, nothing traumatic has happened. For the most part, everyone I know and love is in good health, including myself. I have the most amazing church family I could ever dream of. My parents are supportive of everything I do. Yet, I can’t shake this rut I’m in. How’d I even get here? I don’t know. Well, actually I do know. It’s because of my faith, or lack thereof. My need to cling to control is a direct result of my lack of faith. I’ve been so down lately. I really wish I could see the devil when he attacks. You know that way I could at least brace myself for the impact. I’ve been nothing short of a bullseye in the past few months. At first, I didn’t realize it. I couldn’t understand why I felt so targeted by everyone in my life; when everyone was nothing but, loving and supportive. But I think I’ve nailed it. The devil is his name and he plays quite the tricky game. Seriously! He is smarter than you think. Either that or we are just a lot dumber than we think.

"So do something about it" that was the advice I got from a friend after finally pouring my heart out at a table in Chili’s. I’m sorry…what? I just told you the deepest most vulnerable thing I can think of and you tell me to just "do something about it"?? At first, I was confused. What kind of crappy advice is that anyway? That’s not what I want to hear. I wanted him to say some encouraging words tell me how great I am and then move on. I’d feel better, my life would be together, and everything would work out just the way I wanted…Right? Wrong! Truth is this is the last thing I wanted to hear however, it is exactly what I needed to hear. A good kick in the rear-end is exactly what I needed. The reason I didn’t want to hear what he was telling me was that it wasn’t reassuring me, in fact, it was verifying just how sucky I am. Yeah…. I am pretty sucky. But, aren’t we all. Instead of having faith and allowing God to take control of my situation I chose to pout and throw a pity party in my head every day, trying to convince myself I am worthy of what I think I deserve; a boyfriend, a job, lots of friends who tell me how great I am all the time. Spoiler Alert! We all suck! But hey that’s okay because we have a God that doesn’t. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God"-Ephesians 2:9. This verse is like the secret code to all the passwords in the world. We all have selfish desires. We all want what we want when we want it. And if you think you don’t or this doesn’t apply to you…think again. Because it does we are all sinners. However, this verse is like hitting the jackpot! By GRACE, which comes from God who is perfect, we are saved through faith, which is a GIFT from God. Let me say that one more time. By GRACE, which comes from God who is perfect, we are saved through faith, which is a GIFT from God. We are not saved through donating money to charity, we are not saved through going to church in our best outfit on Sundays but, we are saved through faith. Hold on it gets better, "it is a gift from God." I cling to this control, that I really don’t have nor want to have when God is begging me to allow Him to give me the gift of faith.

Levi Lusko did a series on faith in 2014, that is called "Let It Be." In the first sermon, he discusses Matthew 20:17, "He replied because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ’Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Levi discussed just how tiny the mustard seed is. It is, in fact, one of the smallest seeds but, it creates one of the largest trees. The one thing that stood out to me the most in Levi’s sermon was that he said: "see past the seed." When I look at the stage of life I’m in right now I see a tiny plant with barley sprouted out of the ground. It feels as if the tiniest gust of wind could rip it right off the ground. Discouraging, right? But, when I look at that seed I’m not looking at two things. One is the strong roots bound to the ground beneath it preventing even the strongest gusts of wind from ripping it out of the ground. My roots are the promises God has given to me. And not the promises I want God to fulfill, like a husband or career. But the promises you find in the Bible, like eternal life in heaven. The second thing is, I’m not looking past the seed. At the moment, it feels like my seed can only be seen through the lens of a magnifying glass. And maybe that’s true but, I’m still missing the point. It’s never about where you are right now. It’s about where God can and will take you if you allow Him. However, I do believe God will one day in his time bless me with a husband, a career, and hopefully lots of children, I don’t think these are the promises that will help out of this rut. Because like all things of this world, they are not eternal, not perfect, and therefore not completely fulfilling. God, however, is. 1 John 5:11-12 "And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life." I think these are the types of promises we should cling to.
So, this is me doing something about it. I will no longer allow the devil to fill my head with lies and throw a continuous pity party for myself. I will now fill my heart with God’s word. I will cling to His promises tighter than I cling to the control I try to have over my life. I will live every day pursuing God and sharing His love, promises, and fulfillment with all of His people. Now it’s your turn. Whatever you are struggling with whatever stage of life you are in, Go do something about it!

Cassidy Lemoine

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