You’ve got to move

It requires

Life is hard. There is no way around that simple fact. There will be times when everything is going smoothly, but just as you get comfortable life seems to throw something new at you.

Everyone has hard times. We all face trials, we all go through seasons of not knowing what’s next, maybe you’ve lost a loved one, or received a discouraging diagnosis. These seasons can be filled with Uncertainty. They can be scary. So scary that they paralyze you. During these hard times it is tempting to shut down and avoid reality.

And while God calls us to rest in him and to be still in His presence, He does NOT tell us to just sit around and do nothing when times get hard. We’ve got to keep moving forward, one step of faith at a time. Just like the Israelites, we have to move from the mountain we are at, into the land God has promised us.

I was listening to a podcast this morning by Steven Furtick and something he said slapped me across the face. He said, “God will go before us, but he will not go for us.”

OUCH!

God will make a way in the dessert. He will open up the door to a new opportunity, He will set the resources right in front of you, but He will not go for us into those things. We must go for ourselves.

It requires faith to step into what God has prepared for us. It requires picking ourselves up off the ground or pulling ourselves away from Netflix(guilty). It requires making a difficult decision to leave the job, to chase the dream, to pursue the relationship. It requires us to live uncomfortable for the sake of doing what God has prepared for us.

Life has been and always will be difficult thanks to Sin. But we have the choice! We can choose to be paralyzed by the circumstance we are in OR we can keep moving toward God and step in faith toward what he has for us. The road won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding.

 

 

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Freedom in uncertainty

THERE IS

Uncertain; adjective –  not completely confident or sure of something.

The definition of uncertain pertains to almost every area of my life these days. I’m uncertain of my career path, of relationships, my family members health and some times who I am and who I want to become. Uncertainty seems to be lurking around every corner.

You see I am a recovering control freak. I love to be in control of most things. If you’re in control things are predictable and more comfortable. I love comfort, most of us do. We don’t want any thing to disrupt us or our plan.

I use the word recovering because about 3 months ago, the Lord prompted me to let him have complete control. You see I have spent the past couple of years surrendering control in some areas of my life, but I was still clinging on to other. In the midst of praying some BIG prayers for very special people in my life, the Lord convicted me. I was the one standing in the way of my prayers being answered.

So I decided to get out of the way. I stepped out of certain and seemingly “steady waters” into an ocean of uncertainty. To say this is easy would be a big fat lie. I’ve picked things back up and put them back down. It’s a daily choice to let go and let God have control. It looks a lot like uncertainty. And it’s scary, but it’s also very freeing.

I know the Lord is teaching me a lot in this season. The biggest lesson being that there is freedom in the Uncertainty. There is freedom in praying big prayers and knowing that your prayers are enough, it’s all you have to do. There is freedom in letting go. There is freedom in saying “I am at the end of myself, God please take over.”

He’s also taught me that while everything is uncertain in this world He is steadfast. He is never failing. He is certain.

We can spend the rest of our lives putting hope in the things of this world to make us feel stable or we can put our hope in Jesus who is the only sure thing in this life.

For the first time in my life I feel like I can rest in who God is, trusting him to put together the pieces perfectly.

Where do you feel uncertainty in your life? And how could living in freedom while surrounded by uncertainty help you? 

You are beautiful, sweet soul

Behind all my hair and makeup is a girl who has spent most of her life believing that just because I wear a size 8 jeans that I’m “fat” and that means I’m not beautiful. I never loved myself for me. I’ve spent years constantly picking myself apart while standing in front of my mirror and engaging in negative self talk.

Well it’s time to STOP. I made up my mind a while ago that 2018 is going to be the year that I truly love myself for me. Mind, body and soul. I want to love every part of me.

I felt convicted a little over a year ago as I was chatting with a friend about who she is and who God created her to be. I went on and on that beauty is on the inside and not the out. I believed those things for her but not for myself. Why is it so easy to believe things for others, but not for ourselves?

For me personally I got very stuck in the comparison trap. I would spend so much time analyzing and comparing my life to others that I tried to copy their life. I was never thin enough, fit enough or dressed cute enough. I believed I had to look and dress a certain way to be beautiful.

It’s no wonder I spent so many of my High School years feeling like a lost puppy, feeling unsure of where I fit in. I was too busy trying to be someone else, than being true to myself.

Comparison is straight up the thief of joy. You can be bopping along, jamming to Justin Timberlake’s newest hit and bam here comes a woman who has something that you don’t. You let that simple fact ruin your day. But you know what? Someone is thinking that about YOU.

Thankfully in College I decided it was exhausting to be anyone but myself. To be yourself is the most beautiful thing you can be.

It’s been a journey getting to that place of believing that being yourself is the most beautiful thing you can be. Getting out of the comparison trap is HARD. For me it looked a lot like deleting my social media for awhile and spending time standing in the mirror thanking God for the parts of me that I don’t love. I also tried to be intentional about genuinely complimenting the girls that made me feel a little insecure.

I clearly still struggle in this area from time to time because I’m sitting here writing about it. Although I’m no longer the girl who hate’s herself, I am a girl who sometimes still gets stuck in the comparison trap. More these past few weeks than I have in a long time.

Thankfully, the Bible and some good friends offered me these reminders about beauty and I wanted to share them with you.

In case you’ve forgotten or maybe you’ve never heard, here is the simple truth about beauty.

Beauty does not come from a number on a scale , the size of your chest or the amount of attention a boy gives you. It does not come from your best outfit, newest shoes or the amazing skin products you use.

Beauty is within you. It’s in your heart. It’s how you treat others when you’re upset with them. It’s how you encourage and lift up those around you. Beauty shines when you put others before yourself. Beauty is kindness. You are beautiful, sweet soul.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says, “God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition.” 

We can rest in the fact that we don’t have to be super model thin, with perfect makeup and great clothes to be beautiful. Our inner disposition is the ONLY beauty that matters.

Letting go

Do you remember the first time you got a balloon? You were likely a child staring in awe of the big, shiny, red balloon swaying in the wind. One day when your parents thought you were old enough they got you one. You felt a sense of pride as you strolled around with your new treat. It was all fun and games until you let the string slip through your fingers and up and away went your new balloon.

Learning to let go starts when we are children and we accidentally let go of our big red balloon. We cry, we scream, but ultimately we have to move on.

The past few months have been filled with a lot of letting go. Letting go of the life I knew as a college student, letting go of bad relationships, letting go of the way things “should” be at this time in my life. Letting go of control, anger, heartache and bitterness.
I could sit here and feed you some story about how great I am at letting things go in my life. That I felt as free as a butterfly because I never hold on to anything bad. But if you called my mom she would laugh in your face and tell you otherwise.
Letting go is hard. I’ve cried, I’ve screamed, I’ve cried some more. And that is okay. It’s okay to struggle with letting go of a relationship that hurt you. It’s okay to struggle with letting go of the life you once knew. It’s okay to struggle with letting go of your plan and allowing God to have control.
God never said surrendering to him was going to be easy but He promised it would be worth it.
Learning to forgive so you can let go of bitterness is hard. But the peace you experience afterwards is unexplainable.
Surrendering to the will of God for your life is hard. But the joy of the Lord consumes you.
Most times in life we have to let go of something in order to receive something better. Letting go of something and placing it in the palm of Jesus’ hand is a testament to our faith. It says, “Lord take this bitterness, anger, sadness, etc. and fill it with your grace and mercy. I am trusting you with this. I’m placing it in your hands.”
There are plenty of things that I am still working on letting go.
What are some things that you need to release to Jesus this week?

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19