Monday, November 30, 2015

Are you ok?

Happy Monday friends!

I hope that your long holiday weekend was exactly the restful and fun weekend that you needed. I know for me it was. So many memories were made in such a short amount of time with my family and friends and for that, I am very grateful. I know it’s so very easy to remember all of our blessings during the thanksgiving season and I’ve had a pulling on my heartstrings to want to take this attitude of gratitude with me throughout the remainder of the year and all the way through the next year, too. Isn’t it truly amazing how much we have to be grateful for? By the very fact that you are reading this post means you have some sort of access to the internet—and if you have access to the internet, you are richer than 78% of the world population.

Wow. That’s something to be thankful for.

I am thankful for so many things. I’m thankful that I was raised by the godliest and God fearing parents on the planet. I’m thankful that they raised my siblings and I in church every time the doors were open. I’m thankful that even though my father was blessed enough to spoil us silly, he still taught us to be grateful and to work hard for everything we had. I’m thankful for all my sisters and brother and brother in law and nieces. I’m thankful for Alabama. I’m thankful for church and for music and for sweet friends that make my life so fulfilling. I’m thankful for this small space on the internet, too. The people I’ve “met” through this little blog continue to blow me away. The encouragement I receive from complete strangers has been a blessing. Even the judgement and hate mail I’ve received through this blog has been a blessing because I’ve been able to cling to God more because of those letters. And, I’ve been able to talk to other people going through similar situations.

I received an email from a sweet, sweet girl in Colorado this weekend. She told me that I was able to share her story here in hopes that others would be helped, too. And, let me tell you—it’s always the most unique situations and times that I receive these types of emails that seem to line up so closely to my own life. Not always in the same capacity but definitely in some aspect.

Charlotte is her name. She has struggled with bullying and believing God really loves her for a while. She’s also struggled with guys respecting her. She began emailing me a few months ago and simply said “I don’t want a response, I just need someone to listen. You don’t need to write me back yet. I will when I am ready. But, I know will you listen and pray.” –Charlotte

I’ve been praying for Charlotte for 9 weeks now. She wrote me again about 4 weeks ago and shared the joy that she accepted Christ as her Savior and was learning how to accept his love and now she is called to love others. It’s a beautiful chapter one of the story for Charlotte and I am beyond thrilled to see where her life takes her.

Through the emails with Charlotte, I realized how little faith I seem to have in God sometimes. I realized a lot of what I was praying over Charlotte was something I needed to be praying over my own soul. But, oh how easy it is to think “as long as I’m not doing ________________ or ___________________ then I am a good person and God doesn’t need to work on me.” That is lie straight from the devil. The moment we believe we don’t need any more work, that is the very moment we are becoming the god of our own life-and that is no place to be.

I’ve been in a very good place spiritually since I moved back to Alabama from Hawaii. I’ve had my moments (of course!) but overall, I feel closer to God than I’ve ever felt and I feel like I’m firmly planted with his word under my feet. What has been breaking my heart lately, though, is other people’s heart. It’s an overwhelming blessing (and curse, at times) to feel so much for others. It seems that there are a lot of souls around me being attacked lately and it’s breaking my heart.

In emailing with Charlotte, she started to tell me that she was turning to alcohol to numb the pain of bullying. She was sleeping with any and every guy because she never knew the true love of a man and she was giving herself away over and over again. She wanted the respect from men but she realized giving herself away continually wasn’t going to be the answer.

And just like Charlotte, and a lot of us, we are looking to the wrong things for answers. Alcohol may make you feel good for a night but it destroys families and relationships and your soul. Sex feels good but it leaves you empty and broken if you are not engaging in it within the bounds of marriage. There are so many sins that look fun but destroy you. And, a lot of times no one is there to tell you that. Even some of my own friends have been the “partier” or the “girl sleeping around” and I’ve simply not said anything because I think “oh my actions will be enough of an influence.” But you know what? Sometimes it’s okay to be the friend that calls out that friend—in love and asks them, “Friend, are you ok?”

Charlotte told me she kept doing this lifestyle because no one asked her if she was ok so she just thought in her mind that she was. She said she had Christian friends and she knew that she was empty but no one asked her how she was, ever, so she continued in that lifestyle.

Friends, as I read that line in her email, my heart shattered. I never wanted to be so simple minded to be blind to what my friends are going through. So, I just need to ask you—are you ok? Is there something that you are going through the you need prayer for? I would love to pray for you if so. There is nothing too big or too personal that God can’t handle. I promise you that.

Your struggle and story could be used to help others. We seem to think that we have to be super shameful of our past. But, there is grace that we experience from our past and from our sins. And, the history of our lives reveals God’s enduring plan. If anything, it can be used to save others because we can look back and see that God was right there, the whole time, he was right there.

If you aren’t ok, please don’t feel like you have no one to turn, too. You have God. And, as cheesy as it may be, you have me. I wasn’t ever seriously injured by bullies but I did have a less than stellar high school experience for loving God. I’ve had horrible encounters with men because I’ve decided to wait until marriage to have sex. I don’t have an extra ordinary testimony. I met Jesus when I was five and he’s always been there and he’s always been enough for me.

I have struggles, too. I don’t like the way I look when I look in the mirror most mornings. But, God created me. He delights in me. He loves me, flaws and all. He looks at my heart and he’s way more concerned with my heart than my bank account or who thinks I am cool or not. He’s concerned if I’m okay.

I heard God ask me if I was ok many times while living in Hawaii this summer. He wanted me to know that it was okay to not be okay. It was okay to want more in life than to work for a record label or be with a certain guy or to want to be friends with a certain girl. And, the truth is—there IS so much more to life but a lot of times we don’t realize that because no one is asking you if you’re okay. So, I want to be the voice to ask you—are you ok?

I asked myself that. I’m not okay sometimes. I struggle with where I am at in life. I want to spend every single breath trying to win over souls to Christ. I want to move back to Hawaii and finish this school and live out my life telling others about the grace and love of Jesus. But, there’s a lot of obstacles in the way and sometimes that makes me feel like I’m not ok. But, at the end of it all, I am okay. And so are you because we have a God that is cheering us on and he wants you to know that YOU ARE OK. Don’t live for other people. That is exhausting and dangerous. Live for God. You’ll be ok. I promise.


1 comment :

  1. Stumbling upon posts like these is what makes me love the Internet. Beautifully written and something my soul definitely needed today. Thank you for writing it.