C: AHH! I can't wait for your wedding :) Any fun facts?
Matt: I have two tattoos and they're both scripture verses that I consider life verses Philippians 4:13 and Joshua 1:9 and I will only get tattoos that honor and glorify my God! Fun fact #2 is that I am a sinner but by the Grace of God I am saved from a life (eternally and currently) of destruction! Fun fact #3 is I am a huge sports fanatic and it consumes a big part of my day, so I guess based on the point of this post it consumes time that I could be spending time with God either in prayer or reading.
C: Um, yes. You are definitely one of the biggest sports fans I know!! SO, let's get real. When would you say your faith moved beyond just knowing God to experiencing God?
Matt: I grew up in the church and never really grasped what a relationship with Christ meant until my sophomore year of college! As time has passed I have come to realize more what is required of me as a man of God. I struggled with really letting go and giving it all to God but when I finally did my relationship with Him took on a new form from just saying I was a Christian to living as one and experiencing Christ in every aspect of my life!
C: Yes, knowing God and having an intimate relationship with God are two different things! What is one thing God has been teaching you this season of your life?
Matt: I think God has taught me more recently that it's less about what I do and more of what He does in me and through me! And when you have storms in your life I truly believe that's when God has taught me the most!
C: I love that. Yes. So, how do you keep your eyes fixed on God when storms come your way?
Matt: This is probably the hardest part of my walk is when life hits me hard I tend to run away from the storm when I should just cast myself down at the feet of Jesus and ask Him to guide/help me through it! Storms come in all forms and for me I really don't like dealing with things or "facing my giants" and I tend to push them off to the side or see if they'll just go away with time. Instead of bringing them to God and saying these storms or Giants are too much to handle, Lord you take care of these! It's more of me letting go and letting God!!!
C: I seriously can't stop smiling. So during those storms, what are some verses that you often cling to as a reminder of His goodness?
Matt: There are so many verses that I could say apply to my life but I'm going to stick to Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!" And Joshua 1:9 "be strong and courageous do not be timid for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go!"
C: If you could encourage those out there who are fearful of letting go and trusting God, what would you say?
Matt: Trusting in the unknown is a scary thing but when Christ intervenes in your life and brings you out of the mess that your current state is there is no better sense of relief/security/Iove that you can feel. You go from helpless to hopeful. It's a beautiful thing to be on that mountain top with God I have experienced it many times, but the best witness to others is when you start that journey from the pit or valley your in and begin to allow God to intervene with your sins and vices and start to climb slowly up out of the dark your in and allow light to shine in you and eventually through you!
"Your Father's not waiting, no He is running too; He is running straight to you." One of my favorite lines from that song. If you feel like you have been on your own, lost and trying to run your own life but finding that it's only leading to more hardship and pain, it's never too late to run back to the Lord. His arms are open wide, ready to love on you and redeem your story.
In Matthew 6:6, Jesus said “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” I don't believe Jesus was necessarily talking about just a physical location, because we can pray anywhere at any time. BUT, to really connect with God, we must enter into the secret place in our own spirits and meet God there. For me, quiet and peaceful locations do help...there is just something about solitude and ensuring an uninterrupted time with God. It is in that secret place that I truly find myself and who I want to be. That is the person I want to invest in; that is who I want to be when no one is watching me.
The title of this post may be a little funky but for real though...If God is with me, who can TOUCH ME?? No one. Nothing. Nada.
A friend of mine recently reminded me of how paralyzing fear and anxiety can be. I remember going on a mini 10 day journey where I took time to really sit down with myself and figure out why I was allowing my fears to dismiss God's presence. Here's what I found:
§ Fear prevents us from truly living in the present. Why? Because fear lives in the future. When we try to live in the future, we create anxiety and fear.
§ Can you be happy and afraid at the same time? Not usually. Can you be confident and afraid at the same time? Nope. Can you think clearly while you are fearfully? Doubtful. Fear is a prison. BUT...what if I told you, you could walk out? Right now?
§ What if your life was not touched by anxiety? What if faith, not fear, is what leads your decisions and was your default reaction to threats, change, discomfort, and storms?
Brothers and sisters, God does not want us to live in the dark prison of fear but instead in the light of his faithfulness. Remember God’s never failing love, power, and kindness. Release all doubt, dread, and fear from your mind and live encouraged and free from all insecurity by holding on to the truth that God holds your life together-the mental, physical, emotional.
My pastor shared all about how eagles, when storms come, do not try to fly against the current but instead use the current to help them soar higher so they are above the storm. Will you take the time to reflect on where you are? Are you feeling uncomfortable? Are storms rising? Will you trust that God can raise you above your circumstances?
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
A Bit About ME!
Hey friend! My name is Caren and I am so glad you stopped by! This blog is a bit of my corner on the internet where I share honest thoughts about my faith journey, fitness journey, doctor wife journey, and motherhood journey. ALL of it! The good bad and ugly! I pray that something I share encourages you today!