This One’s for the Girls

If you’re anything like me, you just started singing the song by Martina McBride. You don’t have to admit it, it’ll be a secret. But, for real. This one is for my girls who I know are struggling. Recently it seems that a lot of my girlfriends are struggling with boy issues. That’s typical, and normal I think. We’re in college, so that’s a natural part of our struggles/drama/issues. No judgement. What is bothering me though is the negative effect I’m seeing it have. It’s not just my friends, but me as well. Everything I’m about to say is sooo much easier said than done, and believe me I’m typing this as much for me as I am them. So this is selfish, but it’s also honest, and it’s what I want my friends to see. So… Ladies.

First, I love you. You are beautiful. You are smart. You are hilarious. You are talented. You are radiant. You brighten my day, every time I see you. You make me proud to call you a friend. But more than all of that. You are a child of God. He is a king, so yes. My dear, beautiful friends. You are a princess. We have it beaten into our heads that princesses don’t exist in real life anymore. But sweetie, you are far, far more than anything Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, or Belle could ever hope to be. Your Father, is the ETERNAL King. The EVERLASTING King. His reign, will NEVER end. Which means, you are FOREVER a princess. A child of the Highest of High Kings. That same King. That Father, treasures you. You are His beloved. He fights for you. He yearns for a relationship with you more than anything any boy on this earth can give you. You are sacred and you are His.

How easily we forget all of that when a boy is in the picture. We have let boys define us feel like we don’t matter, or we’re not worth it, or that we’re not good enough. Boys have made us feel unpretty, unworthy, gross, like trash. Whatever term you want to use. But I want you to take a step back for a second, and put aside what YOU are telling yourself, and what you have let a boy tell you and think objectively for a second… I am blessed, and grateful, and happy that all of the girls I’m thinking of right now know Christ as their Savior. So let’s think. The Creator of the world, the King, your Father, made you. Go get your Bible (cause I know you all have one, if nothing else it’s on your phone) and look in Genesis 1 for me. Yes, we’re starting from the beginning. Genesis 1:26&27 says:

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Sweetheart, you are made in HIS image. You are made in the image of the one who hold the sun in one place, spins every other planet around it, moves the waves, and created gravity. Think about that for a second. Now tell me you don’t think you’re pretty or worth it. This all boils down to the love of our God. Why would He take the time to make you, as unique and wonderful as you are, if He didn’t love you? Spoiler alert, He wouldn’t. Our God is not a God who wastes time. He is constantly moving and working throughout the Bible. We even see it in our lives today, as we are constantly moving and changing according to His will. Flip over to Philippians 2 for me. Look at verse 13:

…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

See that?! Please tell me you see that. He is working in you, because you are a part of His plan. His grand plan, that He set into motion over 3,000 years ago, He needs your unique gifts, abilities, and talents to accomplish that. You know what that means right? You have immense value. You are needed. You are necessary. Show me the boy who has treated you contrary to your worth, and I will show you just that. A boy. A child.

So my dear, sweet friend. Please, write this on your mirror. In your car, above your bed, on your desk. I don’t care, put it where you will see it. God doesn’t take time to make things He won’t use. He wouldn’t take the time to make you, break your mold so there would only be you, and put you on this planet if He didn’t have a plan and purpose for you. I know it’s scary to be in college and think “shoot, I’m 20, 21, (in my case 22 1/2) and I might end up alone with a dozen dogs or cats” I know that thought is dismal, depressing, and incredibly scary (trust me, I know) but believe me when I tell you this. You are destined for SO much more than you could ever imagine. You serve such a specific plan, and purpose for God, that I don’t want you to be so wrapped up in a boy and miss it. I don’t want a boy to side track you from that plan, that you are so amazingly destined for. The one you’re meant to be with won’t distract you, and make you feel like dirt. He will encourage you and walk beside you on your path to greatness in God’s plan. He will work alongside you to help you stick to the life God has desired you for.

So ladies. Again, I know (I know) all of this is so so so so SO much easier to say than it is to believe. And even if you believe it in your head, it’s hard to believe in your heart. But 1) God doesn’t make things He doesn’t use and love and cherish. 2) Y’all know me, and I don’t say things I don’t mean. So when I say these things. I mean them.

I love you all. I am praying for you, and I am in your corner. Y’all are my dear friends. I am blessed to be at Campbell to have met each and everyone of you. I have no idea where I would be without you, but I know it wouldn’t be where I am today.

Also, while I said this is for my friends, they were the ones I was thinking of when I was typing this. However, it applies to every single girl who has ever had a boy make her feel like less of a princess. This is for all the ladies who need to be reminded that they are cherished by the King and by their Father. The creator of the universe. So, share this with friends if you want to.

-S

Ps. I’m coming for the boys tomorrow =)

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You’ve Got a Friend in Me

Three years ago when I came to Campbell if you had told me that I would have made the friends I have today, I wouldn’t believe you. Tonight I had a great conversation with a good friend, and it was so encouraging to see a brother in Christ that excited about what God is doing in his life. He  could not stop talking about it, it was wonderful. It was amazing to see how what God was doing in his life, was validating what I have been thinking lately. I decided to look up some passages in the Bible about friends and friendship. Since God is the one who orchestrated me meeting my friends, I felt it was appropriate. Plus, it’s always appropriate to read your Bible.

In Proverbs 27:6 it says “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” which is one of my favorites and is so true. I can handle when my friend tells me something that’s hard to swallow much easier than I can someone I don’t trust saying something nice. A friend might tell me something mean, or something I view as hurtful, or something I don’t necessarily want to hear. However, I know they’re telling me for my own benefit and for my own good. They wouldn’t purposefully tell me something hurtful unless it was for my own good.

There are several other verses about friends and friendship, but I think that one is my favorite because it talks about how friends are honest, and that’s one of the most important things in a friend is honesty. Friends will be honest with you because they choose to have you around. It’s not forced, it’s not mandatory, it’s desired and wanted. Y’all have decided to be around each other, and therefore can be open, honest, and transparent with one another. That’s my favorite part about friendship. That’s the best part of my time here at Campbell.

So to all my friends out there; past, present, and future. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for sharing your life with me. It literally means the world to me.

-S

The Cooperative Baptist and My Place in It

The past 24 some odd hours I have been at FBC – Lumberton, NC for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship State Convention, thing. Whatever they want to call it. This is the first time I’ve ever been to something like that. It was a great experience. I learned a lot, I was informed of several things, and several things were reaffirmed in my life – which we all need. So it was great. I went to 3 break out sessions, 1 of which I didn’t actually mean to go into but was really great, 1 that wasn’t what I was expecting, and 1 that was fairly discouraging.

The first one was about what not to say when someone is grieving. Dr. Wallace from the Campbell Divinity School lead it and I learned a lot. I didn’t mean to go in, but I got lost and it was almost time to start so I wandered in. That session opened my eyes to the idea of counseling/chaplaincy which was interesting and something I think I want to at least explore.

The second one was hosted by the Associated Baptist Press online newspaper. You should check it out, it’s really good. It was kind of a hodge podge of topics from what they cover, how they cover, the social media thing, and the finer points of the “paper” business. I put paper in quotes because it’s an all online paper. Which is great. But as I’ve looked at it, I’ve noticed that there’s a gap and a void in the coverage. Not necessarily by choice, but maybe for lack of coverage. There is nothing about that 20 something age hardly. There’s nothing really social justice or ethics related. I realize those are difficult and vague terms in which to write and report but I think they’re really important. With that said, I want to look more into how I can blog for them, sort of freelance and look into this area of ministry as well. I think this is a great ministry tool and want to look into it more.

The thirds session I went to was with Wanda Kidd who does CBF Collegiate things. It was basically about how to minister with and alongside the millennial (20-early 30 something) generation. Which was good to hear, but discouraging because 1) there weren’t many people in there 2) they had no idea what to do with that age group. Which proves, we are a vastly over looked age group in the “traditional church”. What I mean by that is basically you’re normal, local churches, not your mega-churches. This reaffirmed my feeling of irrelevancy within the church and made me wonder how I can help fix that. Yet again, opening my eyes to a new area of ministry that I want to look into.

So what did I learn yesterday and this morning?
1) There’s a lot of areas of ministry. Way, way, way more than I realized.
2) I really, really, really have no idea what I’m supposed to do with my life. Like 0 idea
3) I do love the CBF. It’s something I want to be apart of and use my gifts and abilities and passions to work with. I hope the CBF will always be supportive of passion and the 20something age group. For the most part, I think they are. I hope the local churches will pick up that support.

With that said. I love being a Baptist. My allegiance is to Christ, but I love the way I am able to share that passion through the CBF.

-S

What Are We Doing Here?

http://www.godvine.com/How-NOT-to-Worship-fb-gv-2976.html#.UUKNRzTCjDk.twitter

So I couldn’t get the video link above to work like it was supposed to. So copy and paste it into a new window, watch it (it’s only like 3mins) and then come read the rest. It’ll all make sense then.

I found this video tonight surfing through Facebook. One of my friends posted it, and based on the title of the video alone, “How NOT to Worship God” I simply had to watch it.

If you listen to the music and words, they’re all very standards hymns and praise/worship songs within the Christian church. What I find more disturbing is how depressingly real the new set of lyrics to each song is. How often to we overt our attention to anything and everything at church? How quick are we to get side tracked when we’re worshiping God? Yes, I know there are dozens of other ways to worship besides singing at church, but since that’s where the video hit, that’s where I’m going to focus. We’re so often times concerned with who’s there, what they’re wearing, who they’re with, what they’re doing, that we forget our main purpose – to worship the Creator.

Worship is not for our benefit, if you “didn’t get anything out of worship” well, that’s fine, it’s not about you to begin with so it doesn’t matter. Worships purpose is to magnify God and glorify Him. We glorify Him by worshiping Him. That worship has to be driven by pure love in order to be genuine. I think a lot of times we go into it with such great intentions, but the Devil is smart. He knows exactly what he’s doing when he sidetracks us. He knows our weaknesses, and strikes at the most opportune moment. He knows when worship gets truly, and deeply genuine, he’s gotta pounce. He has to, it’s his nature. But we as Christians need to recognize this, and avoid it. I’m not saying we’re going to be able to completely resist it because let’s face it… The devil is a clever little man, he was an angel who dwelt with God. He knows what exactly the whole worship thing is about and does. He wants to stop it. If Satan stops genuine worship, he comes between us and God – perfecto for him! When that happens we can lose sight of Christ, and as we all know that’s never good – ever.

So, with all of this said. When you’re worshiping God, what are you truly doing? Are you genuine, or are you going through the motions. I know a lot of times I’m just going through the motions. I want to change that, I pray that together (because there are soo many of you reading this) we can recognize this issue, address and learn what true, loving, devoted worship of Christ looks like, and learn to worship like we were meant to. Completely and totally, 100% focused on the One who gave it all – so that we could have life everlasting.

-S

After the Love is Gone

So I have a question to propose. Do you know your love language? If you do, then wonderful! You’re a step ahead, and will probably understand this. If not, I encourage you to go to this website www.5lovelanguages.com and learn yours. It takes just a few minutes and will probably help explain a lot of things about your personality. I’ve always been a firm believer in knowing how you experience love, and how those who are important to you experience love. Everyone is different, which is good. What I have recently learned, is that getting your love language every day is vitally important.

Recently all of my friends have been super super busy, leaving me to have a lot of time to myself. As an introvert, I’m okay with some time to myself, but sometimes even for me it’s a bit much. February is always a rough month in and of itself so my friends (probably thinking they were being helpful) left me alone. So I spent almost everyday for a month by myself. If I wasn’t by myself I was with a person or persons who weren’t paying attention to me. This is not to say I have to be the center of attention, but to an extent I would like to know that you want me around. I wasn’t getting that feeling. I was getting the feeling that I was around because they felt obligated to have me around.

So what is the point of this? Well I think it’s important to know your love language, and those who you care about. I also just think it’s interesting how much those things effect us. If you look at the numbers, out of 30 total, with 5 categories, I got 11 for quality time, 10 for physical touch, and 6 for words of affirmation. 27/30 for things that I haven’t been getting recently. That’s intense in my opinion. While that wasn’t the only problem I have been dealing with, and I am able to acknowledge the total problem, and start dealing with it, I can’t wonder but how many people aren’t capable. I would be interested to see a study on what happens when people don’t get their love language.

So, moral of the story. Love on people, it’s mad important.

-S

It Does Get Easier, Right?

I made this blog exactly a year ago today. The day my grandmother died. I had been planning to blog through the whole ordeal because I was just hanging out in a hospital waiting, hoping, and praying she would get better. I’m not sure I could sort my words out then, and today isn’t much better. I haven’t been able to sort my words out for a month now.

So yes, my grandma has been gone a year. 365 days. 8,760 hours… Actually, not quite that many hours. Have to wait until 12:45 am for that. I miss her so much. I don’t think there are words for this kind of pain. That day, that whole experience. I’ll never forget it. My brother made a great slide show of pictures of her. I love it, yet it doesn’t do her justice.

She was by far the most amazing, beautiful, Godly, loving, wonderful woman on the planet. She taught me so much about everything. She was the one who pushed me to go to Campbell because she wanted me to have a 4 year degree. Now, she won’t even see me graduate.

There are so many memories, stories, and pictures. When I was watching the slideshow I couldn’t tell if I was laughing or crying…maybe both. Everyone loved my grandma. I love my grandma more than anyone on this world. She always made me feel important, because to her I was. I never questioned how important I was to her, which lately, I’ve been questioning in general (more on that later). I knew I mattered to her, and I knew I was one of the most important things in the world to her.

I learned a lot through the experience though. I spent 14 days and 13 nights in a hospital even though she was completely unconscious the whole time. Even though I know she is far, far better off in Heaven than she ever was here, I can’t help but be selfish. I can’t help but wish she were still here, just down the street so I could go see her and tell her about my classes. She could help me with math and science, like she always did.

I miss her, a lot. It still hurts, just as bad as it did in 2012. Everyone says it gets easier, but it doesn’t feel like it. I still feel like I got hit by a mac truck going at max speed carrying a ton of bricks.

I’m going to put a normal post on here later about something else that’s been on my mind lately, but I wanted to get some of this down in writing. Not that any of my thoughts make any more sense now than they did before, but maybe this is a start.

I love you, grandma. 1/15/33 – 3/4/12