4.29.2016

waiting

So, it's been awhile.
And when I say awhile I mean almost two months....that's too long.

Life has been very interesting these last two months.
My mission trip to LA happened earlier this month and it was life changing. I will have a post up soon about that.

But tonight there is something weighing so heavy on my heart.
Waiting.
Sitting.
Being still.

I woke up with a feeling of peace. I got up looked in the mirror and threw my hair up in a pony. Sleepily walked to the kitchen and went through all the motions of getting my cup of coffee. "Today will be a good day" I thought to myself. Came back to my bed and opened my Bible. Fast forward a few hours and I am battling thoughts. Fighting my mind from going there. You're amounting to nothing. You weren't good enough for him. God has definitely let you down. You're going nowhere in this life...everyone would be better off if you weren't here. I don't know why He saved you from the 18 wheeler. 

Lie after lie after lie.


Still, everywhere I look, doors are still closing. 
I had my heart set on a job. A job that seemed so perfect for me. Interview went wonderful, it just made sense. And then, last Friday night I am sitting at a ball game and the email came through letting me know the position was filled. Instantly I started sobbing. And I mean sobbing. Thank goodness the lights were shutting off for fireworks because I was a tearful mess. As I sat there and heard the boom of each firework, I felt the pieces of my heart falling apart. The ache. The sadness. The sadness was just so sad. I was so sad. So so sad. I remember sending a text that said "why is everything good being taken away from me?"  I remember hitting send and then feeling the tears fall from my cheeks onto my legs. I just sobbed. First, God shuts the door on a relationship that I wanted so badly to work. So badly. And it wasn't shut in a nice way. It was a slam with silence. And then it was just rejection from every job. But this job was different. It was almost perfect for my first "official move off to a different state and start my own life job". I just kept texting. Asking why God was doing this. Why was this happening. 

He's closing on the good, to bring in the great.

And then the words from a sweet sweet new friend I met in Los Angeles hit me. 
"God is healing the deepest hurts and the deepest pains of your heart. Even the parts you are too ashamed to tell anyone about. He is healing them. And He is SO excited about what He has planned for you."

I let the memories of those words soak into my mind and my heart. 
I came home and cried myself to sleep that night.

But what is it? What is the reasoning behind the fact that I am so against letting this person go? What was it about that job that made the news so devastating? 
Here I am, standing in front of both just waving my hands, jumping up and down saying 
"pick me! Pick me! Choose me! Here I am! Choose me!" 

And God is just there, saying "no my daughter. That's not what I have for you."


And that person just looks at me and doesn't want me.
 And that job saw me, but doesn't want me.

But don't play with my heart..if you don't want me, then let me go.

And there I am again, crying to my best friends because I am hurting. And here they are again, speaking God's promises into my life. And reminding me of my worth and deserving better.


And here I am. A week later. Just waiting.
Waiting for time to reveal things. Waiting for the moment I say "I see God. I see why that didn't happen."

I know God is working. And I know those doors closed for a reason. I am so thankful. I am. But it still hurts, and I still cry. But I also know that God has a different plan for me than what I had planned. I know that in this season of waiting, I am being refined and prepared. I am being taught. I am being disciplined. I am learning to trust again. I am seeing God working all around me. But it still doesn't make sense. 
And I am done trying to make sense of it all. I am exhausted from trying so hard.

In this waiting, I want to use this season to get to know God more intimately. Deeper than I have ever known Him. I want every aspect of my life to begin and end with Him. And every area in between that to be filled with him. While I am waiting I will praise Him in the valleys and I will praise Him on the mountains. 

I just never imagined that I would be in this position. That He would walk me through the fire. That I would face such hurt and heartbreak in my 26 years of life. But I am. I have. I will. And each step of the way, He is there. Right there with me. And on the days that it hurts to even breathe, He is breathing His breath into me. He is giving me strength to take the next step. Step by step, day by day. I am so grateful. 4 years ago I made a decision and walked away from a life that I didn't want. On that day I told God that my life is yours, my journey is yours- let's do this. I wholeheartedly yielded. Little did I know. 

This post is really me preaching to myself. Reminding myself of things. But it's also for you. If you are in a season of waiting, a season of unknowns, a season of life that is just really really hard and discouraging, I want to encourage you. Stick it out. Use this season to grow deeper in love with God. Use it to discover things about yourself. It's okay to hurt and it's okay to cry. And when you're confused and the enemy keeps filling your mind with his lies, just push into God. Remind yourself of His promises. 

So let the doors close and don't bang on them. 
Rejection is God's protection.
Open your heart and let God do His work.

If we could see through Jesus' eyes, we would want exactly what he wants for ourselves. 



3.09.2016

something new

In the last month I have sat on my bed and started writing a new post.Minutes later that post was drafted and never posted. I am hoping today is a little different. Life has been different lately. 

Let me start by saying that I am once again in complete awe of God and how faithful He is. 

Never in my life have I seen faithfulness like His. 

When we let go of things and people that aren't meant for us, that opens the door for God to usher in what IS meant for us and WHO is meant for us. 

It hurts. I know, it really does hurt. But, like I have always said before, there is purpose in the pain. There is meaning in the confusion. There is understanding in the chaos. 

For weeks and weeks I held on. I held on to any little thing I could to make it seem like it was still real. Like it wasn't gone. 

Confusion, hurt, tears. That was daily for me. I just couldn't understand how something that was a daily thing in your life, could just be gone. Like that. No reason given, no words spoken, nothing. Nothing at all. Just silence. Deafening silence. Silence that cut so deep and hurt more than the truth. Silence that gave me my answer. Silence that helped me understand that I had to let go, because I deserve so much more and so much better than silence. 

I remember so vividly standing there in that auditorium. K was to my left and I just remember singing those words over and over again. 

Your Name is higher
Your Name is greater
All my hope is in You

Your word unfailing
Your promise unshaken
All my hope is in You


I just remember hearing words spoken saying "Whatever it is you need to let go of, let's just let it go tonight. Whatever healing you need in your heart, let God do that. Let Him put your broken pieces together."

And in that moment, I let go. I knew right then I was going to be okay. More thank okay actually. I had no idea where God was going to take me or what God was going to do in my life. 
But I knew it was going to be everything my heart could ever desire. 

The very next day a door was opened and I was shocked. A week later another door was opened and I was once again blown away. For months and months I had been so unsure about where to go with my degree and my career. And then it was just thrown in my lap.

It's like I was standing still and the world was spinning and I was just watching things fall around me...into place.  

New friendships have been made 
New doors have been opened.
And I am so confident with where I am at. 

I know I say this often, but I just want to encourage someone who needs it. When it feels like everything is falling apart and people are walking away from you with silence---- it's not falling apart. God is just rearranging the puzzle pieces. Getting you in place for where He needs you to be in order to elevate you and take you higher up your path. 

Trust me, I still have moments where I am just so overcome with hurt which turns to anger. I just don't understand how someone who knows my heart could act out such hurtful actions towards me, all while knowing how much it hurts my heart. But, I can hold my head high. Because I know I gave so much to someone. I cared and loved. I tried my best.  It would be so easy to feel hatred towards them- but I can't. Instead my heart aches for that person. It prays for that person daily. It still cares alot.

I am thankful for everything that I learned. The laughs, the tears, the memories made. I know my laughter and my voice will echo in the mind of that person. And that the love that my heart gave will never be forgotten. Who knows what the future holds. Only God knows the answer to that. 

If you're feeling this way or even similar to this.. just hold on. Have HOPE. Don't give up just yet. God is about to move and rearrange and set you higher on your journey. Just let go. Let go of what is not meant for you at this time.

A verse that I have clung to this past month is: 
Isaiah 43:18-19: " But forget all of that- it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See! I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."

See you guys. God is so faithful. He will take care of you. He will heal all of your hurts. He will breathe new life into you. Let Him. 


2.14.2016

this love

Majority of the day I've gone back and forth about writing this post. And I'm not sure why. 

--
I knew church was going to be amazing this morning. My spirit was just telling me to prepare myself. We weren't even done with worship and I was already in tears. I heard these words spoken over the music, "No matter what, God loves you. When you are at your absolute worst that is when He loves you the most. People walk away, doors close, you lose a job, everything seems like it's falling apart, but God is standing there with His arms wide open just waiting to wrap them around you..." I knew this service was about to be something else. 

And I was right. 
Pretty positive I cried the entire time. 

And, of course, the topic was love and relationships. But not just your normal topic on it...it was different. 

Automatically words were just sticking out and causing the tears to fall harder. 

Clearly, we can't give what we haven't received. Without receiving God's love we can't love others correctly. In order to love others correctly, and to be a light in this love broken world, we have to go back to the origin of love...and that's God. 

You see, we get access to an unfailing and uncommon love in this crazy broken world. We need that in order to love others in this broken world. A world that looks at relationships as a joke. Instead of relationships we are having "situationships"...it is so dang sad. 

We go from being friends to being something more for many many months but never actually committing to that other person. We have people who care and work for a relationship while the other person is still swiping away and seeing the other as an option. People who just keep a person around because it's convenient. Building more and more walls around their heart as each day passes. Becoming more and more cold and turned away from genuine people. It's a sad story. And as long as that sad story continues on, situationships are going to stick around. 

But yet we go around retweeting 1 Corinthians 13 and quotes about what we deserve and what kind of love to stay away from..and its BOGUS. It's so bogus and stupid. Because if we're actually believing the 1 Corinthians 13 tweet that we are retweeting....we would be acting a whole lot different than how we are acting. 

Let me break this down:

"Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

Agape love never fails. Unconditional, unfailing, never ending, always there no matter what, kinda love never fails. This "love" we portray today isn't even close to that. 

People walking away without saying a word, people going behind their "significant" other's back and cheating on them with someone else, people continually returning to toxic ex's because they are brainwashed that they can't do any better than that, people who feel so unworthy of having someone who actually cares about them...so many different scenarios. IT IS SO SAD. I am over this worldly love and the actions that come with it.

Pastor Dino said something today that hit me really hard. He said " It's later than we think it is," You guys, we don't have much time with the ones we care about left. We are left wishing for one more day, one more hug, one more chance to tell them how much we care about them. It's heartbreaking really. Life can change in the blink of an eye. Make sure they know how your heart feels about them.

If we don't express the love, someone else will express it to those that are important to us. 
Is that really what we want? 

Take a moment. 
Think about the people in your life. Think about the person who has been there for you day in and day out. The person and people who have put up with your moods, the people who rejoice with you when you're happy, and they are sad when you are sad. Think about them. Think about their smile and how their face looks when they are talking about something that really makes them happy. Think about their laugh. Look and see how they treat others. Think about their heart. Think about the last time you hugged them. Think about the last time you were in this person's presence...

now, do you really want someone else to express care and love to them because you didn't? Does this person truly know that you care? And I am speaking for myself here too, you guys. There's people in my life that I don't express how much I truly do care and love them. We all fall short. 

We all really do fall short. And that is okay as long as we know how to restart that. How to show God's love and to love how were are suppose to. The uncommon love of today. 

So, Pastor D gave us five ways to show this love:

say it
write it
give it
forgive it
live it


Pretty sure that say it and write/text it is where the flood gates opened. Even the give it. 

I am just so sad that there is this amazing love out there that gives us the ability to love others the way God has intended for us to love, and yet we choose the world's way. We never ever truly heal, we never ever truly love. We give up. We stop when things get hard or opinions are voiced. We are afraid of what people will think and say. But yet, we still choose the world's way of loving others. 

I don't know about you guys, but I am making a promise to myself and a commitment to God to love in a way that is only available when we accept and receive God's uncommon love. 

Pastor D left us with a quote that I've always heard but never truly thought about in depth, until today. I hope it maybe strikes something in you.

"Sometimes, you will never know the value of something, until it becomes a memory." -Dr. Seuss



If you'd like to watch this message, here is the link:


2.05.2016

Yet beautiful...

Instead of typing out all of the things that were boiling in me and that I wanted to just say and not care if they were hurtful, I chose not to. Because that's not my heart. My heart has nothing but good intentions. Those words aren't who I am or who that person is. Those words won't make a difference. Those words would only cause destruction and hurt. Those words would linger in my mind with regret. Those words weren't worth wasting my breath.  

In times of frustration and hurt, we are faced with two options; to say what we are feeling in that moment or to take a deep breath and know we shouldn't always say what we are feeling. Anger brings feelings of lies. Anger brings words that are hurtful. You can apologize all you want, but you cannot take the words back. They haunt. 

Maybe you got let go from a job, maybe a friend betrayed you and just hurt you more than you thought possible, or maybe someone woke up one morning and decided they didn't want to be with you or even worse, they knew they didn't want to be with you but they continued to stay...whatever it was or is, it's okay.

In the hurt you feel, in the anger that boils in you, God is working. God is doing something.
 God is taking care of it all. 

Aligning up your path to His so you can walk out what He has planned. 
It hurts, I know. It hurts so bad. And you think the hurt won't be leaving anytime soon. You replay scenarios over and over and over again in your mind- wondering what you could have done differently. Dissecting every single word that was spoken...just looking for meaning in each one. But you're not going to find meaning in the words. You won't find any answers at all. A lot of times in life we will never get answers for certain situations. You just have to accept that. You have to just trust God and who He is and know He has a plan for you. 

Put the phone down. Get off of Instagram and Facebook and Snapchat. Stop constantly refreshing just looking for a sign of life. Just stop. Press into God. Spend time with Him and just let Him give you peace and guidance for the situation.

He is the only one who can take away your hurt. He is the only one that will comfort you when all you receive is silence. He is the only one that will be there when you lose people. 
He IS the ONLY. 

Whatever battle you are facing today, I am praying for you. I myself am facing a battle, but with encouragement and prayers and spending time with God, I am full of peace. I know that I am on the path He wants me on. I know that all of this is coming together for my good. For His glory. 

Don't be discouraged. Remind yourself that these struggles and pains have a purpose! That God is using them in your life to promote you! He is taking away the good and replacing it with the great. Trust. 

Your worth is not defined on that relationship, that friendship, or that job. Your worth has nothing to do with why that person walked away. You have meaning. You have purpose. There is better coming. 

Don't let the bitterness that the enemy provides for you, get used. Know your heart. Know what's in your heart. Evaluate it. If your heart is full of kindness, then let the kindness flow. (Stand up for yourself, of course, but that doesn't require ugliness.)

There is so much joy in these circumstances you are facing... The Lord is with you each and every step of the way. 

Lord, You have saved me from the empty things I use to chase. 

"and perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness, yet become something beautiful." 
{ credits: Sarah McCallister }


1.26.2016

His

Not good enough.
You're not good enough.
While your list of abilities is impressive, we've found someone who better fits our needs...aka You're not good enough.

You're not good enough.

These 4 words. 
They haunt us.
They eat their way into our brains and continually replay themselves over and over and over again.
Making you believe them.
Turning situations into what they're not. 

I know I've heard them...many times. Have you? How did you feel? How do you feel when you think about those words?

I'm pretty sure I've heard those 4 words more in the last month than I have in my life.

Applying for jobs after graduation...application after application....it's either silence received or "while you're very impressive, we've found someone else to fit our needs.."...YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH. 

These words. 
Once you are told this, you never forget it. 
While you may think you've forgotten it and you think you are good enough, one day a situation arises and these thoughts start producing other thoughts in your mind. Whether it's not getting invited to a social gathering with friends, or not being asked to be apart of an event, not getting a job, not getting what you think you deserve, someone else being chosen over you.... these simple little things are turned and twisted into something totally different. And we react. We react in ways we never thought were possible for ourselves. We jump to conclusions, we say things hastily. We get hot and our heart races and we just want to scream or cry....or both.
It's discouraging. It hurts. It's a feeling only the worst words can describe. It's raw.

These 4 words have power. 
If we believe them long enough, they will have power over us.
They will destroy us. 

But, if we remind ourselves of who we are and whose we are , well, that's the game changer. 

God says we are HIS.
We were made in HIS image. 
We were hand woven. We were made specifically for a purpose.
We were each made unique.
We were each made with flaws. Flaws that make us beautiful.

The enemy will be the one who uses those 4 words to destroy you. 
BUT, we have God's word to remind us of how worthy and good we truly are...


"I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me" -1 John 5:18

"I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world"
1 John 4:4

"I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ unto good works" -Ephesians 2:10

And when you have a past that haunts you, remember this:

I am a new creature in Christ -2 Corinthians 5:17

When those words creep in and you feel uneasy, you CAN overcome.
The world does not define you. The world may tell you that you're not good enough, but the world's opinions do not matter. 
The God who placed the stars in the sky and knows them all, created YOU. He loves you. He wants you. 
You are HIS.
You are good enough.


I am the daughter of a KING
Who is not moved by the world
For my God is WITH ME &
Goes BEFORE ME
I do NOT FEAR
Because I AM
HIS


Photo Credits: Sarah McCallister



1.16.2016

But God...

So, what do you do when you're just not your "normal" self? And by normal, I mean, the you that feels good. The you that has thoughts that add to the quality of your life. The you who doesn't live in constant fear. The you who can breathe. 

For the past week, I have lived in constant fear. A constant fear that makes me sick. When a daily drive home took a turn for the worst, I also took a turn. I literally live in a constant fear full of anxiety. Someone leaves the house and I am overcome with anxiety. Me driving all the back roads avoiding the interstate to get where I am going, still full of anxiety. They say the odds of getting hit by an 18 wheeler again are slim to none...but tell that to the guy who was struck like 9 different times by lightening...(Yes, its in the Guinness book for 2015). 

You see, I now have a feeling of what goes through someone's mind right before they die. After getting hit and my car spinning down the interstate, I looked up and all I could see was the concrete wall and I just knew that was it. I just knew it was about to happen. I was going to die. And the person on the other end of the phone was listening and would be haunted forever. But God...

But God.

But God. 

But God. 

But God stopped my car from hitting that wall. With just enough room between the car and the wall to squeeze out of the passenger door of my car. God had His angels and hands around me as that 18 wheeler was pushing me t-bone style down the interstate. God was directing my car as it was spinning through the 
6: 25pm traffic on the interstate and cars where dodging me. God. God. God. 

You guys. I'm not really sure I can find the words to tell you what my heart feels now...what my heart wants to say. I just can't find the words.  I don't think the word Thankful even touches what I want to say. But thankful, I am.

I feel like mentally and emotionally I should be better by now. One week later. It shouldn't bother me to be behind the wheel. It shouldn't bother me to pass an 18 wheeler. It shouldn't bother me. But it terrifies me. Terrifies me. I can't breathe. My heart stops and then races uncontrollably. Tears stream without me even realizing it. Loud noises bring me to a halt. I stop breathing and start sweating. 
Then I have to remind myself that I am okay. I am safe. 

I feel like an annoyance to others. I feel like they think I am being dramatic. I want to say "well, you try being hit by an 18 wheeler twice, and then having it push you down the interstate and all you can see is the grill of the 18 wheeler, and then your car sliding down the side of the 18 wheeler, and then spinning across lanes of traffic and all you see is that a concrete wall is what is going to stop the car."...But, I would never ever want that for anyone...

The fact of the matter is, is that I am going to have to take my time. And by that, I don't mean months and months and years. I mean just some time. Some time to really grasp that I have to keep living life and having quality thoughts. I can't live in constant fear of it happening again. I can't keep not doing things I want to do because I am terrified of driving on the interstate. I mean, I could, but then I would only be making myself miserable and missing out on so much. 

It occurred to me that night when I finally grasped what really happened, that God isn't done with me yet. I still have a purpose. I still have a path to walk out the plan that He has for my life. I am still breathing. I am not hurt. I am healthy. I am wanted. And I am loved. 

I think many of us can relate to this. There is something in our lives that we are scared of. Something that we let hinder us. Life wasn't meant for us to live it like that. 

Just remember that God isn't done with YOU yet. 
HE has a plan for you.

Take your time healing. Take your time facing what you fear. There's not a timeline to be okay. The people who care and love you, will be there with you. They will understand and they will do what they can to encourage and help. I am so thankful I have people like that in my life. Patient, understanding, and loving. 


God didn't bring you this far to abandon you.

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. -Psalm 56:3

10.25.2015

always hopes and perseveres

Has your world shifted lately? Could be a big shift, a little shift...any size of shift. Either way, it's a shift. And when our worlds shift, it's uneasy, it's weird, it's hard, it's sad, it's exciting. I am sure the list could go on. Shifts in our world means that God is just working in your life. 

My world has shifted. Right now, it seems like a gigantic shift. A shift that I can't quite grab hold of. Right when I feel like I catch my footing, I fall back down. I get back up, only to fall back down again. My world has shifted before, many many many many many times. But this shift is different. I can't tell you how or why. But I can tell you that it just, it's different. My heart is aching a different ache than it's ever experienced. I'm not sure what ache this is or why it's different. But it's different. None like before. And I think that is why this seems so huge and just like I can't get my grip...all while reminding myself multiple times a day to breathe. Constantly trying to smile when I feel the tears coming. And always shooting down the thoughts that try to creep into my mind. Not so great yet, but I'm working on it. I don't know what is going to happen. I have hope.

I think the biggest thing for me is that, I am scared. There are so many things going on in my life right now. I graduate college in almost a month exactly. I really honestly have no clue what I want to do. My classes this semester are so overwhelming. But somehow I have come back from the pits and have been taking care of business in them. I just have so many changes that are coming. I am soon to enter a new phase of life and the people I want with me, may not go with me into that phase...and it breaks my heart. Now my heart has hurt before. All of our hearts have hurt at one point or another in our lives. But this is the pain that you can feel. You feel it in your chest and your mind, and you have to catch your breath. It's a scary pain. I never thought that I'd be where I am today at 26 years old. Not even in the same book. I always imagined I'd be married with babies by now. But God had other plans for me, and that my friends, I am so thankful for. But that is what is the scariest of all. I have no idea where my life is going, or what God is doing. My little heart is so confused and it just wants to have that familiar hug that it's come to find comfort in. But it can't have that hug. 

God will definitely turn your world upside down and all around in order to fit the puzzle piece in. 

He's working in my heart, and He is working in your heart.I believe that 100 percent. No doubt about it. I know He is. And I know that this work that's being done in our hearts is just to set up for things to come. To take the hurt that's been held onto, and to heal it. To refresh your mind and your soul. To give you rest and peace. To make you feel complete again and able to open up. What's in the past is in the past. People in the past, stay in the past. We learn from the past. We figure out who we want, what we want, and then we stick to that because we know. Confusion will come but....

I've learned recently to not make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings, temporary emotions, and temporary changes.  Prayer is what you should do when those temporary things crawl into your mind and your heart. God is the only one that can bring clarity and direction.

I'm not really sure how this phase of life I am in is going to end and enter into the new phase. I don't know who is going to be with me and who will have to stay in my heart only. All I know is that I have loved in this phase. 

If you're reading this, I hope you're in my next phase. I hope that you're one of the people I get to share my heart with. My struggles, my excitement, my fear, my love,. my laughs and my tears, my life...I want to share that with you. And, if you're not in my next phase, just know that there will always be a place in my heart that is only for you. My heart and my soul have smiled bigger than they ever have. I have laughed harder than I ever have and I was fearless. Adventures were made wherever life was that day. And my memories are stored in my heart. I have loved with my whole heart. For the first time in my life, I was actually living for the day and that, I am thankful for.

Friends, just remember that when your world is rocked and shifted, to just hold on tight. Hold on to God's promises. HE is what and who will keep you steady.  Things may look hopeless now or like they can't be fixed...but they can be! 
Restored and renewed. 

No matter what happens in your life, never stop loving. 

 Remember, love always hopes and always perseveres.