I spent years saying no to God

I spent years saying no to God.

He would open doors for me that I refused to walk through. I would hear Him say, “I’ve given you this gift so you can use it for my Glory” and I would repeatedly choose to listen to lies like these instead:

-you’re not good enough 

-you’ll just embarrass yourself

-there are so many other people that can do this better than you can

-you aren’t worth it

I know I’m not alone. I know you’ve heard and believed these things too. Here’s the truth👇🏼

THE ENEMY IS ATTACKING YOU BECAUSE HE KNOWS GOD IS TRYING TO USE YOU IN BIG WAYS

satan doesn’t lie just to make you feel bad. he lies because he’s terrified you’ll be used by God. he knows how powerful God’s love and truth is. Kick that sucker to the curb, sis.

This summer I decided to say yes. I stepped out in faith. My friend came to me and said, “I know what song you’re singing in worship.” I was terrified.

It was the same song God had been using to work on me over the last year. I would hear: “for all my days I will sing of the goodness of God” and He would whisper: “why aren’t you singing?” I hid from these gentle taps on my heart.

When I asked my friend why she had chosen this song for me, she said, “when I prayed about worship I saw you singing this.” I cried. I finally got it after all those years.

He was waiting on my yes. Arms open.

My sweet Jesus just wanted my “yes”—and friend, no matter how long you’ve spent saying no, He still wants yours too.

I did something bad

I did something bad last night.

Before I tell you what it is, you should know that I’m currently on a health journey (said goodbye to 25 pounds so far!👋🏼). I’ve completely revised the way I see food and exercise.

But guys. Last night I had pizza.

It was the first and only slice I’ve had all year and I was so angry at myself after I caved into the temptation. But then I realized something.

One piece of pizza is not going to undo all of the hard work I’ve done.

One bad day is not going to make me gain the weight back.

I can pursue health and fitness and cheat every once and a while.

So I wanted to pass on this reminder to you:

Choose healthy foods. Make exercising a priority even when you don’t feel like it (sometimes it takes me 10 minutes to get out of the car and go into the gym😂) 

Change your lifestyle because you love yourself and your body.

But girl, PLEASE don’t beat yourself up over food. Healthy mindsets are just as important as healthy bodies.

And lastly, eat the pizza every once and a while 😉

I’m not ready for this

 am not ready.

For weeks now I’ve allowed myself to speak unreadiness over my life, my confidence, and my body. Excitement was always followed with worries of falling short.

As the months turned into weeks and the weeks turned into days I would find myself awake at 1 AM asking God, “are you sure I’m prepared for this? Are you sure this open door wasn’t meant for someone else? Am I hearing you clearly?” 

Isn’t it funny how we often find ourselves questioning God’s judgement like we know better?

I’ll tell you how I honestly feel.

Underneath the initial excitement is fear, anxiety, and insecurities. There is a lurking feeling of inadequacy and unpreparedness.

Now I’ll tell you how God feels.

He says I am ready. He says, “daughter, I’ve been preparing you for such a time as this.” He says I am enough.

I may feel like I’m not prepared to take this massive leap out of my comfort zone, but the reality is that God never wanted me there in the first place. In His eyes, I am ready.

And girl, so are you.

If God has opened up intimidating doors for you, walk through them. Those feelings of inadequacy are part of satan’s plan to make sure you never see the wonders on the other side of your obedience.

As I wait to board this plane God is whispering to me, “you are ready for this.” 

And you know what? I think I finally believe Him.

this body was made in the image of God

I remember standing in front of the mirror in tears, angry at my body for looking less than perfect. I truly thought I was the only one that had flaws. Ha.

I wish I could go back and give that 7th grade girl a hug. I wish she knew that airbrushed beauty only exists on social media and in magazines and that real women have stretch marks, acne, and cellulite. I wish she knew that those “flaws” werereally just proof that she was human.

I wish she knew that she wasn’t the only one and I also wish that I could say it didn’t take her nearly 20 years to finally realize it.

This body of mine is not perfect. It’s been scrutinized in the mirror. It’s had hurtful things said about it by myself and others. And I’m sad to admit that there was a period in my life when I would have changed a thousand things about it if I could have.

But my body is healthy. My body is strong. I can run. I can swim. I can laugh and dance and sing.

Today I took this body to the beach in a bathing suit and didn’t wear shorts or a t shirt. I didn’t try to hide it and I didn’t expect it to look perfect.

I had fun with my friends and praised God for making me in His image. I thanked Him for teaching me that my beauty is found in Him. I celebrated the way He created me, stretch marks and all.

I cannot fathom this kind of love

I sat on the pier the other night and looked out over the waves. The sun was setting over the tops of the palm trees as I began a conversation with God.

My prayer was overwhelmed with astonishment not only at God’s creation, but that He was allowing me to bask in it. I couldn’t believe that He had brought me to this island and introduced me to these people. I was overcome with awe at how much He cares for me.

And in that moment, almost just as light as the breeze, I heard Him whisper something to me. “I want to give you so much more than all of this.” Wow.

As I stare in astonishment at the things God has made, the places He has brought me, and the people He has given me, I am reminded just how powerful and mighty His love is for me.

I serve a kind God.

In His eyes, the wind and waves and sun and sand pale in comparison to me. They are nothing. It is me He loves. It is me He wants to give so much more to. It is me that He marvels at.

And my heart can’t seem to fathom that kind of love but oh I’m so thankful to have found it.

God deserves my unashamed praise

I stood in worship and cried.

I raised my hands and cried. I couldn’t sing but I cried. Those tears and trembling hands were my worship. They were what I had to give in that moment.

As I looked around the room I saw people on their knees, on their backs, on their faces. I saw people pouring their hearts into the music and I saw people with their heads bowed in silence. I saw a desperation for Jesus. I felt it. My heart was left raw and open yet completely healed and full.

I desire to worship.

Genuinely. Passionately. Desperately.

God deserves my heart. He deserves my unashamed songs of praise. He deserves more than memorized lyrics and complacency.

I am given the opportunity to worship the One who hung the stars. The One who makes the darkness flee. The One who whispered my name as He hovered over the empty and formless earth.

And He doesn’t want my lukewarm praise. 
He wants my heart. Open and bleeding. He wants my tears and raised hands. He wants the prayer of my heart when spoken words are too much.

I am done taking His presence for granted. I am done being okay with meaningless praise. I am done being complacent when the God of the universe gives me His attention.

I was created to worship wholeheartedly and doing so is the only way my heart will ever truly become full. Unashamed tears, desperation, and shaking hands if that’s what it takes.

saying goodbye is hard

I sat in the prayer room and brought my hurting heart before God.

I wept because He gives and He takes away. I rejoiced because of where He’s brought me. I thanked Him for all He’s done. I took my heart, tangled and twisted with battling emotions, and laid it at His feet.

God has been kind enough to put the light of His love in my life through other people. He has graciously given me the gift of friendship with so many beautiful souls. People of all nations and tongues. People who love Jesus with their entire heart. People who struggle. People who are broken. People who love me. People I love.

Saying goodbye is hard. It hurts.

But there is beauty in looking into the eyes of another and seeing tears there as a result of love for you. There is beauty in grieving the presence of a soul bonded to your own. There is beauty in a hurting heart.

It’s evidence that God has given us something real and genuine. Something special. It’s evidence of love.

So yes, my heart is sad.

Tears come when I remember that some, maybe most, of these goodbyes were final on this earth. I am weighed down by the fact that I have hugged some of these special people for the last time until heaven reunites us again.

My heart is full of love and pain at the same time but oh I am so thankful.

I wouldn’t take back one single second that contributed to the heaviness in my chest because it means I have loved and been loved.

And thank you Jesus for the opportunity to hurt over something so wonderful.