I can't even begin to tell you how many time I have heard the phrase "new year new me" leading up to this new year.
New Year's resolutions are made. People make empty promises of leaving bad habits behind and to create better new ones. We vow to start living our lives differently as soon as the clock strikes 12 as if the clock really does control our lives.
The slight movement of two hands run by a battery can cause us to change the direction of our life. Crazy, right?
While those around you are planning and attempting to implement changes to create the ultimate versions of themselves, God remains the same. He remains constant.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)
He always has been and always will be God.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen,” (Ephesians 3:20).
This verse started as a wedding verse for my husband and me when we were engaged. It was something we were going to print on our wedding program and have written in calligraphy on a sign at the reception. It was a thought and a theme. But now, it is so much more.
When you read the verse very slowly you see the word abundantly, not average or just enough, but abundantly. In some translations the word used is immeasurably. When we chose this verse for our wedding, we thought it was a good verse because we were just starting out and had our lives ahead of us (we still do), but we did not take it for what it really means.
In early January I had the privilege of attending Seek 2017-- a conference of about 13,000 Catholic college students and religious. As I flew home, I reflected on my experience of spending a week with so many people with a fire in their heart for Christ.
As I head back to Ann Arbor, I’ve got all these thoughts racing through my head. I can’t begin to wrap my head around all the amazing things I learned, heard, and saw. The one thing I know for sure? The Holy Spirit was present in all 13,000 people-- every single one. Including me. The talks and conversations allowed me to not just experience God’s grace and love, but to know it. In the words of Fr. Mike Schmitz, “it’s not enough to believe in Jesus, you have to belong to Jesus. You have to let Him change your life.” This can’t just be done by doing the minimum, you need to fill your life with Jesus. You need to pray in every situation of every day. You can’t do it alone. You need to find those people that will travel alongside you. Lastly, you need to be prepared to fight because the world desperately wants us to fail. It wants us to give in to the temptations of worldly desires and forget God. This is the age of the martyrs. Think about that for a minute. That means more people have died for their faith in the last century than ever before. But as long as we live a Christ centered life and fully give control of our lives to Him, we will win. One passionate person can change the world, so let’s get to work.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.”
- 1 Corinthians 9:24
(Photo Cred: Kaitlin Shelby via pexels.com)
The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she won grace and favor in his sight. (Esther 2:17, ESV)
Y’all, I wanted a cool, first post. I wanted to dazzle you with words, and then paint murals for you in sentences. I wanted to give you something tweet worthy, but as I opened up the document to write, God chimed in. Esther 2:17 is planning on repeat in my heart right now.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve waited on the day I would get proposed to. I’ve pictured it out in every scenario: long walks in the park, snowflakes and mittens, a sparkly ring, and a handsome man on one knee. I’ve imagined what it would sound like: the crunch of snow, the eloquent lines that could put Jane Austen to shame, tears and laughter, and a love filled yes. I’ve even obsessed far enough to imagine the feelings: the happiness, the joy, the excitement, and the goosebumps that were either caused by the feels or the cold.
I’ve held that picture perfect moment in my heart, constantly going back to the living room to dust the frame. It was a moment that I was proud of, something that I longed for, until just recently when I took the dream down. I fell in love this year, with what I thought was the perfect guy. Tall, freckled, hot as a tamale, marine. When he walked into the room, my heart had all the feels, my stomach developed a talent for somersaults, and the only function that my brain could process was drooling
Entering into the new year of 2017, I made a goal for myself. To be as transparent, and vulnerable as my emotional little heart would allow. After all, Jesus was more vulnerable than any one of us could ever fathom when He was on the cross, so what's been stopping me?
I've been telling myself, since I started this blog, that I want to share my story, to reach other people who may be struggling with the same battles, but there's always been that little voice in the back of my head telling me "Nobody is going to care about what you have to say, Why even bother...". On and on and on that voice goes. Truth is, I carry around a lot of anxiety, shame, and insecurity that comes straight from the evil one. But I want to, no, I need to share my story. I need to lay it all out there so that I can come face to face with what's pulling me down. Hopefully, along the way, I can reach others as well.
I grew up in a broken family. All the love in the world can't change that fact or the pain that it brought along the way. My mom and dad were divorced when I was 3 so I don't have much of a recollection of that. My dad was remarried when I was 4, and was in that marriage for 12 years before I experienced another divorce. With that marriage came my three beautiful siblings that I love so so much. Because I saw so many marriages fail and end in divorce, I never believed fully in marriage. At least not in a Christ-Centered, forever enduring marriage. I just never had that example in my life.
I dealt with emotional abuse for many years from someone I really trusted. I've forgiven that person and am trying to reconcile, but forgiveness doesn't make the pain or the scars left from it go away. Throughout middle school, I was told I needed makeup to look pretty and that my clothes made me look fat. Inevitably, many girls in middle school hear things like this. It’s unfortunate, but true. However, coming from someone who was supposed to care about me, it absolutely wrecked me.
"I'm sorry Miss Whitten but at this time we can not offer you admission into our Graduate Program. Good luck in your future endeavors."
I sat at my desk at work fighting back tears. The email I had been hoping would never come, just did. I was rejected from grad school. All I had wanted was to get into this one program. I had prayed about it and prepared fully for it. I had worked and worked to get my materials in and to get my test scores just right. I had researched the program and tried to shape and mold myself into exactly what they wanted. But somehow, somehow it just wasn't good enough. I wasn't what they wanted. I had a good cry then I realized, what if God was actually setting this little rejection in my path to set me up for a better reward ahead?
2016 God laid on my heart to be patient and trusting in His timing.Understand and better grasp the concept that He is writing a beautiful story for me and it is my job to sit back and let it unfold. As cliche as it sounds "He has a plan and the puzzle pieces fit together" So what do you do when His plan doesn't match with yours? I struggle daily with this sister friends. I struggle to realize that what I want isn't always what I need, what is best for me or what is God's plan.
I’m so excited to be typing this and be here with you all at this time! I want to start out by telling you all some things about me. My name is Lauryn Dezarn, some call me Lauryn and some call me Lauryn Ashley. I am 23 years old and live in Southeastern Kentucky. I have been married to my husband, Nathan, for 3 years this June and we have been together for 6 years. We have a beautiful daughter, Madilynn Kate, who will be 2 this July. Last but not least we have two kitties, Potter and Weasley.
I hope that we can be friends and I would love to connect with you all.
Bear with me, it’s going to take a minute to get there but there’s a point to spilling my whole life out for you.
I have been saved since I was 10 years old, so for me I have always felt God in my life. I was raised in a Christian home and have always participated in church. When I graduated high school, I went straight into college. I decided to do nursing, when I finally got into the nursing program I was so excited. I got married that summer and felt like my life had all come together. I thought It was perfect, that was my first mistake. I’m sure when I had that thought God did a little chuckle and said something like “Oh my child.”
The first day of nursing school was here, I was so excited and nervous. I got to the math class that I was enrolled in and I was the only person there. It was 10 minutes past the time of it starting and I was still all alone in that class. At this point I was thinking “Oh Lauryn, you’re in the wrong room. Such a small campus but you still managed to get lost.” As I get up and start gathering my things, a man walks in the door who looks like the teacher. He explains to me that I’m the only one enrolled in this class and he would love to teach just me but they won’t let him. My class is cancelled, the class that I needed to stay in the nursing program is cancelled.
I was crushed and heartbroken. I cried on the way home and all that evening. Not to mention it was my birthday
I’m a large girl.
I always have been. I was the girl at pool parties that wore the one piece when all her friends had cute Victoria’s Secret bikinis. And that’s if I had the courage to actually go to the pool party at all. I didn’t even realize my size was an “issue” until middle school. In elementary school it’s just learn your ABCs, how to count, and enjoy recess on the playground with your friends. We were all kids, we all liked to play, we all had to learn. As I got older I began to recognize the look girls gave me right before they turned around and started whispering. I started to hear honey drip from their mouths but it didn’t seem as sweet and sincere as it used to. I was slowly being forced into a new world where everything I did, wear, or say would be connected to one word: fat.
I was always a happy-go-lucky type of girl. I was also a friendly, open, and frankly naive girl as well. The first day of middle school I was ecstatic. I had the perfect outfit picked out (cheetah print skort with a black scoop neck shirt and big dangly earrings...I said I was friendly, not that I had fashion sense.) I knew, knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would make friends because I was nice and I liked making people happy. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work like my 12 year old brain hoped it would. It wasn’t like I walked into school and was pounced on, Savannah-style, by a group of popular girls like I was an antelope ready to be taken down. No, it was actually rather uneventful for a while. I did well in class, I made friends, I excelled in orchestra and was having the time of my life in theater class. It was great to be honest. However, I had begun to notice that tell-tale look the skinny, pretty, popular girls sent me. I tried to ignore it, I knew I had my group of friends, but there is something about the sneer of a fellow classmate that just makes you feel worthless. Middle school isn’t exactly a great time for everyone. I’ve decided that it’s simply a necessary, awkward, rite of passage everyone must endure before becoming a young adult.
While this began to happen, I slowly began to feel less and less like the person I was. I drew back into myself while trying to push forward a fake version of me, plastered on the front like a cheap billboard covering, with the hopes of dissuading my friends. Nothing was wrong. I was normal and the same as ever. I started to have thoughts that said “You’re not as good as them. They’re not really your friends. They take pity on you.” For a while I was in this “in-between”. These thoughts made me feel insecure, but I liked my friends. I felt different, less of myself, but I didn’t want to be that weird kid. I started to hang out with other kids, not exactly the best group. They had bad habits, they pressured me, they made me feel like I belonged, but only if I took part in what they did. I became involved in self-harm. I thought that hurting myself was the best way to fix how I felt. If I’m not worth anything, if I’m not as good as them, I’ll just punish myself for being different. It was twisted, it was sad, but at the time in my life, it seemed right.
Hey everyone, this is Hope Semones from Where My Heart Goes blog and I am guest posting on here today. Today I am going to write about being worth it. But what exactly are you worth?
I've noticed so many girls are struggling with feeling loved and worth it. You are worth being loved because God loves you. He will forgive you of your sins you just need to ask.
Romans 8:38 -39
“38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
These verses prove nothing can separate God's love for you. He is forever caring, loving, and forgiving. He is a never changing God. No matter what you have done, if it was the worst of the worst or something small and simple, you just need to be sincere and ask Him for forgiveness. He already knows the wrongs before you tell Him and He still loves you.
Jesus loves us so much. He died for us on a cross so we can have eternal life. He already knew we would fail Him but He loved us so much. So if your sin is big or small remember to sincerely ask for forgiveness.
I try to find the beauty in others, but finding the beauty in myself, that’s where I struggle.
Accepting love from God is hard. Sometimes we feel undeserving, not good enough, sometimes we think why would he love me. Why me? What did I do to deserve this?
I can vouch for all of them. This last year was one of the hardest years for me. I have battled with an eating disorder for the last few years, and boy oh boy looking at yourself and hating yourself can affect you so much. I was never good enough for myself. I always found the flaws and never looked at the good. I hated myself more than ever. I can vividly remember nights of me sitting in the bathroom crying and wondering how to end the pain. I couldn’t find one thing I liked about myself. I was lower than I had ever been.
Not a lot of people knew what I struggled with. I tried my hardest to hide it. I grew up in church and with a loving family and great friends. A few years ago the devil really got to me. I started to stop seeing me as the fearfully and wonderfully made girl God made (Psalm 139:14) and started to see myself the way the devil wanted me to. It started off with just skipping a few meals every so often. Harmless right? Well every so often turned into everyday, and when I would eat, I would hate myself for it. I started to feel very weak, and the weight I was losing didn’t look like anything to me. I didn’t see a difference in myself, and that made me hate myself even more. I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want people to have to look at me. I truly hated myself. I was so distant from God.