One of Us

“What if God was one of us?

Just a slob like one of us?

Just a stranger on the bus

Trying to make His way home?”

“One of Us”- Joan Osbourne

So the four lines at the top of the blog are from a song called “One of Us” written by Eric Bazilian and released by an unknown singer named Joan Osbourne in 1995. I wrestled with the song for a whole, nearly sleepless night a few days ago, because it really is something that Christians take for granted. Yet, so much of the world struggles with this ideal of God being relatable to them, and whether or not they can have a personal relationship with God.

Personally, I heard the song because it was covered by Glee in an October 2010 episode. Now, stay with me here. While many of you may hate or be in support of Glee, what the show was known for was tackling the tough issues of society. In this episode, a Glee club member’s father has a heart attack, and the episode is about how the different members of the club try to help that character deal with the event based on their religious beliefs. Ryan Murphy (Glee creator) hoped to create a balanced view of religion that ensured that there was an equality between pro and anti-religious ideas presented. The episode received critical acclaim by achieving that. This song was the end of the episode.

Personally, I haven’t had many times that I pondered the question, “What if God was one of us?” I grew up in a Christian home and learned about God from an early age. I was blessed to have great parents who helped me mature in my faith. The Bible clearly explains that Jesus Christ came down to the earth and lived in the same world with the same temptations, successes, failures etc. that we have to go through. Yet, lately, I’ve been trying to understand how people who do not believe in God view him. I feel like this view is one that Christians often overlook. In order to reach those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ, we have to be able to connect with them where they are. Whether unbeliever or believer, I believe that this question of whether God was one of us is something really important when it comes to the faith known as Christianity. This song really gets down to the mark.

“What if God was… just a slob like one of us”. It truly recreates the deep yearning of the human condition that we all feel for a savior. The brokenness and emptiness of this world truly breaks my heart. No matter how much society and the world tries to bury it, people know deep inside that there is something more to this world than what is on the surface. Yet, to these people, God is a larger than legend myth legend. The mosaic that the human population have created of God is absolutely brilliant, but it makes Him seem inaccessible to the population. How many times in history have people sat crying in the alley, park, bedroom, back of the bus etc. and wondered if God hears them? How many times do these people just wish that God walked the earth and would walk up to them and solve all their problems? Is that you?

Now, for those who came from the same background that I have, here’s the question. Can you imagine being in this position? Left in a place where you are not sure if God can relate to you? Here’s the kicker… we all have. Whether Christian or non-Christian we have all at some point seen God as that huge holy figure that we can’t relate to. We all imagine, “What if God was… just a stranger on a bus”. Even though we’ve heard the stories, we still oftentimes wonder… was Jesus really like all of us?

Our culture attempts to answer this question with different pieces of literature and entertainment. One T.V. series that I watch is Supernatural, and the basic premise of the show is that there are two brothers (Sam and Dean Winchester) who understand the “supernatural” of the world. They interact with (and often kill) the things that human culture have put in this “supernatural” box. Ghosts, Vampires, Wendigos, Djinns, Demons and Angels. In later seasons (Season 11 starts soon, so excited!) they heavily deal with Demons and Angels. In this world, God has been “missing” for longer than almost anyone can remember. While many characters voice their beliefs about God (some believe him dead, uncaring, a simple story etc.) the most striking one is from an angel named Castiel.

Castiel is the main protagonist aside from the Winchester brothers (and my favorite character!). In earlier seasons Castiel is seen struggling with this idea of who God is and what he means to Castiel. He often calls out to God, begging him to return to the world and fix it. However, Castiel’s faith begins to disappear as God continues to “not show up” despite horrible tragedies rocking the world. He doesn’t understand why God isn’t, “Trying to make his way home.” Questions run through his mind constantly. Are the stories that Castiel heard really true? Did God just make this creation just to leave it in the dust? What if God is just another really powerful angel who decided to dump the world and go relax somewhere else in the universe? These are the powerful questions that Castiel ponders, yet, are a reflection on how many people who do not have a faith in Jesus Christ think about God and Christianity. Castiel is stuck between fully embracing free will, and believing that God will come back and control the heavenly realm. This depiction of Castiel fully describes so many people in the world. It is one of the underappreciated storylines in the Supernatural saga, but one that I very much appreciate for its honest portrayal of the human condition.

The beautiful thing is that God truly was one of us. He lived with people, ate with sinners, healed people, and died as a common criminal. He felt all the same feelings that we do. The surrounding environment is obviously different because as pictures clearly show us Jesus was the only white man in an early A.D. Jerusalem (catch the humor?), and we live in the 2000s. For real though, he had the same human experience that we do, and can relate to us through our troubles. Honestly, even as a long-time Christian, it is still hard to grasp how the Almighty God understands the way I feel. It’s absolutely breathtaking, but impossible to fully grasp.

There is so much heartbreak in the world, and so many people that need to hear about God. Not the religion called Christianity. They need to hear about the God that can fill that large hole in their heart. They need to hear about the Father that is always there and listening to their every single word. They need to hear about the Jesus Christ who walked this earth, and can relate to their struggles. This is the true goal of those who call themselves Christians. Not to build churches. Not to isolate themselves from the world. Not to go to church once a week and to forget about it. This is the real purpose of Christianity. To bring people closer to the living God who is the only thing that can fill that void in the hearts of billions of people who cry out for help in this world.

P.S. Can’t believe I’m already over 1/4 through my last semester of college! Life is really busy but I’m able to hang out with old friends, make new ones, and also still finish my schoolwork in between. Life is awesome!

Why God is Beyond My Understanding

I was lying in my bed before I was going to go to bed a few nights ago and right before I fell asleep a question hit my brain. It seems like a rather simple question, but it still made me think a lot. Unfortunately, I lost sleep but I can get it back haha. The question is: Why does God do it better than me? How does it come about that even when I “know”  I have the situation all handled he will show me something I need to change? Why do I fight against what he tells me to do and attempt to make a path of my own (when I know he’s right)? These were some of the questions that went through my mind and after a long time thinking and reflecting on Scriptures I think I got a decent handle on it.

            So the first thing I realized is that God understands the whole situation whilst I do not. I mostly just see how the situation can benefit myself and I can’t really comprehend how much things affect others. When I make a decision, I only see the immediate effects of my decision. I can’t see how it truly affects others because I am not those people. I can’t feel their hurt and I can’t understand their pain. God does. He knows all of us by name and he knows our deepest thoughts. He knows everything about us. His understanding of a situation cannot be measured and that is why it should be in his hands. It really comes down to the fact that he is God and I am not. Who am I, that the Lord of all the Earth would care to know my name? As Steven Curtis Chapman says in his song “God is God”,

God is God and I am not 
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting 
God is God and I am man 
So I’ll never understand it all 
For only God is God

It is so true. There are times where I forget the amazing things God has done for me and I really just want to do it on my own. I forget that his glory cannot be measured and his mercies will never end. Everything he has done for me indicates one thing… that I need to trust him and follow his direction. Something he may ask me to do or that he does may not seem like the best thing for me, but he knows what is best for me. He knows what I truly need. An example of this was when I broke my wrist playing soccer my sophomore year of high school. I was idolizing soccer before him and he was showing me that. Soccer was my life… I was about to be called up to the varsity of one of the powerhouses in my state. It was everything to me. I was so ticked off when it happened… I asked God over and over again why did you do this to me? It was my big break, it was my golden chance… yet today I see why he did it. I know that if that injury had never happened, I would not be who I am today. My faith in God would not be as strong, and I would probably be playing soccer at some college instead of being at the university I am at today. I know that his plan at the time didn’t seem the best for me but as I look back I know it was exactly the wake-up call that I needed in my life. I wish he had figured out a different way to tell me haha, but I won’t question how he did it. Essentially, God understands the big picture and we don’t… so we should give the control to the one who knows what is best for us and those around us.

I also thought about why do I fight God even when I know it’s the right thing to do? I felt like I understand the answer, but it was still good to go back to the basics. The reason why we fight God is because we as humans are naturally sinful. Our tendency is to sin and not doing what God says definitely fits into that description. Romans 3:10-12 says, As it is written:“There is no one righteous, not even one;there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Let’s not beat around the bush here guys… sin often feels good to us. It feels good to break rules and stuff like that… now the consequences don’t feel good. They feel bad, but a lot of times sin indeed feels good. We reject God because we want to fulfill the desires of our sinful nature.

 So for example, let’s say you feel like you hear God’s voice telling you not to date a girl (or vice versa) because they’re a non-Christian, and don’t know anything about God. They are completely into our culture and have those worldly desires. You may think to yourself they are a funny, attractive and simply the perfect person for me; however, you don’t see the conflict that could be down the road. You both will most likely have a ton of conflict because that other person won’t see things through the lens that you do. They could draw you farther away from God and your growth in God would be stunted. What happens when you get married? How are you going to agree on a budget if you are barely hanging on and they disagree with you tithing? How are you going to raise your kids religiously and morally when the parents are from two completely different backgrounds? They’ll be hearing certain stuff from you and certain stuff from your spouse… how are they going to make decisions? These are all reasons why God wants us to be married to a Christian. So let’s say we don’t date this person. What if a little while later another girl comes into our life… she may not as attractive or as funny but she has a heart for the Lord. There will be problems down the road because there are with any relationship, but the problems that come with marrying a non-Christian are erased. This example may not be quite the best, but I think everyone understands the principle.

Well, I hope this pushes you to ponder these questions even more. They seem like really obvious answers, but I know the more I thought about them the more I remembered/learned about God. We always think we know the basics… but do we really? I honestly feel like we can never learn enough about God because the knowledge of God is immeasurable and we always have to go back to the basic questions of our faith and answer them again. That will encourage growth because we will see things in the Bible we hadn’t seen before, understand concepts, and that leads to a closer walk with Christ. A personal relationship with Jesus is only good if we striving to understand him more and more because he saved us. He died on a cross so that you and me only have to believe in him to have everlasting life in paradise with him. If there is ANYTHING we should be spending our time on it is getting to know him more. We don’t have to earn our salvation by works or knowledge of Christ, but we do it because we love him and want to know him more. That’s that 🙂

 

P.S. I’ve had an awesome Christmas break… and it’s going to be done in just one more week. I love being home and seeing my friends here but I can’t wait to see my college friends and more floor again!      

Life isn’t Picture Perfect… but that’s fine!

I’ve always wanted my life to be picture perfect. I’ve always to be the model person that everybody enjoys and that is respected by all. I’ve always wanted to be that person who has their life all together and people come to for advice. I’ve always wanted to be the absolute best person that I can be and I strive so hard to get there… but sometimes that causes me to put myself down when I see people better than me. Striving for perfection is a great goal but it causes me to forget what my true motive is and can lead me off track. I get so caught up in trying to be perfect that I forget that God didn’t make me to be perfect. He made me to carry out his will and I can do everything he has set me up for.

                However, I’ve figured out that life isn’t about being perfect and fitting in. Life is about embracing who God made you to be and using the journey of life to become more like God.  I’ve learned that whatever it looks like no one has their life completely together. That’s how they look on the outside but everyone has something that they are struggling with. Some of us have bigger problems and some of us have smaller problems. Either way, I’ve really just gotten used to my life even though it has struggles. A lot of people tend to focus on the problems of their life but I’ve learned that the blessings of my life FAR outweigh the problems. Even when it seems like my blessings are few I just take time to remember everything that I have. I have a wonderful family, two awesome parents, a great circle of close friends, an amazing amount of cool friends, I’m pretty smart, I’ve always been able to do well in athletics… it all outweighs whatever negatives come my way. I’ve learned that when you have these problems in life you need to depend on God/close friends and you will make it through. The storm comes through but the joy comes when it is finished and gone!

                Why am I talking about this? That’s a great question and I’m glad I asked myself 😉 I’m bringing this up because it’s been something I have always struggled with. Sometimes it’s really challenged the core of who I am and caused me to not be myself. BE YOURSELF!!! Don’t let anyone or anything make you think that you aren’t good enough. Often this is a way of Satan to get in your head and capitalize on your insecurities. You are never going to be perfect… so don’t worry about it. Just try to be the best person you can be and if you fail don’t dwell on it. Just pick yourself back up, dust yourself off and keep on going.

                I also bring this up because I know that I’m not the only one who is haunted by bad decisions you have made. I had something that I’ve been holding onto for years and I really wouldn’t forgive myself for what I had done. Basically, at the time, I wasn’t happy with who I was and as a result I made a few bad decisions that almost had extremely bad consequences. It was totally outside of God’s plan and I looking back I still can’t believe that I made those decisions. Today at church there was a time of reflection (which is at the end of every service) and God just hammered this home on me. He told me that I needed to completely forgive myself for what I had done and that while it wasn’t a good thing it all fit into his big plan. So I finally let it go… after all these years… and it felt like I just had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders 🙂 … it was wonderful.

                So I guess in conclusion just embrace who you are and don’t let your past effect your present. God made you exactly who you are and you don’t need to “have it all together” or “be perfect” or be like anyone else. Just be who God made you to be 😀

 

P.S. Thank you for reading! Your time spent looking at my blog is really appreciated and I hope you enjoyed it! For those at home: college life is going absolutely fantastic so far! I am having a great time making new friends, doing debate, getting good grades and just overall enjoying the college experience.   

Equilibrium: We All Have a Purpose

So I watched this movie called Equilibrium and it made me think about a few things. Basically, this movie was about a group of people who controlled the population after a 3rd World War. The population was taught to have no feeling and took chemicals in order to help them not feel. This was so there was no war and that there was complete peace. Those who disobeyed and kept stuff that made them feel were dealt with by the police and Special Forces. One of special force men started to try to figure out how this feeling stuff worked (because he didn’t feel) and ended up getting pulled into it. All in all, it was a really good movie and I came away with some points. God didn’t make us to be robots but humans with a purpose, don’t let your emotion cloud your judgement and always find your calling in Christ.  

Firstly, thank God we aren’t robots and that we have a purpose!!! I saw the people who lived life with no feeling and I certainly would not want to live life like they were. It reminds me how lucky I am to be chosen and called by God for the tasks that he has pre-ordained for me. I think God has taught me not to be a passive participant in life but to embrace it fully. I want to live life with my heart open, a smile on my face and I want to be constantly striving to carry out God’s will. Yes, it is harder. Yes, with an open heart you can get hurt… but that’s the beauty of it all. You are holding nothing back and you won’t get cheated in life. I call it the miracle of the moment… you can’t change the past or the future… the only moment you can change is now. So you only have a short window… and I don’t know about you guys but I really want to make the most of it! With God’s help you will be able to withstand the heartache, the tough moments… he is always there. You can pray to him 24/7 and ask for guidance and comfort. He will deliver… he never fails… and with his help you will be able to rejoice in the high points. I guess what I’m trying to say is that living life wholly for God includes keeping your heart open and making the most of the moments that he gives you 🙂

However, there is a curse that comes along with making our own choices… it’s called sin. As the Bible says the heart is deceitfully wicked and that means our natural choice is to pick what is wrong. In the movie, the main character eventually becomes a person who can feel but the problem is that he lets his rage go OUT OF CONTROL. In the last twenty minutes of the movie he successfully kills a ton of soldiers and overthrows the government. Yes, it only takes him twenty minutes in movie time lol… he went REALLY pro!!! The action gets so intense and you can see in his eyes that his judgment is totally clouded. Was he doing the right thing? Debatable… yes he was taking down a horrible government that murdered so many civilians but at the same time he was murdering people to bring down the government. Anyways, my point is that we can let our emotion get in front of what God wants us to do and cause us to sin against him. When we sin; we are essentially turning away from God and that isn’t good. So always do your best to keep God in front of your heart’s feeling because he is always looking out for your good!

The movie also shows that we always be searching for our calling if we don’t trust God. The main character… who btw was played by Christian Bale who did an AMAZING job… was searching for what it meant to feel. He was attempting to figure out what was the point of existence. In the end, the movie kinda leaves you hanging in that perspective. Bale simply kills the top government officials, watches the freedom fighters finish the takeover, and that’s how the movie ends. It never showed that he found his purpose, he found who he really was… I would’ve liked to see a sequel just for that perspective specifically. The point is that he never truly found his calling and if there was a sequel we would have been watching him epicly struggle to figure out who he was. We don’t need to worry about that… our true identity IS in Christ and no other place. Whenever you are tempted to move away from God just remember that he is the one who is holding you together. He is your anchor… just always find your calling in Him 🙂

Hope this was good… love my readers! You guys da best yea yea!!!!!!!!

God Protects You

So this is just out to all the people who feel they are alone in this world. I know how you feel… that has been me most of my life. Honestly, I just haven’t really fit in with many social groups and haven’t been able to keep many friends. I hadn’t shared it until I did in my testimony at camp but during my late jr high years and my early high school days I tried to take my life multiple times. I felt completely alone on this earth and just felt like nothing was going to change. A few times I got all the way prepared to commit suicide, started, then “chickened” out at the last second. The two other times I don’t know how I lived. God obviously still had plans for me and it wasn’t my time. I look these days at how much I’m blessed by God and I’m eternally grateful for his mercy. Whenever those pangs of loneliness start hitting home I just remember that God is always with me. He is the best friend I could ever ask for… for those out there who are alone, bullied, hurt etc. there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It may hurt now but God knows what he’s doing and your life is just a small part of his beautiful plan that is the best for us. Trust that he will help you. One of my favorite sections of scripture, Psalm 139, makes a lot of points. Verses 13-16 say “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” God knows you inside and out… so trust him. He will make your life more wonderful then you ever could’ve imagined 😀

How to Treat Other People

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:17-19

 

So I had my first day of work as a camp counselor today and the topic for daily devotions today was that of dealing with hard to-deal-with co-workers. Obviously, the short message can apply to more than co-workers; it can apply to anyone else that you’re having a rough time with in life. As we all know our human nature is to take revenge or the conflict into our own hands instead of letting go of it to God. We think we can solve the problem but usually we end up making it worse haha! It’s so hard to let go of… if I had to look at my life there were plenty of times I was totally in the position of being wronged and totally in the right to take revenge into my own hands. Normally I didn’t just because getting revenge is not really in my nature but the few times that I did I held NOTHING back. For those who know me it takes A LOT to make me angry; therefore, I really don’t have problems. But when somebody does enough and crosses my “line” I just go nuts… I will hold nothing back and will do the utmost I can to make problems. That is one of my major flaws and I try to walk with God everyday to mold that part of my life more into his image 🙂

 

On the other hand, there have been a few times where I’ve been the problem. Like I said before, it’s just not in my personality but it still happens every once in awhile. There have been times where I won’t ask for forgiveness or I hold on to a grudge and I end up hurting somebody. Speaking of grudges; just don’t have them. It sucks… all it does is hurt people. People hold onto grudges simply to swell their pride and boost their personal security levels. So try to avoid that completely- life is simpler and more enjoyable that way 🙂 If you realize you’re wrong make amends and don’t hang on to what you know isn’t right. I’d rather admit that I’m wrong and be holding on a rope than hanging by a thread of the slim rope holding on to what was wrong. That was such a great metaphor… at least I think it was. Overall, if you’re wrong admit the problem, make amends and stop hurting the other person.

 

Can we all agree that there are so many… well I’ll be honest here… butt-heads in life? I think we can!!! There are people who just try to be a pain; yet, God says live at peace with everyone. No matter how a person acts you have to remember that they are created in God’s image and you have to treat them that way. Be peaceful, be truthful, and don’t hurt them back… Philippians 4:8, “ Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.” Whatever fits this verse is what you should be showing to other people 🙂

 

 I honestly think that the rest of Romans 12 sums up everything we need to do. Romans 12:20-21 says, “On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Do it 🙂

 

P.S. Thanks to all my normal readers for being patient… I hadn’t published anything for awhile simply because I thought for a large chunk of time God was telling me to quit the blog. After a week I realized that wasn’t the path he wanted me to take, which made me happy because I love writing this blog!, and I just needed a new fire. I was really burnt out writing and I just wasn’t quite doing the blog to the best of my abilities. Thankfully, God made my burnt-out work great and showed me that I needed to take a rest. Now that I’ve had a few weeks just to sit and think I have more of a plan to where the blog is going. God hasn’t shown me the whole picture but I’ve seen some of it and I’m really excited to share with you what he puts on my heart 😀  Hope everyone’s summer is going great and enjoy the great times you have… I know I have been! For those of us who are working… try to have enough fun in between work 😉 haha jk I know we’ll all have enough fun. Peace out 😀  

My Main Thoughts after I Graduated High School

So yes, I’ve graduated high school!!! It feels really cool and it was nice to see all my hard work pay off. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop working haha, it just means I’m going to get to work even harder. However, that is life so I’m not really worried about it. People always say don’t you want to stay a high schooler forever? My answer is two-fold: Yes, I probably would like to be a high schooler for awhile longer just because it gives you time to have fun with your friends before you start working and go off to college. On the other hand, I can’t really answer that question because IT’S IMPOSSIBLE PEOPLE! So much has happened this last year that I’m still trying to grasp everything that happened. It’s a difficult task lol 🙂 I’m just gonna throw a few (of many lol) random thoughts out there that God has brought on my mind and you guys can see what you think of them.

 

One of the first points is that you simply have to be self-motivated in order to reach your greatest potential in life. You can be really successful based on natural ability or talent alone but you’ll never be the best you can be. I can personally say that I am not naturally a person to be self-motivated. If I stuck to my nature I would play and train for soccer then sit around and do nothing most of the day, no joke! I just naturally don’t feel like putting in that much effort. However, I’ve learned that you have to work hard in life (finally got what my dad had been teaching me all these years lol). In jr high and my freshman year of high school things always came easy to me. I never had to really work hard at school because I relied on my natural ability and pretty much got straight A’s. I didn’t have to work on growing up because I wanted to just be like everyone else and society allowed for that pretty easily. Plus at that age it is so easy to duck responsibility… much too easy that it should’ve been (once again based on society’s stereotype). The only times I had to work hard was when I was playing sports or when I was doing chores at home. For those of you that know my dad, he seems like a pretty cool guy but a little quiet sometimes. Sometimes he tells really good jokes and sometimes they just fall flat (we share that quality X) ) What I most admire about him is that he always works his tail off. ALL THE TIME. Whatever he is doing he puts everything that he can into that activity and is honestly like a head hunter- he NEVER quits until a job is done. He finally helped me see that motivation comes from inside you; deep inside your soul. So in my sophomore year, I realized that I was getting harder homework and that I needed to work harder. I figured out that self-motivation is the key and 3 years later I can say that I got out of high school with a 3.8ish GPA. One class this senior year that I needed a lot of self-motivation for was my physics class this year. Everyone who knows me (and has taken the class) knows how bad this class was; it was the freakin’ class of death. 1/5 of the class dropped and ½ of the people left completely failed the course. I really wanted to drop the course… I wasn’t getting really good grades (in my opinion C’s are the lowest you should go and I got a few D+’s) and high school soccer was just around the corner. I wanted to just ditch physics and have fun playing soccer, but my parents wouldn’t allow me to drop physics. That’s when God helped me realize that he put me in the situation that I was in for a reason. He wanted me to learn self-motivation and so I decided not to play high school ball in order to work on the class. I’m not whining or trying to put myself up on a pedestal- I’m just trying to show people what can happen when you get self-motivated. I spent an average of 5 hours A DAY on that class. I ended up finishing with a 79 (4th highest grade in the class) and pulled some people through with me. And I’m not saying that I’m always motivated these days. There are some things that I’m not motivated for and fail. However, I’ve learned the lesson that self-motivation will take you a long way in life and I’m going to work hard for the rest of my life 🙂

 

Another thing I learned about was growing up. First thing I would like to say is while I grew up a lot in high school I wish I coulda grown up even more and matured even more while I had a safety net under me. I feel like it is fair to say I’m very mature for my age yet I know I could’ve done more. There was so much time I wasted doing (this was honestly the only word I could think of) frivolous activities. Now, I’d like to explain myself a little more- IT’S ALRIGHT TO HAVE FUN!!!! I like to have fun myself. I love hanging out with my friends, being on social media, following sports etc. my point is that you have to keep these things in moderation. It’s a classic example but people who are on facebook more than 1 ½ hours a day: you have a problem lol. Most of the time you just sit there and do nothing- you’re wasting valuable time to be doing something else! If you do movies- once or twice a week during the school year is pretty chill but if you watch more: You don’t need to watch that many movies. Life moves very fast… one of the things my pastor has been preaching about lately is stewardship. Stewardship is pretty much managing something that isn’t your own… it’s been given to you. God gave us time to use for his glory. Those video games you pour so much of your life into: God didn’t make you to spend hundreds of hours playing Halo or Assassin’s Creed. Playing the games a little is fine, but putting your life into it… ridiculous. In 20 years people won’t care if you were the 200th best player in the world at World of Warcraft. People won’t care if you saw all these movies… people won’t care about how your social life went down… the list goes on and on… STAY FOCUSED on growing up. Use that time you’re wasting and not using for any good to become wiser. Dive into God’s word and study it more because he is the only thing worth living for and the more you read that the more you will grow in him. Instead of sitting on the couch… WWWWOOOOOOORRRRRRRKKKKKKKKK!!! Find a job at home or go find a part-time job somewhere else that you can make money from (to save) and gain some valuable real-life experience. Or, what a novel idea, study even harder and get better grades!!! There’s so many ways you can better use your time… it sounds simple but it’s not. You honestly just have to find the balance between having fun and having too much fun. I can honestly say that I wish someone had told me this before I was in my senior year… I could’ve done so much more. To sum that up, always be trying to grow up because high school is perfect for that and God wants you to be using that time to become who he has made you to become!

 

Now that I’ve lost most of my teenage readers (cause I’m pretty sure that having less fun isn’t a very popular subject 😛 ) I will move on to another topic. You will have times in high school where you are confused as to “who you are”, where you’re going, and how to handle life. Every single person who is in high school or past high school knows what I’m talking about. There are very few people in this world that have everything together nearly all the time. There are trials because God wants you to grow stronger and closer to him. Trials suck at the time but they are so important to our spiritual growth. It’s like the silversmith refining the silver; God uses these trials to refine us. Always remember that you can survive any trial that you come across because God is always behind you and will give you the strength that you need. Many people automatically think of Philippians 4:13… “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” That is such a good verse and then I also like Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” God will ALWAYS give you the strength that you need, and that’s so important to remember (thus why I’m repeating myself lol)! There are times where you simply make your own trials though by bad decisions. I know that is the case for me and you know it’s happened to you. I’m gonna be candid… and why am I being candid? Most people fear other people judging them for their mistakes but I honestly don’t. People can talk about how I have messed up and so forth but I don’t care… because it’s true!!! We all make mistakes and we are all forced to really on Jesus dying the cross to save us. We’re all on the same ground and I love talking with my friends about their struggles and how to make life decisions. Working with others through life is something that I really like to do. So back to my candidness (spell-checker said it was a word haha) …mid-April through the end of May this year was horrendous for me in the department of making personal decisions. People couldn’t tell because I’ve always been a master at disguising my emotions but I put everything on my own back. I made decisions completely on my own and didn’t use sound judgment or common sense. I just made decisions in a way that made me feel good and totally was only thinking of myself. I reached for some stuff that I shouldn’t have reached for and the list goes on and on… I’ve been cleaning up the mess for awhile now but at least I learned that I can’t carry everything on my own. God had been helping me out so much I honestly forgot who was doing all the awesomeness in my life… and it wasn’t me lol. God showed me that I need to be patient (something that God is helping me to slowly improve in) and that I needed to put others before myself. God showed me that while I can be very close to him I can forget whose show it is. I was given a lesson about how I need God for every single heartbeat of my life or else I’m just living for no reason. I don’t know about you; but I want to live a life worth living. I want to follow God wherever he brings me. I said I would follow him to the death and I still hold fast to that. Anywhere he brings me I will go… even into Mordor ;D couldn’t help putting in a Lord of the Rings reference. Side trail really quick- I’m really jacked to watch the second installment of the Hobbit. That trailer was super-amazing and I’m only disappointed that we all have to wait for December to watch it!!! It’s gonna be the bomb 🙂 … anyways yes I will follow God on whatever path he leads me. I checked out this book from my church library and it’s called “The Search for Peace: Release from the torments of toxic unforgiveness” by Robert S. McGee and Donald W. Sapaugh. Actually, this book was the bomb! It helped me to release so much emotion that I had built up over the last 4-5 years and it was a great help in getting back to who I am. Another thing about this messy period was that I also was questioning who I was. Satan kept filling me with all these insecurities and I believed them. People sometimes forget… Satan is crafty in his schemes and is sooo cunning. I’m not using that as an excuse; I’m just reminding everyone that you have to be on your guard. I was caught COMPLETELY off-guard and wasn’t prepared for anything that went down. Be ready and stand firm. Satan will try to find ways to get you to drop your life principles but you have to not move an inch. The last thing… God gives you these trials to give you experience. Share that with people that are younger than you or anyone who needs it. Do you need to be specific? No, but at the same time you can speak in a general sense to help someone out. Also, just get back up. Don’t let Satan keep you on the ground… don’t let your past failures determine the future of your life. All your sin is gone 🙂 …So that’s what God has taught me about those moments of insecurities and failures… don’t be afraid because God is on your side. He will help you conquer anything that comes your way!

 

So yeah… those were the main points the God brought up. I’m sorry for not putting out blogs on a regular basis… my life has been moving at a speed of 300 mph the last month or so. We actually had an hour and a half of quiet time at a camp staff orientation I had this weekend… and I realized that it was the first time (besides for doing it in my bed at night haha)  I had a moment like that for quite awhile. It was very refreshing… but the graduation ceremony was really awesome. A bunch of my friends whooped it up when my senior video played and I got my certificate so it sounded like I was the most popular person in my class… which I found hilarious! That is FAR from the truth because I’m not even close to being the most popular person in my class but I realized all that whooping was yet another perk of being friends with the younger people in high school. Love the classes below me… they better invite me to all their graduations 😀 I was one of the two student speakers and while I didn’t do the best job God helped me to make an impact so I was really happy! So over the last week or so I’ve thought of so many other things that God has told me to write about. I hope it impacts you like it’s impacted me… and a shout-out to all the people who helped me through high school. My family, friends, moms (because when you’re homeschooled the moms play a big role and a lot of them are actually really cool 🙂 ) teachers and everyone else that has had a role in getting me through. I really appreciate all your help so much!!! I do need to actually relax though before I start work in two weeks… enjoy my little time where I’m free 🙂 Anyways, enjoy summer all you people and have fun and connect with God!!!!

 

P.S. Less than two months before I head off to college… I can’t wait for this next chapter of my life!