Filling the Void

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The Lord has really opened my eyes lately. I honestly do not even know where to begin due to the various subjects that have been on my heart. So instead, let us talk about what is on His heart.

This is not a very formal blog. Let me just clarify that. My goal in this blog is to help others get a better understanding based on scriptural presentation, as well as, my own thought processes, experiences, and what the Lord has shown or taught me through it. My heart is heavy because God has revealed some things to me in a new light.

I believe it grieves God to see people who put all their love, trust, happiness, and so on, in another person. It is basically like you look to that person to fulfill the position that rightfully belongs to God. God is a jealous God… meaning he wants all of you. He doesn’t just want weekends when you can spare some time or Wednesday nights when it is “church night.”  Immediately I think of people who are in relationships. First off, I am not against relationships. I completely believe relationships can be very good and edifying! However, I also believe that if not treated honorably, they can lead to devastation and destruction.

I have seen it happen. You become so consumed in a person that before you know it, they are affecting your attitude and emotions. My opinion is this: We are created by God and for God. We are born with this void. Let’s say the void is like a key hole. Obviously you want to find the right key to fit into the void within you to make you feel complete, or whole. We go through life trying to fill the void with all these different “keys” in hopes of unlocking who we really are, ultimately filling the void within us. If we are created by God and for God, then the key to our void is… God! He can unlock our hearts to this God-given identity. This identity found in Christ would allow us to feel whole and at peace. The sad part is this: Some people never realize how simple the solution is.

Abstinence is such a rare thing nowadays. I have heard the saying, “Girls give sex to get love, while boys will give love to get sex.” I believe girls are looking for more than just love. They want to feel like they are wanted. The are using these boys as a “key” to try to fill the void within their hearts. The void in the human heart is God-shaped. No earthly thing can fill it, people cannot fill it, nothing but our Heavenly Father can.

God is the ultimate deliverer. He delivers an everlasting joy, peace, identity, and so much more if you will let Him. He fills that void that we work so hard to achieve on our own or through something/someone else.

God, cleanse us of anything that breaks your heart. Father, you deserve all of us. Forgive us for looking towards success or relationships to fill that inner void within us that only you can. Lord, shed light in any area that you want us to change; whether it is in our relationships, mindsets, or just focal points that don’t look toward you, so be it. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Vanity

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“Charm is deceptive and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” // Proverbs 31:30 

 

I am sure we have all heard this verse at some point or another, but have we really paid attention to its meaning..?

 

We live in a “Me” generation. It is impossible to log on to a social media website without seeing a selfie of someone. Before I continue, I just want to put out there that I am NOT against selfies. I post them from time to time myself! However, we need to look every now and then and see what state and condition our heart is in.

I came home from school this afternoon and was so tired that I decided to take a little power nap. Now, ask my friends and they will tell you that I absolutely love naps. Who doesn’t! But today’s nap was very different… I woke up in a panic from this dream I had. I have really only had one other significant dream that I would most definitely consider spiritual as to what the content of the dream was and how it applied to my current situation. So when I had this dream, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a message from the Lord as well.

In the dream I had this afternoon, I was looking in a mirror and seeing a version of me that was dark and scary. I mean it was me, but something was just so… off. I can only describe the feeling as to that of watching a scary movie, but not being able to look away. In the mirror, this version of me was all dolled up. Like I had on makeup, my hair was fixed, and I was smiling and flipping my hair. The only difference was that this “version” of me had two solid black holes for eyes. I immediately recognized it as a demonic spirit. In the dream, I remember not being able to look away and thinking “This is the Spirit of Vanity.” Have you ever had that feeling? Where you just feel something? Well that is what I am talking about here. I just got that vibe. Okay, so somehow I got away from the mirror and I was standing at a distance watching other girls go up to the mirror. I mean think about it for a second.. How many times do you catch yourself going by a mirror and you cannot help but to look at yourself for a minute? Only me? Okay… Awkward. No but really, I am not saying that it is wrong to be conscious of how you look, but if you let it, it can consume you.

I was screaming at the girls to not look at the mirror; that it was a trap. They all ignored me and I watched helplessly as you could see the insecurity and dissatisfaction sweep over their faces. They couldn’t look away. They were obsessing over their appearances.

  • 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

We are so quick to judge by appearances. That is why so many people are insecure. They all want to be good enough. The standards of this world are tough. And if you wanna know a secret, you’re never going to meet every standard of the world. The more you try, the emptier you will feel. I believe The Lord sent me that dream because appearance is something I struggle greatly with. I find myself constantly in my bathroom looking in the mirror and picking out all my flaws and telling myself that I would meet the “pretty” standard once I have ______. NO! It is a lie of the enemy. He wants to get in our heads and tell us all this junk. Do not believe it for a second. We are created in the image of God. We are His children. We have created these perceptions and standards of what “attractive” is. God doesn’t care about any of that. He wants our soul to be beautiful. Let him speak to your heart. He will show you how to truly be beautiful. The first step is to cultivate a relationship with Him. Seek His face in all its beauty… for He never disappoints. 

Comfort Zones

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 We all have our comfort zones.

 

“If we wait till we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives…” -Lemony Snicket 

 

Before I was on fire for God, I was sorta awkward with my walk with God. The reason I say awkward is that I never really understood what it meant to have a personal relationship with Him. I just tried to do what I thought a good little christian girl should do, but I never felt anything. I would quietly pray and read my bible from time to time; I even had my own little prayer journal where I would write to God, but nothing ever really lasted longer than a couple of weeks.

The summer going into 7th grade, I felt this urge to go to church camp with my youth group. Now let me tell you, I had been to church camp a few years earlier and absolutely hated it. I am talking like I was miserable the whole time and promised I would never go back to another church camp again! The reason why I hated it so much was because it tried to bring me out of my comfort zone. Emphasis on tried. At church camp, you would see kids lifting their hands in worship, jumping (lots of loud screaming and jumping,) and doing activities that required you to meet new people and work together in various activities and such… I just was not about that life whatsoever. I had rejected it and therefore didn’t get anything out of it. So of course I found it odd to have this random conviction to once again return to church camp.

I chose to be open minded, for I knew that there was a purpose behind why God wanted me there. I remember praying on the bus ride to Charleston (where camp was that year) for God to do whatever he wanted to in my heart and in my life.

It was that summer when I decided to rededicate my life for Christ. I allowed my heart to be fully transformed by God, and thus altering my new lifestyle. In worship, I lifted my hands for the first time and felt so much freedom. I was slowly, but surely, coming out of my comfort zone.

On the bus ride home, our youth pastor asked if a few of us would share some personal testimonies of what the Lord had done in us that week. I felt my heart start to pound, for I knew I should share. I did not offer. I kept quiet and sat in my seat thinking about if I should or not. I eventually talked myself out of it because I was too shy and nervous about what I would even say.

The next Wednesday was when the time came to share our testimonies. Our youth helpers begged for just one more person to share. I knew I should do it. I volunteered, reluctantly, and got on stage to share in front of the congregation.

I had never spoken in front of an audience like that before. The power of God flowed through me as I talked. I had nothing planned on what I was going to say. As I started to speak, I told of how the Lord had brought me out of my comfort zone and into a personal relationship with Him. Looking back, I also see how the Lord continued to bring me out of my comfort zone by urging me to share my testimony at church – something I had never dreamed of doing.

After we all finished sharing, our preacher got up to thank us and he began his sermon planned for that night. He told the congregation that he originally planned his sermon on another topic, but because of my boldness to obey God, he decided to preach on comfort zones! That was the first moment in my life where I knew that God had used me as his vessel to flow through and into the hearts of others.

Being used by God is an amazing feeling; sometimes all it takes is for us to break out of our comfort zones, and learn to say, “Yes” to God. It might seem scary or intimidating at first, but you will never regret it.

 

Grief

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Today Hamilton High School was told some devastating news – one of our former facilitators, Emily Ray, had died in a car accident the night before on her way home from Tupelo, Mississippi. Emily had a life. She graduated high school as the Valedictorian of her class, she was a successful business woman, she was engaged and planned on getting married soon, and she had such a heart for others, especially the students. Everyone who knew her could say nothing but good about her genuine character and sweet personality. At only 31 years of age, her life was ended. The students and faculty were deeply grieved to say the least. Some people don’t always know how to deal with the loss of a loved one, but Grief is not a sign of weakness. Grief is a necessary part of life, and it is OK to grieve.

When our principal called each grade into the library to tell us the news, he told us a verse of scripture: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” -Deuteronomy 29:29

The secret things… So many times do we wish we had all the answers. Why did her life have to be cut so short when she had so many wonderful things ahead of her? The Lord does not have responsibility to let us know why things happen the way they do. We have faith in God for a reason. Trusting that God’s plans are far greater takes great faith and courage. His ways and thoughts are higher than our own. Do I believe it was God’s plan for Emily to die at 7:30 p.m. in a car wreck on the night of November 2, 2015? Absolutely not. Scripture tells us that only the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. However, I do believe the the Lord uses any circumstance or situation for good. He can turn something terribly tragic and devastating as this and use it for good. We can learn how to honor Emily Ray. We can use this situation to inspire us not to take everyday life for granted. You never know when is the last time you will see a person or the last conversation you might have. This is why it is crucial love one another. Love deeply. Our time with family and friends is short. This life is just a passing moment compared to our eternal one. Emily was an inspiration to many and now rests with the Father in paradise.

Hello Friends!

Hello Friends!

I have missed blogging so, so much. My life this past month has been absolutely crazy! From my 17th birthday, to taking the ACT, to designing new shirt ideas for my Captivated line, traveling with my ministry team, to trying to keep my neck above water in chemistry… I have been one busy girl. So many wonderful doors and opportunities have opened for me, and I am grateful. New shirt designs are coming soon to Captivated Tees! I feel so blessed and hopeful for this new season of my life. I am about to buckle down and continue to write everyday. I find inspiration everywhere and hope to be able to share with you all in time.

It’s important to not let your busy time schedule have control over you. Not only that, but don’t let anything come in between you and your relationship with God. The enemy loves to get us sidetracked so that we neglect our precious relationship with the Father. 

How many times have you been overwhelmed by something going on in your life? However, the minute you run into the Father’s arms it is a peace like no other. All your troubles don’t look so threatening and scary anymore. Why? With God by your side, you have nothing to fear. You are unstoppable.

It is easy to get sidetracked and bombarded with our hectic lives. I challenge you to start to approach life differently. Take baby steps if you need to! Start this week with an “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” attitude. It can truly set the tone for your day and you’ll be blessed for it.

Letting Go

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Sometimes we might have a tendency to become so attached to things. I know I do. This picture portrays a little girl with a small teddy bear and God (Jesus) has a bigger teddy bear behind his back. The little girl is saying, “But I love it God.” But he’s saying, “Just trust me…”

About a year and a half ago, I was praying and I felt like God just interrupted me in the middle of my prayer, (I was going on and on about something I had been praying about for a while) when He said, “Don’t give up on me just yet…” I still remember that authoritative voice clear as day. Now here I am a year and a half later, and I am still choosing not to give up. I believe God was speaking into my life about a promise, and I am not giving up on His promise. I may have interpreted it for something different, but in time, I am starting to see that He was talking about a bigger picture. We can’t always see that big teddy bear behind his back, but if we learn obedience and trust, in time we will see His marvelous plans unfold. Whatever it may be that you’re attached to, learn to let it go. There is great freedom in the releasing. God’s ways are higher. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” -Isaiah 55:9

There was a time when I finally had to let go of someone. It was excruciating. The Lord was doing a major work in me. He seriously was digging roots out of me and frankly it hurt. But in all honestly, it had to be done and it was worth it. In the end, I learned how to be totally surrendered to Jesus. Later, my mother told me about this picture. She said, “Maybe you’re the big teddy bear Jesus is waiting to give to another person.” My heart soared. I had never thought of it like that. I used to see myself as the little girl who would’t let go. But this perspective has opened my eyes in a new direction. And for that, I am extremely thankful.

 

…Count it all JOY. 

Power in Prayer

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Prayer is powerful. Sometimes I find praying consistently to be a struggle. The devil loves it when we don’t pray. Times when I don’t feel like praying are the times when I have crazy encounters with God. In those time, I feel like God just like blows my mind. I might get a feeling to look up scripture and boom! It’s so relevant to what I may be facing or dealing with. (We all know God knows us and everything but it’s different when you actually see it happen in your life) That fleshly feeling of not really wanting to pray is the spiritual warfare ranging between the flesh and spirit. It’s the same thing when I don’t feel like getting up and going to church. The times where I’ll fight with myself and end up going are the services that wreck me. I know that resistance I was feeling toward going to church was the enemy trying to prevent me from experiencing God. The truth is, Satan is just jealous. I mean he was once an angel. He was jealous that God was the supreme and most powerful… God doesn’t have anything to do with Satan. He kicked him out of heaven for crying out loud. So how do you think it makes our enemy feel when the God of all creation wants to have a personal relationship with you? Oh he can’t stand it… so much so that he will do everything in his power to come against you and your relationship with God.

This explains many things. For starters, have you ever got like on a “spiritual high” like where you’re praying, doing devotionals more, not gossiping, sacrificing parts of your day to connect with the Father, when all hell breaks loose in your life? I mean you’ve had this “Christian” thing down for a solid 3 days and you’ve felt great! But wait… your grandma just got sick, your boyfriend dumped you, your dog died, your best friend did something that hurt your feelings, the list of random and negative things goes on. Why?? Because the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He’s going to try to mess up something (good) in your life to try to get you off track. You were a threat to him because you were so committed to God. Imagine how powerless the enemy would feel if you didn’t let anything (negative) in your life move you.  Be unshakeable. Don’t let the enemy control how you respond to situations. Get on your knees before the Father. Don’t feel like you have to have some elaborate prayer and be all whatever. Yes, it is great to have a fear and reverance for God, but don’t be timid to talk to Him. He loves our vulnerability. He loves our raw and sincere prayers. Even the awkward ones. God never disappoints a seeking heart.

 

Abide in His Love

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Some days it’s hard. Some days you might wake up and feel so insignificant. You might even feel like God doesn’t see you. I have to remind myself daily that God is for me and not against me.

I am a high school student. Ask anyone I go to school with, they will probably all agree that I stress over every little thing. Now I realize stress is not from God. It is a choice. Stress… Or abide in the love of the Father. It is so easy to allow my circumstances to get the better of me. But when I choose to abide in the love that God has for me,  it’s a whole new ballgame. When you abide in His love, not only will you feel comfort, but you will begin to feel a supernatural peace, overwhelming joy, and many other benefits will begin to flood your heart and mind. The catch is this: it is a decision you have to make each morning when you get out of bed. Will I allow what I might face today get the better of me? Will I worry about making a good grade on a test and stress over that meeting I have today? What about that person I’m dreading to talk to? Or… Will you wake up and say, “God, I can’t face today without you. I am choosing you, Lord. I want to abide in your love. I want to be a light for you. Father lead me throughout the day.” That’s it! Simple. But it’s a choice. It sounds like a “well duh” thing now. Like who wants to stress and worry? Definitely not me. But I’m telling you, I don’t say this as a discouragement, but when you take this challenge you  may feel bombarded with the most random things. It may be some of the most stressful times it feels like. Just know your Father is with you and for you. You can do all things through Him who give you strength.” -Philippians 4:13 // Abide in His love. Take up the challenge this week.

Dear Beautiful Girl

 

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I know, I know. Maybe you thought he could be, “The One.” You soaked in every word he told you, believing deep within you that he meant every word despite whatever logic or reason had to say about it. Maybe he told you that you were the only girl for him and that no one even came close to you. Maybe he promised you that he would always be there for you. He probably told you lots of things. I don’t know your story… All I know is that he does NOT determine your worth. And no, it was NOT anything you did. Don’t you dare spend a second dwelling on what you did wrong. You gave him your purest part – your heart. It’s easy to say how stupid you were to do that, but really, how could you have known it was going to turn out the way it did? Lessons were learned and pain was felt. But from that pain you are growing into an even more beautiful soul. Never allow it to make you bitter. You are better than that.

Listen, do not say you’re over it but continue to torture yourself with memories you choose to replay in your mind. Do not say you’re over it but still look at those pictures. Do not say you’re over it yet you lie down at night crying, thinking of what could’ve been. Stop. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Sometimes people come in and out of your life because they were only meant to play a part for a season. God knows what he’s doing. He sends you people you need for a time, they help you grow, and then they’re gone. And maybe that was all they were needed for. Growth is essential. Sometimes people go through seasons of loneliness. I know I have. But ya know what? That’s perfectly OK. It is in those seasons in particular, where I find myself so captivated by God, I am reminded that I don’t need someone to feel less lonely. Trust me, you are not alone.