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,



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

Jesus Heals

I should have been hospitalized, and yet somehow two ibuprofen made it all go away.

I was standing outside the school talking with a few students when I felt the first bite on my right foot. I quickly moved out of the way to avoid getting more. I had been eating an orange and walked back into the school to throw it away. I looked down as I was walking back towards my students and realized the front yard was covered in these ants. They had also covered my feet and were having a feeding frenzy.

During my first few weeks down there I was bit and had swelling in my foot. Almost instantly, I knew that these were the exact same ants that caused that last reaction.

Within the hour I had discovered three bites on my face, along with the many on my feet. My boss took me home where I took a cold shower to release some of the heat and discovered hives all over my body. I took two ibuprofen and posted on Facebook, asking for prayer. God showed me over and over what an enormous and amazing support group I have back here in Ohio.

God gave me this marvelous, calming peace throughout this entire situation, which I did not realize until several days later. It very well could have been my saving grace.

About an hour after taking the ibuprofen, I went to check myself in the mirror and was simply amazed. The heat and redness in my face was gone, and most of the swelling was down there. The hives around the rest of my body were almost completely faded. All that was really left was the swelling in my feet. It doesn’t make any sense. Ibuprofen may have helped some with swelling, but it should not have taken away any other symptoms. God truly is the only answer to any of this.

There were so many people concerned for me and praying for me all around the world! That was almost more of a blessing to me than the actual healing itself.

I’m sure you can remember this, and if not you can read about it in earlier posts, God healed me the week before this trip happened. I had burned my hand, pretty severely, exactly a week before going on this adventure to Honduras. I was told I would have to be extremely cautious of infection and that I would most likely have scarring. Less than a week afterwards, my hand looked as if nothing had happened, besides some dead skin. Not possible!

My allergic reaction, mostly likely anaphylactic shock considering the symptoms, was severe. If I had not been as calm as I was, I’m sure it would have been even worse. There was actually one point that I began to get a little panicked and could feel my breathing getting worse, I prayed and felt it return to normal.

This post has been needing written for a while now, because although this healing was physical and visible, it represents so much more.

God did some serious work on my heart and in my life while I was gone. He taught me things that I’m not sure I would have learned without that time. I look back on what I did and the giant leap I took to go down and teach for three months, and I’m simply amazed. There is absolutely no way I could have walked through that without Christ.

My prayer during my last couple weeks of the trip was that the changes in my life and heart would be visible and truly felt by those in Ohio. I have talked to several people, some close and some not, and God definitely answered those prayers.

I have been told several times that others can feel a peace surrounding me, and I have also been told be a few people that they are so glad to see me happy and joyful again.

It makes my heart explode.

I walked through the fire while in Honduras, I mean I dealt with some serious and intense spiritual warfare. I pushed through my past mistakes and hurts and came out on the other end. There were times I couldn’t see a light at the end, but kept moving in complete darkness anyway.

I learned through all of this that God will constantly be moving in you if you allow Him to. If you are seeking Him and pursuing Him, He will be there. Every single time that I felt to weak to make it through the day, He was my strength. Every time that I asked “Why?”, I felt Him gently whisper, “I am”. Both times that I was in desperate places physically, He healed me.

I have never truly questioned God and His power, but after this experience and everything that happened, there is no way I could deny who He is.

So here I stand at the end, victorious. Someday I will read through my journal and be in awe of what God worked in and through me. I’m not finished yet, I have so far to go and so much learning to do. This is just the beginning of the transformation in my life.

Since my trip, God has been working some incredible opportunities around me. He has blessed me far beyond what I could have imagined. I didn’t deserve any of this, and yet He has gratefully blessed me with it.

You can still see most of the bites on my feet, and every so often they sting. I actually panic because it feels as though I’m being bit again. It not only reminds me of God’s healing in that time, but also His work in me the rest of the trip. It’s a reminder of how powerful and great He truly is!

I guess the lesson in all of this is that even when things seem at their worst, or that you can’t catch a break, keep fumbling around in the dark. I promise you that the light will find you. I understand how frustrating, annoying and absolutely disappointing it can be to be in that position.

God is so much bigger than that, though!

He can not only heal your wounds on the outside, but He is a God who works wonders on your heart.

Let Him into that!

Have a blessed day!


Quite Honestly: When Things Go Wrong

{Disclaimer: I sincerely apologize if this comes across as a way for me to vent, that is definitely not my intention. I have began writing these “Quite Honestly” posts to share where I am at spiritually. I’m learning to be quite honest about the things I am working through and the emotions I’m feeling in an attempt to inspire others.}

I have been having several days in a row where things seem to be working against me. It’s as though every thing that could go wrong, does.

Yesterday, among many other frustrations, I had an allergic reaction to an ant bite. I have been bit plenty of times (every day) on my feet by these ants while being here, yet for some reason my body reacted differently. Almost instantly my foot become extremely swollen and painful. Before long it was mostly numb and difficult to walk on.

Today, I’m dealing with the swelling and pain from that, and also beginning to get a sore throat and migraine. I just fought off a sinus cold over the weekend, and I’m dreading having to do this all over again. As some of you may know, I have an extremely weak immune system. I take several vitamins every day to keep from constantly being sick. When I do get sick, I double up on vitamins and drink a ton of fluids, but regardless it takes a toll on my body. All of my energy goes into fighting off whatever illness has found me, therefore I become extremely tired. I hate being sick and having bodily issues all the time. I hate that I have low pain tolerance and when talking about these things come across as though I’m complaining.

I’ve been working on school stuff, trying to get a graduation plan finished. As I’m working on this, I get an e-mail from my admissions advisor, reminding me that I can’t take any more education courses until my background check is finished. I ordered said background check in March, and followed all the required steps, but my payment was never processed. I emailed my advisor, and her attempt to help fell flat and I have gotten nowhere. It is now August, and I have had to do the detailed, mundane process again, in hopes that things have changed and my payment will be processed. Right now, it’s okay that I can’t take education courses, because I have other courses I can take. Yet, it’s extremely frustrating, because that leaves me to having several semesters in a row of only education courses.

These are just a few of the bigger things affecting my life right now; the tip of the iceberg, as some would say.

I haven’t been able to sleep well, I’ve been having a lot of headaches and migraines, my stomach hasn’t been accepting very many foods lately, my neighbor enjoys playing music with really loud bass at night which gives me a headache, my knee that I injured last month has been aching, and the list goes on.

Needless to say, life has been a little frustrating lately. I feel like I’ve been running in circles. Like I’m working hard to accomplish things, yet nothing is actually being accomplished.

God has blessed me with a very patient spirit. I have always been patient when things aren’t working as I hoped they might, or as they should. I have always been patient with people who aren’t able to or willing to get things done when or how they should be done. Things that many people get frustrated or irritated about, tend to go right over my head.

And yet, my patience is beginning to wear thin. I’m beginning to get frustrated about a few things. I also had become a little discouraged by it all. Almost feeling abandoned, in a way. So I began to evaluate the situation and how I was feeling and realized that all of the above things mentioned, are completely out of my control.

I can’t change that my body had an allergic reaction, or that that one ant bit me. I can’t fix my immune system and stop getting sick. I can’t change my pain tolerance. I can’t make this payment become processed and for all those details to work out.

It’s not even about being in control for me, it’s that I can’t fix it. I’m a fixer. I like to fix problems, give advice to those whom ask for it, and work to improve anything that can be improved. And yet, i can’t fix any of it. There is nothing I can do to change what is happening.

The two things I can do about all of this are to pray, and to cling to Christ. In all my frustrations, stress and disappointment, God remains. He knows all that is on my heart and mind. I’m learning to go to Him and just to talk. Let out my frustrations and triumphs of the day.

It’s certainly not easy. I forget to do so more often than I remember. But, I’m finding that each time I walk towards Him, and hand him my thoughts and emotions, He returns them back with peace and strength. Those two things do not make the problems go away, or lessen the affect they have on my life, but they do help me to feel more prepared to handle them and anything else that may come.

Have a blessed day!


Seeking the Kingdom

“Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well” (NCV, Matthew 6:33).

In small decisions, seek Him.
In significant decisions, seek Him.
In wins,
In losses,
Seek Him.
When life is completely dark, seek Him.
When life is full of light, seek Him.
In times of confusion, seek Him.
In times of wisdom, seek Him.
In trials,
In triumphs,
Seek Him.
When you feel weak, seek Him.
When you feel strong, seek Him.

God always has something new to show us. No matter where you find yourself in this year, in this day, in this minute, God wants to teach you something. He wants to teach you how great His love is. He wants to teach you just how precious you are to Him. He wants to help you grow in ways you never thought possible. Our God is not a God of small people or small things, He is magnificent and He created you in His image! What does that make you?! Magnificent!

He created you for a reason, and He has a purpose for you. Not just for your life as a whole, but for your life in this very moment!

Don’t go one more minute without first seeking Christ; without first acknowledging who He is. Train yourself to seek Him first. It is our tendency to depend on the advice, opinions and emotions of others, but God has so much more for us!

Without a doubt, having a circle of friends, a support group, is so important in our spiritual walk, yet they cannot be our sole dependence in these moments. Even when life is at its best, God still has something new to show you.

Train your mind to seek first the Kingdom!

This is what I’m learning and working on right now. God is reminding me to be reaching for Him first – always! It is extremely challenging, sometimes even frustrating, but never is it disappointing. Since I have been truly training my mind and heart to do this, I have grown in immeasurable ways! I have so much ahead of me in this, and sometimes that scares me, but God reminds me that this is necessary. It is necessary for me to stop depending on human beings, and instead depend solely on Him! It is necessary for me to strip away my desire to please others, and instead work to please Him alone!

As I seek Him, these old, poor habits are slowly fading away and being replaced with new ones. These new habits are full of God-given joy, peace, grace and love. He is creating in me a new spirit, and I am slowly shedding my past hurts, wounds and frustrations. It is painful, oh so painful, but God never fails me. Exactly when I think I can’t keep working through this, God reminds me of His many promises for me.

Isaiah 40:28-31 says:

“Surely you know.
Surely you have heard.
The Lord is the God who lives forever,
who created all the world.
He does not become tired or need to rest.
No one can understand how great his wisdom is.
He gives strength to those who are tired
and more power to those who are weak.
Even children become tired and need to rest,
and young people trip and fall.
But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again.
They will rise up as an eagle in the sky;
they will run and not need rest;
they will walk and not become tired.”

We cannot even begin to understand the blessings God has in store for those who follow Him. I’m learning what it means to rest in Him; to receive His strength and to depend on Him in every moment.

All I can say to complete this, is that we serve one wildly-amazing God!

Have a blessed day!