Thursday, May 30, 2013

A season of comparison.

There are times when I sit down to write a blog and it starts out fantastic but by the time I start to write about the deep topics, I falter. And tonight I realized that it's because I'm not meant to write about those things. Because there are times when I feel the words forming before I even comprehend them. That's how I know it's from God.

And tonight is one of those nights when the words just flow; a night where I'm writing what God wants me to. (I happen to love nights like these!!)

Tonight I met up with a dear friend from YWAM. We were in it together from the start and I thank God for her all the time. We spent a couple of hours in Panera (the best place everrrrr) catching up on what God has been doing in our lives and it was so refreshing. Through her stories I started to think about what has been happening in my own heart. And the theme of comparison kept bugging me.

I have been doing a bible study with some friends and we talked a little about comparison. A question came up like, "What have you been comparing yourself to lately?" something like that. Anyways, I wrote down the generic answer: looks, job, relationships, money, etc. But I wasn't getting at the core of it. I was floating on the surface.

It hit me tonight that I've been comparing myself to other people around me A LOT lately. So much so that I've been in tears over things that I don't have, that I can't do, and so on. It dawned on me: this is a HUGE way that Satan gets to me. He realizes that I may not be so confident in myself and he uses that to his advantage.

I see it in a lot of younger girls too. We are bombarded these days with beautiful pictures of celebrities, ads for weight loss programs, etc.; girls are constantly being told that they're not good enough unless they have the best clothes, perfect hair, and are dating all the perfect guys. (Just read about all the controversy surrounding Abercrombie. He flat out says they don't make clothes in XL and XXL because he doesn't like fat chicks. I'm sure there are girls hating themselves because of this! (Ps. if you are feeling bad about this, don't. He's not worth your time or tears. You are a beautiful child of God!!!))

And that is a lie! Lately, I have been buying into that lie. In fact, I've been telling myself those very lies. It's a really hard thing to realize. Because I could have been avoiding this hurt and those tears. I could have been enjoying life, yet I sit there and tell myself, "You're not pretty enough, you're fat, no one will love you unless you look like this, that picture of you looks horrible."

Honestly, that's been my thought process lately. And it wasn't until tonight that I realized that I'm the one doing that to myself. No one around me is telling me those things or making me feel that way, I'm choosing to feel that way. I bought into the lie of the enemy.

Comparison is a choice. You can sit there and tell yourself lie after lie about how you're not good enough compared to those around you. But it isn't until you're face to face with the reality that God loves YOU, that He chose you to be who you are, not anyone else, that you feel freedom. You can choose to be joyful in who you are.

I am choosing to rejoice in the fact that I'm not perfect! My hair gets super frizzy in this humidity (seriously though, super curls) and instead of telling myself that it looks horrible, I am going to choose to rejoice in the fact that I have curls!! I am not a size 0 and I will choose to rejoice in that instead of bringing myself down!
(This would be a great transition into self worth and I want to talk about that but it's late and this post is pretty long already so I'll save that for a next time : ) )

Until then, I'll say this: To whoever is reading this- you, yes you, are chosen by God. You are loved. You are precious. You are beautiful. God has created you and loves you with an everlasting love. He created you and has a perfect plan for your life that no one else can fulfill that. I think we all (myself included) need to start looking at ourselves how God sees us and not how the world sees us. We also need to start searching for HIS plan for our life- not the world's, the enemy's or even our own plan. Rest in the fact that you are beautiful, precious, amazing, worthy, and a child of God. And wow, does He have an amazing plan for your life.

And trust me, I'm reading those words and telling myself the same things. I am choosing this day to start rejoicing in who I am and who God created me to be. This season of comparison is over.

As always, it's all for Him,

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Doubt and love.

Of course its 11:30 and I'm still awake. And what do I do? I read my old blog. Not this blog but my old, old blog. It was the blog I started my freshmen year of college. I couldn't read through most of it (let's be honest here, I was dramatic back in the day) because I don't recognize that person anymore.

I cringed as I read some of the posts. I so badly wanted to be loved, to be seen; I still do, don't get me wrong. I think in every person there is a want and need to be loved. But I took it farther than that. It was so apparent in my writing that I wasn't happy with who I was. I didn't believe I was worthy of love so I tried to put myself in situations where people would need to prove it to me. And that was wrong. I realize that now. Because instead of people working harder to prove their love, they gave up. They walked away and I was left hurt. I look back on those times and wonder what it felt like to be the other person, trying so hard to get through to me.

I had so many walls around me. I placed hurdles, barriers, traps, anything to keep people from knowing who I was and what I truly believed. I didn't think anyone would like me if they truly knew me. So I put up a fight against anyone who tried to love me.

Alas, God broke those barriers in Germany. He started to show me what love and acceptance actually looked like. (And I know, deep down, that I had acceptance and love before I went to YWAM but it wasn't until then that I experienced HIS love and acceptance. (And I just used the word acceptance 5 times. Okay maybe 3))

God's love is like no other. It is all consuming, unbelievable, life changing, and absolutely glorious. I don't think I will ever truly understand how much He loves me but to get a glimpse of His love is amazing. There was one day in Thailand when I was angry at God. I didn't understand why I still had these doubts about His love and His plan for me. Just then, JM walks over and starts hugging me. I thought she was laughing but she was crying. She looked at me and said "He loves you. He loves you. He loves you. God loves you so much."

Every time I think of that day I want to cry (happy tears!). The concept of God using other people to talk to me was new when I started YWAM. But He grew my faith in trusting His voice.

He used JM again to say the same thing. I was doubting God in my life a couple months after I was home and I was sharing some of those frustrations with her and again she said "He loves you. You are beautiful and He loves you so much."

It astounds me that God would use my doubt to show up in the greatest ways. There are some days when I want to throw in the towel and run away from my life. There are some days when I don't think anyone loves me, let alone likes me. But God picks that towel up and shows me that HE, the creator of the universe, loves me.

When those barriers finally came down, I saw things in a completely different way. Before I left for YWAM, chances are if you asked me how I was, I would lie. I would tell you I'm fine but only to see if you loved me enough to push that. Because I really wasn't okay. Now if you ask me how I am, get ready, because I will be honest. I have found honesty to be freeing. I thought that it would push people away, but it actually brings them closer. There is great joy is sharing your struggles and life with other people. I think another source of joy you can experience is when you find the love of our Father. When He speaks to you and shows you His love and affection for you.

God loves me. This is and will always be mind blowing to me!