Seasons of Loneliness 

In the midst of literally driving away from God, he still managed to get my attention. 

Have ever felt lonely? Like no one was there? Even if they were there, did it seem like they didn’t care? 

I’ve been in this situation for awhile. Being stuck in a cycle of sadness, depression and anxiety is one of the worst feelings someone could ever go through. And trying to get through it alone is impossible. Why is that? Because we weren’t meant to do it alone. We were made for relationships with other people, whether that be with other people of God.

Whenever I’m lost and don’t know where or who to turn to I look up to Him. But wait? What if it seems like He isn’t there either? I often find myself facing this question; even more so since the beginning of this school year. But God isn’t absent, even in times when He’s silent; He’s never absent.

“…….And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew‬ ‭28:20B

“When we maintain a vertical relationship with God, it becomes easier for us to maintain horizontal relationships with others” – Brad Cooper

Throughout this season of loneliness He’s been teaching me a few things:

  • Being by yourself isn’t always a bad thing 
  •  You are NOT alone; ever
  • When you feel down lift others up
  • YOU ARE LOVED, whether not you feel like you aren’t 

On the verge of tears and a panic attack, a little baptism church sign reminded me of these truths. It’s funny how the Lord works sometimes. 

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬




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Dealing with Rejection

Tonight has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. I had just gotten back from Orlando and had been awaiting the arrival of a letter from the South Carolina Governors School for Art and Humanities for about 2 months and it had finally come. I got in the car, my mom handed me the envelope, mind was racing, heart pounding, palms sweaty. Let’s just say I was a hot mess. I tore open the envelope only caring what the letter inside said. My eyes scanned across the paper in a hurried manner and my heart dropped as I realized I had been rejected. I was crying. I was angry. I was disappointed in myself. And even though I hate to admit it I doubted whether God even cared. I was hurt. I was hurt that I wasn’t good enough in the eyes of board of the people who accepted students in. I was ready to burn all my journals. My hair was sticking to my face from the tears. I had a snot running down my face. (Beautiful right?). My breathing was choppy and I couldn’t seem to stop questioning, Why? Why did I get rejected? Why am I not good enough? Why didn’t I get in? What could I have done better? Why did God let this happen? What’s wrong we me? Why was it that everyone else I knew got in but I didn’t?‬‬
I cried and cried and I was angry for a while. But then I realized (with the help from some of my parents and friends) that I’m a great writer and there’s nothing that I could’ve done to change the past or the minds of the people at the Governors School. God has a plan for me and it is far greater than anything I could Imagine. I was trying to mark out my own path for my life instead of listening to what God plan was for my life. 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9-10‬ ‭NIV

It’s hard dealing with rejection especially when it seems as though everyone around you is succeeding and thriving. But know that you’re not the only who feels that we, though that’s the way it may seem. I had to realize that I was not the only who received that letter today. The world isn’t over, life goes on. Let rejection motivate you to succeed. Know that there is a father in heaven who will always be there to comfort you in your times of hell. And finally know and understand that God has a plan far greater than you mind can understand. In the end this has been a tremendous learning experience and has brought me closer to the Lord, so for that I’m grateful. 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“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.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NIV‬

P.S. CONGRATS TO EVERYONE I KNOW THAT GOT IN!!

Stop the Judgment and the Hate 

You know what I find ironic? How if you look at some people who call themselves Christians they aren’t truly living as what they identify themselves as. We all have encountered these types of people, maybe we are these people of have been at some point and you know what I’m talking about. The people who going around pointing out sins in others peoples lives instead of showing a kind heart towards others, like Jesus does. Like my pastor said a church today if concerned is not fueled with compassion then it’s just criticism. 

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭1-2‬ NIV)

Being a Christian is all about being more like Christ in every possible way that we can. And telling others how they should fix themselves isn’t not doing that. How about instead of telling people all the stuff that they’re doing wrong, invite them to youth group or church with you. Jesus loves everyone despite how different they might have been from him. We as Christians should also practice this with others who don’t have the same beliefs, ethnicity, sexual preference, gender, weight, background etc. the list goes on and on. 

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭3-5‬ NIV)

I believe that if we as Christians today acted more like Christ with open arms instead of pointed fingers society would have a completely different view of church in general and we would see more more of a life change.

I’m taking a stand today to stop the judging and to be more like Christ!

  

Value Yourself….and Others

I’ve noticed this before and it really bothers me, I’m not trying to make you feel bad or put you down because we are all guilty of this. However I’ve noticed and I’m sure many of you reading this have also noticed  , but as humans we enjoy to look at other humans who we find attractive and I see absolutely nothin wrong with that. But there is a fine line between okay, to being creepy and disrespectful towards another being. I’m tired of sitting back and watching this happen! Groups of people (or maybe you yourself think it) sit and talk about other people as if they are an object to be obtained, and they think once they obtain or get whatever they want that they can you that person for there own entertainment/pleasure, and that is not okay! God did not create any one person for our own enjoyment, he created that person on a purpose with a purpose and for a purpose much bigger than our own personal “needs”. 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)

Jesus died on a cross for EVERYONE including you, and the person you are “pleasuring”  yourself with, either mentally or physically. Jesus didn’t die on a cross and rise three days later for you to be on that website that you know you should be on. He didn’t die for you to be looking at those pictures you received from that guy or from that girl nor did he die for you to send those pictures. He didn’t hand craft each inch of every person so that they can be used to be your puppet to do what ever you want. The Lord has a much bigger plan for you and for them. Value yourself and others because you are sons and daughters of the one true King, and that is worth more than anything in this world.   

This also brings me to another point VALUE YOURSELF! You are so valuable! The God who created the entire universe molded every single part of you and he has a plan for your life much bigger than you could ever think of for yourself! So please I beg you value yourself no matter what you’ve done, no matter what’s been done to you, said about you, what you’ve said because there is a God who loves you more than words can even describe, not because he has to but because he wants to!

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:13-17 NIV)

  

Are you Ariel?

Today I was watching a classic movie. The Little Mermaid. Yes, you read that correct, and I got to thinking this is exactly what our walk with Christ look like at some point in time in our lives. I bet you’re wondering how. If you haven’t seen the Little Mermaid you’re probably familiar with the plot line. We often find ourselves like Ariel in life; wanting something that we know we aren’t suppose to mess with. In Ariel’s case this something is Prince Eric, but in our lives this could be any sin or anything that can distract us from God. 

Moving on with the story of the Little Mermaid; after Ariel sets sights on Prince Eric she goes against her father interacts with Prince Eric and then later tries to hide it. We do this all them time when we sin! We go do whatever we know we have no business doing, end up facing the consequences, then try hide it from our father, but guess what he already knew before we even thought about doing it!

 After disobeying her father Ariels decides that since her father tells her no she can’t have what she wants, she makes deal with Ursula the sea witch at what the times seems like a great idea. (You’re lying if you say you weren’t a tiny bit scared of her). It seems as though we constantly do this. We try to take matters into our own hands and make “deals” or compromise with sin. We say oh it’s just one drink, or oh it’s just one website, it’s just one text message. But soon enough one turns into two which turns into three which turns into four and so on. And in the end we up stuck in places we have no business being.
Towards the end of the movie Ariel now has no way out of being under control of Ursula, but guess who help her get out of her situation? Her father! He takes her place and Ariel isn’t under the control of Ursula! That’s what Jesus did in our lives he took our place on the cross so that we don’t have to be controlled not sin anymore! 
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (‭1 Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭24‬ NIV)

  

Come as You Are

We live in a world that covers things up; people in magazines who appear blemish less. People walking around with make up caked onto their faces. Photos with filter on top of filter on their photo, the list goes on. These are necessarily horrible things but they are all pushed into our faces saying ” Hey, you need this way for people to like you” or “Hey, you don’t have to tell anyone about what you did last nobody will know.” We feel as if we have to cover up and pretend as if our lives are picture perfect. We believe that we have to pretend to be okay when we’re not. Especially when we are in a “religious” community. We often are convinced that we have to get it all together, and thing bring it to the church. But we don’t have to have it all together, and that is because of an incredible man named Jesus. When we go to him we don’t have it all together, we could be broken into a million pieces and feel the weight of our sins but we can pick up all of our pieces and the weight our sins and place them at the feet of Jesus.

But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? (Deuteronomy 1:12 NIV)

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, (Acts 3:19 NIV)

He didn’t die on the cross for us to be busted and broken in this world, he died for us to be Mae new in him. He called us to give him all of our Burdens.

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. (Psalm 68:19 NIV)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NIV)

We don’t have to change who we are to fit this worlds image of “perfection” because in Christ we are made new. We don’t have to cover up or hide anything from him, because he already knows! And guess what he doesn’t care about any of that because he loves us unconditionally, and nothing we could ever do could ever change that.

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Daily Struggles

I think that everyone reading this can agree on this one thing; being a teenager is rough you’re finding yourself, you trying to figure out what you want to do in your life, you deal with peer pressure whether you should this just to fit in and be “cool”. Self image issues begin, and you start to worry about how you look and the eyes of other people in this world. You get this thought implanted in you brain that you have to date someone or you’re considered a “loser.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬ NIV)

But my friends there is good news and his name is Jesus! When you’re in Christ you don’t have to deal with fall in to peer pressure, because he is with you. You don’t have to look in the mirror and hate what you see because in his eyes you are the most beautiful creature that walks the earth. You don’t have to worry about what others think of you because in him you are perfection. You don’t need to worry about dating because If you have your eyes focused on him he will lead you to someone in his time.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭14‬ NIV)

The world is throwing all these things at us. Targeting us telling us the we have to do certain things because of our age, circumstances or certain situations that we find ourselves in. But we do not have to submit to this world, because of a man named Jesus.

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Focus

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭2‬ NIV)

I have played done a lot of extracurricular activities; soccer, Mock trial, volleyball, basketball orchestra, the list goes on and on. I feel like the more we do the more we get distracted from putting our eyes on Jesus, the world throws so much at us today trying to make our focus on that instead of on our Heavenly Father. There are beyond numerous things that take our eyes off of the lord and onto earthly things that in the end honestly won’t matter.

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. (‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭19‬ NIV)

The world is telling us it’s okay go smoke, go party, go do all these things that are “fun” while you’re young you have a long life ahead of you, when in reality those things will only satisfy us temporarily whereas Jesus’s love is for eternity.

Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (‭John‬ ‭12‬:‭25‬ NIV)

This world twists everything that has anything to do with Jesus and make the focus on some thing else. For example since it is the Christmas season most people celebrate the presents, and Santa Clause but Christmas is about none of those thing it’s about celebrating the birth of our Savior. Another example of this is Easter which should be about Jesus getting crucified on a cross brutally to die for our sins and then raising up from death 3 days later. But the world has made it all about the Easter bunny, and hunting for eggs, while all those things are fun and I’m not saying that they’re bad we just need to remember why we celebrate in the first place.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭10‬ NIV)

This world is a busted, broken, rundown place and we a followers of Christ are called to pick up the pieces and put it back together; as long as our focus is on him because when he was whipped and nailed to that cross his focus was solely on us.

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Courageous

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (‭Joshua‬ ‭1‬:‭9‬ NIV)

This thought hit me earlier today: we walk around this broken world knowing there it is a broken world full of broken people and we sit back and watch people throw their lives away. But we are called to reach those who don’t know christ and don’t have a personal relationship. I realized that I walk by people in the hallway everyday and say not a word to them about Jesus, but that is what we are called to do.

My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long. (‭Psalm‬ ‭35‬:‭28‬ NIV)

I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. (‭Psalm‬ ‭71‬:‭16‬ NIV)

We have so many opportunities to share the Gospel with people who don’t yet have a relationship with him. We are called to share God’s word to those who don’t believe. Jesus did not not have nails driven through his wrist, so that we could live a life just going through the motions. He did not get publicly hung naked and bleeding on a cross so that we could conform to the world. He was not flogged so that we would bite our tongues and stay silent.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭14‬ NIV)

Jesus suffered through all those horrible things because he loves us and he wants us to lets others know of his undying love. So be courageous go outside of your comfort zone and share the word of God with them I challenge you!


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭2‬ NIV)

I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. (‭Psalm‬ ‭118‬:‭17‬ NIV)

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Look to the Highest

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18 NIV)

I have braces, and if you have ever had braces you will agree with me when I tell those of you who have never had braces that they suck. You’re in pain you can’t eat what you want like everyone else is, and you have to work twice as hard while brush you teeth. But in the end we my teeth will be perfectly straight. Though I hate going through the hard times with my braces I know that the end product will be well worth the wait.

Walking with Christ is the same way, even though everyone else seems like they are having fun and doing what they know is wrong meanwhile being in Christ we can’t do those thing though they might be fun and tempting, because we all can agree that for the most part sin is fun. Like my pastor says “If you say sin isn’t fun, you didn’t sin right”.

Everyone has hard times. Times that are tempting. Situations, and circumstances that seem as if they will never get better. We have all heard the saying the storm will pass through but we need to realize if we don’t have Jesus to help us through those hard times, then we will just be stuck in a circle of misery.

When we are in our lowest points in life (an addiction, circumstances at home, a divorce) we need to seek Jesus and ask for help. Trust me it will be hard to confess, repent or pray during these times but when we do it is so worth the wait. Because Jesus has a plan that is much great than you and I, much greater than this world.

After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (Acts 16:23-25 NIV)

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