A weekend without prayer.

I am unsure where to start and what to say but I just know I want to write.

This weekend I had a completely awful weekend. I spent the weekend sad and lonely. And more importantly, I spent the weekend without God.

I didn’t even realize how bad not spending just a couple days with God can be. I really had no excuse for not praying or reading the bible, I was just sad and crying and didn’t want to. 

I think the moment a Christian stops praying the devil wins. If you stop praying you are such an easy target for the devil. 

I didn’t even realize how true that was until Sunday, when I went to church. I had the worse experience at church Sunday morning and then came back Sunday night and it was awful again. Go my life, right? haha. Anyway, the church itself isn’t awful, I think I go to a pretty great church. But the lack of prayer made the services awful for me, had I been prayer or something the services probably would have been great. The thing I realized is you can’t just show up to church on Sunday and expect to be spiritually filled when you haven’t done anything all week (or in my case weekend), it just doesn’t work like that or at least in my case it didn’t. When you go to church without being spirituality prepared it is kind of exhausting and depressing, and if you’re like me you start to look around and think no one likes you. Pretty sad stuff. 

But today I feel better. Today I realize I was pretty dramatic. Today I prayed. Today I have God. 

It’s so easy to give up, to stop praying, to stop going to church. All that stuff is really easy. But the moment you give up, the devils wins. And seriously, why would you want that. We need God, I need God. I went a couple days without being with God and it was awful. I wanted to give up on everything I’m doing. But even though it was hard, I realized I needed to pray. I needed God. I needed to not listen to the negative thoughts in my head, and listen to God. I know that I can get easily defeated, especially when I am not spending time with God. Which is why I know I need to be spending as much time with God as I can.

I know my life won’t always be easy but with God I can do all things and it will be good. 

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One Year Later…

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So much can change in one year. 365 days can drastically change your life.

A little over a year ago I started going back to the church I grew up in. I honestly did not think that much about it when I started going back. I was invited back by the pastor and his wife so I figured I would go back once see everyone I hadn’t seen in like 8 years and not go again. I didn’t plan on going more than once. In fact, the first night I went back with my mom I was so close to telling her I didn’t want to go anymore. But I am so glad I didn’t.

You see the moment I walked in that church I knew that’s where I belonged. It just felt right, yes it was pretty awkward and uncomfortable at first, but it was nice at the same time. Then I went back a second time by myself, which was probably one of the scariest things I have done in my life. Looking back at it now in that moment I decided to go back my life changed because before that I didn’t do things alone. It was awful; I hated being by myself in my public, and now I kind of love it. I had gone back one more time before I had to leave for college.

In the three times I went back before college it made me interested in my faith more. I prayed more at college and I just cared more about my faith. I also realized that God’s plan for my life wasn’t to be a counselor, which sucked. But I remember praying about it for a while and wishing God would just change His plan for my life because I wanted to be a counselor, obviously that’s never going to happen.

Then I came back from college and started going back to this church and the second service I was in was one of the best services I was in ever. Since then I have started doing a Bible study and I have gotten to know more people and I love it. 

This last year hasn’t always been positive. There have been a couple nights where I cried all the way home from church. There was a night I stayed up until 2 am talking with the pastor’s wife because I was ready to be done with it.

But even with the negative this last year has been the best of my life. 

I am happier than I can ever remember. And the days where I am sad I pray about it, which is something I was told in the past to do but never did.

On October 13 I got baptized and that was the greatest moment ever. You can just tell in the picture I look happy 🙂

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I have met some of the most amazing people ever this last year, and made some really great friends. I had the chance to talk to missionaries I knew from when I was a kid, which was fantastic.

Mostly importantly, I changed my life to be how God wanted it. I always had God in my life, but not as much as I do now. Now everything I do I want to pray about it first. I feel God more than I have before. I stopped going to school for psychology and instead I am going (hopefully) on mission trip this summer with the possibility of pursuing being a missionary. I just want to live my life for God and do His will.

If someone would’ve told me I would be where I am now I wouldn’t have believed them. I had no plans to go back that church and I liked my life plan of being a counselor. But this last year has been incredible and I am very blessed to be going to the church I go to.

I never realized how much life could change in just one year. One year all this stuff has changed, for the good. I am so excited to see what the rest of my future holds if this much can happen in a year.

You are More

You are More by Tenth Avenue North is and probably forever will be my favorite song. It’s a really great song.
For those of you who have never heard the song the chorus is:
“you are more than the choices that you’ve make. You are more than the sum of your past mistakes. You are more than the problems you create, you’ve been remade”
What a fantastic message.
I feel like so many people feel down about choices they made years ago. There are people who hold on to every single mistake they make.
But the thing is, in God we don’t have to do that. We are more than the mistakes we have made, God makes us new.
I think people have a hard time believing that, I know some days I do. It’s hard to not get down about your mistakes. When I’m having a bad day I can probably name every mistake I have ever made. But God doesn’t look at that. God sees us as more than our choices, more than our failure, more than our stupid decisions, God sees us as his children that He loves.
The song says it so nicely “this is not about what you’ve done but what’s been done for you”
Jesus died on a cross for our sins, so don’t let your sins define you.
We are not our failures. A mistake you made is not your identity.
If everyday we looked at ourself and could say “I am not my past” we would probably be happier people.
Let your past help you go forward. When you make a mistake learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell on it.
In God we are remade. We are beautiful. We are new. And it’s time we all start believing that everyday.

And here’s the song 🙂
http://youtu.be/IwtcwQwgdsA

Failing to Succeed

Whenever you start something, failure is an option.
There is a chance that everything could fall a part and it could be bad.
The chance of failing scares me.
I constantly worry if I might mess something or make the wrong decision.
Living a life where you’re constantly worried about if you may fail isn’t fun, obviously. You can’t live your life worried about what might go wrong-worried if you might fail.
Negative thoughts will get you no where. But negative thoughts are a lot easier to believe.
For me it’s easier to see thing now working out than it is to see everything turning out.
Failure is always an option-
But so is success.
Success can be just as likely as failure.
I feel like the key to succeeding is to believe you can. And for me that’s the hard thing.
It’s hard for me to believe my plans will work out, that I’m making the right decisions.
It’s hard for me to be positive.
But even though it’s hard, I can see that it is needed. I know I need to be more positive, but the negativity is hard to overcome.
I know I have gotten better but there is still a lot for me to improve on, in the ways to my thoughts. And hopefully one day I can do it.

Light up the World

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“Christians are the only Bible some people will ever read”

I find that quote be scary. 

It adds so much pressure to my life.

The fact that most of the world won’t read the Bible, but they all will see how a Christian acts is kind of scary to me.

Because Christians mess up, everyone messes up. But the moment you, as a Christian, does something wrong everyone will know. The world will be there to point out that you have sinned. Which I’m not going to lie, will suck. But all you can do is get back up, and continue your walk with God and just ignore the people who bash you. Because they probably won’t understand God’s forgiveness. And lets be honest, a lot of people do not realize that everyone messes up at some point in their life.  People like to imagine other people as being perfect, and although you may try you will never be perfect.

The other important thing is that, as a Christian, you should let your light shine so people see God through you, after all you are the only Bible people will read. This, to me, can be both awesome and scary. I feel like it is scary because it is so much pressure, it almost seems like at all times you have to be shining–which can be hard. But it can also be awesome. I feel like the greatest compliment someone can give you is that they see God in you. It can be a good affirmation to hear someone say that. You know you are doing the right thing when someone sees God in you.

I think the thing to remember, that I often forget, is that when you are living for God it really should not be that hard to light your shine. I mean all you have to do is follow the Bible.  Realize that you will mess up (everyone messes up) and the world will judge you, and that is something you have to do deal with. 

But living for Christ and leading others to Christ is amazing. 

So let your light shine.

Change the world by showing them Jesus.

Change

Change is a part of life.

We are constantly changing, or at least we should be. 

When we first become a Christian we have to change, we can’t just keep living the same life we have always been living. I think that is where a lot of people get it wrong too. People feel that since God loves them the way they are, they shouldn’t have to change. But that’s wrong. I mean, part of it is right, God does love you no matter what, but He doesn’t want you to keep living the same life you have been.

God wants you to change. God wants to change you. He doesn’t want you to keep living in sin, and you shouldn’t want to keep living in sin either.

God wants for you to have a good life with Him, but that is going to involve changing things, and more than likely God will continue to ask you to change things for the rest our life.

Some of you might be like me, I hate change. I can’t stand it. I like living life in my little comfort zone, never really changing anything.

As hard as I fight it change is a constant thing in my life. 

But I have come to realize change is actually a good thing, especially when you are changing for God.

Change can be scary but if God is calling you to change something, you know it’s for a good reason. He won’t ask you to change something that won’t later benefit you. At the time, it might seem like it’s the worst thing ever, but in the end it will be for the good.

Not only is change scary, it is also hard. It’s not like you wake up and all of sudden your life magically has changed. It’s hard to change behaviors or thoughts you accustom to. Like I said before in the end the change you are making in your life is worth it, no matter how hard it seems at the time. Whatever you have to change in your life might even be a daily struggle, but I promise one day it will pay off.

If you are struggling with change, realize you are not alone and remember as long as you are changing for God it is a good thing.

Love Yourself

“Be kind to everyone including yourself”

I feel like most days the hardest person for me to be nice to is myself. I can be kind to just about anyone, but there are days when it comes to being kind to myself and I can’t. I used to live a life where I was nice to everyone but myself, and I thought that was okay. It was okay because I was being kind to others and that’s all that matters… But that was such a lie. We need to be kind to ourselves before we can be truly kind to others. 

“Treat others how you want to be treated”. What a simple quote, but the important part (and the part overlooked) is the end, “how you want to be treated”. You can’t treat others amazing and treat yourself like crap. You need to love yourself too.

Sometimes loving yourself is hard. I know I can write a whole list of stuff I hate about myself and when it comes to the things I love about myself I maybe can think of a couple things. But when you learn to love yourself, your whole life will change. I have to work on this just about everyday, but I understand that it is important. When I love myself, my whole day is better.

And if you don’t feel loved be anyone and you just feel awful remember God loves. I feel like we often undervalue God’s love. But the creator of the earth, the man who made the most beautiful things in nature, loves you– How cool is that?! God looks at you and finds you amazing and beautiful and all the things you hate about yourself, He loves. There is nothing you can do to make God not love you— He put you on this planet for a purpose, that is unique to just you, so you are pretty awesome. 

So remember: You are beautiful, You are unique, and You are loved.

Love yourself