Holding onto What isn’t Mine

“Lord, help me to let go of what isn’t mine to hold.” ~ November 16, 2021

I found myself there again. Holding onto the things that aren’t mine. My hands were gripped tightly. The past kept coming up to haunt me. I felt so trapped in my mind and sleep was not easy. Somehow I have been going through life and getting really good at this suppressing game. I focus so hard on staying busy with everything but on the inside, I’m crumbling.

I’m ready again, to give all to God again, to let go of the tight grip I’ve had on things. It all came to a point the other day. I rode my bike to the spot. I wrote in my journal. I prayed to God. I didn’t know what to say, but I know He could read my mind. I surrendered again.

I’m tired, tired of holding onto my past like it’s a secret. There are so many in my life that I haven’t told about my painful past and how it still haunts me. Is it wrong to keep it all in? It’s almost been a full year, is it time to share? Will sharing be another step in the healing? But how do I share my hurts without putting myself in the spotlight and making it look like I’m asking for pity? So many questions. But I know that God sees and God hears.

These are just thoughts. I don’t have much of a purpose for this post other than to let out some of the thoughts that have been circling in my mind. I’ve been asking those in my life to pray for God to give me peace. I have been guilty of dwelling on the past too much and it’s been a struggle to take every thought captive. I know that I need His strength each day and I want to have His peace again.

So here I am, simply asking that God would help me as I surrender again to Him. I want to hold my life again with open hands.

Ebb and Flow

Reposting this post today because it still applies and it’s a good reminder 🙂

You wanna know the honest truth about life in the hard seasons?

One day you may feel amazing and so happy. You reach these highs and have the fullest sense of peace and joy. And then the next day you are back in the valley. Feelings of hurt, sadness, disappointment, and grief are back. A few days ago I knew I was right in the will of God. I felt so much peace and joy in Christ. I knew exactly what God was leading me to do and I did it. Now as the gravity of what I did sinks in, I’m somewhat surprised to find myself feeling kinda sad again.

This idea has been in my head the past few days. Feelings Ebb and flow. They come and they go. We feel good and happy one day and then we feel sad again and that’s normal. The more I walk down this long path of uncertainty and surrendered desires, I’m realizing that I can’t always trust any of my feelings. My feelings would have lead me down a dark and hard road if I followed them.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to feel certain ways. I can’t always stop myself from feeling happy or sad. I can’t change my circumstances either. But I find this to be helpful. When I’m in the valley, there is one thing I can change. I can change my view. I choose to acknowledge my feelings and then I take them to God. I remind myself that God is with me and He is the one who lead me to this valley. When I look to God instead of my feelings I find peace in knowing that God has a purpose for each and every hard season I walk through. I find strength in the unchanging nature of God that gives me clarity over all of my changing feelings.

So all I’m trying to say in this post is that feelings ebb and they flow. If you felt so happy and content in God one day and then your down in the dumps again the next day, don’t stress yourself out. God is still with you even though your feelings may have changed. Choose to set your eye’s back on God when the days get hard again. Find comfort in God who is your Rock. Don’t forget all the ways he is leading you and caring for you and choose to trust that he will keep leading you and caring for you. The place your at and even the feelings you experience all have a good and perfect place in God’s plan for your life. Choose to walk with God through the good feelings and the bad ones, understanding that they will ebb and flow, and that’s okay.

Another Year

Another year has come and gone. 

I can’t believe that November is here again and today (Nov. 8) is my *ahem* *ahem* birthday.  I’m another year older and another year wiser, right?   I have officially crossed over the halfway through my twenties mark.  And I thought twenty-five was a hard number to swallow, now I have to get used to saying twenty-six.  I’m officially in my late twenties, and I don’t know how I feel about this.

But if there is anything I’ve learned about getting older it is that you can’t do anything about it. You can’t freeze time and stay the same age.  You can’t go back in time and change the choices you made.  The only thing you can do is move forward.

Looking back at my life there are a lot of things I wish I could change.  A lot of choices I made that led to heartache and heartbreak. This past year particularly was not an easy one for me. Exactly one year ago I was in pure bliss. I was newly engaged and life was just… perfect. My phone keeps showing me pictures from last year and it’s pictures of my smiling face, my beautiful ring (but none of him because I deleted all of those ones).

I had no idea that when I celebrated my birthday and engagement last year how it was going to end. I had no idea that in just a few months it would all fall apart. I was oblivious to the deep darkness and hurt that was soon to follow. But I can say this. All the pain that I walked through led to something that was unexpected.  The closeness I have found with Jesus this year is a gift I never imagined would be mine.  Jesus has walked with me so closely this year and I wouldn’t go back and change anything because all of it lead me closer to my sweet savior.

Just the other day I was chatting with my mom saying that so much has happened this year that never would have happened if things went as planned. All of my writings were a direct result of the pain I was walking through. God spoke to me so clearly about what to write about during my hurt. I began serving and following Christ with a new boldness and fervor than I had before. I’m not the same naive Christian I was when I turned twenty-five. No, I am growing and maturing more and more in my walk. God is becoming dearer and dearer to me and I’m beginning to want only Him more and more.

Even though this past year was one of the hardest seasons of my life, it was also filled with so much joy.  I found purpose and passion in writing this year.  I made many new friends and I reconnected with many old friends which has brought so much joy to my life.  I had one of the busiest summers of my life packed full of serving opportunities, including spending a week up in Oregon serving my first time at a Joni and Freinds Family Camp.  I flew by myself for the first time this year and also planned a successful Disney trip with my sister (huge adulting points for this one!).  I explored many new hiking trails, including an amazing backpacking trip in the Trinities for the first time.  And that just briefly touches on a few of the many good things that came out of this year.

Now, as I stand at the end of this year, and after seeing all the good things that came out of this year, if you were to tell me that twenty-five would be the hardest year of my life, it would be hard to believe you.  But there is a saying I believe I’ve heard somewhere.  “Out of great pain comes great joy.”  Or at least I think that’s how the saying goes.  This has been my beauty from ashes year.  My year where through great pain I have found the greatest joy.

And now as I look forward to twenty-six, I’m excited to see where God will lead me.  God has captured my heart in new ways this year!  What will he teach me next?  What new things will this next year have for me? How will God grow me and change me?

Another year older.  It’s not that scary anymore.  Not when you realize that God is the one directing our steps and leading us on.  Here’s to Twenty Six!

Next Steps

Healing is a process.

Sometimes it seems as if it is a never-ending process. You take one step, you have peace. Then you have unrest again and the hurts return. You realize there is another step you must now take. So you take that step and the peace comes back. And on and on this cycle goes. Each step making the heart hurt a little less. Each step bringing new clarity and direction into your life.

I’m still in this cycle. Still healing and learning how to move on with my life. This week God showed me the next step – forgiveness.

In my Bible study, we have been going through the book of Matthew and this week I have been reading the Sermon on the Mount. The other day as I was reading the notes for chapter 5 when I felt a huge sense of conviction fall on my soul. The verses in Matthew where Jesus tells us to make right and reconcile with our brother before we worship God stared blazingly at me.

“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar. First, go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 6:23-24

I knew what God was telling me. In that moment, I knew it was God whispering the words into my soul that this was the next step. For the longest time I have been telling myself when the time is right, I’ll seek some sort of reconciliation for the way things ended, but not now, not yet. But Jesus’ word hit me deep. He says in order to have pure worship we need to make amends and we need to not wait. Oh how much I desire to have a pure heart before God. I knew I couldn’t wait any longer.

So I took the next step. I sought out forgiveness for any wrongs I have done in the breaking up of the relationship. As a sister in Christ, I wanted to seek forgiveness for any way I didn’t act in line with God. I know in my hurt I hurt him and I don’t want to be held accountable on judgment day for doing nothing about it. I also felt the need to tell him that I truly do forgive him for all the hurt and pain that his sin caused me. This has been a hard step, but a freeing one. I do not want to hold onto any anger and bitterness in my heart for the way things ended.

And just like that, I had peace again. I had joy again. I felt a new freedom and lightness in my soul. Because I did it. I took the next step. I heard God speak to and tell me what to do and I obeyed. My heart is moving forward again in this long and hard journey of healing. And I’m thankful for God who keeps being faithful to show me the way and when to take each step.

(just a note that because this was a difficult situation and I know that it would not be wise to do this in person or have him back in my life in any way, it was done by a letter, not in person. My seeking forgiveness is not changing any of the decisions I have had made about ending our relationship, but I believe it is a necessary step for my conscience to have peace before God.)

Re-direction

I am learning something.

Sometimes it takes a huge setback or life change to get us back to God and onto His path again.

Last week I felt lost, so lost. A lot of stuff was suddenly ending in my life and I felt so confused. I cried out to God because I didn’t know what else to do. And do you know what’s amazing! It’s amazing what a week can do when you decide to trust God and seek him in everything. I still am unsure about a lot of things in my life, but I feel like God’s been showing me each day what steps to take. My feelings of confusion have been replaced by God’s peace.

This past week I’ve been noticing that God has slowly been guiding me down a new path, in a new direction. I still don’t know where this is all going, but I feel God’s peace again. There is a sense of contentment again in my soul and I don’t feel the sense of despair and confusion anymore. This is a such a beautiful blessing from God to have this peace and I’m just so thankful.

Anyway though, I just wanted to say that I find it interesting how I suddenly have this overwhelming sense of redirection in my life right after going through another season of confusion and hurting. It seems to me that it is during the times in life, when we are at our lowest, that God really speaks to us and shows us what to do. When my life is good and full it’s hard to know what God is telling me. But when I’m hurting or feeling lost, God always makes the next steps clear to me. Break-ups, cancelled plans, broken dreams… these are quite often the means that God uses to bring re-direction into our lives.

I hope and pray that whatever it is you are walking through, will also lead you to a new sense of trusting God and following Him down the new path He is laying out for you. Redirection is not a bad thing when it is from the Lord. It may take some hard times and unwanted circumstances to get us back on the right path. But our God is faithful and He use’s everything we go through for His good purposes in our lives.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

Proverbs 16:9

Here We Go Again…

Here we go again

I feel like I’m back to where I started. I was making progress and I was pretty sure I finally knew where God was leading me. Things were starting to fall into place and my life was beginning to take on a new direction. But then it all ended. Just like that, I am back where I started. Here I am again, not sure what God is doing in my life. The return of feeling lost and lonely have also been overwhelming.

I keep crying out to God, my desire isn’t bad. I simply want to fall in love and be in love again. I long to have someone in my life who will love me and who I can love in return. I’m tired of this waiting game and there are times when I literally feel like I can hear the clock slowly ticking ticking away. Is it not wrong that I just want to start a family together before I get much older and find myself in love again. I wish I could tell my past to stop coming back to my mind and reminding me of everything I lost.

Yes, I’m here again. I’m sad and struggling again with feeling depressed and it doesn’t help that I’ve also been recovering from Covid. My body has just been so weak and tired and I’m finally starting to get back to some sort of normal again. But the fatigue from Covid is no joke.

Maybe I need to take more time to look on the bright side some more. I’ve been here before so I know I can get through another hard season of waiting. I’m still young, even though I’m over halfway through my twenties. Yes, I didn’t get a love story when I wanted it (right out of highschool would’ve been prefurred) but I’m still in my twenties and still young. There is still plenty of time for God to write me a love story so that I can raise a family someday. I have a family that loves me and supports me even when I feel lost. They provide for me and don’t pressure me to leave even through I wish I could’ve been out starting my own home already. And I know I have a God who loves me still and is with me. God has a plan for everything I walk through even this. Somehow writing out these things helps me to stay focused.

So yes, here I am again. I know I’m not over this yet and I still have many hard days ahead. But I will not lose heart. I will keep moving forward and keep waiting on God.

The other day, I felt so lost but I was listening to the song “It is well.” I suddenly felt overwhelmed and tears flowed down my cheeks. I verbally said out loud to God – “Okay, God, If I never fall in love and get married, it is well with my soul. It is well.” And that’s how I want to end this post. As much as I want God to bring these things into my life, I can’t demand them. I can’t make them work with the wrong people. So I am learning to say that it is well, it is well with my soul, whatever the path the Lord takes me down.

But I’m not gonna lie, a little direction would sure be nice.

An Aching Heart

My heart hurts

My heart hurts, but it doesn’t hurt for me, it hurts for this world. Oh how it aches. I feel as if all of sudden there is so much pain and injustice in this world. One by one things are happening that are causing my heart to break. My heart hurts for all that is happening in Afghanistan, for a fire that is raging near my old hometown, for a dear friend recovering in the hospital, and for a young innocent life that was suddenly taken away too soon.

I don’t understand why God allows all these things that are going on. I know that there is nothing new under the sun and today’s evils are no different than yesterday’s evils. But so many of these things seem to happening all at once and so many the things that are happening are hitting so close to my heart.

I have been on my knees in prayer because honestly, there is nothing else I can do. All I want to do is pray for God’s justice to be done, for God’s peace to be given, and for God’s kingdom to come. Each hard thing is a reminder that this place is not our home. This world we live in is broken. Not only does my heart ache in pain over all the things happening in this world and all the evil, but it aches for that better place. That place where there will no longer be any of this pain. The place where a friend of mine is now residing. A place where day and night we will get to worship our King and be in His presence.

More and more I am finding myself longing for more of Him and for that day when we get to be with Him. If the evils of this world cause your heart to hurt, you are not the only one. It’s okay to let our hearts ache and hurt rightfully at all the evil in this world. But may it cause us to pray and long more for the day when we will be with our God forever.

Blind Trust

Something is happening.

I don’t know what it is.

I was overwhelmed with feeling.

I was crying out to God.

I distinctly told him that I felt so lost.

But I decided to keep on trusting in Him and hold onto the fact that He is good, even when I feel this way.

And then while I was feeling lost and crying out to God he started to do something. God brought a couple of new things into my life suddenly. It’s quite strange how suddenly it happened and I honestly don’t know what to do or where this is going.

But I’m learning to simply trust that God is at work in all things, even the things that I don’t understand. I’m learning that sometime God asks us to trust Him blindly. To put aside all our insecurities and have a heart that is open to new possibilities, new ideas, and new directions.

To trust God blindly doesn’t mean we throw wisdom out the door, it just means that we follow God even when we don’t completely understand what is at work.

Trusting God blindly is what he is asking me to do right now. It’s scary and exciting at the same time. But I know God will be with me and reveal to me what I am to do.

Oh how thankful I am that when I truly choose to trust in Him and follow Him, I don’t ever have to worry about Him leading me down the wrong path. God is faithful. I will trust Him 🙂

A Desire to be Held

I have a ache in my heart

I long to be loved, and cherished and held. For awhile now I’ve praying each day that God would bring a guy into my life, in His timing of course, who will show me true Godly love and who will cherish everything about me. I desire a man who truly loves God first above all other things and who will be open and honest instead of hiding things. A man who won’t hurt me, but will hold me.

And as I’ve been thinking about all these things I remembered that a few years ago I wrote a few things down on my phone about this desire I have to be held. So I thought I’d share the reflections and scripture verses I wrote down with you today:

“Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!”

Psalm 119:117

I read this psalm the other day and all I can think about are the words “hold me”. They just stood out to me. The psalmist is experiencing a season of hardship and here he is crying out to God saying “hold me, that I may be safe.”

I find that there are times in my life where I want to be held. I don’t have a man in my life to hold me and let me just be honest with you all, it can be hard some days. There is a strong ache in my heart for someone to hold me and tell me it’s gonna be okay. I want to be re-assured everything will be okay, that I’ll be safe, and that I don’t have to worry. To simply have strong arms wrap around me tightly and promise to never let me go. To often I find myself getting sad, because, as a single girl, I feel left out.

But, I saw something as I read this psalm. I realized that God will hold me when I am feeling sad. When I cry out to God in my need He comes and comforts me. He cradles me with his love and says he will never leave me.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Deuteronomy 31:8

When God holds me, I know I’m safe. The safest place for me to be is in His arms. God’s arms are strong and He can protect me from all my troubles and all the evils of the world.

“Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7

So, I just wanna say, that it’s okay to desire to be held. It’s actually quite normal. We were created to have this desire in us. But we must be careful so that we don’t end up looking for it in the wrong places. My desire to be held should lead me to God – my loving heavenly father who will never stop lavishing me in His love.

Do you desire to be held? Even if you have someone to hold you on your hard days, you will never be able to find perfect rest in anyone other than God. When that desire comes, take it to God. Ask him to hold you and then rest in his great love for you.

Oh, what a beautiful thing, that our great God holds us! He will sustain us through whatever season we face. I’m gonna cry out to him just like the psalmist did in this passage. Will you do so too?

“Cast your burden on the Lord , and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Psalm 55:22

In God’s timing and in God’s way, I still pray that God will bring me a Godly man to love me. But as I wait I want to find my worth in God. God cherishes me like no man here on earth can. God loves me better than any human could. God will never hurt me like the relationships here on earth do. God is the one who holds me and I’m so thankful for this truth.

Another in the Fire

I believe that God’s timing is in everything, even the days we read certain stories in the Bible.

The other day I read the story in the bible where Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego were thrown in the fiery furnace. I have been reading through the prophets one chapter a day and this was where I was that day; Daniel 3. I have been feeling a bit sad and lonely and as I read the story I found so much encouragement for my heart. The story wasn’t new to me, I’ve heard this story so many times in my life. I grew up watching the classic veggie tales rendition of this story too many times to count. But after reading it afresh, the story hit me in a new way. What stood out to me the most in this passage was actually not the bold and fearless faith these three men had, but how they responded when they were in the furnace and that there was a fourth man with them.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Daniel 3:24-25

A song instantly popped into my head as I read this story (I have the song attached at the bottom e of this page). Maybe you know the song already. It’s “Another in the Fire” by Hillsong. I kept thinking about how amazing of a truth it is that there is another in the fire with us! Each trial and hardship we face, we are not alone. There is another with us, and that person is Jesus Christ.

I listened to this song in my room and let my heart worship God. Suddenly I felt so overwhelmed just thinking about all my hurt and pain that I had walked through and the realization struck me that God was there with me through all of it. There was not a single day of my heartbreak where God was distant from me and I know that there will not be a single day moving forward where He will leave me. Oh how thankful my heart is that God has been with me every step of the way through this fire.

But There is also one more thing that really stood out to me in this story. Not only was God with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were in the fire, but they were unbound and unharmed the entire time they were in the fire. When they came out of the furnace there was not even a single trace of fire on them;

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

Daniel 3:26-27

I think that this is such an amazing thing that these three men were not hurt in any way. In a sense, you could say they were thriving while in the fire. I can’t help but have this picture in my head of them laughing and having the best of time while in the fire with Jesus. And this can be so true of us too! I have had people tell me that I am doing so well considering how much of an emotional hardship I experienced. It’s really only been few months but I have been receiving so much healing that it is hard to believe how short of an amount of time truly has passed. My relationship with God has been on an upward climb ever since I entered into this fire. I’m not saying this trial in my life has been easy, but I can say with all my heart that this trial has been the sweetest time I’ve ever had with Jesus.

You guys, this is truth; the fires in our life are good. God has a reason and purpose for all the fires we must walk through in life. Sometimes He doesn’t tell us the reason why, but we can always trust Him. The fires grow us closer to God and allow others to see God’s glory. Whatever your fire, I hope this Bible story can encourage you too! God is always with you and he gives you everything you need to not just survive, but to thrive while you are in the fire.

When the trials come, always remember that there is another in the fire.