Beautiful Surrender.

A Whirlwind of a Week

5 April 2014 – “Ah, happy girl. Feeling a little more grown up lately. I like it. I’m pretty content right now. I’m still waiting on the ‘what’s next’ thing, but I’m patiently waiting and living in the present. I like it. It’s working alright for me at the moment…My life is working out exactly as God has planned for it to. There’s a reason I’m not 1000+ miles away right now. I wouldn’t be turning into the woman of God that I’m becoming if I was, and I truly believe that. I’ve needed this season at home to become humble and lose my prideful spirit…I want to be humble, modest, and full of humility. A Jesus-like spirit, not a prideful one.”

6 April 2014 – “The guest speaker spoke on getting your friends saved and about being called into the mission field. I gave a public declaration to give my ALL to go for God, and I meant it. Mission work has been on my heart for so long now, and this timing for me to visit the church was just incredible.

God is doing great things in my life. They may not be BIG things yet, but he is stilling working in and on and through me. I serve a mighty, loving savior. I am so blessed beyond measure. I may not have always made the best decisions and choices, but they have all brought me to this point, to this moment, to these people, and honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

8 April 2014 – “I feel so undeserving. So impure and damaged. I know that is a feeling of the devil though. I know that I am a new creation in the Lord. I know he took me back as a prodigal child as soon as I came running back to him, and that he has been working on me ever since.

I know that I am enough, every flaw and mistake is forgiven. I know that day on the driveway that God spoke to me. I know He has great plans for me. I know He is making me into a woman of beauty in Him, one who is worthy of love and happiness and a life in His perfect will. I know that despite my past, I am more than enough.”

9 April 2014 – “We’re taught not to test God, or to ask him to reveal things to us through signs and wonders, but isn’t that oftentimes what they did in the Bible? Like with Gideon asking God to make the fleece wet and the ground dry (and then vice-versa) to know that the Lord would be with him to save Israel by his hand? I guess I just don’t get it. I guess I’m just looking for a sign.”

10 April 2014 – “Yesterday, I wrote that I was just looking for a sign. A sign that what I have been feeling and thinking and desiring was placed on my heart and my mind because it was God’s will and part of His plan for my life, not just something I wanted. Last night at church, God gave me that sign.

Pastor walked up, placed his hands on my face and before I could utter a sound, he began whispering in my ear, ‘You’ve done the right thing by taking off your shoes, for the place you’re standing on is Holy Ground. Just as I called the prophet to go, so I am sending you’ (there was more to it, and he used the word humility, but I was so consumed, this paraphrase is all I can recall).

I broke, I cried, I shouted, I dropped to my knees, overwhelmed by the Lord. And God spoke. He said, “you asked for a breeze, but I’ve sent you a hurricane.” I cried and I laughed, because he confirmed what I have known since I was a child, that I was called to be a missionary, that I would be going to the ends of the earth for Him. I have never before felt so full and so satisfied. These last few years, I have been in search of something. I travel, I enjoy and I come back longing for more. This is why.

I’m not sure what comes next and I don’t need to. Like mom said, something is going to come along and I’m just going to know it’s time. I’m no longer anxious, but excited. My heart feels as though it may burst with joy and happiness and love and excitement. I feel found. I feel like everything I’ve been longing and searching for is suddenly mine. This passion, this fire, this burning desire is so amazing and so overwhelming.

I’m laying it all down for Him. All of me.”

11 April 2014 – “Ah, how freeing this feeling is. I am excited beyond words for what the Lord is planning to do. I’m anxious because I’m ready. I am SO ready to lay it ALL down for His name, His honor and His glory. I am so blessed that He has chosen and called me to be used by and for Him. So unbelievably blessed and honored.”

 

 

Let’s Catch Up

So much has gone on since my last post in November. You can see a small (but extremely important) part of that in the journal entries I posted above (those are from my personal journal – very real and very raw).

In a quick whirlwind, I’ll attempt to bring you up to speed…

After I forgave A in November, my heart was released from a heavy burden that I didn’t realize was weighing me down so much. As we moved into the new year, I set my sights on the Lord and was determined to dive deeper into him. I began using JoyFm’s Read Through the Bible in a Year as a challenge/resolution for myself. I have always wanted to read through the entire Bible, but have never made it past the first three books before getting extremely bored or off-track. This time, I was determined. I pushed through a few books in the Old Testament that nearly put me to sleep, I got behind during a weekend away and had to read a ton of chapters to catch up and I woke up an hour early some days just to have time to do the reading. I am three and a half months into 2014, and 9 books into the Old and New Testaments (it splits it up so you alternate a bit).

As I’ve read further, I’ve learned more. Even on the days that didn’t hold my interest, I pushed through and kept reading. The days I didn’t feel like doing my devotions were the days I knew I needed to read the most.

And God has taught me so much through these last few months. I have grown in Him more than I ever expected. He has brought me through so much and has given me more blessings than I could have ever thought to ask for. He is truly a mighty God.

He has swarmed me with a few words (aka lessons) lately – pride, humility, beautiful, surrender and faith.

Pride Cometh Before a Fall

“You need to stop being prideful and just drop your weight…”

This was said to me while lifting weights with a (newer) friend at the gym. This was the second time he had called me out on trying to lift more than I could and the second time he used the term pride with me. Six months ago, I got defensive when he used the word. We hardly knew each other, and he definitely didn’t know anything about me or my pride (yet, that reaction makes it obvious that I was very prideful!).

Last week when he said it, I stepped back, dropped my weight for the exercise and then read up on pride and humility during my next devotional time. Two days later, I ended up thanking him for calling me out on it. Pride is something that the Lord has been quietly working on in my life, and sometimes, it takes another person to point out your flaw so you can see that it is still there and needing to be worked on.

He smiled at me and said, “That’s something the Lord works with me on every day. I didn’t even realize I said it, but I’m glad I could help you.” It was one of those moments that you just know is dynamic. I was proud of myself for putting myself out there in humble honestly. I trembled the entire way through the conversation, and realized that thanking someone for calling you out on your pride, was nearly more difficult than actually being called out on it.

None More Beautiful

Beautiful. In today’s world of photoshop, it’s hard to define the word. For months after I moved home, I worked out for hours a day, stuck to a strict diet and wasn’t only unhappy with the results I wasn’t seeing, but I felt ugly, inside and out.

I was miserable and unhappy. I kept comparing myself to the bodies I saw on social media and in magazines, wondering why all of my hard work wasn’t paying off. Wondering why my digestive issues weren’t being resolved (I’m still working on figure this all out and praying for complete healing) and stalling my weight loss. Wondering why I wasn’t beautiful.

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but one day, I just decided that I didn’t care anymore. Sure, I still want to look good and feel confident in my appearance, but I no longer want to believe the lies of the enemy that I am ugly, or that I am not good enough.

Ever since I resolved to be at peace with my body and began eating for health, rather than for a number or a size, I became less stressed and more accepting of myself. I have been released from a disorder that has plagued me for years. I can slip up now, and forgive myself for having a treat off my meal plan or skip a workout and not feel the need to kill myself twice as hard at the next session. In fact, I actually began to FEEL more beautiful. Because God loves me, whether I’m a size 14 or a 4 (and believe me, I am much closer to a 14).

A Call to Surrender

Surrender. A word that has been resonating in my heart lately.

To surrender means to:
– abandon oneself entirely; give in to
– the act of surrendering (synonyms: submission, yielding).
– to agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, etc.
– to give control to someone else
– to allow something to influence or control you (Merriam Webster)

When I stood up from the wooden pew at that little non-denomination church last Sunday, I was surrendering my all to God. I was putting myself aside and taking up the cross. I was losing myself again, but this time, I was gaining so much more. I was surrendering to the God who forgives my pride, makes me humble and finds me beautiful.

Well Done, My Good and Faithful One

I cannot wait for the day that I hear the Lord speak those words to me.

I am ready to begin serving for His kingdom, to fulfill the calling He has placed over my life. I am so ready to trek the unbeaten path, to reach the unreached and to spread love to those who have yet to hear of His great name. I am SO ready.

I made a big decision this morning, and while I am extremely nervous about it, I am doing it in faith. I plan on giving my two weeks notice at work this week.

I have dreaded every shift I’ve worked these last few weeks. My heart weighs heavy in my chest the entire time I’m there and my spirit aches. I know it’s because of my recent choice to surrender to God. I am no longer able to return in “good fun” the foul language, inappropriate jokes and crude remarks, and I am no longer able to let them pass by me unaffected. The Lord is calling me out of such a place.

I’m nervous, as I make pretty decent money waitressing. I pay my own bills, buy my own food and have enough extra to treat myself to expensive treats and trips. But this is part of laying it all down for God. This is part of leaving the world’s ways behind, taking up my cross and following him.

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) says that, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we cannot see.”

I am ready, willing and waiting to find out where the Lord is leading me to next. I have a few mission trips in mind, and I am praying for each of them. I only want to do His will, and I know that when the right one comes along, it will all work out according to His purpose.

I am stepping out in full faith, and I’ve never been more sure.

Baby, I’m back.

Oh boy, it’s been a few months. And what a few months it has been!!

Let’s catch up, shall we?

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As of last December, I am OFFICIALLY a college graduate!!! Crazy, right?! I am sad to note that I didn’t reach the GPA level for honors, but with everything I went through in my life during my time at Lindenwood, I’m just happy that I achieved as well as I did. The last few years of my life have thrown me more curveballs than I can begin to explain, and looking back, I would have done so much differently if I had known then what I know now. But then again, wouldn’t we all?

I have regrets, but I have also figured out who I am.

Now, if only I could figure out what I want to do next. I feel so unready for the “real” world. I lack the drive and motivation that I see so many of my friends having. I know I’m capable of so much, but I am so lost as to where to begin. It’s probably one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced.

Philly loves

NC fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as I finished my last final, I was on a plane heading to Philly to visit some of my favorite people. I hadn’t seen most of them since my trip up there last March, so I was very happy I was able to use some Southwest flight credit to head that way. On top of being able to see these wonderful people, I was also able to see a second show with the beautiful Tyler Ward. We went to Christmas parties, had good-bye dinners and even watched the LA Lakers beat the 76ers. It was a pretty great trip out East.

I spent Christmas with my family, but sadly was miserably sick that entire week. A few trips to the ER and my doctor revealed a bout of the flu and some new food allergies – eggs, shrimp and corn (plus I’m lactose and gluten intolerant…but my diet is an entirely different story).

My next adventure involved one of my childhood best friends, a drive out East and some mountains. We left early New Years Eve day to head to Nashville for a night of fun – which ended up with us back in the hotel just before 11pm (we’re real party animals). The next morning, we worked out, ate breakfast and set off for North Carolina. The drive was pretty awful – bad traffic, rain that made the vision difficult and awful drivers. But we made it to our friend Nick’s late New Years Day with enough time to hang out and play Apples-to-Apples. It was quite a wet week – tons of rain, snow and cold! – but we made full use of it. The first day, we did some driving to pick up a friend, ate Chick-fil-A and then trekked around the top of Beech Mountain (absolutely gorgeous view!) before enjoying Mexican food and friendship. The next day we took a late start, ate lunch at a cute Irish sandwich shop and then heading off to the mountains. Five hours later, soaking wet, freezing cold and sore as ever, I had successfully completed my first climbing and rappelling adventure!! It was honestly one of the most amazing days of my life – you never know how much you can do until you push yourself there.

I returned home the next afternoon and began getting ready for the biggest trip yet – EUROPE!!! I had about five days to wash clothes, pack and finish up the last of my “to-do” list. I couldn’t even tell you what happened in those five days, as I was way beyond the level of stressed that I should have been at.

Europe Time!

On Wednesday, January 9th, I set off on my first international trip. I couldn’t have been more excited and nervous. The flight itself was long (and my tummy was still upset, so I was quite uncomfortable), but well worth it. Europe was incredible. Seeing one of my best friends was amazing. Everything about my trip was perfect.

I plan on going into more detail about each place I visited in second blogs, but it’s taking me some time to get everything (pictures, my journal, maps/info, etc.) organized. I’ve been home about three weeks now and have dove head first into workouts and family time, with a bit of job hunting here and there. I really need a job, but it’s EXTREMELY stressful to search and find one. Plus, I’m still just trying to readjust to not only being back in the states after two months, but also being back in my hometown after nearly five years of not having a whole lot to do with it (minus about half a year, when I still didn’t do much with anyone in town and was overcoming that car accident trauma).

The past few years of my life have been crazy, in both good and bad ways. I’m trying to really determine what I want from life, and I figure that if it takes me a few months, then it’s okay. I have a room over my head, a supportive family and a great group of friends. I have time to figure it all out, and in the meantime, I’ll be working out, baking and blogging!!

Update!

Woah baby, where has November gone?! This month has been crazy! But wonderful. I’ve dropped some more weight, bought my plane ticket for EUROPEEEEE, had a wonderful Thanksgiving break at home with my family and am so close to graduating and moving out of this apartment that I can barely stand it!

I’ve had a hard time concentrating on school with so much else going on, but I’m working to get through these last three weeks of presentations, projects and finals. I am so over classes and college. I can’t believe that in less than three weeks, I will HAVE A DEGREE!! Wow.

I move home in two weeks and I’m actually looking really forward to it. I’m ready to spend some time with my family, get back into my workouts and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. After Christmas, I’m heading to Virginia on a road trip with a childhood friend to move her onto base and spend New Years with some friends. After I get home, I’ll go crazy trying to get things done before I leave on a TWO MONTH TREK THROUGH EUROPE. I cannot wrap my mind around the amazingness that is about to be my life.

Of course, when I get back, I’ll have no money, no job and no place of my own…but who cares! Things will work out, they always do.

 

And until then, I’m worry free, happy and so in love with this great thing called life.

Well, hello again.

Busy Bee!

I’ve been vacant for about two weeks now and I miss blogging! I honestly couldn’t begin to tell you where the last few weeks have gone and now my favorite month is coming to a close all too quickly.

It has been busy! Midterms, work, weekends away – so much going on, but I absolutely love it.

Here goes nothing…

I have made the first few steps towards some MAJOR life changes, or transitions, as some psychology students might call them. I have decided that after I graduate in December, that I will move home for a few months. I have quit Victoria’s Secret and just broke the news that I would not be taking the position I was offered at the Ad Agency I have been interning at.

This was a HUGE decision for me, once that I have really been struggling with the past few months. I don’t see going home as a failure, although I see it as being in the middle of nowhere, with my entire family and out of a job – so it’s kind of scary. But more-so, I see it as an opportunity. I’m going to spend the holidays with my family, take a month or so off to travel through Western Europe, and then begin applying for jobs when I return.

I couldn’t be more terrified and thrilled for my decision. I really think it will give me a chance to figure out who I really am now that college is almost over, and it will help give me a sense of what I really want to do with my life. I can’t explain how much I need this time for myself. I can’t tell you how much I need this time with my family. I am so ready for this “break” to regroup.

I’m anticipating that many people are going to tell me it’s a terrible decision, but I don’t care what they think. This is my life and these are my decisions to make.

 

I’m ready.