Lesson’s Learned

Two of my students recently came in to talk with me.  Each girl was huffy from the weekend, and I soon found out why.

One of their friends was dating a boy.  They had been texting, talking, flirting, etc.  Yet these friends felt he was treating her wrong.  He toyed with her emotions and flirted with other girls as well.  He had been stringing her along and felt no remorse for it.  The thing of it was though, this girl didn’t see it.  She was blinded by his charm and magnetic demeanor.  

These two friends had tried countless times to make their best bud see reason.  They had given advice, given examples, and given Imagetheir sweet friendship.  

But their friend was still blind to the truth.  

These girls came in saying “I’m done.  I can no longer give her advice.  I will love her, but I just can’t.  She’s not listening when she asks for help.”

I’ve seen this friend at lunch.  She is morose, lethargic, and overall not her normal self.  

This drama made me indignant.  How DARE this boy treat her this way.  This sweet, precious daughter of God was being thrown around like she was a piece of trash.  She’s being strung along as if she is the least important thing in this world to him, except for when it is convenient for him. 

And then, I stopped.  

I stopped, and my jaw dropped open.  This 8th grade drama…is a direct parallel to my life right now.  

I know you’re hoping that I’ll say I’m one of the friends advising the ignorant girl in this situation.  That I have pride in myself and how others treat me.  That I clearly see that the boy, yes I said boy, is clearly not interested in anything more than having a convenient girl at his side.

Yet…you would be wrong.  I am the girl.  I am the pathetic girl hoping for more.  The girl that comes up with excuses about his character when I should be overflowing with compliments about him.  The girl that has to hide certain qualities of the relationship, and I use that term loosely, because it would be shameful for others to know.  The girl that KNOWS deep down that she deserves more, but just has a hard time accepting it. 

Yet as women, I feel like we many times have a hard time seeing what “bad” is for us.   He doesn’t beat me, or cuss at me, or really even treat me “bad” at all.  He compliments me, spends time with me, pays for things if we go out, and we just click.  

…but that doesn’t mean he’s treating you “good.”  

So as a fellow girl, a little farther along in life, who is still struggling, here is my advice to the “girl”:

You, my dear girl, are a treasure.  You are something to be valued.  You deserve God’s best for you.  No matter what you have done, or where you have been, you will always deserve His best.   He has nothing less to give you.  We sometimes accept things that are less, it’s hard not too.  It is in our human nature, as a woman, to think we don’t deserve more.  We as women many times scramble for the least amount of attention that is thrown our way.  But let me tell you dear girl, you deserve much, much more than a scrap of attention.  You deserve the full blown attention of a man that puts God above all else, and then seeks your heart for the rest of his life.  So my advice to you, and to myself, (the advice that I have heard all my life), is to not settle for less.  Take your heart off your sleeve and have some dignity.  

And now, a note to the friends:

Sweet, sweet friends.  Stay where you are.  She is frustrating, troublesome, vexing, and worth it.  When  all said and done, she will thank you with all her heart. You will never know a truer friend than her.  Right now she is clearly not guarding her heart, and needs you to.  Stay with it, stick by her side.  You are needed.

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What the heart wants…

The heart does not always get. 

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This is something that I am still learning.  

As a near graduating college student, I am beginning to plan for my future.  I am in my final stages of my degree, applying for graduation, dating, hanging out with friends, discussing money with my parents, and all the fun things that a near adult does.

Yet as I do many of these things, I’ve realized something. Something BIG.

It’s not my prerogative to plan. I mean, I can plan all that I want…but many of my plans are going to fall through.  

I can make a timeline for my life everyday and it still change with the flip of a coin.  (As I’ve seen many, many times)

There’s only one constant in my life, that will always, always, be the same.  

And that my friend, is God.  

So instead of constantly worrying, planning, and trying to micro-organize my life, I’m going to try and sit back and let God’s will for my life shine through.  And although this is hard, nothing is impossible with The Lord by your side. 

second chances

Do you believe in second chances? I say I do. But do I really?

With the Lord, we have COUNTLESS second chances. As a sinner, sometimes it’s hard to believe that. As a human, that seems impossible.

As a Christ Follower, it’s a daily promise that is frighteningly real.

I use the word frighteningly because we are to love as the Lord loves us. What does this imply towards second chances?

Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
Matthew 18:21-22

We are not only to forgive those who have sinned against us, but keep on forgivin’. Countless second chances.

love never fails

 

It is so easy to expect forgiveness and second chances for yourself, from friends, family, even God. Yet when the time comes for you to be gracious, sometimes it’s rough.

This is why it’s so comforting to know that our Heavenly Father will ALWAYS forgive.

COUNTLESS

He gives us countless second chances. And he never tires of it. He loves us.

Trials & Tribulations

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:2-3

Good-NESS.  I do believe this might possibly be one of the hardest thing God could ask us to do.  I mean really-

trib·u·la·tion

grievous trouble; severe trial or suffering.

joy
Does grievous, severe, or suffering sound easy? Heck no.  I know that personally, when life gets tough, I tend to shut down.  I close myself off, grab a pint of ice cream, and hole up in my room with a book.  I avoid the problem like a coward!  Is this what God instructs us to do? I think not.
Courage is ESSENTIAL to endurance.  When we are faced with something that is not easy, we’re supposed to stand tall and face it like a man. (woman?)
I mean, when David faced Goliath he didn’t quiver in his room.  He stood his ground even though he was the little man.
Our problems now might seem insignificant compared to some of those in the Bible, but they are just as grand.  The Lord sees all of our struggles, each and every pain, and is there beside us as we conquer them.  He doesn’t put things in our path that are going to beat us down for no reason.  It’s so we can see that we need to be picked back up, the dirt dusted off our behinds, and a pat on the back from out Heavenly Father.  We can trust in Him that we will never be given any trial that is too hard to bear.

Teacher

Imagine you’re a student (unless of course you are, then you don’t have to imagine so hard), you have a question so you raise your hand.  The teacher leisurly makes their way back to your desk, and says “Can I help you?”  You then begin to explain what has your panties in a wad.  You just DON’T understand!  Then in that queit, gentle voice, your teacher begins to explain to you.  They never tell you the answer, they just go through the directions again, go through the process, make some pointers.  When you still don’t understand, they ask another student to come help you.  You’re still frustrated, why can’t they just give you the answer?

I feel like this all the time in the “classroom of life.”  I bow my head to ask for assistance, and rarely get a straight answer from the all-knowing teacher.  It leaves me frustrated!  He will provide me help, give me directions, sometimes even guide me through my questions.  Occasionally he places another student in my life, who is wise and loving, there to be by my side and guide me in the right direction. And even though being patient can be frustrating, it is ALWAYS better in the end.

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17

    We don’t learn without growing.  If your teacher just gave you the answer everytime you asked as a child, you wouldn’t know a darn thing.  You would just ask everytime.  Your brain would never develop,6ad3f1c4262f85b724533172082c7655 and you wouldn’t be able to function.

It’s the same way with Christ.  He puts us through things he KNOWS we can handle.  He never gives us a problem that he’s unsure how it will come out.  And no matter how long it takes us to get to the answer (because if it’s long division life problems, it’s gonna take me awhile) and no matter how many times we screw it up, He will always be there waiting for us.

So don’t be discouraged if your prayers aren’t answered right away.  Whatever the Lord has planned for you, it will definitely turn out better than anything you could ever imagine.

Past tense? Present tense.

As most of you know, I aspire to be a librarian.  It is my most cherished dream.  Therefore, I adore reading.  I do it all the time.  This also means I have gotten into the habbit of skimming, or reading sentences how my brain thinks they will be.  This is a VERY bad habbit, don’t start it.  It especially ruins studying.

So this morning I’m reading a verse, a verse almost everyone knows, when I realize my little ‘ole brain has been changing it.  Every time.  I mean, I’ve memorized it wrong.

“All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through th eredemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Romans 3:23-24

WRONG

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Romans 3:23-24

Seriously.  Smallest mistake ever, biggest impact ever.  I sat here stunned.  It may not seem like much to you, but it literally punched me in the gut.  “Fallen” implies that it’s in the past, we’ve been there, done that.  Yet it’s over.  “Fall” on the other hand…woah baby.  We, present tense, FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.  We do it every day!  Now that’s depressing.

Here’s the good news: God expects it.  He doesn’t count on us to be perfect, he’s the perfect one in this relationship.  He’s there to pick you up everytime you screw up, everytime you fall down.

God takes our ugly past and turns it into a beautiful future.  I don’t know about you, but to me, this is the most reassuring thing ever.