Announcements (Life Lately)

So…a lot has happened in the last month or two!

Update 1:

I began support raising for my trip overseas this summer, and can’t believe I leave in three weeks! I am flying solo to a small town in Ireland for three months where I will be joining a host team that has planted a church. Many hats will be worn by myself during my time there: helping out with the worship music, engaging in discipleship, leading Bible studies and youth activities, and just generally being the happy American who talks to everyone. I’m almost 100 percent fully funded (just about $200 to go!) and have been extremely blessed during this process. If you are interested in giving or receiving my newsletter, feel free to shoot me a message! I am not sure if I will do blog or email updates yet, but would love to hear from you.

Update 2:

I am finishing up my first year of graduate school, and have my last day of class tomorrow. Next week is my last few days working over at Byers before finals kick in. Next year, I am really excited to begin interning part-time at Dove’s Nest. I will be doing individual and group treatment for women in recovery from substance abuse. This was a placement that I really, really wanted. Definitely looking forward to learning from these women and having the opportunity to serve them the best that I can.

Update 3:

I have admittedly been a bit reluctant to talk about this subject up until this point publicly, just because I am still unsure of exactly what to say about it! Probably just being silly. But, here goes the announcement that isn’t exactly a secret anymore:

I wrote a book! It’s called The Good News Diaries (conveniently the same name as my blog), now available in print and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Good-News-Diaries-Encouraging/dp/1495399834/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398282847&sr=8-1&keywords=the+good+news+diaries

I began writing this in college, and picked it up every now and then for the next few years. About a year ago though, I basically changed everything I already had compiled, and powered through it at the end of 2013. When the book was first released last month, I was mostly excited and grateful, but also felt a little…odd, to say the least! It was literally like I was putting something out in writing for the world to see that made me feel extremely exposed and vulnerable. Even though I have similar conversations to the text and this blog, this felt a lot more official. It was as if the most important thoughts and beliefs in my mind and heart were suddenly made extremely public for critique and evaluation. But, it was definitely something I had been thinking and praying about for a long time, and am thankful that it finally happened! The day it was released, all I could think was “I don’t actually care if five or 500 people read this. Whatever happens will be sufficient!”

 

So, those are three pretty big things going on right now…so excited to see what all is ahead!

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Where Do I Go From Here?

So today, in honor of the fall break from my grad school program that I have through tomorrow, I have been working on a project that has been ongoing for quite a number of years. I was making some notes when I wrote one sentence that actually stopped me from continuing:

“Where do I go from here?”

Without thinking about it, I had written one of the most fear-ridden questions that people ask themselves every day.

I have done _______, so now what?

Is this all over?

Will I ever see this person again?

What does this mean for our friendship?

When I was leaving my mission field this summer, this was the main question that everyone was constantly talking about. Our leader wanted to know if we had any goals for ourselves once our team returned to the states. A huge part of the debriefing process in Orlando with Pioneers was connected with this question of, essentially, “So…now what? Is it all over?”

A few weeks later, in mid-August, me and about 45 other people were hit with that question again as we started a grad school program in social work. “Congrats! You got through the application process. Welcome to the university.”

So…now…where do we go from here? What specific area of social work are we going to be doing? It felt weird being back in school again- I had apparently gotten used to having income and free time! (strange, right?).

I have found through my experiences though that the largest things that can cause me to let fear creep into my mind does not really concern my circumstances, environment, or even my future as much as the people who are in my life. Going back to this summer again, when I left for France I had moved from Chapel Hill, where I had spent the last five-six years, back to my hometown of Charlotte just two days before my flight left for training. I arrived overseas, in addition to being jet-lagged and disoriented “mourning the change”, so to speak. And by leaving this place that for years had provided a sense of security, friendship, and support through my church, I wasn’t just going to a different city; I was going to a different country, language, peer group, and so forth. If I wasn’t ready to leave Chapel Hill yet, I was certainly going out with a bang.

“So…what do I do now?” definitely ran through my head. More than once. I won’t attempt to count the number of times, actually, but it is a safe bet that it was well into the double digits. This sudden immersion of not necessarily knowing how to communicate with people combined with me just plain missing my best friends and job led to me not really quite being myself for the first few weeks.

I have already summed up my experiences in France in former blog posts, so I am not trying to reiterate the past constantly here. But the question of “Where do I go from here?” is something that has constantly weighed on my mind.

Something that going from living in three different cities in the span of a few months did for me though was help me to realize how sometimes you are taken out of your comfort zone to grow in your dependence on God. There are questions that I have about my future where if I could just ask God “Hey, when is this going to happen, will I ever get married, where am I going to be working” and so forth, and then receive an answer, I would be a lot more content internally. Things would certainly be a lot easier.

But that approach, even if it was possible, does not require any faith. It is just me impatiently demanding for answers.

When I ask “Where do I go from here?”, I have found more with time that instead of a clear answer, I meet people, have conversations or go through experiences that slowly shape my decision making and future in a way that I would not have understood had I even been able to see the future.

What can be taken from this is that my confidence doesn’t lie in where I am going, or even how I am getting there, but who is leading me along the way.

Defeating the “What If?”

I haven’t gotten the chance yet to talk about my time in France so far, so I will be doing that in a post within the next few days. I actually wanted to talk about a subject first that has been on my mind a lot recently.

Before flying down to Florida, probably the biggest thing that I was still going back and forth with a bit can be summed up by these two words: “What if?”

These are the words that basically define fear. They spin around in your head into dozens of possibilities and situations that imply…

You do not have control.

You are not prepared.

You may not be happy in the future.

And on and on….

Mine were admittedly not exactly what I would classify as debilitating concerns or ones that can take over your life, like “What if the economy collapses?”. I was very excited about what was to come, and just a little nervous. I am going to share with you, though, a few of the what if’s that went through my mind in the months preceding my departure overseas.

What if I get there and find that my teammates and I do not mesh well?

What if my very limited knowledge of the french language renders me completely useless?

What if I get sick, or something happens and I do not know what to do? And on that note, what if my stomach issues start getting out of control again?

What if I am so emotional from being separated from Grace (who I had been the nanny for up until this point) that I am not an effective team leader because I am such a wreck? And then everyone thinks I am a freak because not only can I not express myself in french, but I can’t even keep my emotions in check? I am going to set an even worse rep for Americans than we have already.

Okay, enough of that now. I exaggerated just a tad. But, for the most part, one or more of these thoughts would occasionally pass through my mind as I was going through the process of fundraising, saying goodbye to my friends (who have basically turned into family) in Chapel Hill, and moving to Charlotte. Having lived there for five years, that was another “what if”…a What if I am supposed to stay here after all?

Once again in Florida these thoughts would occasionally occur to me while externally I was busy trying to meet everyone, remember their names, and get as much as I could out of the seminars and discussions.

Side note- I just glanced down at my playlist, and realized the album title of my current song is “Nothing Left to Fear”. It’s getting me pumped.

Anyway, I believe it was the day before we were flying out that I watched a sermon on my computer from Elevation Church called “Running From Your Life”, from the Room 101 series. I highly recommend watching it sometime, as Steven Furtick does a fantastic job of explaining everything. I admit it’s kind of funny that I watched a sermon on my break between what were, essentially, sermons, at orientation.

So basically the funny story goes like this: the messages from Elevation are typically somewhere around 50 minutes long. (They go by shockingly fast.) I was able to get about halfway through this particular one before I knew I had to leave for the next session. I hadn’t been taking notes really, but honestly was thinking of restarting the whole thing all over again later because I was getting so much out of it. At this point my thoughts were something along the lines of “Man! I don’t want to stop listening to this! Oh well, I need to try and focus on this new, upcoming message instead.”

This is where God’s timing gets pretty interesting. You recall how above I said that the what if’s were my primary concern when entering in on this trip, and I had been continuing to think about them? And now that I didn’t really want to have this first sermon interrupted?

Well, essentially, it wasn’t.

I entered into the chapel only to hear a message from a pastor named Mitchel Lee, who, in terms of his age and so forth, is similar to Pastor Furtick. They both have a lot of energy, do not use many notes, are young and expressive, and guide churches in their own walks with Christ.

Well, on this particular morning they both also had pretty much the exact same sermon in common. And later when I told Mitchel this story with a laugh, he was pretty blown away and wanted to hear the Elevation version as well.

They both were based around Daniel 3:16-18, talked about the What Ifs and fears, how God has shown us unconditional reserve, and how the two words to conquer these thoughts are “Even If”.

Daniel 3:16-18:

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

This verse right here pretty much sums up the definition of faith, if “what if” defines fear: God has the ability and the desire to save, but even if He doesn’t, because our interpretations of what would rescue us are not always the best ways in God’s eyes, we will worship Him regardless of the benefits it brings us.

Often people go back and forth between objective and subjective praise and faith. We view God in different lights depending on whether good or bad things happen to use. We offer praise in certain circumstances or situations, and do not in others. A wish of ours turns into an expectation, which then with time turns into a demand. And then, to continue the pattern of using two words, this is where the “If Only” comes into play.

“God if only you would give me a husband/wife, then I would have the support I need to _______.”

“God if only you would let me get into this school, then I would be able to do great things for your ministry.”

And so forth. Essentially, our contingency plans, conditions and desires cover up our lack of security, and our need for constant reassurance and love that only God Himself can provide. But we don’t want to take risks. We don’t want to give up the control. I am generalizing here, I realize, but as a group, humans don’t want to just flat out say “God, I am not enough, and I need you. I can’t meet all of my needs based on my own efforts no matter what I try, it seems, and I want to rely on you.”

The question to ask yourself is “Even If”.

Even if I never get promoted, am I willing to stay in this rather mundane job because it allows me to do something for the glory of God?

Even if I never get married, will I still follow God with my whole heart?

Even if I never have children, will I fulfill God’s instructions by pouring out my love and affection to others who desperately need it?

And so forth. Hearing this same message back to back within about a ten minute time frame, it was really emphasized to me how much I needed it. I need to play through my what if’s in order to conquer them.

For example, just to pick one from the spring:

What if our team doesn’t get along, and this causes friction or unpleasantness for the summer?

Well, then I guess we will just try and find each other’s strengths, delegate responsibilities, and try and agree that we are all working towards a common goal. We wouldn’t have to be best friends, but would always try to show each other courtesy and respect. God does not call us to like everyone, but we are called to love everyone. And at the end of it all, it is only for two months, and then we can go our separate ways, hopefully having made accomplishments as a group.

(Not trying to say that my team doesn’t get along right now :). Just using it as an example.)

I realize that this was a very minor fear, and most things are not quite so short-term or simple. The same concept applies no matter what the situation, because fear is simply the absence of putting your trust in God to handle things.

Even if _____ happens, I will worship God.

Even if I go through _______, God is with me, and while I may not be immediately delivered from it, He will get me through it.

This means having the strength to say that no good or bad experiences will make God any less glorious, any less good, or any less loving.

It means having the trust and faith that God will use you exactly how He wants when you open your heart, ask Him to come in, and make the changes He wants to see in the world happen through you!

Grateful.

This is going to be a very short post, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to say how grateful I am for the response I got on my last post on my testimony. It had about five or six times the number of views that I anticipated, and the support that I received was very overwhelming. Thank you so much! I am very grateful for your encouragement.

Currently I cannot give too many details on the situation I am in, as I am in training to go overseas. We are about to learn in the next few days about online security, and what kind of information we can give about the program and our location for safety reasons. What I can say however is that I have learned so much more already in the last 72 hours than honestly even I had anticipated. It’s been really challenging, but in a good way. I am having to pump myself up with caffeine to keep up with the pace, as even sleep is not doing the trick for keeping up with the 7 am – 10 pm schedule : ) But once again, I am very grateful for this experience. It could end tomorrow without the weeks spent overseas, and I would feel like God had already made this experience incredibly valuable.

I am not sure how often I will be able to update my blog. My hope is often, but I will not find out exactly what my duties/activities will be until arriving in my host country. Any prayers you could offer my team, whether in the moment or over the course of the summer, would be greatly appreciated. If you could also pray for me as the leader of that team, as I am learning how to do that piece as well!

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5

I Was Baptized Today. (My Testimony)

Today I was baptized for, technically, the second time in my life.

I felt the need to write this post to talk about what convicted me to request this, partially because it was an online testimony that placed it on my heart. So, being a bit vulnerable here, and laying it all on the table!

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I was exposed to the story of Christ as a very young child, as I began going to church nursery school when I was two years old. There isn’t a time that I can recall where I ever doubted this story as being true. Growing up it was simply a fact; Jesus came, died, and was resurrected. I accepted these facts with very little question, and learned how to pray, what hymns to sing, and so forth. Going into my teen years however, I very much wanted to have an understanding of the Bible and all of its promises, but did not feel like I had a grasp of what exactly people meant when they talked about its display of sacrifice and unconditional love.

I differ from some Christians in that I cannot actually pinpoint a day where I gave my life over to Christ. Part of me almost envies those testimonies that really grab people’s attention, as mine in comparison seems rather ordinary. You know what I am talking about? “I had been using crack for 10 years, been in and out of rehab, and was in the middle of my weekly atheist coffee group when I felt a calling from Christ”. Yet that is a very small part of me, as I know that how dramatic my story is makes no difference to God.

For me though it was more of an extended learning process as to what everything I learned in Sunday school really meant; that it meant not just going to church out of habit or because it was “the right thing to do”, but to actually develop a passion for the scripture and all that it teaches. Around the time I turned 14, I began experiencing some health issues that were very stressful at the time. Doctors were pretty inconclusive as to what was going on, and it felt like the pain would never go away. Hindsight, a great portion of the problem was stress that kept piling up that I didn’t know how to cope with. I would ask God why He was putting me through this pain, feeling like I had done something wrong to be feeling like that. I kept thinking “I’m a good person, for the most part. Why is this happening to me?” This is where I really feel that my journey to the point I am now began.

During this time I began reading the Bible more often, searching for a solution. I spent a lot of time alone, and wasn’t sure where to start, but kept reading the New Testament looking for answers. Even though I did not surrender all of my trust to the Lord at that time, it was then that my dependency on His word began to develop.

Fast forward two years later, when I began having more health problems. I had been feeling better for the most part, but suddenly I began having digestive issues that no one could explain. Over the next three years, I lost about 20+ pounds, could barely keep any food down, and had countless tests done. I can’t accurately describe my emotions during this time, and I won’t go into much specific detail over the blog. The medications doctors tried to put me on had bad side effects, and I found myself becoming depressed. Along with simply being malnourished from not eating, I lost much of what little physical strength I had. It got to the point where it would be genuinely painful when someone would even playfully poke me.

Finally, in 2008, I saw a different doctor who was able to determine that I had a rare condition called gastroparesis, which literally means that my stomach is partially paralyzed (it empties about 25 percent slower than the average person). Few people have heard of it, and it is currently not possible to treat or cure. While this is a subject that I could go on about for much longer, my point is that it is something that has shaped my life in many ways. I have had to put my trust in God to lead me through nutritional and exercise plans instead of medicine to take care of me. Don’t get me wrong, I think medicine is a wonderful thing, just for me this was a path that has been able to strengthen my reliance in things unseen.

During this time with my health, I had been dating a boy in high school. At this time unknowingly, I was putting far too much pressure on his shoulders. I expected a great deal of support, and expected that everything would magically work out. In the middle of my freshman year of college, after some on and off again stints, we broke up for good. Again I turned into this pretty pathetic mess and felt like I must have done something wrong since God was not making the problems go away. It is clear now that God has taken these experiences and turned them into something that glorifies Him. Most recently, for example, I led a small group discussion on body image with the girls of my church’s youth group. In that sense, I am incredibly grateful for everything that I went through. While I would not wish it for someone, I am much more prepared than I would have been otherwise to help others deal with their own insecurities and hardships.

I would say the low point for me was in the spring of 2009. It was at that time that I knew something had to change, and clearly whatever I had been doing to cope hadn’t really been working, at least, not for very long. I joined the UNC’s Christian sorority that semester where, for the first time, I met other girls who wanted to serve God just as much as I did. They were friendly, open, and accepting of me, and I found that I looked forward to going to the weekly worship services. I began to grow in my faith again, and started feeling God’s love and forgiveness wash over me. Everything was slowly starting to get better.

Someone once said “It’s always darkest before the dawn” (not trying to quote a pop song here). Since that moment freshman year, my life has become less about me and my wants and more about Christ. I found that I am at my happiest when I am glorifying God through public service. In the last five to six years countless things have happened to continuously reaffirm my faith, and have led to a greater understanding of just how amazing and important Christ’s sacrifice was. It is from these experiences in my past that I have been able to connect and empathize with women and peers I meet. When people twice my age have come seeking my advice, it has been through the grace of the Holy Spirit within me that I have been able to help them.

Ephesians 2:9-10 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” It has been purely by the grace of God that I have been brought into His kingdom, and not a day goes by that I am not reminded of how much I need His grace, as I could never hope to earn that kind of unconditional love on my own. My mistakes humbled and weakened my heart enough so that I could no longer stubbornly avoid God’s will for me. I was broken down so that God could build me up, and when He did build me, He built a stronger, better version of myself to mold into His will. He was with me in relationships that proved to be less than healthy. He was with me when my sorority had the opportunity to acquire a million dollar house and the project was assigned to me as both housing financial director. And He has been by my side as I have tried to find ways to spread the gospel using whatever spiritual gifts I have, and has given me some of the truest friends I could ever ask for along the way.

One of the most important things I have learned is that in order to really let God have control of your life, you have to pray for the wisdom to let go and let Him in. For years I would desire a close relationship with Him, but when I prayed I would ask for the things I wanted. I did not pray for Him to have His way with my life, but instead for things to go the way I wanted them to. And even if I got what I wanted, it still didn’t work in the end. God knows what is best even if it isn’t clear at the time, and offering your life to Him as a living sacrifice is actually the most freeing and liberating thing you can ever do. One of my favorite quotes is by CS Lewis: “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” Although I have had many good things happen to me the first twenty-something years of my life, and I am incredibly grateful, I consider my story to be an example this, and each year truly has gotten better than the last.

So, with all of this said, the reason I decided to become baptized again is because I wanted to make the decision when I was mature enough to know what I was doing, and to show that Christ is Lord of my life. While I grew up sort of under the impression that if I was baptized again it wouldn’t really count, since I had already had one as a baby, I now see that that was a misimpression. While my baptism today was not in close proximity to the time when I really invited Christ into my life, it is a symbolic representation of the spiritual growth and journey that I have been on, and will continue to go through for as long as I am alive. I am so grateful for the people who came today: my real family (parents), “second family” (Lara, Ari and Grace), and church family (Pastor David and his family), as well as a supportive and loving family from Calvary, were there for encouragement. The process of being baptized was something that gave me a great sense of peace. I don’t really know how to put it into words. Hopefully I will be able to one day. Despite the fact that there were lots of happy families there swimming, enjoying the gorgeous weather at the lake, I have to say I didn’t actually really notice them when this was happening. It was a very personal experience, and I am so thankful beyond words that it happened.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

The Problem With Living Like You’re Dying

This is a conversation that I have had with friends before. While it isn’t quite as common of a trend now, there were a few years where it seemed like every time I turned on the radio there was some song on about “I’m going to live like there’s no tomorrow”.

Now hear me: I am all for making the most out of the opportunities in your life. Someone once told me “You regret the things you don’t do more than the things you actually do”, which I love. By trying new things and actually taking a shot at doing the things we dream about, we open up entire new worlds that we may never have known otherwise.

So really, I think there can be a lot of good that comes out of thinking this way. But this post is just to present a counterpoint to this phenomenon with “YOLO” that has taken over pop culture.

Starting off by just looking at my own life, I am an ENFJ (extrovert), meaning that I enjoy having lots of noise and people around. While most of my friends actually tend to be more introverted, and enjoy solitude as a way to decompress, quiet stresses me out. I find it impossible to drive in the car without music playing and typically always have the TV on in the background if no one else is around. It is actually the first thing I do in the morning when I wake up, just to help keep me awake. This personality type also tends to mean that I like to be busy and involved. I won’t list everything I have taken on; nearly all of it is very enjoyable, but essentially I have a really busy schedule.

So you may be thinking okay…that’s nice, but what does that have to do with the topic here? Well, essentially, it means that I for one am often in this “What haven’t I done today that I might regret later on?” mindset. It’s led to a lot of really positive things in my life, and I am very proud of some of the things I have gotten to accomplish by God’s grace. But just as some people need some motivation to get going, go pursue their dreams, work towards making things better, others may need to slow down a bit.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” -Psalm 46:10

There are times when I literally sit and realize that I have not gotten to spend as much time in the Bible, decompressing, or reflecting as I would like. Typically during the day I am rushing from work, to volunteering, to one activity or another. I am truly thankful that I am so involved, but sometimes it seems like maybe I am trying to take on too much. When I am not occupied by a task, it has gotten to the point where instead of feeling restful, I get anxious and guilty. I feel like I am wasting my time, instead of taking that time and turning it over to God to fill my mind while I am being still.

I do not want to be so “busy serving God” that I am actually blocking out that time to just sit and remember that I do not have complete control, and am not Superwoman.

So while it is great to try new things, give in to change, and fill time in a productive manner, I wish in some ways that we would become a little less obsessed with “making each moment count” and “living like we are going to die tomorrow”.

I confess that in some moments where I might be a little crankier than normal, and I hear celebrities or musicians make statements like that, I think “Well sure, you have millions of dollars. You can just jet off to Italy tomorrow on a moments notice if you feel like it, really live it up. What about the rest of us?!” But that wouldn’t turn out so well because then I would hurt my finger when I jabbed really hard at the radio preset buttons on my dashboard out of frustration.

So really all I am asking for is some encouragement for everyone. That “Hey, you know what? You are doing the best you can. Maybe there are things you can do more of, maybe there are things you need to cut back on. But do not worry if each day doesn’t look like this picture perfect fantasy of accomplishing everything you want to do. Because friend, that takes time, and God’s timing is not immediate. God’s timing is perfect. Perfect is not immediate gratification. Perfect is having the strength to surrender control to a power greater than just you. And if God leads you to have a day where you just need to lay down with a wet cloth on your head while you read a good book because you are so exhausted, well then sometimes we need those days. Because that is life. This roller coaster of moments where you are full of bliss or despair, and moments that are so ordinary it’s beautiful.”

That is all I want to hear once in awhile: that it is okay to just be still, listen, and be quiet before you act. And those things that haven’t happened yet that you want? Work towards them, but realize they might not be just around the corner, and that that’s okay. God is going to be there by your side regardless of whether or not you have made that skydiving trip yet, and if you desire to work for His glory, things larger than you ever would have imagined will happen!

Tired. Sleepy. Worn.

I’m not sure really what has been going on the last week or so, but I have been exhausted.

It might be something to do with the weather, because I have heard several people describe the same thing these last few days. But regardless of the reason, I have been having a hard time keeping my eyes open.

I saw Zero Dark Thirty for the second time the other night, and you know that when you are struggling to stay awake at 6:00 pm through that movie, that you must need to catch up on some sleep.

But anyway, regardless of this, this got me to thinking about spiritual exhaustion. How sometimes people go through periods, whether its days or much longer, where they feel like they are at the end of their rope. Wanting to pray, wanting to seek support, wanting to be positive and so forth, but not even knowing what more to do. Ever get like that?

Sometimes I think it is these times where God actually winds up speaking to us more clearly, because our minds are less focused on all of the things going on throughout the day. We are more vulnerable and seek out His guidance in our time of weakness.

It might not be right away, it might even take a long time. But I know for me at least that there have been many times where I have been feeling worn down for awhile when all of a sudden, completely unexpectedly,  I have some sort of epiphany about what God is trying to teach me.

Now, for example, my brain is still feeling pretty fuzzy. The last few days I have had random moments where I would think “Oh! That’s a great topic for a blog post.” And now it seems to have gone blank. So if you are reading this you are probably thinking “Great, so why am I spending five minutes reading something that doesn’t have much of a point?”

But that in itself is such a true part of life. There are so many times when we get so busy, sidetracked, or short sighted that we just get worn out on life.

“Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That You can mend a heart that’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
‘Cause I’m worn”
-Tenth Avenue North

Right now when I am having some of those times where I feel worn out, it can be tempting to turn to something like sleeping more than necessary, eating junk food, or watching too much TV, just to get some immediate comfort out of it. But really, that isn’t going to solve any problem. By turning to God though and admitting that I cannot handle all of this that is so tiring on my own, and asking for Him to direct my path, I am acknowledging that I want the control out of my hands.

Part of the frustration as well as beauty of life is that we don’t really know what the future will bring. Things could completely change tomorrow; I could meet someone who will have a major impact on my life, something could happen to my health…you get the point.

The comfort in this is that God knows our tomorrow. He knows where we have been, every thought we have ever had, and every dream we want to make happen. There is nothing that can be hidden from Him, and regardless of what we think we want, God wants what will ultimately bring us the most happiness and peace, which is the path that will bring us closer to Him. So if you are with me on that whole “Can I go nap now at 5:30 in the afternoon on a Friday?” boat right now, I encourage you to spend some quiet time reading the Bible, and pray for God to give you energy and the strength to get through the next few days!