I’m not kidding anybody, especially not myself anymore. I am nowhere near ready to have a boyfriend. Wow, Jay is a keeper. He is a star. He is my hero. I will date him one day soon, just not right now. We were in too deep. I can actually breathe, finally. These past couple days have been fantastic and clearer than lately.
Let’s face it- My relationship with God comes first. I value myself as more than just meat, and I truthfully have been struggling to find rest in the thought that God is watching over me and that He has my back, that He’s even there. It has been that bad. I will openly admit that my ability to pray has gone out the window. When a guy goes, “I’m not man enough to date you yet. I need to grow in my relationship with God first because I am not the man I want and need to be for you,” he’s not only a keeper, but I am completely convicted and encouraged to grow as well. How can I not fall in love with that? For him to stand alone, before me, and admit that he isn’t man enough to give me the time and attention and support I need…. I am just blown away. I am blessed. I am also a guilty, struggling, hurting young lady right now…. So… This is a love letter.
Lord, have your way in this. I am all yours. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for your grace, compassion, and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Thank you for Jesse, thank you for placing him in my life when you did. I know you have huge plans for both of us and I pray you have your way with it all. Keep Jay strong and bless him with opportunities to grow in You. I admit I have not been the young woman I need to be. I am desperate. I long for Your presence. Without You, I am a wreck. I obviously don’t deserve anything You have ever given me, be it simply your hand in a small situation or a giant opportunity. Thank you that You died for my continual mess ups. Thank you for your forgiveness. I am sorry, God. I have not tried my best. You are worthy to be praised. You are mighty, my strong fortress. You are king. JESUS. Glory and power be to Your name. You are love. You are great. Thank you for the passions you have instilled in me. Use me, God. Use these passions. Use the desires I have for Your good. God be with me when I am tempted. Be with me in my trials. Be with me in my daily struggles. Wake me up in the morning joyous to be alive, happy to serve You.
Give me new desires. New passions. New fire. Ignite within me a new hunger for your Word. A new hunger for your presence. A refreshed, eager heart to worship. Show me your love so that I may be given a fresh start again. I want to be where You are. I want to be willing. I want to hunger. I want to desire You in my life more. Help Jay and I remain Godly and pure. We can’t do it without you. Give us new inspirations musically. Spark new ideas and give us the words to sing and the notes to play. More of you, God. Less of us….amen.
Wow, I typed that out. I really did. There you go. A glimpse at what I pray for. A typed out prayer of mine. Just like that I am a new person tonight..
How to be a Christian and apply the Bible to your life:
- First off, buy a modern translation of the book. The King James is great, indeed. It is poetic and educational sounding. However, reading a newer translation, i.e., “The Message” (it’s bizarre sometimes, but great), “New Living”, “New International”, “American Standard”, etc. will help you get the jist of how one would speak it today. The internet is great because you can look up verses in any and every version. I usually read 4 or 5 different translations before understanding and analyzing verses to get their fullest potential.
- Always have a hard copy. (A real book with real pages.) Technology is amazing- I have a Bible APP that I can use all day long in conversation. However, there is nothing that replaces the original, tangible, heavily-loaded, powerful piece of matter that is a real Bible. Books can never be replaced in my opinion. Put your phone away for one second. You can do it. Digital highlighting doesn’t help knowledge reach your brain as much as your pen to the paper does.
- Replace names you read with your own. You won’t understand how empowering this is until you do it. This makes it much easier to tie the lessons into your own life. Some of us ended up with Biblical names and it’s humoring when you hear your name come up in the Bible, but it’s all the more thrilling and applicable when you directly quote a verse with your name in it.
- Read verses aloud that touch you. There is power in the tongue. (Ecclesiastes 8:4, Proverbs 18:21, etc.) Declare things you read over your life!
- Reading and studying the Word alone is crucial, but sometimes we need help dissecting and understanding it. Two heads are better than one- Read the Bible with someone else. It’s amazing how much you two will thrive, both in your own relationship with God and in your friendship with this other person. I’m not talking about attending church, I’m talking about joining a small Bible study or starting one with some bold friends of yours.
- Quiz your memorization skills. Believe it or not, I used to hate memorizing Bible verses for classes and for Sunday school as a kid. Now, I look back on it and all those hard times of pushing and stressing over remembering lots of words has brought me to a place in my life where I can literally pull any verse out of my butt when I need it. There is always some reflection of Biblical teaching within your mind if you read it and memorize it enough.
- Read a Proverb a day. It is the book of Wisdom, after all. An onion a day keeps the doctor away. Obviously don’t read one and stick to it if you can’t specifically focus on it throughout your day- Keep searching for one that speaks to you and your current situation and let it echo through the following hours of your day at work, school, whatever you do in your routine.
- Draw during/after your study. You may see me or people who think like me during services at church drawing pictures as I listen to the speakers give their message. It’s amazing- Some pictures I still have from years ago I can actually pinpoint exactly what the message was about without having written any actual words down. It’ll be stuff like patterns, designs, maybe scenery, flowers, highlighted and fancy looking words in small bunches to get the general idea of the message, etc. Less is more, honestly. I’m not really a note taker.
- Find a Biblically accurate church with a great pastor. This is TOUGH. I have been to MANY “Christian” churches in my teen years, all types of denominations. I am mostly looking for that little dose of wisdom, a phrase that really speaks to me and gets me pumped to seek God and grow in my relationship with Him more. I don’t need to sit in a pew for three hours with a Pastor who quotes 20 different verses in the Bible to make his impact. I need that intense 30-40 minute, get-in-get-out message with humor, wit, passion, tears, and truth. I am looking for honesty, not a bunch of bologna. I don’t always want to hear about how God will bless ME. I am more concerned about other people. My pastor at the church I currently attend has been speaking on helping those in need, literally showing pictures of the crap going on with homeless people and the sick. Obviously I believe that there is nothing I can do to EARN God’s grace and forgiveness, but my pastor also preaches on the brutal reality of life and that our work isn’t done here…
Don’t forget about making sure there is good music. Worship is my favorite part of church and it is also my ‘ministry’ or ‘calling’. I honestly want the speaking to be over so I can get back into worshiping. That’s just me. It’s all important, though.
- Christianity to me isn’t about having fun, but rather being fun. Let me clarify: Fun is carefree, relentlessly childlike, excited, adventurous, bold, frivolous. Jesus calls us to be those very things. Christianity isn’t a walk in the park, but rather a jump off an airplane into boat on a river that has a huge waterfall and there’s cake at the bottom that we must get to. Ha. Ha.
This has been a post. Be blessed, stay positive. You are braver than you think.
Promotion & Raise, I Come In The Name Of Love
Honestly, I’ve been a real mess lately. I’ve been all over the place. Both emotionally and spiritually, I have struggled to maintain my composure and I feel as though every single one of my thoughts has been written on my face, clear as triply-filtered water for all to see. Haha. I apologize to those who saw me mess up recently, who witnessed me in my times of low self-esteem and worth. I am such a hypocrite that I don’t deserve to live and call myself a Christian. I don’t deserve these blessings, this raise, this higher position, this esteem boost, this confidence in myself. It’s like, God knows just when to show up whenever I am at my lowest point. I can’t sit here and not shout it out. Just listen for once.
Yeah, I may have slipped several times in the past couple months, but the world is yet to see me fall. I won’t give up. God’s grace is greater still. His love for me is everlasting. My cup runneth over even when I’m selfish enough to say I am not thirsty. I wish others lived this life with me. I sometimes wish God wasn’t the only one observing my every waking moment with me. I swear to you that if you were me, you would understand why I believe so strongly in what I do and live by. You could see God the way I see Him, the ways He has worked in my wimpy life alone. He’s the only good thing within me. Whenever He’s not there, which has been often, it’s obvious. Non-Christians can tell when He isn’t there. That’s what is so weird about all of this- I yearn to be genuine and wholehearted about sharing my faith and triumphs and love because they can all tell when you fake it. Life is such a struggle. No matter what happens to me, no matter who sees me at any given point in my life, let it be that I give all of the honor and glory to my King. He’s the king of kings. Not me. I am but a grain of sand with an ounce of knowledge of love.
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”
To those who speak with intent to hurt me by mocking what I believe in, you’re nothing new! :)
I’ve been experiencing rejection and mockery since day one. I’ve seen it all. Some won’t hang out with me after they learn that I am a Christian. Some stop hitting me up after a while because they don’t want me to be involved in something “sinful” or “shameful”. “Hmm… Perhaps they started feeling bad about their decisions or were intimidated that I was able to say no for so long and that I never gave up on what I believe in.” Probably not. I know I surely didn’t feel any guilt for my actions before I started really delving into being a Christian. Avoiding me, giving me false hope of a friendship, using me, seeing if I’ll give in.. I’ve experienced a ton of all that garbage. The thing is, if I wanted to be like you I could be. I can become anything I want. I do not doubt that fact. It is too easy to be like you. It is too easy to give in. It is too easy to be tempted and to make way for trouble. Doesn’t anyone like a challenge around here? So, thank you, earnestly, to those who shun and make fun of my way of life to my face and indirectly. I appreciate you showing your true colors. You’ll be who you are and I’ll be who I am, right? I promise you one thing - I will NOT tell you what I think you’re doing wrong in your life. I understand that I do not know you on an intimate level and refuse to push my beliefs on you. You can block me out of your life- another easy thing to do - if what I am is really not your taste. I would just appreciate the reciprocal: You holding your tongue and respecting others’ lifestyles.
It’s so easy to be a Christian on the internet.
It’s also very easy to be a Christian when you’re alone. It’s easy to welcome God’s presence in the quiet times of your day. What is difficult is being a Christian in public- breaking free of the fear and the silly embarrassment that comes with openly sharing your faith. It’s difficult being a Christian right in the midst of a busy day when you are surrounded by many different types of people. It’s really, really hard. Why?! Why is it that when we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior we stay silent about it?! Why do we only share it once in a while when we are in a comfortable place? Why do we convince ourselves it’s okay to back off and avoid dangerous situations that challenge us and our beliefs? How can we expect God to help us grow when we can’t even speak of His name, let alone attest to the amazing things He’s doing in our lives once in a while?
Yes, I have been silent in public when there has been a revolutionary change going on in my heart. I have also met people that want to say I’m “doing too much” when something epic happens inside me and I can’t help but shout it out everywhere I go. Sure, it might look like I’m doing too much. Maybe nobody else is doing enough… At every stage of your life, if you are a Christian, stop being ashamed of what you hear at church. Stop being ashamed of how you have chosen to live. You made a verbal choice, now live by it.
We sit and listen to everyone else in the world talk about their sex, drugs, alcohol, and selfish behavior yet we shut right up when it’s our turn. People will listen to a whole bunch of crap before even questioning if it’s wrong. Most go on living like none of what they do is a big deal. Well, here I am. I am a Christian that will no longer sit in the background in grimy conversations. Everyone can have their turn to speak, but when it’s my turn, I will be asking the questions. There’s no question about it- If there is room for useless chatter about all of the illegal and sickly things we as humans do, there must be a place somewhere for questioning whether or not it’s wrong. Where there is right, there is wrong. Where there is night, there is day. Where there is light, there is dark. The end. I am completely convicted and encouraged today.
Catholic or Protestant? Reformed or original? Baptist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Puritan, Methodist, or Presbyterian?
Whoa, whoa, whoa. My Jesus didn’t have a denomination. I am a Christian.
It really is. When I’m out in the world people are so hush hush about this Jesus and Christianity thing. I just think if He is really touching your life you wouldn’t be able to keep your mouth shut about it!! Every chance you get, tell somebody how He’s changed you! People are watching your every move. Too much of this, “Oh, you’re a Christian, too?” business exists! Haha! Above all else this is a kick in the back of MY knee, honestly.