My Identity Isn’t in my Hair. 

For years now I have believed the lie that my identity and self-worth lie within my hair and approval from others.

One never thinks about the words they say to others (guilty) and as a result, those words can really stick with you and become weeds that are rooted in your heart. Soon enough, you start to believe those lies because you have been conditioned to those nasty words and expectations.

On Tuesday, God spoke so clearly to me that I made a hair appointment.

“I love you no matter the length. I will always value you more than others. You are mine, not this world’s.” Wow, okay Jesus. Thank you for showing up and speaking truth where I didn’t know a lie had taken root.

My identity isn’t found in the clothes I wear, how “cool” I think my Insta posts are, the adventures I take, my non-existent relationship status (or if I had one) and/or my hair length.

My identity is given to me by my King that laid down his life for me 2,000 years ago today. Well sorta today, happy Good Friday everybody!

Jesus walked a long path to Calvary. A path that was destined for death, pain, suffering, and mocking. The enemy will attack you and I with these things through words of others, but remember Jesus rose again on the 3rd day. He has victory and through Him, so do we.

Today, I rejoice in the cross and His victory. “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 1 Corinthians 5:21

Since Jesus laid down his life for me, I have found mine in Him, and in Him alone.

So what has changed? Well I can tell you that God hasn’t, and that’s why I find my identity in Him. His love, grace, wisdom, calling, and promises are ALWAYS constant and unwavering. Our world has different trends everyday, example: long hair vs. short hair. But Jesus, that man is forever.

Condition your heart to truly know Christ’s love for you. To know the value He sees in you. The more you condition your thoughts and beliefs in God’s word and truth, the more you will recognize the lies of the enemy and this world.

You were worth God’s only son. Oh, that scandal of grace. How sweet is it to know that you are valued enough that God went bankrupt to have a relationship with you.

Since this change, (it’s only been 2 days) I have experienced so much freedom and love. Freedom because I have conditioned my heart to see God’s value in me while not caring about other’s opinions on my hair length and love from friends and family.

THANK YOU SWEET SWEET SAVIOR.

Before :


After:

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Dear God, thank you for 2016.

My new favorite tradition is taking time to myself and truly reflecting back on the year You, my God, have graciously given me.

I remember exactly a year ago writing about my year 2015 and praying for what 2016 would hold for me. Little did I know what would happen. It’s funny when I start planning out my year and how I would like it to go and then You humble me with Your plan. A year ago I pictured and prayed that I would be living in Moscow, Russia or anywhere but Lubbock, Texas. Well, here I am a year later and still in Lubbock, Texas (well currently writing this in Orlando, Florida). People have told me that I had a terrible 2016, but I feel the complete opposite. Trials are to come and yes, I had some hard ones, but You my God, are bigger and better than those trials.

“As 2015 comes to an end, I can’t help but think about all the blessings and uncontainable joy I have. Now, if you would have asked me six months ago, I would not have thought I would be where I am. But You knew. You knew all along about the trials and blessings coming my way this past year.

Thank you for remaining. Thank you for pursuing me this year even when I turned away from you. Thank you for the countless blessings and the tears during trials. Through it all you have remained with me. Thank you for the good and bad times. You turned my tears of pain into smiles of joy.

I pray that in 2016, I will pursue You every minute of every day. I pray that even during the trials, (because they will come) that I will see your goodness, kindness, and faithfulness. I pray that I will surrender to your plan and not run off with my own.  I will fight for this relationship. I pray that I will walk in power and grace while spreading your love and word. You have given me all I need and more, I am forever Yours. So, wherever I am after graduation, I pray to be serving you and giving glory back to You. Your plan is so much bigger and greater than mine. My heart and years to come are yours, God. This is my New Years resolution.”

This is what I wrote and prayed to you my sweet Lord, and a year later it still holds very true. Jesus, thank you for the year 2016 and all that came with it.

January:

  1. My final semester at Texas Tech. Thank you.
  2. A new disciple. Thank you.
  3. Helping me conquer my fear of submitting an application. Thank you.

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February:

  1. Seeing Hillsong United live. Thank you.
  2. Your peace. Thank you.

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March:

  1. A vision trip to Moscow, Russia. Thank you.
  2. Acceptance to STINT in Moscow, Russia. Thank you.

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April:

  1. New friends from Model United Nations.
  2. Supporters partnering with me for your Kingdom. Thank you.
  3. My future teammates. Thank you.

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May:

  1. My time with Texas Tech CRU. Thank you.
  2. Graduating!! Thank you.
  3. Keeping me safe in my car accident. Thank you.
  4. Healing quickly from my wisdom teeth. Thank you.

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June:

  1. Showing me you are always in control. Thank you.
  2. Never forsaking me. Thank you.
  3. Showing me your love, grace and goodness in heartbreak and disappointment. Thank you.
  4. Showing me I don’t have to be in Moscow to serve you. Thank you.

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July:

  1. My little miracle Graham cracker. Thank you.
  2. Continue restoration in my family while in Brazil. Thank you.
  3. Friends that help me move. Thank you.

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August:

  1. Quality time with Lena for countless days. Thank you.
  2. New opportunities to continue spreading your word while in community. Thank you.
  3. My Indian Creek family and Launch Global. Thank you.
  4. Friends that are a reflection of you and your grace. Thank you.
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September:

  1. Exceeding my prayers by providing me with the perfect job at Texas Tech. Thank you.
  2. My Chinese neighbors who are reading the Bible with me. Thank you.
  3. Meeting internationals at work. Thank you.
  4. New disciples and possible teammates. Thank you.

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October:

  1. Paying off $3,000 of student loans. A step closer to the field. Thank you.
  2. Your promises holding true. Thank you.
  3. Three new sisters in Christ! Thank you for letting me be a part of your work!
  4. Dahee and Choyoung, my sweet Korean souls. Thank you.

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November:

  1. Bible study with my exchange students. Thank you.
  2. Potential teams overseas. Thank you.
  3. Freedom in Christ. Thank you.
  4. My loving Aunt Linda joining you in paradise. Thank you.

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December:

  1. My team in Thailand. Thank you.
  2. Spending the holidays in Florida. Thank you.
  3. Your plan and your will. Thank you.
  4. Your son that died on the cross for my rebellion. Thank you.

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Now, 2016 is coming to an end and I am grateful for the year you have given me. Thank you for remaining. Thank you for pursuing me this year even when I rebelled. Thank you for showing me that you really do have better for me. Thank you for using my life as a testimony of your goodness and faithfulness. Thank you for not letting my circumstances change the way you view me or love me. This plan of yours is far better than I could ever imagine.

Although others may see it otherwise, this year was pure bliss. It was blissful solely because of you.

I pray that in 2017 my love and desire to know more of you will grow deeper. I pray that I will continue to lay down my life to you. I pray that my life would be mulitplied. I pray that I would not lose sight of the vision and plan You have called me to. My heart and years to come are yours, God. This is my 2017 New Years resolution.

Thank you my sweet Heavenly Father,

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Finding Contentment.

Contentment is not settling for less of what you think you deserve, nor is it thinking you aren’t worthy of better. Contentment reflects your attitude, not your circumstances.

Contentment is finding true joy, peace, and gratitude in Jesus, no matter the  circumstances.

So, in a world where we desire the next best thing even before it’s announced up for sale, how do we learn to be truly truly happy with what we have and where we are in life? Maybe you are desiring the iPhone 8, or expecting to be married in 13 months, no matter whats at end of the spectrum, there is  always one area of your life, if not more, where you are not content and trusting in God’s best for you. Are you content in your job or relationship status?

You think God is withholding better, and you continue to be in this cycle of doubt that He is truly for you in all things. Struggling with contentment isn’t anything new as technology gets better, or “couple goals” get more unattainable. It has been around since the beginning.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:1-13

Even Eve thought God was withholding from her. She was deceived by the snake, and thought God didn’t have the best for her. She wanted more, she wanted to be like God.

“Our own complaints are not caused by our outward circumstances; rather, they reveal the inward condition of our hearts.  A complaining spirit indicates a problem in our relationship with God.”

Eve confused her need with her want, which so many of us do everyday.

31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Roman 8:31-32

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 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? Matthew 6:25-26

How much more does God care for you than the birds in the sky or the ants on the ground? You can have a personal relationship with the one who will never leave or FORSAKE you.

How you view God is how you will go on with your days. He is far greater and bigger than anything the world can offer us. God loves to provide for His children and to show His power. So, go on and ask Him to reveal to you how great He is above all else, and see if your view of your circumstances change.

Surrender your all to Him. Is He worth the cost? The cost of singleness? The cost of going over seas and being a full time missionary? The cost of whatever you are struggling to give Him? Surrender everything to Him and you will find contentment and joy in Him. When you ask yourself these questions, just remember YOU were worth the cost. The cost of God giving His only son. If you trust in Jesus to save you from Hell, then it should be easier than we make it to trust Him in all other areas.

Worship and be still.

 Let His peace surpass all else and respond in gratitude whatever your circumstance.

Click the link below to listen to some worship jamz on Spotify!

Worship Jamz

Grace & blessings,

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Perspectives for “Christians”

Meghan Natasha Miskin

1993-2016.

That’s what my headstone would read if I were to die today. Maybe my parents would put Loving Daughter and Sister and then some bible verse that talks about being in Heaven. But what I do know, is that I will have two dates and one dash line. A line that represents my entire 22 years and 303 days of life.

A couple days ago another death happened due to police. Three days before that my friends witnessed a drunk driver at 6:00pm hit a motorcylist and kill him. Death is real. Death is all around us and it can be scary.

Now, let me back up…

Two nights ago, friends and I went to the Lubbock City Cemetery and no we were not being weird. The friends I was with are also known as my team, my family and my church. I do life with these people everyday and just yesterday our team leader wanted to take us on a field trip. Where to? The Lubbock City Cemetery. I was expecting some weird ritual or something extreme. But instead I got the opposite.

He told us to go out with a partner and just observe the headstones. Look at these peoples names, what can you tell about them? Can you see what their job was? Were they rich or poor? Were they a Tech fan or Texas? Do these things really matter? Can you tell the life this person lived just by their headstone?

  • Ecclesiastes 1 & 2. All is Vanity

1: 8″All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. 9What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. 11 There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.”

If you decided to bypass reading the two chapters here’s a quick summary: All is Vanity. The Vanity of Wisdom, the Vanity of Self-Indulgence, the Vanity of Living Wisely, and The Vanity of Toil. Why do these things matter? Does our money, house, name brand purses, or even iPhone matter once we have died and no longer here? None of it matters. None.

  • Ezekiel 37

37 “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley;  it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Ezekiel 37 Summary: God made the dry dead bones living again.

I am writing this because God spoke to me in the grave yard that evening. He asked me, “What are you living for? What do you want to be remembered for? Do you feel the weight of Hell for those who do not know me?”

As the famous rapper NF says,

“When I die, put my ashes in the trash bag
I don’t care where they go
Don’t waste your money on my gravestone
I’m more concerned about my soul
Everybody’s gon’ die
Don’t everybody live though
Sometimes I look up to the sky
And wonder do You see us down here?”

  • Revelation 21

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

So, from looking at the beginning to the end I now ask myself, “what am I living for? Where is my hope when death comes, because it will come?”

“I’m more concerned about my soul
Everybody’s gon’ die
Don’t everybody live though” NF

Those words give me the feels every time I hear them. Are you concerned about your soul as a Christian or a non Christian? What does he mean by everybody’s going to die but not everybody is going to live? As a christian, am I concerned for my friends and families souls?

You will either experience two births and one death or one birth and two deaths. Everybody will have either a spiritual birth in Christ or a spiritual death and separation from God. I do not want to sound harsh, but this is the reality for all of us. It’s one or the other.

I want to be remembered for the way I care and talk to people. That I didn’t waste any time in telling those around me about Jesus, my only hope. That I had compassion for those near and far from me. That when I talk to a person who does not know Jesus, I feel the weight of Hell being a reality for them. That it is life or death right here in the moment. I want to display Jesus like I wear my make up. (Now, bare with me on this analogy. I wear my make up everyday. Everybody sees it and it’s the first thing people see and they notice when I am not wearing any. I put it on with care and intentionality because I want people to notice. Now, I know that may seem shallow so good thing I know my true identity in Christ.) But yes, I want to be remembered for how I wear Christ for all to see. I want it to be the first thing people notice about me when speaking or watching my actions. Not what I own, the job I had, the money I made, or the brands I wore because when I leave this world nobody will remember these things. But what they will remember is my love and passion towards people and making Jesus known. Allowing everybody I come in contact with the chance to hear the Good News of Jesus. That Jesus is the only way to the Father in Heaven.

So I challenge  you to put this into perspective of your own life. How much do you have to hate someone for you not to share with them the Good News that has given you hope and eternal life. Do you feel a sense of urgency when reading those verses or when you’re talking to those who are far from God? How often do you share with those closest to you how to expirence eternal life, because the reality is that they are perishing right before your eyes. At the end of the day, nothing else matters but where we are spending our eternity and how we lived our lives represented by that dashed line.

Grace & blessings,

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Finding hope in a broken world.

My heart breaks for this broken world we live in.

On Thursday July 7, 2016, 5 police officers were killed in Dallas, Texas. As a reaction to two shootings that previously took place earlier in the week, now five more lives were taken from this earth and from their families.

It’s almost nearly impossible to log into Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram without seeing somebody’s opinion about recent events. You see hate towards one another and desperate cries for help. You see a new headline every morning about either a shooting in your neighborhood or a bombing half way around the world.

Hate is so real and so prevalent in our world today. People have hard hearts towards one another and therefore results in a lack of compassion.

We see people that are overcome by evil because of somebody’s skin color, religion or sexuality. These issues are all very real and touch every person in someway. But no matter the issue, we have hope. Hope for restoration, redemption, grace, forgiveness, love and peace no matter the accusations against us.

I grieve with my city, nation and the families of those who were effected by all of the recent events all around the world.

“9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12

In these desperate times, I realized how desperately we all need a Savior. Christ came for each and every person and to have a personal relationship with them. He came to restore the broken, to give hope to the hopeless, and to forgive the sins that are far to great in our own eyes. He came and set the example of how to treat one another. He is the Prince of Peace.

As the news stories continue to come flooding in on my BBC app, I can’t help but to rejoice in knowing how all this will end. No matter the shootings, bombings, or discriminations, Jesus will be back. He is coming soon.

 

People are crying out for justice and the truth is, justice began at the cross. When Christ was hanging on the cross, justice and mercy met. Christ made all things that were red, run white.

“It’s where Adam’s sinful curse is met with the New Adam’s sinless sacrifice, and the severe wrath and sovereign mercy of God brings the world to right, once and for all. It is the place where we throw “deserve” and “fair” out the window because we realize what true justice would mean for any one of us.”- Raechel Myers

Looking to the cross is the only place you can start when thinking about justice for this broken world. This is where my sins along with yours are wiped clean and are white as snow.

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:18-21

Ladies and gents, Jesus is our only hope in this world. This world we live in is full of brokenness, but through the eyes and love of Christ, it is saved.

Christ is the light in the darkness. He is the one that can break through when we can’t do anymore. So let Him shine through you in all that you do. He has to be the focal point in our lives if we want peace, healing and strength.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

“And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. ” John 12:44-47

Fix your eyes on the One who came to save, heal, redeem and restore.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4: 9-11

In the good times, look to Jesus. In the hard times, cling to Jesus.

He is our only hope in this broken world. Rejoice in knowing that Jesus is good and that He cares. God’s truths and promises are constant and never changing. Loved ones, I want you to know that in the midst of all the chaos going on around you, Jesus is right next to you. He is grieving with you and He is rejoicing with you. Go before Him now and seek His love, grace and peace.

Abba,

I am praying that You will meet everyone in the place where they are seeking you most. I pray for healing for the families of the victims this past week and that they will experience your comfort. I pray for the doctors and nurses that continue to take care of the wounded and the ones that fought for the lives of the victims. I pray for our nation and that our eyes will be open. I pray that we start seeing people for who You called them to be. Lord, I pray that through all of the chaos You will be glorified. I pray that people’s hearts will be open and ready to make Christ their Savior. You are our only hope and I praise you for never changing. I pray that many will come to know Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Grace & blessings,

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Worthy & Cherished & Loved.

February 14th.

It comes once a year. We all know it’s coming. Valentine’s Day. Some of us look forward to this day because maybe it’s the only time your boyfriend/girlfriend will show PDA in public or even shower you with (what you think are well deserved) gifts. And then there’s the ones that dread it. You moan and groan and even make jokes about how single you really are. (Don’t worry I’m right there with you.)

February 13th.

The more depressing holiday in my opinion. Galentine’s Day. A day where single girls thrive on being single. You have dinner with your girlie pops, maybe some wine (wait, of course wine), lots and lots of chocolates, and the infamous bashing of love rituals. Now in the past when my friends and I celebrated this holiday it never ended up how I thought it would. So happy and independent and a better sense of my worth. Instead I would crawl into my bed with my chocolates and be in a temporary state of depression because I thought I was not worthy of love.

Girls, why do we do this to ourselves? You know. Boast in how you’re too good for him and then bash yourself and your worth when you’re alone? You talk about how much you hate love and boys. But why?

What even is love?

Wherever I look I get three extreme answers to what love is. These are lies fed to us in our daily lives. And I can’t take it anymore. So I am going to help set you free from these lies the world and the enemy tell us:

  1. You are not worthy of Love.
  2. Love is like a stove. Once it burns you, never touch it again.
  3. Something is wrong with you if you aren’t in a relationship.

Now, I can honestly say that I used to believe all of these until I searched and found the truth.

I am 22 years old and I have only been in 1 serious relationship. Now getting me into that relationship wasn’t easy.  No, he did not force me or bribe me. My head and my heart fought for three months. They fought because I thought I was not worthy of him and his time. I thought he was too good for me. 3 MONTHS!! Eventually, God changed my heart and showed me my worth. My worth did not come from what this guy thought of me but who God says I am. I first had to find my worth in Jesus.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.” – Psalm 139:14

I grew up a strong, independent women. (Too strong and too independent). I only wanted a man if it was Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice because of course I am Miss Lizzy.  I honestly feared loved. It was so much easier to be dependent on myself and not someone who would disappoint me. It was easier for me to hide myself than let someone truly know me. Saying I wanted to be single forever was easier than getting my heart broken. If I never had to get into a relationship then my heart would never be broken. Oh man was I wrong.

God broke me and showed me that I was in need of love. His love. That He is the one I can truly depend on. He is the only one who will never disappoint me. He was the one who knew me even better than myself. He knit me together in my mothers womb! (Psalm 139:13-15)  He would never leave me.

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”-John 14:18

A short six months later, my boyfriend and I broke up and my heart wasn’t broken. I thought he was the one I was going to marry and yet I am not heart broken?! Instead I rejoiced. I rejoiced because I was still in a relationship with my one true love. Jesus. And I always will be.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”- Lamentations 3:22-24

Ladies, I am here to tell you your worth because someone has to. You are worthy of love. You are worth a Son. God’s only son. Heaven went bankrupt for you, me, the girl in your chem class, my waitress at Red Lobster, the girl you hate, literally everyone. Yes, everyone even that one person who shall not me named. God gave His ONLY son so he could have a personal relationship with you.

“For God so LOVED the world, that he gave His ONLY Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. “- John 3:16

Still don’t think you’re of worth?

You are a beautiful pearl of great value.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold ALL that he had and BOUGHT it.”- Matthew 13:45

“BUT God, being rich in mercy, because of the GREAT LOVE with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:4-5

Now I use this expression, “Love is like a stove. Once it burns you, never touch it again” because it’s what we do. Once we experience a bad break up or rejection we swear off boys for well, forever. (Let me know how long it lasts). But this can also go for friendships.

love love. I love loving my friends, family and even being in love. It gives me all sorts of feels. It’s weird to think about because only a year ago I was soooooo committed to doing singles ministry (I’ll elaborate more on this later) and never wanting to fall in love. But do you really know God if you don’t know love?

“For love is from God, and whoever does has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because GOD IS LOVE. There is no fear in love, but perfect loves casts out fear. We love because He first loved us.”- 1 John 4:7-8,16,19 (Go read this whole chapter, I promise you will thank me).

So ladies love is a very good thing. Love is God. So please don’t give up on it. Whether it’s with an ex-boyfriend or ex-bestfriend that hurt you, I promise God will restore you if you let Him. Again, He is the perfect definition of love.  So go on and touch the stove again, just make sure the heat is off. 😉

Lastly, something is wrong with you if you aren’t in a relationship.

I probably hate this misconception the most. Thank you Pinterest for making me have impossible standards of marriage, a house, wedding, the whole enchilada. NOTHING IS WRONG WITH US! The Bible never says, “and when you reach 20 years old, God will bless you with the perfect man and you will have perfect children, a white picketed fence, ‘ketchup fights, tickles and giggles.'” (I’m sorry if you don’t watch The Office, p.s. happy anniversary Ryan and Kelly.) But I kinda wish it did. The Bible never promises you a marriage. Once we know this, it becomes so much easier to see that nothing is wrong with you, but it’s their views and values that could be wrong. I am also not saying that marriage is bad. I want a marriage someday and maybe four little boys running around named James, Jude, Luke and Elliot. But I am not placing my hope in it because it is not promised to me. But instead placing my hope in the one I am promised to for forever. Jesus.

“And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.”- Hosea 2:19-20

For your Maker is your husband,
    the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
    the God of the whole earth he is called.”- Isaiah 54:5

The other side I see is girls rushing into relationships for the fact a guy is a follower of Christ. Yes, I think that should be a non-negtionable but not the only reason why you see yourself with that man. I see it over and over again (including myself) that girls think if you are in a Christian relationship then it will be rainbows and butterflies. That no sin will take root. We are humans!! We are sinners! So yes, a Christian relationship will have sin. I don’t believe in looking for a relationship with any Christian guy. Instead, I look at one man and see attributes of the Lord in him, and thats what I find attractive. Somebody who reflects Christ in all areas of his life. So stop looking for love in all the wrong places. Stop looking at the guys in your church as possible husbands but instead as brothers in Christ.

If anything, Paul says its easier to be single in 1 Corinthians 7! I used to be the person that said I wanted to do singles ministry because,

  1. Somebody has to do it.
  2. They need it most.

I am honestly so disappointed in myself that I thought that way. Why did I? Because it was an easy excuse for me to remain single. We do not need a singles ministry. Is singles ministry bad? Not at all, but I believe putting that label on it gives us the impression that something is wrong with the ones in it. Yes, singles do need different guidance than married couples. If God blesses me with a man in my life that will one day become my husband then thank you Lord. But, until then I rejoice in my singleness this valentine’s day. In my singleness I can fully serve the one who deserves it the most. Not because He forces me, but I do it because I am eternally grateful for His love and the worth He finds in me.

Girls, REJOICE this Valentine’s day! You are not alone! You are worthy, cherished and loved way more than you could every imagine. Go spend sometime who says all these things about you so you can experience it! So go get some chocolates and crack open the greatest love story of all time, The Bible. Find out your worth for yourself. See how much God loves you. Experience how cherished you are because you are,

Wanted. Chosen. Loved.

Grace & Blessings,

 

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Dear God, thank you for 2015.

Dear God,

As 2015 comes to an end, I can’t help but think about all the blessings and uncontainable joy I have. Now, if you would have asked me six months ago, I would not have thought I would be where I am. But You knew. You knew all along about the trials and blessings coming my way this past year.

“Though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil things
In this life I have seen your faithfulness
In this life I have found your grace, God”

I have tasted the sweetest of loves.

I have felt the warmth of your love.

I have heard the peace in your voice.

Thank you.

In January,

  1. You gave me my passion for people and international students. Thank you.
  2. You softened my heart. Thank you.
  3. You showed me it is okay to be vulnerable. Thank you.
  4. You taught me not to live in fear of the unknown because You will lead me though. Thank you.

February,

  1. I got accepted to study abroad in Moscow, Russia. Thank you.
  2. You shifted dates around so I could serve you in the Middle East on my second summer mission. Thank you.
  3. You showed me my Nineveh and to run towards it, not from it. Thank you.

March,

  1. My first relationship. Thank you.
  2. That girl I prayed with on the beach, a new sister in Christ. Thank you.
  3. Your son upon the cross. Thank you.

“I will trust you
All my hope is found in your love
I will trust you
My whole life is found in your love”

April,

  1. Your love, grace, and forgiveness. Thank you.
  2. My scholarship for study abroad. Thank you.
  3. Community and sweet friendships. Thank you.

May,

  1. My junior year of college. Thank you.
  2. My summer mission, Oasis Fam Bam. Thank you.
  3. Being able to love others deeply, because You first loved me. Thank you.
  4. Showing me my weakness and Your strength. Thank you.

June,

  1. My new friends welcoming me with open arms in their home country. Thank you.
  2. Reading the Bible with two muslim girls. Thank you.
  3. Giving a Bible to a friend in her own language. Thank you.
  4. All the spiritual conversations. It wasn’t me, but You. Thank you.

July,

  1. Being back in the Motherland, Russia. Thank you.
  2. Showing me the darkness and the Light. Thank you.
  3. Being able to share Your love with my classmates. Thank you.
  4. Not living in fear of rejection. Thank you.

“Though my eyes cannot see every single step
And my heart feels unsure again
I remember the strength of your love O God
I hold onto the peace you bring”

August,

  1. Restoring my relationship with my parents. Thank you.
  2. A break up. Thank you.
  3. Showing me it’s Your plan, not mine. Thank you.
  4. Friends shoulders to cry on. Thank you.
  5. Hearing Your voice for the first time. Thank you.

September,

  1. Your promises. Thank you.
  2. Your comfort. Thank you.
  3. Your grace. Thank you.
  4. Your son. Thank you.
  5. Friends that shine Your light during the darkness. Thank you.

October,

  1. Finding joy again. Thank you.
  2. Adventures with friends. Thank you.
  3. Your Spirit. Thank you.
  4. Coffee shops dates with You. Thank you.

“I will trust you
All my hope is found in your love
I will trust you
My whole life is found…”

November,

  1. Your creation. Thank you.
  2. My crazy and sweet family. Thank you.
  3. Your healing. Thank you.
  4. Making new friends in that coffee shop. Thank you.

December,

  1. Safe travels. Thank you.
  2. Spending time with my parents in fun cities. Thank you.
  3. Seeing Your promises fulfilled. Thank you.
  4. Your plan and will. Thank you.

And many more.

“And your goodness, kindness, faithfulness
Persists through the night”

God,

Thank you for remaining. Thank you for pursuing me this year even when I turned away from you. Thank you for the countless blessings and the tears during trials. Through it all you have remained with me. Thank you for the good and bad times. You turned my tears of pain into smiles of joy.

I pray that in 2016, I will pursue You every minute of every day. I pray that even during the trials, (because they will come) that I will see your goodness, kindness, and faithfulness. I pray that I will surrender to your plan and not run off with my own.  I will fight for this relationship. I pray that I will walk in power and grace while spreading your love and word. You have given me all I need and more, I am forever Yours. So, wherever I am after graduation, I pray to be serving you and giving glory back to You. Your plan is so much bigger and greater than mine. My heart and years to come are yours, God. This is my New Years resolution.

Cheers to 2016.

Grace & Blessings,

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I cried writing this.

I love seeing people’s compassion with others through these writings and personal stories. A mere image of Christ and His love for others.

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It’s been a week since I’ve been home. This is the deadline I gave myself.

Write the final blog.

Wrap it up.

Give people a picture of Lesvos, Greece.

I can’t.

There is so much I want to say but I don’t know how to say it.

Leaving Lesvos was harder than leaving the World Race. The story continues. Boats are still arriving, refugees are still being neglected due to political agendas, and now I’m home trying to figure out what’s next.

I saw, interacted with, thought about, discussed, helped, and dreamt about refugees for a month straight.

And now… America.

Hot showers, driving instead of walking five minutes down the road, complaints over meaningless things.

Reverse culture shock.

It would be easier to go back. It would be easy to fly back to a community of people who “get it” because duh, they have lived in it like I…

View original post 1,021 more words

Love Your Neighbor, The Refugee.

My heart has been broken into a million pieces these past couple of days. My favorite high school teacher has passed away and Paris has lost loved ones along with Beirut. Now I cannot get on the internet without reading hateful words about either Syrian refugees or Muslims.

But what does Jesus say?

This past summer, God blessed me with the chance of going to the Middle East. This past summer I met girls with the biggest hearts and the most compassion towards other human beings, no matter their religion. This past summer I made friendships with Muslims that I will forever cherish.

While in the Middle East my heart broke when I heard these words that came from my new friend, “I am not a terrorist. I want peace and I want to be your friend.” I had just met Sarah and one of the first things out of her mouth was, “I am not a terrorist.” I was overcome with emotions in that very moment and I knew this would be the start of a beautiful friendship. Not because I wasn’t afraid that she was a terrorist, but because I felt her pain of introducing herself this way every time she met an American. This would be a new start for Sarah. This would be the moment a white Christian and a Muslim would become friends without any judgement but with genuine compassion towards one another.

Sarah later explained to me that every time she met a new friend she would have to explain that she wasn’t a terrorist because she had known what all social media was saying about Muslims and wanted to clear up any misconceptions. Just like Sarah, I do not want to be define by a radical group. Imagine if every time I met a new friend I had to start out by saying, “I am not a part of the KKK.”

Just because you are white and Christian does not make you part of the KKK. Just because you are Middle Eastern and Muslim it does not make you a terrorist.

If these statements are true, then why do we fear helping these people in need? We shouldn’t shut out the broken, lost and those in despair. Instead we should embrace this chance of letting them into a new place that can show them love and compassion, just like how Christ has shown us.

Within the past 4 years, almost 11 million have fled Syria looking for a safe haven to raise a family, etc.  These are the people who need to be shown love and compassion. These people want to be wanted.

So what does Jesus say?

Matthew 22:37-39 “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. “And a second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Now I know this sounds easier said than done, but imagine what it would look like if we could. It would be just how God had intended it to be. Jesus wouldn’t have said these words if they weren’t important and needed to be put into practice everyday, (that’s why it’s in red).

1 John 3:16 “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”

1 John 4:11, 18-21 “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

1 John 4:18-21 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

Love one another just like Jesus has loved us. No matter the religion or where they are from. Invite them in and show them that they are cared for. And who knows, maybe the Lord will provide a way for you to share the love He has for them in hopes of salvation.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn

Grace & Blessings,

 

 

 

Blast From the Past: Insecurity meets Jesus

So after I left campus last night, I got the munchies like any normal college student would. I was in need of a burrito and some queso stat. After waiting in the drive thru for what felt like a lifetime, I was almost home and ready to dig into my brown paper bag. After my late night munchies were conquered I noticed my roommate wasn’t in her room but her car was home. Weird. So I decided to take my brown bag out to the dumpster and check to see if all was okay with her. Little did I know that not everything would not be okay with me in that two-minute window.

Okay, pause small detail. We have new neighbors and all they do is throw ragers. I am pretty sure they are sophomores and excited to be out of the dorm. So long story short, from the beginning of this school year we have had nothing but problems with them.

Okay, play. So as I was walking to the dumpster I hear loud music. Somebody was having a fun Thursday night. Outside of their door were about 5 guys with some liquid courage in their hands. I’ve already had trouble with them cat calling at me and I have learned to ignore it. I’m not a dog. If you want to talk to me then talk to me like a human being. So of course they started their cat calling and I kept walking. And then I heard it. A blast from the past. “Nah man, we don’t WANT her, she’s CHUBBY.” What am I? A bunny? All it took was two words to come through my ears and pierce my heart. All it took was two seconds for me to question and doubt my identity in Christ.

In high school, I struggled with body image. Am I skinny enough? Will he want me if I lose weight? What I thought I had conquered though Christ came flooding back. My mind took me to a place where I never wanted to end up again. Starving myself. Over exercising. Abusing my body all for the approval of others. What girl doesn’t want to be called beautiful and wanted for who she is exactly? This world and our culture put this pressure on us that if we do not fit into the ‘Kardashian’ category than we aren’t wanted. (Nothing wrong with the Kardashian’s they are beautiful, but some are the Lauren Conrad’s in the world.) But guess what! YOU ARE WANTED! I AM WANTED!

Matthew 13:45-46 The Parable of the Pearl of Great Value

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Let me break this down Beyonce style.

YOU ARE WANTED. YOU ARE CHOSEN. YOU ARE LOVED.

We are a precious pearl that our Creator cherishes. He sold all that he had so He (God) could have us, His pearl. Meaning, heaven went bankrupt for you and I. God sent His one and only son to die on a cross so we can have a personal relationship with Him. Christ died for all sins. Not one sin is greater than the other. Christ took on my pain so I would never have to, so instead I rejoice and not suffer of my flesh. (Romans 6:6, “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin”) We are of such great value that God gave his ONLY son so he could have us now and forever. Every second of every minute of everyday.

1 Peter 3:3

“Do not let your adorning be external the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” VERY PRECIOUS.

Don’t let your identity be of things in this world. Brand names, boys, approval, status. etc. These things will only come and go. They are temporary while we are meant for eternity. Jesus Christ is forever. Literally forever. He is our hope.

Romans 8:15

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, BUT you have revived the spirit of adoption as sons (daughters), by whom we cry,”Abba! Father!”

I did not receive the spirit of slavery BUT of freedom in the living God. I did not receive the spirit of fear BUT of hope and joy. I do not have this fear of being wanted by the next boy that crosses my path because I am a daughter of the Highest King.  Being wanted by Him is better than a temporary boy and what and who he says I am.

Psalm 139 (Always a fav)

“For you formed my inward parts; you knit d me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Lord, wonderful are your works! Wonderful am I! He has already accepted me. He has given me the love I long for and nobody, not even I can take that away. Thank you for my imperfections because in those I see your perfections.

So ladies, next time a boy makes a comment or you don’t see your beauty remember you are wanted, chosen and loved by The Father who is bigger than this world.

Don’t sell cheap, because He knows your worth. You are a beautiful Tiffany’s pearl.

Check out:

  1. Beautiful Things by Shane & Shane
  2. How He Loves (Live) by Jesus Culture
  3. I Belong to You by Amanda Cook (Bethel)

Grace & Blessings,

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