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UNDAUNTED
For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

When Things are Changing, I Remind Myself He Isn't

My peace is not in frantically trying to find answers for the changes coming but looking to my Answer for the peace to walk through the changes coming.
It's not the stick-your-head-in-the-sand kind of peace, but the rest my heart in His faithfulness kind of peace.
I am not the only one dealing with and walking through life changes, and the fact is we can hate them or we can have faith in His character through them.
And instead of begging Him to move the mountain, we need to be asking He plans to move in us because of the mountain.
Challenges are not punishment. They may be conseuqences, but even in the consequences He offers grace to those with repentant hearts, but even in the grace, challenges are for our growth, not our going under. He isn't a God who delights in seeing us suffer but suffered so we can delight in Him.
Do we get it? Do we get that the God who made all this uses changes to make something new in us and uses us to make Himself known in the world? These challenges are not something to get through. They are something we build on.
The only way creation happens is for something old to be destroyed. Sometimes that something is an empty place. Sometimes it is something we cling to that leaves us empty.
Tonight I am sitting here thinking of the changes that are coming, and in the past I would get worked up, but tonight I am settling in. There is a lot I don't know, and it could drop me to my knees in fear of what to expect, but it is dropping me to my knees in expectant prayer instead.
I expect an answer.
I expect His light to show the way.
I expect His wisdom to pour into me.
I expect Him to order my steps.
I expect Him to meet our needs.
I expected Him to bring good things to pass.
I expect life...abundant life...to come out of all this.
And it isn't becaue I'm His favorite.
It's because HE is faithful.
He is faithful.
Not to always give me the easy road.
Or to give me what I think I want.
But to give me Him.
In all things.
And that never changes.
Stay on the journey...
Jerri Kelley
--www.jerrikelley.com--

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Problem of People who are Like Me

(Stick with me on this. I'm not just whining. I promise, there is a life affecting takeaway at the end).
In one of my classes, there are two people that I don't like. Honestly, they just grate on my nerves. When they open their mouths, I shutdown. I don't care what they say. I don't value their opinions, although I know their opinions well because they are rudely vocal about them to the point they will interrupt a presentation to share them. They don't respect others. They think very highly of themselves and their thoughts of and on the world. They don't listen. They don't want to learn from others. They don't try to understand. They don't want to actually have conversation. I really don't like them, and after this class is over, I have no intention of having contact with them again. Frankly, if I see them walking toward me, I might even veer another direction. I find them that unpleasant to be around.
Now, this is where I insert my, "As Christians, we should love them and accept them and befriend them blah blah blah," speech, right? Wrong.
Here is the truth. I am not willing to accept that behavior. I'm not willing to befriend that behavior. I'm willing to own the truth about that behavior--it is divisive. It is rude. It is condescending. It is hateful. It is not of God.
I'm owning that truth.
I'm also owning the truth that I can be just like those two people. I'm owning the truth that I am often far quicker to give my thoughts than to listen to someone else'. I'm crazy good at thinking I'm right and people who don't think like me--who don't have the exact same spiritual beliefs as me--are wrong. I am disgustingly good at shutting people down at times because I'm so busy pushing an idea or agenda I don't see a person.
I am owning the fact I have no desire to be a friend to those people, and in doing so, I"m owning the fact that when i act like them, no one would want to be my friend either. In fact, no one should want to be my friend when I act like that.
So this morning I am asking the Lord to show me where I have become a friend to those things in myself. Places where I either don't see those behaviors or attitudes or places and ways where I justify them.
The Word says if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and PURIFY US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
This morning I am confessing that I am friends with some ugly stuff in me, and I expect to see or become aware of failings in this area because God is faithful to purify me, which means, He has to bring up the trash so it can be removed. He's not condemning me. He's giving me a gift by showing me ways that I create an atmosphere people want to avoid. He's giving me a chance to change, to do better, to be better, to be the person who can build the life I really want. I want people to ejnoy my company and friendship. He's showing me ways I sabotage that. Really, it isn't condemnation. It's a beautiful grace. It's a gift.
So this morning I am praying for the gift of honest character analysis from a God whose perfect perspective is always kind, even in hard honesty.
Praying for you today.
I'm glad you are here.
Love and prayers,
Jerri Kelley
--www.jerrikelley.com--