Smoke and Mirrors

Are things really the way they seem? Or is it smoke and mirrors?

I guess there’s a lot to be said for what you think to be fact.  Sometimes it gives you hope.  Other times, it makes you feel like a genuine fool.  Our perception can be a guiding force or a destroying demon that takes us on a path that may or may not be fun to travel.  Our faith in God gets tested every single day.  Our faith in people begins to taint the rose-colored glasses that we have put upon ourselves.

What happens when you have continuously done what you truly believed God wanted you to do and you don’t feel like anything changes?  Then you find out why.  You find that everything you thought you knew was so off the mark that you question why God wanted you to reach out to another person when that person pushed you so far away that you sank so much into depression and thought there was something wrong with you and it was never you.  They didn’t have the courage to stand up and tell you what was going on.  They didn’t have the courage to set you free because they wanted to keep you dangling.

If I’m being vague, let me apologize.  My faith is being tested a lot lately.  I used to trust my gut instincts and now I’m at a crossroads.  God understands this.  I’ll try to get a little more clear as to my example.  I have people in my life that I care for deeply.  One has been clinically depressed for a while now.  Her family has put her through a torture chamber of emotions and has given her more whiplash than any person should have to endure.  All she wants is to be loved by her mom, her sister, and her stepfather.  All she receives in return is grief.  She is stronger than she knows but the smoke and mirrors her family continuously shows is to portray them as the good guys and her as the snake.  She gets ostracized, berated, and humiliated in so many settings and it isn’t fair to her.  Her husband has been a strong supporter.  Yet, through it all, some days, all she wants is love from her mom and feels that she will never receive that one thing she needs most.

Another close friend has been dealing with relationship issues with two men in her life.  She has always been a mover and shaker in the business world.  She has had feelings for one of the men for quite some time but he’s addicted to drugs.  She can’t tolerate the drugs but he’s her drug.  He’s the one person that keeps sucking her in like a vacuum cleaner.  All that becomes difficult for her to sort through not only her emotions but where she wants to be in her life.

Then another supposed friend decided that she wanted out of my life because I don’t tell her what she wants to hear all the time.  She needs attention twenty-four seven and will never be truly happy because not only does she find fault with everything and everyone, but nothing is ever her fault.  Ownership is not something she handles well.

Now that I’ve given you three different scenarios, let me explain how God is keeping me from losing my mind.  Every single day we are given more drama.  We are exposed to people and that leads us to expose baggage.  God is in every bit of luggage we own.  He picks us up when we have no legs.  He carries our hearts and souls when we have no more strength.  He paints our pictures when we have no more imagination.  He touches us when we don’t know we need his touch.

I’ve grown to do things in my life that I’m not always proud of.  I poured my heart out to folks when they didn’t want anything to do with my heart.  I’ve been pushed aside, ignored, humiliated and yet through it all, God knew what I needed to do even before I did.  Others have made decisions for me that affected me long term and didn’t give me any say-so in those decisions.  Only recently has the truth started pouring out and while I understand why those decisions got made, I resent them.  I resent the fact that I wasn’t allowed to determine what was best for my life.  Why was I made to feel like I couldn’t move on from things in my life if those people didn’t want me in theirs?  I’ve begged God to open people’s hearts who were turned from him and while that appears to be happening, I don’t have to like the way that they treat others.

When I get this way, I can literally hear God telling me that it’s okay to cry.  It’s okay to hurt and even be mad but not to let it overtake what he is using me for.  I guess in the scheme of things, I don’t like feeling like God is using me to make other people’s lives better and I still feel like I can’t move on a roadmap.  Then I hear God telling me that I’m back in school to take on new chapters.  I don’t have to be anything but a child of God.  I just have to keep my heart open and let him work.  I gotta tell you that when you get jaded, you don’t feel like letting anyone in.  You just want to stay hidden in the dark.  God is light.  If you stay in the darkness all the time, you miss the rays of sunshine on your face.  You miss the big picture.  Worst of all, you miss people who can change your life.

I lost a very close friend to death recently.  It seems like I’ve lost more folks in the last year than I have in a long time due to death.  Yet through it all, I have little to no doubt that God is orchestrating a symphony.  We all walk a path in his kingdom.  Sometimes those paths get blurred.  Other times, those paths are clear until we get to crossroads.  If you are a believer, then turning towards faith often helps.  If you are not a believer, that’s okay too.  Just know that there are always going to be people who have walked the path you are on.  It’s okay to reach out for help.   If you are living in a cloud of darkness don’t forget to open the blinds to your heart.  You may find that a light showing that you never thought possible.  

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