Let it Go

Dear younger me,

How do you let go of a crush?

I’m still trying to figure that one out. When I like someone, I like them for years…because I don’t fall easily. On one side this is good because I am loyal and I certainly know my own heart and feelings. On the other hand, this can make life miserable…. wondering so many ifs.

As you age, you crush on far fewer people, you’ll spend more of your time serving the Lord and loving on others with no holding back. One day, you’ll get hit though. A guy will seem to show up on your radar and because of your imagination and innately good desire to be married, it’ll consume you. I wish I could give you advice. All I know is the truth. The truth is, God controls your story. God can bring about your love story. This means, you don’t have to worry over every interaction, worry over the timing of everything, you don’t have to worry about getting the guys attention, because God has the perfect timing, God gave you the holy spirit to lead you, and God can easily work in that guy’s heart to pursue you.

I wish there was a medicine to take away the nerves and the pain, but truth be told…I think that just takes practice and discipline. If you want God to be your total focus, then keep praying, keep speaking that. It may take time, but God certainly honors you for wanting such a wonderful thing. Don’t worry about the guy. God can worry about that. Allow God to work His magic if it is His will.

His Time or Mine?

There were so many great truths in Pastor Des’s sermon some time ago.

I personally love when a “typical Sunday School” passage can mean so much to us in our different stages of life.

In the story of the feeding of 5 thousand, Des felt the calling to trust in God even if it doesn’t add up. There are 5 loaves- and 2 fish, 5 thousand people to feed, it’s impossible! But not with our God!

Des’s reminder gave me a renewal in energy and hope.

After having a couple of long and stressful weeks myself, I found another truth in this story that the holy Spirit (and Des) helped me reach.

Jesus had gathered his disciples together and told them they would get in the boat to retreat and rest in a solitary place. Yes, Jesus is fully man and fully God. However, He feels just like us. He was probably tired, weary, and as Des pointed out, mourning over the death of John the Baptist. A rest seems in order for both Him and the disciples.

Yet, they go to their solitary place and hungry, thirsty, helpless crowds follow them.

Rather than seeing the crowd and turning them away, Jesus had compassion on them. He welcomed them.

That’s where I felt a conviction: my time, my day, belongs to God.

Even after a tiring week, He can still use me in others’ lives. Perhaps I want to go home to rest, but my friend needs help with a paper or with babysitting. Perhaps I see someone drop a million papers.

Am I going to respond like Jesus? Will I trade my own time for His time?

What will you do when He calls you to serve even when you feel tired?

Jesus welcomed it.

Are you ready?

Dear Younger Me,

There may come a day when you feel you are ready. You’re ready for “the one”.

You love God. You’re fulfilled by Him. You know Your worth is only in Him. You know yourself well. You have made friends with loneliness. You’ve embraced your single years. You are ready! That’s the truth!

So, why haven’t you met him yet? Where is he?

Just remember that you may be ready, but perhaps he’s out there still growing. He may not be ready.

In that case, you don’t want to meet him until he is the partner the Lord has made for you. And you certainly do not want anyone else.

Continue to trust in the Lord’s timing, but also know, you could absolutely be ready, but that can still mean wait.

Growing Up Wild

I watched Growing Up Wild in honor of World Wildlife Day a few weeks ago.

The documentary follows the stories of 5 different wild animals. It’s done in a kid friendly way because it was made by Disney. Yet, I still got emotional.

One of the stories follows a baby Toque macaque monkey. We learn immediately that there is a social order in this monkey troop and our baby monkey is at the very bottom. He finds himself unloved. He starves. He’s rejected, ignored, unprotected. Cue tears!

Just when it looked like our baby monkey was so alone, devastated, and essentially dying from starvation, something miraculously occurs. The male leader of the troop, decides to adopt him as his own, meaning: love, protection, acceptance, food, and nurture for the little one.

This really struck me. I can’t help but think of God. Here we all are, some so alone, so scared. Some of us feeling unloved and ignored. Many feeling unsafe. Even some truly starving. We might be at the bottom of society. Yet, here Jesus comes. He adopts us as His own. He offers love, protection, nourishment, and salvation. What a beautiful image!

Then later in the film, another troop threatens our troop. Our male leader fights another and wins, but he seems to disappear. Our baby monkey is alone again, losing his only protector. Suddenly, our male leader returns and instantly comforts his adopted son.

Again, this reminds me of God. He fights our battles. He is king. When we feel he has disappeared, He hasn’t. He’s seconds away from returning you to His arms!

The Hard Days

Dear Younger Me,

Some days are harder than others. The weight of the world will feel like it is crushing you and adding people to your day only makes it worse.

Essentially, you feel overwhelmed.

I promise you those days will come and there’s  only one good thing about them- a revelation you will have. It may come early or maybe after you’ve cried your eyes out and eaten an insane amount of chocolate.

Because you are overwhelmed and there’s no escaping it: you have to go to work, you have to meet with friends, you have to feed yourself, drive somewhere, wake up, etc. There’s no way out. Because of that, you’ll only have one place to turn.

You’ll turn to God, knowing with peace and joy that no matter where He has you, He’s got your back.

You may be overwhelmed, but He isn’t and He won’t ever be.

You look to Him and I promise you, you will get through it!

 

Painting by Connie Townsend

Give me Jesus

Jeremy Camp’s song, Give me Jesus

You can have all this world

Give me Jesus

I wonder, as I listen to that song, what if we lived that way? What if we truly put our value, our interests, our hopes, our everything in Jesus and allowed worldly things to have little weight in our lives?

Recently, I had been sick for a week with a cold. The sickness seemed to not only affect my body, but my mind, attitude, words, and feelings. I failed so many times that week in my spiritual life. Perhaps I failed in what seemed  very small ways to others, but none the less, I felt convicted.

I spent too much time thinking about worldly things, from boys to money, even thinking curse words in my mind when something happened. I texted and spoke to people without thinking first, allowing my flesh to lead over God’s spirit. I spent too much time browsing Facebook and Buzzfeed.

* You get the point.

So, when I listened to that song one morning, I was so refreshed by those words. After a full week of disobeying God, my spirit was craving Jesus.

You can have all this world. If we spent less time watching tv, commenting on social media, worrying about other people’s opinions, the clothes we wear, the next task we have to do, we would be used by God for something greater.

Think about how much more free time you would have if checking facebook or buying that perfect outfit didn’t matter. You would be free to hear the Spirit’s leading. You would be free to meditate on His word, to feel His love and peace, to serve others, to encourage someone, to give, to love.

Just give me Jesus. I pray for you and I that we would start to only want Jesus and none of these worldly treasures. I pray our heart would crave Him so much, that everything else just doesn’t seem to matter as much.

The Heroines of our Life

Dear  Younger me,

Continue to look up to women who are strong, hard working, loyal, brave, and yet still women.

Your Aunt Peggy, full of faith, persevering through great tragedy, and still making life joyful with her laughter.

Your mother, unapologetically friendly, unashamedly sweet, and incredibly fun.

Your sister, so brave, so dedicated, devoted, passionate, and so deeply loving.

Don’t hesitate to love those female characters who embodied all of those.

Anne Elliot, who is kind, quiet, humble, and patient.

Buffy Summers, who is tough, brave, selfless, and emotional.

Leslie Knope, who is spunky, goofy, fun, and hard working.

These are the women to look up to, the ones who fight for what they love, find joy in darkness, and live loving those around them. And most importantly, are confident in who they are.

Find someone who inspires you to live a better life and that is a good female role model.