Monthly Guest Writers

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We Rise by Lifting Others.

  • Here are a few of my dear friends that carry a beautiful, endless love for their Creator through life. Who are willing to share their hearts & souls intertwined with life-giving words for you!

 

TRUSTING GOD’S TIMING.

Hi! My name is Abigail, and I’m really happy to be able to share with you what God has been teaching me in my life lately!

I’m graduating high school in less than two months. Along with that comes so many other things I need to do, accomplish, and prepare for– not to mention the small, normal things in life that have “deadlines”. All these things, these deadlines, are looming in front of me. Yet when I try to get them out of the way, I can’t. It’s like pushing against a huge boulder that just won’t budge.

Be confident in God’s timing.

I’ve been learning a lot about trusting God recently, and He keeps stretching and growing me further. Right now, I think He’s teaching me to trust Him when I see deadlines and it seems to impossible to meet them. This is way harder than I ever realized. Those deadlines keep staring back at me even after I think I’ve surrendered them to Christ. You may not have a huge deadline staring at you, and many times I don’t. It doesn’t matter what the size of the deadline or problem is, we don’t have to worry about or fear them.

“Fear not; I will help thee.” (Is. 41:13b)

First off, God is taking care of us. He cares about us and loves you and me more than we can imagine. If you ask Him, He will help you.

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

He wants you to take all your worries and your troubles and give them to Him. Let Him take them away from you. He sees the big picture, and if you trust Him and follow His leading, then He’ll give you peace and help you do His will.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths.” (Pr. 3:5-6)

Your deadline and God’s timing don’t always align. Sometimes this is SO hard when we just can’t understand, and it doesn’t make any sense at all. Remember God’s timing is always best because He sees everything. He knows the best timing for everything in our life.

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler [a shield; protection] to all them that trust in him.” (2 Sam. 22:31)

We have to trust God with timing. Someday you may look back and realize “That’s why that didn’t happen/why this happened!” Sometimes you will never see. However, if you trust God with the timing of things in your life then you know that it is good. 😉 I love seeing in small ways in my own life how God works and in His time. It’s like reading books where the author portrays how God was working in the story and how we may not ever see how intricate and detailed God’s ways are, but how “all things work together for good”.

Before I go, I want to say when we give our deadlines to God He will give us joy. God loves to give us joy.He says

“the joy of the LORD is your strength”(Neh. 8:10b).

When you give your troubles and worries to him, when you surrender your will and way to Him, and when you know that God is in control and taking care of you, it’s so easy to have peace and joy!

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”(Ps. 28:7)

So, I wish you peace and joy! God bless you, friend!

– Abigail Minks

( hello-sunshine-day.blospot.it )

 

 

Count Your Blessings.

Job 1:20-21: “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the
Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

We all know the old song, “Count Your Blessings.”

“Count your blessings name them one by one. Count your blessings see what God has done!”

We are so overly abundant with blessings that we have just become blind to it. We have so many things to be thankful for such as a family, food at every meal, possibly a church, a warm house, good friends, great leaders, etc.

The list can go on forever. While this generation may have gone blindsided with being ungrateful, one person was grateful even when everything was not going his way.

I’m talking about Job. According to the Bible, Job was an upright and perfect man (perfect meaning good). Job was undoubtedly a blessed man. He had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. Job also had seven sons and three daughters. Trials came, and Job lost all his animals. His children were even killed after a huge wind destroyed their house. After these horrible and tragic events, all Job could do was bless the name of the Lord.

In chapter 2, Job even lost his health and had boils from his head to his feet. Fed up, Job’s wife told Job to just curse God and die. Job could not curse God.

What are we complaining about today? Is the line at the supermarket too long? Is there too much traffic coming home from work? Are we having a bad day because somebody didn’t say something nice?

We need to be thankful for all that God has done for us. He gave us life and the opportunity of salvation! If we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, what more do we need in life? Well, besides sharing the Good News of course. We all will deal with a storm, but our faith must increase in those situations.

If our problems lead us to believe God doesn’t care or just isn’t there, our faith is weak.
I’m sure we all have a lot of bad moments in life, but God has blessed us beyond
compare and I’m sure we have more blessings than issues.

1 Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

God cares about all our problems! He wants us to tell Him what’s wrong so He can help us. God knows what we go through and He will not be deaf to hear our needs when we cry out to Him. God is also not just a “help option.” When He does bless us even more than we already our blessed, we ought to thank Him for what He did. All honor, praise, and glory belong to God!

– Kyle

Walking Close to the Shepherd.

There was a flock of sheep who had a shepherd. A few sheep walked very close to this shepherd; others wanted this closeness to Him, but didn’t know how to get there. Some of the sheep were far away from the flock, scared and in danger. The shepherd’s desire was for every sheep to be close to Him and safe in his way, yet many chose not to follow Him. The sheep became so easily distracted from his path, and often wandered astray.

This Shepherd I’m speaking of might sound familiar to you. He is one many of you know and love dearly, one who has kept you from harm many times. He’s the One who was willing to die to save your soul, the One who loves like no other. Do you know who I’m talking about yet? You see, God is our shepherd.

Psalm 23:1 says,

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

The Lord, our Shepherd, watches over us all the time. He loves the whole world SO much, and His desire is that everyone would come to know Him. Yet, many souls reject Him and His love, thinking they don’t need Him. Some people know Him, but have stopped trying to be close to Him.

I recently heard a preacher say this:

“If you’re gonna be a part of the flock, you better walk real close to the shepherd.”

I want you to think about that for a moment. If you are gonna be a part of Christ’s flock, you have to stick close to Him; because if you don’t, you will get lost among the distractions of the world.

The farther away you get from the Shepherd, the closer you get to the danger. God is our safe hold, our strong tower, our protection, and our shield. (Psalm 3:3, Psalm 46:1, Proverbs 18:10) We need to cleave to him, for there is safety in his arms.

The rest of Psalm 23 says,

“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Psalm 23:2-6)

We need to follow Him closely with every move He makes, trusting that He knows where to lead us. We can rest in Him, knowing that the green pastures and the still waters are close by to refresh our weary souls. Every trial He brings us through is to draw our wandering souls back to Him. We need to be desiring to walk with a trusting heart that He is leading us along the paths of righteousness, so that when we come to the trials in the valley, we won’t fear because we know God is with us! He keeps us safe in His hold, and He blesses us so abundantly that our cup runs over! He gives us His goodness and mercy when we walk close to Him.

Friends, my point today is this: God is the Shepherd, and we are the sheep: we can choose not to walk close to Him, or we can follow Him closely with a heart zealous for where He will take us. There truly is no better way to live than to live in Him. Without Him, we are nothing. But He desires to lead us so tenderly through the valleys and on the mountaintops. I want to encourage you today to choose to follow Him closely, striving to keep in His steps. He is our God and we are His people, and He will protect us and lead us in a perfect way as long as we trust Him.

Psalm 95:7a-

“For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”

All my love and prayers, Ashley

 

  FAITH OVER FEAR.

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Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Have you ever felt like you were facing a challenge that would never come to a close? Have you ever felt hopeless- wondering why you were being put through such a trial? Often times it can seem like there is no end in sight. I think that we have all been there, and that can be a dark place.

Life is full of choices, both easy and difficult, and thankfully there is a solution to this. There is someone who wants to be there each step of the way. He wants to help make this decision making process easier on us. But we have to make a choice. A choice to choose FAITH over FEAR. God wants to carry those burdens for us if only we would choose faith and simply let Him.

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

God modeled this flawlessly when He sent His only Son to die on the cross for us. In doing so, He chose faith, not fear. He could have chosen fear, and not send His son as a sacrifice for all of our wickedness.

But where would that leave us today? We would never have been given the choice to accept him and spend eternity with him forever…but instead he chose faith.

It’s easy to be fearful. Quite frankly, choosing faith over fear is hard. It’s scary. It’s a huge leap of faith to simply choose not to worry about the outcome when all your flesh can do is think about the negative.

That is when choosing faith comes into action.

God doesn’t want us to live a life of fear, but a life of faith. He wants us to trust him in ALL that we do, knowing he has our best interest, even though it may not be the outcome we may want or expect.

Sometimes it’s easy to think “God doesn’t care about me, or want me to be happy…otherwise, I wouldn’t be in this situation,”.

Sometimes He takes us through situations that can be very fearful and are truly a test of our faith. He wants to see if we really trust him, or if we are just saying that we do. You can’t be walking in faith and fear at the same time. It’s one or the other, and that is a personal choice we all have to make. The devil will put thoughts into our mind to try to discourage us and make us want to lose all our faith and trust in God, but that is when we have to remember that God has never let us down.

He will not leave us on our own to deal with our problems, we simply have to allow Him to help us!

The knowledge that we have of God’s word plays a huge role in us choosing to remain faithful, not fearful. Knowing His word will help us be able to step out in faith and trust the One who wants to do what we think is impossible. Often times it’s so easy to take our eyes off of God and try to fix it ourselves, which only results in overwhelming thoughts, fear, and anxiety.

He wants to take the fear from you and turn it into faith! Simply put your trust in Him, believe in His promises, and then you can truly choose faith over fear.

To trust God in the light is nothing, but to truth him in the dark, that is faith. – C. H. Spurgeon

Much love,
Danielle

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ALL THAT WE DO.

When I was given this honor to be a guest writer on my friend’s blog, I was thrilled. From the minute I found out I was mulling over ideas and post topics, but nothing was coming to me. I thought about it constantly. With all that time spent thinking and none of it spent writing, my deadline was quickly approaching. I had done nothing. It was not because I didn’t take this opportunity seriously or didn’t care that I had a responsibility, but it was the fact that when the Lord finally showed me what I was to write on I got scared. I got nervous. I started feeling like this wasn’t something I should be doing.

With these thoughts swirling through my mind I knew that the topic the Lord had put on my heart was something I could NOT write on.

So, what did I do? I didn’t do anything.

Then, like a pile of bricks, it hit me in the face. Who was I to squash something that the Lord had put on my heart. This topic was exactly what I needed to be dwelling on. It was exactly what I had to write on. I had to do this because it was something that I experience first-hand. I know what needs to be done. I know the truths. That doesn’t make it any easier. I don’t believe that I am the only person who goes through this or will go through this.

So, without further ado…

All That We Do…

Has the Lord ever put something on your heart that you know is so right, but then you’re struck with fear. You are immobilized by this fear. I have. I have felt that way multiple times.

Why do we feel this way? What is it that we fear?

Jesus tells us 365 times in the Bible not to fear. There you have it. You’ve been cured. That’s it. We can all go on our merry way now.

No! That’s not just how it works. Yes, Jesus does tell us not to fear, but that doesn’t mean it is all that easy of a command to obey.

I want to share a few things that I have learned and yet still need to be reminded of.

With me it tends to be three things that I fear or what holds me back.

  1.  Fear of inadequacy
  2.  Fear of unacceptance / rejection
  3.  Fear of failure

Those three fears have three positive counterparts.

  1.  We all have a gift – 1 Timothy 1:14
  2.  We serve Jesus and not men – Colossians 3:23 and 1 Thessalonians 2:4
  3. When we wholeheartedly serve Jesus, we are honoring Him. – 1 Corinthians 10:31

We All Have a Gift

My first point is that we were all given gifts. Jesus has given us certain abilities and in doing that he expected us to make good use of them.

” Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14

Here is Paul telling Timothy not to neglect the gift he has.

Paul is basically saying, “Timothy, don’t be sleeping on this gift you have. Make sure you use it!”

That goes for us too. We all have certain gifts and talents that the Lord gave us and wants us to use. Jesus doesn’t want us to be sleeping on those gifts. But the root of this solution is our fear of inadequacy. Maybe you feel you just aren’t good enough at what your doing or what your supposed to be doing. I know that sometimes I feel that way. I love writing but when I see other people writing well and doing what I want to be doing I start to feel that maybe my contribution isn’t necessary. I start to feel self-conscious that maybe I shouldn’t put my words out there because people are already doing that and what could I contribute to the group.

That is where my thinking and so many other people’s thinking is flawed. We are striving to be as good as everyone else or feel that we won’t ever be as good as everyone else so why even bother. We shouldn’t be worried about everyone else. We might not be as good as everyone else, but the Lord did give us a gift and expects us to use them. With the gift that he gave us, we are as good at what we are doing as we need to be. We don’t need to compare ourselves to everyone else because matter-of-factly nobody can contribute what you can.

So, in short, Jesus gave us each a special gift and He expects us to use those special gifts.

We Serve Jesus and Not Men

Another thing that makes me fearful of using my gift is the fear of rejection or unacceptance. “What will people think?” , “Will people like it?” , “Will people think that this is silly?” , ect. – questions like these run through my mind.

I must stop myself when I ask myself questions like that. I do not do what I do to please people. I should be doing what I am doing for God. If my main goal is to get acceptance and praise from people, then I am in this for all the wrong reasons.

An additional point is that we can take comfort in knowing that if we are wholeheartedly serving Jesus and still rejected by people, that the Lord is still pleased that we did it all for him.

It is easy to get caught up in the desire for human acceptance, but remember what the Bible says in Colossians and 1 Thessalonians.

“And whatsoever ya do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” Colossians 3:23

“But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4

When We Wholeheartedly Serve Jesus, We Are Honoring Him

For my final point, the last major thing we fear when we are going to do something for the Lord is failing. Failing is a scary idea. It means that what we put our heart and soul into didn’t measure up and was basically a bust. I chose 1 Corinthians 10:31 to tie to this point because it is one of my favorite verses.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

In everything we do are to glorify God. This is almost restating my last point, but it is still important. It might be a little discouraging when I say that failure is inevitable. We will fail at things. While failing is disheartening, if we were truly honoring the Lord in our endeavors then even our failures are pleasing to Him.

Wrapping it Up.

To bring all of this to a concise ending, I want to leave you with this.

You were given gifts and Jesus expects you to use them. You are good enough to do these things because God purposed it in your heart to do so. Not everybody is going to love what you do. Thankfully, we don’t seek their praise, but we seek to glorify God. Failure is inevitable. We can still honor God through our failures and that is what is most important. May we do all that we do unto the glory of God and the furtherance of His kingdom.

I am so thankful yo have had this opportunity to share these things with you today. I hope what I said will help you see that you were created by God yo do great things for His kingdom. I pray that you will discover what those things are and go for it! In Christ you are more than capable.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. – Palms 139:14

All my love and prayers,

Hannah!

ACCEPTANCE.

Hey all! I’m Hannah Dawber and I’m so excited for the opportunity to take over Moriah’s page with you! I hope this story helps remind you that you aren’t ever alone. Enjoy.

I can still remember when you waved me over to sit with you and your friends at lunch. I always felt I was an outsider amongst the group of clicks in the lunchroom, or in any room, and you didn’t see this in me. The lunchroom is the most intimating place for any second grader and you helped ease my panic as I approached the table. I mattered that day and this was only the beginning. That day was the first day I understood what the word acceptance meant. I don’t think you know the impact your actions had on me. They taught me to always wave over other people looking for a seat during meal times. This deep meaning of belonging you taught me wasn’t only meant for me to understand, it was meant for others to experience as well.

Each time you waved me down I gained more appreciation of this action and started questioning why other people didn’t do it more. I don’t think I would have met as many incredible characters if I didn’t learn the depth of this word early on. Today, I’ve heard hundreds of stranger’s stories because of the simple action you made. I guess it makes sense that my number one strength from Strength Finders personality test today is includer.

The next time you see someone sitting alone or pacing the lunchroom for somewhere to sit, have some courage to wave them over to sit with you. They might just need that reassurance that they aren’t alone.

Thank you old lunchroom friend, we need more of you in this world.

Until next time… Hannah

Hannah is so kind, encouraging, and a true world-changer! you can follow her with the information below ->>

Instagram: @hannahdawbs

Email: hannahdawbs@gmail.com

Website: encounterlove.org

WITH ALL YOUR HEART.

Hello there! I’m Abby, and I am absolutely thrilled that I get to share my heart with you all today! I hope and pray that I’ll be an encouragement to you.

Jeremiah 29:13   And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

Recently during my devotion time, I came across this verse and the Lord began to speak to me about that last little phrase: “with all your heart”. I began thinking about how often I find myself doing things with a half hearted attitude, and most of the time, I get away with it without anyone else ever knowing. Often I’m guilty of having this mentality about schoolwork or chores, or some times… about my own personal relationship with the Lord. It’s easy to let serving Him become a habit, and without even realizing it, I start to go through the motions of my Christian walk without sincerity.

I’m positive I’m not the only one who struggles with this, so I want to encourage you all with this thought today: our God WANTS us to be whole-hearted Christians. The word ‘whole-hearted’ is defined as “showing or characterized by complete sincerity and commitment”. The Lord wants us to be passionate and joyful about being one of His children! There are many specific areas that His Word tells us over and over that we need to be whole-hearted in. Here are just a few:

  Loving Him.

Mark 12:30 says, “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

This is such a popular verse that I don’t think Christians today really think about what it means to love him with all of their hearts. I mean, we’re saved, so of course we love Him! But do we really love Him with ALL our hearts, with every ounce of strength and sincerity in our being? To love him fully, we must trust him fully. To love Him sincerely, we must be willing to learn to praise Him no matter the circumstance.

Serving Him.
This one doesn’t seem as simple as just loving Him. Serving is putting that love into action and showing others that your relationship with the Lord is important to you.

 “Only fear the Lord , and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24)

Serving Him whole-heartedly also means serving others. Having a servant’s heart isn’t easy and definitely not something that comes naturally, at least for me. But if you daily ask the Lord to give you a desire to show others His goodness through you, He will.

Seeking Him.
Seeking the Lord with our whole hearts is so important, yet I feel that it isn’t something we hear being talked about very often. It takes some serious commitment and determination to actually seek the Lord and to have a desire to know him fuller and deeper every day. He promises us that if we seek Him, we will always find Him. If we want to develop a close walk with Him, we must spend time with Him in whole-hearted sincerity. I’ll admit, this is something I’m working on in my life. I don’t always put all my effort into seeking Him, but I’m learning that there is such peace and joy when I do!

I don’t know about you, but my goal, my desire, and my entire purpose for living, is to please the Lord to the very best of my ability. I want to love Him, serve Him, and seek Him with every fiber of my being. I think if a handful of Christians got serious with God, and were determined to be whole-hearted in all that we do, we would CHANGE THE WORLD.

love and prayers,
Abby

TRIALS OF FAITH.

James 1:3 (KJV)

Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

Being human, I know I am not the only one that questions “Why is this happening to me?” As a matter of fact I’m sure we could all say we have said that once or twice in our life time. But why do we say it? Why do we question God’s moves in our lives? When things that we don’t like enter our lives we automatically presume it’s God’s judgment on us for something we did.

Job 8:6 (KJV) If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousnes prosperous.

Even Job’s friends thought this, but that’s not true. Bad things happen to good people, to make them better people. If bad things never happened to you character growth would be flawed. Your faith wouldn’t grow. Trials come to test our faith. We are tested every day to keep the faith. Every day we have to take another test, another trial to try our faith.

James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

More trials means more chances to prove your faith, to prove your loyalty to Jesus Christ. Bad things are guaranteed to happen in life, and when one comes what will happen? Will you praise Him in the midst of these troubles? Most of us would say “Sure I will, I will always praise God.” But are you 100% sure you would? Think for a minute. If a loved one died today, would you really praise God? In reality, most of us would forget about God. That’s reality. As much as you say you wouldn’t, you cannot guarantee that you would still be the same. Trials of faith help us, they form us to become a better us. So when those trials do come, we can find solace in Jesus Christ. We can be comforted in the midst of a storm. We can have a peace that the world can’t give. Daily life is giving you tests. Daily life you are forming to become a better human being. Daily tests come unexpectedly, and are you 100% guaranteed you will pass? Have you studied for the test? Small little things happen all the time that rock us off our pedestal, that’s normal to get knocked down, just don’t forget to get back up. Bad things aren’t a judgment, its a test. Put yourself in these positions, Noah in the ark. Abraham offering Isaac as a sacrifice. Moses challenging pharaoh. The children of Israel marching around the walls of Jericho. What would be your questions to these situations? Possibly “why Lord?” or “why me?” But what did they do? Each of them overcame and conquered! How?

  • Noah: Hebrew 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark…
  • Abraham: Hebrew 11:17 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac:”
  • Moses: Hebrew 11:27 “By faith he (Moses) forsook Egypt,”
  • Children of Israel: Hebrew 11:30 “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down,”

By faith, we can conquer and overcome anything. That’s why we have all these small trials. That’s why we have small problems. To make for bigger trials, to have bigger faith.

– Micah Rice

THE WAITING PERIOD.

Hey, Rebekah here! Just sharing with you all something that God put on my heart. I hope it can be a blessing.

Romans 8:25 (KJV)

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

I’ve moved a countless amount of times in my life, from the time I was two years old and had my first big move (across the world) and really, since than I haven’t stopped moving. Because of that, I had never realized how amazingly simple someones  life could seem compared to my own until I moved to Italy a year ago and by then I was just weary of moving so much, and I felt like the possibility of changing my entire future to something easier seemed so much better, even though I had no idea what my future would be like anyway. After a life of traveling and moving a countless amount of times, a life of permanence and limited change, rooted friendships and knowing a town like the back of your hand, and having a place to call home seemed amazing. I wanted to feel like I had a home,  I felt so lost in the world, I didn’t have a place and not moving again, well it practically offered me one. I wanted to finally just stay somewhere, the idea of it seemed perfect. Right now, I should say, having a place to call home is not a bad thing, but so far in my life it has not been what God wanted for me, if moving to Italy could have been my last ever move, I would have gladly accepted it. But, I had my home in heaven and I had to realize that was enough, I had my step by step directions shown to me in His perfect order and I wasn’t sure where I’d be in the future, but right now, right now I knew that I had to keep my path clear, I didn’t need to have my whole life planned out. I had to accept that I didn’t know where I was going with my life, and I had to accept that I was in a ‘waiting period’ for God to answer me in his perfect timing. Since I’ve accepted that I’ve felt so much more at peace and experiencing life has been so much more enjoyable, taking day by day not worried about when it will all change again. I can honestly say, that if I continue to move to different countries and continue to live this amazing nomadic lifestyle, I would do so happily. I surrendered my life to do whatever God wanted me to do, and by that, I now mean anything, and accept that part of that is simply waiting. A lot of kids my age are in that waiting period, trust me I’m there too. It’s like you’ve finished or are almost finished with school and you feel like everyone else your age is going to college or starting the next stage of their lives and you feel like you are just staring at a blank wall and you really want to do what’s right, but shrugging every time someone asks you about your future gets old fast and you want to tell them something, anything, and to be honest you want to have an answer yourself. In that period, I’ve come to realize is a test. A test of faith, and in this test, you have the options of worrying about the future, or trusting God with the future. Because honestly we’re pumped and full of energy, we want to be doing things, we feel ready for the next step and we feel like we are wasting time just sitting here and waiting for God to just say ‘I want you to start a ministry in PaPa New Guinea’ because hey, by than anything is better than nothing. I think that sometimes, well ok all times, God knows we need to stop, we need to think, we need to put all our faith in Him and enjoy life while we are still young. We still have room to grow, and to learn, we have this amazing opportunity to stay in prayer and continue focusing simply on Him and His blessings, we have this time to train to be in the Lords army. Maybe waiting is His way of saying ‘you aren’t ready for the amazing things I have in store for you yet’. Maybe, this ‘waiting period’ seems like it’s never going to end, but I want to remind you of two things right now. First, that you aren’t alone, their are so many kids who are in the same place as you right now. Trust me, none of us actually know what we are doing, we’re all just sort of winging it. And second, learn from this time, don’t be continually in question, because you can get so concerned about following God in the future that you forget to learn from Him now, I was in that same place, I just wanted an answer, or more like  a ten year plan handed to me with what college to go to, how many years I would be going, the last name of the person I was going to marry, and what country I would end up officially calling home. Now I’m learning to wait, and I’m learning to enjoy life every step of the way, and I’m learning that it’s not easy to give it all to God but it’s definitely worth it. Just because every adult you know is expecting you to have you life together by 6 pm this afternoon doesn’t mean God is expecting you to, and I’m not trying to disrespect these adults, don’t get me wrong they have amazing advice and are great spiritual leaders in your life, they mean well, and they don’t intend to pressure you in anyway, it’s just how they show that they care. (who knew I was an adult whisperer am I right?) Hey, We’re all in this together, and we need to just let God move in His amazing way right now. We need to focus on improving ourselves spiritually, learn about ourselves and learn to put our faith in God. The waiting period isn’t fun, but I promise it’s worth it because God is with you the whole way and amazing plans are on the other side of it. Make the right choices right now, be ready for the tests He’s going to throw at you, stop focusing on the temptation to worry, and on the temptations the devil is going to give you in this waiting period, and start focusing on God, start reading his word and spending time in prayer. Constantly remind yourself that it’s ok to not know yet because you are in the Lords army and that means you are on, what my dad calls a ‘need-to-know-basis’ which means you won’t know until you need to know and even though it doesn’t seem like a good thing now, you will realize that it is a good thing. It builds character, its builds trust and teaches you to put your faith in God, it’s trains you for the future, and gives you patience. Ha. So, so much patience. I’m writing this, because I need it just as much as some of you do. I’m writing this, because I stopped pitying my clueless self and looked around, and than looked closer. I noticed fake smiles, I noticed pretending not to care, but most of all, I noticed the burden of worrying about the future on every one else’s shoulder the same way it was on mine. A little secret, I hate being the same as everyone else, it’s childish I know, but when I realized my burden was like everyone else’s I dropped it like a hot potato. Now, I want you to drop it too, drop it at the cross, give it to God.  Focus on learning right now, focus on encouraging each other to do right, and stay patient, God is still moving but we need to obey when He calls. Be willing to learn, and to wait, so you can be ready.

Rebekah Rice 

 


 

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