Posts tagged Jesus
Why God Must Be at the Center of Our Quest for Identity

Growing up, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about my identity. I didn’t sit at home and ponder why I was the way I was. I didn’t spend much time contemplating my decisions or trying to be a certain way. I was just me. For the most part, I really liked who I was. But as an adult, I began to process my identity more and more. Why did I act a certain way? Why did people say hurtful things about me? Why did that situation bother me so much? Why was I the way I was? What was my identity?

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Stop with the Negative Self-Talk

For the month of April, I did 30 days of prayer and fasting. I focused on trying to find my identity in Christ and figure out where my relationship with God is. If I’m being honest, it has been a struggle. Finding my identity in Christ has been such a journey. One thing I want to say to all the people reading this is… finding your identity and who you truly are takes time. You’re not just going to discover who God created you to be overnight. Hair, makeup, clothes, and stuff like that is NOT your identity. Your identity is who you’ve chosen to be in life and who you’ve decided to be in Christ.

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It is Christ Who Knows Me

Before opening up my phone to find out this month’s topic, I found myself talking to my sweet friend Julia about where we find our worth/affirmation. We were discussing times we strived to get the approval of those we felt reflected the Lord through their lives most. Leaders, friends, you name it.  We came to this common realization that we felt like we had been letting down the Lord when the leaders in our circle weren’t calling out the good things we did or the kind people we are. It was as if the people we admired had the authority to judge us in the same way our God does, but not because God said so. We had given them this power.

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The Miracle that Changed Everything: A Car Wreck Survival Story

“I distinctly remember my hands turning the wheel to the right and my car was resisting and still going straight. Next thing I knew, my car was over a cliff and the last thing I saw was a stream of water below me before I tightly closed my eyes.” Have you ever lived through an experience you cannot find the words to explain? Born and raised Montana girl, Chaeney Latimer survived this deadly car wreck of 2010 completely unscathed — a miracle merely unexplainable. Despite the ways this accident defied all laws of gravity and science, one thing remains true: Chaeney’s life was not destined to end that day. After finishing her sophomore year of college, Chaeney packed all of her belongings into her red Toyota Cobalt and set her sights on home.

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Peace in the Eye of the Storm

I used to think I was a pretty peaceful person who took the chaos of other people’s lack of peace as it came at me. But, in this current season of life, I have been very unsettled by things happening in the lives of those closest to my heart — as well as within myself. All sorts of feelings have been stirred up that have resulted in an overwhelming sensation of anxiousness. I cry even more than I normally do, which was already nearly every day. I scream at the top of my lungs at God when I am driving. I cannot even sit through a full day of ministry school without abruptly leaving to go battle out my frustrations elsewhere. I don’t want to specify exactly what trials are hitting against the walls of my heart, but I will say they have caused me to question my Heavenly Father.

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A Prayer for Peace

Having peace is really important. So here’s a prayer I often pray that gives me peace: “Dear God, Thank you so much for this day! Thank you so much for all the love and grace you give to me. Even in the darkest moments and the times where I just want to give up, you’re still there, continuing to love, encourage and support me. I will forever love you! Thank you for never making me feel looked down on, judged, unloved, and forgotten. Even if I have some of those feelings on earth, I know you would never think that about me. Thank you for filling my heart with joy, peace, love, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gratefulness, and thankfulness!”

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Series Introduction: Peace

Experiencing solitude among nature, or creating a space for personal relaxation are my go-to solutions for feeling at rest. In a world where anxiety and immediacy rule, it’s often difficult to find true, long-lasting, genuine peace. Thankfully, I don’t tend to carry much worry or anxiety with me. But, in high-stress situations, I usually let peace fall to the wayside. Here, my circumstances steal my composure and I’m led by an anxious space of my soul known for not seeing things clearly. Stress clouds our judgment and hinders our ability to see a situation for what it truly is. Often times, we dig ourselves into a worry pit that was never initially there. Yet, we continue to grab the shovel and allow the littlest of things to take us deeper into the dirt. 

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Anchored in Love: My Healing Journey

Then, years later, the crash came. I’d managed for so long, but in the fall of 2016, my weary body started firing symptoms like sirens. I reluctantly put myself back into the hands of a doctor, and after running another panel of tests, she found the mysterious bacteria that had been oppressing my body for almost a decade. We were shocked and relieved, and I immediately entered into the necessary but brutal treatment. Love carried me through those months. The love of my husband who wrapped me in blankets every day just to get me into fresh air. The love of my friends who met me where I was at — in my bed. The love of my family who helped care for me. And mostly, the love of my Creator, who planted a peace in my heart not even the tears could wash away.

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Why Applause Doesn’t Make You Somebody

In a recent episode of America’s Got Talent, Paul Potts, the first winner of Britain’s Got Talent, talked about the impact winning had on his life. He said, “I walked onto that stage a nobody and left it as somebody.”  The crowd erupted in applause, and the judges nodded in agreement — but my heart broke. I wanted to reach through the screen and tell Mr. Potts he was a somebody long before he walked on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent. Perhaps, he was not well known. Maybe he wasn’t asked to sing for the queen or to perform all over the world. Likely, only a handful of people knew he could sing and appreciated the gift he had been given. But, he was not a nobody.

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I Am All He Says I Am

If I were to treat others the way I treat myself, I wouldn’t be the nicest person. I am so hard on myself as I am sure most people can relate to. I don’t take compliments from others well and I am even more so challenged in the area of complimenting myself. It is so much harder for me to look inward than it is for me to look into the hearts of others. I love telling people how wonderfully made they are. I’d even say I have more recently developed a sixth sense of seeing people through God’s eyes. To look at people and ask God to show me who they are growing into is one of my favorite pastimes.

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I Love Myself, That's What Matters

Self-love is something I've struggled with. I struggle with comparison. I'm always comparing myself to others. I think that's brought me down a lot of times, and it's made me feel insecure. Another big thing for me is feeling judged — it's never fun to feel like you're constantly being judged by others. In these situations, it has really helped me to remember God loves me.

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You Need More Than Just Ambition

When I was 9-years-old, I wrote a book. It took a lot of ambition to write this book! I always wanted to write a book at a young age because I wanted to show you can do amazing things when you’re young! I knew when it was time to write it, God would say, "Go." On April 10, 2018, I heard God say "Go.” I went downstairs and went to my mom's room. I told her, "I'm going to write a book!” I took the computer, went outside with my Bible, notebook and pens, and sat there. I was just so ambitious and ready for this moment I kind of forgot I actually had to write a book!

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Does Ambition Lead to Success?

I grew up believing ambition led to success. In school, if I studied and did the work, I would get an A. In sports, if I practiced hard, I was rewarded with more playing time. When I worked my first job, hard work equaled higher pay, more hours, and the admiration of my boss and coworkers. My achiever personality thrives in that environment! I can finish a project in record speed. When I set a goal, I don’t stop until that goal is completed. I love making lists and checking things off. (I’m one of those crazy people who writes something I just did on the list, just so I can cross it off…don’t laugh, I’m know I’m not the only one!)

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Driven by Heavenly Thinking

I used to buy into my own lies that if I wanted a particular path in life too much, I would become too focused on myself and my desires to be a participant in the highs and lows of the lives of the people I cared about. I told myself in order to pursue my dreams of being a fashion designer in the buzzing hub of New York City, I would certainly have to give up friendships and family ties and my fantasy of being a mother to babies with chub rolls galore. I thought, in order to make it big, I had no choice but to toss out every other element that fueled the joy in my life in order to collect enough stored up energy to put nothing short of 100% of me into my life’s work.

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Grateful in Love

"I'm sorry you have to love me." These words have fallen from both mine and my spouse's lips more than once. Nothing makes you feel more challenged and more inadequate than taking on the responsibility of jumping into a lifelong commitment with someone. I never saw life coming when we fell for each other. It all looked like bliss. But Disney lied, y'all! Being in love is hard, and I have yet to meet my fairy godmother or get my animals to talk back to me. Feeling love is simple but living that love is a lesson in humility, compassion, patience, and growth.

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How to Have a God-Honoring Breakup

Perhaps this breakup isn’t the end but a new beginning. God found me in my mess and I met Jesus throughout the darkest times of my life. He changed me, when I shifted my perspective onto him. Back in 2015, I wrestled with depression and anxiety after a breakup with a guy who at that point, as far as I was concerned, was the love of my life. There aren’t words to explain all the emotions I rummaged through. I felt empty, worthless... I felt broken and stressed and had nowhere else to look.

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The Day My Marriage Broke My Heart

I remember sitting on the bed, six months pregnant with our second son, feeling as if my world had stopped. This person who had promised to love me for the rest of our lives just told me he wouldn’t choose me. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. My heart was broken that day. My dreams for the future seemed so very far away. What was I supposed to do? I felt so very, very unloved. And yet, I had made a commitment to love this man for the rest of my life. How could I love someone who didn’t love me back? I made the choice to honor my covenant, even when it hurt so very much. Even when I wanted to leave. Even when he wasn’t honoring his.

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Burn Survivor Wears Her Crown with Victory

Scars, both physical and emotional don’t have to be a negative reminder of pain. Their very image shows the body’s strength and resilience. Dawn Monique Brown has bore her scars with confidence for the last 14 years after a traumatizing allergic reaction. While this experience altered her life forever, Dawn has claimed her victory — scars and all. Back in 2004, Dawn paid a visit to see the doctor about her cold — or, so she thought. She was diagnosed with a sinus infection and given medication to take for the next two weeks. Unfortunately, her symptoms worsened and she returned to the doctor.

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The 'Why' Behind the Struggle

I’ve always been a worrier. Even when I was little, I would periodically go through different habits and quirks that helped me deal with the anxious feelings I experienced. It didn’t feel like anything abnormal, so I never considered it a unique issue. I worried. So what? I dealt with it. Well, then, I had my first panic attack. In May of 2017, just hanging out at my house, I started to feel like something was wrong. I was shaking, I felt all tingly, and my heart rate seemed to be racing. I was convinced my heart was giving out or something similar.

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What's in a Name

Naming my kids was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. How do you choose what a child will be called her entire life? How do you know from the moment you look at him, what name will fit his personality? It is a huge responsibility to choose what name a child will answer to, what name she will write on every form, what name she will speak over herself every day for the rest of her life. “Hi, I’m…” I believe there is power in a name. What is spoken over you matters. The words you use are incredibly valuable, and a person’s name is spoken over them again and again from birth until death.

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