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Trying to get guidance... (warning- long!)

Discussion in 'Biblical Advices' started by NoDoubt, May 31, 2007.

  1. Trying to get guidance... (warning- long!)

    Hey, all, I know this is only my second post (first is in the intro section somewhere), but I'm hoping a friendly bunch of believers can help me out here...

    I come from a primarily white town in Michigan, and considered myself a very unpredjudiced person (and still do). However, God brought me out to LA, California somehow and I'm having some trouble. I've been here a year and a half and I still can't figure out what I'm doing.

    I can't seem to find any friends, let alone someone with integrity. Even the churches around here don't take too well to me. I've had many people out here tell me I'm too white. I'm too poor to live in a white area, and get nasty glares all the time around my home (I live in a predominantly Mexican area), someone spit chewed gum at me through my open window today, not even a block from my house.

    I can't tan to save my life, and people shy away from me. I got a spray tan once, and for several days people were very nice to me. They started shying away again, and I realized my tan had faded, and unfortunately spray tans are really expensive. People where I used to work thought I was really ill because because of my skin color. Think "red-head" white, but with light brown/auburn hair.

    I don't know Cali culture at all, primarily because I can't stand watching TV or movies, don't know many celebrities, nor who they are dating, and I can't name anything particularly famous off the top of my head. I can't understand some English speakers of my age because they speak in pop-culture similies.

    These factors, I believe, explain why I've been extremely lonely my entire time here in LA.

    I recently got fired because none of my co-workers liked me. This doesn't surprise me, as I was the only one there without a prison record. Ex-cons don't take well to young white Christian boys from out of state.

    I've been unemployed for a month now, and rapidly running out of money. My unemployment application process has been proceeding in a slow and difficult manner, and my job hunting has been discouraging. I may have to move to an even nastier area to avoid being straight up homeless. I've been living in various ghettos up until recently, but now having lost my job, well...

    So I'm crying out to God, "should I stay or should I go?"

    If He wants me to stay, and tells me so clearly, than I will stay without objection because I would know that it will all work out and I'll be where He wants me. If He wants me to go, I'll say "THANK YOU! Where?"

    Problem is, I've only gotten amazingly clear answers twice in my life, that I can recall. Most of my meanderings have been haphazard, unguided, and resulting in painful situations. I know God is involved, and I see Him in action in my life frequently, but I can't take this. I've been wanting to leave LA since a few months after I got here, but God won't seem to give me a way out, nor a clue of what I'm to do here.

    Now I'm starting to feel the hurt all over again, and my soul screams for an escape, but I know that escape only leads to even more hurt... So... What can I do? All this hurt is causing me to backtrack dangerously, and I can't seem to find any answers. I'm a pale faced outcast at Church and reading the Bible makes me feel like a rat in a maze, running into dead ends and never finding the cheese.
  2. What's important: If you believe that it's God's will for you to be in California, don't think that the struggles and hardships are his way of telling you to leave.

    Here's some other points:

    -I don't have a lot of experience with being racially diverse, but I do know that it's never a good idea to compromise yourself simply so that others will accept you "on the outside". You should never have to impress others in the way/trouble you are doing now.

    -Having a lack of friends (with integrity) is hard, but very purposeful. If you can't find them there around you, you can find them here.

    -As far as the job situation, this is just one of those times where you need to trust God unconditionally. If you have any money left, start tithing it. Like Jesus said (paraphrased), anyone can give out of their riches, but it takes someone who is truly self sacrificing themselves to God to give out of their poor pockets.

    Remember, God has a will for you. Remember also that God doesn't change his mind. If he called you to California, I highly doubt he'd call you away just before you started to exponentially grow in him.

    I am only human, but the way you phrased your question (and added with what you've already told us), I can pretty much guess God's will for you. I know it sounds cavalier but, I've never seen God's will so clearly than in your life. God uses hardships to purge us through the fire, so that we may come out purified through him. If God just gave all Christians an easy life on earth, we would never grow closer to him, or witness to others.

    I can already see how powerful your testimony will be in a matter of years. You were out of a job, discriminated against, and all alone, but God forged you through the fires to become a powerful instrument of his.

    Your soul isn't screaming for escape, it's your flesh. Your soul wishes to become more like Christ, but your flesh wants to live the easy and pain-free life. Don't confuse the two.

    Once again, don't mistake hardship for God's way of speaking to you. God often speaks to us through hardship, but in the exact opposite way. I once heard a pastor say "When your faced with a fire, God may not provide a way around it, but he will allow you to pass through the fire and take the burn out of it".

    Now to what I advise you to do.
    -First, drop to your knees as soon as you read this sentence and pray. Pray for at least 1 Christian friend, pray to find a Christian church, and pray to find the job he wants for you. Remember, if God can take care of the animals, giving them food everyday, I think you'll be ok (unless you see dead animals everywhere).

    -I'd say your next priority is finding a good church. When this happens, everything else usually falls into place. I don't live in LA so I can't help you as much. However, here's what I would do if I were you. First, just go "church hunting". Get out the yellow pages and search for churches in your area. Church doors are often open at least 3 times a week, so you can basically try 3 different churches a week.

    -Next, I'd try to find at least 1 Christian friend who lives in LA (maybe it's possible to find one online?). I know it's easier "said than done", but if you can find someone who could possibly lead you to a Christian church or just help you out (like giving you a ride if you had to sell your car), then it'd be great.

    -Find a job. Pray for this (and everything else) everyday. Don't stop. If you have a free moment, pray about everything. If you find a good church, someone in the church (or maybe even the church itself) might be able to help you with a good job.

    -Fast & Pray. Take a break from eating and start praying more. Fast for as long as it takes. It's hard, but shows God a willing and a strong heart.

    -Keep posting here or at other Christian forums with sound advice. There's help available, use it!

    Finally, don't give up. If you give up from hardships, what do you have to separate yourself from the World? The World gives up when things get rough. You have Christ inside of you. I don't mean to be rude, but start acting like it. You have a direct connection with the almighty, all-powerful, all-knowing God. Do not be afraid of this World! What can this world do to you that God cannot stop? What battle can you fight that God will lose? Read John 16:33, 2 Peter 2:20, 1 John 4:4, and the entire chapter of 1 John 5 (you can look these up online if you need to).

    John 16:33 - "(Jesus us speaking) I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

    Your hardships is NOT God telling you that it's time to turn back. It's God telling you that the best is yet to come.
  3. Life can feel tough at times.
    Also, it's a fact that there are many unkind people out there.
    I am curious why you went to Ca.
    Also if you have family.
    This is my personal opinion but we are allowed to make choices on our own and ask God to lead us in our choices.
    My point is, if this were me, I would find a small friendly town I am comfortable in.
    Unless God blocked the path for me, I would proceed.
    Go where you fit, don't try to fit where you go.
    Be proud of who you are.

    Be proud whether your skin is snow white, coal black or anything in between.
    You would not want some one to like/ love, accept you under false pretenses (tanning to fit in).

    God made each of us exactly how he wanted us.
    We are his creation.

    Be yourself and never have or desire a friend who doesn't love you for who you are.

    You will never be truly happy until you are fully comfortable in your own skin and proud and secure in your uniqueness.

    I say go where you can comfortably be 'you' because no matter where you go there are people who need God who you can witness to.

    ~My Opinion~

    And many Blessings to you~

  4. The color of the can doesn't matter as long as the coke a cola is good- if people don't accept you because of what you look like they are either not of Jesus at all or in real bondage, either way they are in desperate need of your prayers. God sometimes call us to hard places for a season - maybe there is someone ther He wants you to love and reach for Him-
    but as the_apostle_john has previously said find out if thats were the Lord wants you- if so stand firm and love in Jesus Name- if not find out were God wants you and go there and love in Jesus Name
  5. Hi again neighbor,
    I totatally agree with what everyone here has told you. All of it... I myself am fighting the unemployment thing and know exactly what you mean about growing up white in a predominate hispanic neighborhood. I have been on the huskey side all my life, (fat! O.K.? there i said it!) and graduated from a high school that was about 70-75% hispanic. Hard-core gang-bangin hispanics!

    Look, I don't know how old you are, I'm 47. I'm a neighbor. If ya wanna talk, PM me. I'll help however I can. I'm prayin for ya Bro! God Bless Ya!!!
  6. Thanks everyone! Your words are very encouraging. I've been reading through this forum and I'm so encouraged to find a place full of mature Christians that share my beliefs. I don't consider myself a "mature Christian" nor a baby, but rather more like an "adolescent Christian".

    The_apostle_John -
    Am I wrong to buy sunless tan lotions in an attempt to minimize angry stares? I've been an outcast my whole life, but moreso now than ever. I'll never change what I believe because of others, but I'm making a tremendous effort to change how I look (which does have health benefits).

    Having people on this forum to talk to will be a wonderful and valuable experience :)

    I don't tithe traditionally in the way of 10% at church. I do tithe in a sense that I feel God approves of, though, and my giving is not contingent upon whether or not I can afford it ;)

    That really struck a chord in me. I guess the only thing I'm able to do at the moment is endure. At least I think that's what I'm supposed to do. I guess I'll just endure my uncertainty for the time being and see where I end up.

    By the way - I think body, soul, and spirit are the 3 parts of a person. When I say my soul screams for escape, I mean my earthly thought process wants me to go get booze, but my will - my spirit - helps me resist, overcoming my soul. The body, I believe, is the hormones, urges, and all that physical stuff. The soul, I believe, is all the head stuff, thought, emotion, and the primary plane on which our consciousness operates. The spirit, I believe, is the willpower, the part of us that battles what we know in our minds is not of God, our conscience, the eternal part ;) Our earthly thoughts and emotions are so heavily influenced by hormones, chemicals, and even the food we eat, I don't think our current perception is simply going to be transferred to heaven. I think we will be completely different in heaven.

    But that's a tangent for another time, sorry.

    I prayed that prayer, and recently began actively seeking a church. I was hoping to find a Christian friend at church. I don't know where LA Christians hang out... And I've had no luck finding Christians online in a year and a half of trying. The one "Christian" I found online was so far off, theologically, I gave up on him fearing him more harm than good.

    I can't fast 100%, as my body functions very poorly without nourishment. I do, however, eat a healthy, balanced, low calorie diet, and exercise daily. I've been praying more and more. I know God hears me, but it's very difficult for me to remain persistent in my prayers. It's like I know what I need to do, and I only get angry with myself for failing to do these things.

    I'm here as a result of my continuing effort to learn, grow, and not give up! I want nothing more than to do what God wants me to, but I need help! The wonderful people of this forum seem willing, and I am very appreciative :D

    Violet -
    I was miserable in Michigan, I'd rather have died than continue living there. When an oppurtunity arose for me to move to CA, I took it without hesitation, simply to get away from MI. It seems whenever God wants me somewhere, he makes it VERY clear and rather easy, even, to go there.

    I can't afford to go where I fit, and no doors have been opened for me to even try.

    I can't be proud of being white. I can be proud despite being short, because no one will think I'm anti-tall because of this. The instant I give anyone the impression I'm proud of being white, however, I'm likely to get jumped. Many people around here just hate white people.

    IOACW - you have a PM :)

    Thanks again, everyone. So I guess I'm just going to stick it out, for now, and keep on enduring until God opens a door for me.
  7. No worries

    I have grown up in LA, my wife has not. Since we have moved back here last September she has experienced many of the same feelings as you regarding LA and it's mindset. The thing that has helped her the most is being connected to a community of faith. It breaks my heart to hear that people (even at churches) are treating you the way they are. I am a campus pastor for a new church in Downey CA and I would love to have you come worship with us.

    We are a church that is diverse ethnically and financially. We believe in honoring sacred traditions and at the same time we do church a little different. It is a place that I know you would feel welcomed at, and would be easy for you to get plugged into.

    Let me know if there is anything I can do for you. You are not alone...remember that.

    In Awe of His Grace
    Christopher Lytle

    Downey Campus Pastor
    Revolution Church

  8. What time does your Sunday service start? I'd like to come by this weekend :)
  9. Hey No Doubt, it starts at 11am!
  10. I just noticed the link :eek:

    Umm... I'm 22... It's at a high school... :eek:
  11. I don't personally have anything against sun tan lotion for situations like to help your confidence, but I don't think that it's advisable in your situation. As I and others have said, people shouldn't like or dislike you because of the way you look. If you change your appearance for this reason, I don't think it's the best of ideas.

    If you wanted to change the way you look by doing healthy things, I don't personally see anything wrong with that.

    It seems like you're on the right track. Just make sure you don't let the Enemy depress you for doing God's will. Remember, the war's already been won. Don't ever let the Enemy deceive you to think otherwise. God has already granted you victory. Don't let the enemy blind you into seeing otherwise.

    I've written an article called "An Eternal Perspective" and it may be of some help to you (you can read it here).
    Yeah, try every church you can. Having a church is like having a family.

    Also BTW, when some church's are younger, they might meet in public schools after hours. But don't be put off by that. A church with 5 members (or however many) is better than no church at all.

    Look for your prayers to be answered. A popular verse is Romans 8:28, it says "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." If you have been called to L.A., you can take that this verse is speaking directly to you. Don't worry, the Bible is always right ;)

  12. What about my situation do you think makes the tanning lotion inappropriate? (just curious)

    That was an excellent article! I know I tend to get caught up in the "here and now" way more often than I should. I guess I will be hitting up a small church in a high school this weekend :)
  13. did God send you there.?
  14. Send me where? To CA? The way I see it, yes. I have no idea how discern whether or not I'm done here, but... To my dismay, I'm beginning to believe I'm far from finished here.
  15. I just don't like the idea of changing your appearance to make others think of you better, when they wouldn't think of you better if you hadn't of changed it.

    As a general rule, if you want to do stuff with your appearance like tanning or wearing popular brand-named clothes, it's ok to do it if you're doing it for yourself. If you're doing it to fit in or to change others' opinions about you (which seems like your situation) then it's probably not that good of an idea.

    If you really want to do the whole tanning scene, wait until you have people who accept you for who you are and don't care about your looks, and then do it for yourself (and not for them).

    I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was one of my favorite articles to write and it stills helps me all the time :)

    Let us know how the new church is.
  16. sometime God moves you out of your comfort zone to move you closer to him..take full advantage of that...pull closer to God..if God is on your side who can be against you?? NO ONE!

    Stay in the word of God and he will strengthen your soul!

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