Comparison

Why would you want to change?

Yes, I see her with perfect hair or perfect skin. I see him with his perfect car. I see them with their perfect clothes and bodies to wear the clothes. The list goes on. But what do you see when you look at yourself?

And don’t you dare give me an answer full of your “flaws”. It isn’t fair to compare your “worst parts” to their “perfect life”. If you’re going to see everyone’s “perfect” qualities I want you to see your amazing qualities too.

First of all God created you. Just like He created all of the galaxies in space. Just like He created the smallest creatures with the most intricate designs. He created you.

God didn’t have to make us different but He did. He made each of us uniquely to please Him. It would be boring if we all looked the same or had the same qualities. I feel so loved knowing He took the time to design me differently. It doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with comparison because trust me I do. It just gives me contentment knowing I was made differently because my purpose is different than theirs.

I have spent too much time in the comparison cycle. All throughout middle school and high school I struggled. I think a lot of us struggle with this more than ever now. Social media has become a platform for comparison. Everyone wants to put their best self out there and all day long we scroll through feeds of “perfection”. My biggest challenge is seeing women my age or younger doing amazing things. Things I could only dream of doing. But if we spend all of our time comparing we aren’t really focusing on our own identity. Yes, they are doing amazing things because it is a part of their identity. Just like you are doing amazing things as a part of your identity.

We ask God, “Why can’t I have that or be like that?”

He answers with the simple statement, “you don’t need that for the purpose I have given you.”

Look at your life and the people you are impacting. You are being used to do great things. We are all equipped with something different that allows us to reach people other’s wouldn’t be able to reach. We are made differently with a purpose.

 

 

The Result of Enduring

What is it like to have endurance?

Recently, I took a road trip to go snowboarding and skiing with one of my best friends, Katya. We had a lot of laughs and great conversations but what really stuck with me was our conversation about “What is the purpose in this life?”

We sat in the Tim Hortons drive thru talking about what it’s like to have a purpose in life. As we talked I realized how truly scared I used to be of living. Not living in general but of living with absolutely no purpose. Because what is the point of going to school and getting a job and then dying? That’s what life is, except that statement is missing a few details. We all have a God given purpose. The purpose given to us is what we live for. It’s what we endure for. I can tell you that each of us have specific purposes but we all have a common purpose. We are all called to love people, be kind, have relationships and spread Christ’s  glory to all people. But how do we find our specific purpose?

Endurance.

The exact definition of endurance is ‘the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way.’

Endurance to find our purpose is a lot like my ski trip with Katya. I have been snowboarding but never been downhill skiing before this trip. We started off snowboarding but we both decided to switch to skiing. I thought it would be easy because everyone says skiing is easier than snowboarding. Wrong. After maybe 5ft down the mountain I wiped out and my ski came off. Katya came to help me up and I tried again. After falling about four more times I was ready to give up and walk down the mountain. I was bruised from falling and honestly scared of going down the rest of the way. A man skiing offered to give me a short lesson a quarter of the way down and I was feeling more confident after. With endurance I faced the rest of the way down by myself. When I got to the bottom I was relieved I made it down alive and without serious injuries. At least we laughed all the way down the mountain because I was so horrible at skiing. But this trip did teach me something valuable.

I have learned that finding our purpose is a lot like that trip down the mountain. It takes endurance. We’re excited at first to finally have a hint of what our purpose is but once we have to start the journey it gets scary. There are so many fears that come to mind. Mine include stepping into the unknown. So many things could go wrong. So many times we are knocked down and don’t want to get up. God may ask us to step out and try something new or face a fear. We need to have the endurance to keep going no matter what is thrown at us. No matter the difficulty of getting over a fear or obstacle. Don’t be discouraged if you fail. Try again. There will always be people willing to help you up and guide you through the journey. The journey isn’t always failing and falling down. There are fun and exciting parts to the trip. There will be many times of laughter and great relationships formed. But we endure to get past the unpleasant and difficult process of getting beyond our fears to find our purpose. Trust me, when you get to the bottom of the mountain or the end of that step in finding your purpose you will be stronger, a little more fearless and braver than ever before. You will experience what it’s like to live with a purpose. And that is one of the greatest satisfactions in life.

Don’t be afraid to step out into the unknown. You will get over the fear because it is so small compared to the power of finding a purpose.

To Follow

It’s already January 15th and I haven’t set any New Year Resolutions. Typical. I have never really set resolutions because I don’t see the point. I want to be the best version of myself all the time. I don’t want to let a start of a new year determine if I’m going to make a change. However, today I decided I am going to have a verse for the year.

Philippians 3:10&11

“I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”

I want to know Christ. I want to consider everything a loss without Him. I don’t want to ever be comfortable being “godly enough.” I don’t want to just be satisfied because I’m a good person or a “better” person than others. I want to be continually searching and following. Taking up the cross and following because that is what I am called to do.

He gave up everything for us. He gave up His life on the cross. How could someone love me that much that they would die on the cross tortured and beaten for me. Just let that sink in because it amazes me. He gave up everything so that I may know Him and have a personal relationship with Him. He gave up everything so that I may make Him known to others. So that I may forget everything and just follow Him.

That is what 2017 is about for me.

To follow with my whole being.

To follow no matter what.

To follow Him even though I might take a loss or two.

To follow despite what others tell me.

To follow to know the power of the resurrection.

To follow to know HIM.

 

This Crazy Unforgettable Love

Lately I have been extremely forgetful.

As humans it is easy for us to forget. Each of us are consumed with our lives and different activities and events going on. Our world is so focused on quick results and fast pace lives. We pack our schedules and leave little time to relax and enjoy life, causing us to forget.

On an average day I forget. I forget what I was going to do next, what I was supposed to buy at the grocery store, where I placed my phone, or to grab my coffee on the way out the door. I even forget to love my Creator and spend time with Him.

But I don’t want to forget…

I want this crazy love for my Creator so great that it consumes my everyday. I want to love so tremendously that I can’t forget. I don’t want to forget God. I want to wake up and my first thoughts be about how I am going to glorify His name throughout the day. I don’t want to go through a day not thinking about God.

You see I have learned the ultimate lesson the past two months. Reading scripture and spending time with God is not something I should have to feel guilty about not doing. When you love God it’s something you want to do all the time. You want to consume yourself in His Word. You want to learn everything you can about Him and how much He loves you. I was spending everyday loving and spending time with God and then one day it just stopped. For no particular reason. I just didn’t feel like loving God. Maybe it has to do with my health and how I am feeling. I have spent a lot of time saying “why God? why me? why did you have to make me go through this?” And you know what.. I still don’t understand but that’s okay. I have just decided that He is the only one who can get me through this. He loves me so great that He is not going to leave. God’s love for us is described in two words. agapao and agape.

agapao: unconditional love, love by choice and by an act of the will

agape: the highest for of love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God

My goal for this life is to have agape for God.

This crazy love that I have experienced is too great that I can’t spend anymore time not loving God or questioning His goodness.

This crazy love is addictive. It’s consuming, wonderful, amazing, and most of all powerful. This is the love I want in my everyday life. Not the forgetful love that comes once in a while.

Check out the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan!! It will change your life!

The Hopelessness

You know the hours. weeks. months. the ones that leave you feeling hopeless. One morning you wake up and it hits you. Your alarm is going off and you hit snooze and roll over. The sense of Hopelessness sits on the corner of your bed urging you to stay  under the covers. Reluctantly you get out of bed at the last possible minute and go through the motions of the day. Your Bible, filled with great truths and glorious words, sits on the night stand unopened. The book you normally love to wake up early to read and enjoy your coffee with remains shut. and why?

You can’t bring yourself to open the book.

You can’t bring yourself to pray.

You wonder ‘God, why am I feeling like this? Why is all of my motivation suddenly gone?’

Everything feels out of place.

Welcome to my world. The ups and downs of life. The times the Word of God is alive and speaking to me and the times I am not listening or pursuing the Word. Like you I am human. I have feelings, thoughts and dreams. Most of the time my life is good and I am able to find joy in the smallest of things. However, there are times that Hopelessness sits on my bed with me and speaks to me. Hopelessness tells me there is no point in getting up this morning, what is your purpose because I don’t see one, opening your bible won’t help you feel better, you will never be healed, and on and on it goes…

After letting Hopelessness sit with me for three weeks I opened my bible. And let me tell you I should’ve opened it the minute Hopelessness came to join me. But I didn’t and that in itself was a lesson God was teaching me.

So what did I learn when I opened that powerful book?

The Lord Jesus Christ gave us HOPE. Hope that in our sufferings and hard times we are made stronger. Our character is built along with our Hope in Jesus Christ. He does not disappoint us. For this reason we can put our total Hope in Him.

I love Isaiah 40:28-31 because it says…

28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

We put our total trust in the Lord our everlasting God because He gives us strength and power. When we are feeling down and discouraged we can have Hope that He is using us. His plans are so great and mighty. Don’t lose Hope. Don’t let Hopelessness sit with you.