Bittersweet

**Please pray for my family and especially my Granny Becky as we deal with the death of my sweet great uncle, Ed Hatfield. He loved the Lord, and it’s such a blessing that he gets to be with Jesus now.**

Through all the stress and excitement of the school year beginning, I am finding myself overwhelmed. I thought this year would be easy and less busy, but I was completely wrong. Now don’t get me wrong, I love being busy. But man, I’m already feeling run down.

I don’t know why I do this, but I’ve noticed this pattern: when I’m really busy or I have a lot going on, I let myself get so distracted from my time with Jesus. I’ve been trying to handle all these health problems, all of my school duties, all of my responsibilities in other organizations, and even all my church related meetings/events, etc. all on my own. And because I’ve been trying (and failing) to balance it all by myself, it’s week 2 and I’m already having a freak out.

It’s times like these that I am so thankful for. Although I hate getting emotional and feeling stressed, I need these meltdowns to put everything in perspective for me. If not for these moments, I would never fully realize how desperately and deeply I need Jesus.

I’ve been feeling discouraged lately because I’ve been frequently haunted by my past, and by who I was when I was dead in my sin before I was made alive in Christ. There are people from my hometown and such who I know think I’m a fake.”There’s no way she could’ve changed so drastically so quickly.” But what they don’t understand is that it wasn’t me who changed me, it was Jesus.

I know there will always be people who don’t agree with or support my faith an my relationship with Jesus. I’ve even lost some friendships because of my faith. But I have gained so much more, and I know that God rid my life of those friendships because they weren’t for my good and they weren’t helping me grow.

I just need to learn to realize that there will always be folks who are disapproving, and that being a Christian isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. It’s a relationship. And relationships are hard. But there is NOTHING more rewarding than giving your life and putting your hope in Jesus.

“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”
1 Peter 4:16.

On a happier note, autumn is on its way… 🙂

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FAKE.

I am SO SICK of having to be FAKE 90% of the time.
Is anyone else with me? Or is this just me?
Lately I’ve realized how many times in a day that I have to slap on a happy face and pretend like everything’s fine, when really all I want to do is cry or say “actually no, I’m not okay.”
I do have joy in the Lord every day. I really do. But I’m also human. I still feel emotions and I still get my feelings hurt and my heart broken. A lot of the time I pretend to be happy when I’m not so that I won’t worry anyone. Sometimes I fake it so people won’t think I’m crazy or negative.
But man, have I been struggling lately. And I wish I could have someone to confide in about it. I’m tired of the notion that just because I’m a Christian, I should be happy all the time and let people walk all over me.
Like I said, I have joy in the Lord every day. I have joy in Him even when I’m really upset. But I’m always so concerned with loving others and looking happy and looking like a “good Christian” that I’m losing my mind.
I’m so thankful that Jesus is always there for me. I lay all my burdens on Him and He gives me rest. But that rest doesn’t always come at the times when I feel like I need it most.

I wonder if anyone else feels like this.

I wish I could feel like I’m not alone lately. But I do feel so alone.

I know that He will comfort me. I just wish it was happening right now.

Audge

A Particularly Reflective Tuesday

It feels like just yesterday I was 15 years old wasting time in class writing notes about my life. Everything I wanted to do, everything I needed out of life, and everything I knew I could do. I had ambitions bigger than myself, but I always had the determination to succeed.

Not unusually, the goals I had set for myself at the ripe age of 15 were nothing but self centered and naive. “I want to be a starving artist in Manhattan, waiting tables until I get my big break on Broadway.” “I want to be a famous opera singer, traveling all over the world performing the greatest operas an operettas known to man.” “I want to be a college and professional cheerleader, opening my own gym and coaching the best of the best.”

It’s human nature to be selfish obviously, but I’d like to think that my selfishness has subsided a bit since I’ve made my life centered around the Lord instead of myself. I fall short every day still, but that’s part of what makes His mercy so wonderful.

The funny difference between me then and me now (other than the Lord) is the fact that when I was 15, I had it all planned out. I knew what I was good at and what I wanted to do: I was a training opera singer who wanted to settle down and teach high school choir someday. Now? I have no clue what I want to do. And I’m totally okay with it. Sure I have days when it kills me that I’m not in control, and I’m ashamed of that. But I’ve always been in control and have always felt the need to plan every second of my life. The older I get the more I realize how unhealthy and boring that is. And why should I try to take control when the King of the Universe and the author of my destiny knows how it’s all going to turn out?

Being content knowing that He has my best interest at heart is a daily challenge. I’m still selfish as I used to be, but in different ways, mainly because the things I wanted then are not the same things that I want now. For example, one of my greatest ambitions is to be a Christ-centered, loving wife and mother someday.

I used to think that I’d never get married. “I’m too independent…I don’t need a man to cater to day in and day out…I just want to have fun…”

But the Lord has changed the desires of my heart drastically. Now I am so thankful for the day that I can willfully serve and love a man (in the institute of marriage) and help provide for our family. I know that God’s timing is perfect. And I’m confident that if I am called to be a wife and a mother, then that will happen because His plan is perfect. But I’m also accepting the fact that maybe that isn’t my calling. Maybe I’ll be called to serve Him and His gospel overseas.

When you’re a Christian, you have to be okay with not being in complete control of your life. I’ve made a lot of lists, goals, dreams, and decisions over time, and I will continue to do so because I am a passionate person. But I am realizing now that it’s not about me. I know that He will put me exactly where I need to be, and until then, I will bloom where I am planted.

I’m always trying to speed up the clock. Sometimes I want to fast forward 5 or 10 years to when I’m out of school and married and working. But I know that these years in college “on my own” are more crucial than I ever thought. After just one year of college, I am a completely different person than I was a year ago. And I’m so blessed and grateful to see the changes He’s making in me day by day.

I still have goals and ambitions, but I’m confident knowing that He’s in control. He’s the Lord of my life and the strength of my portion…it’s always easier when I just give it to Him and let Him restore and comfort me.

Side note: I am so thankful that He uses our human relationships to reveal Himself to us. If it wasn’t for my loving family, Godly boyfriend, and faithful friends, it would be much more difficult for me to see His love demonstrated. So thank you to all of the people in my life who love me the way He loves me.

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