How Learning About Past Lives Changed My Outlook On Death

How Learning About Past Lives Changed My Outlook On Death

I no longer fear the unknown.

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Death is something most people fear. I was among those who questioned what would happen when I died. Would I just cease to exist or would I pass on to some kind of afterlife? I always went back and forth with variations of these two, never really knowing what I believed. It wasn't until I came across past lives that I began to understand what happened after death.

Past lives or reincarnation is something most people have heard of but don't know exactly how it works. To summarize past lives/reincarnation as I understand it is that when we die our soul lives on but our ego does not. Our egos are our sense of identity that we have in this life. However, our true identity is that of our soul which never dies. Our souls go through various different lives, with the karma and untreated trauma each life brings carrying over into the next.

The book Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss introduced to me a deeper of past lives that he encountered as a therapist through past life regressions. His book focuses on the case of one woman he treats who recalls 86 different past lives. Another book that explains how events in past lives connect to our current lives is Other Lives Other Selves by Roger Woolger.

The author of these two books were skeptics of life after death and reincarnation. They were only convinced after years of their practice. Plus, there are countless documented instances of children remembering past lives such as the story of a three-year-old boy who remembered a past life where he is murdered and is able to locate the body and identify the killer.

Through learning about past lives my outlook on death has changed. I now have a firmly held belief in what I think happens after someone dies. There have been multiple studies conducted regarding past life memories, which support my belief of reincarnation. However, I still acknowledge that this is just a belief. I think it's arrogant for any human to claim they without a doubt "know" what happens when someone dies. Nonetheless, learning about past lives has completely changed my outlook on death from fear of the unknown to another step in the evolutionary process.

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The Husband I'm Praying For

My future husband should be a mirror of the Lord.
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Growing up, we have all probably wondered about the man we will marry — what he looks like, what his voice sounds like, what color his eyes are, etc. We have all watched Disney's fairy tale movies like "Cinderella," "The Little Mermaid" and "Sleeping Beauty." The love stories that Disney creates can be merely fiction. Knowing this leads many people to believe that kind of love does not exist. As a kid, I always wanted to be Ariel and find my Prince Eric. The older I got, I realized that that kind of man does not exist without God. The Disney love story only exists through God. God writes a love story that we can not imagine. That is why we should be confident in His will for our lives. We should be confident in the love story God is writing for us.

I woke up this morning thinking about relationships and how hard it is to be in one at the age of 20. I'm not looking for a husband or a significant other right now, but I am praying for that special someone that God has planned for my life. Whether God places this special man in my life next week or in 20 years, I am going to be praying for him. I pray for the man that seeks God and His guidance. I just can't imagine being with someone who doesn't love God as much as I do. Honestly, I've decided that from this point on, I am going to let God guide my footsteps. I refuse to worry about all that is wrong with me when I should just be praying for the man God has in store for me.

Girls my age have been blinded to what a good boyfriend is and what a potential husband really looks like. I pray for the man who prays before each meal and thanks God for his simple blessings. I don't want to end up settling for less-I know what I deserve and I know that God has a plan. The husband I pray for is the man I want my daughters looking up to and being proud to have as a father. I want my children to know that their father loves Jesus and is not ashamed of it. A man who is ashamed of Jesus or only loves Jesus on Sundays is not husband material. I want my husband to be the man people associate Jesus with.

I pray that my husband is humble. I pray that my husband makes strangers feel his loving presence and know that Jesus is present in his life. I pray that my husband wants the same things I do, like 15 children — just kidding. But, I do pray that he has a sense of humor and that he understands my need for laughter and sunshine in my life. I pray that my husband seeks Jesus during hard times and understands when the answer to his prayers are no. I hope my husband understands that no matter what, God has a plan and an answer, even if it isn't what he wants. I want my husband to be understanding of my needs and what I want out of life. I want my husband to encourage me and my decisions. I want my husband to be the man that my children know is praying for them. I want my husband to be the man who cries the first time he sees me in my wedding dress walking down the aisle. I want my husband to be the man our kids can run to at 3:00 a.m because they had a bad dream and need him to hold them. I want my husband to have a loving and sincere heart. I pray that the man I am going to marry is praying for me, just like I'm praying for him.

Cover Image Credit: Alec Vanderboom

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You Can't Be Involved In Christian Community Without Feeling Conviction

Christian community is supposed to lift us up but it is also supposed to challenge us to be better.

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Conviction is the result of a lack of confidence or certitude in something that is a part of our lives. Conviction will make you feel guilty because it becomes evident to you that something isn't right in your life. So why would I want to feel convicted when I'm coming into a Christian community? Aren't Christians supposed to love unconditionally? Yes, they are, but if you allow God to search your heart, it is impossible to be in his presence and not feel conviction.

Matthew 18:20 says that, "Where two or more are gathered in His name, He is there with them." That means that when you are in a Christian community the presence of the Lord is evident.

So I have to answer this question, why would I want to feel convicted around a group of people that are supposed to be lifting me up. It's because with conviction comes growth. Ultimately I want to become more like God every day, and to do that I have to change the things in my life that are not in line with His commandments. At first, the feeling of conviction is difficult, you feel so guilty for what you've done, and you can't figure out how to ever make it right.

The good news is that once we feel convicted the next step is repentance. Acts 3:19 says, "Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away." When we repent, we acknowledge our wrongdoings before God, and He will take our guilt away. It will feel as though a weight has been lifted off of you and you will feel an overwhelming sense of peace.

It's very easy to isolate yourself so that you don't feel guilty. But we can't hide from God because He relentlessly pursues us every single day. He will leave the ninety-nine and go after the one who is lost. Sometimes we feel conviction when we allow God to search our hearts. But I also have amazing Christian friends who will tell me when they see something isn't right in my life. That's what's so great about Christian community. You have friends who will lift you up and support you, but they are also willing to challenge you.

Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." A Christian community is supposed to lift us up, but it is also supposed to challenge us to be better. That's why the Christian community comes with conviction. Conviction ultimately makes us more like Christ, and this is the goal of the Christian life.

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