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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wrapping & Stirring

Jesus, You are stirring my heart still now. I ask for the words to say and that my heart and mind would be so genuine in all I say. 

This morning I finished my junior year. I wrapped up all my final responsibilities and headed back home for some quite time on my bed with my Bible. 
It has been the hardest year for me personally. And I could write to you about all the lessons that I have learned as I have walked through this hard season with my relationship with Christ and how now it all makes sense and that I have it all together, but that isn't what God is calling me to at all and would be just selfish on my part. So let me explain.. 

I came across a picture on my Instagram feed yesterday that was posted by the Women of Faith account. The picture had a saying that read, 

"My brokenness is a better bridge for people than my pretend wholeness ever was."

Oh goodness, how that hit my heart. You see, I have gotten in a habit of thinking that whenever God starts leading my through something hard that the rewards will be sharing with others what I have learned. And I think that is definitely a blessing, but the way I was seeing that was very prideful on my part. This year, I began putting this pressure on myself and convincing myself that in order to be a witness to those around me, I had to look like I had it all together. I felt like if they saw that I was struggling to have peace and joy through this time that I was letting God down on me shining for Him. 
All of this pressure began to snowball until I felt so defeated and discouraged, I had lost all grasp of the truth of God's grace and comfort. So God began comforting and convicting my heart as a read over that post again.. 

Daughter, don't you see? Your testimony and witness is your brokenness... is Your weakness and tiredness because then they can see my strength and comfort working through you. 

So this week I have been in the process of coming to the feet of Jesus and reminding myself that He is right there with me in every moment- in my weakness and brokenness He still has an oh so perfect plan and everything I need is right there in His presence. 

But I would also like to share with you what I read in my Bible this morning that just overwhelmed and stirred my heart and is still even now. I was reading in the first chapter of John and would like to share with you a few of the verses. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life wathe Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
The truth of Jesus Christ was planned from the beginning of time when God created the earth. And in His timing, God gave us Himself by coming and dying on the cross for all our wrongs and failures. He gave us the truth of who He is so that we may could have life and darkness and sin will NEVER overpower the life that Jesus brought my heart six years ago. Gracious, just the simply truth of these verses began stirring my heart. 
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were [i]born, not of [j]blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
I have so easily lost sight of the single fact that whenever I accepted Jesus into my heart, I became His daughter forever. I am safe forever. I am protected forever. God came full of grace and truth. 

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of [l]the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth...
16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 
He mended my efforts with His complete strength and wisdom, my brokenness with His wholeness, and my fear of sinning and failing with His ultimate triumph over darkness. 

I just wanted to share with you how Jesus is stirring all of these truths in my heart as I close my junior year and I hope it encouraged you towards Jesus and the fullness in Him that stirs Your heart with wholeness, love, and peace. And that it is okay to be broken and a little discouraged, because it is then that God's strength can move in the mightiest of ways. It's okay to be in the middle, to be in the process of growing, and just working on being completely surrendered to Jesus, especially on mornings when you wrap one season up and He stirs your heart to the next.





Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lord, break my heart.


27 million. MILLION.

Two weeks ago- I’m scrolling through Instagram like so many times before, and come across a video of John Luke Robertson and Mary Kate’s wedding trailer. So of course I pause and wait for it to play. As I watch, I tuck my legs underneath me in the recliner while I smile. The day looked like it was absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way. It made me stop and pray for a minute, “Lord, this is what you bless us with whenever we surrender to Your will and lay our desires and hearts at Your feet. You bless us with beautiful days and spouses that have the desire to seek You so the two of us can bring You glory.” But then I kept scrolling and the very next post that comes into sight on my screen is one posted by the End It Movement. The End It Movement is a Christian organization that brings awareness and fights modern day slavery. So after my heart was so encouraged by this couple that were walking and seeking God together, I began to watch this video that shows little children working in horrible conditions and girls being rescued from being sex slaves. My instinct-to go back and re-watch the wedding trailer and push away the unsettling truth out of mind, but then it hit me.

Lord, when are we going to wake up? When am I going to wake up and realize that this is REALITY? Human trafficking and slavery is real; it’s more present than ever and it’s time to end it. Let’s end it so those girls who are trapped can have freedom and have that beautiful wedding day that we all have dreamed for. As this thought process began to take place, I began to pray again,

“Lord, wake me up. Break my heart over this.”

And what do you think took place for the next twenty minutes? My heart began to absolutely break. I thought about those girls who are in slavery this very moment, who are being violated in every way and literally wake up day after day to the same horror. They think that that is all they will see in their life. They think they have no hope. They are tucked away in darkness and they can’t speak up. But this is what I know- I serve the One True King who has already stripped darkness and evil of all it’s authority. The darkness that these people are living in is no match for the light that shines in each one of us- the light that shines whenever we speak up and pray for these girls to be protected in a way that only Jesus can protect.

I don’t think I will ever forget talking with my mom that night. As she walked in the door and set down all of her things, I began to share with her what I saw and how God was leading my heart. She was fiddling around with something on the kitchen table whenever I began to explain to her, “My heart is just breaking. Like I want to go there myself and hug those girls and tell them about Jesus. I want to look at those around me and say when are we going to wake up!” My voice raised and even I was surprised at the passion and burden that had leaked into my voice from my heart I continued, “When are we going to start praying for these people. The need prayers. They need hope. What if all of these stuggles and battles these past months been because God is preparing me to go in those places and rescuing them? I know He will shield me and give me the courage to go into those places, but those places need God’s light and redemption. They need His truth and I know what’s going on in those places can’t stand against God’s love and truth.” Oh, my heart was burning with passion and burden. All I could do was let God lead my heart in prayer.

Lord, You know exactly where that darkness is taking place. Father, I pray Your light and love would shine so brightly wherever each and every person is right now. Father, let them know how much You love them and the hope that is in You, Jesus. Give us the resources and wisdom, Lord, and let us allow You to lead us in boldness and courage. Father, keep breaking my heart and leading my in Your will. I want to be Your hands and feet. I just lift every girl up to You in this moment. Shield and protect them in a way only You can. I love You, Lord. Thank you for your hope and grace. I know You are right here with me.

 

So what can we do? What can you do? Allow God to let the reality become real to you. Allow Him to break Your heart for those who are enslaved. And pray. Pray big. There is so much power in prayer and the devil can not stand against the power and love of Jesus Christ. Pray that we would have the wisdom and resources to go rescue this people and tell them about Jesus Christ and see them heal in glorious ways. And RAISE your voice. It’s time to not be silent. Ending it starts with awareness. These cruel people can’t stand in their evil acts whenever we begin to shine a light on them. The darkness has to flee.

 

So will you join me? Will you join me in allowing God to break your heart and lead you in boldness and faith to stand up for the way in which he called us all to live? In freedom. In righteousness. In love. In purity. In light.

 

There are 27 million who need you to use your voice because theirs have become silent. It’s time to end this and it can only be done in Jesus Christ.
Even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

Psalm 139:12


When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

2 Corinthians 2:13-15

 
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and a sound mind.

1 Timothy 1:7
 
 
 

Monday, August 17, 2015

"I need your heart."



Today marked the beginning of my Junior year, although this morning didn't go anywhere near how I planned. However, I can't explain the craziness that filled my heart this morning without giving you a background of what began last night, the night before my junior year.


Last night I received a text from one of my teachers informing me that my principal wanted me and another student council member to share our knowledge of modern day slavery and our personal encounter with it to the entire student body. Modern day slavery is a big, nasty, and alarming issue occurring in our country today and sadly not many girls are aware of it. So it was something that was on my heart that I felt needed to be shared to my school, which would result in less students being vulnerable to the horrific reality. The original plan was to present to only thirty students at a time and to wait until the first month of school passed so that we had plenty of time to prepare. Meaning, I was overwhelmed with nervousness when I read the text message explaining how I would be informing the whole school about the issue in less than 24 hours. My teacher and I's conversation when on for about fifteen minutes and ended with us postponing the presentation due to me not being comfortable with the situation. However, I went to bed with a heavy heart and still unable to know exactly what needed to be done. I was torn between doing what was safe in my comfort zone and stepping out and being bold for something that needed to be done; but why not wait and be bold whenever I got a little more confidence under my belt? I stayed up two hours laying in bed weighing my heart and praying for peace in whatever direction God lead me. The night ended with me finally settling down and falling asleep and knowing that I would have a clear mind in the morning.


Six o'clock rolls around and I wake up still weighing the possibilities of comfort and fear. I go about my morning and after another two hours of pacing and sighing through my house, I know that God is calling my heart to trust Him with this one and to just step out in faith. I drive to school later than I planned to be departing from my house saying one prayer over and over in my mind and heart, "Lord, I am absolutely terrified of public speaking, but please let me stand on your strength and shoulders throughout this morning. It is only through You I can do this."  I walk into school, tell my mom what I decided to do and after hearing an encouraging word for her, I set out to find my student council advisor to let her know how I felt.


Needless to say, this morning ended with my principal telling me that we would have to wait and do the meeting another time and that he had forgotten all about me needing to share today. But my fear and struggle didn't stop here, because just like the mission of informing teen girls of modern day human trafficking had been laid on my heart, I also have the opportunity to lead our CSU (Christian Student Union) organization this year, which will be filled with plenty of reading and talking with large groups of students.


But the important part of this whole post is what words God spoke to my heart tonight whenever I began to think of what still lays ahead and the mornings that will probably be filled with the same anxiousness- "Daughter, I don't need someone with a clear voice. I need your heart."


Oh goodness, how I needed to be reminded of what my place was! God doesn't need my strength and ability- that is what His perfect strength and power are for. He just needs my surrendered heart focused on His unfailing love and power. As I tossed this amazing promise around in my heart, I began thinking of all the bible verses in which God comforted those who were afraid because of the leading position they had received.


God told Moses:
"Now then go, and I , even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say." Exodus 4:12
And to Joshua:
No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.....Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1 (verses 5 & 9)


And in the New Testament He reminds us that:


"For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7


I hope these verses gave your heart as much comfort as they did mine and I ask that you would keep me and my school in your prayers throughout this year. I know God has such great plans for CSU- and He has my heart every step of the way.


Lord, thank you for Your never ending, perfect love and powerful strength. I would be nothing without it everyday. I pray you would fill my heart with such an unstoppable boldness for sharing Your word and truth with all of those around me. Let my heart worship and fall in love with You more and more every morning. Thank you for making me your daughter, because I want nothing more than to follow You.













Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hello, 2015

As 2014 comes to a close, I remind myself how great this year has been. It has been hard at times, but great none the less. This past year was filled with amazing blessing and many lessons with hardships as I grew in my walk with Christ and I am incredibly grateful for each. As 2015 begins, I am reminding myself how great of a purpose we have in God and that He has a perfect plan for each and every one of our lives. Whatever goals you have set for yourself know that all things are possible with Christ and that the greatest things come when keep our eyes fixed on Him. An important lesson I am being taught is to wait. I know God has the perfect plan for me and I trust Him with my life. However, God isn't going to make that plan completely clear, or in other words, I am not going to simply wake up and know that plan all in one piece. I know each and every step will be made clear when I am ready to receive it. And in between knowing those steps we are called to wait on the Lord. As we wait, we dig down deep into God's word and become wiser. The times when things are unclear and you don't know what lays ahead, you have peace in knowing that God does know and He will show you at the proper time. He promises us this. (Isaiah 64:4) So as you take on this New Year, I pray that you would find love, peace, and truth in Christ, and that if you know Him you would continue to focus on what He has in store for you. If you don't know who Christ is, but want to learn more about the One who created you, loves you immeasurably, and the One who has an amazing plan for your life- click here. 

Jeremiah 29:11
  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 Happy New Year, friends!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hey now, this is my desire.

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
            Psalms 37:4

Lately, I have been learning the lesson of letting go. For awhile, now, dating has appealed more and more to me. I asked for God's guidance on who was the right guy and to direct my feelings if they guy right in front of me wasn't in His plan. At first, I had just became more and more attracted to Him, but then slowly everything started falling apart. I can remember standing in my room, crying harder than I have ever before:

Lord, I just don't understand. Why...why....why. I know you have a plan for me. I know you have a guy waiting for me. I know I have to seek you first before you will show me who that is and I have prayed if it is not your will that you would lead me away from him. I know if I follow your will that I will be saving myself from heartbreaks. So why does this hurt so badly now?

I kept praying and God kept showing me more and more clearly that this one individual wasn't the one He had for me. However, I was still around him all the time and whether or not I was admitting it to myself or not- I was still clinging to the idea that maybe someday it would be in God's plan. Maybe not now, but at some point I would get what I thought was best.
Many times our world becomes way to small. Take a moment and think of how great and mighty the God who holds our hearts is. How could we every think for one moment we could come up with something more perfect than His plan?
I began to see that I limiting God because the things I see as perfect can not even compare to the perfection of His purpose for me and my heart.
At this point, it was so vividly clear in my mind and heart that I had to let go and it wasn't easy. However, the only way I could let go of a relationship I had convinced myself was perfect was to trust my Lord with all my heart and to lean on Him and His understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)
Letting go for me was a process. Not as in I let go a little at a time, but in the way that it got easier everyday.
Tonight as I was going about my evening I began to think about how at peace my heart is and how comforting it is to know that you are exactly where God wants you to be- you are completely surrendered to Him. God spoke to my heart through His word and everything suddenly was so clear.

Delight yourself in me and I will give you the desires of your heart....

I thought if I kept my focus on God and trust in Him, He would give me the desire for that guy to lead me through a dating relationship. When really whenever we completely look to our Savior and delight in Him, our only desire is to grow more in Him and to be drawn closer in His love- the truest of all. Whenever we surrender to that true love, it brings the deepest peace and comfort. Far more than any other person could give you on their own.
I challenge you and hope that if their is anything you are holding on too that is not God's love, you would feel God's strength and let go and hold on to the One who holds this world in His hands. I promise you that He has the most perfect plan for your life and He knows what perfect is because He humbled Himself to come show us that when He died on the cross for our sins.

Lord, thank you for giving me the trials to make me have a stronger faith in you. Thank you for the times when I didn't understand because it was then that you gave me wisdom. Thank you for loving me unconditionally and being with me everyday even when I couldn't see you. I love you.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

What I Know

Emptiness. I can never say that I have ever looked at someone and seen a completely empty life, that is, until this year. Two weeks ago, I started my second year of my high school career. I already knew God had a powerful plan for my life and one that would not only bring joy from encouraging others, but deep growth in knowing just how much my Savior, Jesus Christ, means to me. These past two months or so have been the most challenging months I have ever experienced. They have been filled with many lessons that come with hard trials. However, I have never seen God working so consistently than He is right now. You see the only thing I want, the only thing I need is to hold on to the promises my God gives me. Everything else is pointless. Everything else is empty. I asked Jesus to live in my heart when I was ten years old and ever since then I have been pursing a closer relationship with Him. Sadly, I have witnessed a strong and heartbreaking truth these last few weeks. A truth I have known all my life, but have never seen it as vividly taking place in someone else's life. My eyes have been opened to people who are without God and everything about them is empty. There is no depth to their emotions-no purpose for getting up in the morning other than to scrape a red sharpie over a small box on a calendar. They have nothing to live for and it has truly broken my heart. I pray for them- I pray that God may use me as a light to show them what love is and that God does have a purpose for them everyday and to live without Him is like living in a horror film. Because without God leading me everyday, I too would be completely empty. But in Christ I am not who I could be, but who I was created to be. I hope you see the depths of all these truths and catch a glimpse of just how much YOU mean to God.

As I said earlier, these past few months have been incredibly difficult to persevere through. And it is hard to sit in a class and hear someone teach philosophies and theories that don't line up with the Bible, but at the same time, I know I was placed in that class for a reason. God is preparing me and using me when I least expect it. And I want those people to know who is the One who holds this world in His hands. These are just some thoughts that have been on my heart the last couple of days that I wanted to share with you and I encourage you to read some of my other posts.



I don't have all of it figured out, but what I know is You, my God, are real.












Dear Lord, give me a kind and  joyful heart so I can share you word and love with those around me. Give me boldness to speak your truth and strength when it's hard too. Thank you for all the trials that have made me stronger. Please, continue to guide my heart with everything on my mind right now. I love you.
                                              Your Daughter

Friday, July 11, 2014

Look to Him

You're struggling. You feel like you couldn't possibly be more overwhelmed than you are right now. You are a son or daughter of the one true King. Yet, Satan, your enemy, is attacking you at every angle possible. He throws lies at you about your faith and whispers thoughts into your mind such as, "Why are you even doing this?" "Isn't it time you drop this whole faith thing and just give up?" But let me tell you something. Don't ever give up. In those moments, where you feel like the breath has been knocked out of you, or you feel like he has just kicked you right in the stomach. You put on the belt of truth, (Ephesians 6) and you say, " I am a child of God and you can't lay a hand on me. My heavenly Father has defeated you over death and He will defeat you now in this very moment. After feeling that strong truth in your heart and mind, turn around and run and leap into God's arms. He will then comfort you. But the devil wants to keep you wrapped up in the chaos. He is the father of lies and wants to hide you from the truth. During the chaos, he wants to keep you as far away from God as possible; he wants you to believe that there isn't a way out. One of the lies he has thrown at me this week is the idea, "Stop, don't pick up your bible. It will just leave you more overwhelmed." No! God's word brings peace and guidance. I reached the point today that I picked up all the things that God uses to speak to me, His word, my commentary, a devotional book by Charles Stanley, and my Sunday School study guide. I went into a room where I knew I wouldn't be bothered and left my phone on the other side of the house. (I know... it is crazy hearing that someone actually left their phone for more than five minutes, but friends, your time with God is more important than Twitter or Instagram.) So, like I was saying I found a place where I would have absolutely no distraction and had some father/daughter time with my Savior. And that is the best decision you can make today- to just take however long you need to in order for God to speak to you. I promise if you do you will find comfort. He will give you strength to get through whatever you are facing. We live in a evil, fallen world that throws all sorts of things to get us off the path of walking wisely with our Savior, but God will guide you in this life and you will find rest and joy in Him.   It is possible for you to live a victorious life filled with pure happiness, but you can only do that by looking to Him. A verse that I came over today that really gave me some truth and guidance was found in 1 Corinthians 13:7. Chapter 13 talks about true love. Verse 6 &7 reads, Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. After reading that, I broke the words down in a way that I could see the idea better.
  1. God's love will always protect you. Whatever battle or trial you are going through in your spiritual walk with God, he will protect you.
  2. God's love gives you truth. All the lies that Satan is throwing at you can be destroyed if we look to God. He will breathe truth into your heart and give you peace.
  3. Once we hear God's truth, we find hope in the fact that we aren't facing the storms of life alone because God loves us always.
  4. And then, once we know we are protected, have God's truth in our hearts, and see the hope that He gives us, we find the strength to persevere in order to overcome what we are going through.
 Perhaps you feel extremely lost and overwhelmed and don't know of the love I speak of, but you want to know God and find that love. So that, you don't have to live in this world alone any more. Maybe you want to make the decision right now to ask Jesus into your heart and be free from the hurt of this world. If so, I want to direct you in the plan and purpose God has for your life that starts with receiving His free gift of salvation. http://intouch.org/god