You Were Created to be Loved

You weren’t made to be handled or tolerated, you were you made to be enjoyed and celebrated.

I recently told someone that they handle me well. Their response was that it wasn’t a matter of handling me, but that they genuinely enjoyed me.

It was difficult for me to understand, and it still is at times. How can we truly understand that we weren’t created to simply be put up with.

1 John 5:16 says, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (ESV).

Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (ESV).

So, if God created us in His image and He is love, doesn’t that lead to the idea that He created us in love and to be loved?

You are made to be loved, cherished, enjoyed, celebrated and appreciated.

In fact, in Christ, you already are.

Too often we look for the validation and approval of others, to remind us that we are enjoyed. I think that once we understand that our value lies in Christ and Him alone, it gives us a confidence, peace and joy that radiates from us. People are fascinated and attracted to those qualities, and tend to be put off by insecurity, unhappiness and negativity.

Oftentimes, this idea that we are handled and not enjoyed is self-developed. We have this idea planted in our minds that we are a challenge, annoying or difficult to tolerate. Whether it’s from words we once heard, or actions done to us, I’m not entirely sure, but it’s there.

I used to feel like I was the only one that felt this way, but the more I have this conversation with others the more I realized that I don’t stand alone.

This is a sad realization for me, because that means we aren’t fulfilling our calling as Christians. We aren’t loving our neighbor as fully as we could be. We aren’t spreading God’s love as frequently as we could be. We aren’t showing others that they were created to be enjoyed and celebrated as much as we could be.

I’m not saying we all need to pack our bags and head overseas, because the mission field is all around you. Ask a stranger how they’re doing. Talk to the cashier who never seems to smile. Pay for the coffee of the customer behind you. Smile and actually, yes I’m going there, make eye contact with people you pass by.

It doesn’t take much to make people feel noticed, and you truly can’t understand the impact you could be making.

Show people that they have been created to be celebrated and enjoyed.

Know that you were created to be celebrated and enjoyed.

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

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Single Sadness

The other morning I was taking my brother and his best friend to a bus stop in Cleveland. It was early and my brain hadn’t started working to its full ability. My brother and I were having random conversation when he asks if there were any updates on boys. I said no and he responded with a saddened, “awe..” to which I retorted, “why?” He then realized how quickly people apologize or are sad for you when they find out you are still single.

Why do we do this? I know I’ve done it, and I definitely know I’ve heard it. Why can’t we instead rejoice for all the amazing things God may be doing in a single person’s life?

This is something that has always bothered me.

I’m not sure I can count on my hands how many times I’ve heard, “I’m sorry you’re still single” and “You’re so young..you have time” within a single breathe! The problem I have with this is that, for the most part, I’m content with being single. I’ve been single my entire life, and I kinda like it. I like the freedoms that come with it. I like that I’m able to use this time to learn spiritual disciplines and step further into faith. (And I love that I don’t have to buy gifts for an extra someone on holidays!)

I’m not going to list all the great things about being single, because there are already plenty of resources out there. I also recognize the many great things about being in a relationship. And don’t get me wrong, I want those too! Whenever the time is right, I’m very much so looking forward to being in a relationship with a man, having God as the foundation.

So please, don’t treat single people like they should be in a rush to find someone and settle down. There are too many people out there who have settled for less already. Don’t tell us that we’re young and have lots of time; some of us have wanted marriage for years and there is nothing wrong with that.

Being single is not a disease and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us.

Quit telling us that it’s okay to be single and that we should also be getting married within one conversation. Instead, try asking us what God is doing in our lives. Ask about where we’re serving and how we’re furthering the Kingdom. Strive to know our hearts, not our relationship status’.

When I’m no longer single, I’m sure you’ll here about it. When the right person comes along, I’m sure you’ll hear about it. When I get a ring on my finger, I’m sure you’ll hear about it. The same goes for the many other singles my age.

God is doing so much more in my life than giving me a love life worth talking about. God has called me to so much more than to sit and wallow in my singleness; He has given me (and each of you) the greatest call we could ever respond to! So join me in going into the world and making disciples! And help us singles out by asking how God is moving, rather than who we have our eye on.

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

 

An Old Love Letter

I found this written in a word document from when I was 18. Every once in a while, when cleaning out documents, I rediscover it. It was a small note I wrote during a quiet time. Some simple words I felt God speaking into me. When I was 18, I had no idea I would have done and seen all the things that i have. I see this small love letter from God, and am amazed every time.

It reads:

“You are my daughter, and I love you. There is nothing you can do or say to change my love for you. The worst you could do is to walk away from this love. I have formed your heart, but I have so much to teach you. You are only at the peak of your learning time. Remember to hold tight to the words I speak into your life, and the words others speak into your life. When people say those words of acceptance to you, they aren’t just throwing those words around; they came from their hearts which are full of the Holy Spirit. You have come so far over the last 18 years, but you are also just beginning. Never become closed off to being teachable and open-minded. Keep on moving, and remember, you have been faithful.”

Each time that I find this, I am not only encouraged, but challenged by it. I truly hope that you can be too!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

A Year of Waste

Tonight, I threw away a year of my life…almost.

I was cleaning out my night table and found a planner I was given as a Christmas gift last year from “Santa”. The purpose of the planner is to act as a scrapbook, so that at the end of the year, you can see all the memories that happened on those days. I looked back to see when I wrote last, which was in January.

I cringed.

Not only has over 10 months passed since I last wrote, but it passed so extremely quickly.

I look back over the challenges and struggles I faced, and I see all the blessings that have surrounded me and I’m simply amazed.

It has truly been an amazing year.

I’ve knocked off several things on my bucket list, such as being an aunt, living overseas, becoming a teacher and finishing an entire tube of chapstick (it’s the simple things, right?).

As much as this year has been great, it makes me realize how quickly time passes and how easy it is to let it go by.

I’m in a place in life that I am learning to be content exactly where I am. It’s certainly not easy, and it’s an pretty slow learning process, but I’ve found it to be kind of refreshing.

It feels refreshing because it’s about living in the present and grabbing on to each moment. I’m learning to stop stressing about the little things, like my grades in my general electives, and focus on what’s really important. God has placed me in some jobs and opportunities that truly help me to be aware of my surroundings.

I’m currently working at Interlink Ministries Inc, babysitting two mornings a week and doing some video editing on the side for a friend. I’m a 6th grade girls leader at my church’s youth group and also part of an awesome small group. On top of all this, I’m working towards my bachelor’s in Elementary Education with a minor in Psychology.

As crazy as it can be sometimes, I truly love my life. Some days are more of a struggle to be present than others, but, with God’s grace, I’m figuring it out.

I’m writing about this because, probably like you, I easily get caught up in the future.

I am a planner, it was practically handed down to me genetically to plan ahead, which isn’t always a bad thing.

I’m looking back on this past year and trying to grasp what I can do to make this next year different (imagine that, planning). I don’t want another year, or day, to go by that isn’t used for God’s greater good.

I’m not exactly sure what this means for me, it’s part of the whole process.

I just hope to be an encouragement to others who may feel “stuck” with where they are right now. If you’re that person, what can YOU do to get out of that place? Yeah, I’m saying you can change it.

I’m not saying to move away, quit your job or do anything drastic, but to just look at your options. We always have options!

Even if it’s just to have a better attitude about things, it surely will make a difference!

So, what can you do to be more in the moment? To grasp today and make it memorable?

Don’t let this next year, or day, be a waste.

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

Wounds

When you give someone a piece of your heart, and they take advantage of it, it leaves a wound. When you set expectations in your heart, they take over a small part, and when those expectations aren’t met, they become wounds. Many of us internalize wounds, some without even realizing it. I know that is what has happened in my heart. I simply accepted wounds as wounds and didn’t realize the incredible power in handing them to Christ.

As I prayed about my wounds this morning, I had this vision.  Each wound that I prayed for, I imagined literally taking pieces of my heart and actually handing them over to God. Some pieces bigger than others, some look more healed than others, yet all wounds. It left me with a heart that was disfigured and much smaller.

Fortunately, that isn’t the end of the story.

God then grabs what is left of my heart, and holds it in His hands. As He’s holding it, my heart is becoming whole again. It doesn’t remain deformed, ugly, or useless. God renews it, He transforms what once was distorted into something whole and beautiful.

We often hear this in reference to sins, which is true. Yet, how often do we realize that wounds can and do hinder us if we don’t hand them over to God? They change us. They affect our relationships, our attitude, our beliefs. Most of us learn to accept them as part of who we are, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s shouldn’t be that way!

God did a lot of work on my heart this morning. It was not instant healing, but the process has begun. I can feel it. I can feel the bitterness, hurt, anger and frustration (that I didn’t even realize was there) leaving my heart and it being renewed with true God-given joy.

What I find amazing is that God wants these things for us. He doesn’t want to see us in pain. He doesn’t want us to simply accept wounds. He doesn’t want us to internalize these hurts. He cares enough about you to want to provide healing (Psalm 147:3). He already knows all of your wounds, but giving them to Him and letting him transform you is so incredibly important.

We often look at 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, which states, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” in reference to sexual purity. Yet, when we internalize wounds, we are not treating ourselves as priceless, God-created temples. Wounds fester and affect us, they change us. They create anger, bitterness, negative thoughts, discouragement and these things appear in our every day lives. They do not glorify God! A body that glorifies God begins in the heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

What wounds have you internalized? What wounds do you hold on to? What wounds can God take and make beautiful? What wounds can He use for His purpose?

Pray that He would make you aware of your wounds, and that He would transform them. The process is long and may even be painful, but it is also beautiful.

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie