I'm trying to walk by faith while giving nothing but love along the way while seeking the love of our Heavenly Father. Will you walk with me?

Friday, November 30, 2012

We all want to feel wanted.

Feelings. They can be the most beautiful thing ever while being your worst enemy at the same time. And unfortunately, they've been a bit of an enemy lately. This post is going to be personal and I'm putting myself out there. So here's the inside scoop to my heart as of late.

So as you know, I was broken up with about a month an a half ago. This breakup has been one of the biggest blessings in disguise. However, the days where it's a disguise are the days that are the challenge. Now, I'm over that I was broken up with. That part doesn't hurt more. I don't want to be in a relationship with anyone anytime soon. But what hurts is the aftermath of the breakup: feeling unwanted. This person knew my heart inside and out for two years and didn't want me. Can you say ouch? And the feeling of being unwanted is the worst feeling in the world. It makes you feel like you're not good enough, that you have nothing to offer, or that no one will want you. This person was supposed to be the person who wanted you and the one person who wouldn't walk away. Yet you're left there, in the dust, alone. And guess what? It hurts. I've been battling with this feeling of being unwanted this past week. Last night, I broke down. New flash for you, I'm really not that strong. In the midst of tears, I prayed non stop. I felt so desperate for something. I knew I was desperate for God, but to be honest, I couldn't feel Him at that moment. I searched my bible frantically hoping to find a verse that says: "GOD LOVES YOU. GOD WANTS YOU." And, well, I came across nothing. I kept telling myself over and over again, "you are wanted. You are enough. You are loved." However, just knowing it was not enough. This was playing on repeat in my head, but it was no where in my heart. My heart did not believe that I am wanted, enough, or loved. There's a very big difference between knowing something in your head and having it in your heart. And there I was, crying on my bed, beating myself up all because a boy doesn't want me. I know, it sounds so lame to me as I type it. Then at that moment, I decided to text a friend of mine. He's a friend that has walked me through every step of this breakup and a friend that I am forever grateful for. He called me and with my broken, tear saturated voice, I opened up to how I felt. Then boom. God answered my prayers. You know those moments where God just uses someone to say exactly everything you need to hear? Well, that happened. He said everything my head knew, but everything that my heart needed to hear. I was comforted in the fact that it's okay to be weak and that it's normal to hurt. And that I am wanted and that I have a lot to offer. If this boy couldn't see this, well that's his loss. With a phone call, my confidence returned and a smile was on my face. Heck, I was even laughing. Ah, God is good!

Now, of course the feelings of being unwanted didn't go away completely over night. I went to mass this morning. And after mass, I stayed in the chapel for a good 45 min. During these 45 min, I had a good, stern heart to heart with God. And well, lets just say that God gave me a good and loving kick in the pants. I started at the cross, pouring out my frustrations into His hands. My feelings of being unwanted, my desires to have one person to chase Him with, someone to pick me up with I'm down, the feelings of loneliness, all the aftermath that breakups bring. I gave it all to Him. I gave Him my dreams of my future husband, which have been quite reoccurring as of late. I've been looking forward to that one person who I'm going to share my life with. And in my future husband, someone I don't even know yet, I've been looking for the love my heart has been longing for. I've been longing to feel wanted by the man who I will give my life to. That right there is the problem. I have been trying to fill the hole in my heart with the desires of earthly love instead of the author of love. Once I came to this realization, I heard Jesus say: "You have been desiring of a person what only I can give you. No human on this earth wants you as much as I do. I love you infinitely more than anyone on this earth could. You're feeling this way because some boy doesn't want you. That boy cannot compare to Me. I died on this cross because I want you. I love you." And right there, my heart believed it. Right there, I was at peace and I felt wanted and loved.

I realize that the moments where I feel unwanted and I don't feel God that I'm doing something wrong. I'm not giving Him my all. Or I'm getting caught up in the world. I don't open my heart to Him. I end up being in the way of myself. As soon as I feel this, I know God is telling me that something needs to change. I need to turn to Him without holding back.

It's amazing how caught up I can get in basing my worth off of things in this world. But dear brothers and sisters, we are SO much more than what this world says we are! We are more than what we do. We're more than how we look, or the clothes we wear. We're more than the amount of or lack of people pursuing us. We are children of the King of Kings. And even when people don't want us or even like us, we are wanted and we are loved by a God who is so much greater and a God who can do so much more for us than anything or anyone can. "God doesn't want something from us. He simply wants us." He wants us and He loves us. There are going to be moments where you feel like nothing. You may feel unwanted. You may hurt. As I've been learning, there is nothing wrong with feeling this way. It's okay to hurt and to let yourself hurt. Because sometimes life just sucks. Life can suck really, really bad. Life isn't always rainbows and butterflies. Even life with God isn't always happy happy joy joy. But there is hope. "Christians are like glow sticks, they have to break in order to shine." Through your hurt, trials, and weakness, strength will come.
"Affliction produces endurance, and endurance proven character, and proven character, hope and hope does not disappoint, because the Love God has poured out into our hearts." Romans 5:3-6
How ever your may feel, or whatever it is that you are going through, know that you are not alone. You are loved and you are wanted by the Creator of the Universe. Don't just know it in your head. Believe it in your heart. You are worth more than anything on this earth. You are precious. You are loved. Don't lose that and don't lose hope. God will put people in your life for a reason. He gives the people you need. And sometimes, He takes away people too for a better reason. We may not be able to see it, but trust in His ways.

"God will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you
after you have suffered a little." - 1 Peter 5:10

"Live in love as Christ loves us." - Ephesians 5:2

Friday, November 16, 2012

Single girl swag.

Single. That's a word that most girls dread. It seems so cold and so lonely, as if no one would even want to date us. It's a word that describes a torturous, harsh, sad time in one's life. Single is the opposite of  love and the opposite of what women desire. We all want that one person to love us and cherish us. We want that one person who is going to care about us in that special way and make us feel wanted and special. We all want that one man who proves to us that all guys are not the same. We want that man who will fight for us and prove to us that there is no one he would rather be with. We want that partner in life who will walk by our sides and love us through the ups and downs. Yes, single, is a word that is just plain awful and it's a world that is even worse.

But what if I told you that there is another definition of single? That single doesn't mean sad, unlovable, unwanted and that you're going to end up all alone with 12 cats. What if I told you that single can be statement rather than a definition? Don't let single define you. Don't let single say to the world that you are in need of a relationship and that you can't survive without one. Instead, let single say to the world that you are a strong, independent woman and that you don't need a man to complete you!

Believe it or not, being single can be such a blessing. But it's your attitude about it that determines it. Singleness isn't a torture sentence. Singleness is an opportunity for growth and preparation. Your future spouse is out there and they are going to be someone SO amazing. This person is going to be the best thing that has ever happening to you. So don't you want to be the best thing that has happening to them?

Being single gives you the time to work on yourself. It allows you to prepare and become the person of God that you are called to be. You don't have to focus on another person and invest all of your time, energy, and emotions into them. Instead, you are investing your time into yourself. This is not selfish. We need to be the best people we can be for ourselves in order to be the best for someone else. We need to be happy and complete single before giving yourself to another person. Say you're a gardener and you know that your vegetables are the best veggies in town. You take pride in your veggies and you give the best veggies you can to your costumers. And by doing so, you make a great difference in the lives of your costumers. You bring them satisfaction and in turn, this brings you satisfaction. If they weren't satisfied, then that would be incredibly disheartening. So you wait for the veggies to grow and become the biggest and best veggies they can be. You would never sell unripened veggies; that would bring dissatisfaction. They aren't ready to be given out yet. They have to work on themselves before become ripe. The same goes for you. Why give yourself to someone if you are not ripe yet? If you are called to marriage and to be in a relationship, you would want to give that person the best you can. Just as a gardener wouldn't give their costumers unripened veggies, do not give your potential partner an unripened person. Don't jump into a relationship for the sake of having a relationship. Begin a relationship when you are ready to. But it is necessary to take the time to be single and work on yourself. Being single allows for us to mature and become the best we can be. Without distractions and without the love-fog of a relationship, you can truly see the areas in yourself that need work on. Take the time for you. Learn to love yourself and be completely happy with yourself. If you don't love yourself, then how can you love someone else?

Singleness is an incredible opportunity to grow in faith. For me, it has brought a whole new meaning to trusting God and chasing Him. I trust God. I know that my future husband is out there and I know that in His time, He will lead me to that person. I do not need to go out looking for that person. When the time is right, God will put that person into my life. Instead of chasing guys and looking for a boyfriend, I'm left to chase God and look for Him. Granted, it's not easy. There are cute boys everywhere--especially Jesus-loving boys. However, I'm learning self discipline. I thank God for making great, attractive brother in Christ, and then continue to look at Him. Although I desire marriage one day, and it's completely natural for me to be looking for a mate, it's a gift to have time to look at Christ and Christ alone. Only Christ can satisfy, and I am learning this on a daily basis. Women tend to think that once we find that nice guy, all of our problems will go away and our thirst for love will be quenched. But this isn't true. The only One who can quench that thirst for love is Love Himself. Only God can fill the God-shaped hole in our hearts. Having this in my mind makes it easier to deal with the attractive distractions. Even when I'm married, only Christ will satisfy and be the true giver of joy in my life. I am learning to love Him in a way that I never have before. Being single has allowed this. Instead of looking for a boyfriend or looking to please a boyfriend, I look at Him and I am at peace. By learning to love Him more than anything and anyone will allow me to better love my future husband someday. But right now, I'm focusing on become the woman that God has created me to be. I am focusing on my relationship with my Best Friend. He is the only Man I desire in my life right now. Because of this, my faith is growing day by day.

Because of being single and having no desire to date at this time of my life right now, so much pressure is relieved. When I meet a new guy, I don't have to worry about whether or not he's someone I can date. Instead, my intentions are pure and I seek only a friendship. This brings so much freedom. It allows me to be independent and to not be defined by a relationship. It allows me to have true brothers in Christ without the pressure of dating or thinking that something more has to come out of it. That in and of itself is such a blessing. It also says to the world what I think about myself.
"After all, independent women are the most alluring to men. When a woman looks like she's waiting to be asked out, it makes you wonder why she hasn't been. On the other hand, if she's happy with her independence, she doesn't appear to be accessible. She's a challenge. It's as if she's saying, 'I don't need you to complete me, but you're free to try.' She seems content with herself. Such a positive demeanor naturally draws others in. But this happiness must be authentic joy. It cannot be a happy mask worn to become more likeable." - Jason Evert

Now, singleness isn't always going to be easy. You aren't always going to feel like a strong, independent woman. It's hard to be single in such a dating-obsessed culture. Lets face it, every movie you watch, there's an adorable, romantic love story. Commercials, magazines, books, media; there is always some sort of connection to love and relationships. On a college campus, it seems as if everywhere you turn, there's an adorable couple holding hands or kissing. It's everywhere. There will be days when you do feel lonely and you do long for someone else. But rise above it and trust God. Trust that He is writing your love story. He's a pretty great author, so there is no denying that is it going to be an amazing story. Your future husband is out there. I don't know who my future husband is, but he gives me so much hope. Just knowing that one day, I will be able to experience the most amazing love brings me so much joy and hope. But for now, I need to work on become the woman he deserves and I need to work on become the woman God is calling me to be. The same goes for you. We need to work on being the best women and sisters in Christ we can be.

So enjoy your singleness! Let it be a time of growth and exploration! Enjoy great friendships. Have fun! Enjoy having a time of your life not tied down to another person. Plain and simple, just do you! Love will come your way when the time is right. Don't go looking for love. Let it look for you. "Do no arouse, do not stir up love before it's own time." -Song of Songs 2:7. Go become the woman God has made you to be! You are stronger than you think and you don't need a man to complete you! The perfect Man already completes you; and He died on the cross for you. With Christ, you have all you need! So enjoy being single and trust and love God with all you have!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hate is never the answer.

Election day took place yesterday. Obama was re-elected president of the United States of America. And as was expected, the social media world blew up. Statuses were being posted left and right, for red and blue. But what got me, was the amount of hateful statuses that a great amount of Christian Facebook friends were posting.

I am fully aware at their anger and why they were posting; I understand. A big part of this was the pro-life issue. I am pro-life. But I would like to remind you that pro-life is not just about abortion. Pro-life means defending and respecting ALL life; from womb to tomb. That means loving your neighbor, NO MATTER WHAT. That means loving thy gay neighbor, straight neighbor, addicted neighbor, homeless neighbor, incarcerated neighbor, republican neighbor, democrat neighbor, sick neighbor, poor neighbor, EVERY neighbor. That means loving the kid who sits alone at lunch, or the girl that everyone loves to hate. That means loving the person who broke your heart or made your life a living hell. That means loving and forgiving those who have wronged you. "Love your neighbor as yourself." - Luke 10:27. This neighbor also includes the neighbor who is the president. I am not saying that you need to agree with or support his policies, but you do need to love him. And responding to him with hate and posting hateful statues in not pro-life. Actually, it's not very Christian. 

A Christian is a person in whom and through whom Christ lives. By claiming that you are a Christian, you are claiming that you follow and strive to imitate Christ. Posting statuses and speaking out of hate is the exact opposite of what Christ would do. It does not matter who the person is or what the person believes in, we are not to hate. We are called to love no matter what. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22:37-40

I understand that people are trying to share the truth of the church with others. Quite frankly, I am too. But what makes the difference is how we do it. It comes down to love. People may question my view on love, but this is what love is.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." 
Yes, it says that love rejoices with the truth. But that means rejoice; not shove the truth into someone's face or criticize them because of their beliefs. It is not up to us to criticize or condemn them. Actually, we have absolutely no right to do so. We are in no place to judge or criticize others because of their believes or because they may not agree with something that the church says. We are called to lead others to Christ; not the church. Yes, Christ instituted the church, but the church it meant to lead others to Christ. So we are meant to do the same. And when we criticize and condemn people and shove "the truth" into their faces, that turns people away. To be honest, there have been many instances where, on behalf of the people who do not agree, I have felt hurt and criticized due to what they have had to say about someone disagreeing with the church. Our faith is meant to be an invitation. We can propose the idea to someone, but only they can choose to accept it. Instead of going about throwing the truth into people's faces, we must be an example of the truth. Live as Christ would have lived. Jesus may have gnashed teeth and reprimanded people; but keep in mind that only He is meant to do that. Only God can judge others. And Jesus did it in a loving way. Not once did He force His word onto someone. By forcing your word on someone, you are turning them away. Too many times have I felt turned away because of this. Yes, there has to be tough love sometimes, but tough love does not include criticizing, judging, and condemning people. Criticizing, judging and condemning people turns them away. Therefore, you are turning them away from Christ. We are called to preach the gospel. We are called to preach love and forgiveness and the goodness of God while trying to better other people. Better other people with love. Let your words and actions be soaked with love, only then will you be able to touch someone's heart with the truth. We are not here to change lives or hearts. God doesn't need us for that because only He can do that and only He can change hearts. We are called to invite people to faith in a loving manner and to plant seeds without imposing. We are called to meet people where they are at; then God will take care of the rest. Leave the judging up to Him, because it gets us no where. It just makes us look like hypocrites. Let us be an example of love, then others will follow. We must approach people with open hearts and open minds. As my friend Stephanie said: "its about being wise enough to know that the world was never saved by a strong opinion - only saved with love. Spend your energy where it creates not destroys." So next time you go to convict or reprimand someone for their actions or belief, I ask you to please ask yourself: "How am I going to lead this person closer to Christ?" Meet people where they're at and give them nothing but love.

No matter who is the president, Jesus is King. Have faith and trust in Him. Pray for those leading our country and have hope. Do not waste your breath on words of hate towards the president of anyone else for that matter. Doing such while claiming to be a Christian would make you a hypocrite. Strive to be Christ like and love others no matter what. Do not act out of anger. Act out of love.

"Know this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger." - James 1:19.

"But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire." Matthew 5:22