Not Today

Hello sweet friends,

I have to be honest with y’all. The enemy has truly been attacking me. Initially, I didn’t realize that it was the enemy. I was so upset– he got me so upset that I had an anxiety attack! I woke up so anxious still the following morning. It was rough, very rough. And it all came after a beautiful night of worship. So when I woke up the next morning, I wanted to believe it was all a dream. But like most of life, it was real and unable to be wished away.

I forced myself out of bed and into the car, driving around and blasting worship music. Worshipping our Heavenly Father is my favorite and also what helps me the most when I’m hurting or upset. It’s also when I hear God the clearest talking to me.

Anyways, as I said, I was so upset and I was trying to work through my emotions. I finally pulled my car over to the side of the road and collapsed into sobs. Not even one minute in, my phone started ringing and it was my Bible study teacher calling. Isn’t God’s timing perfect? Just when I needed uplifting the most, the best person for the job called me and lifted me up. She talked to me about how she believed Satan was attacking me. He used my biggest weakness against me– relationships.

Why was he attacking me? Because he knows I’m going to do something awesome for God this summer. He knows God has a wonderful plan for me and he wants to stop it. The night before, at the Revival, the message was about roadblocks and how Satan tries to put up roadblocks to stop us from reaching our destiny. When God started giving me this realization and helping me to put this altogether, I became angered with Satan and it made me worship God even LOUDER. Satan wants one thing– to steal your joy. But my joy comes from the Lord.

It’s not easy, but being a believer doesn’t mean life will be easy. Being a believer means that even though life is hard, we aren’t alone. And everything will turn out good. My favorite verse says, “And we know all things work together for good for those who love God and seek first Him and His righteousness.” [Romans 8:28]

I took what Satan tried to harm me with and used it to glorify God. I chose love and joy and forgiveness. I could’ve played the victim or truly used how my flesh felt I was being wronged as an excuse to be hateful or spiteful or whatnot. But I prayed to the Holy Spirit and asked Him to be LOUDER than my feelings. I asked Him to lead, guide, direct and protect me.

Not today, Satan. Not any day. You won’t steal my joy! You won’t stop me from reaching my destiny! I am more pumped than ever for this summer! All Satan did was fuel my fire for the Lord!

Advertisements

Seed To Sequoia

Y’all I have the most amazing news! I just want to scream it from the rooftops! I was hired to be a staff member at an awesome ministry!

I am so overwhelmed and thrilled. I found out about an hour ago. I keep crying– flowing tears of joy and thankfulness!

I graduated in December and I haven’t had luck with any of the jobs that I’ve applied for (and I’ve applied for a bunch). I’ve been interviewed a few times but haven’t had any callbacks. (These were all jobs related to my degree.) I wasn’t sure if this was the path for me just yet.

In the midst of all this, however, I had applied for this ministry position. Back in September of 2017, I started feeling like maybe I needed to go out and participate in the Great Commission– to be a Fisher of Men, to spread God’s Word and love around. I kept thinking about it for a few months, but I wasn’t sure exactly which way to go. In January, a new friend of mine posted about this opportunity, asking for us to reach out if we were interested. I went back and forth about it for about a week or so, nervous to reach out. Finally, with a few seconds of boldness that only comes from the Good Lord, I sent her a message. Within the next few days, we met up and discussed it and I applied. All I could do from that point was wait and pray.

I prayed about this over and over. I asked God that if this was His will for me and my life, that I would be chosen. Earlier in March, I received a message from the director asking me to set up an interview. I picked the soonest times and two days later interviewed. He said I would hear from him again soon. Everything sounded promising but still, not definite. Waited again.

Almost two weeks had passed without a word until earlier. I was lying in bed, trying to go to sleep early because I wanted to go to the gym in the morning. My phone buzzed, text message buzz (most people don’t text me late at night) and I rolled over to check it. It was my sweet friend asking me to check Facebook (where I would be informed that I was, in fact, hired). I flung my quilt off and flew to my mom’s room to tell her, scaring my dozing cats in the process. I started crying. And I still am.

I don’t know about you, but when I get that confirmation from God about something in my life, I feel so incredibly overwhelmed– but in a beautiful way. I just feel filled with love and hope and excitement. I asked God for this. I asked Him to show me His will in this area (and all others, still waiting on those) but specifically, in this moment, this opportunity. And He did. I’m so honored and just unbelieving that I will be doing this– and doing it for Him!

When I talked about obedience, I told you I thought I would have exciting news soon. Well, here it is. I waited. I went through my 40 {plus a few) days. I don’t think I can relay exactly how I feel right now. Blessed. Overwhelmingly blessed.

My message to you sweet friends is not to give up. This could be day 7 or day 40. Keep on walking. Keep on praying. Keep on trusting in our Heavenly Father. He will direct your steps but you have to keep your feet moving.

I’m so excited for this new season and opportunity. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you thank you thank you.

Sunday Is Coming

It’s Good Friday y’all, but Sunday is coming!

When Jesus was crucified, the whole world was covered in darkness. Everyone felt hopeless and heartbroken. The devil was smiling, believing he had won. Little did he know, Sunday was coming.

Our Savior rose on that Sunday, many years ago. He conquered death, hell, and the grave. He sacrificed Himself, His life, so that we could be free and have our own lives. He gave His life for love– He loves us so incredibly greater than we could ever fathom.

We all go through tough times; through heartache and disappointment. There are days when everything seems dark and hopeless. There are days when it may feel like the enemy has won. What we have to do during these moments is take a step back and remind ourselves that Sunday is coming. Remember that Jesus is victorious and so are we.

Last year, three days before Easter, a personal trial began. The significance of Easter and how it can be applied to our lives never resonated with me so strongly as it did then. After being surrounded by darkness, the light would return. After feeling overwhelmingly defeated, victory would come. It was Friday, but Sunday was coming.

No matter what trials we go through, Sunday will always come. Always. Hold onto that beautiful hope and knowledge that we will overcome because He overcame for us.

It’s Friday y’all, but Sunday is coming.

 

Pouring Out Blessings

Goodness, do I have such exciting news! As I mentioned in a previous post, I have given up social media in obedience to my Father. Well, I know that walking in obedience usually means God is working on something. I am here to tell you He has done so much! A little over two months has passed and slowly but surely doors have opened. Not only that, but I’ve been so much happier and really started digging into my Word even more.

I don’t even miss it. Truly, I don’t mind not using it and when I get it back, I’m not sure that I will even start up again. If I do, it will definitely be rare and I won’t be downloading the apps to my phone. It is relieving, in a way, to not think about Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram constantly. I’ve been able to focus on other, more important things in my free time. I started painting and drawing again. I’ve remodeled my room! (This is a first, it has always been the same). I’ve been reading books and spending more time with God and in His Word. I feel refreshed.

And blessings have started pouring out. God has opened door after door for me. One of the most exciting opportunities is the one for me to be the OFFICIAL Social Media Coordinator for my church! I am creating the new website, along with a Facebook and YouTube page. And I will be monitoring all of those in addition to the Instagram that I have been running since December. I feel so honored to be given this responsibility.

And all of this has occurred because I chose to listen to God Almighty and follow Him. To follow His instruction for me and my life. It’s so incredibly easy and more rewarding than anything ever. I thank God. Thank you thank you thank you, Jesus!

Other things have happened and are in the works, but I don’t want to say too much until it is official. Keep looking out for hopefully some more exciting news from me, y’all.

 

Walk In Obedience

In January, I felt God lay something on my heart. I felt Him nudge me to give up social media for a while. I kept going back and forth about it, unsure, since I’ve been using social media as part of my ministry. Lent was coming up and I was trying to decide what I should give up this year. (I usually give up food-related items.) However, the purpose of Lent is to replace what you’ve given up with time spent with the Lord. Thinking about that, I chose to give up social media for Lent.

I’m not going to lie, it has been strange. At first, I kept opening my phone to check my accounts– then I realized the apps were deleted. When I was in social settings, when someone else would start using their phone, I would pick mine up out of habit, then realize I didn’t have any reason to use it. I started noticing how often I would have used it. And I started noticing how often others used their phones.

I also began to recognize the weight lifted off of me. I wasn’t comparing myself to others as much as before. (I have an incredibly bad habit of comparing myself to others.) Social media makes it so easy for us to get caught in the trap of comparison that the devil lays. And I have been one of the easiest to catch. Giving up social media has made me feel lighter.

I’m thankful for this break. I’ve been in such a weird season of my life– this has done a great deal for me so far. I was reading a devotion on my First 5 app about Ruth, and it talks about how in life we have “long nows.” A long now is between where we used to be and where we want to be. In times like this, our flesh wants us to run but God wants us to wait. I’m delighting in my waiting.

When God asks you to do something, He has a reason behind it. I’m not sure what God is planning, but I’m being obedient. I’m excited to see what He’s going to do.

 

Yes, Jesus Loves Me

I have such a sweet and encouraging message for you today, dear friends. These past 2 – 3 weeks this one important message has been repeated to me, at different locations, by varying, unconnected speakers.

First, let me start with two questions.
1. Do you know that Jesus loves you?
2. Do you know what love is?

The story that has kept coming up is the one of Lazarus. [John 11:3] When Jesus receives the letter about his illness, it reads only, “The one who you love is sick.” That’s all that was written. Nothing else. And Jesus knew exactly who it was about.

Have we ever thought about the fact that it doesn’t matter how much we love Jesus, but how much Jesus loves us? Yes, we all should love Jesus but our love for Him will never compare to His love for us. Jesus agape loves us. Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love.

Sometimes I think we get used to repeating that “Jesus loves us,” but we don’t truly think about how true that statement is. Jesus Christ died for you. God sent His only son to die so that we could be saved. And not just specific people, but everybody. Jesus died for every single one of us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16]

Now, when it comes to love, so many of us have the definition mixed up. Love isn’t simply a feeling, true love is a choice. You may not always feel love/loved– there will be days we’ll go through where we don’t feel loved, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t loved. Because real love isn’t a fickle feeling, real love is something we choose to do over and over.

Jesus looked at that cross on Calvary, and looked at us sinners, and said we were worthy

That’s true love. That’s real love. That’s agape love.

You and I have the choice to love and to be loved. Jesus’ love is there for us; overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love. It chases us down, fights until we’re found, and leaves the ninety-nine. His love is there for us, for whoever, whenever we want it.

With love and grace, open your hearts to His love.

Forgive & Forget

I consider myself a fairly forgiving person– I’m not the type to hold grudges. There are only a select few occasions when I have struggled with forgiving someone. When I say struggled, man, have I struggled.

Forgiveness is a choice. A large part of me didn’t want to forgive them. If I forgive them, they will think what they did was okay. If I forgive them, they will keep doing what they did before. If I forgive them, they win.
I’m here to tell you, if I don’t forgive them, Satan wins.

If we want to be Christ-like, we have to put His teachings into practice. Jesus tells us that we have to forgive others so that we can be forgiven. In Matthew 18, the parable tells us of a king who forgave his servant of his debt but then his servant didn’t forgive a debtor, so the king tortured him until his debt was paid off. This story illustrates that if we don’t forgive others, we won’t be forgiven and we will suffer for this.

Forgiveness can be difficult. Trust me, I have been hurt. I have been wronged. I have been mistreated. Dear friend, I know why you wouldn’t want to forgive, but I also know why you and I both need to forgive. Not forgiving only hurts you, truly.

Don’t you think Jesus had a reason not to forgive Judas and Peter? They both betrayed Him, the Son of God. They both hurt Him, our Savior.
What about all those people who wanted Jesus crucified? What did Jesus do as He hung from that cross? He asked God to forgive them. “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” [Luke 22:34] In His last moments, Jesus forgave.
Doesn’t that just speak to your heart? The Savior of the world, who experienced more pain than any of us could ever even imagine, did not hold a grudge.

To this day, He doesn’t hold a grudge. His mercies are new every morning. [Lamentations 3:22 – 23]

You’ve been wronged, I know.
How can you ever forgive them for what they did to you?

Remember this:
– The same God, whose hands created the stars, whose fingers molded the mountains, who breathed life into you and I, also breathed life into the person who hurt you. And He loves them, just like He loves you and me.
We are no better than them. We may not have done whatever it is they did, but we all fall short of the glory of God. We all hurt and offend others, intentionally or unintentionally. We all make mistakes. And God said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” [John 8:7]

Can we show mercy and forgive others like God showed mercy and forgave us?

I ask you to pray and ask our Father to help you forgive. Ask Him to soften your heart. Ask Him to show you what to do, to help you pray for those who hurt you. My prayer for you is to allow the Holy Spirit to move you.

With love and grace, forgive and forget.