Sunday, June 24, 2018

Falling back in Love with yourself

     Lately I haven't been focused on myself. Lately I've been so consumed with others and what they think of me that it has taken away from the love I once had for myself. This isn't anyones fault at all but I realized that I had become too dependent on others for my happiness that in doing so I forgot what it was like to truly love myself again.

     I needed a fresh start but never knew how to fall back in love with myself. I wasn't brave enough to realize that I needed to be alone right now. I hadn't lost myself I just knew that something wasn't right inside of me and I would reminisce back on the days where I was shining out to others because of the joy I brought myself, and not just the joy that others brought me. That's where I've been going wrong. I have been basing all of my happiness on other people and how happy they are with me that I forgot how happy I could be with myself on my own.

     Im not saying its easy to re fall in love with yourself either. I still haven't figured out just how to get to that place again. What I do know is that if I put God at the center of everything I do from here on out that I will soon feel that genuine joy within myself again. Falling in love with myself first requires me falling back in love with God. Also, baths, poetry books, photoshoots, and cooking really helps too. I realized that I had been finding my joy in earthly people instead of my heavenly father. I'm going to make mistakes, tons of mistakes, along the way of loving myself again but I'm so glad that a bad ending could lead to a new beginning. Isn't that how God sometimes reveals things to us? He knows our hearts and He knows how much we can handle and if we can't do it ourselves He will shut things down in our lives to clear the path for an even better situation or opportunity. As hard as endings are, they are sometimes the only way to see ourselves in a new light.

     God loves us through every stage and age of our lives. When were broken, he heals. When were anxious, he is calming. When we've given up on everything HE is the one who is consistent and never gives up on us, no matter how far we stray. That is what keeps me going. That we have a God who will never let us feel lonely. We have a God who is easy to fall in love with, and who knows just how to help us fall back in love with ourselves.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Bringing the Joy back

I'm about to get really real here.

    Have you ever been so caught up in a friendship or relationship that you know isn't right for you but you can't get yourself to give up on trying to change them. Maybe they were a negative being in your life or a non believer that you thought could come around to believing just like you. Maybe, you thought that you could have this greater impact on them and lead them to Christ. But, for some it just doesn't work like that. For some they need their own time to find Christ. They need to hit that rock bottom moment so that they can realize that there is no other way to becoming fulfilled in life than following Jesus. I'm not saying don't try and lead. That is, in fact, what we are called to do with our lives. What I am trying to say is don't get too caught up in a relationship that is unhealthy for you that you start to lose sight of your own relationship with God. Because I know I did. My joy was dependent on my relationship and that's why I broke.

    I struggled. Everyone struggles with this at some point. Falling for someone that you know isn't exactly the right person for you but deep down hoping that something would change and everything would be okay. Thinking that this relationship is more important than your relationship with God. Wishing that this person would believe the same as you and want to walk with Christ along with you. But there ends up being too much of a gap to fill on your own. This gap can only be filled by Jesus and when he decides it is time. Don't blame yourself. Also, don't blame the other person. Maybe they weren't raised like you. Maybe, they've had a rougher time figuring out who they want to be. It could be one of the greatest people who has ever entered your life, but you know you just have to let them go. You just can't force someone to change.

    I thought that I could. I thought that being in love was enough to change someone. I thought that since he loved me he would change for me. I wanted it to work so bad that I was willing to stop getting as involved in the church as I was before. I was broken, but was also blind to my own brokenness. But thinking back at that, I wasn't leading the life that God wanted me to lead to show others Christ in the first place. I was being held captive in my faith because I didn't want to seem "too religious" and have him leave. I didn't want to be "too pushy" and push him away. So I secluded my faith and hid behind my fears because I didn't want to get my heart broken.

    But why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we set aside God when he knows how these relationships are going to turn out anyways? We should follow the plan He has in store for us. But sometimes,  we like to think the we are the ones in control. It turns out that no matter how much you try to hide from God, he will always make a change in your life so that you can't hide from Him any longer.

    I pray for people who haven't found God yet every single night, him especially. I don't regret anything about that relationship but I hope that others like him can see a light of Christ in me. I have hope that Jesus will make His way into the hearts of others and change their lives like mine was. In Romans 10:14 it says, "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?". But as I kept reading God's response was so beautiful. In Romans 10:15 it says, "As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!". While reading this to myself I became overwhelmed with a feeling of joy and of just how simple God puts it; how we are the ones who are carriers of this good news.

    This last year was filled with so much joy but also heartbreak. I want to speak to every girl out there when I say that no matter how you're feeling about yourself today, God thinks the world of you and His heart breaks for you too. You're not in this alone. We have a God that knows what you are going through. He has experienced everything you're experiencing now. But, the only way to feel joy again is to stop looking to other people or relationships to make you happy again. That void we feel right now is where God is opening a gap for himself into your heart. Maybe someday, later on in life, after we have grown as people and children of God things could change. Maybe this chapter was just meant to be focused on ourselves and in God. But only He knows the greater plan and all we can do is be patient and believe in his promise that He has a special purpose for our lives.

    At Raider Church tonight the pastor said something that stuck with me. He said that God will turn your mess into a message. I believe that to be so true for whatever mess we are experiencing in our lives. We are in that mess for a reason and God knows exactly what he is doing and where he is taking you out of it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Beauty


     I'm so in love with life and truly living. Finding beauty in what you see is something that shouldn't have to be learned now a days, but it is. We wait for others to call something beautiful before we form our own opinions on its beauty. But when do we stop to tell ourselves how beautiful we really are? And when do we remind ourselves how beautiful God thinks we are?

     We need to start realizing that our beauty doesn't lie in any earthy thing. Our beauty isn't defined by how we look or what we've accomplished. Our beauty is known. It is known and celebrated by the one who gave it to us in the beginning. The one who made you as beautiful as you've become. No matter what you look like or what you think defines you as beautiful, we have a God who looks past the looks, and believes our beauty lies with Him. He said we are His beloved, and his greatest accomplishment.

     When you think of the thing that is most beautiful to you what do you think of? The stars maybe, a sunset, or even the mountains. It's crazy to comprehend the fact that God looks at those things and knows that His greatest masterpiece was you. That you are more beautiful than every earthly thing you can see put together by Him. I think He did this on purpose. God created all of these insanely beautiful places and things to look at so that we could look back at ourselves and remind ourselves that He sees us above all that. That he sees you more beautiful than the stars. More beautiful than the sunsets. More beautiful than anything else in creation.

     I think we often like to compare ourselves to what others see as beautiful and let that idea tear us down as women. We look at how the media portrays beauty right now and if we can't exactly measure up to someone else's expectation of beauty then we aren't worthy enough to feel beautiful. But I'm here to say that aside from what the media may say about being beautiful, we have the creator of mankind telling us that there is no one else more beautiful than you. 1 Peter 3:3-4 says "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." I love this verse so much because it's so true to our lives as women. We try to change things about our outer self to become more beautiful when in reality, it's your inner beauty that truly makes you beautiful. Nothing we can change on the outside will renew us like the change of our hearts will, and that's what makes us completely beautiful anyways.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Lost & Found


     This summer I became the girl I have waited to become.

     I wasn't bound by insecurities or fear. I wasn't controlled by the negative thoughts in my head. I rediscovered who I was in Christ, and I felt beautiful and worthy all over again. I figured out how to love myself like God loves me. But also, how to sustain that love. A perfect and everlasting love.

     I saw how lonely life can be without God, especially in college. Not making Him a priority made me start to doubt myself and doubt how God feels about me. But, once I got back home and started making God my first priority above all things, my confidence built back up again. Not in me, but in Him. I had felt like God was far because I hadn't "seen" any of his blessings in a while. I was too blind to see that even though I felt far, God was patiently waiting by my side and preparing me for when I would come back to Him.

     It was then that I could actually see what God was preparing me for. When I became a camp counselor I felt like I wasn't prepared for it at all. I felt as if I wasn't "spiritually qualified" enough to go and lead 12 middle schoolers deeper into their relationships with Christ when I was still struggling with mine. But it was that experience that opened my eyes up to how I wasn't only leading that week; I was being lead. It was that week that made me realize that I AM WORTHY and ABLE and have a drive to be the light in others lives around me. I learned that I am a huge influence on others and that I CAN SUSTAIN the ability to lead outside of camp. It was at camp that week that I had a realization of what I want to do for the rest of my life. To go out and make disciples. To show the world the light that I have seen so clearly and be overjoyed when I see that light go off in their eyes when they accept Christ as well. To witness and mentor others in their walk with Christ. I learned that God really does speak through people, and the voice of God is beautiful.

   So now as I finish up my last few weeks home I feel more prepared than ever to go back. I know that even in my doubts there is a God who thinks I am perfect. I know that prioritizing God will bring me more joy in my life than anything earthly will. But overall, I found the girl in me who was waiting for me to find her again.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Lighthouse


     There's a girl somewhere who feels just as I do. She is ending her first year of college and wondering where the time went and looking back on the memories of her freshman year. But this girl is also coming to a realization about herself. She becomes fully aware of the change that has occurred in her. She sees that there is a gap in her life; one that she is finally letting herself become aware of. She understands that she has been pushing God to the back of her priorities and is overwhelmed by the fact of that. But, today she chooses to modify herself and give into those emotions she has been pushing back for so long. Today she's letting God back in fully.

     A year away can change who you are as a person. The pressure to conform to society in a new place can be immense at times. I think this happens to a lot of people when a change occurs in their life. We tend to, not forget about God, but lose the strength in our relationship with Him. We disregard his guiding and determine situations based on ourselves rather than what He has planned for us. We start to fizzle away into what other people expect of us. But, realizing that you have been doing these things will only direct you back to Him. Realizing this doesn't make you a bad person either. I believe that everyone has phases in their relationship with God where they feel farther than they should at times and that is okay.

     It's also okay to be lost. I say this because I thought about this very concept when I was in Mexico this past spring break looking out into the ocean. There was a lighthouse on top of a huge hill that glowed out to the sea every single night. It had me thinking; this is exactly what God is doing to us every day. He shines His light out when we are lost and in the dark trying to draw us back into Him. He does this and will never stop reaching out for us. His light shines through the worst of your troubles to remind you that even when you feel astray; He will never stop looking out for you. He will never stop drawing you into Him. He will never stop loving you. Our God is an everlasting God in every single way.

     I think we all need to hear this sometimes. When we feel so far away from God that we don't even think he hears us anymore. When we become someone who we aren't. When it feels like you're a million miles from the Lord and there's just no way of getting back into his arms. Remember there is a way. Our God is a God of grace, and mercy, and forgiveness above all that. He doesn't want you to stray but, when those times do stumble upon your life, He fights for you to come back. GOD FIGHTS FOR YOU ALWAYS. He isn't going anywhere anytime soon. These past few days I have felt his presence in my life indirectly but I had a moment where it really struck me that all of these circumstances and feelings I had been having were God guiding me back home.

     So to the girl sitting in her dorm room for the last time wondering if there is any way to gain her relationship back with God; all you have to do is follow His light now.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Prepare

     I love eating pretzels with cream cheese. I could eat it every single day. I also love the way the stars look at night. I've loved the stars since I was a little girl and my dad would sit and read my brother and I a book over and over about the planets and the solar system. I have a deep passion for traveling and even if I don't have the time or money to travel I love to dream and ramble about the places I want to visit. I love the way flowers look in a room. I love the faces on people when they walk into the church Sunday morning. I love meeting new people and forming new relationships. I love reaching people and spreading the word of God. I love diet coke with vanilla at any time of day or night.

     But, what I really want is someone who wants to know these things about me.

     Iv'e been caught up in life lately. I think we all are right about now. We aren't looking out for ourselves and what makes us better as people. We relinquish ourselves to society and give in to what they tell us is good for us. But I am here to tell you that no one else can tell you what is good enough for you; only God can. The good news is that He has guidelines already laid out for what we deserve. He has written truths about how we should be treated and how we should look for healthy, relational, and honest people. All we have to do is give our time to Him and He will show us how to successfully find that person were looking for. But, it all starts with finding yourself. You won't find anyone who meets the standards of God without loving yourself fully and unconditionally. Loving yourself like God loves you is the first step to building any healthy relationship.

     Then He will bring someone into your life. Someone you could never even come up with on your own. Someone who asks all of the simple questions about you. Someone who cares about who you are as a person and wants to dig deeper into your mind and soul. Someone who builds with you in all aspects of life. He has someone so great waiting for you; all you have to do now is prepare yourself for them. Prepare your mind and heart. If you are not prepared spiritually then you won't see how good this person can be. You will be blinded by what society says once again. So prepare yourself; not for the other persons' sake, but for your own. Do this for you. Do this because you want to better yourself and know what potential you have inside of you. Do this because you want to be the best possible partner you can be when the time comes. Do this so you can be a rock for someone else.

     Proverbs 24:27 "Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house."


Friday, January 13, 2017

This Time Is Limited, But You Are Limitless


     I've been in thought recently about how growing up has changed me both physically and mentally. I have come up with so many reasons to put myself down over things that simply aren't meaningful in reality. I think that a lot of girls my age tend to do that as well. We push ourselves to be this perfect image of put togetherness that we end up struggling more than striving. But where are we looking for this sense of appreciation? Who are we seeking out to get approval that we are good enough to keep on going?
   
     Getting older means so many changes that you don't expect and honestly wish weren't happening. The reality of it is, unless you are blessed with that insanely unreasonable high metabolism that every girl envies over, you're going to let your body go. But this is what you need to remember; it is SO NORMAL as you age to see changes in your body and yourself that you never would have known were even possible to occur before. That is also a clear example of someone who is living and discovering things about themselves that they never would have known were buried beneath their outer surface. You just have to be patient with yourself and with your body and give yourself some grace to understand that you are 19, 20, 21 and you're not going to be the same person you were when you were living at home and you're not gonna look the same as you did three years ago when life was easy and handed to you and predictable.

     "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2

     It is also important to start to understand that things are beginning to get real and changes will arise from that. The main point is that you have to be proud of who you've become or you will never be fully satisfied with yourself. Embrace it. Realize that it's not going to come easy but you know yourself and that it is ultimately going to be incredible and worth it. You need to remember that you're not stuck being 19 and 20 forever. You're not stuck being that girl who doesn't know what she's doing. You're not stuck in the situations that you think there is no solution out of. You WILL grow, and figure out who you want to be.You WILL figure out what you want to be like and actual goals you are willing to put the effort in for and strive to accomplish. These are facts that I didn't come up with but He speaks them to be true.

     Remember this; whether you believe in yourself or not, you have someone who believes in you and understands you even when you don't understand yourself at times. You have someone who watches over you when you feel like no one is watching. You have someone who wants the best for you even when you feel like the whole world is against you.

     "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" Hebrews 13:8

     You have someone who is always with you, always rooting for you, and loving you unconditionally. Someone that, no matter what, never changes His mind about you. That, I believe, is the beauty of a relationship with God.