I’m super proud of all the girls celebrating the many sales department stores are currently holding – I’m not going to lie, I’ve done my fair share of looking as well as shopping, but I just wanted to share a little thought with y’all – your worth isn’t based on the clothes you have. It’s not based on the brands you work or don’t work with. Your worth isn’t measured in the number of Instagram followers you have, what your engagement for the week was, or how strong you SEO is – your worth is found in Christ. Clichè to say, I know, but it’s true. It’s found in Him because He declares your worth as priceless. You’re beautiful, smart, special, and incredibly unique. Don’t become so enveloped with “things” that you lose your purpose. In a world where how “liked” you are is measured quantitatively, it’s easy to compare yourself to everyone around you and visually see their strengths. I’ve dealt with insecurities and compared myself to girls only to realize they share similar insecurities. People only put their best self on the internet and deal with their struggles offline. You’re amazing girl! Now roll with it!
For, I’d say, the last 5 years, I’ve prayed for so many things to happen to my life. I prayed for jobs, relationships, health – a ton of things. I prayed that God would create situations that I wanted to be in – and surprise – my prayers weren’t answered. I had almost started looking at life’s curveballs as a joke, I mean, if there was something I even remotely wanted, I automatically knew I didn’t stand a chance getting it, because it felt like God always had other plans for me. I got REALLY angry with the Lord. I was so mad that I could never make those big plans for my life. Why is He tossing all these curveballs? I saw friends living their best life and I felt like I was having a rainy day ALL THE TIME. I prayed to desire what God wanted for my life, but many things I prayed for, that I thought would make me happy, weren’t placed in my life. I’m a happy person, so don’t think this post means that I don’t have joy in my heart. I think God was just holding out His cards for my latest prayer. While, I hope to share it with y’all very soon, it’s still very personal. I hope you understand – but, the most important thing is, my prayer was answered. I’m writing all this to say, when your prayers and petitions are FINALLY in line with God’s will the world feels like magic. I think the difference between my answered prayer and my “redirected” prayers were my belief in the outcome. I believe our minds create our own reality by believing our own personal truths. For instance, if everyday I look in the mirror and say “I’m fat”, guess what, I’m going to start identifying myself as fat. If I speak confidence over my life, I’ll be bold and outgoing. If I claim something into existence, it exists. Your mind is so powerful. That’s why it’s so important to speak your prayers into existence. Speak LIFE over them, nurture your desires and give them completely to God. His word says they will be given to you. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24
By the time most people graduate college, they have some sort of an idea about what they want to do for the rest of their life – especially when it comes to their career, relationships, and even where they want to live. Then, there’s me. I’m very go-with-the-flow, here-and-now oriented. I am NOT a planner. I am 10,000% okay with that. Just because I don’t have my entire life planned out perfectly, doesn’t mean there isn’t some sort of a plan. I guess the main reason I don’t really have a plan for my future is that my plans ALWAYS seem to fail. It’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my 23 years on this planet. That may seem like a bad thing to you. It’s quite the opposite. I am so glad that many of my “big” plans never worked out.
I’ve always wanted to live at the beach. As a little girl, while my friends were playing house, I was playing “go to the beach”. It was my happy place, and still is. I went to college near the beach and eventually moved within 5 minutes of the ocean after graduation. You would guess my life was a dream. Wrong. More horrible things happened in my life that year and a half than I could count. Why were so many things going wrong when I was finally where I wanted to be? In case you haven’t guessed it, I was completely out of God’s will. I decided the best way to change that was to leave. To forfeit MY plan.
I am in no way saying giving up is the answer to any problem.
I am saying that what I wanted was not what I needed. I didn’t need to spend my entire paycheck on rent. I didn’t need to live hours away from friends and my job. I didn’t need to be out of church. I didn’t need to be in a toxic situation. I was developing tiny habits in that place that would eventually ruin me. God saw that when I couldn’t. I am thankful to have had people in my life to encourage me in my decision to move, even though they knew it was a special place to me.
God took my plans and trashed them. He is slowly showing me how mighty His plans are for me. He has given me new passions and resources – none of which would have happened unless I surrendered to His plans. I’m writing this to remind you that you’re not a loser. You’re not a failure. You’re not worthless. There isn’t a master clock or timeline that we’re supposed to follow. Plans change. Plans fail. Plans also develop. Be hopeful in those developing plans. It’s God’s plan for you to succeed in His will. Timing is everything. Things may seem hopeless, but I promise, there are “far greater things ahead than any you leave behind.”
I was leaving home one evening to go to a nearby town. Normally the drive is only 10 minutes, down one single road. I left my house with a plan. A 10 minute mission. 2 minutes into my “plan” I hit a road block. I just brushed it off and took a different route. It would be longer, but I still knew the way. You’ll never guess what happened next. The road I was planning to take instead was also closed. Instead of turning around and going back home, I stayed the course. I was nervous. The sun was setting and I was in unfamiliar territory. Thank goodness for road signs!
I finally made it to my destination. But not after thanking God for leading my through some beautiful farmland with a beautiful sunset. He knows my heart LOVES driving and finding new ways to get places, and he also knows how stressed I get when things don’t go as planned. He combined those two to teach me such a simple lesson – just follow Him. He knows where I will end up. He knows my future and He knows my past.
“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:26
Sometimes life comes at you HARD. Everything is going perfectly and then BAM – everything falls apart. I’m pretty sure this has happened to most of us, probably more than once.
I won’t get into the extreme details, but that is precisely how things have been going for me. I’ve definitely been clinging to God’s promises, but let’s be real, there ain’t nothing exciting about being in a valley.
God says He is with us on the mountain and in the valley, and in the valley is where we are the most blessed – Um, excuse me, blessed??? Here’s what James 1:2-4 says: “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
When we are faced with difficult times, we call on Him. We need Him. Have you ever fallen and gotten hurt? I have, a lot. The first thing you search for is a bandage. It would be awful to desperately need a bandage and not have one. God’s love and protection, grace and mercy are found abundantly during life’s falls. We are BEYOND blessed to have Him ever-present to mend our brokenness. He is our bandage.
Now, I’m definitely preaching to the choir because things are still going to HURT and hurt bad, but growth comes from trials. Maturity comes from pressure. Broken things can be mended. If you’re in a low place in life, turn on your favorite music, go for a drive, eat Ben and Jerry’s, and call on the Lord. He is faithful to answer. It has to get better!
I am the most indecisive human being on the planet. Forreal. I’m never good at making decisions and I never WANT to make decisions, but when I do, I make it completely and with my whole heart and soul (get it). When those decisions turn out to be bad or mediocre I get super anxious and second-guess every other decision I’m making or have ever made. Way to go Stacie.
But God commands us to not worry about decisions. He doesn’t ask us to maybe hold back on our fears for a minute and look at them again, he says DO NOT worry. When my plans go right in my eyes I celebrate. When I think my plans go “wrong” even if in the grander scheme of things it’s exactly what needed to happen, I shut down. Fear sets in. Worry takes over. My self-confidence is depleted.
The answer is no?!
Why can’t I completely put my trust in Him and know His ways are higher and mightier and perfect? Because I think I know more than God. That’s why. Ouch. How dumb can I be? I claim I trust God, but it seemed I was only trusting Him when things were going MY way. When my path took an unexpected turn, I became the backseat driver that wanted to redirected the BEST driver ever.
But, He knows where I’m going and just how to get me there quickly and safely. He’s in control. When he takes me on a different road, I’m not going to complain. I’m going to enjoy the journey and really really try to go with the flow!
Enjoy your journey. Don’t let a detour become a defeat!