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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The Weight of Influence

I’ve talked before about vulnerability, and that it’s sometimes difficult to write because a lot of vulnerability is required (See “Gifts Used for Growth“). In everything that I write, a piece of my life, heart and/or mind is revealed to the readers.

That is one part of writing that is scary, but there is another I find to be much more significant. The aspect of writing that probably scares me the most is influence.

I used to be able to write with freedom and post without much forethought. I wrote about what I was learning and put it out for the world to see. As I’m getting older and am a leader in my church’s jr. high youth group, I’m understanding the power of influence.

What scares me is that someone might read what I’m learning, my thoughts and opinions and fully accept them for their own. I try my best to write honestly, to admit that I don’t know everything, or even very much at all. To show that I have weaknesses, and I fall short often. I do this in hopes that people won’t take everything I write as perfect and true, but to instead take it with a grain of salt.

The best example I have of this is when I wrote my post titled “Sex and God“. In all honestly, I didn’t even want to write it, but I also didn’t feel like I had a choice. It was my response to a blog post by a woman who walked through some difficult circumstances with intimacy in the beginning of her marriage. She wrote about why waiting to have sex until marriage messed her up. What bothered me the most while reading her post was seeing the potential influence it could have on others. I thought of any of my jr. high students reading it, accepting it and acting on it. That was what pushed me to write my response post, along with God’s graceful guidance. I wanted to add some Truth to a situation full of lies. I wanted to add some positive influence to a situation with the potential to have an incredibly negative impact.

The weight of my influence can sometimes be scary. I never want someone to read my writing and accept it without thinking through it on their own first. Not everyone will agree with what I have to say, and not everyone should.

I would say that one of my most common prayers when I sit down to write something new is discernment. I want to write honestly, I want to be open about what I’m walking through, and I want to encourage others towards growth, but that takes prayer, diligence and discernment.

Although influence is a scary thing, and in the wrong hands it can be deadly, it can also glorify God and bring honor and praise to Him. That’s what I want. I want everything I say to be God-honoring and to walk away knowing that I only write because of Him and the words He gives me.

Where do you have influence?

Do you understand the value in being a positive influence to others, in everything that you do and say?

Are you using that influence to further the Kingdom of God? If not, what are you using it for?

Do you recognize the weight of having influence over any single person?

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

Gifts Used for Growth

“You are exactly where you are supposed to be, now and forever.” This was my reminder all through high school and into my college days. I needed to remember that 1) God was holding me and 2) He could use me exactly where I was standing.

I’ve been starting to recognize the irony of the situations God places us in. He has given me the gift of writing (or so I’ve been told), and a passion for literature and writing. Yet, I have some major issues with vulnerability. I can fake it well, I can seem like an open book. I also can be vulnerable with select people, but to be vulnerable to anyone and everyone who happens to stubble across my blog? That’s a bit terrifying. I’ve always been a private person. I still talk to people, there are always people who know what’s going on in my life, but it’s limited.

A little while ago, while talking with a mentor, I began to realize that writers must be vulnerable. Anyone who writes anything, in any form, is being vulnerable. Whether you’re writing a blog post, song or poem, you are revealing something about yourself. Some forms of writing are revealing your deepest hurts, frustrations and weaknesses. All characters we write are related either to us or someone we know. All story plots have a little pieces of our real-life stories connected. All song lyrics hold some emotion that was found somewhere within yourself.

How funny is it that God would use the very gift He has given me, a strength, to push healing and growth in one of my biggest weaknesses.

I’m not always the best at being completely vulnerable on here. There have been many a post that I have scraped because I feel like I’m revealing too much of myself. Of course, I do have to use discernment in this area, I can’t share just anything, but I still aim to be real and relevant to anyone who reads.

Take a minute to think about your gifts and your weaknesses, and I bet you’ll find some connection there.

Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?!

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

Made New

What an incredible God we serve. I wish this was something that I spoke as often as I breathe, because it puts everything into perspective. It draws me out of my emotions, situations and attitudes and places all of my … Continue reading

Go Back

We seem to be a future-driven society. I’ve talked about this before in past posts. From a young age we are asked what we want to be when we grow up. In jr. high we start taking personality tests that lead to career results. In high school all the focus seems to be on college, degrees and careers. Future, future, future.

Planning for the future isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we lose a lot when we are only focused on the future.

BUT, I’m not writing today to talk about how we need to be focused on the present. I’m writing to take a step back, look on the past and see how far we’ve come.

Think back to this time last year. Think of how much you have grown, learned and changed in just the past year. Pull out an old journal if necessary, and read about what problems surrounded you a year ago. Walk through all of your familiar places, and find the differences in your world today.

Although I think dwelling in the past can sometimes be discouraging, I do think that reflection is valuable.

There is something to be said about progress.

A year ago, I had only been back from my three months in Honduras for a couple weeks and was still in a foggy, reverse-culture-shock state. I’m pretty sure it was around this time that I went to the grocery store to buy orange juice and was completely overwhelmed by the wall of options, as opposed to the big or small sizes available in Honduras, that I left the store without buying anything.

I hadn’t started with youth ministry yet, and now it is the highlight of my week. There is no other form of ministry that I would rather be doing right now.

I’ve learned so much academically and in my spiritual walk that it makes me giddy!

God is so good!

So, take a moment to step back, reflect on the past year and think about how far you have come. Think about all the positive changes that have happened to you or that you have made. Think about your growth in Christ. Think about the sour or unhealthy relationships that you walked through and away from.

It is far too easy to only look back and see all of the trials, and miss all the triumphs. God is more than the valleys, He is the victory on the mountaintops. 

If you look back and you’re disappointed, then this is just as valuable for you. Look back and see the things you missed, the problems you wished were different. And do something about it. Reflection is only valuable when we use it for improvement and growth.

It won’t all be good, because we are broken people living in a broken world, but pray that God would reveal to you the progress you have made!

Look back, reflect and move forward!

Have a blessed day,

-Sadie

Sex and God

Sex & God

I read an article the other day that broke my heart. I’m not referencing it here because I don’t write for the sake of arguing or even defending my faith. I write out of the desire to share truth in a world blinded by so many lies. 

This article talked about the issues that happened to a woman who waited until marriage to have sex. She stayed a virgin and when things didn’t pan out as she had hoped after her wedding day, she blamed it on the church and regretted her decision to wait until marriage. First off, I would like to say that a decision to wait until marriage to have sex should not only be a personal decision, but it also is not designed by the church, it is designed by God. Secondly, being a virgin should not be our identity, but being a child of Christ should be. It truly made me sad that this woman was not only raised in a church that put her viriginity on a pedestal and let it define who she was, but that she connected that part of her life with the church and not Christ. 

I have nothing to back up my ideas other than faith and my belief in the Bible. I also know that writing something on this topic is opening myself up to many negative responses, and I’m okay with that.

I was raised in the church, and although sex and waiting has been encouraged and talked about, it was never created as an idol. In a society where sex is the norm, staying pure until marriage is rare. It’s even becoming acceptable in the church. 

It breaks my heart to see that women, even girls, are not able to find love and affection in any other way. They too easily give of themselves, without understanding just how much they are actually giving. 

Staying pure goes beyond sex, it includes emotions as well. Although I’m still a virgin, I am the first to admit that I have given of my emotions and heart too freely. The Bible says we should protect our hearts (Proverbs 4:23), but we all have a God-shaped hole in our heart and we will try to fill it with anything that comes our way. 

I hate that the enemy has gotten such a strong grip on our generation. He has gotten us to believe that if we just give of ourselves, we will be satisfied. What is so unfortunate, is that it never fills the hole in our hearts. 

I’m 21, single and have never really been in a relationship. I’m the Moses of this generation, because I don’t have much experience in this department, so maybe I have it all wrong. But I also know that as a young person, I’m able to and should be an example (1Timothy 4:12). If we as Christians are not living as the Bible calls us to, then what makes us any different than the world? 

You see, abstaining from sex until marriage is not an identity, and it shouldn’t even be tied to the church. If you’re remaining a virgin for the sake of praise from others, then you’ve got it completely wrong. As I’ve said on so many other topics, it always comes back to the heart. 

God created you sacred, pure and you are His child, His artwork. Forget all the tactics that are used to push people towards abstinence, and simply bask in the fact that you are a masterpiece. Would you take the Mona Lisa to the beach and set it in the sand? Would you take a Van Gogh piece and lay it on your lap while eating spaghetti? 

Then why would you take a masterpiece God created, which is invaluable, and give it away so freely?

Sex is prevalent in our culture. You can hardly turn on a show or movie without it being referenced or included. The biggest struggle is to understand that it was created as something sacred. Sex is a sin (1 Corinthians 6:18, Hebrews 13:10, Matthew 15:19). There are no ‘if’s or ‘but’s about it. 

It’s sad that this woman had a bad experience, but I think it’s worse that this is publicly displayed. I can’t even imagine the many lies that are filling the heads of young women everywhere who happen upon this article. They instantly question their decisions, or believe that sex is not sacred or giving of self.

My prayer is that Jesus would prevail in this generation. That sex before marriage would no longer be the norm. That women and girls would see themselves as beautiful and precious treasures to be discovered, not a toy to be used and left behind. 

There are so many blurred lines in our culture, and the difference between a God-fearing woman, and non-Christian woman is becoming far to small. We should be honoring our bodies as the masterpieces God created them to be. We should be waiting for the man that desires to protect us as if we are precious treasures. We should be desiring more than what the world has to offer, because we have a God who can offer so much more. He will fill the hole in your heart, and He is the only thing that can. 

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie

{Job: Part 1} Be a Cheerleader

You probably know his story. It’s taught repeatedly. Lately, I’ve been digging into the story and God has been revealing many new things. I believe this story provides more than the idea of being grateful for God giving and taking away. In this post and the next to come, I’m going to dive into these scriptures and see what I learn along the way. Hopefully, you’ll join me!

Note: I’m not an expert theologian nor am I a Bible scholar, but I do love the Lord and want to share what I am learning. Please, take what you read with a grain of salt and by all means, ask questions!

Job goes through testing. He has everything stripped from his life and still chooses to trust and praise God (Job 1:21, 13:15 ). That’s the part of the story we most often hear and learn about.

So, put yourself there. Imagine having every single, precious and important thing in your life stripped away. Imagine choosing to praise God, regardless of your circumstances. Then imagine your body deteriorating on top of all that’s already been lost. Can you imagine the emotional state you would be in? Can you imagine how drained you would feel? I think at that point, all I could do is sit and cry. I’m not sure I would have the ability to utter a single word.

Enter Elihu (stage left). 

We all have that friend that cheers us on. Regardless of our response, they are always on the sidelines ready to give an insightful word or encouraging praise. Take all of the insight and encouragement you’ve received in your life and throw it all into a pile and you have the core of who Elihu was. Chapters 32-37 of Job are his starring moments and boy do they shine! Please take a moment read through them!

Here we have this young man, one that doesn’t even feel capable of what he’s about to do. I can actually imagine this Elihu character light up as he begins speaking and then continues…and continues…and continues. Talk about discovering your passion!

He spends six chapters challenging Job. He spends six chapters expressing the power and mercy of our incredible Savior! He spends six chapters speaking Truth. All at once he is inspiring us to step further into faith, empowering us to push more into Christ and challenging us to look at our own faults and weaknesses.

My favorite part is that he begins his speech by expressing that he is young and therefore probably not wise enough to say what he’s about to. In the beginning you can feel the uncertainty in his words, but as he continues, you can feel his confidence rise and the power in his words! That right there, is God at work in someones life!

Let this be a lesson to us that in times of doubt and insecurity, we can still make a positive impact. When we’re feeling down and out, there is someone else we can be cheering on. And just because we are young, does not mean we are less capable or worthy of God’s calling.

As 1 Timothy 4:12 says, we still have the ability to set standards and be examples for those around us as young people. We should be doing that in everything, especially our words and relationships. Speak up when you feel God moving; let God use you to ignite fires and challenge others! Don’t hold back because of a lie that the enemy has planted in you! God is so much bigger than your biggest insecurity or weakness.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that you would fill me with your Truth. That I would press into You and your heart more in each moment. Use me to reach others, in any capacity. Use my words to spark and not dull flames. May my words be evident of Your work in me. I want to be cheering people on, not discouraging them. If there is a weakness in me that hinders me from speaking Truth, I ask that you reveal that in me and teach me to overcome it. I want more of you, Jesus, forever and always. In your glorious name I pray, Amen. 

Have a blessed day!

-Sadie