looking for lovely

There is a book called “Looking for Lovely” by Annie F. Downs. And I haven’t gotten very far, but I am loving it. It is making me reevaluate the way I see myself and it is causing me to question everything. It’s good and I love the fact that I’m reading through it with about 10 other ladies.

If you don’t believe that the way you are is God-made and God-loved, the good and the bad, the tight and the flabby, the old and the new, the strengths and the weaknesses, you are missing out on connecting with God on a level that only comes to those who embrace and love His creations. (And that includes you.)

You’re different. Whether you call yourself that or you tend to believe you can just fade into the background, you are different. You are unique. You are the only you there is. God did that on purpose. There are people who see you and see your life and because of the ways you remind them of God, they see Him too. But they see Him differently because of you than they do because of me. It doesn’t add pressure for us to be perfect (because I am not), but it just reminds me that I’m put together differently from you. And that’s okay. And that’s good. (pages 43-44)

Here is a little challenge from her book. I haven’t done it yet, but I will later this week.

Set your alarm tomorrow to see the sunrise. Don’t tell me you don’t know when it happens because one Google search will tell you the exact minute. (Oh, technology, we love you.) About twenty minutes before the sun is to rise, get in a place where you can see the eastern sky. That way you see how dark it is before dawn. You know it in your heat. If your life feels so dark that sometimes you have no idea where the light is going to come from, go there early and watch the sunrise.

And afterwards? Read Psalm 19. You’ll thank me later.

That’s my mission before school starts up next Monday. I’m going to go and watch the sunrise.

Just remember. God made you with a purpose. And when your life feels so dark that you can’t see it, go watch the sunrise and spend time with Him. The sun has to set and the sky has to get dark in order for the sun to rise in all its glory.

a reflection on life in light of the ressurection

I know, I missed an entire week of posting. I needed to take some time to think and process things. I needed to take some time to think about who God is and who I am in light of that. I learned some things this week. None of it was really new, but it reminded me why I need to continue the fight.

Isaiah 53 prophecies Jesus’ death on the cross. He suffered for us. He suffered so that we could be healed and made whole. Isaiah 53:5 says that “by His stripes we are healed.” Because of His wounds, we can be made free.

Let’s think about this for a moment. We say God can do anything, right? Then, why did Jesus have to die? Can’t God just forgive everyone? This kind of thinking puts us in a weird place. It puts us in the place where we find questions like, “Can God make a stone so big He can’t lift it?” Rather than talking about what He can do, let’s think about what He will do. If we know that He won’t do something, then it doesn’t really matter if He can do it or not, because He isn’t going to do it even if He could. To put this into simpler words, it makes more sense for us to talk about what He will or will not do than to talk about what He can or cannot do.

That said, He won’t do anything that is not consistent with His promises and with His character. Because He is holy, just, and righteous, it would be inconsistent with His character for Him to allow sinners to go free. Because He is loving and merciful, it would be inconsistent with His character for Him to not show mercy and grace. Therefore, He could not let sinners go free, and He had to provide some sort of redemption. That is why Jesus had to die on the cross. Jesus died so that we don’t have to die (spiritually).

So, then, what does this mean for us? It means that the God of the universe sent His only Son to die for us so that we could be made free. It means that Jesus left heaven to die for simple-minded humans who cannot begin to understand the idea of infinity. It means that we are loved by the one who can strike people dead and can heal sickness. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (NKJV). We were purchased with His blood. We are made whole through His suffering. We are healed to serve Him. Our bodies are His, and our spirits are His. This means that we need to glorify Him in the way that we treat ourselves. Self-harm hurts Him too, because we belong to Him. If we waste our lives, if we give up this fight, it’s over. It’s over and there is no going back. We have one life, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. Don’t make a permanent decision to end the struggle of something temporary. Keep fighting, and keep living for Him, because one day those who trust in Him will be in heaven, a place with no more pain and no more tears.

And if you don’t know Jesus as your personal Savior, I can tell you right now that you will not find hope anywhere else. I haven’t found peace anywhere else and I don’t know anyone who has. You will never be at peace until you’re whole, and only Jesus can fill the empty you feel. If you want to talk to someone about this, email me via the contact form on the about page. I’d love to answer any questions and let you know about some resources.

Don’t give up, because you only have one life. Give up your life and it’s gone. You were bought at a price, so use your life and your body to glorify Him.

who am i?

Who am I? I have wrestled with that for a while. Is my major what it is supposed to be? Is my dream job really like me? What defines me: an anxious person, a godly person, a smart person… like who am I? Then, one day, at Bible study, I wrote this down in answer to that question.

loved deeply and sought after by the God who never gave up on me

That’s me. That’s who I am. That day, I started crying and cried for a while. I was like, Um ok, so I’m worth it. But why. Why. Why am I worth it. Like I feel like trash. But He still be seeking after me. That’s cool. Like that’s really cool. Ok. Cool. Thanks God.

God takes us where we are and gives us the strength to be who He intended us to be, so any other labels we have been given… they don’t matter. They really don’t. God loves us. God’s love defines us. Because God loves us, because He created us, because He died for us, … we are worth it. Our lives are worth living because of God. And I’m struggling with this. It’s hard sometimes. Sometimes I wonder why I’m alive or if I should’ve just not been born in the first place, but I was. And because I was given life, I will continue to live. I will continue to live because Jesus loves me. And if the Creator of the universe loves me, it shouldn’t really matter who doesn’t.

That day, I realized something else too. My identity is that I’m loved by God. And that means nothing else really matters so much: not my major, my future career, anything else. The fact that I believe that Jesus died on the cross to forgive my sins and that I love Him and He loves me… that’s the most important thing guys. So if you ever have to choose between studying for an hour when you’ve been studying hard all day and spending needed time with God… spend time with God. It’ll always be worth it in the end. Because what matters most is who you are in God. (This isn’t a free pass to fail out of college. It just means that we have to work hard to make time to spend with God, even if that means getting a slightly lower grade because we lost an hour of precious study time.)

Just remember this – God doesn’t make mistakes. If you have trusted in Him as Savior, you are His child and sealed by the Holy Spirit. He will never abandon His child. Whatever people do or say or make you feel like, don’t let it get to you. God loves you.