If you’re the girl holding on by a thread right now, read this

365 days ago I sat in the middle of the floor in my bedroom completely overwhelmed and emotionally overdrawn.

Tears were an every day occurrence. I slept with my Bible because I wanted to feel close to God yet I was terrified to talk to Him. Peace was nonexistent and panic became my norm.

Can I tell you the worst part?

No one knew.

I did everything I could to cover up what was actually going on. When questions were asked I brushed them off and assured everyone that I was fine. I told them I was happy.

I was neither.

A year ago today I wrote this down in my journal: “Today was really hard. I’m sad and not sure what the best thing to do is. I can’t wait to meet forever people.” And on February 6th just one year later I can honestly tell you that I am genuinely happy and have found those forever people. I have met girls who will stand with me on my wedding day and hold my hand through the trials and heartbreak.

A year ago I felt alone. Today I feel loved.

365 days. One year. Exponential growth.

If you’re the girl that’s holding on by a thread right now, keep holding. It will get better. But hear me sis, if you need to move some things around in your life in order for that better change to come, then MOVE THEM.

You have to love yourself enough to make hard decisions for the betterment of your emotional, mental, and physical health.

PLEASE talk to someone who loves you about what’s going on. There is a way out and you don’t have to find it alone. My inbox is always open.

And lastly, God sees you. Please don’t hide from Him. He can redeem whatever it is that is hurting you right now if you simply lay it all  down at His feet. Listen for His voice and when you find it, please be brave.

I am angry that I will never be the girl that I was

It was never meant to be this hard.

I wasn’t supposed to be carrying this burden around with me everywhere I go. I wasn’t supposed to be battling fear, panic, and anxiety. I wasn’t supposed to struggle with trusting every person that gets close to me. I wasn’t supposed to feel this way.

But I do, and I’d be lying to you if I pretended that I don’t. The truth is, I don’t have everything figured out. I am not yet the healed, capable woman that I intend on being. And if I’m being honest with you, I often feel a mingling of fear, anger, and shame resting in the pit of my stomach.

I am angry that I will never be the girl that I was.

And sometimes, on the days that God whispers to me, I remember that I don’t want to be that girl anymore.

But there are parts of her that I miss. She was trusting. She saw the very best in everyone. She had an entire, untarnished, unbroken heart to give; and she gave it.

She also had a lot to learn. And maybe this part of her will never change, but she is learning and has learned a lot. She is wiser, stronger, and closer to her savior. She is finding the road to bravery and she will take it when she can. She will take it because God pulls her by the hand and takes every first step.

And although it was never meant to be this hard and I wasn’t supposed to feel this way, I do. And this mended, tarnished heart with cracks turned to seams is held in hands that bear their own scars.

And I will love again because He first loved me.

And sweet friend, I promise so will you.

Good friends are hard to come by

Good friends are hard to come by.

When I say this, please know that I mean good friends. Kind friends. The friend that offers to help when she has zero obligation to. The friend that encourages, uplifts, and acknowledges your successes. The friend that genuinely loves and cares for you. The friend that prays for your heart.

Girl, if you are lucky enough to find a friend like this, keep her close.

But I also encourage you to be that friend. Offer to help her when she doesn’t ask, and if she says no, ask again. Encourage her, uplift her, and throw a party when she has something to be excited about. Love her, care for her, and understand that, like you, she isn’t perfect either.

Good friends are hard to come by. Perfect friends don’t exist.

Extend understanding if she disappoints you. Ask for clarification if something upsets you, and do it with grace. Be willing to hear her side. Be willing to overlook a misunderstanding. Be willing to listen if something is heavy on her heart.

Ladies, if you find a friend that loves you, keep her close. Thank God for her. Pray for her.

She is a blessing.

“There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other,
    but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24

I am equal, but not better than.

I am a woman.
I am strong, capable, and able but will graciously accept help when it’s needed and say thank you when a door is held for me.
I will encourage and uplift the women in my life but will also encourage and uplift the men in my life.
I have God-given attributes that allow me to make an impact on the world in a unique way and I will celebrate that without lessening the value of abilities that are different than mine.
My body and mind are capable of incredible things and I will not cheapen that by believing that sameness is a synonym for equality.
I am empowered and proud of who I am, but will not place womanhood above manhood.
I am equal, but not better than.
I refuse to degrade due to differences and I refuse to listen to a society that sells self worship and labels it liberation.
My God is the creator of equality and the establisher of perfect design. 
He molded me in His image.
He died for me.
He loves me.
And thankfully, those three facts stand true for everyone, regardless of any difference.
Let’s live like it and let’s love like it.

I wish you knew.

I wish you knew how much He loves you. I wish you could see His craftsmanship in the world around you and find Him in all of the little details. I wish you could feel His warmth and understand what it’s like to have Him take your tired and burdened heart and make it whole. I wish you knew that life doesn’t have to be battled alone.

I wish you knew how special you are and that you are here with purpose. I wish you realized that all of the heavy and cruel things you’ve been carrying around for so long can be laid down at the feet of Jesus.

I wish you knew that sometimes He whispers your name in my ear and places your soul on my heart.

I wish you knew that the King of the most high is jealous over you. I wish you knew that He placed the stars and galaxies in the sky yet found you far more beautiful. I wish you knew that He placed them there just for you.

I wish you knew what it was like to say His name and hear “redeemer” echo within your heart. I wish you knew how desperately you need a savior and that salvation can’t be found in anything or anyone other than Christ, no matter how hard you search for it there.

I wish you knew to listen for that still small voice whispering your name.

My sweet friend, I just really wish you knew.

do what makes God happy

“Do what makes you happy”

Our culture sells this mantra like donuts with the hot now light turned on.
It’s the age of ME. We’re constantly told that looking out for #1 is the best way to live life and that doing what makes us happy should be top priority.

But what if that “happiness” comes at the expense of someone else?
Do friendships, relationships, and marriages work if this is the mentality you have?

I’ll tell you the short answer- no, they don’t. Not at all actually.

So I want to propose an idea that is sure to fill your heart faster than anything you, or society, has to offer.

Do what makes God happy.

The world offers happiness and satisfaction wrapped up in things that will break your heart and hurt the people around you before you even realize you’re making a deal with the enemy.

Listen to what God says instead.

God says to love and treat others the way you desire to be treated. God says that love is not self seeking and does not dishonor others, but is instead patient and kind. God says our delight is found in Him.

God says to put others before yourself.

God doesn’t promote a self seeking attitude, yet He wants the best for us.
And guess what—
Living a life that chases after His will IS what’s best for us and is also the ONLY route to true happiness.

Replace yourself with God. Condition your heart to have that 2 second hesitation in which you have the opportunity to opt out and choose the fulfilling happiness that God offers instead.

this helped me in one of my biggest battles

Can I tell you something that saved me from myself in the midst of one of my biggest battles?

Jesus didn’t care about the opinions of men. He didn’t care about reputation, and He certainly didn’t care about political correctness.

But do you know what He did care about?
The truth.
He cared about people’s souls.

And not because they lived a certain way or looked a certain way or were deemed “worthy” enough. In fact, Jesus sought out the least of these. He found the broken and the lost in the middle of their chaos and offered them His hand.

He broke bread with sinners. He calmed the storm that terrified them.

I always think of the woman He met at the well who was ashamed and thirsty beyond relief. He offered her living water and redemption.

He did that for me. He met me at the well, hiding and hurt.

He seeks us in our lowest places. When we’re thrown into the fire He’s in there with us. When we’re staring into the faces of hungry lions He seals their mouths. And when we grasp for the hem of His cloak He heals us.

No, He didn’t care about being liked. He wasn’t afraid to offend, break rules, and tear down stigmas in order to ensure that He found us in our lowest places.

He spoke the truth fearlessly because He loves us. And people hated Him for it. They killed Him for it. But Jesus knew the importance of the truth and the unimportance of the opinion of men.

I’m challenging myself to follow that example in 2019.