What’s Your Water?

Oceans – Hillsong United

The first words of this song are, “you call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail.”

The other night, I was having some God-time before bed and this song came on. Just those first words completely tore me apart.

If I were in the same situation that Peter had been in, and Jesus asked me to step out of the comfort of my boat and walk on water to Him, would I be willing to do it? (Matthew 14:22-33)

Right away, I began to doubt myself. I began to think that I would never do something like that, which was a disappointment to myself.

Then I felt four words whispered into my heart, “Honduras, three months, alone,” and I really got it.

Water is faith.

Later in the song, these lyrics are repeated six times:

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”

I love the power in these words! It’s a call, a prayer, almost a dire need for God to call us to whatever our “waters” may be.

See, Honduras happened to me, and at times I actually don’t believe it happened. It seems so distant, so out of reach, and yet it’s there. Now I’m in this place where, for the most part, I’m comfortable. I have three really incredible jobs that I love, I’m involved with the jr. high kids at my church, I’m working towards my bachelors degree, life seems easy compared to how it was in Honduras.

It got me thinking, “what’s my water now?”

What am I doing now that requires faith?

For me right now, it is learning to be content in the place God has me. Right now, I’d rather be teaching in a classroom, or running a ministry for the less-fortunate. I’d rather be finished will school, have my own car and not be living at my parents. I’ve always been a little bit restless. I’ve always had a spirit of wanderlust. I just want to travel, experience and see things!

I’m learning how to be content with my life right now, and it’s a battle that requires a lot of faith. I’m learning to trust that God has me here for a reason, that He will use me where I am.

So, now it’s your turn. If you were sitting in your boat, and Jesus called you to Him, would you go? And what is your water right now?

I’ve come to believe that every person who is following Christ always needs to have a “water” in their life.

They need to have at least one thing, big or small, that requires stepping out on faith. Walking in faith leads to challenges, which leads to growth. If we are simply living in the comforts of our boats, and ignoring what Jesus may be calling us to, we won’t grow! I’m sure that Peter’s relationship with God grew far deeper that day, and yours can to.

Some of you may ask why growing is so important, which is a valid question. My question to you is, why isn’t it?

It is tough, it can be painful, and it most likely will not be easy, but I can promise you that it will be worth it. God will be your provision in all of the challenges and struggles you may face as you walk in faith.

Just take the first step onto whatever your water may be, and see what happens.

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

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Who are you?

Can you imagine a world where the weight and build of your body defined you?

Can you imagine a world where your DNA is what determined your social status?

Can you imagine a world where your job, health, social status and property defined you?

I can, because at times I feel that’s the world we live in.

Whether it is the movement of society or the lies of satan, I believe that everyone feels defined by their circumstances at some point in their life. The only way we can define ourselves and find fulfillment is in Christ.

Your health does not define you

For the past few years I have really struggled with the way my health limits my abilities. I’m not going to explain that thoroughly, because it’s a long list, but it’s been a mental challenge for me. I feel as though I am far too young to be dealing with the problems that I do in every day life.

I have been learning and relearning that I have, in some ways, let my health define me. I have let it keep me from experiencing life to the fullest. I have believed the lie that I am less because of my poor health.

And yet, health is something I cannot control. I can’t control the hereditary pieces that were handed down to me. I can’t control the way my body reacts in certain situations or environments.

It do not have to prove or explain myself to others. I do have to put my doubts, frustrations and problems in God’s hands and let Him carry those burdens! I encourage you to do the same.

Your relationships do not define you

You are not responsible for others. You cannot control the thoughts, words or actions of others. Do not let yourself take the blame for the choices others make. You are your own person, so don’t let what others do define who you are. Every single person will disappoint you in life, even the angels, so accept that now and remember this later.

Your calendar does not define you

Our culture has built up this false view that if you aren’t doing that means you are lazy, boring, or apathetic. When did having necessary down-time become a problem? When did sitting down and reading a book instead of finding some meaningless activity to fill your agenda become abnormal?

The job that seems meaningless right now? Not even that defines you.

The chaos that you call “life”, does not define you.

How would every day life be different for you if you were constantly reminded that you belonged to Christ? That you are fearfully and wonderfully made?

How would your thoughts evolve? How would your words redevelop? How would your actions change?

So read this, and then read it again.

You are not your health, your friends, your bank account, your social status, your job, your family, your body, or your personal belongings. You are God’s child, and that is all you need to be. You are exactly who you are supposed to be right now, and forever. 

I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement. In fact, quite the opposite. As Christians we should be striving to become more like Christ each day. I believe that is one of the main goals of our walks. Don’t let that process define who you are though. Don’t let the struggles you walk through in every day life define who you are. Find yourself in Christ, and the rest will fall to shambles in His incredible grace.

I’m still learning this every day. He is teaching me more each day what it means to find myself in Him. To rejoice, delight and define myself in Him!

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

Walk Through Fire

It is only Tuesday, and I am beat.

I’m so tired that I feel as if I shouldn’t even be writing a blog post right now.

Hopefully this all comes out correctly and in a manner that makes sense.

This week was my first one back into work and having a real schedule since I have been back from Honduras. On Sunday night, I was feeling really overwhelmed by the coming week. I felt as if I wasn’t even able, let alone ready, to face it.

I was reminded of the many times I had to completely depend on Christ for strength and courage in Honduras.

Tonight, I’m simply done in. My asthma has been horrible and I’ve slowly been getting sick on top of that. I’ve had headaches on and off all day and currently have a migraine. These are the things I normally live with physically, but now I’m also attempting to process the past three months of my life mentally and emotionally.

Exhausted doesn’t even touch the way I’m feeling tonight. I’m not sure the last time I’ve felt this off, worn out and drained.

I’m sure you’ve been here before.

You’ve probably been in that place that you don’t want to go to bed because you know the morning just brings more exhaustion, yet at the same time, you’re ready to press the restart button.

I could state verse after verse about God being our strength and our inspiration to keep walking, but I understand what it feels like to be in the fire. Sometimes words just aren’t enough.

When I was in Honduras, there were days that I really would not have made it through without Christ. In fact, I look back on my time there and I don’t know how it was actually possible for me to do it. I see God all over that and am completely amazed.

Do it for the reward.

It may seem shallow or selfish, but it’s stated in the bible and I’m almost positive it is God-approved. 2 Chronicles 15:7 says, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded (NIV).

Don’t give in to the temptation to quit. Don’t believe satan’s lies that “you aren’t good enough”. Don’t listen to the people who tell you not to.

If anything during my Honduras time, I learned that when you give your all to Jesus and you follow Him endlessly, you will be incredibly blessed.

When I left for Honduras, I was blessed to have my job kept at the local library. I love my job there, especially my co-workers. This was my first “official” job and I have learned so incredibly much from this, but it is not something I want to do for the rest of my life.

While in Honduras, I got offered a job doing content writing and temporary video editing for a good friend of mine for his web design business. Now that I’m back in Ohio, I have been offered a job working as an office aid at Interlink Ministries (and doing some cleaning every week). I then got a small job babysitting two mornings a week.

These are all things that I absolutely adore to do.

I gave up everything to go to Honduras.

In fact, I still have a credit card bill and only $20 to my name because of following God there. Could I be upset that I’m in money trouble even though I follow Him? Sure!

But I see the blessings around me and that answer quickly changes in my heart.

I see the many people who supported me on this journey and are being so incredibly patient with me as I return and slowly adjust. I think of the three incredible jobs I have now and how much I look forward to working. I look at the many opportunities ahead of me and I cannot for a second be upset about my situation.

I am exhausted, I’m done in, and in a way feeling defeated, but the reward is so beyond worth it!

I find this interesting because I wrote a post while I was in Honduras titled, It’s not Easy, But is it Worth it? In this post I wrote, “Sometimes I even wonder why God has me here right now, what is His purpose in all of this.” I look back on that post and the rest of the three months and just smile to myself.

I would do it all again if I could do the same amount of growing and receive the same amount of blessings that I have by the end of it.

See, walking through the fire isn’t about how difficult it may be, don’t let that define you. Walking through the fire is about finding yourself and learning about Christ just a little bit more. It’s about growth and reward.

I don’t know what you’re walking through. It could be difficult relationships. It could be health issues or illness. Maybe you recently lost your job.

BUT.

Don’t quit walking through the fire.

Don’t let naysayers discourage you.

Don’t let satan get in your head.

Don’t stop trusting God and following Him.

The biggest rewards come from work, they come from the sweat and tears you put into a hard day.

I get that it isn’t easy, I get that it’s exhausting and uncomfortable.

But it is worth it.

God has so much in store for you, just keep on walking!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

Overwhelmed

You fall asleep a couple of days before departure, and mindlessly walk through life and complete tasks on your to-do list. As you return to America and begin living life here, your mind and body slowly wake up and are able to process things and be emotionally present in situations.

This is the best way I have learned to explain the process of returning back to Ohio after being in Honduras for 3 months.

The past few days have been pretty overwhelming for me. I went grocery shopping for the first time since being here. I have been shopping several times with friends and family, but never for groceries.

I also haven’t been this mentally and physically present in two weeks.

I stood staring at orange juice for ten minutes. When you get used to have two or three options, and usually all dependent on size rather than brand, having an entire isle of options is crazy.

Later, I walked down the international foods isle to look for a couple things and began seeing  products I would have seen at the Economica where I used to buy groceries in Honduars. It’s wild that looking at a can of beans can make me tear up.

Every day since I have been back, I have gotten at least one message or comment from a student. I miss my kids so incredibly much. They could be so challenging at times, but when you get to actually touch their lives, it makes it all worth it.

The other night, I got a friend request from a student I was positive didn’t even like me. He was constantly rolling his eyes and mocking me (and not in a fun way). I accepted and quickly got a message from him. He told me that they all miss me and told me he was sad. That threw me for a loop. I really made a difference in the lives of these kids. They are part of me and I am part of them now. That was overwhelming for me, and still is, to wrap my head around.

I haven’t had my breaking point yet. I thought for a few days that maybe it simply wasn’t going to come (yeah right!). As I’m able to process things and actually live life, I’m realizing that that moment will most certainly come. I haven’t even cried. My heart hasn’t had a chance to process, even though my mind might be beginning to.

This coming week is overwhelming me. I’m starting work at the library, and working with two of my new jobs as well. I also plan to finally begin with the jr. high youth group at my church. There are a lot of exciting things happening, and yet I’m feeling overwhelmed.

This morning as I was getting ready for church, I began praying. I was beginning to feel lost.

I felt like there was nowhere to turn, or nobody that I could talk to that would get it. I felt this way because satan is a jerk. The most amazing thing that has happened for me in returning is realizing just how many people support me. God has shown me over and over again just how much I’m loved and cared for.

I spent over a year not truly living in Ohio. I hurt a lot of people because of that, and yet every single one of them has stuck by me. They supported my decisions and my passions, even if it pained them to do so. I sincerely want to apologize to anyone who has been affected by this. I cannot thank you enough for walking through this with me.

It’s overwhelming to me to know just how many people have my back.

I’m extremely tight on money, far more than I’ve ever been. I have been doing work here and there but still haven’t gotten money yet. I know it will all come together, and God will provide where needed, but until I’m truly back on my feet financially, I will be feeling overwhelmed in this.

I’m feeling overwhelmed this morning.

I’m overwhelmed by the many incredible blessings in my life that I don’t even deserve. I’m overwhelmed by actually living life in America and adjusting to normalcy. I’m feeling overwhelmed by the experience I had in Honduras and the many ways God provided for me during that time.

I’m slowly learning what is means to truly rest in God during this time. I’m learning to hand my burdens to Him. I so much so want to be overwhelmed by His presence and not the many things that plague me throughout the day.

This is where I’m at this morning. I’m feeling many different things. I feel like I can’t be completely present yet, but that I’m slowly getting there. Small things seem to be more overwhelming than the bigger ones.

And yet God is ever-present.

I cannot be more thankful for that.

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

Catching Grace

Many of you know me as Sadie Grace. Some of you even believe that Grace is my middle name, but it’s not. Grace has been deemed as my middle name because I am not the most graceful of people. If there is something to be walked into or tripped over, I will be there, doing exactly that.

Since being in Honduras (a little over two months now), I have messed up my knee by tripping up stairs, received blisters for the first time on my feet, gotten a new scar on each of my ankles, had numerous cuts on my fingers from knives, pens and my contact lens case (yes, you read that right..I didn’t know it was possible either) and of course, adopted many new bruises.

I have so many scars on my body, and many of them come with funny stories to be told. I don’t think my legs have ever been bruiseless, and most times I’m not even sure where they came from.

This is not the kind of grace that I am talking about though, although I wish it were possible for me to catch some of that.

I’m talking about God-given grace and self-given grace.

I recently wrote a post, with much of God’s help, about where I am in my walk called Quite Honestly: Relearning, because that’s exactly where I am. I’m taking a step back from my current situations, circumstances and plans and handing them all to Christ, and letting Him lead in everything. It’s causing for many frustrations and disappointments, therefore I’m learning the importance of grace. 

1 Peter 5:10 says, “And after you suffer for a short time, God, who gives all grace, will make everything right. He will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling. He called you to share in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever” (NCV). This is said right after the author (most likely, Peter) talks about resisting temptation and about satan’s desire to destroy us. I feel like this past year and a half I have been in that time of suffering, but I was blinded by it as well.

I’m now in a place of grace. I’m learning to accept grace not just each morning, but in every moment. To remind myself that I am not perfect, and I never will be.

Grace isn’t about not putting your best foot forward, but about understanding that God is with you when you try to put your best foot forward and miss the step. 

He will guide you in the next steps and continue to fill you with His spirit. Just as 1 Peter 5:10 says, God desires to make us strong, He desires to support us and to make shine for His glory. That is such a beautiful thing!

I’m still figuring out what grace truly looks like, and what God originally intended it to be. I’m learning how to accept it in ways that are truly life-changing, not just moment-changing.

Accepting grace is never easy, especially for those of us who are hard on ourselves. I have always been one to get easily upset with myself. I’m beginning to realize just how many blessings and beautiful things I have missed because of that. I’m also learning to deal myself quite a bit of grace for those moments that I don’t feel like I’m quite measuring up.

So, that is why the title of this blog has been changed. I’m learning how to catch grace and make it part of my daily living. It’s certainly not easy, but it’s one of the many blessings God offers us in this life.

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

Quite Honestly: Relearning

I’m relearning everything.

In high school, I had a great fire inside of my heart for God. It was one of very few constants in my life, and I loved it.

In the past couple of weeks, I have begun to realize that this fire has died down…a lot…and that scared me.

Over the past year, Honduras had become my passion, which wasn’t a bad thing, but in this case it wasn’t the best. My passion for Honduras became to overtake my passion for Christ. I spent more time fueling that fire and putting energy into Honduras than I did into my relationship with God.

That relationship was always there, but it was changing. My heart was slowly pulling away from Christ and the tight relationship that had once existed.

I’m not exactly sure when my God-fire started fading, or when I stopped fueling it. It was one of those things that happened so slowly that I didn’t even notice (which is something else that scares me).

This trip has most definitely been the most challenging thing I have done in my life. As a 20-year-old, who still lives with her parents, there were so many new things for me to experience. Some of them have been great, and others not so great (I love mac n’ cheese, but sometimes that low-budget meal just doesn’t cut it). I have had to depend on God in ways I never did before. I’ve needed to depend on Him for comfort, strength, courage and most often, grace. Fortunately, we serve a God who is ever-ready to provide for our needs The problem is when we stop depending on Him first, and still expect Him to provide in everything.

This has been such a humbling experience for me, relearning the basics of my faith. I am learning the many places in which I need growth in my life, and have been taking steps in that. I feel like I have been truly growing up, truly maturing in ways I wouldn’t be able to without this experience. I still have so far to go.

This week, the biggest thing I have learned is God’s desire for us to be with him. I can feel it so often. Him just calling me to be with Him. Just to sit in his presence, soak in His truth. So many times I ignore it, thinking I have better things to do or whatever excuse I have at the time. Those times I do listen, God does huge things. I don’t know why it is so difficult for me to listen. I’m sure you’ve done the same thing. Sometimes, you just know God is calling to you, and yet, it’s so easy to pretend you can’t hear it. I’m learning how to tune my heart to His when He is calling me.

In the midst of all this growing and learning, I’m reliving my life again. I’m shedding all the lies that I began to buy into, and soaking up all the truths God has for me. It’s a process and not always successful, but it’s happening. I’m finding the joy and peace in which my life used to exist inside of and learning to live it out again.

I want a complete stranger to look at me, and see Christ.

Not just think that I have something different, or that my smile is full of joy, but that Christ is actually inside of me and leaking out.

I want Him to be undeniable.

The only way this is possible, is by soaking Him in.

It is such a challenge, it’s such a battle between the heart and mind. I am constantly having to choose Christ over worldly things, and I can’t say that is easy. It is incredibly difficult. Yet, the more often I choose Christ, the easier that choice gets. I believe that someday, it will not be a choice, but rather a habit. It will not be a chore (as it feels sometimes), but a delight. It will sincerely feel like something is missing if I haven’t had my time with Him. Why? Because that is how my life used to be. I used to dread having extremely full days, because I wouldn’t have time to just sit and be present with Him.

I could keep writing. I could talk about the challenges and triumphs I am walking through, but that isn’t my goal tonight.

My goal tonight is to be completely honest about where God has me, because I realized something today.

Here I am, at 20, living in a foreign country (supposedly the most dangerous country in the world) by myself, teaching English as a second language, and I am a missionary.

And yet, my priorities in life are completely off-balance.

In my heart, I am not a missionary, that is just a word. I don’t want that to be the case. I want missionary to be a heart-thing for me. I want to say I’m a missionary and feel that ring in my heart, in a way that makes God proud.

This is part of my testimony. No, I didn’t do stupid stuff in high school. I didn’t get into drugs or partying. I didn’t rebel against everything my parents raised me to be.

I don’t really have a past to run away from, and yet, I do.

Mistakes are mistakes, sin is sin. Turning from God looks the same to Him, even if it looks different to us. Planning life around what you want and what you think is best, is dishonoring to God if you aren’t first seeking Him. Dishonoring is something I never want to be, and yet it was something I was slowly becoming.

I lost sight of who I was, and was beginning to lost sight of who God is.

This blog, from the very beginning has been about two things: to keep my friends and family updated on life and to share what God is teaching me (in hopes of inspiring others). Those are the two things I always want it to be about. I can’t see the ways God has used this blog, I don’t know the people it has reached or not reached. All I know, is that God has put this passion and love of writing in my heart, and I am going to follow that endlessly.

This is where it starts. Honesty, relearning, grace, rebuilding and faith all start here. I don’t know where they will end, but I do know that God will be walking along-side me in all of this. At times, I’m sure he will be carrying me, but He will be present regardless.

Opening my heart in this way has always been scary for me, but it is part of the process.

So that is where I am, and I humbly ask you to be praying for me. God is so much bigger than my little brain can wrap around, and that excites me. I’m so glad to know that following Him is endless, that there is not a stopping point in my relationship with Him! He isn’t going to suddenly decide He is finished, and stop working in me.

So I’m going to keep walking towards Him and continue to relearn the basics of my faith.

A special thanks to everyone who has been supporting me on this journey. I cannot tell you how incredibly blessed I feel to have all of you around me, lifting me up in prayer and encouraging words.

Have a very blessed day,

-Sadie

One Step At A Time

I accidentally read today’s devotion yesterday, and yet I didn’t pick up on this until the second time around. I’m reading through Jesus Calling and the the very last line today is, “I will open up the way before you, one step at a time.

If you read my previous post, you will understand that my heart and dreams for my life are changing. Rather, I’m realizing I stepped ahead of God and made plans, and realized I hadn’t been stopping and checking with Him along the way. So here I am, back at square one.

Last night, I was reminded that I am just like my father. I don’t do well without a plan, of some kind. I’m always very open to spontaneity or changes, but I like to have a rough idea planned. Since my dreams for Honduras have been changing, and I’m really working on following what God has, I’ve had to drop everything I have planned. I have goals, things that I someday wish to accomplish, but I have no plan.

Except, of course, to return to Ohio and take things one step at a time.

This trip has shown me how much I love to teach. It has shown me how difficult discipline is with a language barrier. So other than finishing my Elementary Education degree, and eventually doing a year for my license, I have no plan.

Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” (NIV). I like the NCV even more, which states, “You only need to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you.” Remain calm, be still!

How often do we walk ahead of God, and find ourselves in a rough patch? We walk ahead in the small stuff and the big stuff. Here I had my entire future planned out, and had walked ahead of Him. This is the God who created me, who knows how many hairs are on my head, and yet I can’t trust him with my future? Of course He has it all planned out, and He will show it to me in His perfect timing. I need to be still, to sit in His presence, and to take life step by step. Not all in one giant leap, but each small step.

I may be at square one, once again, but I have this incredible God leading me. This time, I’m going to make sure He’s leading and I’m following. My prayer is that God would make it extremely obvious to me, which step He wants me to take and when.

My prayer is also that anyone that reads this may realize they need to take life step by step, walk with patience and be still!

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