Saturday, December 13, 2008

It crazy amazing how God can use the pain of others to prepare someone else for what's to come. Little did I know that God was using my friend's dad's funeral to prepare me for another death just 3 days later. My grandpa passed away. It's hard to type that and hard to think about. But it is amazing to see how God evidenced himself through that whole of week craziness. I've never seen my family shaken that much to the core before nor have I seen such raw grief.

Some of the moments from that week are ingrained in my mind. I can see them so clearly. I'll never forget sitting on the edge of my grandpa's hospital bed holding his hands while he labored to breathe. Or how he said, "Hi hon" and "I love you too." I can still hear the sound of the doctor's voice when he gave my family "the talk" later that night in the ICU. I can vividly remember the ICU room and looking at my grandpa in the bed. That week helped me to appreciate and value my family like I never have before.

In the midst of all the hurt, I can't deny how great God is. I know God took my grandpa at just the right time. I know God allowed my uncle to make it all the way from Georgia to see him before he passed. I know God allowed me to be home even though I had school that day. I'm so thankful God let us be there to hold his hands while he passed. God has blessed me with an amazing family that I can't imagine life without.

There will continue to be hard days ahead, no doubt. I will continue to miss my grandpa and his hugs, his laugh, his stories, and hearing him says “I love you hon.” I need time to grieve. I feel like since I’ve been back at school there hasn’t been any time for that. There are times when I just want to sink into the floor and cry. I’m ready to go home and be with my family. I’m ready to cry and let it all out. But I’m so thankful that I am here at school right now and that I have friends that love me. God knows what He’s doing and that takes a lot of pressure off me as I sit back and let Him lead.

Monday, November 24, 2008

In My Life be Lifted High

Some things in life are just plain tough. My friend's dad died of cancer, my dad's business went under, my grandpa is in the hospital but even through all that I know God is good. Life is messy and things get hard. Death, struggles, and suffering are a part of our world. God never intended it to be that way, we live in a broken place. But despite all those things, God's love, faithfulness, compassion, and mercy never fail.

I went to a funeral for my friend's dad this week. It was the most amazing thing I have experienced in such a long time. While there was deep sadness, life was celebrated. It wasn't really a funeral at all, but a celebration of life and God's love. His presence was tangible. Even though people I love had to lose their father, God worked in the situation to touch lives. Even in death, the promise of eternal life and the beginning of eternity with Him was felt. It was a foretaste of heaven.

The life that my friend's dad lived was an encouragement to me and a challenge to trust and live for God in a deeper way. I honestly feel like God used that funeral to prepare me for what would occur just a day later. Stuff in my own life is getting complicated. More people I love hurt and are suffering. I can't fix it and that kills me, but I'm learning to trust God. Laying those burdens before Him not knowing what is to come, but choosing to trust and to rest in His assurance.

Life is fragile and messed up. God never changes so it's all good.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bay shores and Ocean Floors

Bay Shores: Thought I'd take a homework break and write a post. So this past weekend was great. I went on a road trip with my roommate Tiffany to Michigan (I had never been to MI before). We traveled over 500 miles and made it to Traverse City and back. We were able to stay at Tiffany's house, go to Lake Ann camp, visit Traverse City, and visit John Vermilya in Buckley. It was wonderful, but sadly the trip had to come to an end and we had to come back and be responsible students, haha.

Ocean floors: Today during my discipleship time with Debbie we talked about forgiveness vs. bitterness. As I sat there I prayed that God would bring things to mind that I needed to forgive. But goodness, I never realized how reluctant I am to forgive certain things. I was shocked by my own resistance. Inwardly parts of me were saying, "Why forgive? They hurt me and what they did was wrong. Why should they got off for free?"

My thinking was so wrong and I was reminded that justice belongs to God and that I needed to point the finger at myself. I've messed up more times than I'd ever like to count and God has granted me forgiveness. Do I deserve that forgiveness? No. But that's not the kind of Savior we have. It hurts Him when we sin and He allows us to humbley approach Him in all our filth and shame and seek His pardon. Wow. God is patient, slow to anger, filled with joy and love. He is compassionate, gentle, full of grace and mercy, and is forgiving.

I need to forgive as my Father has forgiven me. Forgiveness is a choice. Yeah, it may hurt and it will be hard, but once I deside to forgive that's when God can begin to heal the wounds and battle scars.

"My misdeeds
All my greed
All the things that haunt me now
They’re not a pretty sight to see
But they're wiped away
By a mighty, mighty wave
A mighty, mighty wave

Your sins are erased
And they are no more
They’re out on the ocean floor"
-Audio Adrenaline

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Wait....this isn't finger painting class? Oh man....

Art class has been a learning experience. Pretty much I've come to realize I have no's a good thing Jesus loves me and my mom thinks I'm special.

A typical day in art class:


My classmates:

Sad story. The end. haha

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Woah, how much?

So I'm sitting here listening to Ooh Ahh by Grits, which happens to be one of my favorite songs, and I decided it's time for a post.

Something that's been on my heart lately is God's love. God IS love. His love for us is unfathomable and as His children we can't be separated from it, but I'll be real honest, I have trouble accepting that. I feel like there's something inside of me that every time I hear about God's love I inwardly ask, "Really, you love me that much? But God, it doesn't make sense, I'm the biggest screw up I know." And I am gently reminded, "Yes, that much. More than you can ever know." Man, God is so awesome.

In John 17:23 when Jesus was praying He said, "I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that them as much as you love me." That's so crazy to me! God loves me as much as He loves Jesus. Maybe this all seems elementary, but it's hard for me to take in because I know I don't deserve His love and never will. Yet He chooses to love me despite every flaw and mistake.

In my quiet time yesterday morning this is part of what I read, "His love is more than words. When you became a child of the King, adopted into the divine family, things happened. All Jesus did on the cross was applied to your life. You went from blemished to blameless. From death sentence to eternal life. From orphan to royalty."

Wow. If you're reading this I want you to be reminded of how amazingly much YOU are LOVED. You couldn't have been bought with a higher price. God never regrets the decision He made to sacrifice His son for you. He has loved you with an everlasting love.

You are priceless.

Monday, April 7, 2008

How long have you been standing?

Today's chapel was great. The guy who led it asked a question that really stuck with me today, "How long have you been standing?" Too often we lean on our own understanding and before we know it we're caring the weight of our world. It seems to me the longer we walk in this manner, the more weary and heavy-burdened we become. We lose sight of the One who asks us to give Him our load. He WANTS to carry it because He LOVES us that much. We often attempt to carry our loads until we're so fatigued that we buckle underneath the weight and fall to our knees. Perhaps it's in that time on our knees when we remember how things should be and we're faced with the decision to surrender. When we humble ourselves and get on our knees things come into perspective. God picks us up and restores us; He lifts the weight and puts it on Himself.

I don't know about you, but I've been standing for way to long.

Last night I was talking a friend about testimonies. We shared stories of people in our lives with amazing testimonies and how God is using them to make such an impact. After a while our own fears about sharing our own testimonies surfaced. I think there are many times that I rationalize that my testimony is nothing great. I've caught myself thinking, "My testimony would be so much better if I would have done a bunch of really terrible things and then came to know the Lord." That's crazy thinking (which by the way, is also wrong).

The truth of the matter is that we've all sinned and done terrible things. I've also allowed myself to think, "I'm not sharing "that" part of my testimony" because I've been afraid of what others will think. Then again I'm hit with the truth, those things are in the past and my life now should be a testament of how God has saved and changed me. Bottom line, we all have amazing testimonies. We're all sinners who have been saved by grace. We can never earn or deserve it. We can't make God love us more or less. The fact that with all the junk I've had in my life and all the times I've screwed up, Jesus died for me. That's insanely awesome.

Monday, March 24, 2008

From the inside out...

These past fews months have been crazy. Things I was sure of last semester now leave questions marks in my mind. Things I was confident in now leave me doubting. I was talking to a friend about this last night and they told me that it was good because it meant I had a seeking heart. I never thought of it that way. I always felt like all of these unsure feelings were bad and I was scared to let anyone see past my facade of being "ok." Maybe God's let me go down this road to prepare me for big change. A time for molding, mending, and renovating.

Last week I found myself feeling as though I had lost myself. In high school I was somewhat sure of things, outgoing, warm, and encouraging. I miss that girl. I know those aspects are still there but they're different. Coming to college took away all my security blankets and complacencies. I know it's a good thing, but when I try to handle without God's help, it's so overwhelming. I'm ready to be sure of things again and I'm ready to fearlessly be myself. There's freedom in that.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


So...I was jumping on a trampoline at my friend's house this weekend, having a great time, but then I landed wrong. I felt my knee bend in toward my body, heard a few pops and cracks and before I knew it I was laying on the trampoline grasping my knee in pain. I've never heard a knee makes those sounds before (I cringe just thinking about it). I laid there with my friend's on the trampoline thinking that maybe the pain would go away...but it didn't. As I attempted to walk to the house my knee screwed up again. I managed to get to the couch and later did a lame crab walk to my friend's bed. Then Saturday morning my friend's mom came in to check on me and I tried to take a few steps. Bad idea, after only a couple small steps my knee ground left to right left to right and I was down on the floor. Ouch.

Long story short, my mom drove to Illinois to get (and grandma decided to go along too, haha), they took me to the emergency room, within the 2 hours that I was there I got x-rays, examined by a few nurses, put in a brace, and sent home. No answers...that was frustrating. Hopefully I'll get to see an orthopedic surgeon in the next couple days.

I know things happen for a reason and God is using this to teach me things, like how I have trouble accepting help from others. I never thought God would use blowing out a knee to reveal a pride problem. So here I sit, learning to accept and to be grateful for the help others are giving me.

I kinda wish this weekend could have been recorded so that I could laugh at myself. I've learned new ways to get around on crutches, wheely office chairs, and hopping on one leg, how to take baths, and dress myself....actually, it's probably best those moments weren't captured. haha