Thursday, September 12, 2013

What If I Remain Single?






     My biggest fear is being alone.  It always has been.  I've never been afraid to stand out, to laugh at myself, or be the easy-to-get-along-with girl for anyone, but I've always be conscious of the fact that I'm single and no guys are interested.  Is there something wrong with me?  Am I too tomboyish?  Too sarcastic?  Too talkative?  Too much of anything?  Is there something about me that is keeping me back -- trapped in my darkest fear?

     I've always wondered if I changed something about myself that I would have someone love me, but so many people say, "Don't change yourself for ANYONE!"  And they're right.  Don't ever feel like you have to make yourself more of something in order to get that cute person of the opposite sex to like you -- be yourself and the right person will fall in love with you no matter what.  But, might I add to that above statement that you shouldn't change for anyone, except for God!  If He is working on an area in your life then change it!

     However, as girls, we always search for that security that a guy can give.  We long for finding that significant other and being cared for and protected.  But what if you're like me and single?  What if there isn't someone out there for you and you're doomed to be alone?!  These worries have plagued my mind many times and I still struggle with relying on God in this matter.  No bodies perfect. :)  But the Bible says that we should "cast all of our cares [worries] on Him because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7) and He has our whole lives planned out.  He has seen our future even before the beginning of time; He planned it out and orchestrated every last detail.  Wouldn't you think He had the very best in mind for us and who we were long before He created man?

Matthew 6:25-27 says, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not like more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you no much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

Worrying over something He has already ordained is not going to change it.  We just each must come to the point where we say "I'm willing" to whatever path He has chosen for us; whether single or married.  Besides, God has created us all different and many of those who are single are made that way because they have the capacity to love more than just one person.  So what if your singleness is just God trying to show you how much more you could love or do?  What if He is trying to show us His will for our lives?

For many, singleness is only for a season, but as long as you're in that season -- be ALL there!  Seek for the opportunities to minister in ways that you probably wouldn't be able to if you were married.  Go work with the children's ministry, support some little league games, jump in a ministry because you have the hours to fill it, ect.  Walk through the doors God is opening for you and don't focus on being alone.  Focus on the One who has always loved you. :)

Emily

Some interesting reads:
26, Unmarried, and Childless


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Where Is God When I'm Hurting?!



I'm sure we don't have to sit for very long in order to think of times where you were hurting.  Maybe even it's happening right now!  A loved one passes away, a good friend moves away, a pet dies, your crush doesn't return your feelings, your bf/gf breaks up with you, family struggles, ect.  These present times are full of turmoil, but pain is nothing new.  Ever since Eve took a bite out of that apple, pain has been a common occurrence in this world; being a stranger to none.  But some of my life heroes are the brave men and woman who shine through the dark clouds; their smiles through the tears and their laughter in the sorrows have always captured my attention and been such an encouragement.  I understand what some of you most likely are thinking, "Sometimes the storms in life are too strong!  I cry out to God, but He feels so distant!  Why can't I hear Him!  Where is God when I'm hurting?!"

The answer, in Isaiah 63:9, 

"In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old."

The answer is that when we are hurting, God is hurting.  Remember a verse in the Bible that talks about the tiny sparrow that falls and God cares for it?  And yet He cares for us even MORE.  The verse above speaks about how God feels His childrens' pain and sincerely will experience the hurts we feel in our hearts.  It pains Him so much to hear and feel our tears and anguish!  But why is it that we feel He doesn't?  We've got to face the fact that hurts are apart of life; we all experience them.  But God wants us to view these trials as stepping stones.  After all, when you're training for a marathon you're not going to feel 100% great when you first begin.  Your legs are burning, you're out of breath, and you feel like you'll never be able to make it!  But when you keep persevering you'll see the finish line.  Same thing here in a trial.  God is putting us through trials and hurts to nock off the rough edges in our lives, purify our faith to make it stronger, and make us more and more like Him.  However, if we DON'T see God's purposes in these hard times we'll end up with bitterness and that will turn into a hate towards God and those who offended.

Believe me, I never caught my hurt before it turned into a full out fledged bitterness.  I literally HATED those peoples' guts for doing those things to me.  I practically let it fester and boil!  And when you are bitter against someone you're literally killing them with your mind.  You're murdering them with your thoughts!  We don't want to call it that, but we are really a murderer.  That was a rude wake up call for me.

Another thing, other people are watching you through these trials.  There was a family in our church who had a son named Bryce.  Bryce had been diagnosed with cancer ever since he was very young and fought it all his childhood.  Bryce and his parents went through so much and we all knew they were in pain and suffering, but yet they still had that smile on their face.  Their testimony through that, even through Bryce's death, reached many lives.  They saw that trial as a chance to show Christ to others!  The outcome is probably not what they would have preferred, but through Bryce's testimony in the hospital, and ultimately in his death, he reached far more people than he probably would have if he had been cured.  You may not think so, but people who know (or will find out) about this situation you're going through will be watching you.  Maybe even unsaved friends at school or relatives!  They'll see how you respond to this and if/when you chose to respond right you'll have the opportunity to show Christ.  This is your chance to be a witness! :D

The third point, God wants to change you through the hurt.  There is a reason He is having us go through these trials, upsets, disappointments, and hurts; it's to mold us more into His image.  Think about a rock with sharp and jagged edges.  You're not gonna get those points off with a cloth, are you?  No.  You're going to need chisels, hammers, and heavy duty power.  Same with us.  We have edges that God is going to continue knocking off and He does that through trials.  We'd never get those things taken care of with an easy going life, but when trials comes it forces us to be rubbed against that grader that shaves those edges off.  It's a process God intends to pull us though, don't worry.  He WILL help us though...and that is the last point.

God will NEVER leave us.  Just like I said before, He feels our pain and He'll be right there to help you through.  He feels and hears our tears and cries and when we're hurt all we have to do is go to Him.  RUN to Him.  Allow Him to work and pull you through.  Cry out to Him!  Voice your fears and disappointments; your concerns and confusion.  Let your heart pour out to Him because He never left, He's still right there.  He's just waiting to hear from you. :)

Take a moment to get on your knees and THANK Him for what He has brought into your life.  Tell Him that you have identified your need of His help and ask Him to shine through your life to others who are watching.  Ask Him to help you forgive those who've wronged or hurt you.  Talk to Him about that circumstance that has worried you for so long.  Just talk to Him!  You can't build a relationship with someone if you just read about them or wave now and then.  You talk.  So why don't you spend some quality time talking with your Heavenly Father. :)

Emily

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Beautiful Hands


by: Ron Hamilton

"Beautiful hands that broke the bread 
Cared for the sick and raised the dead 
Hands full of feeling comfort and healing 
Beautiful hands of Jesus."

"Beautiful hands pleading for me 
Bound to a cross that I might go free
Barring the price that justice demands
Torn by the nails, Beautiful hands."

"Beautiful hands so strong and kind
Nailed to a cross by love Divine
Broken and bleeding, mercy exceeding,
Beautiful hands of Jesus."

"Beautiful hands stretched out to you
Ready to cleans and make life new
Hands that will guide you, shelter and hide you
Beautiful hands of Jesus."

"Beautiful hands pleading for me
Bound to a cross that I might go free
Barring the price that justice demands
Torn by the nails, Beautiful hands.
Beautiful hands."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Did You Forget Your Umbrella?



     The alarm goes off and you smack it grumpily and drag yourself from the warmth of your bed.  After your shower, you pick out your outfit, go about fixing your hair, and put on your make-up with an occasional glance at the clock to make sure you're not making yourself late.  You gather everything you'll need for your busy day of activities and then rush about grabbing something for a quick breakfast or even a hot beverage.  The buzzer on the microwave as you heat your water for tea reminds you of the time and you hurriedly put everything together and run for your car keys.  In the hustle and bustle of the morning you feel certain you forgot something, but what?  Once at the door, you fumble for the handle and throw the door open.  By the time you're in the car and heading to your destination you hear the thunder rumble as some lightening flashes across the sky.  Rain!  The weatherman lied to you yet again.  You reach the parking lot and quickly glance in your backseat to get your umbrella, but it's not there!  In your race to get out the door you had neglected to pick it up from the hall table.

     I'm sure we've all found ourselves in that same predicament more than once.  It's always frustrating when the rain rolls in and your umbrella is not on your person at that moment.  Especially when it's pouring and you had decided to park in Lot Z that morning for a nice walk from the car to work.  Yeah, smooth.  But in all seriousness, forgetting to grab your umbrella is a physical lesson we can relate our spiritual walk to.  The morning got so busy and rushed that you used your time to take care of other things and it totally slipped your mind to grab the umbrella.  Same in our Christian lives.  We get so caught up with life and how busy we are that we forget to grab our spiritual "umbrella."  I don't know if you've noticed this or not, but a day without devotions is classified by many as "miserable."  When we don't take that moment to spend time with our Creator and ask Him for strength to take on the day we find ourselves floundering, crabby, and soaked at the end of the day; spiritually and emotional exhausted!

     The Devil finds every-which-way to pound us and without taking the time to put on our protection we are powerless to hold out for long.  Any monkey can see that when you're running through the rain you can't keep yourself dry.  You're going to get wet.  "But I can run really fast and still be mostly dry!", you may argue. "True," I reply, "but there is still rain soaking into your clothes and affecting you."  No matter how fast you can run, the places rain hits you will be wet and will cause you to get the chills from those tiny spots.  One tiny drop will affect much more.  Same with how the Devil attacks us.  One little hit and he can mess with the rest of you or your day.  We MUST not forget our "umbrellas" each morning or we'll find ourselves at the end of the day so much more tired and ready to throw in the towel than before.  Or even worse, farther along in life and see we're no longer the person we used to be; we're walking apart from God.  Without centering our focus correctly each morning we can also ruin testimonies and friendships!  Life can get very busy -- I can attest to that -- but we still must make time for our daily growth.  Don't let the Devil get a tiny foothold in your life.  Don't get caught in the middle of a rainstorm without your umbrella.

     Did you forget your umbrella today? :)

Emily