more than gold

When I like something, I don’t just like it, I’m obsessed with it…the Olympic Games happen to be one of those things.  With Team USA bringing home medal after medal (can I get a hallelujah?) and my denial that the games are ending, I’m reminded of something that I want to share with you:

Of all the gold medals won at the Olympics, you are worth more.

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold–though your faith is far more precious than mere gold…” -1 Peter 1:7

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors.  And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” -1 Peter 1:18-19

One thing I catch myself thinking as I sit on the edge of my seat watching every game that involves a medal is that  I wish that could be me.  I think about how I would give almost anything to be talented enough, strong enough, fast enough, or tough enough to win a gold medal for my country. And it’s in those moments I am reminded that God has other plans for me life.  God’s plan for my life does not include an Olympic medal, but the plan he has placed before me is uniquely mine.

The same goes for you.  God has laid a one-of-a-kind plan out for your life. I repeat: God has created a plan specifically for you.  It is a plan laid out step by step by the hands of a loving and all-powerful God with you in mind.  It’s a path that only you are destined to walk.   Your life may not include a medal, but that’s okay beause you have been especially created in the image of the perfect God to follow a path that not even Michael Phelps could walk, because it is only yours.

And while I am relating this specifically to the Olympics because I am 100% obsessed, that moment of looking at someone and wanting what they have because it seems like God gave them a better life relates to almost anything.

The girl you see with the seemingly perfect boyfriend/husband with the cutest kids and the supermodel body.

The guy you see that has your dream job and dream girl.

The neighbor you see with the fancy house and brand-new cars.

The family you pass with 5 kids when you are only praying for one.

The relationship that is perfect by Instagram standards.

The friend who has traveled to more than 25 different countries.

The co-worker who just got the big promotion.

The believer who seems closer to God than you think you could ever be…

There will always be a life you look at and see as better than your own. But here’s what we need to remember: We have been created in the image of the perfect God who makes no mistake.  Our Creator has molded every piece of you to fit the path that only you can live out because he loves and cares for you so deeply.  God’s plan for your life is perfect for you because he made it with you, the one who is more precious to him than all the gold in the world, in mind.


“What is the price of five sparrows–two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” -Luke 12:6-7

“Look at the lilies and how they grow.  They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.  And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.” -Luke 12:27-28

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” -Psalm 32:8

 

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Jesus + Sorority Life

Joining Greek life was one of the best decisions I made when I started college.  I was the girl who never planned on going Greek or being a “sorority girl,” but I am so thankful to God for leading me to my sorority and, more importantly, my sisters.  This isn’t a post about why you should go through recruitment or what you should do to land a bid from your dream house.  This is for the girls, like me, who had reservations about how being in a sorority might affect your faith.


But first, let me explain what it really means to be a “sorority girl” because we are so much more than TSM makes us out to be:

We are strong and beautiful women.  We work hard to keep our grades high .  We have goals and dreams that we are daily striving towards.  We are advocates of domestic violence awareness and breast cancer awareness and special needs children and countless other philanthropies nation-wide. We have integrity. We are loyal to the values of our Fraternity. We have respect for all people, not just our sisters.  We care about more than just ourselves.


My biggest fear going through recruitment was being placed in a situation where I had to choose either to live out my faith or walk away from it in order to enjoy my sorority years.  In the hopes of relieving you of this fear, I want to share a few insights into being a Christ-follower while in a sorority:

  1. Your sorority becomes your mission-field.  I am a firm believer that God is sovereign, he places us where we are for a reason, and he wants to use us right where we are.  Finding your home with a certain sorority is no exception.  You are in the house you are for a reason.  The Lord makes no mistake, and if he leads you to a house, even if it’s not the one your best friend wants, please trust his plan.  There may be someone in that sorority who is desperately seeking to find the love, joy, or peace found only in Christ, and you may be the one to bring her to Jesus.  Follow the Lord’s lead, and allow him to work through you as you love him and love your sisters.
  2. Don’t hide your faith.  When you first enter a sorority, you may be tempted to hide your beliefs from your new sisters because you aren’t sure what they will think about you.  Please, for all that is good in this world, don’t do this.  And believe me when I say that if your sisters judge you for your faith and for what you believe in, they are not the right sisters for you.  In following Christ, you have been shown a love and grace that cannot ever be matched.  Don’t keep that kind of knowledge to yourself.  Share it with each person that crosses your path because the love and the light of God needs to be made known.
  3. Your sisters will stand with you.  I have met some of the most God-fearing, Jesus-loving, faith-driven women in Greek life.  You will build lifelong relationships with girls who will grow with you, worship with you, pray with you, and be accountable to you throughout your walk with God.  Every girl in your sorority will not hold the same beliefs as you, but every girl will respect and encourage you as you go through this crazy time called college.
  4. Get involved.  Some sororities actually have a position for one of the girls to share a few verses or inspirational message during meeting.  If you feel led to do this, go for it!  If your sorority doesn’t have that option, then most sororities will have their own bible study or be a part of a Greek-wide bible study.  Take advantage of this time to meet people in the same phase of life, dealing with similar struggles, and seeking the same God as you are.  College is difficult no matter what your major is. Having a community of believers that you can rely on to help you when your down and rejoice with you when you land your dream internship or pass the hardest class of your major is so important.
  5. Your faith will be stronger because of your sisters.  I wholeheartedly believe that the Lord uses other people to encourage us and to remind us of who he is. I’m no longer an active member of my sorority, but I can look back and tell you of times when my faith seemed to be at a stand-still and everything seemed to fall apart.  I can also tell you that my sisters were the ones who were my shoulder to cry on, the ones who picked me up, and the ones who reminded me of the strength that was inside me.  My sisters, whether they knew it at the time or not, were the hands of feet of Jesus in how they loved and encouraged me. They often were the support-system I needed to keep trusting that the Lord was in control of my life.

In your sisters, you will find love and encouragement and strength.  They will be the source of so much laughter and so many memories.  They will be the ones standing by your side through the ups and the downs. They will be the ones motivating you to be your best self and to be a light to everyone around you.  They will believe in who you are and who you are striving to become.

Your role is to show them Jesus and be everything they are to you.  Show them love, show them grace, and show them the joy that comes in knowing the Lord.  If you are a follower of Jesus, you will be watched perhaps more closely than others (not out of judgement from your sisters but often out of curiosity).  Live the life God has called you to live, and be His light.  Show your fellow sorority girls that following Jesus isn’t about being perfect, but rather acknowledging your imperfections and your need for a Savior.

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