Monday, April 15, 2013
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
As much as I love a happy ending, I've realized in reflecting over the past year that the biggest lesson I learned was that things don't always have a positive resolve. Perhaps one is coming, but we don't always find it right away. But that's okay. Life on this earth is not about quick fixes to find a happy ending. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Jesus is our "quick fix" or that we'll always have a completed story in this world. We are restless. We are fighting against our human nature, longing for that one thing to fill us up. And it takes days, months, and years to struggle through the things that we think will satisfy us, only to find again and again that Christ alone is our satisfaction.
2012 was full of ups and downs. The biggest thing I learned through each one was that only God "satisfies the longing soul and gives the hungry soul good things" (Psalm 107:9). It took the ups and downs to show me that. Until the day that any of us realizes this truth, we are very much like waves in the ocean, desperately trying to grab onto the shore but never able to find peace. Life is like that, but our hope is in the "sea of glass" where we'll be "at last completed and complete." I learned this year that, although I will always be restless in this life, I can find complete peace and satisfaction in my God who someday I will be with. Although I fight my restless human nature every day that I walk this earth, my hope lies beyond, to the day that He calls me away from this human nature to be with Him in perfect peace.
In reflecting on 2012, I also listed 12 reasons that 2012 was such an incredible year. In no particular order:
1. Discovering Lecrae.
2. Being directed to Patrick Henry College. [although it's still not 100% official that I'm going there]
4. Traveling a lot. [a total of 21 flights plus several road trips!]
5. NCFCA. [the amazing people I met and the lessons learned through tournaments]
6. Every friend I made. [you all know who you are]
7. Debate camp.
8. Meeting Jordan Spalding. [<3 p="p">9. NITOC 2012. [both getting to see Brenna, Julie, and others, as well as discovering the amazingness of Colorado Springs]
10. Seeing Switchfoot live and holding Jon Foreman's hand. [!!!]
11. The low points that taught me God is always sovereign, always good, and always loves me.
12. God's faithfulness in every single detail of my life.
May we all taste His grace and be satisfied completely in His perfect love through whatever experiences we have in 2013.3>
Monday, November 19, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
These words hit my heart this afternoon as I was pondering the concept of beauty.
I had just casually thought, "oh, [random girl]'s new profile picture is so gorgeous!" That thought, of course, led my brain down the typical rabbit trail it goes on when, well, any thought enters it. After some mental twists and turns, I came to the realization that often times, I feel guilty when I look at a picture of myself and truly think it's beautiful, and even moreso when I post it online. Why? Because society has told me that it is conceited and wrong to think of myself as beautiful. Society has told me that there are prettier girls than myself out there. And society has told me that I'll never win the "pretty" competition.
But society doesn't define me. Christ does. And He says I'm beautiful.
Beyond just myself, God created each individual in His image, and He said each one was very good.
Each and every person on this planet is a unique masterpiece. None of us are a copy, a recycled model, or less than enough. And God says we are very good.
We're not competing for first place in beauty. We don't have to keep comparing ourselves to others. Life isn't a Miss America pageant.
It's an art show. And you are God's unique masterpiece.
So don't be afraid or ashamed to consider yourself beautiful, girls. [or for the guys, handsome.] Don't feel guilty when you think you look good in a picture.
You are a beautiful/handsome creation that is worthy of display. Not for your own glory, but for the glory of the One who created you.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I don't know about you, but I frequently have this nagging feeling that the way I naturally feel or act is bad. Often times, I think dreaming is foolish and shoot those dreams down with a mental AK-47. Other times, I feel a strong need to trust no one, despite my natural craving for closeness with others. The list goes on.
God works in crazy awesome ways. In literally the past few days, He's been revolutionizing my thinking with just about everything. It started with a simple comment on a Facebook photo, where someone mentioned that they wanted to see me. No big deal, but it sparked some thoughts about the way I view myself and my life. It ultimately led to a big internal revolution, where God has started purging the negative and untrue views and replacing them with His truth. Again, this happened over the span about one day. How He works this way, I don't really know.
All of that personal lead-in to say, last night, I sat down and separated the good things that I so often think are bad from the things that actually make them bad. After writing it out, I realized that it's truth I want to share. This list and afterword are as much for me as for you, but I ask that you open your heart and mind to consider the truth below. It's powerfully freeing.
It is good to...
It is not okay to...
-Expect (based on self-made hope)
-Wallow in self-pity
-Find security outside of God
-Accept emotion as the end
Every one of these things in the left column is good and created by God. You are worthy to experience every single one. Nothing makes you less of a person where you do not deserve to experience these gifts from God — not your appearance, not your past, not your struggles or sins, not that one personality trait you cannot stand in yourself, etc. None of it. You are more than all of those things, and you are every bit worthy to hope, dream, wish, love, be honest, trust, and feel emotion. The reason we think these things are bad is because we live in a fallen world, where beautiful life-gifts from God have become tangled up with the things of the world that are not good. If you can separate the two and live out the good gifts from God while rejecting the bad views from the world, you will experience your new life in Christ like never before.
You were created for all of these good things. So enjoy the life God has given you. It truly is beautiful. :)