This past weekend, my wife and I decided to go on a road trip. In December, we went to Walt Disney World for our honeymoon, and we had the idea to go back. You see, they had a Festival of the Arts event at Epcot, and we were bummed we might miss it. My wife then said, why don’t we go? So, we decided to pick a weekend and drive down to Florida. It’s always awesome to go on a road trip, you have lots of time laughing and goofing off in the car. Singing songs at the top of your lungs (whether you know the words or not), having those moments of needing to pee and not seeing a rest stop anywhere, and munching on whatever food you brought (shout out to peanut butter sandwiches). Time feels slow and fast all at the same time, and it’s a great experience. There are often moments where you have to fill up on gas, sometimes you are stretched to see how long you can go without stopping or praying a gas station will be there soon, either way, you gotta fill up. If you don’t, you could end up getting stuck.
What’s funny is we understand this idea on a road trip, but when it comes to our heart, we run it into the ground.
It’s funny, the last time we went to Disney World, I was about two weeks out from knowing I was losing my job as a youth director. I had found out a few weeks before then, but going on the previous trip, I was scared outta my mind. On that trip, God helped me see that where I was wasn’t a place that I would grow or was healthy for me. He helped me see that I am a dreamer and need the place to be creative while trying new things, to be given the freedom to do that. I’ve written about that moment on here before. This time I was in a different season. Danielle and I are discerning what to do next, I’ve been applying to jobs in both the ministry sphere and the marketing world, and it’s been a bit scary. Lots of unknowns and just the two of us sorting through life, and in the midst of it, I have been struggling staying connected with God. I know that sounds a bit bad as a person who blogs about staying connected to the source of all things, but I’m human just like you. I screw up and I’m by no means perfect. I have been struggling because of events in life, I haven’t question God being there in the midst, I just find myself not turning to him in my time of need. God hasn’t been a giant priority because I have been angry at people and scared of what comes next, but I need to change. I need a refresh of my heart.
God has been pursuing me in my imperfection because he wants to be in relationship. He wants the same for you.
It’s hard to remember you have worth when others treat you like you are worthless. In my mind the enemy has been telling me that because I haven’t been the perfect religious person I have no worth, let alone to be used by God. Lies. So many lies. Lies kill joy, and I want more joy. Sometimes when I write these blogs about what I have been fighting, it ends up sounding sad and melancholy, I don’t want to live like that. Sure, I’ve dealt with some dumb garbage, but I have a choice. I have a choice to choose joy despite my feelings. I have a choice to blame others for what has happened, or move forward and grow from my experiences. I have felt imperfect and tried to fix myself before coming to God, but it’s so silly, that’s the opposite of the gospel. I have a great creator that loves me and sent his son to die for me, why would I try to be perfect when that’s never what he wanted from me or any of you. He has been pursuing me and I needed a wake up, I needed to refresh my heart.
This trip helped me realize that.
Being with my wife, feeling confident that no matter what happens, God let me go through all of it with my best friend. I made it far in some interviews with a pretty major church, but will end up heading a different direction; God was showing me I have worth in my talents. I wrote an article that turned some heads on Medium. I was able to have all of this hit me as I spent the day at Epcot. You see, I may not be perfect, I may not be the good Christian who reads their bible every morning with deep revelations, but I know who my father is. I choose to rest in him, maybe it takes a little bit to circle back, but I know my God loves me. He pursues me, just like he pursues you, in all things.
In order to refresh your heart, you have to get rid of the noise in your life.
I think one of the best parts of this trip, was the fact that it was just Danielle and I. We were disconnected from a ton of noise. You don’t use your phone on a road trip (unless you’re rich and have unlimited data, and if that’s the case, help me out on Patreon, yo). We got rid of the noise in our life for a brief moment. That’s not to say you should cut out your social media and live in a hole, you just have to be wise about how you listen. One of my favorite things is unfollowing people. I used to follow a ton of people on Instagram, but I found myself playing the comparison game with too many people. I don’t need to feel bad about myself because I’m not a nature photographer that can go everywhere in the world for free, I unfollowed that account. I’ve unfollowed people I went to high school with, connections to my previous job, and ladies who post too much of their pool time (Gotta be honest with you folks, it’s not a wise thing for me to follow); it’s not because I hate these people or are judging them. I just don’t want Satan to get a foothold. I don’t want to compare myself to the success of others I went to school with, or think about the “what could have been” with my previous job. I refuse to listen to that noise.
On this trip, we were able to be around the good kind of noise. Being in a place that is designed to promote imagination and creativity (shouts out to my dude, Figment), that kind of noise is what I want to key into. I love following the So Worth Loving Instagram because it’s encouraging language and the kind of truth that God’s word says about us. Even with good things like this, and this is a reminder for myself too, I need to be listening to key truth only found in the living word. I need to make sure I am reading God’s word, because it’s alive and speaking to me each time I key in to that noise. You can only refresh your heart by cutting out the negative noise and listening in to God’s truth.
I’m so thankful that I have a God on my side in all things. Despite my brain and the anxieties I feel, he’s there. I just have to remember that it’s silly to wait until the last minute to go to him. There are big things coming up in Danielle and I’s life, I want to make sure I take time to refresh my heart. To remember I am not my past or the words others have spoken over me, I am a child of God. Created in his image to do great things. I refuse to listen to the negative noise, but key into the truth God is speaking over my life. I’m not sure what has happened or is happening in your life, all I know is that you only benefit from refreshing your heart.
Take time for yourself and refresh your heart.
It will calm you and help you move forward with confidence.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__