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. · spirit · The Word

Make Me a Tree: On Trust & Desires.

Lately, God hasn’t given me what I want.

I want to quit my job and travel the world. I want to move out of my parents’ house. I want a lifetime of free Torchy’s tacos.

So what’s up with that?

Psalm 37:4 says if I delight in the Lord, He will give me my “heart’s desires.” So how come none of the things I want I receive?

Well it goes like this: when we truly, truly delight in the Lord, when The Joy of the Lord is our strength, our hearts’ desires begin to morph into the Lord’s desires.

It’s just like earthly relationships: when we love someone (as a friend or more), we want what they want. We want what is best for them. We desire what they desire.

My innate wants tend to be selfish, self-gratifying and self-rewarding. It’s a me, myself and I attitude. But when I attune my wants to the Lord’s desires for my life, endless reward awaits in heaven (and even on earth).

Our trust must align with The Lord’s desires.

My soul sister of a friend Sarah pointed me to Jeremiah 17 this morning.

V. 7 says:

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. (NLT)”

It compares those who trust in the Lord to “trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.” These trees are “not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.”

Instead, “their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.”

I pray God can make me a tree.

I want to be an oak along a river, with deep roots soaking up water-filled life. I want to stand tall and not worry about the heat or droughts of life that threaten to overtake me.

I want to be fully alive, covered in green, and to bear an endless amount of fruit to further the Kingdom.

When my trust runs deep in the Lord, my desires transform.

It isn’t about me, it’s about us — The Lord working with the Church. It’s about glorifying God through my thoughts, actions and words. It’s about seeking out His desires for my life, about living out His will.

So when I wallow in self-pity and ask, “Why don’t I have what I want?” I can dissect, “What do I want, and where does that desire come from?”

If it’s not of the Lord, it’s not something I should truly desire. And if it is of the Lord, and I can rejoice and know that I’m walking with Him.

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.

Bearing my Cross · Body. · Life Written. · Mind. · Popular Posts. · Post-Grad. · Sic'Em Forever. · spirit · The Word · Uncategorized

Giving God Glory: On Career & Calling.

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Calling.

It’s a term we Christians like to use to describe how God compels us in one way or another. “I was called to go to Africa.” “I was called to join a sorority.” “I was called to tithe this month’s paycheck.”

It’s used so often and so universally, I can’t help but think the word loses its meaning in many cases. After all, I’m not sure that God can call us to that many things throughout our lifetime.

Or can He?

I can’t really pinpoint many instances in my life where I truly felt called by God. I’ve never audibly heard His voice. But of course I’ve been inclined to do one thing over the other for the sake of God’s glory: I chose Baylor over OU, I chose Tri Delta over not joining a sorority, I chose public relations instead of news.

But have I been called to these things? Or have I simply chosen these things for myself, by myself?

Lately I’ve wrestled with my career path and calling.

God’s blessed me with so many skills and so many passions, and I’m supposed to harness these skills and passions and turn them into this one career at such a young age. How do I decide? Where do I begin? How do I pray for this?

What if I choose the wrong one? What if I spend my whole life doing something I wasn’t called to? Or what if I choose the right one? What if God really does have big plans for me, and I succeed?

So I’ve been praying a lot about this. And I’ve decided to stop thinking my career. And to only look at calling.

God calls me to love Him.

God calls me to love His people. He calls me to especially care for the poor, orphans and widows. He calls me to be kind, to put others first, to bear my cross every single day of my life.

I know these are true.

So what if I just lay aside choosing a career? What if, instead, I focus on the few things God explicitly calls me to in His Word?

Maybe then, I’ll get one step closer to choosing a career. And I’ll be that much closer to giving God all the glory.

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

Awk

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 · Body. · Life Written. · Love Languages · Mind. · Post-Grad. · Sojourn. · spirit · The Word

Just Around the Big Bend: On Hope & Expectation

946796_10208895827141727_1832745874572742066_nI’m camping at Big Bend this weekend.

My friends Brian, Sarah, and I dreamed up this trip months ago. As adventurers and lovers of the great outdoors, and strangers to Big Bend, we decided it would be the perfect Labor Day weekend getaway.

A lot of planning has gone into our trip: what to pack, meal planning, buying last-minute gear. There are far few things I love more than packing for a trip, especially a campout. This week I’ve been giddy as I run around the house to find miscellaneous items like wipes and bug repellant.

There is much around the bend {of life}.

Year 22 beholds a mixture of the new and old. A new church, an old hometown. A new job (hopefully), an old resume. A new friend group, while keeping the old.

Excitement and adventure come with all of this newness, but so do anxiety and nerves.

What if I don’t fit into my new church? What if I can’t find community?

What if I can’t get a new job? How will I sustain my weekly coffee and pie expenditures?

What if I can’t make new friends? What if the old ones leave me?

But God works for our good: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. This means Christ will always be our Savior, always be Protector, always be Deliverer, always be King.

This means that while I spend my days in today’s, God is far ahead, making room for good things to come.

What if I prepared for God’s goodness the same way I packed for Big Bend? What if I planned for great things to happen in and through me, long before they do?

Let’s wait on God in hopeful expectation.

Because the ultimate greatness that will happen is Christ’s return.

What if I loved so much today, that it poured into my tomorrow’s? What if I feared less today, so I can enjoy my tomorrow’s?

What if instead of doubting and worrying and over-planning, I sat in the still and quiet, and waited for Christ to come back?

Hebrews 6:19 says, “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.”

God’s hope keeps us planted, it won’t let the waves and storms of life sweep us away. God’s hope keeps us steady, it holds onto us just as much as we cling to it.

Friends, do not doubt yourself today, and don’t live in fear of tomorrow.

Look ahead to the horizon, switch to a bird’s eye view, and be prepared for blessing and abundance. Fight the storms, anchor your soul, and be ready!