Tuesday, November 1, 2016

live like it.

Happy Tuesday!

I found my journal from the months I was living with Egypt and even though they are my words, it's like I couldn't stop reading. I was in such a vulnerable place when I was living in Hawaii and Egypt. I know that is because the Lord was doing so much work on my heart and in my life and I was just really easy to mold during that season. As I was reading this particular journal entry I was just reminded of how truly amazing and committed Jesus is to us--even when we don't deserve it. Even when we don't want it, Jesus protects us. He covers us with grace and it was just exactly what I needed to be reminded of. And, I wanted to relive that day in Egypt all over again--but I can't. So, I'll write about it.

We lived in Cairo for the majority of our time in Egypt but we also traveled to Alexandria for a week. Alexandria is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. We stayed in a really beautiful home--minus the elevator that played creepy music. The halls were probably 30 feet tall and at least ten feet wide. It was such a beautiful place. We also had wifi that entire week which we weren't use to. Egypt is also 12 hours ahead of us so we would all stay up until 4 AM on wifi and just talk to everyone back home and catch up with social media. There was one night, though, for some reason I couldn't get the wifi to work. Like I mentioned earlier my "God" senses were extremely heightened and I just felt like God wanted me to talk to him for this night. So, that's what I did.

I've (fortunately) never struggled with wanting to fit in or drinking alcohol or drugs or anything extremely "scandalous." The biggest battle I've faced in life is the lie that I'm not enough. I lived in fear for most of my life that I would never be good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, etc. I always cared way too much of what other people thought. I would lose sleep in college over what I thought other people thought of me. I just never had a lot of self confidence. I was so easy to judge other people when they were self conscious and preach to them to "love themselves, Jesus loves you anyway, etc." But, I didn't believe it for myself. There are still days now that I still have trouble believing it for myself. But, I let Jesus teach me how to love myself A LOT over the past six months. I've never been more at peace with who he created me to be, either. 

I was in the car listening to a playlist to a playlist and a song came on called "Live Like You're Loved." A group, Hawk Nelson, sings it. And it hit me right when I needed it to.

"live like you're loved, it's okay to act like you've been set free
his love has made you more than enough, so go ahead and be who he made you to be
and live like you're loved"

...Then, tonight I was reading this journal and it was just a gentle reminder to remember what Jesus has been teaching this year and to remember to not stop growing. It was a reminder to live like I'm loved.

In Hawaii--and in Egypt, we had this rule we preached and practiced. Assume you're loved. Assume that any time someone corrects you that it is out of love and it's because we want to be there for each other and help each other grow. That made our team transparent. That made me have to be honest about a lot of things I didn't like about myself. That also made me feel empowered that my people were cheering me on--even when they were correcting me. I was living like I was loved by God and by my people around me--and it was just a super sweet season that I would repeat in a HEARTBEAT (yes, Jesus, send me back to the middle east, I'll go!!!).

Anyways, part of the entry I'm just going to type here:

[I want my life to scream to the unbelieving that I love Jesus every second of my life. I want my actions and my attitudes to translate to others that I know I'm loved by Jesus and I want to please him, not other people. I don't want to live life hiding behind disbelief anymore. Jesus loves me. I have to start living that way--that's the only way this nation of beautiful people enslaved to a religion that isn't about relationship will know about God. I've gained a new confidence in who I am in Jesus and I want to continue to take a step forward everyday. I want to invite other people into a lifestyle of living like we are loved.]

What do we do to the people we truly love? We want to make them happy. We want to support them, encourage them and please them. If we don't truly love that person, we stop trying. I want to give 100% in everything I do-work, friendships, relationships. I want to live like Jesus is the center of my life.

I've struggled since I've moved back home with decisions. I feel like I've needed to end some dreams and friendships and things like that. I've also gained a lot of new friends since I've moved back. I've gained some new dreams. But, I want to keep Jesus as the focus. I want to live like it. It's hard, though, isn't it? To live like Jesus wants us to. It's not always fun or easy or our first choice. But, I'm telling you--living in Egypt and growing so much in the word and with other believers--and being reminded of that today--I want to continue to press forward and live like that. I want to have a soft confidence that I know who I am now in Christ and that radiates out in every aspect of who I am.

Maybe it's hard for you, too. Maybe you're getting out of a relationship that you let define you for a while. Maybe you're walking away from a group of friends who don't speak truth to you. Maybe your job isn't where you feel called to. Maybe, maybe, maybe. I could think of 100 maybe's. But, for every maybe I have an answer--cling to Jesus harder than you ever have before. Pray. Don't just like good morning/good night pray. TALK to Jesus. And, then, listen to Jesus. He'll speak to you but we have to listen. 

If you need prayer, let me know. I'm not good at a lot of things but I mean woah, Jesus is my best friend. So, we talk a lot. It would be an honor to pray for you. Or just listen to your situation. I know sometimes for me (especially with this blog) it helps to just get it out.

Just a gentle reminder I'm on your side. Whatever your dream or goal is, I'm cheering for you. I genuinely want what's best for you. And that's exactly what Jesus wants for you, too. So, go on--live like you're loved.