the only thing that will ever remain

A shot I took of my dear friend’s hands after serving a summer in Haiti

I’ve been studying Beth Moore’s David A Heart Like His study. Following David’s journey through all the turmoil that pre-existed his reign, how God chose him, and His actual reign is BEYOND challenging. It’s funny how God shows up as I’m studying. I don’t know if any of you have felt this way, but sometimes I’m curious if I’m doing what God wants for me at every moment. Specifically, what to study in my quiet times. I have not had that question at all while studying this. For example, today I was reading 1 Samuel 19:9-18, which is all about Saul’s jealousy and anger toward David. Basically David was in God’s will completely. He was victorious in his battles and well..the dude had joy! Saul’s son Jonathan was right there with David, guarding him from Saul and keeping David safe. Saul’s anger boiled over to him trying to kill David. Jonathan loved David so much and was so in tune with him he constantly attempted to save David from his father, Saul. I like to think that Jonathan was an angel figure. Not literally…but the Spirit of the Lord was so strong in him he was constantly protecting David from harm.

Jonathan had the love of the Father in him. He constantly risked his life by telling David the secrets of Saul. Jon didn’t care at all, David was his soul  brother.

1 Samuel 18:1 “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

I mean soul brother, literally. The love of the Father was in Him so fully, he risked his life. At the end of the insert written by Beth Moore she shared John 15:13. I looked up the full passage and the words I read blew me away.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another. John 15:12-18

Let’s see how Christ loved..for starters, he bore the slurs and profanity that the people yelled at him while on the cross. He gave up his rights for the world’s freedom’s sake. He held back any harsh and cutting words as the very ones he was dying for tortured him. He saved the sinner that was next to him on the cross. He obeyed his Father. Challenging right? As I was thinking on all of these things, the song “One Thing Remains” begins to play on my iTunes. I love when God does that. It’s a little piece of assurance that this is reading this very passage learning about His very love.

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me
On and one and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death and in life I’m confident and covered by the power of your great love
My debt is paid there’s nothing that can separate my heart from your great love

Praise you, Father.

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gotta have faith

instagram of the day!

What a beautiful day it was today. I started it out with a morning browsing and sampling at the Farmer’s Market with a dear friend. We ate crepes that were to..drool..for. If you know me, you probably already know that I chose the peanut butter, nutella, and banana crepe. You guys it was amazing. That breakfast should have been illegal it was so good. I wanted to stay outside all day so I opted to run the lake, plus those crepes were sitting quite heavily on these hips. I haven’t run the lake in several weeks. I get in workout fads then get bored with them easily. I’ve been doing to elliptical machine for 40 minutes while reading a book. Yeah, I said reading a book; it helps me concentrate!

To switch things up I chose to run today. It’s funny because I always pray before I run..during I run..and usually end the run in me walking in circles and expressing a charismatic thanks to Him (it’s actually quite comical). I dislike running and I’m surprised every time I actually finish running. It hurts my hips and thighs and makes all kinds of things transfer from my nose to my mouth..then to the ground. There is one thing I love though, crisp cold LA air. Weather like today doesn’t come around very often so I took advantage of it. I ran the 4 mile lake in about 35 minutes. Towards the last stretch of pavement, I started freaking out in my head and I wanted to stop. I began rapping whatever Lecrae song I was listening to but I still felt slow. I said a quick “Come on God push me” prayer. Immediately, my volume somehow jumped to full blast. It scared the mess out of me I jerked my arms forward and skipped a few steps. I looked totally spastic. Especially because nobody knew what had just happened. To the outsider I had just experienced the worst twitch of my life. I began laughing hysterically out of embarrassment and the irony of the situation. The jolt of adrenaline sent by that little prank God played on me allowed me to finish my run. When I finally reached my finish mark, I realized a runner and her three-legged dog were following me. Let me just say, If I would have stopped and a three-legged dog would have passed me up, I would totally veto the lake from my life. I would have felt like a total tool! If a three-legged dog can run 4 miles so can this two-legged human!

It’s funny because the lesson I learned today went right along with a passage I read for my quiet time. It comes out of James 1:2-4.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Endurance is key in almost anything in life. I would have stopped running because I felt slow or tired I would be jipping myself. I would have allowed myself to be a slave to my body. I don’t know what your view on running is but this girls counts it as trouble coming my way. It takes so much out of me just to walk out the door and get myself going. I know the pain and sweat, mentally and physically, that I have to go through, but I also remember how refreshing it is in the end. I feel like I’ve conquered the world. It shows my how faithful He is in the small things. He shows me such a powerful truth through such an everyday thing. I love it.

I hope you give yourself the chance to endure life’s troubles.

my story, pt 3

{Disclaimer: the light is coming soon. don’t you worry. the story is about to get real good.}

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

On the outside, I was living up the life I thought I was supposed to be living. Going out, having older friends, and remembering nothing from the night before- it all seemed fun. I remember it seeming like there was no way things could be better. It wasn’t until I was in my bed trying to fall asleep that guilt would hit me. I started thinking what am I doing? What life am I truly living. How many of these “friends” would actually be there for me in years down the road. I had screwed up my relationship with my parents so much that they are all I had. Remember earlier in the story, I revealed that I was a terrible liar? Right, well it continued to get worse. I would make stories of spending the night at a friends for a movie and popcorn but instead we were going out and having the time of our lives.

There was one night where all I wanted to do was leave my house. We had plans to go out to a local bar and I couldn’t miss it. I begged my parents to let me leave and JUST go spend the night somewhere. My dad wasn’t having it. He could read right through me. So I was persistent. I continued to whine and beg. I probably even cried and made up some sob story of how horrible he was making my life. Out of frustration he eventually allowed me to go. I look back and realized it was not by his doing, but I believe it was by God’s. My dad knew I wasn’t up to good and he wanted to do what every father wants to do, keep his baby girl safe. He wanted me at the house so that he could be assured that I was okay. I believe God allowed him to let me go so that I could continue to realize how miserable I was. It’s silly to think about it that way, but I am a firm believer in instances happening for a reason.

I was in dark place. I felt like I was so far gone that there was no point to even try to crawl out of the hole I put myself in. Let me back up a little and give you some background information to what was going on outside of my party life fantasy.

This time frame is around my freshman year. If my math is correct, I was 14 turning 15. I was going to school and keeping my lifestyle private. No person knew about it except the people that I was involved in it with. I was still going to church and honestly loving it. I felt unbelievable amounts of freedom and love there. I can’t describe the freedom I felt. I didn’t have to live up to a fascade I made for myself. It wasn’t the people in the youth group or the youth workers that enabled me to feel loved, rather it was God himself. I know for a fact that he brought me there to show me what I was missing. I was broken and didn’t know the first steps of how to get fixed.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

I felt like there were two people inside of me. One side loved the attention I got while going out, drinking, and acting crazy. The other side was torn and convicted. It was a constant tug of war with my soul. I knew I needed to make a serious change, but I didn’t know how to change my entire group of friends, adjust my life plans and weekend goals, and basically clean out my mind and heart. Little did I know, things were going to drastically change soon.

i do

{side note: Marriage is a topic I personally know very little about. Don’t take my advice, but I challenge you to research the Bible for yourself}

When I was younger, I rarely daydreamed about a prince charming coming to scoop me up. I don’t recall ever wanting a husband or children of my own. The only childhood crushes I can think of were Leonardo DiCaprio via Growing Pains and the blonde teenager from Barney circa 1995. It’s not that I was a man hater, that’s not it at all.The older I became the more I envisioned myself living in a loft in uptown New York. Not changing diapers or cooking dinner. I wanted to establish myself as an artist/business woman. At the age of 13, I dreamed of being a fashion designer, but I look back now and realize I had ZERO taste. That dream was shot down fast. When I was a sophomore in high school, something in me changed. For starters, I began following Christ whole-heartedly. Through that change He began to soften my heart. I had a desire to have a family of my own one day. I was finally having a desire to find a husband, my one and only. I would read the story of Adam and Eve and instantly come to the conclusion that God wanted all people to be married. I quickly found out that wasn’t the case. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7 that it is a privilege to be single. Christ was single and He was able to serve His Father whole-heartedly. There were no distractions to pull his attention away. When I read that passage, my mindset changed…again. I was back to being pro-single. At least, that is what my mouth was saying. My heart continued to daydream about what marriage really is like, how my wedding would look, and what it would be like to chase around my very own children. Why was this happening when the Bible states that being single is a privilege and to embrace it. Here’s my theory. In Genesis 2, God refers to Eve as Adam’s helper.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh.  Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” Genesis 2:21-23

They helped each other. They challenged and loved each other. They walked with God together. There weren’t any cars, houses, or bank accounts distracting them. They were simply doing what God created them for. Today’s society, myself included, has such  twisted view of marriage. Girls want guys with big bank accounts. Someone who can “provide” for them. Whether that be a new vehicle or a shiny diamond ring. Marriage is a blessing from God and should not be centered around temporal things. I’ve realized in the past year that God desire’s for a man and a woman to be in a union that represents the relationship between Christ and the church. Undying love. He wants a couple to challenge each other and push each other further in their walk. No doubt He wants the man to provide, but speaking from a females perspective we sometimes have a warped view of what provisions actually are. As a woman of God, I am supposed to desire a man that seeks God before me. Not his job or money, but God. After all, that’s all that will stand in the end. When everything fails- job, money, and eventually good looks; God stands.