sophomore blues

This year has been rough...let's be honest. I have been trying to balance the stress of school, friendships, cheer, and church all on my own. Honestly, I have only gone to God for temporary verse encouragement. Yes, His word fills, but not when you are using them for personal gain. I have been going through the motions for the past few months, feeling like a zombie. Ever since my concussion, my mindset is to survive...wake up early...go to cheer...get through homework...go to bed...START OVER. This routine of "surviving" got old very quickly. I recently have  reflected on THRIVING in the Lord each day, instead of trying to survive.

Because of God's continual love & grace, I should not try to survive but thrive each and every day. How can I "thrive" in school? That's my big question. Many mentors have poured into me during my life, and thanks to them, I have an answer: First, see yourself the way God see you! You are beautiful, loved, and a light! There is no reason for comparison, especially the comparing of outward appearances because ultimately beauty radiates from within! Joy comes from the Lord. Dive in with Him, and you will find joy, love, & peace! Second, see others the way God sees them! He sees everyone as His beautiful children. Look around you...these are your siblings in Christ! Love like Christ. Be gracious, selfless, and grateful. Talk to someone you don't normally talk to! There is so much unused time in the day...use it to elevate God's kingdom!

I would like to end with this last point...Everything in this world is temporary & unfulfilling. Nothing truly satisfies and fills our emptiness except for Jesus. Putting hope in the things of this world will leave you broken – empty & craving more. This world is temporary, but heaven is eternal! Why put hope in something that does not last? I choose Christ & an eternity with Him!


i am

Your identity is your destiny:

What you put your identity in ultimately defines you. Your relationships, talents, & things you listen to shape and mold you. Recently, I've realized that I've been concentrating my focus on what others are saying or might be saying about me, instead of listening to what God says about me. Truth be told I was telling myself that I am unloved, weak, & not beautiful. I was drowning in these lies this past week, but thankfully God reminded me of His love. If we look at what God first said about himself in Exodus to Moses, He calls himself "I am". This simple claim holds so much truth. When we say to ourselves "I am weak", we are calling God weak. That is impossible. Let's be real, God can never be anything negative. Therefore, everything about US can not be negative because anything after the phrase "I am" describes an outstanding quality of the Lord! All of our characteristics should be rooted in Christ. God showed me that I am loved, strong, & beautiful! All that matters is how God defines you. And, He defines us as His children & ambassadors. So, as a child of Christ, I am dedicated to being a light for Him wherever I am. Remember, we are defined by what we place our hope in, and it ultimately impacts our future.

This was just my take away from my struggles this week. God totally turned those struggles into a sweet learning moment!


Let's start off with a little story...

There once were two nations, the Israelites & the Philistines, that were constantly at war with one another. Our story begins when they both were preparing for battle. (Setting: two hills/mountains with a valley separating them) Everyday, a huge Philistine named Goliath would threaten the Israelites. The Israelites and their king, Saul, were terrified. This huge Goliath dude decided to cut them a deal: send one of your men to fight me...if y'all win, we become yall's slaves...BUT, if we win, y'all become our slaves. All seemed hopeless. Who could possibly defeat this giant!?! No Israelite soldier seemed prepared for the job. Saul was scared. And, the Israelites were scared. But, a little shepherd boy named David was ready. Strong in the Lord, David stepped up to the task. David knew that THE LORD WOULD ALWAYS BE BY HIS SIDE, so there was NO REASON TO FEAR. However, King Saul feared for David and tried to protect him with heavy armor. David wasn't very keen on the idea. Finally, David went out to a little stream in the valley and collected 5 smooth rocks. With God, a rock, and his sling, David defeated Goliath. The Israelites were free! (see 1 Samuel 17 for biblical version)

In this passage, we clearly are exposed to the main difference between King Saul & David. Saul was a worrier, but David was a warrior. These two characteristics are essential to how we live our own lives: you can be a worrier or a warrior. A worrier ultimately doesn't trust God's perfect plan & always looks to the future with fear of failure. On the other hand, A WARRIOR TRUSTS GOD'S PLANS & LOOKS TO THE FUTURE WITH BOLDNESS & HOPE. God uses Goliath to expose Saul & Davids character. Similarly, GOD USES "GOLIATH'S" (hardships) TO EXPOSE OUR HEARTS.

When I was in Israel recently, I had the opportunity of visiting the stream that David picked up his 5 stones from. This moment was very special because I too picked up 5 stones. I have 4 in my bedroom and 1 in my backpack. Each day, I see these rocks, and they always remind me to be a warrior for Christ. They are so little, but they speak so loud to me. I also encourage you to find something that reminds you to be a warrior for Christ! 

Comment below how you remind yourself of how to be a warrior for Christ !!!

// Questions //

Are you a worrier or a warrior?

Do you live by fear or by faith?