I was born and raised catholic, which meant I was at church every Sunday until about the 9th grade. When I was growing up, I struggled with finding and keeping non-toxic friendships. When I was in elementary school I was with my best friend at that time almost every weekend. She and I would play with barbies and pretend that they would go on a date and then the guy would invite the girl over, that is when the “romance” would begin. After a little while, the dolls were no longer the ones role playing and it was she and I. She would also be the one to introduce me and begin my addiction with what I found on the computer screen. After I was able to build up the courage to tell my friend “No” after a few years, my body craved the images I looked at and the way that they made me feel. I would also start having dreams of men abusing me, which would turn into an addiction, because my brain would play out those scenarios without me choosing to.
This led to me having a hard time finding friends who would be encouraging, but in middle school I thought that I had a great friend. I also had a “boyfriend” who would say he loved me, then the next week he would say that he loved my best friend. The week after, he would come back to me saying he loved me and I would go right back to him. In high school, I finally understood that I was worth more than he thought of me, so I broke up with him and I became closer and closer to my best friend, (yes the one who he had left me for). We were great friends until we got to the point that we would share everything together, even the fact that we both were watching those images on the computer screen. She took that conversation and then made a way for her to bring her boyfriend into the mix and see if we could experiment. I wanted to say yes, but every time, something kept me from meeting with them. Me continually saying no after I said maybe ruined our friendship my senior year.
I may have lost another best friend in my senior year, but I also found my first true best friend, someone who wanted to be there for me, with no strings attached. In the spring semester of high school I started going to another church with my friends that I spent time with, and I gave my life to Christ on March 3, 2013. I finally understood that I did not need to work my way into heaven but that God loved me enough that He sent His Son down to die for my sins. That changed my life, and I was not going to let go of this new found relationship what I had formed. Just like John 15:15 claims, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” I finally had someone who would be there for me through everything and He could never stop loving me.
When I got to college, my relationship with Him and my faith in Him got stronger, but there were things that occurred to help build up my strength. Close to the end of my freshman year, my father was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, which later spread to his liver. I really had to seek God out during that time, because I was not home to be there for him, but I knew that God would see my father through. In my senior year, the first day of the last semester, my father passed away after his liver started to shut down. I struggled that semester with how to process my emotions and I fell into a deep pit that I could not drag myself out of. But God knew that this would happen, so throughout sophomore, junior, and senior year, God brought people into my life that would be there to help me when I forgot that God was always there. They helped me rely on God again to get me through my moments of anger, depression, self-harm, and distress/anxiety. I needed to be reminded of Matthew 28:20, the second part of it that says, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” That semester, God grew my strength and my character more than I could have imagined. I am eternally grateful that God was moving in my life, even before I gave my life to Him.
God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is a concept that I knew of for a long time but it took awhile for my heart to know. As a young girl, I always knew about Jesus and God but, I knew nothing truly of the Holy Spirit. My family would go from church to church so the gospel was something I knew only by word of mouth. At the age of eight, I got baptized. I remember owning my first Bible. It was a special moment and the beginning of my journey in understanding and knowing God.
Coming from a broken family, I did not know how to deal with problems. This lead to issues with bitterness and rebellion. My parents are divorced and the separation ended ugly. I found myself bitter due to comparing myself to others. I wanted a close relationship with my mother like other classmates had. I wanted to see my dad more than once a week. I wanted to be normal and fit in. I wish I could have told my younger self that comparison is the killer of gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says: "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." So many times I try to control things instead of giving it over to God. I love this verse because it puts in perspective that our God is all knowing and is with us because he deeply knows our hearts. Instead of responding with kindness to others, my first reaction was anger because it was easier to display then the brokenness I felt.
Throughout elementary and middle school I was in and out of the principal's office. When I got to high school I covered my bitterness by using outlets but my insecurity was still there. I felt like an outcast and rejected. I voiced this to one of my friends who invited me to start attending bible study every Wednesday with her. That was when I saw God making moves in my life. A hunger ignited in me to seek after the presence of God. I learned that God could heal my brokenness if I laid my burdens down. I realized that I was called.
I found that my problems did not stop there. They were ruling over my life. As I left high school and entered college, I went through a season of depression and suffered from panic attacks. I kept holding on to the lie that I was not good enough and kept comparing myself to others. I learned that in my failures or when I did not meet the expectations I set for myself, I would be hard on myself. I believed the lie that I couldn't make it through the semesters. The only thing that calmed me down was me seeking God's presence. I knew that only in Him, I would find healing.
I finally surrendered to God and allowed him to be my provider, my redeemer. This happen after 2 years of college and many heartbreaks. By reading my Bible, I found truth in scripture that this world will never match. I learned that my value comes from God and that my life's journey is in his hands. My grades, people, and background do not define me. All I need to do is be faithful to the One who is also faithful to me. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 is a verse of great meaning to me, "Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it." I have grown to understand The Holy Trinity and its significance that it has in our faith. No matter our circumstances or insecurities, God is faithful. And we have a calling on our lives.
Since I can remember I’ve always been a competitive person. I remember in elementary school, there was always a competition between my peers to see who was the tallest, or had the longest hair, or who had the best sneakers. In later years like high school, the girls would compare who had the biggest chest, or the skinniest legs. It seems like our minds have been programmed to have this competitive edge on us as humans and most times, it’s about characteristics that we are born with. All over social media there are ads and internet famous individuals who are trying to endorse their diet plans, work outs, and supplements. They tell us if we make their food, do their work outs, and take supplements that we will be skinny, happy, and beautiful. These dramatic lifestyle changes may work for some people, but I don’t see my thick thighs going anywhere anytime soon.
I have had personal struggles for most of my life with body image. Throughout my high school years, I went through multiple seasons of losing and gaining weight. I truly believed that the definition of beauty was based on the size of my thighs and the number on the scale. I remember spending hours at the gym running on the treadmill while I calculated exactly how many calories I consumed that day. It’s a scary life when your reflection in the mirror is distorted by temptation from the enemy. This on again off again relationship with food and weight loss is what consumed most of my high school years.
At the very beginning of the bible, God tells us the story of Adam and Eve. Two people who were created completely naked and free. Can you imagine that for a second? If sin had not entered this world, we would all be running around with no clothes on. Crazy. Anyways, this story is very interesting because it reveals the first time that human kind felt body image issues and food happened to be the first temptation and sin ever. That delicious looking piece of fruit that looked desirable to Eve, was the beginning of our sin in this world (Genesis 3: 6-7). She shared it with her husband and they both became ashamed of their bodies, just as the enemy wanted.
The enemy loves hearing those awful things we think and say about ourselves. After all, it was the first thing human kind was sinful of.
We admire the beauty of the sunset in such adoration. We take pictures of it, and sit in awe at this Godly creation. If we can sit and admire the colors of the sky that God has hand painted, why can’t we appreciate the beauty of our bodies that God breathed life into? Don’t think for one second that you are worthless, unloved, ugly, or not good enough. You are created on purpose by a perfect heavenly father. The same father who paints the color of the sky, handcrafted every hair on our heads and every curve on our bodies and it’s the same God that is alive in our hearts today. No number on the scale, or hours on the treadmill will take this perfect love away.
In first Samuel it explains that God doesn’t look at the things people look at. Rather He looks at our heart. People of this world will judge your body, including ourselves. But it’s God that will judge your heart, and at the end of this life that is all that is going to matter. After all, beauty is fleeting.
I can only imagine what Jesus would be saying to us if He were still walking on the earth. I can picture Him embracing His daughters with such love and adoration, the words beautiful and worthy would not even begin to describe the love God has for us.
Every single day we struggle with temptations from the enemy. God never said our lives here on earth would be perfect. His ultimate desire is to see us free from bondage. As we lay down our cross every morning, I encourage you to strip away the desires of this world, don’t be envious of the bodies of others, rather learn to appreciate the beautiful structure that God has given you. From the beginning of time, the struggle of body image has been alive in this world. Take a minute out of your morning before you eat your breakfast, before you step on the scale, before you begin your run, and before you scroll through social media, and pray to God. Become in touch with your heavenly father and ask Him to protect your mind and heart from these worldly cravings.
I would be lying if I said I never go a day without thinking about my appearance. There are seasons in my life where I struggle immensely. But it’s that amazing power of Christ that truly pulls me through these time. He is a good father; he guides me through those dark seasons so that I can walk confidently back to the women He created me to be. Your perfect size will be the one you have when living out your life with Christ.
This is a question that I’ve struggled with my entire life. Frankly, I believe that I’ll never not ask this question. I’m gonna make ya'll a deal; if I give you some past scoop and some present dish (four course meal if I say so myself), promise me that you’ll be honest with yourself as to where you stand with this question. These next few things I’ve learned have become concrete to the foundation of my life. It’s a lot to feast your eyes on so choose wisely. When I was a wee lil gal, I was insanely quiet. I would only follow people around and do what I was told. As most people would blame this on being the middle child, I blame it on myself and my bangs (they’re not for everyone, folks). I’ve been ‘5”6 since the fourth grade and was super chubby when I was young. I wanted to be popular and have friends and the only way I found that was through following others footsteps. I took acting as a child. After getting out of my comfort zone that I practically hibernated in, I figured out that I could be whoever I wanted and I loved that. I didn’t like the sad, quiet giant I was in any sense, so I changed. Making friends no longer became a priority in my life. It was a “light bulb” kind of moment. Suddenly the stage was set and I couldn’t care less as to who was watching. I heard this sweet lil line and I’ll never
forget it: Living your life to gain friends is a very lonely life to live. In trying to please others, you will never satisfy yourself.
Fast forward to kind of having my life together…??? (That’s a lie, will explain later.) Anyhoo, I’m in college now so I definitely know what I’m doing and who I am (again, sarcasm heavily intended). Being completely honest, I went through a process called “Rush” or “Recruitment.” It’s basically a week where I get to know all the sororities on campus and they get to know me. At the end of the week, I choose my top favorites and they choose a select few girls that they want in their sorority. If they choose me, by God I made it, Mom. Its low-key like matchmaker for groups of girls. I walked into Zeta thinking, “Wow, these girls are all beautiful and know what they are about.” I was terrified and insanely insecure. At this point, I wasn’t about to change myself to fit the mix so I was undeniably Audrey. They were loud and fun and I
loved it because that’s who I am (mostly, loud). Then, I got my letter from them. They chose
me… ME. Wow, I was not ready for that. There I was comparing myself to everyone physically
and yet they chose me along with all the other sweet, beautiful girls I know have to privilege of
calling my “sisters.” People try to stereotype us in many ways. We are all similar and yet so
different and that is why we are beautiful. From the outside looking it, I could’ve sworn it was
because of their Instagram feeds. From the inside looking out, let me tell you, it is because
those girls aren’t afraid of being vulnerable and broken. The exact reason why you needed to
hear these stories.
Let me repeat myself, I will probably never not ask myself the question of “Who am I?” In
a world that is constantly changing, I am constantly moving and molding, too. I will never be one
person. There is always so much to learn. If I ever believe I have my world together, it’s
probably because I’m the farthest from that. I quickly realized that I’m a mess and there’s
nothing I can do about that. I’m loud. I talk even more when I’m nervous or I don’t talk at all. I
like to be alone sometimes. Sometimes, I’m insanely needy. Ultimately, I’m super duper broken.
I have so many health issues and I’m the clumsiest person on the planet. Somedays I’m a
morning person. Other days, I refuse to speak to people prior to 10:00AM. I’ve been frequently
called a Jesus Freak and learned to freaking love it. My personality really cannot be pin-pointed.
There’s one reason and one reason alone why I’m content in not having a definitive answer as
to who I am. If I know who my King is, I know my name.
I know Whose I am.
I am a daughter of the One true King.
We must find solace in the sense that God is and always will be strong enough, brave
enough, and mind-boggling well… enough! I was made in His image to be like Him. We are
striving ever to be like-minded.
Not to show Christ to the world but to be Christ to the world.
It’s not “playing God” when God came down to live within you. There Holy Spirit is alive in you,
friend. A living breathing flame of God is burning inside of you. Read the scriptures. Learn the
fear of the Lord. When God brought Heaven down, He tore the veil and came to call you
“friend.” He dwells inseparably within us. This Love is who you are. This Love is what makes
being broken so beautiful. This Love is the spotlight of our lives so play your part. This Love is
undeniable. This Love is the composition of your very being. From your hair to the work of your
hands, from everlasting to everlasting. This love is mine and I am His.
You are a product of your Creator.
This Love is yours to have and to hold, forever.
This Love is your life. This Love is you. You are the light & salt to the world.
Who are you?
I am continuously overwhelmed by the goodness and grace of our Father God. Recently, I overcame something. And by recently I mean like last week recently. I struggled with the idea of comparison and wasn’t even aware of it. I am in a totally different season and place then I thought or imagined I would be. Instead of finding the joy and embracing the season, I was comparing myself to those around me who were where I wanted to be or God was already using in incredible ways. Needless to say, it’s been a very joyless time full of anxiety and tears. The old saying goes “I’m not sure who discovered water but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the fish,” sometimes when we are in our own bubble we don’t realize what is actually happening in us. We get so used to our own struggles and trials that we neglect to see our circumstances as they truly are. This was my case. I didn’t realize the problem of comparison and the way in which it was springing up a root of pride or envy within my own heart.
However, God lovingly revealed to me my issue a matter of days ago when I was having coffee with two very good friends, one of whom I had not seen in awhile. This friend excitedly told us all about her new job as a youth director and how God had been teaching her a lot about running the race set before her and chasing the life God had given her. In John 21:21-23 Jesus reveals the way in which Peter will glorify God and the first thing he does is ask “what about John?” Immediately Jesus basically says, “what’s it to you? You walk in your calling.” That hit home for me. For the next several days this passage, along with others about finding joy in trials and not losing heart showed up everywhere. The final driving point for me was while reading a daily devotional (Arise by Melodi Hawley).
One particular day was all about being faithful in the little and finding joy in normalcy. Why chase the glamorous when God calls us to the normal? Why pursue the calling of another when our sweet Father simply whispers, “be faithful in the little things for now (Luke 16:10).” I came to realize I wasn’t exactly doing that. Instead I was prideful and questioning the path and season God had placed me, basically telling the Savior of the world that I needed to be doing something else or living a different life. I wasn’t choosing joy or letting my light shine. I wasn’t being faithful in the mundane and the normal, working at everything as if I were working for the Lord (Colossians 3:23 & 1Timothy 4:15).
Today I want to encourage you to do the same. Find joy in the mundane. Remember that we are called to be faithful in the seasons God has placed us. He is good, loving, and cares far more about you than you ever could. He sees you. He knows you. He is lighting your path. Be faithful and let your light shine wherever you are.
Written by: Kristen
Ever since I could remember, I have struggled with worrying too much. I worried so much that it began to take a toll on me. I became anxious, nervous, and I had trouble catching my breath. It started to affect me until I started placing my cares and my burdens at the feet of Jesus. Once I began to do that, the less and less I was anxious or worried. Every so often, I do have nervous breakdowns and struggle with anxiety, but when I do, I realize that it is because I have not fully surrendered it to Christ. I can fully say that because of what happened to me this year.
It was the day after New Year’s and I was in deep distress. I was sitting on my couch watching TV, but I couldn’t focus on the show in front of me. I was so overwhelmed, anxious, and nervous about the situations in my life, and the idea of going to school the next day, was absolutely terrifying. My dad was beginning to have trouble seeing in one eye and the idea that he could possibly lose his ability to see in that eye was scary. My mom was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, and it was starting to affect her. She was, in a sense, depressed and as her daughter, it was so sad and awful to watch her joy dwindle down. On top of that, I had friendship troubles, and we did not leave on good terms before Christmas break. I was afraid of what people would say about me, or how they would treat me. I did not know what to do. I was worried, and on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. I was pacing back and forth; my heart was beating faster and faster with just the thought of going back and facing all these people. I struggled with these emotions almost half the day, until I stopped and took a deep breath. In that moment, I realized I was going about this the wrong way. I closed my eyes and I prayed. I prayed that God would fill me with His peace, and give me guidance on what I was supposed to do. When I started to worry, I prayed. When I began to feel anxious and nervous, I prayed. I prayed every second of the rest of the day because I felt that one prayer wasn’t enough. I did not think that God was listening to me, so I prayed again and again. But God did hear my prayers that day. As I was sitting on the couch, waiting for dinner, I opened the Bible app and you wouldn’t believe what the verse of the day was.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
I felt as though a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when I read this verse. I cried tears of joy because God heard the cry of my overwhelmed and troubled heart.
“From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
The more and more worry I found within my life, the more I began to doubt God. Worry can be compared to a tire stuck in mud. You can try and try to spin the wheels to get out of the mud, but it’s useless. You will not get anywhere unless someone comes in to pull you out of there. Ladies, the more worry you have, more “stuck in the mud” you will be because you are not letting God help set you free from the stress of life.
The minute you take your eyes off of your situation and place them upon The Lord, the smaller your problems become.
When the disciples were in the boat in the raging storm, they were afraid. But when the disciples saw that Jesus had the power to calm the storm, their fear diminished. When the troubles of life are overtaking you, know that God has the power to calm the storm and He will give you His peace to endure.
Worry, stress, and anxiety are all sins. Why? Because it makes you doubt in who God is and what He is capable of. I encourage you to give it all to the Lord. There are so many situations in our lives that are too big for us to handle. In fact, when these problems get so huge and out of control, it’s because it isn’t meant for us to solve. God cares and loves each and every single one of you, His beautiful daughters. I encourage you to read Luke 12:22-28. My beloved sisters, the Lord has you in the palm of His hand! He carried all your burdens to the cross and crucified them, so that you don’t have the slightest worries. Whether its financial issues, family, friendships, God knows. He will give you exactly what you need.
He is always faithful!
If you ever find yourself worrying, stressing, or doubting God…..
Written by: Kimberly
My parents have reminded me since I was a young girl, that they often pray for the man I will end up with. I never truly understood why they did this. I thought it was my decision who I dated, married or if I decided to stay single. Due to my little understanding of this and my naïve heart, I dated who I wanted and I dated too young. It seemed like fun and games, spending time with my “boyfriend”, going out to eat, having double dates, texting all day long. Before getting serious with someone, you can be blinded by the fun and not realize the hole you’re slowly digging yourself into. It could be months before you find out this person is not a believer. And then what happens?
Your first thought may be, like me, “I am a strong believer and will not let the opinions of my significant other diminish my beliefs”. Unfortunately, no matter how strong your faith may be, the bible says very clearly “Do not be deceived; bad company ruins good morals”. In other cases, people believe they can do “missionary dating” which is exactly what it sounds like. Date someone who is not of your belief system, but believe you can change that. Sometimes this interaction does work, and I think that would be amazing to fall in love with someone while teaching them to also love Jesus. But I believe that loving Jesus comes first, and God demanded that we not be unequally yoked with our significant other (2Corinthians 6:14).
God did not create dating to fill a missing gap in your life, he doesn’t want you to abuse the company of another to reduce your loneliness. God wants us to find an equal match and use it to his benefit. If you are feeling lonely, seek Him, if you are tired, seek Him, if you are weary, fearful, sad, hurt, SEEK HIM. Your partner should not replace your love or desire for God. He has a plan for all of us, this includes our person to be. Do not grow weary, continue to seek Him and trust in His plans for you. God has greater things in line for your life then you can even imagine.
You may be thinking I’m jumping the gun here when I’m talking about the future and marriage, especially if you’re only young. But if you can’t see yourself marrying your partner in the slightest, then you're in the wrong place. You are setting your heart up to be hurt or you’re intentionally hurting another. I cannot imagine sitting in church on Sunday morning as a married woman without my husband or having my children ask me “why daddy doesn’t have to go to church”. Relationships whether just friends or more than that, can be very complicated things. We were born to be creatures of comfort and to interact with other humans. I can guarantee you cannot think of one day in your life that you didn’t interact with anyone. Whether via txt or in person, it seems like we can’t go very long without seeking the attention of others. Let’s ensure we are implementing responsible decisions when making our hearts vulnerable to another.
Finding someone special can take time and patience. If you are feeling weary about who you are currently with or maybe discouraged about your lack of companion, I’d advise you to bring these concerns to God. Only He can reveal the truth about your future. Be cautious, guard your heart and let the Lord guide your path.
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22
The Notebook, Titanic, Phantom of the Opera, even The Last Song are all classic tales
of the boy and the girl falling desperately in love. As a little girl, I grew up believing that all I had
to do was have a fairy Godmother hook me up real quick with a cutie prince. The reality of my
Prince Charming hasn’t been so charming. Unfortunately, love isn’t like the movies. Loneliness
is a real thing. It’s tough being the girl who is in love with the mere idea of love. Even if you don’t
bawl your eyes out watching every proposal video ever (I feel no shame), most of us have a
desire to be loved. Ya’ll, I never thought I’d be that super chill girl who was so cool and calm
about being single. Luckily, God is real and I began thanking Him for not making me kiss a frog
or lose a cute glass shoe or ya know, sleep for an eternity… okay that one’s debatable.
I’ve learned a load of things this past year but I’m no dating genius. Believe me, I want to
be with someone, too. You see, that’s the thing. I’ve dealt with a lot of insecurity in my life to the
point where I even compared myself to a fantasy of my own: the perfect Christian girl. She’s got
She’s gentle, kind, caring, speaks with wisdom, and is just the most Godly gal around.
She’s beyond content with her relationship status, while boys’ hearts drop like flies for this gal.
She knows God has a time and reason for everything and never questions it. Honestly, the
whole package. Did I mention she’s drop dead gorgeous? Here’s the thing, I began to believe
more in the fantasy of this girl than I did in the fantasies I grew up watching. This girl doesn’t
even exist. The reality is that I’m a complete mess most of the time but I am not alone in that. I
got to the end of myself and just started admitting it, I want to love someone so bad. I do. When
I decided to be translucent, I realized that every girl around me feels the same way.
You’ve got to remember,
The devil is a liar.
You are not alone.
After that brick wall hit me, my mentor dropped a bomb on my beautiful idea of marriage.
She handed me a bible and said, “Audrey, can you show me where marriage is promised?”
**brain shuts down** WOW OK. Believe it or not, Song of Solomon did not pull through for me
on this one. Neither did Genesis, Galatians, Corinthians, or Ephesians. Nope; Matthew, Mark,
Luke, or John didn’t do the either trick. As scary as it is, marriage isn’t a promise that God has
made to us. Singleness is either there for a lasting season or a lasting reason. Before you
absolutely flip, much like I did, Paul does speak about a peace that will be given to those who
aren’t called to marriage. Marriage and singleness are both equally righteous and both give God
glory. However, I believe that a big part of me has just banked on being married. I was more
concerned with who my future spouse was than how I can uplift my brother in Christ. While not
a promise, a righteous marriage is one of the many gifts we can be given. As much as I love
Thomas Rhett’s “Grave” (disclaimer: I’m obsessed), marriage is not something that will follow us
to Heaven. Idolizing “love” is a serious struggle. We cannot love the gift more than the Giver.
For this reason, that KB so creatively explains,
“Never put God after another man or
another man will become your God and
God will become another man.”
Pre-sin, Adam and Eve never questioned who they were made for and Who they were
made from. They loved each other but never even questioned if God was above it all. By the
three of these, their world was made whole. Then, sin crashed the party creating in us a “hole,”
a black hole that constantly needs and desires more. We’re going to constantly want love but it
cannot be all that we want. God is the only thing that can truly satisfy my craving because He is
boundless (shocking, I know; chocolate is not boundless). Finding a blue-eyed babe won’t fix
my desire to be loved. The desire in our hearts cannot be satisfied by marriage. Love is greater
than we can understand. Love is a real Man, one who died to tell me He loves me.
Do I often forget literally all of this and still feel lonely and search other places for
contentment? Great question! Absolutely. This is why it is so vital to seek Him daily. Memorize
scripture. Pray and talk to God. As He says in Psalm 34, “Come, my children, listen to me; I will
teach you the fear of the Lord.” In seeking Him, we will “lack nothing, no good thing.”
A single Cinderella can be satisfied, too. Ultimately, Cinderella tried her best to
hide her brokenness. In the end, Prince Charming loved her within every bit of it. Broken
is the new beautiful, babe.
With every bit of love,
When God created us, he created us with a desire for relationships. We are relational people because that is how God wired us to be. Look at Adam and Eve. God created Adam first and God saw that Adam was lonely, and created all the animals and gave Adam the authority to rule over them. But God still saw that it wasn’t good.
“So Adam gave names to all the cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field . But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.”-Genesis 2:20
Adam needed a helper that complimented him, and when God created Eve, she also needed someone to compliment her. You see, since the beginning, God designed us to have the desire to want a relationship. Sometimes our society wants to say, “Dating is bad, don’t date.” Reality is, it isn’t a bad thing! When you date God’s way, it is a beautiful thing.
Many people in their time of singleness think that being in this stage of life of waiting on the Lord is a burden and a waste of time. This is far from the truth! Time spent waiting on God, is time never wasted. I used to view singleness with a bitter heart and I never thought that God would ever bring me the man He created for me. But I remember my Bible teacher telling me that singleness should not be looked down upon. Rather think of it as time to devote yourself to Christ, to completely seek Him, and to serve Him in every capacity you can.
I want you to know that the Lord is always faithful and He keeps all His promises!
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” -Numbers 23:19
Do not be discouraged in the season God has placed you. Always remember that through this time, God is preparing your heart and molding you for a relationship. God knows the desires of your heart and what you long for. But He also knows what you need and do not need in a future husband. He knows you better than anyone else in this world, because He is the one who created your emotions, your soul, and your heart. Your entire being was created in his very hands! I know it’s hard to understand why God has us in the season of waiting on Him, but be encouraged to know that His timing is always perfect.
“ Delight yourself also in the Lord, and he shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4
Written by: Kimberly Matute
Photo credit: Amanda Hammitt and Debra Hart Photography
I didn’t start dating until college. Yep. That’s right. My first ever time out with a boy happened in college. In fact, other than my fiancé, I’ve only ever dated one other guy. I chose not to date in high school because, truthfully, I didn’t believe I, or the guys around me, were ready to date. In my high school years, God taught my a really important truth about purity and dating that shaped the way I chose to approach any relationship with a guy.
That truth is found in Ephesians 5:25-33
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[g] her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. 28 In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 since we are members of His body.
31 For this reason a man will leave
his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.
32 This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
God places a very high standard for marriages to the point that the author of the passage goes as far to say that a man should love his wife just like Christ loved the church (his people). Christ completely emptied Himself of Himself while on earth and ultimately died in the place of His bride (that’s us!) to make her spotless. In the same way, a husband should love His wife so far beyond how he loves himself and this will be reflected in his actions toward her and how he encourages her walk with God.
I believe we as Christians often sell ourselves short in the idea of purity and dating. Purity goes so much deeper than the popular Christian mind set of, “sex is bad until marriage so don’t do it.” That mindset then leaves believers asking the ever so popular question of “how far is too far?” or, better put, how close to the line can I get without crossing it?
1 Peter 1:14-16 says:
“…do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
See, I think many believers don’t quite grasp these two passages in Ephesians and 1 Peter.
Purity is so much deeper than just not being intimate before marriage. Our purity is designed to go hand in hand with the holiness of God and ultimately our future marriages are designed to be the greatest testimony of the sacrificial love of God here on earth. We as women of God, the spotless bride of Christ, are called to be holy as Christ is holy. We are called to a totally different level of living than those around us.
During my high school years when it seemed everyone else around me had someone, I clung onto that truth and instead of dating just for the sake of dating, I kept, and still do keep, my focus on the fact that ultimately marriage is supposed to be a picture of Christ’s love for the church and unless a man was ready to encourage me in holiness and treasure me in a sacrificial way that mirrors the love of Jesus, then he wasn’t for me.
I want to encourage you, wherever you are with the dating scene, to remember your worth. God sees us as a beautiful, spotless bride if we trust in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the perfect groom, who, through the ultimate display of love, laid down his life for his treasured bride. No matter what we have or haven’t done nothing can change that in the eyes of God. We are dearly loved and treasured women through the love of Jesus who are called to live holy lives. Whether you choose to date or wait, look for the man who recognizes and treasures this amazing truth about you! You are worth it.
Written by: Kristen Porterfield
Photo Credit: Brittany and Nicholas Liberto