(beautifully) in over my head

Let me preface this by saying that if you have not heard “In Over My Head” by Bethel Music, stop what you’re doing and look it up right now.  I could honestly just stop here and this would be enough because this song is that good.  When I’m searching for answers/guidance/help, music is a big way the Lord reveals these things to me.  It may be a single sentence or the whole song, and often it comes when I least expect it.  This song was no different.  It was a normal day of me getting ready to go sit and study for hours and hours, and then I heard this song and it stopped me in my tracks.  The honesty, the purity, the genuineness of the words just wrapped around my heart and stopped me right where I was.  So here are my thoughts:

How many times have you felt overwhelmed? How many moments have been filled with doubt and insecurity because you find yourself in an unfamiliar place, way outside your comfort zone?  Think of those times, or maybe you’re in one now, and say this:

“I was (am) exactly where God wanted (wants) me to be.”

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think we have all (especially me) become too quick to cry out and question why God would put us in a situation/season of life where everything just seems so difficult.  Where we just don’t understand why we’re having to deal with everything happening in our lives.  Why?

Because we don’t have the perspective our God has.  We aren’t all-knowing.  We don’t know what’s going to come out of these hard times, and it’s in these moments that we have to remember that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

God has planned each moment of your life and purposefully laid it out before you, preparing you for each step before he reveals it.

So while you may not understand the purpose behind you walking through some kind of heartache or sickness or all around stressful time, God knows that in order for you to appreciate what is in your next step you must walk through this first.

God may call you deeper into a place you’re not entirely comfortable with to help you break down the human-sized box you’ve tried to fit him in.

He may have you walk through a little fire today to truly appreciate the joy you’ll find tomorrow.

Or He may even take you to a point where you feel like the waves are crashing over your head and you can’t catch a breath and you would do anything to just make it all stop.  No, this place isn’t pleasant, but it is purposeful. God may allow this season to continue because he realizes the need for you to trust him in every aspect of your life.  He may know that in order for you to accomplish the amazing life he has set before you, you have to come to a place where you finally give up the control you’ve held so tightly to and are willing to follow him wherever he may lead.

Whenever you find yourself in one of these overwhelming phases of life, remember that the Lord is sovereign.  Remember that he is with you through all of it.  He knows how you will come out of this phase and what you will find in the next.  Trust him. Give him control.  Allow him to to take the lead and follow him wholeheartedly down the path he calls you to walk, even if he leads you to a place where the waters are deeper than they’ve ever been before.

Every moment God is preparing you for something.  Whatever that may be, wherever that may lead you, my prayer is that you come to accept these moments not as a punishment, but as a place where God is beautifully, carefully, and lovingly molding you into the person he created you to be.

I pray you see the beauty of these “in over your head” moments as God works in you to become your sole desire, your only source of hope and joy and peace, and where he reveals himself as the only one worthy of such a title.  Don’t feel defeated by these moments, see them for what they are: a beautifully broken place where you find yourself lifting your heart to the One who strives so hard to protect it, saying “I’ve lost control but I am free.”


The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. -Psalm 37:23-24

“Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises…We went through the fire and flood, but You brought us to a place of great abundance.” -Psalm 66:8,12

The One who formed you says, “Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” -Isaiah 43:1-2

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less of me

Sometimes God takes his time molding me and revealing areas I need to let go/pour into, sometimes the revelation takes only a moment, but every time the result is the same: life change.  Over the years, me and God have had plenty of chats where He graciously reminds me that I still have plenty to work on in my journey to be like Him.  Recently the topic was selfishness…

I am a firm believer that prayer is essential.  Even in the tiniest life decisions represents an opportunity to come before God, refocus your heart, and acknowledge that your Creator is in control (this was also a previous lesson I had to learn).   But what is gained when your prayer life consists only of yourself?

Before I continue, let me say this: there is nothing wrong with praying for yourself.  It’s absolutely crucial that you pray for help when you need it, guidance when making a decision, clarity when faced with confusion, strength to stand through a storm raging around you, and praise when he reveals his answer…

but it shouldn’t stop there.

This may seem like common sense, and you’re right.  It should be common sense to pray for other people in need, but so often we (especially me) get caught up in what is happening in our life that taking the time to prayer for someone else falls to the list of things we’ll “get to tomorrow.”

So enough about me; I want to spend the rest of this post praying for you.  I pray these words find their way into your heart, along with the source of every good thing.  Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever season of life you find yourself in, these are for you:

I pray you know that you are so loved.  Deeply, wholly, unconditionally, and eternally loved.

I pray you find your worth in Jesus and not in how you compare to the “flawless” girls on Instagram.  He gave his life to pay the price of your mistakes to make you a flawless child of God.  There is no greater worth.

I pray you seek the Lord in every moment, for he has a perfect plan for your life that he is patiently waiting to reveal to you step-by-step.

I pray you find joy. The kind of joy that goes beyond happiness and cannot be altered by your current circumstances.

I pray you find peace.  Whatever your situation, whatever your heartache. I pray you find peace in the midst of it.

I pray you find strength to get back up, to keep moving forward, to walk away, or to accomplish whatever it is you have been fighting so hard to finish.

I pray you thank God for both the good times and the bad, because he works through both.

I pray you find healing. Mentally, physically, or spiritually.

I pray you find hope in the greatness of our God and that you hold tight to him and his promises through any battle you face.

I pray you trust Him when he says he will be steadfast at your side through every season of life.

I pray you remain confident in your salvation and the inheritance promised to you when you chose to follow Christ.

I pray you give him all the praise and glory when he reveals himself to you and through you (and he will at just the right moment because his timing is perfect).

I pray that when you feel overwhelmed and your whole life seems to be crashing around you, you remember that you are not alone and you can find rest in the shelter of our Savior.

I pray you never lose sight of the presence of God and the knowledge that you are loved, you are forgiven, and you are beautiful because God has made you so.


In reading these, I hope you found what it is you needed to find, or even just took a step towards finding that thing.  My final prayer is that if you have a specific request or need, you reach out to someone. Whether it be to me or to someone you feel more comfortable with, please reach out.  There is power in praying to the God who always listens, and so much comfort can be found in knowing someone is praying with you and for you.

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“Lay it down before you fall down.”

A few nights ago, I was scrolling through Pinterest before going to sleep.  My first few weeks back in school have consisted of studying, going to class, and studying some more, and this particular night I was feeling especially overwhelmed with everything I needed to do.  And so I got on Pinterest and just typed what I wanted to find: “rest.”

First of all, you might be thinking, “Why didn’t you first go to your Bible?” The truth is, I just didn’t.  I believe God works and speaks in many different ways, and that night I was tired, I was worn, and I wanted to be able to quickly find multiple verses specific to what I was looking for.  I know rest is found in God alone, but in that moment I needed reassurance…and that’s when I saw this:

“Lay it down before you fall down.

If you’re anything like me, you constantly pick up too many things at once.  It’s like my life is a constant “I can get all the groceries in one trip,” except instead of groceries it’s trying to manage class and homework and studying and friends and family and church and this and that…

The problem with me, and maybe you, doing this is that we were never meant to live this way.  We were never designed to carry everything all at once or all by ourselves.

We were made with a God-sized hole that only He can fit.  We were made in his perfect image, and that image involves us relying on him because He cares so deeply for us that he wants to help us carry our load.  And more than that, God is offering to be our strength and our protector and our load-bearer because He knows.

He knows exactly what we’re dealing with. He knows of our tendency to want to fix things ourselves. He knows the instant we become overwhelmed with what is going on in our life.  He knows that the reason we become overwhelmed is sometimes because of our desire to do things on our own.  And he knows we can’t keep living like this.

God is sovereign.  He knows where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going.  When we try to take that control and manage everything on our own, we are picking up a load that was never meant to be ours.  And if we hold it too long, we will be crushed under the weight of it.  So what should we do?

“Lay it down before you fall down.”

If you’re stressed about something, take it to God. If you’re anxious about an upcoming exam (school or health), go to God and tell Him that.  If you are drowning in uncertainties, pray about what you’re feeling. If you are tired of doing everything by yourself, give control back up to the One who rightfully owns it.  Don’t pick up more than you were meant to carry.  Stop trying to handle things on your own, because God is right beside you, waiting to free you of the weight you have chosen to carry on your shoulders.

God is so good that He is willing to carry that weight, that He wants to carry that weight for you and for me.  But in order for him to pick it up, we have to lay it down.

My prayer for you is that if you struggle with “laying it down” –whatever ‘it’ is– that you would come to find rest in the One who so desperately wants to love and support you.  I’ve once again been reminded that nothing is stronger, nothing is more powerful, and nothing will make you feel as free as the moment you lay down your struggle and let God be God.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” -Matthew 11: 28-30

“Lay it down before you fall down.”

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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the Lord merely spoke

The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created.  He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.  He assigned the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.  Let the whole world fear the Lord, and let everyone stand in awe of him.  For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.
Psalm 33: 6-9

If there was ever a moment where I felt an overwhelming sense of humility, it was reading these verses.  Re-read these verses and think about the fact that the Lord of these verses is the Lord who loves you unconditionally, who protects you in every situation, and who pursues you each and every day of your life.

The Lord that “merely spoke, and the heavens were created” is the one that craves a personal relationship with you.  He wants to take up residence in your heart and never leave.

The Lord who only had to breath the word to create each one of the beautifully unique stars that we see in the sky each night created you in the image of himself.  You are who you are, how you are, and how you look because that is exactly the way he intended.  If you are like me and are fascinated at how beautiful the stars look hanging in the sky, look in the mirror and see that same beauty tenfold because the same God created both you and the stars, and  I promise you are more precious to him than all the stars in the sky.

Think about standing at the edge of the ocean, looking out at the depths that extend farther than we can see.  You are loved and cared for in a way that cannot adequately be put into words by the same God who created and controls every wave of that ocean.

For when he spoke, the world began.”  This is the God who is calling out to you above every other voice on this earth.  This is the Lord that is calling you to walk with him, to trust him and his plan.

He has the power to create the heavens and the stars and the earth and the oceans.  He has the power to speak the world into motion and give life to every soul that exists within it, and still he wants you. Still he offers to you a life beyond this earth, filled with hope, joy, and peace.

The Lord of these verses desperately seeks to be the Lord of your heart.  He will meet you where you are. You need only to look his way and say the word, and he will be there.  And once you open your heart to him, once you accept him for who he is–your savior, your protector, your guide, your one and only King–he will never leave your side.

If you haven’t done so already, my prayer is that you would open your heart to the Lord.  Allow the Lord to show you the life he has for you.  Witness firsthand that when the Lord reigns in your heart, you can find rest in knowing that his power and his goodness and his love for you cannot be matched and will never be overcome.

Let everyone stand in awe of him.”


~ John 17:22-24 ~ Genesis 1:27 ~ Matthew 6:30 ~ John 3:16 ~ Philippians 2:13 ~ John 10:28-29 ~

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my story, my song

For the past few months, I have shared my faith in the God I strive to pursue with my whole heart.  Tonight, I want to do what I find extremely terrifying. I want to share my story.

One thing I want you to remember before you read this is that we all have our own personal story of meeting the Lord.  Everyone is unique, and God uniquely calls each of us to a relationship with him.  Your testimony is probably different than mine, but they both point to the unrelenting love of the same great God…

“He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.” -John 1:8

We all have those people in life that we look up to.   Those people who inspire us to do better — to be better — by the way they live or because of something they have done.  For me, I’ve been blessed to have a number of people who have been this source of inspiration and encouragement, but one stands out among them all.  One man, through living a life of dedication to the Lord and to encouraging those around him, showed me what it truly means to be a follower and disciple of Jesus.

At 14 years old, everything seems like the end of the world.  But hearing someone you love has a renewed battle with cancer seems to warrant a heart-shattering response no matter how old you get…and that is what I had.  I didn’t know everything, but I knew the road that was ahead. Again, being 14 years old I felt there was nothing I could do to help, so I did the only thing I knew to do: I prayed.  I prayed every day, every night, every time my mind turned back to him, all the while rarely letting anyone except God see how terrified I was of losing this person I had known all of my life.

For about a year I prayed and pleaded and often cried out to God for healing (again, alone or when no one was watching because I hate people seeing me cry) until finally I reached this place of saying “God, I’ve prayed for your will to be done and I never really meant it, but now I do.”

This for me was the turning point in my faith.  At 15 years old and despite the anger and frustration and doubt I often felt at why God couldn’t just take the cancer away, I realized I couldn’t be selfish.  I couldn’t pray for God to change his plans when I knew in my heart his plans were best.  And from years of silently watching Bobby and the way he lived his life with humility before God, I knew he trusted the Lord’s plan with every piece of his heart, and now I would do the same.

After the Lord took him home, I told myself that if Bobby couldn’t continue to be the person that I, and probably countless others, looked to as an example of how to live for Christ, then I would give my all to be that example.  I picked up my first devotional, I read my Bible, I prayed, I learned what faith was all about, and I worked daily at finding the faith Bobby had.  And I ultimately found myself in Christ.  I wanted to live a life that drew people to the God I have come to love so deeply because I wanted for people to experience what I had by watching and learning about the Lord through Bobby…and for those that have wondered why I share bible verses or similar posts each day, that is how it began.

My testimony, small as it might be, exists because of one man’s faith in God and his unwavering belief in making known the love and the goodness of God, even when his own life seemed to be falling down around him.  He was the person who went out of his way to make you feel welcome, who would always smile at you and make sure you knew that Jesus loved you and he did too.  He was the person who loyally and faithfully relied on God to be his strength.  To this day I find myself looking up and praying to one day have the faith that he seemed to live in.

And so here I am 6 years later, still striving to be an example of what the amazing power of the Holy Spirit can do in the heart of someone willing to answer the call He places inside of each and every human being.

Today I share because I finally understand.  I understand how a man battling cancer could remain hopeful.  I understand how in the face of death, there is joy.  I understand that clinging to God is something to do even in the good times, because he is worthy.   I understand how incredible is the power and the grace and the love of the God who gave his only Son to pay the price of each of our sins so that we could be saved.

For from him and through him and for him are all things.  To him be the glory forever.
-Romans 11:36

This is the God Bobby pursued, and since the day the Lord welcomed Bobby into his heavenly home, this is the God I pursue.


We all have a story.  The purpose of our story is to be told, to be read, to be shared in some way in hopes of encouraging others in their pursuit of the Lord.  So now I encourage you to share your story. Share the beauty of finding Christ, and watch as the Lord is revealed through it and through you.

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