Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What is coming next?

As I sit here and write up this entry, I ask myself, what does God have next for me? What is He planning? So much has happened since my last post to now and some of it has been good and even a bit disappointing. Despite the details, God is really using this time to change me, like He has used all other "times" in my life.

I had a bible study with my friend and we studied the first miracle of Jesus; He turned water into wine. The main concepts of this story is that Jesus acts only when it will glorify the Father; that there was a problem and His mother went straight to Jesus to solve it; Jesus told her the time isn't right yet and He acted based on the right time of glorifying the Father; and Jesus told the servants what to do; what He told them to do seemed crazy and difficult and could have potentially ended their lives, they listened to Him precisely anyway and everything was blessed.

This story was so empowering. We studied this and it reminded me that whenever I have a problem or an issue, I need to go to Jesus about it first. No one else. Whenever I want something done right away I need to think about Jesus and the fact that He will answer my petitions in the right time, when God is glorified. I also need to obey the commands of Christ even when things seem hard or difficult.

John 2:1-11

I was so inspired by the bible study and enjoyed being reminded of how we have to go to Him at any time for any problem and to wait on His timing even when difficult and to obey even when difficult or things seem crazy. I want so much to walk the path God has set for me. I want so badly to shed myself of my insecurities with my thoughts of what people think, or that people don't like me, or that if I choose a certain way people will think I'm uptight, or that I will even mess up by taking pride in the choices I make, or become confident in my own abilities.

I'm afraid of all the mistakes I'm going to make, but I can only hope that God can just work it all out to the best and that along the way He is being glorified and my dreams of loving Him, of falling in love and being married, and using our marriage to bring glory to God through helping and loving others can come true.

Those are my dreams, people. I don't want to be famous. I don't want to write a thousand books. I don't want a big house with a butler.

I want to glorify God's name.
I want to fall in love and have a romantic marriage with the one God has chosen.
I want to use that relationship to bring glory to the Father and love and help others or any other ways God can be glorified.
I want to raise a godly son & make an impact on future generations.

All I hope in these coming weeks is that God prepares me for these dreams He has put in me and cultivated within me over time. That is my true hope and my true passion. To love the Lord and have these things come to pass in my life.

I hope my time of waiting for these things to happen are not passive but are grounds for preparation and loving the Lord and loving others as I keep learning and making mistakes and as I try to help others along the way to get into preparation mode for the deep longings they have inside of their hearts. Longings I hope God cultivates until they fit within His perfect & good will.

This was on my heart. I hope that it is encouraging.

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

No confidence in the flesh...

Hello,

It's been so long! I guess, I have been busy and a little bit distracted. Anyway, my birthday just passed on the 11th and I am 24 years old now. With that came a whirlwind of emotions and confusion, as well as a hurricane of love that was ushered in from my Father. When I could only see problems He just really reminded me of how blessed I truly am with my physical family and the spiritual friends and family that I do have. I am so encouraged to say that His love is very strong and I am so happy that He has held me up this long! He lives in me and I can't believe how my sinful nature in all its self-pitying glory has not conquered me. I feel fine, I feel at peace, and that is only because every time I tried to look at my problem God put His hand on my face and lifted my eyes back up to Him.

My whole church is fasting together until the 30th of this month and I love it because it really is something I don't do often enough. I can't wait to see the changes God will bring to us because we are fasting together. I won't share what I am fasting from but during my fast so far I have learned how insidious pride really is and how humility is so important not just in the eyes of God but in life. The things that I have put away have been a source of pride for me albeit a small source and I am so glad that it's not even in my life anymore at this point. I like how I am feeling without those things in my life. I want to make this a steady practice of mine. I want to put my confidence in God and what He can do, not in my flesh and what I think I can accomplish or prove to the world, or even prove to myself. I am worthy only because God says I am through Christ and there's no need to prove that at all by me because it's proven in His Word.

If there's anything I want to say to young men and women, it's that we must be our best and once we achieve our best, let's not compare ourselves to the world or anyone else any longer. Let us not feed into the things that pump up our pride or fuel this need to be confident in our own flesh, let us lay those things down and turn to the belief that God is our Protector, He is our Healer, He is the One who has a good plan in mind for us as we pursue Him.

Let's just learn to rely on Him, don't go looking in the mirror on how you can improve yourself more to achieve some standard you have set for yourself that is impossible to achieve or even maintain; let's put our confidence in the Father who has made you the way you are for a reason and accept it and draw from Him for confidence.

Don't let those confident stares from other women make you feel bad about who you are, women who honor their own beauty in haughtiness and make you feel less than about yourself, draw from that quiet confidence that comes from God, knowing that He loves you and that whatever beauty is supposed to bring, He will bring you that and so much more, because God is greater than beauty. He will get His glory from your life and your faith and just by being who He made you to be.

Yes, life can be scary, very scary... especially when you feel inadequate but feelings of inadequacy are often blessings in disguise because they push us to rely on God and pursue Him that much more and put our faith in Him that much more.

I purchased a ticket to see Heavy & Light put on by To Write Love on Her Arms, a non-profit benefiting those who struggle with emotional issues (99% of human life) and I can't wait to see Jon Foreman perform live! He is a great songwriter and musician and I will be totally, totally amazed. I know I will be, I can't wait! January 30th!

Monday, January 7, 2013

What did I learn today?

God is always preparing us for the next step. We are never going to be prepared enough for the entirety of life, but He is always preparing us for the next step, so open up your eyes, your ears, and learner's heart and get to changing!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

learning to listen, learning to change, learning to learn

well, i was supposed to create a post listing all i have learned in 2012. i am doing that now. at 2 in the morning the night before church. haha. im not going to want to get up in the morning, but if God is willing, i will. no worries at all... :) i was sick on thursday, throwing up and thwarted plans, but i know God is the Ultimate Planner, am i right? He allowed me to get sick and i am so thankful for what He allows. being sick wasn't the end of my world; although, i would have loved to meet with the people i had planned to see. i love them! so much. anyway, let's get on with what i have learned or principles i have finally come to umderstand and truly get right in my heart:

1. how to set boundaries, the importance of honesty in all relationships to test the strength of those relationships, get a backbone!
2. the importance of faith in Jesus alone that makes us worthy of grace, nothing that we do can make us worthy of grace or forgiveness; so don't hold the faults of other Christians against them in your heart...their faith in God alone makes them beautiful because it shows that they fundamentally want what is good
3. we don't deserve anything good. we can only be prepared for blessings and goodness. God does the preparing
4. let God write your love story and honor your heart, feelings, body for your future spouse. reserve those parts of yourself for that special person.
5. make prayer journals!!
6. only Jesus understands the pain of other people, we will never fully understand, so never say "i know how you feel" to someone
7. you never know it all. never. you're never going to arrive. there will always be something new to learn.

if there is anything more i can add later, i will, i have to look through my journals. anyway, thats a goal of mine this year... to write down everything i learn this year for the next. only new things of course or concepts that have finally been driven into my heart and understanding.

forgive me for how late this is.

God bless,
G.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year. Happy 2013.

This was a lackluster New Year's Eve & New Year's Celebration for me but what anchored me throughout the day was God. I've been nervous all day because of my preoccupation with a certain fella and the fact that he might like someone else. I was hoping that he would get in contact with me before New Year's Eve, but it just never happened. I was praying all day to get over my nervousness and to accept whatever may happen. I am anchored in the fact that God has a plan for my life; not just a plan, but a good plan. Although I still feel nervousness, I don't feel it to the point of death and despair. I feel the pain and I anticipate that Christ will get me through the pain. I know that with every pain there's a lesson, there's growth, there's something God is doing to protect me and other parties. I know that God is a God of solutions and He's mysterious and creative; far beyond I could ever be. For me, I just want to learn how to pray more to know what God's next step for me is and to obey more and to obey in faith (even if I am filled with nervousness or fear).

I have learned so much over the past five years and have deepened my faith the past three years since I have been baptized in July of 2009. I mean, I have experienced some painful stuff. Not only in my childhood with being bullied and being  lonely and feeling ugly and not really feeling accepted for who I was, but just growing up into adulthood and being struck with a thorn in my side that propelled me into learning more about what it means to suffer and what it is God wanted to change in me; and struggling with my family falling apart, my dad's infidelity, my mom's depression, the loss of our home, the loss of cars, lessened income, career confusion, moving, school problems, crazy problems in my friendships, still struggling with that thorn in my side and my self-esteem, feeling very alone (but knowing God understood my pain), dealing with guys rejecting me and making me feel confused, and just having my heart shattered to pieces for the first time and learning about men in general. I mean, the past three to five years have been my hardest. My hardest (so far)...and I wouldn't change anything. I have learned so much. I have gained so much knowledge about God. God pushed me into a knowledge of Himself. I can't even list everything God has taught me; I mean, I have journals full of notes here and there; but I can honestly say that I am so thankful to God for what He has shown me spiritually, practically, emotionally, futuristically. He has opened a spiritual door for me that I have walked into; sometimes I leave the room; but He.... He keeps that door unlocked. He has blessed me often, too; He has blessed me enough that I actually see some light now, after being in the dark for so long.

I am so ashamed of the times I leave Him but I am so blessed to know that He loves me and gives me the things in life that I truly don't deserve. I hope to write a post just listing all of the things He has taught me. I will not list them in this particular entry because it's getting pretty long; however, when the sun rises and my eyes open, God willing, I will be here and list all the things the Lord has taught me graciously and sometimes through His loving hand of discipline.

Have a blessed night & first day of the year,
G.