URGENT CASTING

Casting fear and anxiety unto the Lord is much easier said than done. In anyone’s christian walk, it is so important to cast ALL our fears to Jesus. A revolutionary turning point for me recently was when I learned what it feels like to actually release it all over to Him.

One fear I have is flying on airplanes. My junior year of high school, I was a part of the marching band. When we took our trip, as a band, to Disney World, we flew from Maryland to Florida. I had expressed to my friends that I do not do so well on airplanes so they were prepared to an extent, but I’m not sure anyone could have predicted the anxiety overload that was coming.

As we sat on the plane getting ready to take off, I was fine – alittle shakey, but I was okay. Then we started to take off and my fear took over. I was pressed as close to my seat as I could possibly get, gripping the arm rests as much as I could, and not breathing. In my fear, I convinced myself, regardless of the people walking, talking and laughing, that if I took a single breath I would tip the plane sending us crashing to the ground. Eventually as we settled into the flight I realized that was silly, and even more when I was back on the ground and my fear was totally gone.

Another fear I have is not being in control of my future. I thought I had my future set in stone about three times now. And all three times, my plans had been crushed, demolished, obliterated, however you would like it put, those plans were ruined. Every time I thought I had control again I had a sense things were crumbling; I knew I was in unhealthy situations all three times, but since I had control, I would have preferred to keep moving than let my future go. God had other plans.

Once plans changed and I no longer felt I was in the driver’s seat, I was constantly on edge and not living life to the fullest. I became depressed and walked through life with a monstrosity of anxiety driving my every thought and my every move. Hating what I was feeling, I tried to get rid of it several different ways. I tried sleeping any chance I could; I tried working out for way longer than I should have; I tried eating too much; I tried eating too little; I tried so many different strategies that seemed promising at the beginning but never resulted in a good feeling for long. Only temporary bliss.

The only thing that has gotten rid of my overwhelming anxiety is reminding myself of the Lord and His promises.


“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7


Sweet child of God, the Creator of the universe cares for you. Oh, I hope you believe that. Once you believe that with ALL your heart, giving him every fear you choose to let run your life will be easy.

Accepting His care took me getting on my knees, putting myself down, and surrendering everything I have to God. Every day I have to ask God to imprison my fear and to take it far, far away from me. Upon my releasing, He gladly does.

But, I have asked Him to take my fear of the future before while I held onto it as if it was the very breath inside my lungs. I held onto my it due the fear of what life would like without that fear! That seems ridiculous, but, brothers and sisters, it is so common for us to cling to the evils in our lives because we do not know what it will feel like on the other side, once we let go.

I’m telling you now, LET GO.

On the other side of releasing your fears to God is overwhelming peace. The joy of the Lord waits for you, and His divine plan will unfold before your eyes if you would just release what is holding you back from Him.


“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will never fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6


There it is. There is His faithful promise. Give it to Him and He will not disappoint you. Remember whose you are, for who you belong to is who will guide you through life.

From the fear of flying on airplanes, to the crippling fear of the future, giving it to Jesus has made my life so much brighter. No matter what your fear is, I pray you are able to finally really let go of it. God cares for you and desires us to give Him our fears.

Until next post, Look Up and Keep Going!

~solacingresilience~

#JesusIsTheCoolest

Hands

It is a common saying that, as Christians, we are the hands and feet of Christ. We are His outlet to the world; His way of reaching unbelievers is through believers. Being part of the body of Christ as 1 Corinthians 12 discusses, we are called to be active and firm in our beliefs. I want to focus on the hand in this post.

Look at your hands for a second. What do you think of? Physically, what are your hands to you? They are strong, useful, reliable, and beautiful. They claim ownership over what is yours. When you hold something in your hand, it is a signal to others that what you are holding is yours.

When we look at scripture there is an abundance of scriptures that talk about hands in relation to our Father and His love for us. We are also called His hands.

Let’s go back to the basics of the physical hand. It is set apart. Genesis 2 explains the complexity of humans along with the intimacy God brought us into the world with. Surprise, we were created from His own hand. He took the time to craft us in the image of himself, yet have the individuality we all possess. The creation of humans is covered in loving details including the detail of hands.

Brought into this world by the hand of the Creator of the Universe, we are made to be His hands to the lost world. That’s an honor, y’all.

Throwback to the statement that our hands show ownership. When we are believers that are firm in Christ, we are held in His hand therefore we are His. Recognizing that we are hands of our Savior is to reach people not for ourselves, but for Him; to allow Christ to hold them, not out of any selfish desires.

A hand can be harsh or it can be loving. It can be used as a weapon or a sign of affection, and both have impact on a person.


“Violent people mislead their companions, leading them down a harmful path.” Proverbs 16:29


 When we are the hand of Christ, we have to remember to be gentle in our ways to not squeeze to tight to someone that may or may not want to even be touched. Above all we have to remember this:


“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” Romans 12:4-5


Our main goal as members of Christ’s body to reach the main goal of loving and reaching the world. Though we may not all acting as hands, we work together with other brothers and sisters in Christ for Christ.

With that I leave you with the prayer that however you are called to work in the Kingdom of God, you are able to keep moving. Operating in the body of Christ is a blessing and honor.

If you are acting as a hand, my prayer for you is that you remember your impact on others and never stop reaching those around you!

Until next post, Look Up and Keep Going!

~solacingresilience~

#JesusIsTheCoolest

There’s a Famine Coming

Hello, old friend. Oh what a crazy time it has been since I have last written. There’s been many highs and many many lows, and I am in awe of how my Father is using them to equally work to give Him glory and show me love.

About a month and a half ago, I was sitting in Old Testament Survey when my professor spoke the words, “There’s a famine coming, so get ready.” We were talking about an actual famine when God told His people to prepare for the lack of food, but those words resonated with me. I couldn’t shake the accuracy and conviction of that simple phrase. Right then and there, I wrote them in the margin of my notebook followed by BLOG POST. And at the end of class, I closed my notebook and didn’t think twice about it.

Every once in awhile, I’d be flipping through my notebook, or studying for a test, and see those words and remember that I intended to write about them. I never sat down to actually write anything though while I used the excuse, “I’m not feeling convicted enough to write” quite often.

The Lord is definitely convicting me now. His timing never fails. (I almost have to laugh at myself for ever questioning His timing and His promises. No… I do laugh at myself)

I am here to warn you, there is a famine coming. There is no doubt in my mind that sometime in the future you will go through a hard time where you feel like you have nothing. I don’t know to what extent the famine will effect you or exactly what it will look like, but I know it’s in the road up ahead.

SO GET READY.

Fill yourself with the Word of God and know that God is never going to let you down. Surround yourself with Christ-followers who recognize that they have a famine coming soon too, but are devoted to loving how Christ loves. Set up accountability even when you feel like you don’t need it. Spend quality time with your Creator.

What I’m trying to stress is that when times are good, we need to be diving into our faith just as much as the hard times. If we do this, we will have the resources to get up before we reach rock bottom. We will have the ability to recognize we are going through a trial and hold tight to God no matter what happens.

I am coming from the point of a child of God struggling with (and defeating!!!!!) major depression. If it weren’t for the foundation laid throughout my childhood, my first semester at Liberty, and the relationships God blessed me with in this season, the end of my story would have been different. Although it was nearly impossible to believe there was light at the end of the tunnel most days this past month, there’s always been a bright light there standing with His arms wide open.

I cannot brag on the way I treated God and His promises in this season of my life but I can brag on how He worked in it. My God is walking me through this trial using the support systems I had built up prior to the famine, using the resources around me, and reminding me, Himself, of His overall goodness.

A famine can come in the loss of a loved one, a job change, a mental illness, a move to somewhere new; it can be anything that leaves you feeling like you have nothing to keep going on. Since we don’t know what our next famine is going to come looking like, we have to get ready for it all by trusting FULLY on God now.

My prayer for you is that you go get ready, and when your famine comes, you keep your eyes locked on your Creator. If you are currently in a famine, there is hope and His name is Jesus Christ and He will get you through this. Trust Him.

There’s a famine coming, so get ready.

Until next post, Look Up and Keep Going!

#JesusIsTheCoolest

~solacingresilience~

Keep Enduring

Do you ever get to a point in your walk with Christ when you are staring at what seems like the end? Have you ever felt yourself struggling so hard to not drop lower but it’s tiring trying to get back on the right path? I definitely have. Naturally, in all our human sinfulness, we will stray from God’s side, choosing our own paths. I wish it did not have to happen this way, but faith is a continuous cycle with highs and lows.

All throughout high school I was in marching band. My last two years I held a leadership position within the band and would often help lead the physical training time before evening practices. This 20 minutes or so would include stretching, a few strengthening exercises, and a run.

During my junior year of high school, the drum major frequently asked me to lead the run with her. Both of us would have the rest of the band behind us in two single file lines meaning if someone were to miss a step or trip, the rest of the line would be effected. About 1 minute into the run, I tripped, but it was not a normal trip. I didn’t immediately bounce back, but I didn’t hit the ground either. I ran for about five steps toppled over in a 90 degree angle with my arms straight behind me staring at the ground.

I knew that if I stopped moving, I would hit the ground and it would cause me, and the ones behind me, a lot of pain. It was only a matter of a few seconds that I had a choice to stop running and hit the low point taking the pain and having to recover OR keep pushing as hard as I could reaching behind me to get back running.

Often this is how our faith tends to go. We stare the devil in the face and he stares back; he isn’t afraid to tempt and continue tempting. But it is in that moment we have a choice. We can fall into Satan’s temptation fully knowing that pain and sadness will follow OR we can push on to the LORD staring the devil in the face telling him, “You will not win this heart. I belong to Jesus.”

A misconception about this situation is that once we remind Satan he is defeated it gets easy. That is second one of the three you will be trying your best to get back up. While I ran staring at the ground, arms behind me, everything hurt. But I kept trusting that my strength and balance would get me back up, which worked in the certain situation. We cannot trust our own strength and balance to get back to Christ, but we can trust in the Son of God to guide us.

Throw your arms behind you in trials and tribulations for the Lord your God tells us He will always protect us. Keep running full speed when you may feel hopeless about your circumstances. Even when you feel like whatever you are looking at is the end, it is not; Jesus is not finished with you!

A side-note and helpful reminder: Satan has been defeated ever since Jesus died on the cross. He cannot win anymore, so do not let him convince you otherwise. Trust in the Lord your God.

I pray even in trials, we can all keep pushing through knowing the promise of our Father. Keep running, keep pushing. And of course, until next post

Look Up and Keep Going!

~solacingresilience~

#JesusIsTheCoolest

Modesty. The Hot Topic. 

This may be on of my most controversial blog posts that I ever write, but it’s been on my mind a lot.

I go to a conservative, Jesus-freak, proud-of-our-Redeemer, fun-loving, adventure-promoting university. I would never go anywhere else. It’s refreshing every morning as I walk to class to see the faces of hundreds that are just as happy to live in such a place.

In high school, I would walk through the halls and see a new face everyday, or at least not know the names of most of the students I passed. As much as I loved going somewhere opportunities seemed boundless, something  always seemed off and down about the faces passing by.

Not at Liberty. There are thousands more faces that I don’t know the story behind, yet they are family. I don’t know the names of the people I pass daily, but I feel welcomed by it.

Now don’t get me wrong, we aren’t all holding hands around a campfire. There’s struggle here; there’s hurt here; and there’s a lot of worldly values here. This generation I claim was raised by the world, so nothing less than worldly values should be expected.

The world tells us that a girl’s clothing has absolutely no effect on men, or at least that it shouldn’t. So being raised by the world, my generation believes that. We believe that we are us; no one else can tell us who to be, how to act, and certainly not how to dress. The world raised us to stress our outward appearance.

If something or someone doesn’t catch our eye in the first ten seconds we are looking at it, the chances of us diving deeper into that person or thing are slim to none. And us girls do not want to let our little girl dreams of having a beautiful, full, loving family down. So we want to be invested in. Following what the world taught us, we will make our outward appearance seem desirable.

The guys of our generation stress the physical structure of a girl. A common question between guys  is, “which do you prefer, boobs or butt?” That is then where a girl finds her value. She will only be loved if she shows off her physical structure to fit what the guys like.

Leggings without her bottom being covered. Shirts that droop way too low. Clothing that is way too tight. Just to get a guys attention.

The Lord created you for more than your body. 

When God made each of us, he programmed a certain personality into our souls. He built us a personal and certain way to fit his design and to give Him glory. I do agree that there are ways to use your body to bring Christ to the world, however to get the attention of the opposite sex is not what God intended.

I suppose there are times that a girl gets dressed without thinking, “will this get that guys attention?” I understand that. But if you turn around and check out your own booty, you know someone else is.

As Christian girls, we are called to be different. We don’t fit the world’s “do what you want and blame the guy.” We are called to think before we do, be cautious of how we are affecting our brothers in Christ. I wish our brothers wouldn’t check girls out and I wish that they wouldn’t act foolishly just because they see something they like. Not all do.

In the weaker brother, stronger brother context, a girl showing off her body is allowing her brother to fall. As Christian girls, we are called to be different.

1 Timothy 2:9-10 proclaims that women should dress modestly and be attractive through their good deeds. I know personally, that a guy falling for what I do over what I look like would make me feel ten times better.

Men are called to love women as Jesus loved the church. Did Jesus love the church for what it looked like or for what it stood for and what it did? Definitely the latter.

We all are fallen, since the beginning of our ability to choose right from wrong we’ve been sinners. We aren’t going to be perfect, men and women alike. But I encourage with all my heart that women look cute everyday, spend time making yourself feel good, but with modesty. The Lord loves you for you, and in the end that is what matters the most. NO. All the time, the morning, the afternoon, while dancing in your room, while stressing about a test, while laying your head down at night, what matters most is that Jesus loves you for you. You do not have to impress Him.

So my sisters in Christ, I urge you. Do not let our brothers fall. On top of that, glorify the Lord by dressing modestly and doing great works for His Kingdom. You are invested in by the King of Kings. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Until next post, Look Up and Keep Going.

~solacingresilience~

#JesusIsTheCoolest

The Broken

Jesus told me to love those who love me back. I was strictly told to only show love towards those who it is easy to love or those that appear “lovable.”

I hope you thought about closing this page while reading that. The statement above seems ridiculous and should make you cringe. If it sounds so wrong then why do we fall into the trap of loving the “lovable” so often?

As a follower of Christ, I am personally called to to serve and love EVERYONE that I cross paths with. You are too. However everyday I wake up with my roommate and there begins another day of loving the “lovables” in my life.

Who is lovable? To me, it is someone who is happy, optimistic, supportive and appears to have their life together. That is who it is easy for me to love. I asked some of my friends the question, Who is lovable to you?

  • “Those who love me back; those who I agree with”
  • “Someone who doesn’t step on peoples’ toes; someone who gets along with others: someone who wants your best and will make sacrifices for your best”
  • “Someone who goes out their way for you, who puts others first; someone who doesn’t argue over petty things; someone who cares about your faith.”

I think we all can relate to one, if not all of those descriptions. We all have an idea of who is “lovable” regardless if we actively think about it or not.


“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” -James 1:27


Throughout scripture we are given pictures of widows and orphans. In Job we see how they react to being loved and cared for.


“For I assisted the poor in their need and the orphans who required help. I helped those without hope, and they blessed me. And I caused the widows’ hearts to sing for joy.” – Job 29:12-13


In your life I am sure there has been a time when you have felt hopeless and helpless. But when someone showed you a glimmer of hope and consistent love, you start to get to your feet again, and you’re back in the race. The joy and hope you are filled with when someone cares for you that much is incomparable. That is how the orphans and widows felt when being loved.

They were so accustomed to being disregarded and pushed to the side, that when someone loved them they praised them and they were filled with joy! These people that we are called to love are not normally loved. These people do not fit into the idea of “lovable”. They are broken and cracked. They have some rough edges, sometimes more than they would like to admit. But we are called to love them.

We do not get to pick who we love. James 2:1 reinforces this. 

“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others?” James 2:1

 I challenge you to love your coworker/peer that drives you up a wall. Show them the love of the Creator. Claim your faith in Jesus by loving all those around you. EVERYONE AROUND YOU. It’s a challenge for a lot of people, including myself. It’s not comfortable. But as I challenge you to do it, I challenge myself too. To look like Christ; to be a window to His never-ending, unconditional love. 

Until next post, Look Up and Keep Going. 

~solacingresilience~

#JesusIsTheCoolest

 

#RealPost

Alright, y’all. This is going to be a personal blog post.

I haven’t blogged in awhile, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried or thought about it. Once, I quit a blog post because I was frustrated with my computer. Once, I stared at the blank screen, drowning in discouragement, hoping the post would write itself. And once, I quit because it didn’t seem right.

Sometimes, crushing candy seems like the better, more fun, option when it comes to sitting down and cracking open my Bible. Shoot, sometimes crushing candy seems better than doing absolutely anything.

How relatable is that? We often will choose something that distracts us from what we need, just because it seems like the more fun option. Look at your own spiritual life. I hope and pray that it is always strong and healthy, but it is a relationship and sometimes we don’t give our 100% into it like we should. I have been struggling in that part of my life.

When I stopped blogging I realized I began to lose the communication I had built with Christ. I did not make this blog to improve my relationship with God, but I realize now that it definitely improved it. I started to choose silly things over blogging, or let my thoughts win me over, and suddenly, doing the same with God became easier.

I blame it on the whether or I blame it on my SAD. Every winter, my relationship with Christ becomes like the artificial tree in my living room- pretty and cheery to the eye but inauthentic to the touch. It has caused me a lot of thought in the past month.

2016 was a very crazy year for me. I began it a different person than I ended it, and the path I had to travel on to get from point A to point B was challenging at times. The whole time, however, the Lord was ready to carry me when I couldn’t walk and to cheer me on when I was in a full-out sprint. This past month(December), is naturally the month when we look back at what we did right, what we did wrong, and what we want to change in the upcoming year. This past December for me was more than that; it was a month to really process what God has done for me.

I’ve been wrestling with why I haven’t talked to God a lot recently, or why I haven’t dug into His Word as much as I would like to recently because after all, I owe everything I am to Him. I still do not know why I’ve been slacking in these areas, but I do one thing. The Lord hasn’t left me and He never will. I’m sure He has been talking to me, but I haven’t been listening.

With that, my new year resolution is to listen to God more. To not let what the enemy has to say about me or my relationship with Christ affect me. My God has a purpose for me, and that is the one I choose to follow. I hope and pray you do too.

Those computer glitches of life can be frustrating, I know. Sometimes it just means we need to step back and admire the situation for what it is, and perhaps rest for awhile knowing the Lord has something in store for us.

The emptiness felt regularly by some and occasionally by others is executed by the act of prayer and the opening of our hearts. And the next time something just doesn’t seem right, remember your purpose. If what you’re doing aligns with God’s purpose for you, keep doing it. Don’t let Satan’s lies control you.

Happy New Year! I pray it is FULL of blessings and trials that only cause you to grow with Christ!

Until next post,Look Up and Keep Going!

#JesusIsTheCoolest

~solacingresilience~

 


The Lord is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation. -Psalm 118:14