Within this past year, I've had the Jesus-given opportunity to really meet and come across some amazing, genuine people. My heart loves these people in my life. I see world changers in these people. In fact, these people loved me so well, it made me revaluate my whole life. They made me look at the past, and all those moments (good and bad) that lead me to where I am now. While looking at these life moments, I recently came to see how broken I was. I began to look at relationships in my past and I am not just talking about all those ex's that I had. It was all people. I can be a very analytic person at times. The realization I came to was that I wasn't able to open up with people. I wasn't being open because I didn't trust people. You can't be vulnerable if you don't trust people.
James 5:16,"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."
For any good friendship or relationship to flourish, you need to be able to be vulnerable. You need a safe place. That person you can, vent to, cry to and love on you, wanting nothing in return. I never had that safe place. Especially, as a kid growing up. My parents were both absent in their own worlds. I was very much isolated. Every goodbye in my life up until now, had been the bad types of goodbye. Goodbyes because of other people's choices that lead them to gangs, death, just leaving or jail. My walls slowly built up from a young age. I trusted no one, not even Jesus at the time.
Proverbs 16:24,"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
So, this year when I had these godly people placed in my path here at the dream center in LA on our campus and within leadership school, I didn't understand why I couldn't be vulnerable in friendships. I love people, you need to know that. My life passion is to just love on people. But, I couldn't get deeper in relationships. I have many friends, many great people in my life around me and with me daily. God fearing, godly people and trustworthy. They all just want me to succeed in life. However, it took one person to change my thinking this year. Her name's, Shannon.
Shannon came in my life at season in life when I was least expecting it. A time when, I was questioning my life, self-worth and if Jesus really could send me people that would love me with no strings attached. My own parents always wanted something from me. I just wanted pure love. I guess the kind of love parents are supposed to show their kids, but I never got. Shannon had/has become my safe place. That place on good days or bad. That person that will show love and tough love (I am still young, I still make unwise choices at times. I’m human!) She calls me out when needed, cheers me on, prays for me, and truly wants the best for me. Shannon took my hand and was able to help me see life differently--in a new light. Because of how close I am to her now, I was able to see what vulnerability looked like, safe vulnerability.
I struggle every day with being vulnerable. It's a hard thing to do, friends, really hard. I'll be real honest here, I am in this tough season of learning to be vulnerable. If you work at it, it'll even bring your past up of why things never worked in the first place. Don't believe that lie, it's a lie from the enemy.
Romans 8:18,"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
People will hurt you, people will leave, people will disappoint you. That's life. I am seeing now in this life season, that shouldn't stop you from being open. You don't have to be open with everyone. Pray on who to pour your heart out to. Still love people. Were called to love Jesus first, and live in community. Living in community means being vulnerable.
James 1:3-4,"For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
Whether you’re in America, Europe, or some other country reading this, know it's okay to be vulnerable. It's not easy. Find someone like a Shannon in your life. Pray, ask for that person. They will come, I prayed for Shannon. Love people, love God and learn to open your heart.
Written By: Vanessa
I’m going to admit first thing that when I found out we were writing about friendships this month, I first wondered how I could get out of it. I honestly thought I had nothing to write. Friends have been at the top of my prayer list for a while now. It’s not that I don’t have friends. I have my husband who is my best friend and I am very close to my parents and an Aunt. My college roommates are close friends, and while they are like sisters to me, we are all terrible at keeping up with each other on a regular basis. I know lots of people and connect with them a lot. But that one girl or group of girls that knows me inside and out at this season in life, I don’t have that. Some of the reasons I’m missing those friendships is I haven’t truly made developing relationships a priority. I put my family first always. When I got married I moved to a new community and a new church and immediately gained two children. I went from single to soccer mom and my schedule got super crazy. Life then got very hard as we navigated some pretty intense teenage issues and I put up a wall. I have realized years later that I didn’t want to let anyone get close because I didn’t want to be vulnerable and therefore friendships never developed. So here I was, not wanting to write about friendships, because my life does not abound with what the world says are friends.
But then last week I was listening to an interview on a Podcast. I can’t remember which one or who the interview was with but I do remember the quote “Jesus is a friend that never leaves you.” Wow! During all of those years for praying for a friend I had one! A friend who is never going to leave me and who is never going to give up on me!
The Lord your God will be the one who keeps on walking with you—he won’t leave you or abandon you-Deut. 31:6b
Jesus is my friend all the time. He is the one I can turn to in the good times and bad. He is the one who loves me unconditionally. He is with me no matter where I turn.
Jesus had many friends. Lazarus was greatly loved by Jesus along with his two sisters. Jesus loved his disciples and called them friends. Jesus had friends that were good upstanding members of society and was friends with some pretty unsavory characters. Jesus also had friends, that he loved, that he knew were going to betray him. Judas was one of Jesus dearly loved disciples. He loved Jesus but he loved money more and agreed to betray Jesus by turning him over to the Chief Priest for a sum of money. Peter was another disciple that loved Jesus but denied knowing him three times in the course of one evening. Jesus continued to love them even though he knew what they were going to do!
When life gets tough and you feel like your friends are few, don’t forget you are never alone! You have a friend whose name is Jesus and HE will be there no matter what!
Written By: Heather
You know that seemingly perfect girl who is one or two stages ahead of you in life?
Maybe she’s already…
I can think of multiple girls like that in my life… that fit in multiple categories. No matter what stage of life I’m in, and what next steps I accomplish, there’s always a girl just a couple steps ahead, who I think is a couple notches closer to perfection. Sometimes these girls are my friends, and sometimes I barely know them. Can you think of anyone like this in your own life?
Let me fill you in on a secret I’ve learned over time: Those girls aren’t perfect. And you know what? Chances are they could pinpoint even more girls who are steps ahead of them, and closer to their ideas of perfection.
You see, comparison isn’t a fair game to play for anyone. What God has prepared for these girls is different than what he has for you. Just like a pre-med major can’t compare their homework to an education major’s (hello, wildly different material and goals), you can’t compare your struggles and triumphs to anyone else’s. Any struggle you face is given to you by God to strengthen and prepare you for his plan’s in your future. And don’t you go on any longer believing there are any perfect girls who do not face struggles. If you can’t see them, they’re either desperately trying to hide them, or you don’t know them well enough. Refusing to recognize that other girls face struggles—in areas you may excel in!—will get in the way of countless friendships.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Galations 1:10, ESV
Think of those “perfect” girls that you barely know, but just see around school, on instagram, or anywhere else. Sometimes these girls have the potential to become my friends, but I let comparison continue to stand as a daunting roadblock to ensure that never happens. Comparison can cost you friendships when you refuse to acknowledge and fight it!
Not only can comparison cost you nonexistent, though potential, friendships. Comparison can silently but aggressively build up walls to separate even the closest of friends. When comparison stays around for too long, you lose your ability to be vulnerable with that friend. You start to get jealous, and jealousy can lead to bitterness. Do these sound like characteristics to nurture a friendship? Absolutely not!
So what do I do?
Here are a few practical steps to eliminate comparison…
God is not done with you yet!
Written By: Emily
I miss friends and community
Have you ever been in a season of life where you feel all alone all the time? Have you ever spent countless Friday nights grabbing takeout and heading home to spend the rest of the night with Sammy the Sumsung (Aka TV or Netflix). Ladies, you are not alone. Since last June, in my new venture in California I have spent countless weekends alone, the Hallmark channel is my standing Saturday night date. I get it! Often, I have felt like I am always going to be in this season feeling like I have no close friends around me.
Community is so important and sometimes it is not easy to find it. So, what are we as women to do when we crave community but it’s not currently around us? Here are a few things I have been doing to help me in this time.
1. Pray that God will bring the right people in my life
Romans 12: 12 says “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” We need to be faithfully praying for community. We need to ask God to guide us to the right community. We need to be actively seeking his will for us in this time. We need to have patience as well, knowing that He knows just what we need at the right time.
2. Put myself out there
1. John 4:11 says “Dear Friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Girls, we are called to show love to others. We are called to put ourselves out there and seek out community. God made community for us and he wants us to radiate His love to others. We cannot do what we are called to do if we don’t seek out opportunities to build relationships. We must take risk and look for ways to build community and friendship. I know it can be difficult if you go to a group and they are not inclusive. It can be discouraging and that’s where my third point comes in.
3. Don’t give up!
The enemy is waiting for you to give up. One of the biggest tools the enemy uses to get people down is loneliness. The enemy wants you to feel lonely and think that God is not going to provide friends or a good community of people for you. Believe me I have bought into this lie several times and for a month I gave up on community. That month I was completely lonely and felt absolutely defeated. In 2 Chronicles 15:7 it says “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”
Did you read that? It says we will be rewarded! It doesn’t say when but it says our work will be rewarded. So that means that if you don’t give up on community, God will reward you in time!
Girls, I know it is so easy to want to believe that this season of loneliness and lack of community will last forever, but it won’t. There is a reason for this season. I want you to know I am going through this as I write this. I long for the day when I have a close friend again who is in the same state as me. I long for a text on a Friday asking me to hang out. I get it! Girls! I challenge you to keep praying, keeping putting yourself in new situations and don’t give up!
Written By: Rebeccah
I used to think that vulnerability was a weakness, but now I see that it breeds true friendship and growth.
Recently, God truly blessed me with some deep and godly friendships, and in this season of my life, they are probably the thing that I thank God for the most. I was talking with some of these friends, and one of them pointed out the beauty of knowing a person’s testimony. When one knows a person’s story, such a deep appreciation and understanding is birthed. A deeper sensitivity is developed toward a friend’s weaknesses and soft spots because both parties know what has led to a person’s current state.
Similarly, there is a healing that goes beyond words when a person is vulnerable and admits to one’s weaknesses. I have been dealing with spiritual warfare lately, and I tried to deal with it on my own. I kept telling myself that it would hurt me to admit to my friends that I needed help. I believed the lie that I would be looked down upon because my innate humanity leads to imperfection and struggles. Yet, when I finally admitted to my brokenness, the healing process that I had been craving began to take flight.
Proverbs 27:17 states, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
When iron is being sharpens it has to create friction when being rubbed against another strong piece of iron. That process causes pieces to be rubbed off and smoothed down, and surely that process is not comfortable. Similarly, the processes of being vulnerable and being led to growth and healing is not one that is comfortable. But, that period of being spiritually sharpened against another strong friend creates an evolutionary process that leads to a greater awareness of Christ’s merciful love and healing. Yet, if I do not allow myself to be vulnerable with my godly friends, then the sharpening that my soul craves will never take place. Sometimes, the sharpening requires one’s sin being called out. Ladies, you want the kind of friend who loves you too much to not call out the sin that will deteriorate and hurt you.
I believe that God often times uses people to speak his truths. In my instance, my friends were most definitely one of the vessels that God used to help me walk through. In true godly, friendship, life is spoken over one another and there is freedom to be honest and vulnerable about where one truly is.
Written By: Tara
"Life throws curve balls. Be ready."
I understand now, what I didn't understand then. This is a life saying I have recently learned to come to terms with. Maybe I have just grown closer to Jesus these past few months to grasp this understanding, or perhaps I just have grown up a bit more. Both reasons have built me either way.
Childhood trauma, that's a strong hold in my life I didn't recognize was there, until last month in one of our class worship nights. I pray over it every day now. As I sat in the back of my class, crying and praying, everything clicked in my head. All of the once confused puzzle pieces were now put together.
Childhood trauma comes with flashbacks, anxiety, depression and FEAR. Finally, I realized everything that was holding me back and it all made sense now. Fear is an obstacle I have always faced. Fear of the future: I never knew what to expect or who would be with me. I didn't really have parents per say, no one ever stayed in my life. Letting people fully into my heart was a huge no, it's something I have to work at daily. Fear of my past: my past would always be there, always a reminder of who I once was. You can't erase the past.
Due to my deep-rooted fear of the unknown, my anxiety would then kick in. More often than not, I would always end up near a trash can throwing up from my anxiety—including in my dorm room here in LA. Thank God for my amazing, praying, understanding roommate (fun fact: she's from Norway!). l let myself drown in my emotions, I would have never talk about them. I hid them away and still do hide them away at times. I always thought it was better to hide my feelings (it's not, don't do it). People couldn't judge me if I kept things hidden, no one would ever have to know my traumatic childhood. It could stay a secret. However, secrets have a way of destroying a person's heart.
Some days I wonder, what's my purpose and then thoughts of do I matter, who really loves me, etc. I second guess my self-worth and whose I really am. Am I a special, unique, Jesus girl? Or just another ordinary, young, college kid- just plain and simple, living a regular life?
All of those moments, memories, and life events stayed with me and lead me to where I am now: that broken season in life. That season of finding my identity in Jesus. The point of no return. The time when I have to face myself, to make myself into who HE, Jesus, really called me to be. Instead of believing all of the death that was spoken over me growing up, it was time for life to be spoken over me. It was time for a new season and life chapter. It was time for me to believe it could happen.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." Proverbs 18:21
See guys, I would like to tell you that I have this happy life 24/7, I don't. Many days I fight these inner battles and have had to learn forgiveness of myself, others and daily speaking life into myself. I don't live a perfect, happy, Christian life. Really, who does? Everyone has those off days.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13
Life is hard guys. I don't have the perfect answers for you or the perfect scripture to give you. I don't know why bad things happen to good people, I don't know why parents leave, I don't know why divorce exists, I don't know why people hurt kids, I don't know why life isn't fair, I don't know. I don't know. I do know, that in all of that questioning, Jesus is still there and though you may not see it in the moments of hurt, he is still good. He wants us to see him in our darkest hour, the hour when we most want to leave him. It's easier to leave him, than trust him. Always keep faith in him.
I don't know a lot and I question a lot of things myself, but I do know he is still there. He is still faithful, still loving, still kind, still pursuing you and me, still weeping when we weep, still brushing away the tears we think he doesn't see. He is there. Always there. A prayer away, a worship song away. It's hard to believe, I know. But, he is there with you.
“Jesus wept." John 11:35
Jesus didn't intend for bad things to happen to us, that's where sin came in. But, yes bad things do happen. Things that just can't be explained. This is where you choose if you’re going to let those moments build or break you. You choose. I choose every day. You’re not alone. Either way Jesus will just be waiting for you to come back. He sees you. He hears you. He recognizes your prayers. He's got you. Find peace in that, like I have. I may not know why things happen, but you know what? He's got me. I’ve got peace. Someone close to me once told me, “find that place you find peace and don't let it go." Find your place of peace. Remember it's not going to be perfect, but it will be worth it. I am right beside you fighting with you and for you. I am fighting for me too. I believe in you. You can do it. It's going to get tough, don't give up. Keep persevering on. I see you. I am proud of you. I love you!
Written By: Vanessa
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Do you ever dream about “when you grow up?” I’m a legit grown-up with a house payment and husband and kids and a dog and I often think about the way I will be when I grow up. In my dreams I have it all together…. I am a great mom and wife 100% of the time, I can balance housework and a job and still make time for fun hobbies, I love the Lord with all of my heart and everyone knows it, I have no worries, no anxiety, and no struggles because I am a grown up. I so wish this dream could come true but unfortunately it won’t. I will proudly say that I have days where I have it more together than other ones and I do my best to show my love for Jesus to the world but on most days I struggle. Some struggles I have outgrown or overcome but some are very much there all the time.
I want to tell you a story of something that happened to me several years ago. I grew up traveling and flew on an airplane for the first time when I was three or four. My family flew often and as I got older had many opportunities to travel alone. While I sometimes got a little nervous upon takeoff there was never any fear or anxiety, flying just wasn’t a big deal. While I was growing up I had lots of worries about lots of things but flying was not one of them. One thing I have always done though on flights is keep my eye on the flight attendants. Anytime I would hear a weird noise or we would experience turbulence I would look to see how the flight attendants responded. Because they were always calm, I would be too. However, in the blink of an eye it all changed.
Several years ago I was flying home from seeing my college roommates. I was flying alone on a small plane and because it was fairly empty there was no one on my row and I could only see the backs of a few heads in front of me. I was about half-way through my second flight when our plane started having some significant issues. It was a terrifying few minutes and as the oxygen masks came down the only person I could find to look at was the lone flight attendant. It was at that moment that I needed some reassurance or a look that everything was going to be ok. But instead, the one person I was putting all of my hope in was freaking out. She had panic all over her face and instead of making sure the passengers had the masks figured out, she was crumpled in her seat hysterical. Obviously I made it home but that 5 minutes on an airplane has sent me down a road of fear and anxiety ever since.
I have learned a lot about myself because of those brief minutes on an airplane and it is not pretty. I have flown many times since that incident but only with my husband or family and unfortunately have had to take medicine. I pray and pray and put it on the prayer request list before every flight. People give me pep talks and I recite bible verses. I have even tried reading my bible but then I get on the flight and loose it. You know why? I can’t seem to give that fear and worry over to God. God doesn’t just want some of us, He wants all of us. I like control and somewhere deep down, I think I can do a better job than God. That is hard to admit, but it’s the truth. We flew to Hawaii recently. We live on the East Coast so it was a long trip on an airplane. Once again I did all of the things- prayed, had others pray, recited verses, surrendered the fear to God and I felt a peace on the trip out to Hawaii that I have not felt EVER. I did the whole flight without the help of medicine. I was amazed by God and then unfortunately, I became very amazed by myself. “I did it!” I told myself and anyone else who cared. “I did it!” Well I have to tell you that “I” can’t do amazing things by myself for very long. On the flight back we were tired, we flew overnight and the skies were rough. I didn’t keep my focus where it needed to be. The fear and anxiety crept in quickly and I was too tired to put up a fight.
Obviously as an adult I don’t have it all together. I struggle with lots of things and anxiety is one of them. Unfortunately in this world we have an enemy called Satan that does not ever want us to depend on God. The enemy doesn’t want us to win and most importantly he doesn’t want God to win and he fought me hard on the way home from Hawaii. I let him get the better of me. I didn’t surrender to the One who is always victorious. Instead in my humanness I worried. My worrying is not going to change the outcome of a flight. My anxiety is not going to make a pilot fly better or for us to avoid mechanical issues. God gives us the ability to make choices but He has our whole life in His hands. I have felt how it is to surrender to His control. The peace that came was overwhelming but for some reason in my humanness I snatched it back. When we struggle we are in a battle and with God we can always win!
“He shall say; ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.’” Deuteronomy 20:3-4
Written By: Heather
Ladies, in order to know who you are, you must know whose you are. So many times in my life I’ve forgotten this truth, and tried to define myself by who I’m with, what I like, and what I’m good at, instead of Who created me. This was a challenge for me years ago in middle school, and even now in my twenties I still struggle with it from time to time.
I know that I belong to God, and that who I am is not dependent on what others or myself may think, but sometimes I don’t remember that. I stress too much over getting perfect grades, fitting in that extra work out, or making a certain person like me, because I think that my success will give me more value. It can be mild at first, just taking up a bit more space in my thoughts than it should. But time and time again, when that guy left, my plans fell through, or that girl found a better friend, I’ve been left feeling hopeless.
Disappointments happen, there’s no way to avoid them. But disappointments are far greater when the thing letting you down is something you’ve anchored yourself and your identity to. What I’ve learned overtime is that I cannot escape all pain, but I ease the affects by anchoring myself to the One who never changes. I was not created to find my identity in things that come and go, constantly causing me to look for a new source of self-value. I was created by God to be held tightly to Him, defined by Him, and experiencing all things through Him, and so were you! When I’m rooted firmly in Christ and disappointment comes— like a friend letting me down, or a grade coming back lower than expected—I can weather the storm with strength and grace, because I know that who I am is not affected by my circumstance. Regardless of what happens, I belong to Christ, I have value in Him. Whatever I believe about myself or what others say is not true unless it aligns with God’s Word about me. God’s Word is full of promises that remind me who I am and Whose I am…
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14
“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Next time something goes wrong and you feel down and hopeless, remind yourself of who God says you are! Look to Him to find your identity, not the changing people and things of the world. It’s taken me years to learn this lesson, and I’m still on this journey along with you!
Written By: Emily
It’s hard to hurt alone. If you have ever struggled in silence, you know what I mean. It sort of feels like drowning. You are buried beneath the weight of the struggle with seemingly no escape and the worst part of it is that no one sees how much you are truly hurting. You are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulder with no one to help ease the burden. Maybe you have tried to reach out for help, but no one understands what you’re experiencing. Maybe you’re so ashamed of your struggle that you sit in the bondage of fear without saying a word to anyone. I have been there.
For those of you who don’t know my story, my struggles’ names were anorexia nervosa, anxiety, and OCD. No one knew about these things for the longest time, or if they did notice them I was unaware. When I was at my worst, I would lay in my bed for hours because I felt like that was the only safe place I had. The television show Friends was my lifeline as it was the only thing that brought me joy. I would sleep all day because at least my brain would shut off for a while. I felt like my mind was attacking me and I had no idea how to fight myself. It sounds so ridiculous, right? What does fighting yourself even look like? I didn’t have an answer. I cried out to God every single day to take away my pain and it felt as if my prayers were just bouncing off the walls. I could be in a room full of people and still feel so alone. I would find myself waking up in a panic attack often. I lost sight of who I was and whose I was.
Friends, one of the greatest lies that Satan tells us is that we are alone in our battles. He wants us to hide in our brokenness and shame. What does the Lord tell us about this? Romans 12:15 tells us to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” We are called to community with one another. The darkness cannot be dissipated if it is never brought into the light. Find someone or a few people that you trust and allow them to help bear your burdens. In my situation, this took place in the form of counseling and asking some dear friends of mine to join me in being my prayer partners. Allowing others to know that I was hurting was one of the best things I ever could have done. It’s okay to not be okay. You don’t have to be ashamed of your brokenness. I found that the more I talked about it, the more I realized that other people were battling the same things I was and that they needed to talk to someone about it too.
Some of you may be sitting here thinking “Ad, you don’t understand just how bad it is” or “that’s great, but I have literally no one to talk to.” Let me point you to scripture again. Guys, the most beautiful thing about our Savior is that He has already been there and that none of our pain or struggles come as a surprise to Him. Two of my favorite verses that highlight this are Hebrews 2:18 and James 4:6-7. Hebrews 2:18 says, “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” He has been there, He understands when it seems that no one else does. James 4:6-7 says, “But he gives more grace. Therefore, it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” How cool is the first part of that verse? He gives us more grace, he never stops. Resist Satan and he will flee from you. Go before the Lord on bended knee, like actually get on your knees, and ask him to shield you and be near to you. There is something so incredibly powerful in assuming a posture of submission before the Lord.
I know sometimes verses aren’t the only thing someone needs to hear when they are struggling. I want to speak to the person that feels broken right now, completely shattered: it will be okay. It will get better. You have a God who loves you so much that He sent His Son to die in your place. It’s bad, I’m sure it is, and I know what it feels like to be completely disgusted with yourself. I know what it is like to not be able to tell anyone what is going on. I won’t pretend to know everything about your situation, as I would hope you wouldn’t do that to me, but I know what it’s like to feel utterly broken. None of this comes as a surprise to God and He will see you through this just like He has every single other time, He will never fail you. God may not deliver you from this as quickly as you would like Him to, but know that there is always a purpose to your pain. He does not let His people suffer in vain. Let’s get practical here. Cling to the cross and never let it go. Reach out to someone that you trust, it may be the most freeing thing you ever do. Try to focus your energy on other things or other people. Often times these inner battles draw every ounce of our focus inward and if we would just look outward, we may find some relief. Don’t use this as a means of neglecting yourself though, get the help you need.
Now speaking to everyone: show kindness to all people. You never know what someone else is going through, even if they tell you about it you can never understand the full extent of their pain. Never force someone to talk about something they aren’t ready to discuss. Be present and be patient, “remember that you do not ever look into the eyes of someone whom God does not love.” Be a light for Him, always.
You are loved, dear one. You are loved more than you could ever possibly imagine. We are in this together.
Written By: Adyson
Panic. Manic. Frantic. Those words have described my mental state all too often. Struggling to feel in control, trying to rely on myself while knowing my inevitable humanity, fighting to catch each breath before it escapes my chest. There was a time in my life where insecurities dictated my actions, fear was authority over my thoughts, and anxiety loomed in every crowded room and tough decision. One thing I wish I could tell my younger self—there is Hope.
There is Hope, ladies. This statement took me a while to figure out. I used to think I needed to have hope, lowercase ‘h’. I tried to find hope in myself, in my grades, in my friends, in man’s opinion of me. Over time, I ran to all of these for strength. Each time, I left feeling more void, more hopeless, and even more failed than before. But the Lord sought me out and corrected my ways. He showed me His ultimate reliability, His unfailing nature, and His great sufficiency. I shifted all of my hope and trust in Him. In turn, my mind and life became the dominion of the Lord.
These verses I had heard all my life felt like a new song for me to sing. Their ultimate truths refreshed my soul:
Even a decade after being saved, I have found that I need the Lord to save me every single day. I am still desperate for the Lord to refine me, transform me to look more like Him today. I don’t believe that I have been promised a stress-free life of roses and butterflies. I expect anxiety to overwhelm me and for lies to food my thoughts. But now I know whose I am and whose Power lives inside me. Through calling on the name of the Lord, saturating myself in His truths, and declaring His Power over my life, I have found a Hope no man can deny.
Written By: Laura