Why, God?

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Every year, for the past 33 years of my life, I’ve had another birthday. Another celebration, another day to be thankful for being alive.

Each year, I face more challenges than the year before. I learn more lessons, I experience life in a different way, and also witness a lot of heartache and pain….whether I am the one going through the heartache or perhaps it’s happening to someone I love and care for.

When I was 16 years old, I became a Christian. I was invited to go to a youth service at a Christian church on a Friday night. I thought it was odd anyone would want to be in church on a Friday, but that was besides the point. I only went because my friend had kept on asking me to go. I didn’t know that God would have an appointment with me, and that it was God that was putting in on my heart to go.

I remember hearing the youth pastor talk and it was as if he was speaking directly to me, saying a lot of what I had been through. I remember seeing people lift their hands, pray out loud personal prayers to God, weeping out loud and worshiping God. I had never seen this before and I was intrigued. Young people love God this much? They talked to Him with such confidence, like they really knew Him. I wanted to know Him too. I wanted to experience what they had with God.

On another night, I was overwhelmed with emotion again as I heard the youth pastor preach. This time he asked if anyone wanted prayer to come to the altar. I was afraid, but as I sat in my seat I just couldn’t control my tears. I was hurting inside a lot for many different reasons. I quickly went to the altar and he prayed with me. I asked Jesus into my heart, and I told Him I would live for Him from that day on.

Since then, the journey has not been easy. Each year, new challenges. But each year, new victories. New seasons to see God’s faithfulness. New days to know Him more and grow to love Him deeply. God has been my rock through every trial I’ve faced. When I felt alone, He was there. When I felt misunderstood, He understood me. When I felt rejected, He accepted me. When I felt weak, He gave me strength. And He continues to do so.

I know that without Him, when faced with trials, I’m sure I would be running to anything I could to fill me up in desperation. I would probably have unhealthy addictions, and cling to people to be my god. I could imagine myself just being completely depressed if I didn’t have some sort of relationship with God.

So why do I say this? I feel compelled to write this because as I look in the world we live in everyday, I see more pain, more brokenness, more addictions, more death, more depression, more suicides… the list goes on.  I believe with all my heart and always will believe-that faith in God and a relationship with Him is the answer to all these things.

No, God doesn’t always tell us why terrible things happen. Sometimes there is no logical explanation and we won’t have the reasons why.  Also, faith in God is not a “get out of suffering free” pass. In fact, the suffering often increases. However, there is a difference in suffering with no hope vs. suffering with your eyes on your Creator and clinging to Him with all of your heart. There is the mentality that no matter how broken, how painful, how severe, God can and will bring something good out of tragedy.

He does not spare us the pain, but He promises to be there with us. He promises that he can make us stronger because of it. He promises that we can know Him more deeply and personally if we allow Him into our hurts. He will walk through the fire with us. We are not alone.

I still have a lot of questions for God. I still doubt sometimes and stumble. I wish God would tell me why my aunt and grandma died of cancer years ago, I wish I knew why when I went on missions trips that I had to see starving children in another country, I wish I knew why some babies are born to addicts, why there has to be wars, accidents, and all the crazy things that happen in our world.

There are just some times when life hits us hard, when the unexpected happens, and maybe we don’t know what to do. It hurts and it’s hard and we feel like God has let us down or betrayed us somehow by letting us feel pain. He’s God, can’t he prevent it all? He can stop all bad things, so why doesn’t He?

When I ask myself these questions, I go to the Word of God. The Word of God shows us God’s true character, His true nature. If you want to learn about what God is like, just simply open the Bible and start reading. First I also suggest you pray and ask God, “Help me understand what I’m reading, I want to know you.”

I also remind myself that some of God’s most powerful work is done in the midst of suffering. Look at Jesus. The most horrific death was experienced by Jesus Christ, yet we reap the benefits of it all. His death and suffering brings us eternal life. Without His suffering, we would all be lost and without hope.

Because of what Jesus went through, He can relate to our suffering. Jesus faced intense temptations on this earth. When he was almost near death, he was afraid. He prayed that God would not let him suffer death on a cross. But we know that He had to do it for us.

Suffering also happens because we live in a broken world. As long as we are on this earth, we will face some type of suffering. There is sin and imperfection all around us. But as believers, we hold onto the promise and hope that we are truly just passing through this earth. This is not our home. 

We can hold onto the future hope that one day we will truly be with God forever. We will see Him face to face, and He can answer all of our questions and wipe away all of our tears.

Revelation 21:4- “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Do you want to know Him? Do you want to have that hope? It can be yours today, it’s freely given. You just have to believe and receive it.

Whatever you may be facing tonight I want to encourage you to take it to God. Let Him use your pain and suffering for your good and His glory. Nothing may make sense right now, but your whole life is like a huge puzzle. Only a few pieces are complete. You can’t see the big picture, but He can. Put your faith in Him today and know that nothing you go through is in vain. He is with you, He is for you, and He is waiting to have your heart.








Lonely During the Holidays

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I want to speak to those who may have a hard time giving thanks during this holiday season, specifically because you feel alone.

I would understand that maybe the last thing you want to do is sit around at a table with people and put on a fake smile. Trust me, I have been there! I want to take you back to a time in my life where I wasn’t feeling very grateful.

Many years ago, in my mid twenties, I was a single young woman who spent Thanksgiving eating with my family at my mother’s house and then spending time at a different family member’s house in the evening. We enjoyed great food, conversation, and dessert together. However, I remember that day feeling incredibly lonely.  On the outside, I seemed happy and interested in being with everyone. But inside I was not alright. I loved Jesus and was truly trying to seek Him. But in spite of that, the reason why I felt lonely was because I didn’t have a partner. I compared myself to many other women who did, and I felt like I wasn’t enough. I felt like maybe if I was prettier, smarter, or had a better personality, then maybe I could have had a partner to share the holiday with. Then, I thought, I could truly feel happy.

I wasn’t finding joy in just being in my family’s presence, being grateful that we were all healthy, all alive, and that God had provided for all of our needs. I was too busy focused on what I didn’t have, and I missed my chance that day to feel blessed and also be a blessing to someone else. I chose instead to dwell on the fact that I felt alone with no partner. The holidays have a funny way of reminding single people that they are single!

When I returned home later at night, I decided I needed to read something to encourage myself. At the time I enjoyed hearing sermons and reading devotions from a preacher named Charles Stanley. I looked on his website and immediately found an article about feeling alone on Thanksgiving. His article focused on combating negative thoughts with God’s Word,and on focusing on what you have instead of what you lack. He wrote about how we need to be grateful for all we have, for all that God has done for us. His words also reminded me that although I desired a partner,  that God desired me to draw closer to Him and to find my joy in Him. God wanted all of my heart and attention and this was the perfect time to give that to Him.

That night I cried out to God, and I said something along the lines of… “Lord, you know how much I hurt sometimes to be alone, but I want to give you this loneliness. Replace this with your love and a stronger desire to know you. Help me trust you.” I remember having a lot of tears that night, and feeling an exchange of worrying and negativity for God’s peace. I remember feeling that God understood my desire and He cared about my heart. He heard my cry and He knew that I wanted someone but He also knew it wasn’t the time. I remember literally feeling so much comfort that night knowing that God loved me and that I didn’t have to feel alone.

When I decided to have a good attitude and just rest and trust in God, I was able to be a blessing to others, which was what God had intended. I had to give him my doubts and trust that I would have a partner in His timing, but I couldn’t wait for that to happen in order to have joy.

Fast forward to now, many years later, and I am getting ready to celebrate my first Thanksgiving as a married woman with my husband. God knows how much joy I feel in being able to say that! I feel blessed to have one more thing to be grateful for. But I will be honest and say this is not the source of my joy. This is an added blessing to my life that is already complete in Jesus. I think we always have to be careful when we put all of our joy into an event, a person, or an experience. Jesus desires to be the source of our joy.

God began to work on my heart years before I met my husband. I had to learn to be content on holidays, and focus on blessing others around me. My mentality changed from focusing on what I lacked, to thinking — How can I help someone this holiday? Is there someone depressed that needs encouragement? Is there someone who is struggling and needs my prayers? How can I bring joy to my family during this holiday and minimize their stress? How can I show the love and and peace of God to my family members? How can I serve others who don’t have any family to celebrate with or maybe don’t have food to eat? When you think like that, you don’t have time to feel alone.

When you are filled with God’s love, you show that to others around you and that becomes your focus.

I realize it is easier to just force a relationship with someone at the expense of not having to be “alone.” I feel that this is unfortunately something our society does often, and it is something I have done as well. If that is something you are doing right now so you don’t feel the sting of loneliness, I want to challenge you to evaluate your decision. Is it worth it to have someone who you know isn’t God’s best for you, just to say you have something? Or just to temporarily fill a void? Are you with that person for reasons that are truly beneficial to your life, or are you just using that person?

Being honest with yourself will save you a lot of pain in the future, and a lot of unnecessary heartache.

Yes it is hard to be single sometimes, but it is even harder to force a relationship that you know isn’t for you. You can also bring pain in your life if you are constantly dating guy after guy because you don’t know how to be alone for any amount of time. Doing this doesn’t give God a chance to really work on your heart.

I want to challenge you to do what is hard for you right now, so that later you can reap the benefits of patience. Learn how to face the loneliness now so that you can have joy in the future. When we are not patient and rush things, we bring trouble on ourselves. Often times God wants to heal us, and do something special within us, but we are so focused on wanting a relationship that we miss the lesson he is trying to show us when we are single. When we are single is when he has our undivided attention.

If you are going through the experience and feelings that I went through, please know that you are not alone! When you decide to surrender your heart to God, He will come in and encourage you, heal you, and love on you in a way you never thought possible. His love for you is stronger than any person could ever give you.

If you feel pressure this holiday to be with a partner, choose to believe that God does have someone for you- but know that worrying about it and dwelling on it won’t make it come any sooner. This world does a good job of making us focus on what we don’t have. Don’t let the pressures of this life and your own emotions bring you down. Choose to have joy instead. You can choose how you feel – we always have more power over our emotions than what we realize. We get to pick what we are going to give our attention to.

You can choose to give your attention to loneliness, or choose to give it to God and dwell instead on the promises He has for your life.

Why not focus on all that you have right now? Make a list of blessings and read over it daily. Make a list of all God has done for you this year. I’m sure there are battles you have won, obstacles you have overcome, no matter how hard this year was for you— choose to see the silver lining. Train your mind to focus on those things when you feel something is lacking. God is good and you can trust Him. He knows that maybe you feel depleted or defeated, but if you ask Him, He will give you His strength. You can overcome loneliness, and ANY other difficulty,  with Him on your side.

Trust in His ways and His plans and allow yourself to be immersed in His love. Choose to be a blessing and to serve those around you, and later He will give you that added blessing your heart desires!

Psalm 34:10:  “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”

Psalm 25: 3: “No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame…”

Isaiah 49:23: “…Then you will know that I am the Lord, those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”

The Comparison Game

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Spend time everyday scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and other social media apps and see how you feel over an extended period of time.  Does it uplift you? Does it encourage you? Does it edify you? What are you feeding yourself by spending your time on social media?

Have you taken time to ask yourself the question:

 What is social media doing to my heart?

On my Instagram and Facebook accounts, I purposely try to follow people who post Bible verses and inspirational messages, as well as Christian preachers and ministers. I do this because this is what I want my heart filled with, this is what makes me better and lifts me up. If I’m upset or emotional, I will often find a video of someone like Heather Lindsey or another woman preacher that has a video about those topics and it encourages me. If I’m struggling with lack of faith, I will often see a post by Pastor Tony Evans or Steven Furtick, among many others, and their words help to strengthen my faith.

As a disclaimer, I’m not saying those things should substitute praying or reading the Bible for myself- but these things are added bonuses.

I had to delete a lot of friends who posted statuses of themselves constantly complaining, using curse words, gossiping and slandering others, posting immoral videos and memes, sexual pictures, all kinds of things that I consider negative. Why? Because I don’t want my heart filled with that stuff. I know that if I see that everyday, I’m consuming it and I don’t want to waste my time focusing on things like that. It affects me and brings me down.

“Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.”

Proverbs 4:23 

The Bible tells me to guard my heart, so that means I have to take care of it and protect it from anything that will come against the type of person that I want to be. It’s my heart’s desire to be pure and to follow God wholeheartedly, so exposing myself to drama or negativity on social media will in one way or another mess that up. The verse in Proverbs says everything we do flows from our hearts. Once something enters my heart, that becomes a part of me. My heart is who I truly am on the inside, and so I need to have my guard up.

You may think to yourself, “Well, I don’t follow drama or negativity on social media so I’m fine..”

Maybe you have an awesome friends list, but let’s reflect for a moment about all the  stuff that social media is used for. Everyone posts their “highlight reel”- meaning- everyone posts the GOOD stuff in their lives: happy vacations, new babies, promotions, weddings, and any other amazing life event you can think of.

Let’s say a great couple you know of just bought a new house in a wonderful neighborhood. Your best friend just finished medical school. Your neighbor just went on a trip to an exotic location. One of your close friends went out to an awesome concert that looked like a great time, but you got no invitation. These are things we see all the time on social media. How is it making everyone feel?

An overwhelming amount of people I talk to (who are very honest) say it makes them feel jealous, it makes them feel like they aren’t doing enough with their lives, and they feel pressure to rush and make things happen, then post their every move. I won’t say that I don’t feel the same at times. If we can all be honest, I think we can admit we have felt that way at one point or another because of social media. Social media can cause us to feel not only jealous but perhaps even slightly depressed  because of constantly looking at images of what seems to be a picture perfect life that everyone else has.

So, what do we do about it? What is the answer to this struggle? I believe there are many.

1.Don’t buy into the lies

NO ONE , and I mean NO ONE has a perfect life, so do not let anyone’s pictures fool you into thinking that. Every success story has some type of struggle attached to it. Your friend just finished medical school? Great news! Celebrate him. You probably have NO IDEA how many countless nights he stayed up late to study, how many days he couldn’t socialize with friends or family because he had to focus, and how much discipline and self-denial it took to make it that far. All you see is a smiling picture, but you DO NOT know what it took to get there.

Your friends, a married couple with a new baby, just got their family photos taken. The baby looks so sweet and angelic. What a beautiful family they are. Meanwhile maybe you are single and wondering when will it be your time to start a family…so your heart  gets sad looking at them. However, you didn’t get to see all the pictures of the baby crying and screaming at the photo shoot, you don’t know the patience it took for them to get the perfect pose. You aren’t at their house when the baby gets sick and wakes up at 3 am crying. You didn’t see the fight that may have happened in the car on the way to get the pictures done. Sure the pictures of the family are perfect, but in reality the family itself is not perfect.

2. Learn to be happy with YOUR portion.

Be happy with YOUR  life! Every success, every answered prayer, every new life event, comes with its own set of trials. You don’t know what everyone is going through behind the scenes because they aren’t showing you. So don’t dwell on what you see. Dwell on yourself and what God is doing in you. If you’re single and see only the married or engaged on your timeline, don’t let it get to you. Understand that God loves you as you are and you have amazing things that He is doing for you in this very moment. God doesn’t want you to waste your time coveting others, so spend your time focusing on Him and HIS will for you.

If you’re struggling with finances and it upsets you when you see people on expensive vacations, focus on getting out of debt. Focus on the promises of God for your life and how God says He is your provider. If you seek Him first, everything you need will come after that. Staring at people’s vacation photos is not going to help you. Make a decision to be content no matter how your finances are right now, and know that they will not always be that way.

3. Take a social media break

If you feel like social media is bringing you down, or you are spending too much time on it, do yourself a favor and just CUT IT OFF for a time, or forever if you don’t feel the need to get it back. Recognize that your emotions, your mental health, and your productivity in life are more important than social media.

While listening to a radio show recently on 91.9, I heard of an experiment done with a group of teens. The teens were not allowed to be on social media for a month or so and then reported on how they felt afterwards. When the experiment was over, all of the teens reported that they generally felt happier and more at peace with their lives.

This should come as no surprise. Teens, adults, no matter the age, social media affects us in both good and bad ways. It’s up to you to decide if it’s effecting you negatively. If it is, I encourage you to take action.

How do you know if you should take a social media break? 

If you’re a believer in Christ and spend more time on social media than praying or in God’s Word, then I’d strongly encourage you to do a social media fast and get back to focusing on God. Scrolling through your timeline will not fill you, and it will not get you where God wants you to be. What will take you further is the disciplined time you spend with just HIM.

If you’re just bored, or even depressed, and go to social media as an addiction, I encourage you to find other hobbies that will actually edify you. Take your issues to God the Father. Seek out a life coach or counselor. Spend more time with family and friends in real life, and ignore the urge to constantly post about it. Spend more time with your kids and get off your phone. Your kids need your attention more than you need likes.

Likes are a form of fake validation. You can get addicted to likes, which is a symptom of constantly desiring approval from man. Man cannot validate you. Only God can truly validate you, and you are already worth so much because you are His son/daughter made in His image. Why seek man’s approval when what really matters is who God says that you are?

Social media is not the answer to anything. Although we can use it for good purposes, it can easily become an addiction and it needs to be dealt with properly. I encourage you to use it in a healthy way, or limit yourself to it.

I leave you with some verses to reflect on…

2 Corinthians 10:12-

Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

Lamentations 3:4 – I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Philippians 4:8 – Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.

Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Proverbs 27:8 Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.


Rescued by Faith

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Have you ever suffered unjustly? Have you felt attacked by others? Have you been overwhelmed by life circumstances, and it seems like there is no way out? You have done what you thought was right but you still seem to be going through many hardships. Maybe you are trying to trust God, but it doesn’t seem like He will come through for you.

I know the feeling of suffering and thinking, “God, why haven’t you changed this situation?” “God, I didn’t deserve this, why is this happening?”

One day while seeking God with these thoughts, I found encouragement from the story of Daniel. Daniel was a man in the Bible who was well liked by King Darius. He had integrity, was honest, trustworthy, and pure. The favor of God was upon Daniel’s life, and he was able to advance in the kingdom. However-this brought on jealousy and there were a group of people determined to be against him.

Daniel 6:3-5 :

Daniel so distinguished himself … by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.  At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel …but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

These men knew that Daniel loved God, so they convinced King Darius to make a law that no one was allowed to pray for the next 30 days, unless they prayed to the king. If anyone disobeyed this, they would be thrown to the lions. Do you think Daniel stopped praying to his God? Of course not…his response is one of true faith, loyalty, and courage:

Daniel 6:10 “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”

Daniel purposely prayed where there was open windows. He was unashamed, unafraid, and did not let what was happening shake his faith or scare him into hiding his dedication to God. He was bold and was operating from a standpoint of faith!

So of course, Daniel faced the consequences….

Daniel 6:16-17

So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.

Daniel had to depend on God during this time. The Bible does not say how Daniel felt. Perhaps he pleaded with God to save him, perhaps he broke down in that den. We can only imagine how someone would truly act in that situation.

The story doesn’t say that he complained because he was put there unjustly. He didn’t fight and try to stop it from happening. He accepted the consequence , and at this time his faith was being severely tested. Would he die at the hand of lions? Or would his God come through and save him?

The next morning, the king went to check the den to see if Daniel was still alive….

Daniel 6:21-23:

Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel,and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

As the story ends, we see that Daniel was rescued by God. God came through and worked on His behalf. God showed, as He has time and time again, that He is faithful.

So what does Daniel have to do with your life story?

Could it be that you are suffering in this moment -not because you necessarily did something wrong, but because your faith is being tested? Did you know that when you pass those faith tests, you actually become stronger?

When you choose to trust God instead of complain about what is happening to you, you allow God to work in your situation. Often we cannot get out of a situation because we keep dwelling on it and speaking negative things about it, allowing ourselves to be discouraged. When actually, God wants us to TRUST HIM with it. God wants us to speak faith. God wants us to know He WILL come through for us.

Sometimes it takes being thrown in a pit to find God and learn those types of lessons. Your faith in God is what will pull you out of that pit! Keep on believing ! He is not done with you yet. God will show up on time for you. He will deliver you. He will rescue you.

God delights in showing His people who He is. He just wants us to believe Him. He wants us to believe that He is who He says He is! Over and over in the Bible, there are stories that demonstrate God’s power and His desire for His people to truly trust Him and believe. The Word tells us to stop striving, and know that He is God.

Fight in prayer instead of fighting the situation on your own. Instead of relying on your own understanding, your own wisdom, your own plan, begin to rely on God. You cannot rescue yourself, you need to let Him do it.

Put down your sword, your anger, your pride, and stop fighting against God. The only way through certain situations is to lay them down and let Him fight for you. You can get a lot further in life once you begin to trust Him instead of yourself.

What would have happened if Daniel tried to fight those lions? Imagine if he tried to close their mouths all on his own. Would we have a different outcome of this story? Of course we would. You see, Daniel had to understand he was no competition for those lions. They were much larger and stronger than Him. He had no choice but to rely on His God, the only One who could save Him.

There is only one God who can save you, who can help you, who can rescue you out of whatever situation is going on in your life right now that is too much for you to bear. Do you know this God? Do you truly believe He can do the impossible? Do you want to know Him and begin to believe that?

Then I encourage you to open the Word of God for yourself, study more about Daniel, and let it strengthen your faith. The Bible was written for us to grow , for us to learn about the character of God, and for us to learn how to live life on earth while preparing for eternity. Ask God to show you more stories in his Word that you can learn from, more stories that can speak to your situation.

God longs to speak to you, He waits for you to welcome Him in, He longs to draw near to you and show you His love. He is worthy to be trusted. Believe in that today.






For Those Who are Hurting

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There will be many times in life when we don’t understand God’s plan and His ways. I can’t pretend that I have never gotten angry with God and told Him life wasn’t fair. In my anger I have asked Him why He allows us to go through so much pain in life and why sometimes He does not stop the pain.

Sometimes when you are a believer, you think you should be immune to pain and suffering. It seems like the equation should be: I love God, I pray, I obey- therefore I should have a great life that is pain-free.  God should answer all of my prayers and things should go my way!

However, the truth is- Jesus actually promises that we will have trouble in this life. But He also provides a word of encouragement:

 John 16:33

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

At the end of the day, I have to surrender  my pain and my questions to the only One who can provide me the true peace that my soul desires. In the depths of my heart, I understand that as humans we are very limited in our understanding. There will always be things that happen which have no explanation or logical reasons. I have to make that decision to trust God even when He does not give me answers. I have to trust that God is still good, and still faithful.

Psalm 46:10

“Be still and know that I am God…”

He is a God who turns ashes into beauty, mourning into dancing, and sorrow into joy.

“You have turned my mourning into dancing for me;
You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy…” Psalm 30:11 

His Word says that ALL things work together for the good of those who love him, who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28). Not just some things, but ALL things! That’s a powerful promise.

The truth is that some of our questions will never be answered this side of heaven. But we can take comfort in knowing that God is with us in our pain, in our mess, in our heartache. He does not delight to see us suffer; God is not a cruel taskmaster sitting up in heaven pushing our buttons to see how much we can take.

God sees, He understands, He knows. He comforts, He strengthens, He guides. He is a very present help in time of trouble. Will you trust Him today with your pain? Though He may not tell you why you went through it, He can restore you and use your pain to make you strong. He can use it to help others who are going through the same pain, and He can use it to create something beautiful in your life. It is sometimes in our greatest sorrow that we feel closest to God.

Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

I want to encourage you to come to the Lord with your brokenness today. Will you run to Him? He is waiting for you. Aren’t you tired of running to other things when you are hurting- things that you think will numb your pain? When will you stop running to a bottle, a club, a vacation, an unhealthy relationship, sex, money- or whatever it is you use to fill your voids? Those things cannot heal you, those things will not give you answers, those things will not give you the peace you need.

I don’t know the pain you have been through and I don’t know why you had to go through it. But I know the One who can give you peace in your chaos and He is waiting with arms open wide to carry you through this valley. Don’t wait another second, run to Him today.

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Giving it to God

A few weeks ago I was praying and listening to worship music. As I was praying I felt worried, heavy, and just overwhelmed by the problems that filled my mind as I prayed for them one by one. I was praying because I wanted God to do something about my circumstances, to help the people I was praying for, and to help me be at peace.

However, it got to the point that it felt  like a burden to pray. I thought, Why am I pleading with God so often to help these people and “fix” my circumstances? Is He really listening? Is He really working? Sometimes when I pray, it feels like the stress just fills my mind as I desperately ask God to help me. I do not feel the peace I want but I end up being irritated because I feel like God is not working fast enough.

On that particular day a few weeks ago, God showed me that when I pray, I am merely just telling Him what is going on and asking Him to work on my behalf. I am not really giving Him the situations, I am not laying down the burdens, and I am not really putting anything in His hands. I actually keep everything in my own hands. No wonder why I feel so stressed and irritated!

See the thing is- God wants our burdens. He wants us to give Him the weight. He wants us to trust Him enough to lay down everything at His feet and not carry it ourselves.

So in that moment  while praying- I felt lead to do this: I took out my journal, and on one page I wrote down what I was praying about. I wrote names of people I was praying for, and wrote down words such as “anxiety, insecurity, negativity, fear” – things I personally struggle with and pray for. I wrote down the things that were burdening me in short phrases and words.

Then on top of all those words, in huge letters, I wrote :


That name was written so large it filled the page, and it was bigger than everything I wrote down. I could not see everything I wrote anymore, because the name of Jesus was covering it all.

As soon as I wrote “JESUS”, I felt God’s presence in a special and powerful way. I felt a breakthrough.  That moment reminded me that if we focus more on Jesus than the problems, the circumstances, and the personal struggles-He truly covers it all, if you let Him.

And He is truly bigger than it all. Our problems are nothing in comparison to His great power. If God split the sea in half, knows the stars by name, knows every hair on your head, why would He not work on your behalf? Why would He not answer your prayers in His way, His timing, and work it all out for your good?

Where is your focus today? What is heavy on your heart? Is it bills that you cannot pay? A family member who has passed away?  A job that is stressing you out? A struggle in your mind and emotions that you cannot seem to overcome? Whatever it is, I just want to encourage you to lay it at the feet of Jesus.

He knows, He is aware, He understands. Let Him cover you today. Lift your eyes from the battles, and put them on Him instead. Your circumstances may not change right away. You may still be in the heat of the struggle, but remember who walks with you and goes before you.

Isaiah 43:2 

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Remember who is holding your hand through it all. Remember how He was faithful in the past , and He will continue to be faithful in the future. Remember. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Remember.

Tell yourself it is well with your soul. Speak it over yourself, say it until you believe it with all of your heart. The same God who created the universe lives in your heart and is waiting for you to give Him your burdens.

He does not delight to see us suffering, struggling, and trying to solve our problems on our own. God delights when we run to Him. He is our Daddy, Abba Father, Best friend. He holds the world in His hands. Princes and kings are but a breeze in comparison to the power He holds. I don’t know about you, but that is pretty exciting to me! We have a Good, Good Father who is ready to love on us and take all that is weighing us down.

I want to leave you with these words that I feel God put in my heart. He says,

“Give it to me. I know you are sick, give it to me. I know you are heartbroken, give it to me. I know you are jobless, give it to me, I know you are busy, give it to me. Will I not work out your battles? Will I not fight for you? Will I not carry you through the fire? Why do you think I will let you down? I am your God, I will not let you down. I turn ashes into beauty. I turn sorrow into joy. You are upset because things do not go your way right away, but you have to trust that I am working. I am always working. My son/ daughter, You are not alone. Trust in Me. I am God and you are not. Just trust in Me.”


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Dear Single Woman…

Let me encourage your heart today with my story. When I was a teenager, I thought I had my life all figured out- I’d graduate college at 22, get married by 25 years old, and then have some kids and start real life!

Fast forward to reality: I just turned 33 in August and got married a few months later. In our society today, women cringe at the thought of reaching 30 and not being married. When it was my 30th  birthday, I was affected by the pressure of society to have a partner and I allowed it to make me depressed because I was single. I thought to  myself, surely at 30 years old no man would want me. I was getting older, who would be interested? But that was SO far from the truth. At 31 years old I met my now husband, and he is the best man I could have ever dreamed of having in my life.

What I’ve learned is that it truly DOES NOT MATTER what society tries to push on you. When God has something for you, it’s for you. Period. Society does not get to dictate how your life should be, God does. And things always happen in His perfect timing.

God knew that in my 20’s I was not ready for marriage. As I look back, it makes more sense to me now. My 20’s was a time where I focused on getting my education, and also focused on knowing who I really was. I found out what my talents and gifts were and I was able to learn how to do ministry. It was a time where I failed a lot in personal relationships, but was able to make many life long friendships, and was able to get closer to my family members as well. I also went on mission trips and got my first full time teaching job.

Every time I tried to date someone, it didn’t work out. Every time I tried to force a relationship, I just ended up hurt. Many times I knew I should avoid certain men, but I didn’t listen to God’s warnings because the voice in my head,“You cannot be alone, you shouldn’t be alone,” was louder than anything else. Eventually my plans came to ashes and time and time again I found myself on my knees begging God’s forgiveness. I always found Him right there with me ready to pick up my pieces and heal me, telling me , “I still love you, Lori, I love you so much, I love you so much..”

Looking back on my life, I realize that every time I would get out of a relationship, I became stronger, closer to God, and more focused. I also got more accomplished when I was just focused on me and God, not me and a man.

The sweetest memories of my life are being in God’s presence, just me and Him, as He poured out His love on me and showed me that He is enough to fill me even if no man ever came into my life. He is my Creator, Redeemer, my All in All, my King. He died for my sins when I didn’t deserve it, and repeatedly forgives me as I mess things up time and time again. He chose me when I rejected Him, and still chooses me no matter what I do. He has shown me what true love is. Though I have a hard time receiving it and many times try to turn away from it, He still so graciously offers it to me. It’s incredible. God is love, He is the author of love and the only reason why love exists.

I think throughout all these years God has been trying to show me that in order to give real love to someone else, I needed to grasp how much He loves me first. I also believe that it was God’s will for me to be single because that is how I am able to completely focus on Him, with no distractions. I understand Paul when he writes these verses-

1 Corinthians 7: 32-35: 

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1: 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Be aware that sometimes God needs your attention in a season of your life, and He wants you to be single. Maybe during that season He needs to heal your heart from the past, or work on sins that you struggle with. If you try to skip that season and force your way into a relationship, you will constantly end up frustrated and with unnecessary hurt. I would like to encourage you to trust that God knows what He is doing in your life. He made you and knows what you need more than you do. Maybe you really want a relationship right now, but He is saying,

“I want to show my love to you in this season, just you and Me.”

Don’t skip out on that, it’s the most beautiful thing you can ever have!

I realize that some women get married young and that is God’s will for their lives. That’s wonderful, and it teaches me that God works differently with everyone. I know some young couples  who help each other achieve their goals and help them get close to God. That’s a beautiful thing.

However, it’s up to you to figure out what God is calling you to right now. Is He calling you to be single at this time in your life? If so, ignore what the world tries to push on you. Ignore your family and even friends that may say ‘You need a man’ and ‘When are you having kids? You’re not getting any younger.”  People will always have something to say, but you need to be more concerned with what God says.

Some women don’t get married until later in life and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with you! Although marriage and children are an incredible blessing from God, they do not equal the ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment.  You were created for the Lord and until you come to that realization and act on it, there will always be some type of frustration deep within you.

Only a relationship with God can satisfy the deepest longings of your heart, whether you are married or single. 

As the famous Saint Augustine said,

You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”


The Key to Finding Contentment

Philippians 4:11-13 :

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Written by the apostle Paul when he was in prison

What does it mean to be content?

Vocabulary.com says “satisfied or showing satisfaction with things as they are.”

Let’s be honest, it’s easy to be content when we get what we want. When the job promotion comes, when we get the engagement ring, the new baby is born, or when we travel to an amazing destination- these are all great moments in life- which naturally cause us to feel satisfied! But the thing about these moments, is that they are temporary. And just as easily as God blesses us with things, is as easy as He can take it away. The Bible says “He gives and takes away”( paraphrase Job 1:21).

I am not saying that you shouldn’t feel content when things go your way. God created us with human emotions/feelings. I am sure that God delights when we are content, just like a mother delights in seeing a smile on her child’s face. However, the issue comes when we feel we can ONLY be content when we are experiencing positive circumstances in our lives. When we feel that way, it breeds discontentment in the seasons of our lives when we do NOT get what we want. It can even make us feel as though God’s favor is over our lives ONLY when good things are happening.
We can learn from the book of Genesis, that God’s favor was always over Joseph’s life. From a young age, he was the favorite son of his father. Yet Joseph endured tremendous amounts of suffering. Sold by his very own brothers and then later thrown into jail after false accusations, he went through many years of trials before God allowed Him to exit from jail and become second in command over Egypt. Joseph went through many different seasons, but in each one God’s hand was over His life.  No matter where Joseph was, he worked hard, he advanced, remained faithful to God, and the Lord elevated him in due time.

I am sure Joseph was not happy all the time going through his trials, but he had to have faith that God was working on something greater in His life than just what his eyes could currently see. He had to have hope that God was going to work it all out for His good. When we begin to hold onto faith, our attitude begins to change. We can be content going through the fires of life because we know that God is faithful and He is with us. It is during times of intense trial that we are called to activate our faith. The Bible teaches us in 2 Corinthians 5:7 to “..walk by faith, not by sight.”

We can also take comfort in the Scripture that says-

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isaiah 43:2 


Where do you find yourself today? Are you at a job you hate? Are people gossiping about you?  Perhaps you have been through a recent heartbreak, or a death in the family. You may be discouraged because you didn’t get the promotion you wanted, or you don’t have the husband you wanted or the beautiful house. Maybe you are struggling with your finances, or you are missing something that you believe you really need right now. Or it could even be that you have everything you have ever wanted, yet still feel unsatisfied!

Let me assure you- whatever the situation is, you can be content! Let’s go back to discussing Paul- if he could be content while he was alone in prison, then contentment is not far from you!

What was the secret Paul spoke of? One word: Christ.

It was Christ who was with him in that prison. It was Christ who was inspiring all the letters Paul was writing to encourage others. Can you imagine being in a prison cell and having the strength to inspire others? That is not something natural. Only the power of Christ could compel someone to do that!

You see, Paul lived two lives. During the first part of his life, Paul knew what it was like to be financially well, to have high status and power. Yet when he gave his life to Christ, Paul began to suffer. Paul was beaten, shipwrecked, went hungry, and came to the end of himself. Paul lived his life coinciding the scripture in which Jesus says,

“Anyone who comes after me must deny themselves and follow me. For anyone who desires to save their life will lose it- but anyone who loses their life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25).

Paul lost many things, but gained Christ through it all. I want to encourage you today to to let Christ be your secret in finding contentment! No matter what situation you face, allow me to assure you that God is at work in your life. Through the good days and bad days, through the mountaintop experiences and the valleys, let His presence make you content. When your eyes are on Him and when you choose to trust Him, you will be satisfied. When you realize that He is all you have, you begin to learn that He is all you need.

Whether that boyfriend leaves you, you lose your job, or your children become rebellious and drive you crazy… You can stand and say “I am content in Christ”. Why? Because you have Him. He is constant, stable, never changing. Circumstances may change, your emotions will change, but He never will. Let Him be your rock.

This is a tough lesson to learn, and it is one I have been learning how to practice in my own life. I believe a big part of it is to not let your attitude be dictated by your circumstances and emotions. Of course God gave us emotions and I’m not saying you should be a robot, but learn to submit your emotions to Christ and give Him full reign over your circumstances. Let Him teach you whatever He is trying to teach you through your trials and tribulations. Trust that He is faithful. He is with you in the storm, He is with you when everyone else leaves you, He is there for you and understands you the way nobody else on this earth can.

His help is available for you at this very moment, as He is waiting for you to let him be on the throne of your life so that you can truly experience what I’m writing about today. Let Him be the one you cling to in order to find the contentment your soul so desperately needs and desires.


The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!



Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Thanks for coming to visit my site! I’m a young Christian professional working as a teacher and living near Washington DC. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, students, exploring the city, reading, volunteering, and eating Peruvian food.

Why I started this blog…

Since I was a little girl I always loved to read and write. I remember being in elementary school writing story after story and loving every second of it. Most of my younger years were spent lost in different books that sparked my imagination. Growing into adolescence, my love for reading never stopped – however , I did stop writing. Fast forward into young adulthood and college, I was forced to write papers but realized that I enjoyed it!

What better way than to mix my two passions- writing and Jesus! My goal for making this blog  is to encourage and inspire women-by my life, failures, strengths, and most importantly-the Word of God.

I am on a journey to love who God has created me to be and hope I can inspire you to do the same. I think if I can give just one person hope- then I have accomplished a lot! I hope you enjoy.