It’s been awhile since I posted! I just wanted to let you know that I’m not going to be posting on this blog anymore because I have since moved to my new blog Raejoyce . This blog is the result of a new season in finding joy in the journey. I have so loved having this blog for so many years and when I look back at some of my older blog posts/vlogs, I am so thankful for all the Lord has done in my life and I’m thankful for those of you who have stuck with me since the beginning. So I hope that you’ll join me on this new journey because I’m so excited to see what God is going to do in this season!
It’s been awhile. 5 months to be exact. How? Why? I guess it’s because sometimes I get caught up in being a perfectionist. There are seasons that I go through that I have such a high emphasis on making all my work perfect that I stop writing completely. None of my thoughts seem good enough. Can you relate?
“If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say ‘We see’, your guilt remains.” (John 9:41). In a very Pharisee like manner, whenever I read Jesus’ words to the Pharisees I tend to zone out because I’m a perfect Christian. None of this applicable to me. That’s exactly the kind of attitude that Jesus is addressing here. The kind of people who are broken, in need of healing, but don’t accept any help because they’re so convinced that they have their life together. It’s like a person with an infectious disease who says, “I’m fine. I don’t feel sick.”, then proceeds to endanger himself and those around him.
I read this today and was struck by just how often I take this attitude. It’s hard for me to be vulnerable because being vulnerable means that I have to admit to myself and those around me that I’m not perfect. That I make mistakes. That I’m *gasp* human. Especially since this year I’m in a leadership position at my school and with leadership positions come a weight of responsibility. However, in order to be a responsible leader, I have to allow myself to share. To seek wise council. To confess when I make mistakes. To acknowledge my humanity. To seek God’s face humbly because I can’t see. Last night at Unchapel, I felt like the Lord said that He placed blinders on my eyes so I won’t be distracted and will only see what He wants me to see. But, in order to see what the Lord wants me to see, I have to spend time with Him. I have to spend time in His word. I have to be obedient to the sound of His voice, even if it means that I’m in a boat in a storm and I can’t see any rainbows. Because God is faithful. In the words of Rev. Sara Carrara Di Fuccia,
“God does not ever command apart from his nature of love and redemption. God’s purpose will always be to establish God’s kingdom on earth and to establish intimacy with man.”
God doesn’t leave us in the unknown because He is has a superiority complex and wants us to feel inferior. On the contrary, He wants us to acknowledge that we can’t see so that we can rely on Him to be our eyes. When we rely on Him to be our eyes, to reveal things to us in His good timing, we are able to experience his nature of love and redemption. We are able to experience a deeper intimacy with Him than had we tried to figure out things on our own.
I hope this was encouraging to you,
You know that story in the Bible when God told Abraham to go on and sacrifice his son? Isaac was all like, “Uh dad? Aren’t we supposed to have some sort of thing to sacrifice?” And Abraham was like, “We’re just gonna trust God on this one”. Abraham was just about to step out and in faith and actually send his son up in flames when all of a sudden, a ram appears! You can imagine the huge sigh of relief that escaped Abraham when he was able to sacrifice the ram instead of his son. But what happens when God doesn’t send a ram? I’m not advocating child-sacrifice, but I am asking you, what would you do if God asked you to sacrifice something super important to you. Would you step out in obedience even if instead of God being like, ” Nice job bro. You can keep that thing. You showed obedience in your willingness” and was instead like, “Thank you for your sacrifice.It is pleasing to me”? God’s been bringing me to Psalm 42, the Psalm that talks about uber craving the Lord. One verse from it goes like this( so you don’t think I’m a heretic, I’ll provide scriptural documentation) ” As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.”( Psalm 42:1). Are we really craving God so much that we are willing to sacrifice anything that gets in the way of our relationship with Him? I’m writing all this because this is what God has been bringing me through. Two weeks ago, I was praying that God would strip away anything that was blocking my eyes from Him. “Anything it is, Lord. I’ll sacrifice it to you.” As I waited to hear the Lord’s voice, what followed next was the name of my best friend. We had only been friends for a year, but this person meant so much to me. We had been through so much. We spent so much time together. I thought that we would be friends for the rest of my life. How could I possibly let this person go? ” Lord, I don’t have enough strength to cut off this relationship. If you want it gone, then take it from me,” thinking that God would be pleased with my obedience and not require an actual sacrifice. But sure enough, a week later, my friend hurt me in an inexcusable way. I felt the Lord say something like, ” This is it. Cut off the relationship.” So through many tears, asking forgiveness from the Lord, forgiving my friend, seeking the Lord’s face, and worshiping through it all, I cut off the relationship. And it hurt. Sacrificial fire burns. But it was also freeing, peaceful, and oddly joyful. Yesterday, I got baptized again. The Lord wanted me to do it both to symbolize the cleansing of my sins and also to represent the stripping away of idols in my life. As I came up from the baptismal, the weight I had been carrying around fell off like the water dripping off me, and I felt truly forgiven and free. Today, I feel super peaceful and in awe of the Lord’s goodness. So all that to say, if the Lord is calling you to enter a season of stripping away, don’t fear. The pain is only temporary and the joy is eternal.
We have Good Friday services and Easter services. We talk about how Jesus was crucified and buried on Friday(unless you hold the Wednesday view) and rose victoriously from the grave on Sunday. But what about Saturday? Why is it so rare for us to talk about Easter Saturday? I think it’s because it’s so difficult for us to rejoice in the waiting. We’ll mourn the sad parts in life and celebrate the good things in life, but when the times in between come, we don’t really do anything. I’ve been guilty of skipping over Easter Saturday for all of my life until this year. Why this year, you may ask? This Easter season coincides with a season of waiting for me. I’m waiting to figure out what to do with my summer, waiting for clarity from the Lord in several situations, waiting for answers to prayer, waiting for the things that the Lord has promised me to come to fruition…the list goes on. It’s not a fun season to be in. It can definitely be a rewarding season, but most days it’s just plain hard. I get frustrated. I want everything to happen now. I know good things are in the future( Jeremiah 29:11) and I know that there are good things in my present state, but the unknown goodness of the things that I am waiting for keeps me wishing that they were already here. This is a season when it’s super easy to lose hope and faith. It’s easy to doubt. And it seems endless. But then, in my quiet time today, I started to think about how the disciples must have felt on Saturday. The Bible doesn’t say anything about what was going on in their heads, but I can imagine it was very similar to the things that I have felt in my waiting season. Will what Jesus said will happen actually happen? Or were we just reading into things? Is there something that we can do to make this go by faster? As well as all other kinds of insecurities and doubts. But God’s been teaching me to rejoice in this season. As the saying goes, “My praise is a weapon” and I’ve been using it to get through. I’ve been seeking the Lord’s face a lot more through reading His Word and through prayer because I crave His encouragement, clarity, and unconditional love. I’ve opened up to people about what I’ve been going through and sought prayer. Whenever thoughts of doubt have crept into my mind, I have tried my best to hand them over to the Lord. I still can’t say that this is my favorite season, and I would doubt that the disciples looking back would say, “Remember Saturday? And how we waited so long and had so many doubts? That was so great. We should do that again.” But I also don’t regret being in this season at all. For every Saturday, there’s a Sunday that’s coming.
How’s it going? I hope you’re doing well. I’m not sick anymore, which is lovely. I just wanted to take a quick sec, to remind you that even if you feel like you’re going about your day today unnoticed, God notices you. Sometimes I get these random feelings of pride, or I guess, lack thereof, and I feel unappreciated, under valued, the list goes on and on. It’s usually during this time that I start trying to find approval in people and since people are flawed, as we all know, the emptiness continues despite the time I took to be filled up by them. This is why I constantly have to remind myself and others to find our approval in God and not just people. Today, on my way to class, I was conversing with God about this, and I felt like He told me something along the lines of, ” But I value you. And that is enough.” And it is. So next time you feel like nobody is noticing the way you have grown, your accomplishments, etc. remember that God notices. And His opinion is the only one that values.
Love you guys,
It’s been a bit. You may remember about seven months ago, in August, I wrote to you about the importance of resting before God makes you rest. Well I didn’t really follow my own advice- I have a hard time swallowing my own medicine, if you will. Last week, after a whole semester and a half of pushing myself to go go go, my body finally said no. I was sick, fatigued, and rather downtrodden. I had tried to be everything to everyone, including myself, and my body was sick and tired of it. College can be quite a crazy time. Between staying up to get school done, making time for a social life, and feeding oneself, there’s always something to do. My planner was packed nearly everyday. I wanted to have as productive and fun filled semester as I possibly could. But in doing so, I ran myself down. I’m not the kind of person who enjoys asking for help. It’s a pride thing. And I’m also just a naturally independent person. So when I am able to do everything well, I forget to remember that I actually need people. And most importantly God. Between being sick and taking time to rest this week, I was reminded of the importance of stopping to breathe. There’s a really great song on Klove right now, called Breathe by Johnny Diaz. ” Cause all you really need is to just breathe.” It’s a really good reminder to take time to appreciate life and to not constantly feel like you have to strive. I’ve realized that I’ve placed a lot of my worth in the amount of things I’m able to get done. So when I’m not able to get a lot accomplished, I feel like my value is decreased. But this week, God has been reminding me that regardless of if I’m being extremely productive or super lazy, He loves and values me the same. I can rest in His approval. I’m not saying that I’ve learned this lesson yet, but it’s one that God’s teaching me, and one I thought would be good to share with you.
Love you guys,
Hi y’all, I just read this article http://www.tosavealife.com/dear-men-sorry-strip-clubs/. And it just lit a fire in my soul. I have always been aware of the struggle of temptation for both genders, and I have been aware of how sexualized our society is, but this article shed a new light on it. After reading about how society is constantly trying to get guys to objectify women, I just wanted to take a second to thank both my Dad, my brother, and my amazing guy friends for all that they mean to me. I get it, our sexualized culture is targeted toward both genders, but in this blog post I want to focus particularly on the guys. I want to thank my Dad for setting a good example for me of how a woman should be treated. For teaching me that I am valuable and worthy of love. For Daddy/Daughter dates. I want to also thank my brother, for his integrity and steadfastness in the Lord. For all the times he has actually listened to me and offered me advice. For slushie runs to Sheetz. And my guy friends at school for relentlessly pursuing God to the best of their abilities rather than the things of this world. This past week, I got to worship with several of my guy friends( and girls too) and I was so blessed by our time together. Some of them brought their guitars, one of my guy friends played a drum, and others just belted their hearts out for Jesus. My guy friends have affirmed me when I’ve felt down, some have made me food when I forgot to eat, some have given me rides to the store, some of them have shared what God has done in their lives with me, and all of them have treated me with respect as their sister in Christ. I don’t often have time to just hang out with the bros, but even though I don’t get to spend much time with them, I still value each of them immensely. And it makes me ticked that society tries to mess with their minds. So guy friends, this one is for you. Thank you. Thank you for seeing me as your sister in Christ and not an object. Thank you for looking out for me. Thank you for all the ways that you have supported me. Don’t give up. Keeping fighting the good fight. Keep pursuing the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul. As it says in 2 Thessalonians 3:13, ” Let us not grow weary in doing good.” Finish strong. And know that I’ll be praying for you.