Que Sera, Sera

22 December 2012

If you know any college kid, or just a school aged kid in general, then you know what the next couple of weeks are.
It is the much awaited Christmas Break.
For some of us college kids this is the end of the first week of break and for others it is only the beginning of break.
For me this is the end of the first week of Christmas Break.
I boarded the train last Saturday and arrived home at about 2am Sunday morning.
So I have been home just short of a week.
However, this has been the longest week.
I feel like I should be heading back to school next week, yet I have like two more weeks to go.
I just am not all that thrilled to be home and wish I could have stayed in Illinois.
I know my mom and sisters wanted me here, but other than that I have nothing here.
My home is in Illinois now and I want to be there so badly.
I hate that I feel so discontent being here, but at the same time I cannot pretend that I want to be here when in reality it is the last place that I want to be at this point in time.
My life is in Illinois despite the fact that I grew up here in Nebraska.
According to most people I should be excited to come back home and see friends and have fun with them, go to my home church and visit with everyone, go around town and see everyone I know, and in general just make my presence known to everyone in this small town in south central Nebraska.
Little do they know that that is not at all what I had planned.
I do not have friends in town to see and hang out with, go out to eat, crash at someone's house and watch movies and stay up late catching up with everything that has happened over the semester.
I have not had much in the way of friends in this town in years.
I do not even want to talk about church.
I dread the idea of even walking in the door and having to see everyone faking the smiles and the overly sweet sentiments from people who could not care less that I was back.
These people make a spectacle of saying hello and asking how things are going at school, but I can see right through their facade.
They never make an effort to talk to me otherwise.
They do not send me messages on Facebook, shoot me a text, call me up, or send me any letters.
They just throw on the smiles and the overly sweet words just because they have to keep up their image.
I mean nothing to the people in the church I spent 13 years of my life as a member of.
I knew they were not really huge fans of mine when I was there but I am not even a blip on their radar now.
I think it is better that way for me in the long run.
And in regards to the general public, I do not have much connections with people here. 
The only people who care that I am back are my babysitting families.
My kids have been waiting for me to get back for weeks and they are excited to see me.
If it were not for my kids I would not have anything happy to look forward to whatsoever.

I guess it is these times when I have come home that have really made it clear that going out of state for school was the best thing that I could have done for myself.
I would not have been happy had I stayed.
I am sure God would have worked things out, but it would not have been the same.
Coming here is hard for me to do anymore.
The anxiety that I was dealing with the night before, even the week before, leaving was ridiculous.
Coming here is such a strain on me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
It is not at all that I do not like the town and the area, but rather that I do not like the people here.
All of their drama and all of the craziness that comes along with them.
I am about ready to just clear out my Facebook and leave only a couple of really close family friends on their from the area.
I do not have a reason to keep connected with all these people.
They could not care less about what happens to me and really I am done dealing with the drama.

I have also realized since being home that I really need to tell my mom that I switched my major. 
I just do not know how she is going to take it.
I know I need to before I leave for St. Louis next week because my grandparents know and will probably say something.
I just feel like she has been pulling a guilt trip on me and she does not even know it.
She is constantly talking about Graduate school and internships and jobs.
All of these things that she has gotten herself attached to.
I feel like if I tell her she is going to freak out and then I am going to feel like I let her down.
I just do not feel like following that major was a good fit for me.
I did not like the classes related to it and therefore was not doing well.
But I did take a class related to my new major and I really enjoyed it.
(Which is surprising because it was all about the History and Philosophy of Education. Sounds like lots of fun, I know.)
I am really excited for my classes regarding my major that I am taking this coming semester.
Applied Arts for Teachers, Educational & Developmental Psychology, First Aid & Emergency Care, etc.
There is even a piano class in there!!!
I am so looking forward to this semester, but my mom does not know that I am taking them.
I just know she is going to pull the whole "Do you know how much I've put into this? Too much for you to be changing your major now!! What do you think this is? We can't afford you switching now! And what the heck even brought this idea into your think skull? I can't believe you would do this!! Everything was planned out and I'm working my butt off to get you through school and you go and do this?" ...etc., etc., etc. 
The whole thing will turn into a yelling match and will revolve around her and what she has done for my schooling.
It will have nothing to do with what I feel like I should do and what I feel God is leading me to.
None of that will matter at all when I tell her.
It's so stinking frustrating.
I just do not know what to do. :( 

But like Sly and The Family Stone say...

Que Sera, Sera....Whatever Will Be, Will Be

Fishing Requires Patience...And A Lot Of It

08 December 2012

Growing up there are certain things that parents are almost expected to do.
One of those things for fathers is to take their kids fishing.
To a lot of fathers this may seem like a daunting task for them to handle.
However, it brings much joy and many memories to both the father and the kids.
Most of the first times going will include teaching the kids how to bait their hook (depending on the kids age), how to cast their line, what to wait for while their hook is in the water (maybe watching a bobber), and how to reel in their line when
they have caught the much sought after fish.
The father spends time teaching the kid(s) how to handle their fishing pole in order to cast their line the farthest distance.
Once they know how to properly hold and handle their fishing pole, the father then spends time helping them practice casting their line out.
Now if there is more than one kid, casting out their lines becomes a competition.
They want to see who can cast their lines the farthest out into the body of water.
This will be fun for a while but sooner or later they will once again focus on what they are there to do.
They will cast their line(s) out and be excited to catch a fish.
However, being kids their patience is pretty much zero, so they reel in shortly there after.
Disappointed that they didn't catch a fish they cast their line again.
Again they reel it in not long after they cast out.
They continue doing this and are repeatedly discouraged and dismayed as they are not catching any fish.
This cycle repeats throughout the fishing trips while the child is young.
The goal is that as they get older they will eventually learn the patience that is necessary to fish and they will cast their lines out and then wait as long as it takes, or as long as is possible, to catch a fish.
Once they learn that patience the fishing trips have a whole new meaning and a whole new goal.
The kid(s) looks forward to the fishing trips and all of the fish that they will catch.
This is also a great bonding time for father and son/daughter.
The development of patience in the kid makes the fishing trips much more enjoyable and much less stressful for both parent and kid.

This common experience can easily be related to our relationships with God.
Once we give out lives to Him we are His children.
We are at the beginning of (hopefully) a life long relationship with our Heavenly Father.
At the beginning we are just so full of joy because of our relationship with God.
We give Him everything, or so we seem to.
We give Him all these things and we say that we trust Him to help us.
Yet the minute we lose patience with His timing we give up completely and we decide to assume control again.
When that does not work and we realize we need God to help us out with whatever it is, we give it to Him once again.
This is going well at first and we are hopeful, but things do not go as quickly as we want them to nor do they happen exactly how we want them to, so we once again take the reigns.
We do this over and over in our relationship with God.
We give Him the things in our life that we want Him to change or to have control over (and hopefully this is our whole lives) and we feel so happy and hopeful after we initially do so.
But then life happens.
We see things happening for everyone else and we start to wonder why things are not happening for us.
We question whether or not God is really working.
This eventually leads to us thinking that we know best and we take over and do things our way.
Over time we realize how wrong this is and we surrender things to God and ask Him to help us trust Him and have patience as we wait for His plan to unfold. 
As our relationship with God gets longer and gets stronger He does work in us and we gradually learn to be more patient about waiting for His plan to unfold in our lives.
This eventually leads to us having complete and total trust in God and His plan.
We learn that trusting Him and having patience eventually leads to the greatest rewards.
He rewards us for our trust and patience while we are still on this earth, but He has a reward that far outweighs them.
The ultimate reward for our trust and patience is getting to spend eternity with our Heavenly Father.

The more we trust Him and develop our patience the more joyful our relationship with God will be.
We will have rough times where we are discouraged and dismayed, but with trust and patience He will be with us through those times and He will bring us through them.
The more we cast our lives and our cares on Him and trust Him to handle them rather than reeling them back to ourselves the better our lives will be and the greater joy we will find in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

"Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken."
-Psalms 55:22

"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." -1 Peter 5:7

Remember to cast your cares, your anxieties, and overall, your life onto God and He will take care of you!!

Things I Am Thankful For: Day 1

02 November 2012

Today I just want to say that I am thankful for a bestfriend who is there through thick and thin.
Mike has been one of the main reasons I made it through the past 3 1/2-4 years.
I am pretty sure he knows me better than I know myself, which in turn means he can read me like an open book.
I can never get anything by him, which is a good thing even in the times when I really try to hide things.
He listens to me rant about my problems and frustrations without a complaint.
He has learned things about me that very (and I mean very) few others know and he accepts me regardless.
He just gets me in a way that I am pretty sure no one else ever has.
He has more reasons to blow me off, especially now that i'm at school, but he hasn't and he refuses to.
He's stuck by me through the good days and the rock bottom days.
He is one of the most important people in my life.
He may be 8 hours or so away, but time & distance are only numbers.
I miss being able to talk to him in person.
I miss getting to have crazy random moments with him.
I miss his hugs (they're pretty amazing!).
I just miss him.
And even with the distance, I am thankful for the chances we get to talk via text, Facebook, and Twitter.
I am thankful that despite things that could have broken our friendship we have survived them.
I am thankful that regardless of all the crazy, stupid things I do he has my back and cares about me.
I am thankful to God for putting such an awesome guy into my life that I am able to call my bestfriend.
I wouldn't be where I am today without the past few years of friendship.
And I pray that many more are to come.
I miss you like crazy Mike!!
I love you!! <3

I Will Praise YOU While I'm Waiting

01 November 2012

This song has definitely become one that I listen to on a regular basis because it relates to my life a lot.
I have had it on my mind a lot lately for reasons that may be obvious to some, yet completely unknown to others.
Regardless of the reason, this is a great song!!
I hope you have a great day and that God blesses you throughout!!

Putting my trust in him & Him

29 October 2012

(Yes, I know I am writing this at 6am, but I can't seem to get it off my mind and there is no one around to talk to about it at this point of time. And hey, at least it wasn't written at 5am when I woke up.)

There are days when I just question this whole relationship thing.
This past week has been full of those days.
Today is most likely going to be one of those days.
It's not that I question whether it will happen one day or not.
Or if there is a guy out there who will actually want to be in a relationship with me.
Rather, I would like to know how long I need to wait for all of this.
How many times do I have to watch a guy come into my life who would make a great boyfriend and possibly an awesome spouse one day just to watch him walk out?
When will I not be the one friend in the group who isn't in a relationship?

Some of you are probably thinking i'm just being a typical girl here.
(And maybe I am, but I don't do this very often so it's okay.)
But I seriously wonder things like that.
For those of you who know me, and those who know the summer mission team, you probably are taking a guess that these questions pertain to a particular person.
I'll admit it, you're not entirely wrong.
Everyone basically just considers the two of us dating regardless of the fact that he hasn't initiated anything.
I'm pretty sure that he now knows my side of things (thanks to the guys) and i've known his for a while.
There is just one thing that has really prevented anything from happening.
The oh-so-lovely distance.
And although I wish his decision was different, I respect his decision to not initiate at this point because of that.
And there is the chance that things will change in the future, near or not so near.
I just wish that the whole waiting thing wasn't so hard.

It's not easy to wait for him when there are constant reminders of what could be.
I have an engaged roommate, the two other girls in our group are both in long distance relationships, my two good guy friends (or as some know them 'brothers') are in relationships (one long distance, one not), and numerous other friends and people I know who are in relationships, some of which are now getting engaged.
Then you add in the daily reminders of him that come from the guys, my roommate, my friends, church family, and others.
I get that you all just give me crap about this whole thing because you care about me and everything.
You do it because you love me and you're just teasing.
And i'm good at just putting on the smile and maybe even laughing a bit.
There are times however when I just wish you knew what the constant teasing does.
Not only does it constantly bring him back to the front of my mind, most often right after I've finally gotten focused on something else entirely.
But it does kind of hurt a little having this whole thing be like a running joke for everyone.
And I just kind of have to sit here and take it.
It's not easy having to wait, especially when you know you both want it to happen.
It just isn't any easier with all of this.
People say to not think about the whole relationship thing (matter of fact they just did on a status of mine last night), but I really cannot get away from it.
The whole relationship thing is in my face 24/7.
I mean I'm pretty sure if I could remember my dreams it would probably be there too. No joke.
I don't think it would be such a big deal if he was here too, but i'm dealing with all of this by myself.
There's no one here to talk about it with or go through it with.
Luckily for him he is 4 1/2hrs away and does not get the daily bombardment.
Most days I just wish the distance wasn't so great.
Some days I think we're okay with where we're at right now.
Everyday I wish I could just turn off the constant flow of relationship talk and the teasing.
Yet at the same time...
Everyday I'm trusting that God is working all of this out in His timing.
I may spend a lot of days frustrated and confused with all of this, but He knows what is going on.
Maybe all of this is just part of what I have to go through in order to truly be ready for what is coming.
For all I know today could be the day this all changes (although it is highly unlikely).
Or maybe that day won't happen until Christmas Break.
Who knows?

All I know is that even through the trials I go through on a day to day basis, God is working on my behalf.
He knows what is going to happen between the two of us, even when we don't.
I'm jut trying to learn to trust God in this whole thing.
And i'm also learning that respecting his decision not to initiate at this time means that I also need to trust his decision making, even when it may not be the easiest thing for me to do.
He is doing what he feels is best and I have a feeling that he has prayed about it.
If he felt it were the right thing to do he would have initiated already.
This whole thing needs to start off on the right foot, which is for both of us to trust God in His timing.
It's not easy with everything being thrown at us, or at least at me since I don't know what he is going through, but if it is meant to be then it will work out regardless of it all.
So while I may get frustrated with everything, I am learning through it all to trust the guy who is 4 1/2hrs away and the Man Upstairs. 
It takes a lot for me to do that, but I feel like it will be worth it one day.

Hanging On By A Thread

11 October 2012

There are just days when it seems like everything is going to fall apart any minute.
Unfortunately I have had this feeling for a few weeks.
I just feel crazy overwhelmed and overworked with everything that I have had on my plate.
Between 19 credit hours at school, 20 hours a week at work, a good 6-9 hours a week with church stuff, numerous hours doing homework, maybe 40 hours of sleep a week, friends who need me to be there for them in various forms, family things, financial issues, and a seemingly never ending list, it is pure craziness.
I have been trying to work it out and keep myself afloat with classes while working 4 nights a week.
However, while I was gone for fall break I got a chance to really look over things and think through things.
I realized how many things I haven't done because I haven't had time with work.
I also realized how much I am behind on as well.
I'm just getting overwhelmed.
I think that I need to give up the job I have now and find a few jobs along the lines of babysitting that won't take up so much time and will allow me to be flexible and keep up with my classes.
I just feel like i'll be letting people down by saying that I can't handle this job.
I hate the thought of letting people down.
I just don't think that I can do it anymore without completely losing it.
And it drives me nuts that i'm even thinking of this, but at the same time I feel like it's the right thing to do.
Especially since with my major changing I will have a bunch of extra things to do for class requirements that will take up my time and limit my available work time to little to none.
I feel like it is the best thing at the time...I just hate the idea that i'm letting people down.

I just can't do this overwhelming stress that I have been under for two months now.
It's dragging me down and I can't do it anymore.
I'm going to have a break down one of these days because I can't handle it.
That or I risk not being able to make my way through my classes and pass them.

Now I just have to muscle up the courage to talk to them tomorrow about it...

Perfect Imperfection

16 September 2012

So for those of you who do not know the story behind the above picture, here's a quick recap for ya:
I went hiking with some girls from my floor last year and a handful of guys from our brother floor. We went to Perry Farms and we were going along fine, but as only I can do, I managed to cut open my leg. I don't know exactly what happened or where I cut it because I just kinda looked down and was like "Oh hey! My leg is bleeding!" My RA then proceeded to tell me to go find the other RA who had the First Aid kit. After bandaging myself up, getting through with our hiking trip, and going to Walmart for guaze, ointment, and an ACE bandage, I cleaned it up and realized that it was a fairly straight and smooth cut. It is roughly a foot or so in length.

So this is an old picture and not a new one, but you can imagine that it left a nice scar up my left calf.
The scar has slowly faded in some spots, but for the most part is still highly visible.
I have been told by people in my immediate family and some other people that I am close with that because of this scar I am now imperfect and that I need to find a guy who likes imperfections.
Talk about a blow to your self-esteem right there.
I took that hard and for a while tried to cover it up whenever possible to avoid the stares and questions.
This went on for a short while until I realized that it didn't matter what people thought.
It is still hard though for me to realize that the right guy won't care if I have a scar running the length of my calf.
It's still something that I am kinda self-conscious about even though I have no reason to be.
It was an accident and something unavoidable.
Yet due to comments by other people I feel like it is something that detracts from my outward appearance.
It shouldn't make an impact, but it inadvertently does.
It is a physical blemish that cannot be erased.
It is a mark on my skin that has a story behind it.
It is a stigma that gets looks and unnecessary comments.
It is not what most would call beautiful yet it is a part of me.

 This is just one of many scars that I have physically, which is only part of a long list that includes inward scars.
Some of these have been accidental and due to things that were not in any way my fault.
Some of these were self-inflicted, as much as I hate to admit it.
I have more scars than a lot of people, but not nearly as many as some.
The causes for them vary all the way across the spectrum.
I have scars that I actually have no clue where they came from.
I have scars that I can tell you exactly what I was feeling, where I was, who I was with, and what time of day it was when it happened.
I have scars on my feet, ankles, legs, and knees from various sports, activities, and stupid stunts i've done.
I have scars on my arms and hands from the same things.
I have scars that are not noticeable unless I point them out, but then I have ones like the one on my leg that are blatantly obvious.
I also have scars on my hand and wrist that, although sort of obvious, I purposely try to hide and not draw attention to.
Why do I try not to draw attention to these scars?
I try to avoid drawing attention to them because they were not caused in any way by an accident.
They are there due to acts that were done on purpose.
They are physical signs of pain, hurt, and rejection I was feeling.
They are signs of weakness that I couldn't hold in anymore but didn't know how else to express.
They are marks that show my moments of succumbing to temptation.
These scars cannot be erased either.
They are permanent marks that are evidence of my weak, human state.
They are evidence of times that I gave up hope.
They are signs of utter despair and depression.

There is also another side that they display.
They show where God has brought me from.
They show me, as well as others, what I have overcome and survived.
They are signs of strength, courage, and determination.
They are reminders to myself that even in weakness I am strong through Jesus.
Though the world may judge me because of them, God loves me despite them.
Although many tears flowed when they were caused and many since then, there is joy because I am no longer caught by the lies that told me to cause them in the first place.
Though there is still pain in my life, I no longer have any desire to express it this way.
They are signs that I have hope in my Lord Jesus Christ.

I could go on and on with a list of scars that I have inwardly.
Brought upon by heartache, pain, sorrow, hurt, lies, anger, bitterness, broken promises, rejection, confusion, and so much, much more.
These scars cut deep and they resonate within me.
They are being healed by the Great Healer.
However, there are times when those scars bring back memories and emotions that physically upset me.
They tear me apart inside at times.
One comment or remark, a song, a quote, a magazine article, or a post on Tumblr.
These have all caused those memories and emotions to surface.
I am falling apart inside because of them, but I give them to God.
He is working to help me get past them and to heal them.
There are good things that can come from them, even if it may not seem so.

Though society, including friends and family, may view all of my scars as imperfections, God doesn't.
I feel like God was most likely just sad when He saw what was causing the scars.
I feel like that deeply hurt Him.
Yet He sees them not as imperfections detracting from my beauty, but rather as merely marks of my past that show how far He has brought me.
He sees me as beautiful in Him regardless of the scars.
Whether outward or inward, accidental or on purpose.
They are not imperfections in the eyes of the Father.
God looks at the heart not at the physical body or outward appearance.
So my scars are not anything to be ashamed of as long as I have asked for help and for forgiveness for those that were caused intentionally.
God has already healed me on numerous levels and He is working continuously.
I may not be blemish free and I will never be perfect.
But I am perfectly imperfect through His love and I have no problem with that.
I rejoice in my victory through God!

Send Me

13 September 2012

Summer just got over about a month ago, or a little shorter than that for some of us.
You would think that I should be focusing on today.
Yet I am spending time figuring out what I am going to do next summer.
I think I already have it figured out, which may seem kinda crazy to some of you out there.
But I do not think it is crazy.
Rather I think that it is a good thing that I feel lead to what I am doing next summer this far in advance.
I can more adequately prepare and make sure I am spiritually ready for it.
It releases the stress of trying to figure out what I will be doing in April.
I can relax and just spend time with God getting myself ready to face whatever challenges may come my way.

For those of you who may be curious as to what I am planning on doing this coming summer, I will give a quick overview.
I am planning on staying here in Illinois and doing missions work with my church.
This can, and most likely will, include various aspects of ministry.
From office and administrative, to kids and students ministries.
If I can figure out some instrument stuff, then quite possibly some music stuff will be in there as well.
The specifics are yet to necessarily be nailed down, but they will be the closer the summer gets.
Now some of you may be asking why I would want to spend my summer doing this.
Simply put...I feel like God wants me to.
It isn't anything complicated that requires a ten page answer.
I just simply feel called to do it.
To some this may seem odd, yet to some it may seem like a tremendous opportunity.
I see it as another step in my journey with God.
He has a plan for this coming summer and I have no clue what it is, but I am extremely excited to find out!
I could not ask for a better opportunity.
God has opened a door for me and I feel blessed to be able to walk through it.
I feel that although I feel called to partake in this opportunity, I am going to be faced with many people who are greatly opposed to the idea of my staying here and doing this.
I have an idea of who some of these people are.
At first I do not think that they will necessarily approve, but I think that eventually they will be okay with it.
I just do not want to back out of this because of what people think, because ultimately it is God who will grant the ultimate approval for this opportunity.
If I feel like God has called me to do this, then I am going to do it.
It may upset some people or even make some people blow me off because they don't understand.
But I'm not supposed to be pleasing people, but rather God.
I may feel sad that people may feel negative feelings toward this, but I feel like if it is in God's will I will feel at peace about this decision that I have made.
I am just going to be continuously praying that God will provide whatever is necessary.
I am also praying that He will give me confidence in this decision as I move forward in the application process.
I am trusting that this is where He wants me to be and that everything will work out for His purpose.
I am confident in His plan and am willing to follow where ever He may lead.

What If It's A Father I Need

A lot of you may now what this week was, but many may not.
This week was Suicide Awareness Week.
TWLOHA, or better known as To Write Love On Her Arms, has been spreading work of Suicide Awareness all week and they do so all throughout the year as well.
TWLOHA's goal is to have people write the word 'love' on their wrists in whatever language(s) they want.
This spreads the word because often people will ask why it is written on your wrist.
You then are given the chance to talk with someone about TWLOHA and suicide awareness.
This is something I take part in whenever possible.
I have a direct reason to based on friends and family who have committed suicide and then my own past.
This will probably be shocking to many of you, maybe not so much some or at least a few of you who may read this, but I myself came close to calling it quits.
Freshmen year of high school I was so stressed and overworked and I didn't know how to handle things or if people even cared at all, so I didn't think anyone would miss me if I ended it all.
Thankfully I had an awesome best friend at the time who helped me out.
He reminded me that even if no once else would have cared that I was gone, he would.
Just knowing that made the thought of ending it all seem pointless.
Had it not been for him who knows where I would be, let alone if I would even be here.
So a HUGE thank you goes out to Stephen and everything he helped me through that year!!

Now for more news.
We had chapel this morning here at my university.
Our chaplain had a student share her testimony as part of the service.
Sadly I could relate to quite a few parts of her story and it actually got me thinking about my past.
She mentioned that she has learned how to trust God as her Father even though her earthly fathers failed her.
It got me thinking and I realized that I still have not accepted that God really, truly is the only Father I need.
And He is my Heavenly Father.
My earthly father may have failed me many of times, but He will not.
It is hard to accept that fact and believe it when I do not know what it's like to have a father I can trust.
A father that I can believe in and trust my life with.
I'm trying to come to terms with this, but it isn't as easy as everyone likes to make it seem.
It is hard to let go of the past and the pain & hurt that comes with it.
He wants me to fully let go of that hurt, that pain, and that anger so that I can fully trust Him.
I just don't know how to go about doing so.
I don't feel like I can just let go of something like that.
It's a part of my past that has made me who I am today and He wants me to let go of it.
I know that if I let go of it then I can truly find my identity in Him and the healing that only He can bring.
I just wish I knew how best to go about it.
I've tried to let it go before but every time I try something comes along and brings it up again.
It seems like it is this chip in my shoulder that I can't get rid of even though I want to.
God wants me to give it all to him and to call Him my Father.
I just need to teach myself how best to go about doing that.
I am trying, however, and will continue to do so until I figure it out.

Here's The Thing About Ders...

05 September 2012

Ok, so a lot of you that read my posts are also friends with me on Facebook.
Therefore you have seen various posts on there from me from the past weeks.
Many of these posts have been based in frustration about a lot of things that are going on.
Most of you, however, do not know what has been going on.
So here goes a basic recap of what has been going on these past weeks.

Three weeks ago I had my last day of full time work on Olivet's campus for the summer
That very same day I found out something that has completely changed everything.
My mom called to inform me that the judge had awarded full custody of my two younger sisters to our 'father'.
After four years of fighting against this, the worst happened.
Everything we had done to prevent this and it was all for nothing.
Or at least so it seems.
Our world came shattering down around us fast and hard.
Suddenly there were a million things that were starting to fall apart because of this ruling.
Financial issues regarding living situations, schooling, food, etc. were suddenly ten times worse than they were just hours before the letter arrived at the house.
We didn't have a clue how we were going to take care of everything.
We didn't know where money was going to come from or where we would be in a very short time.
We went from having things fairly well figured out for the near future to not knowing what was going to happen in the next couple of hours.
Emotions were (and continue) to run rampant.
Frustration, anger, sadness, fear, confusion, and so on and so forth.

Suddenly we had a million and one questions that needed answers, a lot of which we did not know.
What is the appeals process?
When can the appeals process be started?
How do we go about filing the appeal?
How long will the appeal process take?
When do the two girls move in with their father?
What will visitation schedule be for their mom?
What will happen in regards to finances?
What, if any, part of this will affect Shelbi and her schooling?
How do we pay for school?
How do we pay for rent for our house?
Etc, etc, etc...
The questions go on and on and they get more detailed and even harder to answer.
My mother and I have been working on answering these questions for the past few weeks.
It has been stressful and more times than not extremely frustrating.
Life is once again being completely controlled by lawyers, judges, and courts.
It is hard to sit back and watch them become the dictators of everything that can and cannot be done.
After years of it however, it is nothing new but it still is not something that is necessarily positive.

This all happened, with a lot more detail and emotion than I have shared but may share at some point, and I did not have any idea what I was going to do to make it through.
I was being faced with the very real possibility of not being able to stay here in Illinois at ONU.
It scared me and I did not know what I was going to do.
I did not want to leave and had more than a few break downs that first week.
One of those just so happened to be at my pastor's house.
(That was right after I had one in my apartment, which happened to include my lanyard flying across the room.)
I had a few more that first week, one of which resulted in my blowing off a good friend completely unintentionally.
Thankfully God has blessed me with friends who are understanding and are there for me even in my worst moments.
I ended up getting a job shortly after I found this all out.
I started that job the first week of classes.
Talk about stressing myself out and overworking myself.
So many things being thrown at me and a million things to learn and remember.
I'm still trying to get my feet firmly planted and a schedule set so I don't lose my mind.
Although I am pretty sure I lost it last week in amidst the craziness.
I keep being told of more things I need to do for classes, such as my multicultural hours for my Education class.
I have no idea how I am going to fit it in, but I hope I figure it out soon.
I am starting to enjoy work but at the same time I am not sure if I can keep the hours that I have right now.
I feel like there is a possibility that I might need a few less in order to fulfill my requirements for classes.

Well it has been a long few weeks.
God has been here through it all and I see Him in many different ways in the various situations.
But the devil has also been playing his cards throughout this whole situation the past few weeks.
He is constantly throwing in new things to tear me down and cause me to stumble.
Yet every step of the way I can see God working through it all.
It may not seem like it at the time but it is all working out the way that He sees fit.
At this point I am still at ONU and funds have been provided for me to stay for the year.
I don't know if that means I will be here next year.
I don't know what that means for the future at all.
I am currently in the process of possibly changing my major, so I don't even know what i'm going to be majoring in yet and that is kind of frustrating and makes it all hard.
But I am trusting God that will lead me in the direction that He wants me to go.
I do not know where that direction leads but I plan on following it where it takes me.
As long as it is in His will then it will not matter where it goes, but rather the things He has for me to do for His kingdom.
Even through the hardship, I know His way will prevail.

Pure Oblivion

17 August 2012

There are moments when I wonder how I managed to miss some things. Such as the fact that there were people watching me and this guy. They spent the summer seeing if we liked each other. It's just slightly creepy when you find out that there were people staring at you all summer.

But then I found out that this group of people were purposely messing with me and this guy just to see what we did. Although I couldn't help but laugh about when I found out, it's still weird to think back and put two and two together about comments that were made. I hope the guy was a little more in tune to what they were all saying and joking about because I was straight up oblivious. (The fact that I was oblivious all summer is something that I've been informed has made for a good laugh or two.)

I'm still trying to figure out a response to all of it, so when I have one (and when I'm back in my apartment with my laptop) I'll try to post again. I just needed to share and didn't know where else to do it at.


07 August 2012

It's already happening and I am so excited to see what God has in store!!

A Final Goodbye

So the Summer Mission/Intern Team left this past weekend.
It was one of those weekends that i'll remember for the great memories made, but even more so for the goodbyes that were said (although somewhat reluctantly).
I managed to keep myself in check, but i'm sure it'll all hit me sometime this week.
I think knowing that there is a really good chance that we'll all see each other again made it easier.
However, I felt that I needed to say a few things to all of the guys.
I just couldn't bring myself to say it to them, mainly because I knew I didn't know what to say let alone if I would be able to hold it together while doing so.
So that is what this post is going to be.
My chance to share some things that the guys have taught me, how they've changed me, how God has blessed me through them, and how thankful I am to have met them.
I'll try to keep it short, sweet and to the point, but if I get to rambling please forgive me.

At the beginning of May when my summer began I didn't have a clue what was in store for me.
I didn't know what work would necessarily entail.
I didn't know what would happen in regards to church.
I didn't know that I would make any friends.
I didn't know what would happen.
I didn't know that God was going to bless me in more ways than I ever could have possibly imagined!!
The summer didn't start out so great due to a very negative roommate experience, but thankfully I got through it all with the help of friends and a load of patience from God.
I ended up with an apartment to myself after Block 1 and I was helping at church.
Yet I was still feeling disconnected from everything.
I was just going through the motions of work and going to church.
Then I found out that the mission team was coming for the summer.
I was excited about the possibility of having some fellow college students around.
Little did I know, but they were going to become a very big part of my life this summer.

I first found out that Malik and Andy were apart of the team, which was awesome.
It was good to have a couple people from school that I actually knew around for the summer.
I very quickly met and got to know the rest of the mission team.
The same day I met them we had our first college get together at the church office.
From that night on I became the +1 on the mission team and I spent a lot of my time outside of work with the guys.
In the next two months we made a lot of memories, had a lot of laughs, and spent a lot of time getting to know each other as we did things for the church.
I could tell you some of them, but I don't know that they would be as funny and make as good of a story as I think they would.
(If you would like to hear some details about the summer and what we did feel free to comment on here or message me in some way!! I'd love to share it with you!)

These past two months have presented many of awesome times, as well as some moments where I was challenged in my ways of doing things.
For the first time I was spending time with a group of guys who were chivalrous.
(This day and age it is very hard to come by, so I was kinda surprised I must admit.)
As I shared in an earlier post, the guys made no hesitation to give me shotgun in vehicles, hold doors, make sure I got served first at meals, and so on.
It took me a little while to get used to it all and I gave them a hard time about it for the first couple of weeks.
And then one night after they dropped me off I got to thinking about everything and realized that I was treating the situation all wrong.
I shouldn't have been giving them a hard time about it, but rather as a woman of God I was supposed to be encouraging them and supporting them as they were doing something that is not at all common in our world or culture these days.
By giving them a hard time I wasn't encouraging them and helping them as they are trying to become the Godly men that they are to be.
I was slacking on my job.
I didn't mean to be and it was only because I hadn't been exposed to it, but I very quickly realized that they needed the encouragement and as I was doing so it was helping me to become the Godly woman that I am to be, the Proverbs 31 woman that I desire to be.
I now have a new appreciation for the guys and their consistency in the chivalry department.
I learned a lesson through it all this summer and I couldn't be more thankful.
(Although I may be slightly spoiled now...lol. But appreciative none the less.)

Then there is the fact that I got to see them all interact with each other and see changes happen for all of them throughout the summer.
They may not have been hugely noticeable to others, but I noticed.
I don't necessarily know how to explain the changes that I saw, but I have no doubt that it was God working in their lives through their experiences with Journey, NAMB, and each other.
I saw them all get put into situations that they weren't the most comfortable with.
And in some cases they were just straight up uncomfortable.
They were pushed outside of their boxes, outside of their comfort zones.
But they all made an effort and stuck it out even if it might have been easier to let someone else do whatever it may have been.
They could have stepped back and said no.
They could have refused to do whatever they were supposed to be doing.
But I didn't see a one of them give up or take the easy way out.
It may have taken a lot of perseverance, encouragement, and a lot of faith in God, but they all did some amazing things in the midst of uncomfortable circumstances.
I commend them on their ability to step out in faith and take on whatever challenges that were put in front of them throughout this summer.
Whether it was doing bucket drumline, having tough conversations with people about faith, dealing with city officials, or figuring out how to react to stories/information about fellow college students.
The guys handled it all extremely well and it seemed that they all learned from the various situations and took something from them and grew from those experiences.
It was amazing to see God work through them.

I'm going to make this one of the last things, but it's the one that definitely touched me the most during their time here in Bourbonnais and at Journey.
I don't think that I have spent so much time with a group of young men who have such a desire to do what God wants them to and to share His word and His love with everyone they can.
It means a lot to see a group of guys, or even just one guy, be so willing to serve.
It was also encouraging to see watch them all when they were up singing or playing an instrument, or even watching them during worship at the beginning of service.
Watching them get so into the music and into worship is encouraging and a blessing.
It is rare to see a guy (let alone guys) get so into worship.
And I don't want this next thing to sound creeperish in any way, but I got a chance to watch all of the guys interact with children throughout the past couple months.
I have to say that it is awesome to me to see guys be so good with kids of varying ages.
Being someone who loves kids and cares about them immensely, it is always a huge blessing to see guys who are good with kids and enjoying spending time interacting with them.
And all of the guys were great with the kids at church, kids we met at block parties, and other kids that I only got to hear stories about.
It is such an encouragement to me to see that there are guys out there who know how to treat kids right and are so good with them!!
Overall I just feel extremely, extremely blessed to have been able to spend this summer getting to know this group of guys!

I wish I could put into words everything that is going through my mind right now, but I know there is no way that I can do so.
I just wanted to share a little about how blessed I have been this summer.
Had someone told me at the beginning of May that I would be trying to figure out a way to adequately say thank you to this group of guys for everything that taught me this summer and all the ways the have blessed my life...I would have told ya that ya were crazy!
And now i'm sitting here doing just that.
I don't know if I am even doing a good job of doing so, but I needed to do so.
I can't even put into words how blessed I have been by this great group of guys.
I feel like God knew that I needed these lessons this summer and my staying here and getting to know the guys was the best way for me to do so.
The way that God has worked in me this summer through the guys has been phenomenal.
God definitely knew what He was doing this summer, even if I didn't.

To the guys:
Thank you all so much for being such positive influences in my life this summer!
I couldn't have asked for a better group of Godly men to spend the last couple of months with.
It has been awesome to see all the ways that you guys have made impact in the lives of those at Journey, as well as the lives of many, many people in the community!
You have all been such a blessing!!
I hope that we will all stay in touch and hopefully be able to see each other again.
There have been rumors about a road trip at the end of this fall semester and i'm sure we will get a chance to see each other at various other times in the future.
I will be praying for you all as a new school year starts for almost all of you and wedding plans and job search kick into high gear for one of you.
I will be praying that God will bless you all immensely in the coming months.
I have no doubt that God has huge plans for all of you.
It'll be awesome to see how He does so!

Now that I have written one of the longest posts on here, I will call it good at this.
God has blessed me in more ways than I could have imagined!!
This summer has proved this in so many ways!!
I have no doubt that the coming year will prove to be full of more of His blessings!!

Quick Update

03 August 2012

It's been a bit since i've updated, although it feels like it's been forever.

There are several things going through my mind lately, but let me start by sharing a little of what has been going on this last week.

The Arkansas Mission Team left last weekend on Saturday and the guys were all back so we hung out after the softball game. Then we had to be at church crazy early (5:30am...ok it's not that bad) to set up everything for service. We then had lunch out and went tubing/.kneeboarding/skiing out on the river. Dinner at Rozy's and Star Wars Episode 1. 
Joel left last Sunday.
He started the week off with goodbyes.
It's been weird not having him around all this week.
Monday we had dinner at Rozy's again and watched Star Wars Episode 2.
Tuesday was dinner at my apartment and Star Wars Episode 3 (on my tiny tv).
Wednesday we were once again at Rozy's for dinner and we watched Star Wars Episodes 4 & 5.
Last night Rozy, Trent, and I had dinner at Nicole's while the guys had band practice and some of them went to Chicago to pick up Chad and Rachel. We watched Star Wars Episode 6.
Tonight we will all be getting together at the State Park for the All Church Camp-out.
I am thoroughly excited about camping!!
However, tonight marks the last night before the rest of the guys start heading home. 
Patrick leaves tomorrow.
McKenzie and Kenan leave after church on Sunday.
Malik and Andy head out on some point Sunday, but they'll be back by the following weekend.

Well there was a quick recap and kind of a perfect way to end this post.
I'll be posting again tomorrow at some point (hopefully).
I've got a lot of things that I am still processing in my mind and I think the extra day may be a great help in figuring out how to go about writing about it all!

God Bless!

My God is Able!!

31 July 2012

The guy we met on Monday at the block party came to Journey for church this morning!! Said he was planning on coming more regularly! God has definitely been working in his heart this past week!!! :)

I Just Can't Help It

28 July 2012

Some people find their worth in their jobs, others in the clothes they wear.
And still others in their physical appearance.

What I have come to realize is that I don't feel like I get my worth from any of that.
I came to realize last night while watching the guys play another game or two of Ultimate was that I find my worth and my value in what I can do.
I have spent years doing and now I have people, specifically guys, who tell me to just relax and let them get it.
I am not used to it at all and it drives me crazy to just stand there.
Whether that's when we're playing a game or sports, or moving something or packing up a trailer.
I just have this urge to get in and do.
So when people tell me not to do something or to just watch I have a hard time just watching or not doing anything.
I get all fidgety and bouncy while standing there.

I never stopped to think about why I do that.
I didn't used to be that way when I was much younger.
But ever since my mom's accident I feel like i've become someone who does that.
So it's something that has happened in the last 5yrs or so.
(Or at least it seems that way.)
I put so much of who I am into what I can do, physically speaking, and so moving things, caring things, or going all out while playing a sport or a game is just who I am.
I attach my worth to other people to what I can do.
I know this isn't a good thing, but it's just part of who I am.
When I just sit around and watch I feel like i'm not worth anything to the people around me.
I feel like I am letting them down and making things difficult for them.
And when it comes to sports I just feel like I look weak when I have to sit and watch.
I hate this feeling.
Yet it so strong and such a part of me.
I know I should get my worth and my value from Jesus and not from man, but for some reason I still have this need to have my worth and value in other people's eyes be based on what I am physically able to do to help them.
I also hate that I get so frustrated and upset when people won't let me help out or play a sport.
I get all frustrated with the situation and it can get the best of me.

I felt terrible last night at Hidden Cove when the guys decided to play another couple games but wouldn't let me play because my arm was acting up.
I just kind of sat there with what I'm sure was either a facial expression that showed that I was angry or really upset.
And I feel terrible that I was having such a fit about it.
It's not mature to act that way nor is it beneficial to me in any way.
Chad and the guys were just taking precautions and putting my safety above my want to play.
Which is appreciated, even though it bothered me, because I've never really had anyone care about whether or not I played with an injury. 
(Other than my mom of course.)
I'm truly grateful for the fact that they all care enough to make me sit out when they think i'm likely to get hurt if I keep playing.
I don't necessarily always do a good job of stopping myself when I should.
I'll keep going until i'm really injured or in a ridiculous amount of pain.
That's just how I am.
Not my best quality, but ya know.
So when the guys wouldn't let me play I was really frustrated with them at first, but after sitting there a short while I got to thinking and that's where this post came from.
They were just looking out for me and they didn't deserve my frustration for it.
They were just doing what they all thought was best for me and I have to admit that it probably was a good thing for me to sit out.
[Yes guys, I just agreed with you...again :) ]
(And that's a whole 'nother post topic all together...my stubbornness)

I just don't know how to get a balance of doing and not doing.
Especially since i've spent years equating my worth & value to what I can physically do.
I don't know what to do to make it balanced.
I feel stuck and I don't know what to do about it.
I don't like to stand still and watch, but at the same time I know there are times I should.
I just have a hard to figuring out which times I should help and which ones I shouldn't.
This is frustrating to me but i'm glad I've realized it.

Well now that i'm done ranting, I am going to try to keep myself entertained this morning.

It's All Coming To An End So Soon

25 July 2012

Can you believe it's August next week??
I can't.
The fact that it's August next week means a few things.

1. School starts in a month.
2. Summer is almost over.
 (and most importantly...)
3. The Summer Mission Team leaves.

The third thing hit me this week as the guys have been gone at a camp while Patrick and I have been working with the Arkansas mission group to do Block Parties in the community.
It feels like they just got here and we've all just started getting to know each other.
And now they are going to be leaving.
I just can't seem to wrap my mind around that fact.
I guess i'm just having a hard time accepting it.
(This is going to sound so girly and like i'm super attached to them all, but I don't care.)
I'm not ready for them to leave quite yet.

I think the part that is really getting to me is that I have this feeling that i'll lose contact with them all as soon as they leave, just like what always happens with people.
They leave and that's it.
It really just makes it hard to say goodbye when that's the likely outcome.
Watch me be a girl and get all emotional when they leave.
(Highly unlikely, but there is always that slight possibility.)
Even though they'll be leaving I have to thank God for everything He has taught me through the guys this summer.
He has showed me show much through them and I wouldn't have been able to see any of it or learn anything had it not been for this group of guys that God put in my life.
Although I would much rather they didn't leave, I know that God has things in store for them as they all head back home and/or back to school.
God has some great plans for these guys I have no doubt and I hope that I get the chance to see what He does through them and for them in the future.
God has blessed many people through them this summer and they have made such an impact.
They may be leaving but what they did and the impact they made will not be forgotten.
God knew what He was doing when He brought those guys here.
It's been exciting to watch.
Now I am hoping that I will get to watch what He has planned in the near future.
I just pray that through whatever happens we will all be glorifying the Father in everything that we say and do.
May it all be for Him and His glory!

Just Needed To Share Something

24 July 2012

Ok, so I just wanted to share something and thought this was the perfect place.

This week we are doing Block Parties at parks throughout the community.
We have been joined this week by a missions team from Arkansas (about 30 people).
Patrick had quite a day yesterday organizing everything with the team throughout the day as well as getting things ready for the Block Party last night.
So after he came and got me we headed back to the park.
We get there and the mission team is out there just having a blast with everything.
They had different booths set up with various things.
They had a tent set up where Faith was doing balloon animals (and other things) and Naomi and some of the other girls were doing face painting.
Jerry was all about doing the cotton candy. Well at least he was when he wasn't going around to other booths and talking with us and the kids that were there.
Justin had a game set up and so did Jessica.
There were hot dogs, popcorn, and sno cones.
There was music going. (And some dancing every now and then as well.)
It was a great time getting to talk with some of the people from the neighborhood and even getting a chance to get better acquainted with the mission team from Arkansas.

Being me, I was watching the different people come and go and kinda watching how long they were lingering around and talking to people.
There was one couple that was there who i'd been watching, and apparently so had some of the Arkansas mission team.
This couple had gotten there when it started and they were definitely lingering.
I grabbed a card with some of our info and a little map of our location and then headed on over to talk to them some more.
I sat down and got to talking with them again.
Made some connections with them through Olivet, as well as through where we were from.
We then got to talking about some random things and then he asked me how I got connected with Journey Church.
So I told him how I started coming and how I really started getting involved.
I talked a little about the summer mission team.
And then he surprised me by sharing some of his church history.
As he shared that and I talked to him a little more about Journey, it was clear that he was interested in Journey and thinking about coming to church.
They both seemed very interested in the church and said they'd really like to check it out.

Talk about the whole crazy day being worth it.
And like Patrick made a point of, those two people may never have even considered going to church, specifically speaking ours, if we hadn't sat down and talked with them for two hours.
That process of building a relationship with them and building trust with them is what opens the doors to get them interested in the church and interested in learning more about God.
It was such a great opportunity to get to know them!
Seeing them warm up to us and to the possibility of coming to church as we were sitting there talking was incredible.
I'm praying that God will be working in their hearts this week through the seed that we planted last night.
And even if we don't see them at church, at least we know that we made an impact in there lives.
And that is why we are doing this.
That is what we are all about.

The devil may have tried to tear everyone down all day, but in the end God prevailed.
God was moving and He will continue to move this week!

I Will Go LORD, Send Me

22 July 2012

For years I have sat through church service after church service about missions.
I've listened to missionaries who were serving in all kinds of different world areas.
I've spent years wishing I could go to where they were and do what they were doing.
However, I always felt like I was getting a negative response from people about doing that.
It felt like people were trying to push me away from it.

So I haven't shared my thoughts about going overseas with very many people.
I would love to live overseas and to do mission work, especially with kids.
Or even doing something where I could work with my hands and help out.
I just want to be able to go do something.
Yet I feel like people will not understand when I tell them.

The last several months it seems as thought the topic of missions work has been a pretty steady and common part of my life.
I do not know why it just so happened to be at this time, but it did.
So for months I have been contemplating this idea.
I have looked at the websites of many a missions agencies lately.
The opportunities are numerous.
And I have found a few as of late that have a high focus on kids.
One is next summer in Jordan and I really, really want to go on that one.
The other is one that I want to do but don't plan on any time soon since it is a long term commitment.

There is just one thing that I am trying to figure out.
My major.
Currently I am studying Sociology and Criminal Justice.
Neither of those are exactly prime majors for doing missions work.
The thing is, I do not know what major to even consider for it.
And how do I go about getting my mom to agree with it.
And changing it now would be kind of crazy since I've already signed up for classes.
I just feel like I am totally and completely lost when it comes to this.
I've been asking God to show me what it is that He wants me to do, but I just really want to know what to do with all of this stuff going through my mind.

I have spent some time reading my Bible and I came across a verse that fit me.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
"Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?"
And I said, "Here I am, Send me!"
-Isaiah 6:8

I just want to go where He wants me to go and I want to do what He wants me to do.
I just feel like i'm at a crossroad right now and I don't know what to do.
I am trusting that He will send me where He wants me.
I am praying that I'll be able to discern what it is He wants me to do.
It is all in His hands and I am anxious to find out what it all is.
(As soon as I typed 'anxious', Philippians 4:6 came to my mind. Irony.)

I have also been listening to (and signing) Starfield's song "I Will Go" a lot lately.

He needs people to go and I am willing.
I just wish I knew in what capacity He wants me to go in.
But like I said before, I am surrendering it all to Him and trusting in His plan.
It will all work out in accordance with His will and His timing.

The Great I Am

18 July 2012

My uncle is the worship leader at his church in St. Louis and he is always on the lookout for new worship music.
This happens to be one of the newest ones he has been playing.
I love it!!
I have been listening to it on repeat on my iPod for days.
Such a great song with an amazing message!!

Falling at the feet of my Heavenly Father

16 July 2012

These days it isn't uncommon in the least for children to not have a one or even both of their parents. In this world no one seems to think twice about it.
Divorce is common place and children grow up never knowing their parents.
It is more common for the father to leave, although it seems like this is changing these days.
The negatives of growing up without a father are constantly growing.

I myself have had to deal with this very issue.
Due to this I have had problems in my life, both in my relationships and my spiritual walk.
It is fairly easy to guess what the issues in relationships are.
However, it may not be so easy to see how it has impacted my relationship with Jesus.

Growing up without a positive fatherly image in my life has caused me to have trust issues along with many other issues I do not think are worth sharing at the moment.
This trust issue has caused me to not look positively at father figures.
Consequently this has made looking at God as a Father.
Trusting Him to be the Father that I have never had (and in all honesty could never have) is something that I have been struggling to do.
Many times throughout the past school year this was talked about by speakers in chapel.
It is something that I have been working on throughout this past year.
Many floor Bible studies also brought up the topic.
For some reason I just have trouble fully wrapping my mind around the thought that God is also my Heavenly Father.
I am not sure what keeps me from accepting it other than the fact that I previously mentioned.

I was reading my Bible today and ran across a couple verses that seemed to just click with me.

5A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
6God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing.
-Psalm 68:5-6a

"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
-2 Corinthians 6:18

Even though I may not have had a father in my life showing me how a father is supposed to treat his children, there is a God who wants to show me how a true Father is supposed to treat His children.
My Heavenly Father has shown me and continues to show me what it is like and how blessed I am to be His child.
He is constantly protecting me and blessing me.
Like the Psalm says, God has placed me in a family.
He has placed me in an adopted extended family that is absolutely incredible!!
(I also don't get to see often enough!! This past week of Family Reunion was a blessing!!)
On top of that He has placed me in an amazing church family at Journey that I am continuously being blessed by whenever I am with them!!
God has shown me what it is truly like to be a child of the one Father who loves me unconditionally, continuously shows me grace and mercy, and never leaves me.
He is my Father and He always will be.

An earthly father may fail but my Heavenly Father will never fail.

Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. -Psalm 27:10

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