The Question Isn’t Can He but Will He?


It’s easy to believe that God CAN act on our behalf. It’s harder to believe and have faith that He WILL act on our behalf. I trust that my God is fully able, and I do know that He is no respecter of persons. However, it is much easier for me to believe that He will do for others. I can easily claim in faith someone else’s healing, success, or freedom from a struggle. When my prayers start having to do with ME, that’s when the difficulty sets in. I believe this is the result of two things: a lack of understanding of God’s character and a fear that His will may be the exact opposite of what I’m praying and believing for.

Let’s address the latter first. There seems to be a strong sense of fear in me that God will not answer my prayer in the manner in which I ask. I’m scared of my reaction. I’m scared I will take His no in as a rejection. Now this is not a doubt of His ability. This is a doubt of His goodness. It’s almost as if I fear that I will be let down by Him, and I deeply desire to never be let down by Him. Now, I don’t think that God is scared by this possibility. He is more than able to handle my doubts and insecurities. He uses all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Nonetheless, that fear often creeps into my heart. I’m scared of what loss can pull out of me. I often fear that in the face of loss, I may doubt the one I love best, my Jesus. I fear that in my lack of understanding of His plans, I will fail to see any of His goodness.

As I first referenced, part of the battle lies in the fact that I don’t accurately understand God’s character. I don’t understand that He is for me, for my good, and for His glory. I don’t fully see the depths of His love for me, nor do I understand His immense desire to shape my heart and make me more like Christ, His Son. God cares more about my long term refining than He does my temporary happiness, although He does bless me with so many little things that bring me joy along the way. I say all of this to remind you and myself that God IS good and He is for me. While my understanding is limited, I know enough to know that He’s got this thing called life figured out; and even if I feel like the world is falling apart all around me (and at times, it will be) He still has to be and He still will be more than enough. “I believe. Lord, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24).

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Fear of Missing Out

I often struggle with what I like to call a “fear of missing out.” Instead of enjoying the moment, I’m constantly wondering if I really made enough of the moment. Did I get the most out of it? Is there something more I should have taken advantage of to make this moment more meaningful? I also have been so preoccupied with the fear of missing that moment once it’s over or the desire to get to the next moment that I’ve lost the joy of today entirely. Honestly, it sounds silly to even write, but I know I’m not the only one… Because I’ve asked.

How can we conquer this? How can we get our minds off of the fear and into the moment? This is something I’m still working to accomplish. The root of it all is clearly fear. The first step for me is to, as my mom says, “get out of my head.” I’m an over planner for sure. This requires me to stop my incessant planning and just be. I’m learning in this season (or trying to learn) to just live in the moment. If you’re a planner like me, that can be very difficult. I’ll write something I’ve done on my list just to check it off. I know I’m speaking to someone on that note. While planning can be beneficial, there comes a point when we must put our plans aside and use them as a basic guideline, not as a hard fast rule for life.

Why is it detrimental to live like this? If we’re constantly focused on fulfilling “the plan,” whether it be the plan for the day or our overall plan for our life, we miss out on fulfilling the little things God has for us each day. Those little moments, after all, often add up to be the big things He had for us all along. I have to daily remind myself that God is bigger than my plan. He can fulfill His purpose for my life, regardless of where I find myself today. He can use me at my work, at my church, or even at the grocery store; and He has. I’m often reminded of the biblical stories of David. If you’ve studied his life any, you are aware that there was a huge gap of time between David’s being anointed to be king and his appointing as king. There was a huge waiting period, a preparation period if you will. Secondly, let’s take a moment and think about where David was when he was anointed. He was a shepherd out in a field, not sitting in the king’s court. He wasn’t even the first or second or third choice of his father. His father didn’t even consider that God, through Samuel, would choose to anoint his son David. In his earthly father’s mind, he wasn’t enough. He didn’t fit the part. This brings my heart so much encouragement, because I often have those same fears. I often fear that I’m not in the right spot to be used. I fear that I might have made a wrong turn and now God won’t be able to find me or fulfill His purpose in me. I fear that who I am just may not be enough. I Corinthians 1:26- 29 reminds me otherwise. It states, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” This verse is freeing! This verse shows that we are all qualified to fulfill the will of God, because we all lack in some way. Do you feel like you may not be enough? Perfect! You can be used by God. Do you feel like you may not have your act together? Perfect! You too can be used by God. Regardless of our current state or location, God can use us. I am reminded today that I can trust God and His promises, even when I can’t see His timeline. I can enjoy and live in today, because I don’t have to fear that I’m going to miss out on His best for my today or tomorrow.



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An Unpopular Opinion on Taking Offense

Often when the Lord is correcting an issue in our lives, we encounter a similar, seemingly unbeatable problem over and over again. Typically, how this starts in my own life, is through me asking God to root out sin in my life and make me more like Him. He never fails to answer this prayer, and I never fail to be completely unaware that my trials are Him answering that prayer. I firmly believe that God deals with one issue at a time, because we would be completely overwhelmed if He revealed all the problem areas of our hearts at once. Philippians 1:6  tells me that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This reveals an important truth- that we will always have things that need refining in our hearts. God will continue to address these areas in order to make us more like Christ and less like our sin nature.

Recently, I prayed that difficult, heart-felt prayer, asking God to root out something that was not pleasing to His heart and to continue to prepare me for ministry. At first when He answered this prayer, I was frustrated and confused. I began to feel upset and dejected. I couldn’t understand why I was repeatedly encountering similar issues. They seemed to defeat me every time. I then decided to confide in a godly woman at work with my frustrations. What she told me provided both peace and understanding. She told me that God oftentimes has to continue sending the same challenges our way, because we’re missing a very important lesson. Each similar challenge was an opportunity to learn that next lesson and experience a change in my heart. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me of my recent request for refining. I then began to earnestly seek the Lord and ask for clarity regarding what He wanted to teach me. I pleaded with Him to teach me this lesson quickly, because I couldn’t take much more defeat. True to His character, He answered a prayer that was lined up according to His will.

Now,  I’ve been completely honest and vulnerable on this blog since the day I began writing, but this lesson was a doozy. This lesson linked back to years of childhood hurt and rejection. This was a lesson I had been fighting for the majority of my life. This was a lesson in offense. As a child, I encountered moment after moment of rejection. I was told I was weird by other children who didn’t understand my quirky personality, my sense of utter honesty, or my free spirit. I experienced rejection from a teacher who mistook my love of learning as a form of arrogance. I took my father’s busy schedule as a sign of rejection, and I even experienced rejection from high school students who didn’t agree with my choice to abstain from alcohol and premarital sex. I let these moments reek havoc in my heart. I let them define my outlook on life, the lens through which I judged my interactions with others. This fear of rejection has far too long crippled me, and I am positive that the Lord has for years mourned with me and longed to set me free from that trap of the enemy. Here’s where the painful truth comes in. My fear of rejection and my constant feelings of offense were not my classmates fault, my teacher’s fault, my father’s fault, or anyone else’s fault. The Lord revealed to me that my offense was MY fault. I couldn’t possibly understand. “But Lord, they hurt me. They rejected me. They didn’t accept me. How is that my fault?” The Lord began to bring such truth and healing to my hurt as He told me that my immediate reaction to rejection is to be expected, but what I do with that pain is on me. Whether I choose to walk in forgiveness or offense has nothing to do with them. It has everything to do with me.

This is an unpopular opinion. In the world, we are taught that it is our RIGHT to be hurt, our RIGHT to be angry. They must apologize to us. We deserve that. The Lord has revealed to me that this is the way of the world but not the way of the Word. God’s Word requires that I lay that right down. I laid that right down when I chose to pick up the cross. If anyone has the right to be hurt, it’s God. I’ve rejected Him daily. I’ve chosen other loves over Him. I’ve neglected Him. I’ve rejected Him. I’ve forgotten Him. I’ve wronged Him in every way, yet He has never forsaken me. He has never pushed me away when I’ve come running back to His arms. My job as a believer is to take that grace that has been extended to me vertically and to send it out horizontally to those around me. How can I accept so freely His forgiveness yet refuse to extend it to His children? Wow! So convicting!

This month, I have made some changes. I have decided to extend forgiveness and to be slow to anger, for love “bears no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13). On my way to work every morning, I have been making declarations of faith such as this, “I forgive _______. I am choosing to extend God’s grace to them. God, help me to forgive. As I stand in faith saying that I forgive, I pray that you would cause my feelings to line up according to your Word.” The truth is this: I don’t always FEEL like I forgive them when I say that prayer. To the contrary, sometimes I still feel quite hurt. I know, however, what God’s Word says, and God’s Word requires me to walk in forgiveness. “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). For that reason, I cause the words of my mouth to line up according to God’s Word, believing that my feelings will soon follow. Grace be to God, they have done so every single time. We serve a great God who longs to bring healing and draw us closer to Him.

LM - LogoSolid

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Sex: Everyone’s Doing It

I’ve wanted to write about this topic for a long time. In fact, it’s something that I’m very passionate about. But how can I possibly say everything I feel and believe without coming across as preachy and turning everyone away? For starters, sex, as a whole, is a widely avoided topic in the church. It’s too messy, too condemning of a topic to preach on. In short, it’s uncomfortable. For the most part, we don’t mind talking about the grace that follows our sin, but we sure don’t want to talk about the fact that sex outside of marriage is, indeed, sin.

We don’t talk about the fact that each time you have sex with someone who isn’t your spouse, you’re forming a soul tie. We don’t talk about the joy in waiting to give that gift to one person, your spouse. More than anything, and perhaps most importantly, we don’t equip anyone to walk in purity, and we don’t give them proof that it’s possible. Any time I’ve heard purity referred to, it’s been in the context of someone telling their audience that, unlike them, they needed to wait until marriage to have sex. Instead of just telling others they should wait until marriage, it’s time to start saying, “I did wait until marriage, you can wait until marriage, and this is how…” I want to equip the body of believers to actively, wisely wait, because it is possible, and it is so rewarding.

Practically speaking, how can I preserve purity? Well, purity starts with what I think in my mind, what I see with my eyes, and what I say with my mouth. Romans 12:2 says to “not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If my mind starts to wander on things it shouldn’t, I can think new thoughts. It’s normal for thoughts to cross my mind that don’t need to stay. That’s not the issue. Dwelling on those thoughts is what gets me into trouble. Colossians 3:2 reminds me to “set [my] mind on things above.” If I’m having serious trouble regulating what goes into my mind, the next step is to question what I’ve been putting in front of my eyes. What am I watching on t.v.? Am I watching sensual television that’s causing me to lust? Throughout Song of Solomon, the author reminds me to “not awaken love before it’s time.” How am I protecting my heart until it’s time? One issue with putting trash in front of my eyes is that what I put in affects what comes out. This leads me to ask what I am saying with my mouth? What kind of jokes am I engaging in? What types of things am I talking to my boyfriend about? If he’s not my spouse, I shouldn’t treat him like he is. I don’t want to give a boy something that was meant to be given to the man God has for me.

What about physically? You may wonder how far is too far. I think there are a few safe, practical steps to help with this decision. First off, if you have to ask, it’s probably too far. If you’re too embarrassed to do it in front of your parents, there’s a very good chance that it’s too far. If you don’t want to have to tell your future spouse, it’s definitely too far. I also want to list some practical possibilities for pursuing purity. These guidelines were given to me through parents, mentors, and the Holy Spirit.

First off, I recommend setting guidelines from the get go. Letting your significant other know your standards and morals right away, goes a long way in setting yourselves up for success. I also recommend staying far away from a bed or a bedroom. Although your intentions may be innocent, you’re still human and still open to this very real temptation. That room is for sleeping… by yourself. Next, the parts of you that are most private should stay that way. Don’t let someone touch what’s for you and your spouse only. If he’s trying to touch those areas after your guideline talk, walk away. There’s a high chance that he’ll cause you to compromise. It’s unlikely, however, that he’ll adapt your standards. Take my word on that one. Lastly, go on some very public dates. Go on dates with friends, as well. Not only does this protect your heart and your purity, it also allows you to see your significant other in group settings, which will give you a better sense of his character.

I hope some of these practical steps encourage you and challenge you. You can pursue a life of purity and holiness with the help of the Holy Spirit. If you’ve neglected to make these decisions in the past, start now. It’s never too late to pursue godliness.



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2015 Reflections. 2016 Hopes.

2015 brought me so many beautiful things. It brought me a husband, new friends, a new Bible study group, new growth, new maturity, and new wisdom. 2015 reignited my passion to teach on purity and marriage. It taught me to be selfless in my love and to compromise. It taught me the beauty and sanctity of marriage, a union and covenant before God. It was by far my best year up to date.

I was told in the summer of 2014 that I would marry my spouse in 2015. Although I found it hard to believe, boy did the Lord answer that prayer and desire! He fulfilled a long awaited promise. In 2016, I’m waiting on another promise given to me by God at a very young age. I’m going to watch God expand my territory through ministry. The word “waiting” comes to mind. Habakkuk 2:3 reminds me of this truth: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.” The waiting is never in vain! It is often a time of preparation. The promises of God will not disappoint and are never behind on time.

If we reflect on King David’s life, we see a perfect example of this. There was a huge gap in time between David’s anointing and his appointing. Although he was called at a young age, there was a lengthy period of preparation before he was able to visibly walk in that calling. We often get discouraged when we see this in our own life. When God gives us a promise, we want it immediately. We want to walk in it NOW, but we forget the preparation that is needed for the promise. Rarely do we see a promise followed by immediate fulfillment. Consider Abraham who waited to become the father of many nations. There were times when he even had to lay all hopes of the promise down, like when God called him to sacrifice Isaac, seemingly giving up the very means by which the promise would be fulfilled. God saw Abraham’s obedience and provided another sacrifice. What beauty in Abraham’s obedience, however! Would we do the same? I often panic when I think I saw the means by which God would fulfill my promise and then it was stripped away. The truth is that we cannot comprehend God’s ways. We try so hard to figure out how He will bring our promises about that we try to figure them into each and every situation, instead of trusting Him to do the work. What if we had the faith to believe in God’s promises without limiting Him with our limited understanding? What if we trusted that He is good and is sovereign and that He’s going to answer His promises in His way and in His timing?

My 2016 New Years Resolution is to fall deeper in love with my Savior and to watch in faith as He continues to make a way for the fulfillment of His promises. My heart is to “Preach the word. [To] be urgent IN season and OUT of season,” as 2 Timothy 4:2 reminds me. I know that “My life is worth nothing unless I use it to finish what God has assigned me… the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God” (Acts 20:24).



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Does God Care About the Little Things?

Do you ever wonder if God actually cares about your day to day prayers? Do you wonder if He has time for the ridiculous every day things you dare to ask? Do you doubt He has time to consider all the longings in your heart? Do you actually trust that His heart is not only for His glory but also for your good? Well, this week I was so in awe of how much our God cares about the little things and how much He pays attention to the smallest of details.

While on my way to an appointment, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to stop at a local frozen yogurt shop, one that I hadn’t visited in a very long time. I had no clue why the Holy Spirit would want me to get frozen yogurt, but I sure didn’t mind stopping by for a treat. While inside, I stood behind an older couple, one of which had parkinson’s disease and was shaking badly. Due to the shaking, the man dropped all of his frozen yogurt on the floor, only to receive yells of impatience and embarrassment from his spouse. I felt the Lord lead me to run over and start picking up the mess for them. I then asked what kind of yogurt the man had chosen, so I could refill his cup. As I handed his wife the newly filled cup of yogurt, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to purchase their order. At first, the lady said she couldn’t possibly let me do that as she stood in complete shock. After telling her that it would really bless me to be able to purchase their order, she let me and thanked me over and over again. She even asked to hug me and said she couldn’t understand why I would do that for perfect strangers. There it was- the perfect opportunity to share the Gospel! I told her how the Lord had told me that I needed to bless them that day. The woman behind the counter even stopped what she was doing to say that the occasion ministered to her heart. By this point, the whole establishment was full of people, and all of these people were able to witness this moment between perfect strangers that was orchestrated by the Lord.

I say all this to say that if the Lord could cause me to go out of my way to get frozen yogurt just to brighten one couple’s day, what wouldn’t he do for you and me when we call out to Him according to His will? So often, we wonder if God is really working on our behalf and if He really cares about the “little things.” I’m here to tell you that He most certainly does. He cares. He cares about the big stuff, and He cares about the little stuff. I think that one of the reasons that He cares so much about the little things is because they bring about the faith-building, aha! moments. The little moments when we see Him working on our behalf time and time again increase our trust in Him and His heart toward us. It’s not that we don’t normally think that He can do all of these things. Often, however, we doubt that He WILL do all of those “little things.” I believe this is a result of our lack of understanding of His character. If we truly trusted God’s heart toward us, I believe we would pray much bigger, faith-filled prayers and that we would trust Him to take care of the every day itty bitty prayers too.The same God who parted waters and raised people from the dead can stop the rain for a wedding and provide an opportunity to bless someone else’s day.

For instance, just today, my husband and I were in the mall praying for our lunch when James asked God to provide us with an opportunity to witness to someone before the day was over. We weren’t two bites into our food when one of his students pulled up a chair next to us and began to talk. He told us of his loneliness, doubt, and need for Jesus. Aha! There it was again! God working in a insanely timely manner to answer even the smallest of prayers. Just like that, we had our faith-building moment. Our God delights in answering those prayers that are aligned with His will and for His glory. He loves to show His power and loving-kindness. What a wonderful God we serve- one that loves to answer both the huge, difficult prayers and the smallest cries of our hearts. I hope this post encourages you to once again trust in the heart of our God. He is actively working on your behalf!

James 1:6 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

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The part of my story that I’ve never shared but you need to read

Today, I want to tell my story- the part of my story most of you don’t know. I’m going to tell the part of my story I didn’t think I’d ever share- the painful part, the beautiful part, and God’s faithfulness through it all.

I believe that me sharing this part of my life will encourage a lot of people, especially those people who are waiting on the promises of God, the promises that are so big and the promises that they often doubt. This story will help those waiting on the all-elusive “one,” their prince charming or perfect bride.

Some of you, very close to me, know this part of my story, and some of you thought I was crazy for hanging on. There were so many times when this part of my story just didn’t make sense. There were times when I was broken before God, full of confusion and doubt, on my knees with heart-felt, Hannah- like prayers. The biblical Hannah pleaded with God for a son, and time and time again, I pleaded those prayers for a spouse.

My story begins in 2007, when I began dating my high school boyfriend at the time. We dated for over two and a half years, and I was convinced that he was it, the one I would marry. Trust me, I didn’t settle. He really loved the Lord, my family welcomed him as their own, and we seemed to be involved in the same type of ministry. Breaking up was never an option during that time. But long-distance can be rough. A twelve to fourteen hour drive is really rough. Not knowing the next time you’ll see each other is also rough. Long story short, we did break up, and about six months after we did, I started to consider once again that he was the one for me. Years of tension followed, three to be exact. Three years. Three whole years. Can you imagine how much I struggled, how much my heart broke, as time and time again we would discuss old feelings and consider the possibility of getting back together? Many times I walked away from our conversations feeling like my heart had been played with once again. This continued until my senior year of college when the Lord finally, completely shut that door and gave me peace that I wasn’t missing His will for my life. Now you have to understand some back story… We had both thought we were the Lord’s will for each other’s lives, and many times I thought the Lord was speaking to me to wait on him. So if you can imagine, I spent many nights frustrated with God, broken before Him, and angry with Him, so very angry. I asked God why He would trick me like that, why He would dangle this promise of love before me just to rip it away. I wanted so badly to love someone passionate about me and even more passionate about Christ and doing His work. The thing that hurt the most wasn’t the loss of the person, however. It was the brutal doubt that creeped in, leading me to believe that I obviously didn’t know how to hear God’s voice. So after all this, I went through a season of bitterness, where I doubted God, my ability to hear and discern His voice, and where I was angry at all the times people had prophesied that this thing would come around. Now let me leave this paragraph with this thought: “Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.”

Here’s the good news. Here’s where things began to change. There was a beautiful moment when I looked back and realized that those years were not a tease. There was a glorious second when I realized I could, indeed, trust God and that He was up to deeper things. There was a tremendous excitement in seeing that my experience was a part of His plan all along. First off, God knew this would be a part of my story and my testimony. He knew I would help others, broken-hearted over what looks like the loss of their promise. He knew my story would encourage those whose promise seems just a little too out of reach, a little too impossible. He knew that someone would need to trust Him for their dreams, when there seemed to be absolutely no time left for those dreams to be realized. Well, if you read Scripture, you might recall that Sarah, Abraham’s wife, had a child way after she was of child bearing age, and Hannah had a child when she was doomed to be childless. I have found that God loves to operate outside of our time frames. He loves to do the impossible, and he loves to show off. He loves to perform when, by all natural means, it is FAR too late. My God loves this! Why? Because when He works in the impossible, we are forced to acknowledge that we had no part in the act. We are forced to realize that it was only by Him and through Him. We are better able to fully relinquish all the glory back to Him.

This is how this part of the story ends. I was able to look back and be thankful for the years of heartbreak. Yes, thankful, and this is why. All of that drama and all of that pain led me to my husband, the man who is not perfect but who is perfect for me, the man that God intended for me all along. I believe that God knew that James and I were not yet ready for one another. A lot had to happen to get our hearts prepared and to even get us in the same city at the same time. Also, knowing what I had in my high school boyfriend and wondering if he was still “the one” protected me from so much! It enabled me to walk away many times from what would have been settling for me. It gave me the strength to wait for a godly man who unashamedly pursued Christ with all that he had and who sacrificed himself daily to love me like Christ loves the church. Time and time again I walked away from potential relationships knowing that they didn’t quite compare to my high school boyfriend, and this kept me many times from compromising. I didn’t want to walk away from something to walk into something less. I believed that if he wasn’t my person, then God had someone EVEN BETTER for me. Now, that was hard to imagine at first but then came James. I walked into the frozen yogurt store on our first date and had to keep my jaw from hitting the floor. Ok, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but seriously he was so cute and so handsome! And it just kept getting better… Besides the fact that we had SO much in common, he has a passion for the Lord that blew my mind. Over the course of a few months I was able to see that every moment I waited, I had waited for him. Every prayer I had prayed over my future husband, I had prayed over him. In fact, when I met him, I felt like I had known him all my life; and I honestly believe it was because I had spent my whole life praying for him. He was everything I had prayed for, so in that sense, I already knew his heart. And the beautiful part is that he felt the exact same way. About a week and a half into our relationship, James looked at me and said that he thought he was going to marry me. Instead of the usual fear and panic when a guy would bring up commitment, I quickly said back in full sass mode, “I know.”

I tell you all of this to encourage you. I want to encourage you that God does honor His Word, that He does work all things for good for those who love Him and are called unto His purpose, that He does have your best interest and His glory in mind, and that He does fulfill all the crazy big dreams He’s placed in your heart. The bigger and the more impossible the dream, the more likely that God placed it there. My God loves to show off. He didn’t need to, but in so many faithful ways, He has won my trust, and He has won my heart.


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How can I walk away? What if there’s not better out there? What if this was my only chance?

We always fear letting go. We’re scared to walk away from what we have, because what if there’s nothing else out there? What if there’s nothing better? But what if I could trust God? What if I could trust that He is good and does only good? What if I could trust that he strips away only to give better? Then when I had to let go I would rejoice instead of wallow in sorrow. But do we do that? Not often. At least, I don’t.

I’ve often walked away from relationships, “trusting” that God had better, all while wallowing in self-pity. Now that I’m marrying the man of my dreams, it’s easy to look back and say, “Yes, God! You did it! You had better for me all along. You knew what you were doing.” But in the moment, in the pain, we may say we trust, but we don’t live like it. Shouldn’t we instead be excited about what is to come? Shouldn’t we rejoice at his goodness and kindness in delivering us out of our own plans? So many times I mourn over a lost thing…

Today, God used a silly example to remind me that I can trust Him and His intentions toward me. I can trust His heart. I can trust that He is a God who gives and takes away and a God who ALWAYS has better in store for me when He asks me to die to self. Lord, I pray that as I delight myself in you that you would give me the desires that I should have. I pray that you would shape the desires of my heart, so that wherever you lead me, I would go forward with joy.


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Living a Lie

How many times do we live a lie? How many times do we simply go through the motions, because it’s what is expected of us, because it’s all we know? We know no other way. That isn’t to say it’s never real, but that when it becomes fake, we just keep going with it. We say the right things and do the right things, all while feeling dead inside. How many times do we trust what other people say God is saying instead of seeking Him for ourselves? Sometimes, when I get frustrated spiritually, I just give up. Instead of digging harder into God’s Word and presence, I simply stop trying. I still pray, read my Bible, and talk to others about Him; but I stop talking TO Him. There’s a subtle difference. It’s not the same thing to talk about God as it is to talk to Him. I still poured out my list of concerns and questions, only to zoom on to the next obligation or activity. I never stopped and waited for an answer. I didn’t listen for the still, small voice. I didn’t want to, because I didn’t want to put forth the effort.

I was used to the lies and guilt of the enemy. It trapped me within a pit of despair where I felt lethargic and unable to escape. I then tried to compensate for this with works. I read my Bible more, prayed more, and talked about Him more, still while ignoring His beautiful voice. Frustrated, I confided in a godly friend. I poured out my heart to her. She had me walk through everything step by step, and I came to this simple conclusion. I miss Him. I miss His intimacy. I miss knowing Him on a deep, personal level and telling Him that I am His favorite. Frankly, I miss believing that I am His favorite; because there was a time, not too long ago, where I really did believe it, with all my heart. Our God is such a personal, jealous God. Now, I’m not saying that I consider myself of more importance to God than someone else. I know, however, that He loves me, intimately and personally, not just humanity as a whole. This helps me to connect closely with Him. I was reminded of times when I sacrificed so much to know Him better. I gave up movies, sacrificed relationships, and did countless other things, all while even Christian friends told me I was crazy or that my actions were unnecessary. The truth of it all was that my heart was to please my Father. If He didn’t want me watching tv shows or movies that promoted cursing, taking His name in vain, or sexual immorality, then I sure wasn’t going to watch it. For one, I did not want to do anything to offend or hurt His heart. Secondly, since the Holy Spirit lives inside me, anything I sit down to watch, I’m causing Him to be subjected to, as well. How selfish of me!

Overall, I’m just brought back to what matters. I’m brought back to the importance of an intimacy with my first love, Jesus Christ. It is, after all, all about Him. I’m not content to live a “typical” Christian life where I show up to church on Sundays and Wednesdays and simply do what everyone else considers the safe, “right” thing. I want to live out a radical, personal relationship with Christ. I am choosing to sit before Him and simply listen. I am going back to the seasons in which I live my life constantly in the uncomfortable, completely dependent upon Him for my every step. I am going back to the moments where I do not just read His word, say a few words, and call it a day. I am going to listen for His voice, because He is my shepherd, and I know His voice. I am going back to an intimate relationship where God not only guides me and gives me wisdom but also shares His heart with me. Tonight, I’m going back to the basics.

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In honor of Tom

Today is such a mix of happy and sad, of gain and of loss. I lost my grandpa on December 23rd, a couple of years ago. He was my role model and my guide in my search for “the one.” I modeled what I wanted and what I was looking for after him. I wanted to marry someone just like him, so I waited for that person. I passed over other options with the hope that one day my “Tom” would come along. I always knew I wanted a husband who acted like him.

Now, I’m very aware that my God is a God of timing. Two days ago, James proposed. He is the embodiment of all my wishes and dreams for a spouse. He is like my grandpa in so many ways. He looks at me like my grandpa looked at my grandma, and he treats me with the same awe and care. It is no accident that God would choose this week for the departure of someone I love so much and the arrival of someone else who I have also come to love in a way that I never even thought possible. So today, although I am filled with the sadness of loss, I am also filled with joy. I have joy in the knowledge that my God wastes nothing, that He ordains our steps, and that everything is in His sovereign control. In spite of the pain, I rejoice.

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