What If I Gave Everything

” You were born to make a difference, you were born to lead”

This phrase was spoken over me in the 9th grade and yet it still rings in my ear as if she was still laying her strong hands over me. It was the first time I ever believed something positive someone said about me, probably because it shook me to my core.  As a tall lanky 5’10” 115 pound kid I didn’t see myself leading anyone to anything except for my own life to its destruction.

This week I’ve had more free time than usual, with classes being over, studying, and being single, it has left me with so much time to just be with God. And honestly that’s where I needed to be most.

Suffering from anxiety you’d think this finals week would be a hell for me, but yet I’ve found nothing but peace as I let my mind wander to thoughts of God and His goodness.

As I’ve been staring out the window, I’ve been reminded that I want to live. I do not want fear and anxiety to control the life I have. Because when you only get one life, if you live it right once is truly enough.

And I wonder why I’m sitting here holding back, not trusting, where I’ve settled for this life of being in a routine.

My dream is to live, live with a purpose, to stop playing in the sand building kingdoms that will never stand, but to go into deep waters and build the kingdom of God.

What if I gave my everything, what if I stopped worrying, what if I left it all to God and went out in faith, maybe that is what living is. Maybe it’s not being comfortable but being available, maybe it’s just trusting and seeing mountains move. I want to lead the people of God to a place on their knees.

For I was born to lead and not be crippled by fear.

So what if I decided from this day out, I wanna give everything.

 

-J.S.

The Break Up

The bed isn’t home anymore

It’s not safe

It’s a little too big and lonely without you

Giant isn’t just a store anymore it was a place where meals were created and visits were shared

Pizza Monday Tuesday and Wednesday no longer exist

Dino Nuggets with crinkle cuts and organic ketchup, cheese steaks and pancakes  can no longer be eaten

Breakaway wings and pizza, and eating out seems like torture

Digonio isn’t just a brand anymore but a friday night tradition easily broken

Red Robin, Starbucks, Frosties and Chipotle dates will no longer exist

Lock 60 is a place where broken smiles live

Close and Jon Bellion can no longer come on the radio

and 724 is a long drive that is no longer a good idea

Rose petals don’t line the ground

and all the candles are burned out

flying lanterns don’t fly anymore and all the flowers will die

marvel movies will never be finished

and the key will come off the ring

clothes will be exchanged and memories placed in boxes

animals and zoos will be only memories that i can never visit

and collegeville is a place of memories

union games, legos, and superheroes will never be loved by someone as much as we did

balloons and parks will never be seen the same again

it’s a lonely world now that everything reminds me of you, it’s a very lonely world.

 

Selfish Love

So the friend from the last post, well he has become the most amazing man I could ever be dating. It has been a wild,freeing, loving month and half of loving him and all there is in life.

But recently I’ve noticed my best friend of the past three years so not so fond of him anymore because I’m just “too busy” now for her. Which I find to be untrue considering how many double dates we’ve gone on, how many times we’ve hung out alone, and the fact I just spent a week with her and her family on vacation. But this is all besides the point.

So today is the day I have been waiting for a month and half long. It’s the day that my boyfriend has planned in secret and today is the day I finally get to have this great adventure that he’s so willingly and lovingly planned out. But then I woke up to a text from my best friend spilling out all his plans, telling me every secret of today and I dropped the phone in tears of raging anger. What kind of human does that, what kind of friend destroys your surprise!

I grew so bitter and eventually just wanted to tell him to call it all off, to tell him that it wasn’t worth it because I was no longer looking forward to what was going to happen. but then as always Jesus put me in my place. I was reminded that this work was of the devil, that selfish love of my friend was not of God, that because she feels left out she took it out on ruining my happiness because it was no longer important.

But God is so good, as I got ready he poured into my heart words to uplift me. He reminded me of all the hard work that my boyfriend put into this day, he reminded me that our of selfLESS love he did everything to make this a surprise and the best day ever. So why shouldn’t it be the best day ever. Yes the surprise was ruined but that doesn’t change his motives for doing everything. He still did this for me, and to let myself be angry about it all would make him feel awful, would steal his joy and make him feel as though he could not do anything right but instead i’m choosing to enjoy today to love every minute of this day that he put his time in because it is the best surprise I would have ever received and in the end it will still be the best day ever regardless because his selfless love over rules selfish love anyday.

The Yarning For More

Last night I got to meet with a friend who I’ve been friends with now since last year. He and I parted ways over summer due to moving back home from school but just never really kept in contact because we both were dating someone and felt that besides the basic “Hi, how are you” would lead to knowing too much we cut ourselves off.

So we went for a walk and things got real. We talked about our summers of becoming single and how beautiful it is to be broken. We talked about God’s faithfulness and how in times of brokenness is when God is working the most to show his faithfulness that when we are not broken it is so much harder to be used. Talking about these things was the most refreshing experience knowing that I was not alone, knowing that God is still good and he is still moving.

He is currently going through a season where God has opened doors that are leading to one final one to be open and as we prayed and the what if thoughts creeped in I was overwhelmed at the thought of God’s faithfulness, that his name is surrounded by kept promises and faithfulness that every door that was opened for him would not be shut by this one God because we serve a God who works for our good.

We finished our walk with talking about our prayers for this coming year and I mentioned how my favorite song at the moment is “yearn” by Shane and Shane, my favorite part says “I wanna yearn for you, I wanna burn with passion only for you” and we talked about yearning and finding God in the hard deep places, finding him when there is no hope because loving Jesus isn’t a religion it’s a relationship, if you don’t chase, you don’t yearn you don’t grow you aren’t stretched and we find ourselves in the hard places we have this assurance that our relationship is so strong and so unlike these earthly ones that fail and crumble.

These talks with real people has made me love Jesus so much more, it has made loving Jesus so much easier knowing I’m not going through things alone, it is making me love people more than I ever have.

 

J.S.

Trusting God in Prayer

Today I was doing my devotions and came across a quote that talked about how Jesus said to ask for anything and it will be given for you. And many times we do, and others do as well thinking that God is some gini in the sky that he will grant us everything we ask for. But it goes on to say how when we pray for things in His name it means concerning with his affairs.  This doesn’t mean God won’t give us what we want it may just look a little different, come at a different time, or maybe he doesn’t give us that thing because he is trying to protect us.

As I thought about this I thought about my prayers yesterday. As I prayed I said “Lord, please just let me pass this test, I don’t want to have to take it again.” I felt nothing no peace, but not anxious either so I went and took my first test, I bombed it. As I stood there in disbelief the lady asked if I wanted to take my second test now or come back at my scheduled time of 1 o’clock (it was now 10:30) and without even thinking or knowing what I had said I blurted out “Jesus wants me to go to Panera I’ll be back”. Now the lady looked at me like I had 10 heads and as for me I felt my face get red as I wondered why they needed to know this or why I was even going to Panera because I was not even hungry!

So I got in my car and I started praying in the parking lot ” I said God why am I going to Panera, why can’t I just take the second exam and get it over with and go home early” and in that moment I felt him tug on my heart saying “just go and trust me”. So I went, when I pulled in I sat there for at least 5 mins contemplating why I was here it seemed so weird.

As I sat the sky grew super dark, the wind picked up and rain was about to pour down, so I ran inside and sat down by the window watching the rain fall, when all of the sudden a woman comes rushing into Panera screaming for help. I quickly ran up to the front told them to get gloves and as many towels as possible and to meet me outside.

When I got out there, I found an old frail lady laying on the sidewalk surrounded by a huge puddle of blood, I told her who I was and told her I was first -aide certified and if I may help her.  She agreed, and I asked her a few questions, such as could she sit up or stand up, she could sit up and eventually we carried her inside when I checked to make sure all other areas were clear of damage on her body. I had employers on the phone with 911 and with her daughter.  All the while treating this woman, the woman who found her thanked me for taking care of her and remaining calm because she panicked and had no idea what to do.

Once someone from panera finally came over to leave me of dutty the ambulance pulled in we talked to them and gave them all they needed to know about how we had treated her.

After they pulled away I got my soup and left, I sat in the car and finally realized why God had called me to fail that test today, God knew I wouldn’t pass, but God knew having me take that test was the only way to get me to that panera at that time. Not to pat my own back, but if I wasn’t there, no one else knew first-aide that poor woman who was 85 might not be here today if I wasn’t there to control her bleeding head. I sat there and thanked God for allowing me to fail in my own attempts but to bring glory in his.

So sometimes our prayers that are so focused on us, really do come with his timing, I may have failed the test and needed to retake it but who cares, I passed God’s test of a calling he gave me and that is far more important than any other test.

J.S.

Aren’t My Scars Beautiful?

Tonight my mother and I took my grandmother out to get some new summer clothes. As I was looking around I saw this old fashioned denim dress that was too good to be true cute! As I walked into the dressing room and tried it on, it was too good to be true, it was perfect. That is until I turned around. When I turned around I failed to notice when I picked up the dress that it had a diamond cut out on the back, right where I had just had back surgery. I was so upset how could I wear a cute dress like this with that ugly scar that would soon replace my stitches, and then it hit me, how will I ever wear a strapless dress, or worse how can I ever wear a wedding dress with this scar that will appear.

Now here is what my back looks like, 15 stitches on the inside, 2 on the outside. And I know what you’re thinking I am probably a drama queen because who will ever notice that small of a scar, but I will, just like if it was on you, you would notice.

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As I hung up the dress and drove home, I thought more and more how awful this scar was about to make my life. I could never possibly wear something strapless again. And that is when God decided I needed a little small tap on the head and the heart. Obviously I was being conceited and only caring about myself and what others thought about me which is a huge head issue and heart issue, but God just set it straight with me quiet simple. He spoke to my heart and said Aren’t my scars beautiful?

And in that moment I froze, aren’t his scars beautiful? Aren’t those three scars that spell out SIN that spell out DIE that spell out FOR that spell out YOU. Three scars not one but three, all because of me.  Because he thought of me as beautiful with my one scar because I’m am that worthy.

He continued to lay on my heart what scars are, they are not scars of shame to make us ugly, they are awards. They are medals of honor to say we showed up to life and we fought and we survived. Scars tell stories of things that did not defeat us because God defeated that for us, scars are what show that we have redemption, that we have a second chance, that we are fighting with the one who never loses the battle. Scars are to point back to Christ to say, I showed up, I fought, and the glory is yours.

So I will return and buy that dress and yes there may be a scar but scars are beautiful, they paid my freedom.

So aren’t my scars beautiful?

J.S.

Dear Church, Why Sex Isn’t Worth The Wait

Dear Church,

 

I wanted to share with you a story, a story about myself. I am 20, a college student who has a been a Christian as long as I can remember, went to Christian school and now even a Christian college, so I know sex is for marriage.

But sex is not worth the wait, we emphasize so much on the SEX that we never focus on the being. We talk about sex as if it is bad, but it’s beautiful God created it for man and woman to enjoy endlessly in their marriage, but why is it worth the wait.

Not because it’s sex, but because of YOU, you as a human, you are worth the wait.

Growing up I was never told that, I was never told I was worth the wait. I was told sex was awful you must not go there,so what happened, I did everything but sex because sex was worth the wait right?

Wrong, I was worth the wait.

3 guys later I have given myself away in so many other forms because of things like “you’ll do it because you love me” “i’ll break up with you if you don’t do this” “it’s not sex so what’s wrong with this?”

And here I am single as a pringle. But destroyed, I have this view of myself that i’m not good enough anymore, that I’m some piece of trash that everyone just uses.

But I’m not because growing up church you trilled in my head that I am a child of God. That’s great congrats ! But what does that mean?! What does that mean to the 3rd grader sitting in sunday school, what does that mean to the 8th grader in sex ed, what does that mean to the high school girl who is about to get wasted after prom and go home with her date?!

It means you were bought at a high price, it means you were chosen, it means there is a place set above for you, it means that you are a princess, it means that you have  value, it means you have respect for yourself, it means you are loved.

I wish I knew then what a child of God meant, because “I loved them” I had no respect for myself, I had no idea what I was getting into that would destroy me so bad.

And to the little girls that look to me and say I want to be you, I pray you don’t be me, I pray you know your worth and respect, I pray that the man who truly loves you never asks to see you before your wedding night because he loves you and respects you, I pray that you know that.

So church, sex is not worth the wait, what is worth the wait is our value, to find someone who wants to wait with us for that experience, someone who wants to keep us whole and respect each other, someone who knows sex was not worth the wait but value was.

sincerely,

 

J.S