Tag Archives: struggles

Incase anyone needs a pick-me-up today…

1 Aug

“Faith is all it takes.”

Jen

God knows better than I do

10 Apr

Do you ever feel like your prayers go unanswered? Have you ever thought that maybe God has something else for you other than what you’ve been asking for? Something that will answer your prayers, but not the way you want him to? Perhaps that’s because he’s got even better plans for your life than what you could imagine.

I’ve experienced this multiple times within the last few years, and even within the last few weeks. In one instance, I’d prayed for so long that God would make something happen in my life that I thought would be simply perfect.

Turns out, it wouldn’t have been so perfect. He answered my prayer loud and clear, saying, “No.” But then I continued to listen. And he began to reveal to me that he had something else…something better, and something that would bring him glory. But it requires trust. Why? Because I have no idea what his plans are for my future, yet I must know that they will be for my good because that’s what his Word says (how many times can a girl reference Romans 8:28-29a before it becomes redundant? I’m thinking about three billion sounds good).

So anyway, here’s another example of how this has happened very recently: I’ve been out of full-time work since November 2011. For the first month, I was perfectly okay with that because I needed to focus on finishing up my last semester of college. But then I graduated, and four more months passed. Still no job. I was applying, I was praying, I was asking around…and yet, nothing. I wanted to be the girl who graduated and starting working full time right away. I wanted things to go smoothly and perfect.

But God knew what he was doing. He knew I was going to be facing a trial after the new year, and that I would need the first three months of this year to focus on my spiritual life and my relationship with him…without any distractions.

But my favorite part was this: he didn’t leave me penniless in the meantime. In fact, he provided all kinds of side work, freelance jobs and babysitting that has carried me through, paid my bills and even allowed me to set aside $800 so far for a new laptop (since I murdered my old MacBook with a glass of water. Dino, may you rest in peace). This time of working from home, babysitting a little and being frugal with spending has taught me complete dependence on God–a dependence I had not yet known.

It’s been beautiful. Even though I could look at this situation and say, “I’ve been praying for a job for almost six months, why is this happening, God?!” I know that he knew better!

So…in sharing all of this, I must also share that yesterday I got a phone call. I got a job. It’s only part time, but it’s my first step toward working full time again and it’s in my field! And I’ve got another interview on Thursday for a potential second job for the summer. He knows what he’s doing! He knows I’m ready and he will equip me as I dive back into “the real world.”

So let me ask you, are you struggling with trusting God today? Are you experiencing a time of unanswered prayers? Let me encourage you to continue to present your need to God, but then do your best to listen. Ask him to give you strength to follow his will and trust him no matter what the answer is to your prayers!

Jen

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No rhymes. No instruments. Just my Psalm.

5 Apr

Lord, you are good. You are a God of mercy and of peace.

Peace that passes understanding was once foreign to me,
but through my pain and now in my healing,
your Holy Spirit floods me with that very thing.
You are peace.

I did not–no, I do not–understand the enormity of your merciful goodness,
yet I have tasted and seen that you are indeed good. And merciful.
You are mercy.

You rescued me. You placed me on a new path.
You saved me from destruction and gave me new life.
You are faithful.

So here I stand, full of new life, knowing that you are faithful.
With each passing day I yearn to become more like your Son.
Lord, help me that I might have the patience to let perseverance have its perfect work in me.

And now with open eyes, I see my friends, my neighbors, my acquaintances–
I see them hurting just as I was.
I see they are hopeless, just as I once was.

But you call me to your comfort,
and then to share that comfort.
You call me to serve, just like Jesus.
To bring you glory, just like Jesus.
To use my talents to glorify your name.

Where you lead me, Lord, I will follow.
Thank you for your goodness.
Thank you for your mercy.
Thank you for your faithfulness.
Thank you that you are a constant, even when my world falls apart.

Thank you, Father, for allowing me to be called your daughter.

Amen.

Someone’s gotta say it: purity is hard work

29 Mar

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Ever since last night I have felt a tug on my heart to talk about purity and walking with Christ in every aspect of our lives, including dating relationships.

I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night because of it. I went to bed later than usual and woke up way earlier than I needed to. I ended up praying about ways to pen the words I want to scream on the rooftops to all young people and all unmarried people. I want to do it with wisdom. And I don’t claim to know everything.

I also don’t claim to be perfect or sinless, but I do know that the bible calls us to purity in the scriptures, and that it is absolutely what we should strive for. I recognize that it is SO hard in our culture to stand firm when it comes to this topic. Movies, music, magazines, peer pressure and the Internet make it almost impossible to walk on a straight path when it comes to keeping ourselves and honoring our bodies as the scriptures beckon us to (1 Corinthians 6:18-20 is a good reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

I’ve talked with other Christians about this topic, and I’ve also done some observation. It is not my place to judge, so please don’t think that I am.

I just want to make clear something I truly believe in: although every Christian (and unbelievers as well) has their own boundaries and their own concept of what is “too far,” that doesn’t change what the scriptures say. The bible should be our primary source for knowledge and wisdom when it comes to this topic. Otherwise, we’ll find our selves excusing away our human desires, thinking that it’s okay to follow our inclinations because it’s “normal” or “natural.” And we’ll make mistakes. We’ll end up with regrets and scars. Paul didn’t write about sexual immorality, marriage and honoring God with our bodies just for the early church. He wrote it for us, too.

I’ve also recognized something HUGE when it comes to teaching young people about purity: we can’t just tell them they have to abstain and think it’s enough. We also have to make it clear that IT WILL BE HARD. But it is NOT “unrealistic.” Don’t mistake the word “difficult” for “unrealistic.” I don’t think anyone ever told me how hard it would be. Or if they did, I was too naive to accept it.

Young and/or unmarried people, I want you to know that it will be hard. I don’t just want to give you a sugar-coated speech about purity and stop there. I want you to know that it’s a battle and a fight. If you want to be like Christ, that includes every area of your life. It will be tough. But you CAN do it. Don’t just give up because you think it’s impossible or because the “Christians” around you are doing things that aren’t okay. It’s not impossible, I promise.

There is so much more I want to say about this topic, but I want to pray about it and seek the Lord before going any further. I hope that this is an encouragement to someone struggling today. Allow the Holy Spirit to convict you and don’t make excuses for yourself; you are feeling conviction for a reason. He loves you and wants the best for you. And there is always, always forgiveness because of the Cross. You are not alone and you don’t need to live in shame and darkness. There is hope and strength in Jesus…

Jen