You Are Enough

You Are Enough

It’s so unfair of us to treat ourselves like we believe what the world says about us.

The world is a liar, a suffocator or Truth, and yet we believe every word it weaves into our hearts. As believers in Christ Jesus God has claimed us as His own, we are His children, made in the image of God, bought with a price, we are redeemed and yet…. we believe the world.

The world says you are not enough. The world says you are insignificant. The world says you can’t do anything right. Do you really believe that?

Choose to believe the One who made you! He calls you His masterpiece! He says you are forgiven, He says you are an heir with Christ, He says YOU ARE fearfully and wonderfully made! Do you believe that?

Do you believe that He conquered death only to have you believe that you are not not significant?

YOU ARE SIGNIFICANT.
You are enough!

He is righteous and holy and He adores you more than the stars. You are intentionally created, purposefully ransomed.
Stand tall, and know that you are His and the world has no claim on who you are.

“But now, this is what the LORD says– He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.'”
Isaiah 43:1

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God with your body.”
1 Corinthians 6:19

“I will proclaim the LORD’s decree: He said to me, ‘You are My son; today I have become your Father.'”
Psalm 2:7

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Here’s the Truth

Here’s the Truth
[In my super clever, just-getting-over-influenza brain tonight I felt like taking a selfie. .. ? And not doctoring it up… ????? It’s midnight. I’m insane. So I found this picture of me and my really adorable sister instead, in my book she makes it 10x better.]

Ok so this is not the point entirely, but it’s been a seriously long time since I’ve felt I could actually take a selfie of just me cause I’m a typical person who has issues. I don’t need to list them because you know we all have them to one degree or other. But what’s been on the forefront of my thoughts in the midst of all that is God is always there in the midst of it. He is THE refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust. Yeah I feel pretty insecure and hopeless sometimes, but even though this world is a mess and it just seems to be getting worse, God promised He will never leave us or forsake us.

This place is full of bad stuff, but He’ll never stop being our refuge. There is real actual peace that is in that fortress. It’s hard sometimes; just being honest, it’s super difficult to find that peace when your heart is overwhelmed and you feel like there’s no way to repair the damage. But while it’s the hardest time ever to open your heart to trusting anything or anyone, it’s the most vital time to give it over to Him. Losing that control is hard. So hard. But it’s so worth it. He died for you. And then He lived again for you. He’s more powerful than even death. He’s so tender that He invites in the worst and cares for them, and so mighty that it took a mere “Peace! Be still” spoken to the waves, and they submitted to Him.  He’s the One who saved Peter from drowning when he lost his focus, He walked on waters, healed the blind, and forgave those who tortured killed Him. And the coolest thing is that in spite of how ridiculously awful we actually are, He asks us to be with Him forever. He’s giving you that chance today. And tomorrow. He’s giving you the chance every day. It’s hard to open your heart when it’s been scarred and bruised with so much of this world’s tumultuous strains, but opening your heart to Him and letting go will be the best decision you will ever make. You’ll still be a bit crazy and you’ll still have weirdo issues, but with God on your side and in control those issues get different; you learn about His grace, you learn about forgiving others and forgiving yourself and asking for forgiveness. Your heart changes, because that’s what He does when you allow Him to do His work in you. It’s a fantastic process. You know that He’s Your refuge and fortress through it all, the One you can cling to when your world is falling apart. It’s hard, but really worth it. Give your heart to Him, and you get to be in eternity’s paradise forever with Him.

That’s the Truth.

I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.‘”
Psalm 91:2

“And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
Mark 4:39

“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

 

Bow the Knee

Bow the Knee

Bow The Knee – (Lyrics) Ron Hamilton

Within this song is a glimpse of 8-year-old Elizabeth.

In room 809 of the old, 13-story training center in Indianapolis I woke up to what my little heart was convinced was angels. I was in a romantic daze from it’s effect on my soul the rest of the day. Through “Bow the Knee”, little Elizabeth Joy experienced a gentle whisper of heaven and God’s peace that would guide her for the rest of her life.

Since then, verses and songs have clung to my heart in similar ways, and I’ve found it to be one of the most wonderful gifts God has made available to His precious creation. There have been far too many times throughout my life that I’ve forgotten the great things God has done through Scripture and music in my daily wanderings, and I have had seasons of doubt, fear, and even anger towards God. But I was recently touched by a verse that reminded me the vitality of remembering His works in our lives:

“Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things!”
(Joel 2:21, ESV)

Remember. Recall those little miracles, every morning you woke up and were joyful, every moment you learned of a new birth. The feeling of springtime and the smell of fall, and knowing who has control over even the snowflakes, and puts inspiration in the hearts of people to spend time helping to mend broken hearts and homes. That child who smiled at you when you during a rotten afternoon; the lady on your way to work who complemented you on your hair; the unexpected gift card; that moment when a song spoke to you and gave you hope when you thought there was none.

Never forget how He has provided for you in the wilderness.

He is so faithful to provide.

“But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me.”
Psalm 13:5-6 (NIV)

One October 31st

There are a lot of October 31sts in history. I don’t remember what I did October 31st last year, but everyone remembers what happened 500 years ago today: Martin Luther, a man on the pursuit of what it meant to be a Christ-follower, felt compelled to make a stand. He brought to light what had been in darkness and boldly presented these things before higher authorities. He did what God had called him to do. On October 31st, many people have risen and fallen. On countless October 31st’s the unpopular and unnoticed followed God’s calling in their lives and made significant impacts that most of us may take for granted. Martin Luther made the choice to do something big in his life. And we’ve remembered it. But what is big to this world is like a breath of wind to God.

Jesus witnessed a poor widow giving all she had, and it may not have seemed to her as though it would make much of a difference in the ultimate financial need if she inserted the only two coins she had into the offering box at the synagogue. But it touched the heart of Jesus in a very meaningful way. That offering she gave was big in her perspective. That was her step of faith. It was kind of a big deal. Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the church door. That was his step of faith. And we remember the exact date to this day.

On October 31st, 2017, what is your step of faith? On the very next day, will you answer God’s call? Will you choose to do something for Jesus that is out of your comfort zone? Perhaps your calling is to reach out in friendship to the next Billy Graham who has yet to hear the Gospel. Perhaps it’s to share what God has laid on your heart recently with a random friend. Perhaps your duty at this moment is to benefit God’s Kingdom by being faithful in this season in which God has purposefully placed you, or your calling could even include traveling to China for missions work, nail the next 95, or give your next paycheck to Jesus.

Martin Luther and the poor widow both did great things, though they may have seemed small in the world’s perspective at the time. Don’t be afraid to step out in faith, out of your own comfort zone as God’s treasured child; you could make a bigger impact than you know.

And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.

Mark 12:41-44

God Is In Control

God Is In Control

If you don’t read anything else in this post, read this. I don’t care that it’s cliche: GOD’S ACTUALLY IN CONTROL.
He is beyond huge enough to deeply care about your problems.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
-Matthew 10:29-31

When you experience a crisis, what is your go-to solution?
Are you going to try and fix it yourself?
Are you going to blame God for it?
**or**
Will you drop to your knees and seek God as your number one solution?
Will you praise God for another situation that could strengthen your character for God’s Kingdom?
My heart has been CHANGED by the One who has set me free and opened my eyes to see that He is HERE. He is with me at every moment, and He cares, because I am His child, and He grieves when I stumble and lose my way and reject His hand which extends me grace and joy beyond human comprehension.
Abandon the idea that you’ve got this and adopt the mindset that God’s got this.
Because He DOES.
I believe this with all my heart.
Choose to open your eyes and see that He has got everything under control.

“When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you? My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” -Psalm 73:22-26

On Prayer, Part 2: It Affects You

On Prayer, Part 2: It Affects You

 

I wish we were sitting across from each other at a quaint little coffee shop with ice cold frappes in our hands. The things I want to share with you are so much a part of my life and so impactful on my heart right now I feel as though we must be in person to convey these things accurately. But alas, you’re way over there and I’m way over here. Let’s imagine we have frappes though, because wow it’s warm in northern Illinois right now!

Recently, I was reminded through one of Jesus’ Gospel parables about the importance of praying earnestly. Boldly coming before the Father with your request and taking it to Him not just once but many times is huge. I decided to have a go at this myself, and pleaded with God on behalf of something that has been really impacting my life, and I included the plea for love and joy to fill my heart as I waited. I am so aware that my actions are often so selfish and I can do little about it in my own power, so praying for God to adjust my heart with genuine love and His joy has become a necessary factor for me. Throughout the day, God did not fulfill the initial request, but He changed my attitude about it, and in addition He filled me with a rare amount of a unique love and joy that I hadn’t experienced before. Because of various situations just in that day alone, it couldn’t help but be pointed directly at God, because I knew that I was completely incapable of conjuring up those qualities in myself! And this happened because the Holy Spirit led me to that passage that reminded me of praying to Him earnestly. That day, Hebrews 11:6 became very real to me: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”

There have been many times that I have prayed for something in my life to change: for pain to go away, for finances, for getting accepted into a university, for a plethora of things. And you may have heard the saying that either God says “yes”, “no”, or “wait”. Often, it’s the dreaded “wait”, during which you’re not even sure if God heard you. But rest assured, He certainly did. When you come to Him, intentionally seeking Him out, He absolutely does hear you. And that waiting period is so very difficult. But this is what I’ve found to be so very true during those times of waiting and praying earnestly and diligently: He changes your attitude. There have been times when He was preparing me for the death of a dream, and what incurred was the result of a “no”, but He had something far better in store. Sometimes too that initial desire was in preparation for what was to come in its place. Waiting resulting in the answer “yes” is also a good preparation period, during which God is molding your character.

And there is so much more to prayer than even that. Building your relationship with God requires communication just like any other relationship, and this relationship with the Creator of the stars is a life-changing, heart-altering experience. And I can’t wait to tell you more about it soon and continue with our frappes!

“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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13

 

 

On Prayer, Part 1: My Heart’s Song

On Prayer, Part 1: My Heart’s Song

You may have noticed that I write pretty much straight from my heart. When I put my fingers to the keys, I word vomit and don’t look back, especially when I don’t know how or where to begin, which is exactly what I’m doing now. Over the years of filling up diaries I have come to an automatic writing style of journaling that isn’t necessarily essay-worthy, but it’s from the depths of my soul. If I was blatantly honest with anyone it would be to paper, a computer screen, or Jesus.

So guess what?
You’re looking at a screen. 😉
You get to know my heart for a little while.

Lately, this enormously precious topic has been on my heart: prayer. The word makes some people wince, and others shrug. A lot of people would stop reading by now, because prayer is a boring topic that doesn’t make much sense, and isn’t really worth knowing about.

But it’s worth knowing. Let me tell you. It’s worth knowing.

Not only is prayer worth knowing, but it’s a vehicle to the One who is the source of your life. And He’s worth knowing.

There are several elements of prayer that didn’t ever really make sense to me for a long time either. For example, if God already knows my heart, why pray? and How do I know that my prayers actually affect anything?

I’m not here to answer those questions with a philosophical explanation, or even act like I know the real answer to what prayer truly does. Why I’m writing is to convey to you what I’ve learned over the course of the short 20 years I’ve existed in this crazy confusing world. Prayer is one really big thing that has impacted my life on so many truly, truly real levels.

It’s so hard to convey accurately what I’ve discovered about prayer. It’s been an interesting, and honestly perplexing journey over the past three years. But what I do know for sure are these three things:

  1. It affects you
  2. It affects your relationship with Jesus
  3. It affects others

So in the next few posts in this category, I’ll be diving into this topic of prayer and what I’ve come to know that has extraordinarily impacted my walk with Christ. I am still on a lifelong journey of discovering all the different, wonderful aspect of prayer, and I’m certain that I’ll never get to the point of fully knowing what it means to be in relationship-level communication with the Creator of the Universe.

But I suppose if I knew everything about things, life wouldn’t be so intriguing!

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears…For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
1 Corinthians 13:9-10 & 12