Bearing my Cross · Body. · For the Ladies · Friendship · Life Written. · Mind. · Post-Grad. · Sojourn. · spirit · The Word · To My Mister

Waiting on God 101.

I know how to wait.

Or at least, I think I do — most of the time. I’m used to waiting on men, waiting on change, waiting on flights, waiting on food, waiting on traffic lights, waiting on lines.

But waiting on God? For some reason, that’s harder for me to tackle. Maybe because I can’t physically see or audibly hear Him.

Maybe because some days it’s hard to picture Him as more than a figment of my imagination. Maybe because I’m often too stubborn to remember He manifested himself in Christ, lives through the Spirit in me and works for my good every day.

Waiting is the worst.

Sometimes, I pray for patience. But then I learn the process to obtain patience entails waiting, so I usually take it back — can you take prayers back? Like unkind words or jeans that don’t fit?

Waiting is always uncertain — it can last hours, days, weeks, months, years. At times, waiting periods may pass in the blink of an eye. But others may not be so quick, they are painful and arduous and test every ounce of perseverance within me.

I’ve spent my lifetime waiting.

Not in this lazy, complacent way where I just sit and wait for good things to happen. Not in this overbearing, manic way where I run fast and chase after good things.

Somewhere in the middle, where I find peace in the present and satisfaction through productivity.

I’ve waited for my guy to come, I’ve waited for my medication to work, I’ve waited for a job, for a place to call home, for a friendship, for a degree. I’ve waited for short periods and long stretches. I’ve waited for the world to change (as my man John Mayer sings).

Here are my tips on waiting:

  1. Gain perspective. Think of why you are waiting, and what for. Think of how to use your time and resources wisely. How can you spend your energy? Who can help you in this waiting period?
  2. Pray. A lot. We are called to “present our requests” to God with “prayer and petition.” I think of a dorky petition I signed in middle school to allow gum chewing on campus. God probably has bigger fish to fry than gum privileges, but perhaps He wants us to approach in the same manner — with a plan, with support, with tenacity.
  3. Remember hope. It is with the Hope of the Lord that we truly survive, and more importantly thrive, during our waiting periods. We cannot do this alone, not without the support of friends & family, and surely not without God on our side.
  4. Weep. The older and hopefully wiser I become, the more likely I am to weep, to truly mourn for my hurts and heartaches, and for those around me. When I miss something or someone, when I beg God to deliver me, I often curl up in my bed or fall to my knees. I cry out to God, because He promises to hear our cries.

There are so many ingredients to waiting contently, waiting patiently, waiting in a strong and respectful manner. All of my suggestions come from the God-breathed Scripture, the gift that is His word. I would get nowhere without it.

Friends who are waiting, be encouraged by this: you are never alone. We wait for good news. We wait for good friends. We wait for better days.

When we wait on God, we will not be disappointed. When we wait for Him, He will reward us here on earth, and permanently in Heaven. When we wait, we grow.

Bearing my Cross · Body. · Friendship · Life Written. · Mind. · Popular Posts. · Post-Grad. · spirit · The Word · Unashamed.

Unashamed: When April Showers Don’t Bring Mae Flowers.

They’re supposed to bring May flowers.

April has come and gone — and for the most part, so has the rain — the Dallas Arboretum proves the flowers are upon us — but what if life’s metaphorical flowers, aren’t?

I haven’t been majorly depressed since December — BLESS UP. It’s been a whole new year of adventure and excitement and radiance that I rarely tasted in 2016. The amount of gratitude toward my parents, friends, doctors, therapists and The King has overwhelmed me.

But I think I’m regressing — lately I’ve experienced heavier and lower days. It hurts, as I started a dream job just a couple of weeks ago, and so desperately want to thrive there. I seek out medical, emotional help partnered with a holistic approach to mental health.

Sometimes the flowers don’t sprout.

We go through periods of absolute suffering and pain, we cry out to God for relief, but it seems as if the hope and joy never come upon us. It seems as though we are forgotten and abandoned and He doesn’t live up to His promise to “work for our good.”

Lately I’ve been eating up Isaiah. This morning, I walked through ch. 30. It talks about rebellious people who “speak to us smooth things.” They want an easy way out, they want smooth sailing.

Yet, those people are like breaking “that of a potter’s vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a shard is found.”

We are Christ’s vessels — we are called to be filled with the Spirit and pour out radical love onto those around us. So how do we refuse to rebel and cling to God’s goodness?

We remember that He will be gracious. He hears the sound of our cries, he answers us. The “bread of adversity” and “water of affliction” make us see our Teacher.

Bread and water are necessities — I’d prefer to live without adversity and affliction. I’d prefer to sail calm waters without blasting winds and pelting rain. I’d prefer to not be bipolar, to not give too much of myself away, to not suffer from anxiety over tomorrow’s.

But He “binds up the brokenness of His people.”

He sees our hurt. He hears our cries. He sits with us. He cradles us. He listens. He weeps. He protects. He provides. He delivers.

He will not leave us alone. He will not let us suffer without Him, His presence, His grace. He will not abandon or forsake or condemn us if we walk in Spirit and in Truth.

He says, “You will not suffer forever. I will stitch you back together. I am yours, you are Mine. We will fight this. We will win. And I will overcome.”

Bearing my Cross · Body. · Life Written. · Love or Something Like It · Post-Grad. · The Word

Worth the Wait: On Hurrying & The Resurrection.

This post is a bit late. Which is ironic and entirely unintentional, because I’m actually talking about how good things take time and how God loves to make His people wait.

good things take time.

I’m a planner and a hurrier.

A planner is a person that plans. And a hurrier (which is a word I just made up) is one who hurries. Makes sense, huh? I like to know how to get from Point A to Point B, and I like to do it in the most efficient way possible.

But the thing about God is, He takes his time.

In the beginning, God doesn’t make the world in one day (Gen. 1:1). He takes seven. And He rests on the last one. When He promises Abraham a nation, He doesn’t let Sarah conceive that night. The two wait 25ish years for Isaac to be born.

So here I am, running around with my arms flailing and my mouth incessantly blurting out who knows what, and God is just the King of Chill. He walks around, gestures here and there every now and then, paces Himself in accordance to His time. Slowly, methodically, deliberately moving.

Because God 1) knows His plan prevails and 2) knows good things take time. So why rush, little Mae?

god loves to make his people wait.

Abraham waited 25 years for a son. Joseph waited at least 13 years (from 17 when he was sold into slavery, to 30 when he became prime minister) to see his family. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.

I’m a waiter — one who waits — not by choice, but by the ironic convenience of God’s plans. He made me wait to graduate high school and then college. He’s making me wait to return to Nashville (or to move out of Dallas). He’s making me wait to pursue further education.

I can’t speak for Abraham, Joseph or the Israelites, but I needed to put in my time. I needed to wait before God’s plans unfolded, because I learned so much more in the waiting than I would ever have had I experienced instant gratification.

god made his people wait three days.

On Good Friday, Christ was crucified. And seemingly all hope was lost. Our Savior did not win His battle. Satan won.

But wait for it.

Not one, or two, but three whole days later, Christ bursts forth from the grave. He reunites with His faithful followers, who are overjoyed to see their Risen King. He proves that God is King, He is Son of Man, and that Love Wins.

So friends, when you are discouraged because you’re single, you’re looking for a job, you’re heartbroken, or whatever it may be–remember: good things take time. And God loves to make His people wait.

The eternal treasures we will find in Heaven and the sanctification we experience here on earth with our Creator are well worth the wait.

Bearing my Cross · Body. · For the Ladies · Life Written. · Love Languages · Love or Something Like It · Post-Grad. · The Word · To My Mister

Great Expectations: On Dating & Plans, Etc.

So my gal pals & I keep facing an issue:

Whenever we meet a great guy, we get super amped. Then when it doesn’t work out, we are absolutely devastated.

It’s happened to me a time or two…or twenty. It’s that “so I met a guy” story I mentioned a couple months back. We start a friendship and shoot dang, I’m over the moon. Then it burns out or he dates another girl or whatever it may be, it simply doesn’t work.

And then I whip out the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and Legally Blonde because if Elle Woods can go to Harvard Law, I can do freaking anything — including getting over said man.

so why does this happen? what’s wrong with us?

The answer is: absolutely nothing.

It’s okay to be excited when you meet a guy with potential. It’s okay to anticipate good things in a newfound friendship. It’s okay to giggle whenever he texts you or even looks you in the eyes.

I don’t think the question is what’s wrong with us, or me, it’s more of dissecting: what is wrong with my actions? With my thoughts? With my expectations?

god’s never promised me a husband.

But He has promised to 1) never leave me 2) work for my good 3) to always love me. He has promised to walk beside me and before me, to gather up broken pieces from my past, to stitch me together in the present, to prepare me for the wonders of my future.

So if God is doing all of these wonderful things in my past and present, surely I can expect wonderful things in the future. Surely I can know that whatever man is (or isn’t) coming my way, His timing and His plan and His will overtake whatever I plan.

These days, I’m trying to keep my actions, thoughts and expectations in check. I’m trying to align these things with God’s promises, to remember my life boils down to God’s sovereignty and my free will. To know that I have plans in my mind, but God directs my steps.

So to all my single ladies, hang in there!

Don’t break your heart over a man who’s not worth it, or especially a man you barely know. Do guard your heart in Truths and wisdom and scripture that reveal all of the miraculous things God does for us!

If you’re struggling to get over a man today, remember this pain won’t last for all of your tomorrows. If you’re feeling strong right now, keep at it. You’ve. Got. This.

Bearing my Cross · Body. · College Life · Friendship · Life Written. · Popular Posts. · Post-Grad. · The Word

Adulthood 101 {On Hope}.

“Adulting” is still new to me.

It’s been over a year since I graduated from Baylor, and I feel just as much of a child today as I did on Dec. 19, 2015 when I walked the stage.

I remember feeling proud as I shook President Starr’s hand. I remember feeling confident strutting across the stage in front of my peers, professors and parents.

But I also felt fear. Fear that I would not succeed, that my future days would only pale in comparison to the past at Baylor.

And I also felt hope. Hope that the God who crafted my past would also beautifully orchestrate my future.

my hope from yesteryear carries me into all of my tomorrows.

I felt proud and confident and afraid and hopeful in Nashville. I felt on top of the world, it was like the stars finally aligned and I found a real home away from home.

But when I came back to Dallas and I was diagnosed, I didn’t feel hope at all. I really thought my life was over. I couldn’t dream. I couldn’t plan. I could just sit and pray that the suffering would go away.

Even when I had no hope, God rushed in. He said, “I’ve got this. I’ve got you. Just be.”

So I just was. I slept through the night, woke up, showered, laid around, ate, fell asleep. Rinse and repeat.

At some point, in between being diagnosed and feeling like myself again, His Hope was reintroduced to my heart. And God proved to me that His Hope truly reigns over every circumstance, every doubt, every sorrow.

so it’s a year later and i’m still trying to adult.

Granted, I live at home. So it’s a bit different for me. But I still wash my clothes and pack my own lunch. I recently learned you’re supposed to wash your sheets every two weeks, so yeah…I’ve been doing that wrong since college.

I still plan out my finances and do my best not to spend all of my money on coffee & concerts–it’s hard. I still try not to sell my soul to the corporate world by spending time with friends and even getting out of the Big D every now and then.

Adulting really isn’t so bad.

God starts us off as children for a reason. He wants us to be pure and innocent, to be full of energy and curiousity. He calls us His Children, His heirs, His own.

But He also wants us to grow, to mature. To dive deep into our faith, to become head over heels for Him. He expects us to fall more in love with Him as we continue our relationship.

He prepares us, He nurtures us. He does not leave us alone at any point in our lifetime, and especially not when we enter into adulthood or experience trouble.

So, fellow emerging adults, I say this to you:

You will be fine.

You might spend too much money on tacos. And yeah, maybe you haven’t washed your sheets in a few weeks. You call your mother every day. And you’re thinking about leaving the country.

But don’t worry, because you’ve totally got this, because God’s totally got you. You are not an island. Surround yourself with people who shine His Light and show His Love. Surround yourself with people who you aspire to be like, people of all backgrounds and ages.

And just do it.

Show how much you trust in God and dive in headfirst into the unknown and uncertainties of life. Clothe yourself with strength and righteousness and Truth. Live the fruit of the Spirit and love in this reckless and radical way. You won’t regret it.

For the Ladies · Life Written. · Love Languages · Love or Something Like It · Mind. · Post-Grad. · spirit · To My Mister

A Hopeful Heart: On Trusting God Above All Else

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i don’t do trust falls.

You can ask any of my friends or family. If they say I’ve done a trust fall with them, they’re a stinking liar.

I don’t do trust falls, because the idea of falling flat on my back does not appeal to me. Yes, I understand the concept. You trust your teammate, so they reach their arms out and catch you. They save you from falling. Cute.

But in my head, I fall flat on my back. Every time.

i don’t trust god well.

I was taught Proverbs 3:5-6 at a young age. It says, “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

I don’t trust God all of the time.

I lean on my own understanding. I think I know what’s best for me. I follow my own plan.

I don’t always acknowledge Him. I often forget to give Him credit where it’s due.

My paths are downright crooked and wonky and twisted and curvy, because they are my paths. Not God’s.

i don’t always trust in god, but when i do, my paths are straight.

The other night, I had one of the most defining come-to-Jesus moments in my twenties.

Last year, I met this guy. (Yes, all terrific and tragic stories start with, “I met this guy.”) He’s kind and cute and compassionate. He also laughs at all of my jokes and loves Jesus with his whole heart.

After only our first date-esque friendship outing, I was over the moon. It’s like every single man I had met in the history of my existence could not meet up to the level of extraordinary, amazing and perfect that this man was (and is–sort of).

So for the past almost 365 days of my life, I’ve been pining for this guy. I’ve been waiting for him to come around, to greet me with this huge smile, pull me into a hug, and twirl me around just like Noah does to Allie in the Notebook.

Yeah. That has not happened.

And during my come-to-Jesus moment, I realized that it may never actually happen.

In that moment, I fell flat on my face, knees to the ground, palms up. I said, “God, I’m giving him to you. I’ve got to let go of this. I cannot control this. It’s all up to Your Will.”

Honestly, I thought about taking it back. Because he’s really the total package.

But then I remembered Proverbs 3:5-6.

If I trust in God, He will make my paths straight. If I let go of this and my plan, His dreams and His life for me will fall into place. I don’t have to weave in and out and up and down to follow my own wonky path. I simply have to walk step-by-step, trusting God in every move I make.

so here i am, on day 9 of trusting god with my love life.

There are times my heart is weak. I just want to call this guy up and eat tacos with him and tell him all of my jokes.

But my Spirit is strong. My Spirit says I’ve got this. My Spirit says my measly plan pales in comparison to the reward my trust will receive.

So here I am, sharing the amusing-yet-anti-climactic-love-saga that is my life. And I can only hope that you are better at trusting. And that you know God’s plans for you are crazy stupid awesome and you should really join me in the trusting God boat, because my worries are none and my life is breezy with God as Captain right now.

Bearing my Cross · Life Written. · The Word · Unashamed. · Uncategorized

Unashamed: The Power of Prayer & Suffering Well.

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Some days, I beat bipolar.

It is funny how many friends and family praise me. They say I am doing so well, that I have responded to my diagnosis exceptionally. They are proud, they love me, and they can’t wait to see how God will use me.

But they don’t see me at my worst, when I curl up in bed and try to squeeze out tears from my empty tearducts.

It’s hard to feel hopeful in those moments. It’s hard to feel anything at all.

Lately, I’ve come across the phrase to “struggle well.”

When I hear this term, I picture cancer patients fearlessly undergoing chemotherapy treatments, and constantly hoping in The Lord.

I don’t think of myself, because I still consider myself a victim, not a survivor. I struggle and doubt and wrestle with my mind. I fear and hurt and cry.

After reading James 5, I think it is okay to struggle and doubt and wrestle. It is okay to feel afraid and to experience hurt and to cry out to The Lord.

James 5 walks through patience among suffering, and the prayer of faith.

The passage says, “You too, be patient and stand firm, for the Lord’s coming is near. It says, “We count as blessed those who have persevered.”

It goes on to say, “Is anyone among you troubled? Let them pray. Is anyone among you happy? Let them sing songs of praise….The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.”

During even the toughest days, I remember that Jesus is coming soon. I remember that God is in the here and now, fighting by my side and even in my future. I cannot ever be fully hopeless, because my hope is built upon the Lord’s promise to return. My hope is built on His promise to restore and redeem.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness. It isn’t an ordinary, physical sickness, but it can be just as debilitating. Like cancer, or a broken leg, it can be healed and managed well.

With the Lord, there is always hope.

There is always an answer to a prayer. There is always an open door. There is always a silver lining. Often, it’s hard to hear His reply, or to notice the door, or to see the silver. But friends, they are always there. Jesus is coming soon.