Yesterday I was having my daily quiet time with God when I found this verse, Isaiah 41:9, “I have chosen you and I will not throw you away.” and I was instantly encouraged. I mean let’s think about this for a second, the one true God, the creator of the entire universe, handpicked each and every one of us and has promised us that He will never throw us away. To me, that is the coolest, most comforting thought there is. I mean, in this life, there are so many people who will betray us, forget about us and hurt us but God is someone who will never do that. He promises to keep us and love us forever. So when I’m feeling down, lonely or forgotten, I can think about this and know I’m loved. :)
I have ransomed you, I have called you by name. You are mine. ~ Isaiah 43:1b
You are precious to me. You are honored and I love you. ~ Isaiah 43:4
Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people. ~ Exodus 19:5
No matter what I think, I’m accepted and worthy.
Psalm 139: 13- 14 ~
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
God loves me with a love that is increasing and overflowing.
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
That’s right, because I, your God have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic, I’m right here to help
Isaiah 41:13 – The Message
I loved you at your darkest.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6:26 & 27
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
Who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
Who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
The Message (MSG)
As I mentioned yesterday I’ve come home for Spring Break. As I’ve mentioned in the past, home ranks very high among my LEAST favorite places to be. As usual at home, I’m having trouble not getting discouraged and completely disheartened. I know that God is here for me and I have several friends who are as well which has been brilliant and as usual a life-saver but I hate this feeling. I hate feeling sad and vulnerable and discouraged. I don’t want to be sad, I want to be strong enough in my faith that I never doubt why I’m going through something. I know He’ll never give me more than I can handle and I know through everything He will have a plan. So why is this so hard? Why do I go to bed at night when I’m home feeling like crying? Why is it that my mom can reduce me to feeling worthless and unloved even when I have other people who assure me that’s not the case. It of course helps when friends stay up with me til 1:30am, letting me vent about my feelings and they tell me they’ll be praying and reassure me of God’s plan and love and their love for me and to just listen to Skillet’s The Last Night and go to bed feeling loved but no matter how much I hear that words from my mom always cut me down. It hurts. And I hate it. When I feel like this I just feel weak and feeling weak makes me feel like her. Which is my biggest fear, ending up like her. I know, it sounds terrible. I sound like a terrible person hoping with everything in me that I turn out nothing like my mother, my own flesh and blood, the one who’s supposed to love me but with everything she says to me I can’t help but feel this way. My best friend though last night was reminding when I was so heartbroken and hurt that it’s only in our weakness that God can be strong. We can’t do anything without Him and His power will always prevail, He is good and He will give us strength. That definitely helped a lot and I’m trying to focus on just how true that is. No matter what God is with me, and He’s blessed me with some amazing friends who will be here for me too and will be kind enough to listen to me vent and will always provide me with encouragement.
I’m sorry this post is angsty again but I needed to get it all out.
I’ll leave you with some of the things that have been providing some encouragement, two of my favorite songs and some encouraging verses.
Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
1 Peter 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 4:19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
Lay ‘Em Down – NEEDTOBREATHE
Come down to the river
Come and let yourself in
Make good on a promise
To never hurt again
If you’re lost and lonely
You’re Broken down
Bring all of your troubles
Come lay ’em down
The Last Night – Skillet
This is the last night you’ll spend alone
Look me in the eyes so I know you know
I’m everywhere you want me to be.
The last night you’ll spend alone,
I’ll wrap you in my arms and I won’t let go,
I’m everything you need me to be.
Last night I got back to my house for my week long Spring Break. You all already know my feelings of being home so I won’t get into those but after getting home, my sister, my friend Rebekah and I went to go see Hugo. For those of you who haven’t heard about it (Which I’m assuming is not many of you since it won almost every Oscar…), it’s about a boy named Hugo who lives in a train station and is uber good at fixing things. When we meet Hugo, he’s currently trying to fix something that he and his father were trying to fix just before his father died. It’s really good and while this is super unusual for a movie, it was actually really encouraging not just on a surface level but on a spiritual level too. One quote from the movie really stuck out to me, “Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do… Maybe it’s the same with people. If you lose your purpose… it’s like you’re broken” I thought that line was cool and so accurate. And people without God are like that, broken and hurting and needing a purpose. That’s why we need God, and people without him feel empty, it’s because they’re missing their purpose in life, what they were created to do. Hugo also said something about machines don’t come with extra pieces and so he knew that he belonged because there aren’t extras, this world is like a big machine where we all have a job and a purpose. I thought that was a good reminder for many of us, myself very much included for when I feel useless and alone and purposeless in this world.
There were also quite a few mentions of having adventures in the movie and it made me long to have one. I touched on this recently in a post but I’m alive, God made me and I don’t want to waste any of my time here. I want to take advantage of every second and live life to it’s fullest. I want to go on adventure. I’m like Belle from Beauty and the Beast, “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell.” I’m like Bilbo, at the end of Lord of the Rings, “I think I’m quite ready for another adventure.” When I’m at home and with my parents I never really get to go on adventures because of their strictness but when I’m away I’m going to make sure I take chances, go on adventures. Plan spur of the moment events. I want to have my own adventure for once, not just read about them.
I’ve been selfish, I’ve been discouraged and overall I’ve just been a brat to God. Sure, on the outside I probably haven’t seemed any different recently but in my heart I’ve been hurting and because of that I’ve been acting bratty. I kept asking God why bad things keep happening to me. Why didn’t I get the church camp job I’ve been wanting for years?Well, obviously that’s because God has something different planned for me this summer. Why do my sister and I constantly get lectured about what terrible people we are? Because maybe it will make us stronger and depend on God more and later in life we can use those stories to help other people be strong. Why do I get so distraught and discouraged because I can’t fix everyone’s problems? I’m not supposed to. That’s God’s job. I’m just a little human, I can’t do anything by myself. With God, on the other hand, I can do anything. With God we are conqueror’s of this world. Nothing can take that away, we are loved and we have God on our side. He will fight for us and help us fight the good fight. We can’t give up. We can’t get discouraged. I think it is okay to ask God why things happen but we can’t get so discouraged and disheartened. I know it’s hard, I struggle with discouragement probably more than anything but I can’t let it get me down. I have to remember that God is bigger than anything I’m dealing with and He’s always there for me.
This past week I had been quite discouraged, only seeming to focus on the bad things happening to me and frankly being a bit mad at God. Through all of that though, God was still good (as always) and He remained right by my side. He actually showed Himself in so many magnificent ways that it was making me a little mad. I was like ok, God, yeah that’s awesome but I’m mad at You right now, I don’t want to see how awesome it is. But, being the Creator of the Earth and knowing what’s right and loving me even when I’m a brat, He made last week one of the most beautiful weeks weather wise that I’ve seen in a long time. He allowed our floor to have so much fun, watching movies and talking about random things. He gave me time to watch this week’s episode of the Office and a cheesy Hulu-original series with Jared. He gave me free pancakes and time to study outside in the gorgeous weather. He gave me the time and ability to have an amazing talk with Carrie that made me feel better even when I still wanted to hang onto my discouragement. I was feeling a bit better about things yesterday when I got the chance to go to Kansas City with a friend from work to go see Needtobreathe and Ben Rector in concert. First off, I hadn’t really been around Kansas City to much and I absolutely fell in love. It’s a gorgeous city! (which was also part of God’s amazingness. I fell in love with it a bit.) Ok, then the concert, it started off with Ben Rector opening, he’s an awesome singer/songwriter and his songs are upbeat and catchy, he was great. Then the main act Needtobreathe came on. I’ve loved them for a long time, loving their catchy and encouraging songs and being a huge fan of their unique sound but their lyrics last night were exactly what I needed to hear. “Let Us Love”, with the chorus of “Let us love (like we were children)/Make us feel (like we’re still living)/in a world I know is burning to the ground/Give us time (to beat the system)/Make us find (what we’ve been missing)/In a world I know is burning to the ground” was a really good reminded that what I’m called to do is love this broken world. God will take care of the rest. “The Outsiders” talks about how we’re not of this world, we’re just in it but we need to do God’s work here. Then came “Lay ‘Em Down”. First of all, this is probably my favorite song by them anyways but last night especially the lyrics just resonated with what I was feeling. “All you sinners
And the weak at heart/All you helpless/On the boulevards/Wherever you are now/Whatever evil you’ve found/Bring all of your troubles/And come lay ’em down”.
Needless to say, it was amazing and though I didn’t get back til 1:30 in the morning and I had an 8:30 class. It was totally worth it.
This week I’ve been struggling a lot with the issue of whether to do something or not. I won’t get into details about it but I’ll just say it’s something quite a few people were telling me to do and I wasn’t sure whether I should or not. After a lot of prayer, a lot of Godly advice from wonderful friends and a wonderful message about prayer at Navigators student ministry on Thursday I think I’ve finally decided what to do. It’s kinda of a scary decision but I think it will be best and I’m pretty sure at this point it’s what God wants. This whole situation however has got me thinking, I want to please God more than anything and I so desire to do His will. But it’s so hard to figure out whether it’s my will so I’m looking for signs to show that God wants me too or if God is actually telling me to or something else. I’m afraid I’m sometimes being too timid on things because I don’t want to go against God’s will and just do my own thing. It’s something I’m really struggling with and despite all my prayer I’m still not entirely sure of the answer but I guess that I’ll just have to trust that as long as I want God’s will to happen I just have to trust that He’ll take whatever actions and use them for Him and I’ll just try my best to obey Him. If any of you have any advice on this subject, I would for sure love to hear it! I hope you’re all doing well and I love you all! Also, if you wouldn’t mind praying for me about the decision I’ve made, that would be swell. :)
“I have one reason why you should walk away from that temptation right now. One reason: GOD. IS. BETTER.” – Francis Chan
And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age. ~ Matthew 28:20
On the day that you die and have to face God, do you honestly believe He will care about how many followers you had on tumblr or how many notes your posts got? No. He’ll want to know how you lived your life to glorify Him, and lead others to Him. Don’t forget about what really matters.
He rescued me because He delighted in me. – Psalm 18:19
I am a Christian because I love Christ, not because I’m afraid of Hell.
“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.” ~ Augusten Burroughs
“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” – C.S. Lewis
“It occurs to me it is not so much the aim of the Devil to lure me with evil as it is to preoccupy me with the meaningless.” – Donald Miller
My children, we must not only talk about loving people; we must show we love people by what we do for them. We must really love them. ~ 1 John 3:18
Two posts ago I was obviously feeling quite down and several of you lovely readers have had quite comforting words for me which I appreciate more than I can ever tell you. I’m still not quite sure why I was so down Thursday other than I think the Devil was trying to mess with and use my loneliness against me. But guess what, my God is stronger than the Devil could ever hope to be and I’m too strong to be used like that. God has my back and the Devil has no power or control in my life.
Not only is God an amazing strength in my life but He has been amazing in blessing me with the most wonderful friends in the world who provide more encouragement than I deserve, I probably complain to them to much but my true friends are there for me regardless. I love you all, those who might read this and those who won’t. Anyways, about my friends. Last night I got the chance to hang out with two of my all time favorite people in this world, Rebekah and Daniel. We went to a wonderful coffee shop where we had coffee and lots of good talks and laughter. We then went back to Rebekah’s house, watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog (Neal Patrick Harris is wonderful) and jokingly watched some anime show that we ended up loving because of it’s cheesiness. All the fun and laughter aside, I’m so glad for those two, and for all my friends. I hadn’t gotten to hang out with those two as much over break as I had wanted to but last night was one of the best nights I can remember. I doubt they realize how much I needed last night but with all the laughter, and encouragement and wonderful discussions we had, they made me feel so much better. They’re amazing. And before the hanging out commenced, Daniel being the brilliant person and lovely friend he is gave me some of the most encouraging words I’ve heard in a long time. Words that I really needed. They’re both brilliant.
That’s about all I have to say for now. Next time I write I will be comfortably back in my dorm with my wonderful college friends but I will however miss these wonderful people at home. I’m so grateful to God for providing me with all these people in my life and I don’t know how I can often feel so down when I’m so blessed. I guess it’s just that silly, selfish, human nature coming through but I wish it wouldn’t. Thank you all for your support and encouragement about my angsty post the other day. I am feeling much better and stronger and God has a wonderful plan for me. I just need the patience to wait for it.
I love you all!