Trusting in the Lord

“God is within her, she will not fall. God will help her at break of day”

-Psalms 46:5

This quote really shows how much God is part of our lives. It shows that God will not give up. He will help us when we are broken and will help us when we are not. He lives inside of us through the Holy Spirit. Throughout college, I have found ways to help strengthen my spirituality. Every week, I attend our student-led worship service and singing those songs really enter and fill me up with the Holy Spirit. By attending weekly, I am able to develop my strong spirit and you can feel the energy from all the students singing. Sometimes I have to be reminded that God will always be a part of my life and one place I find that is through the sunsets and sunrises that I see. When there is a test, I look up to God and trust Him that I will get through them.

God is highly important to me. He  teaches us the importance of love, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness. He helps show us the light in the midst of darkness. He helps guide us so that our dreams will come true. He guides us in the midst of trouble and when we are heading in the right direction. Everyone has God-given gifts and we must use them to our advantage. We might feel broken at times, but God will always look over us.

 

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Controlling the Darkness

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them

-Maya Angelou

There is so much truth written into this quote. Some things will happen in our lives that are out of our control. We can either choose to be reduced by them or we can use it for our advantage. Sometimes we have to become broken in order to become full. The dark times of life are where we learn our biggest lessons and they allow use to become strong. There is hope in the midst of darkness. It sometimes can be hard to see the light when we feel broken. In those times, God will guide you and use it to your advantage. He likes to test us at times in order to develop our faith.

Below is a link to another post I wrote using Maya Angelou.

Value of Humanity

Dilemmas of Jean Valjean

Possible Spoilers:

In Les Mis, the main character, Jean Valjean, has to face many difficult discussions and he always does the right thing. The biggest dilemma he has to face is during the “who am I” scene. He just learned through Javert that they have captured “Valjean” and he is about to face the court and possibly be sent to prison. Valjean does not know what to do because he knows that someone falsely accused of being him could go to jail even though the man is innocent. He is thinking “do I save this man or do I not to help save my factory workers”. If he saves the man through showing everyone he is the real Valjean, then his position as owner of the factory and mayor of the town would be at risk. But if he doesn’t reveal himself, he will have the sense of freedom he wants.

Valjean finally decided what to do. He actually faced a difficult decision, but in the end he did the right thing. He actually decided to go to court and reveal that he is in fact the “real” Valjean”. He just could not see an innocent man go to Jail and Valjean knows through experience that being in prison is one of the worst things ever because you are faced to lots of hard labor. He also knows that being a prisoner can harden you and make you someone you are not. He actually showed empathy for the innocent man, but this act made Javert closer on recapturing Valjean, which he was obsessed through since Valjean broke parole.

Despite turning himself into the police, Valjean continued to fulfill his promise to the dying Fantine. After this act, he went back to the hospital to comfort Fantine during her final moments. During those moments, he promised Fantine that he will raise Cosette as his own. But due to the incident in the courtroom, Javert arrived at the hospital ready to arrest Valjean. They went through a long confrontation and Valjean was able to escape and rescue the broken Cosette from the abusive Thenardiers’.

There are other dilemmas that Valjean face, but the one in the courtroom was the hardest one to face. Another one was when Valjean became aware that Marius, Cosette’s lover, is at the barricades and has a possibility that he will die. He does not want to lose Cosette forever, but he doesn’t want Marius to die either. But ultimately he decides to go to the barricades and save Marius from possible death. Valjean loves so Cosette so much that he is willing to sacrifice his happiness to give Cosette best possible life.

Valjean is a very complex character with this incredible journey. He goes on a strong spiritual journey to redemption. This journey starts out with Valjean as a harsh, angry, and hateful man. Valjean  gets redeemed very early on by the bishop, who saved his soul for God. The bishop was the only one who would show him compassion, forgiveness, and hospitality when he was released from prison . The bishop gave him a room and something to eat, but out of desperation, Valjean woke up in the middle of the night and stole the bishop’s silver. But the bishop was able to forgive Valjean and gave him two candlesticks, which became an important reminder to Valjean. They reminded him of the kindness the bishop gave him and helps him became a saint-like man. He shows compassion towards the poor and even to Fantine and Cosette. He saved both of them from a life of poverty. He saved Fantine by intervening and insisted that she is not to be arrested but instead sent to a hospital. Because Valjean learned that she had a child, Valjean promised to Fantine that he will raise Cosette as his own. He was shocked to discover that Cosette was very broken and never felt loved. Valjean and Cosette have an interesting relationship because they both were broken before they found each other. Eventually by the end of the musical, Valjean become into almost like a saint-like man.

Dilemma

Conundrum

Path of Kindness

One simple act of kindness can go a long way. What it truly means to be a Christian is to show love, compassion, and kindness. Doing those acts will help fix this broken society. Have some people forgotten about everything God has done for us? Why has the devil gotten too much in control of other people’s lives? God shows unconditional love towards everyone even the ones where the devil has constantly been in control.

That is part of human nature and what it means to stay faithful to God. Never let the devil control your life and don’t let the fears of life destroy you. It takes great courage to let go of your fears and love and live more. Love is greater then fear, which means God is more powerful then the devil. The devil wants you to hate, destroy, and fear and that is not what it truly means to truly be human. The devil wants you to not follow the path you were meant to take. The devil has gone a bit too far and that is why so many tragedies keep on happening. We respond to them through hatred and anger , but those who are good respond to them through love and come together and try to help people heal from those dark times.

My strong spirituality allows me to not let the devil take control of my life. It takes great courage to face your fears and yes there will be times that will make you be fearful. But once again don’t let the fear stop you from following the path you were meant to be on. If more people stayed faithful to God and kept Him a part of their life, then the world will be filled with less hate, fear, and anger and instead be filled with more compassion, love, and kindness.

I know most people are good, but there are times when news makes you feel the complete opposite. That is due to the fact that the news hardly shows good news and that makes some people forget about the true value of humanity. You can see the good all around you everyday by everyday interactions. Why should we completely judge society based off of the news? Humanity is still mostly good despite all of the hate, anger, injustice, violence, and tragedies. But never forget that God has called you to do good and that you never should listen to the devil.

Don’t forget we all are connected through the Holy Spirit. All of us were made in God’s image. Everyone is connected through the love of God. Continue to trust God no matter how broken society is. Yes, society is way out of control, but never let God leave your life. If one person shows kindness to someone, that could help break the endless cycle of violence. The more compassion we show, the more fixed the society will become. Continue to help those in need and see everyone as human. We are all human and some of us are not objects. We may all be different, but we are exactly the same.

Generous

Salt and Light of the World

You are the light of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven

Matthew 5:13-16

What exactly does it mean to be salt of the earth? Salt has the ability to add flavor. That means show excellence in what you do. Let others see it and if that happens, you become the salt of the earth in a more spiritual way. Another property of salt is that it draws flavor out. This is very similar to adding flavor. But drawing out flavor means doing the best you can when you show excellence in the things that you love. Salt also has the property to stick together. Humans stick together because together we are one. We are all connected so in order to fix the broken society, just do one good deed and that will slowly repair the damage of society. Also try to preserve God’s word and faith. That means stick to his word along with your faith. I think even listening to God is staying true to his word. That means understanding your calling on this Earth. You can still have an intimate relationship with God and hardly read the bible. But if you read the bible, don’t take everything literally. Just have faith that God will guide you in the right direction and pray for the things that you want and it will happen. He will never give up on you and will help you. Also salt has the property to make you thirsty, which means you are thirsty for righteousness. God has the power to heal and will heal you from your brokenness.

But does it mean to be the light of the world? Don’t forget you are unique and that no one is exactly the same. It means that you should share your testimony of what God has done for you. Either you can be dead in christ or alive in Christ. Being alive in Christ means that you accept Him as your savior and that you will live life according to His plan. He helps you to see what you are putting into your life. Be careful because sometimes what you can put in your life can burn your light out. Make sure that what you are putting into your life keeps your light shining. Never let society define who you are because you are made in God’s image and not in the image of society. You are a child of God and you have to live according to His plan. This might sound crazy, but sometimes you have to be broken to allow our light to shine. That doesn’t even make sense at all. In fact, sometimes during those broken times of life, you become stronger then ever before. Stay strong during those times and give glory to God. Brokenness represents the fact that humans are not perfect and that we tend to make mistakes.

Overall, just know who you are in Christ. God helps build character. He builds you spiritually and emotionally. In fact, having spiritual strength is one of the greatest gifts God can give you. Spiritual strength allow to thrive in dark and broken times in your life. You can use that spiritual strength to come out on the other side. I say that because if you trust in the Lord, He will heal you from the brokenness. Lets face it-everyone becomes broken at some point in their and you will become healed through the glory of the Lord through your faith.

Mirror Characters of Les Mis

One of the things that is interesting in “Les Mis” is how two of the characters are mirror images of each other. They are the characters of Cosette and Eponine and as they get older their previous situations get reversed. Cosette starts out with a bad life and Eponine starts out with a good life, but when they get older their situations get reversed.

Major Spoilers ahead:

As a child, Cosette was horribly abused by the Thenardiers. She hoped for a better life despite being a broken child. Than there is Eponine who was spoiled as a child and had a better life than Cosette. Things changed right after Valjean adopted Cosette and took her away from the Thenardiers. Cosette represents light and hope in the midst of all the tragic events going on at the time.

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As the two girls get older, their situations reverse. Cosette’s life improved and Eponine’s life got worse. Even though Cosette’s life got better because of her adopted life, she still lived a very sheltered life. Things changed when Cosette fell in love with Marius because she found a new purpose in life. After Valjean learned of her love for Marius, he went to the barricades to protect Marius and make sure he gets out of the barricade alive. Marius almost died at the barricades and Valjean heroically carried the unconscious Marius through the sewers in order to save his life. Cosette and Marius got married. During the wedding, Marius found out that it was Valjean that saved his life and they left the wedding to find Valjean and arrived just in time. Valjean was dying and he got to be with Cosette and Marius. This scene may have devastated Cosette, but at least she got to be with him.

In Eponine’s situation, her life gets much worse than where she started. The Thenardiers’ started mistreating her and raised her to be a criminal. The family fell into extreme poverty, which added to Eponine’s misery. Just like Cosette, she fell in love with Marius; however Eponine’s love for Marius was unrequited. I do not think Eponine would been as amazing as a character if she ended up with Marius. She helped Marius in anyway possible even if risked her life. She helped find Cosette for him after Marius asked her and was more loyal to him than her parents.

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Her life would eventually get worse after her father tried to rob Valjean’s house. She warned Valjean about the danger because she was trying to protect Marius. This led her father to disown her. She fully risked her life when she decided to be with Marius no matter what, which led her to the barricades. When Marius first saw her at the barricades, he tried to protect her by asking her to deliver a letter to Cosette. After delivering the letter, she went back to the barricades despite what Marius told her. She got fatally shot on the way back and died in Marius’ arms.

It was during her death scene where Marius finally realized that she was in love with him. Despite her death being painful, she did not think of the pain because Marius was there for her. This was in fact Eponine’s happiest moment of her life even though it is heartbreaking. The beauty of it is that she got to die the arms of the one that she loves, which is why it seemed less painful than it really was.

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