The Difference

Why are we so afraid to be vulnerable and show the world our true unguarded selves? What do we have to lose? A few less “friends” on Facebook, five less likes on our Instagram post? Why do we care so much about what everyone else thinks? I find myself seeking the approval of strangers on social media and expecting acknowledgement form blurred faces that pass me by everyday.

It is a daily struggle to feel confident in who we are when the world is pulling us in every direction telling us who we need to be. The world wants us to be beautiful, intelligent, and creative, but what if those characteristics aren’t easily attainable? What if we cannot fulfill the mold this world has set for us? Do we automatically become irrelevant to society?  Are we thrown into exile and lose the ability to feel confident in ourselves, just because we might not have the ideal body or we rather stay inside rather than seek out adventures on mountain tops.

It comes down to the concept that everyone is simply… different! We are always told to be different and stand out, but yet we find ourselves getting swallowed up by the monster of conformity. The reason this happens is purely because it is comfortable to follow the crowd. If everyone else is doing it than why shouldn’t you? By conforming to the ways of society you are slowly pulling yourself apart and giving unique pieces of  who you are over to a figment of the worlds imagination.

We were placed on this planet not to follow imperfect humans, but to follow the only person who shows us His perfection everyday. Being followers of Christ should give us all the confidence in the world. We should not seek approval of those who are followers of conformity, the only person we should strive for approval from is God. The amazing thing is we don’t even have to try that hard! God doesn’t care if our body is perfect or if we reached 1 million followers on Instagram. All the Lord cares about is that we are following his son, Jesus Christ and that our daily actions reflect our faithfulness to Him.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the get is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life and those who find it are few.”       ~Mathew 7:13-14

This bible verse speaks raw untamed truth. In other words it is saying that the path that leads you to “satisfaction” of our earthly desires is easy to go down. The path is wide and looks bright and shiny, so it attracts more people; when in the end it leads to destruction. The path pulls us away from seeking God, instead we seek earthly desires that will not satisfy us forever. The narrow gate’s path is paved with mercy and grace, there are struggles along the way, and the terrain is difficult, but it will lead to healing, salvation and eternal life. Few walk through the narrow gate, because they are afraid of what others will think and they fear rejection and being called different.

Being different is not a curse it is a blessing, you hold something that is your own, something that is special and unique that no one else can attain. Once you accept Jesus Christ as your savior your confidence and light will shine brighter than a billion stars. People will notice a difference and they will want to strip you of your confidence, because they are wanting to quench their jealousy by bringing you down. Stay strong, do not falter, lead them to the narrow gate and show them the light that is waiting to fill their soul.

So don’t look to the world for satisfaction and reassurance, put on your armor and guard your soul when it comes to the pressures to conform to this world. Even though the wide gate is open and inviting once you step through you will realize it will never delight the deepest part of your being. Run to the narrow gate and leave your armor at the foot of the door, un-guard your heart and trust in the Lord to guide you and protect you. He will always accept you for who you are.

He created you… to be different.

 

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Together For A Reason

As humans we need companionship. We need another person or a group of people to share our lives with. We seek truth from them, we strive for adventures with them, and ultimately we yearn for acceptance and love from them. Humans are beautifully and wonderfully made in God’s own image. God did not make just man or just women. He knew that one could not thrive without the other, so he placed both of them on this earth to learn, live, and grow together.

Thinking about companionship as a whole made me question what my own definition of it is. I view companionship as an individual or group of individuals who rely on one another for needs that cannot be satisfied by their own self. With that idea stirring in my head another question arose; who are my companions? I thought about the people in my life right now and the ones that have left it. This thought sparked another question; why do people come in and out of your life?

Through time I have heard that we met people for a reason, either they are a blessing or a lesson. The blessing are those who will never leave your side, they will not be shaken or brought down by the seasons of life. These blessings have seen you at your worst and have been with you at your best, they will continue to comfort you and nurture you until your life has come to a rest. You are blessed by these people, because they will always love you with an unconditional unfailing love that uniquely bonds you together.

The lessons may not seem as important as the blessings, but these are the people that have shaped you into who you are today. They have taught you things you never would have learned if they did not enter into your life. These lessons strengthened your core beliefs, they helped you understand what you want out of life and who you want to be. These lessons gave you the ability to change for the better and swim free from the anchors of the past. Lessons should not be overlooked for they hold a special place in your heart. They will always be a reminder of where you have been and where you are heading.

Lessons can be blessings in disguise and blessings can evolve into lessons. So count your blessings now and feel blessed for the lessons you have encountered throughout your life.

“God doesn’t give you the people you want, He gives you the people you need. To help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you and to make you the person you were meant to be.” 

-Unknown 

 

 

Moments in Time

Have you ever thought about time? Like really cautiously thought about it? It blows my mind that time is something we cannot physically touch, but somehow we can feel it. We can feel ourselves growing older when we look back at our past. We also can feel younger when we think about our future and how far away it may be. How far away is the future though? Technically every second, every minute, and every hour that passes by was our future, but now in an instant it becomes our past. How do we make the most of the time we do have and forget about the time that has already past?

Truly living in the moment is easier said than done. Have you ever tried to concentrate on all of the sensations erupting in one single moment? It is impossible (at least for me)! When I try to take in a moment I always find my self distracted by other thoughts attacking my senses. Pulling me away from what is right in front of me. Our minds are so cluttered with our problems, worries, struggles, hopes, dreams, the list keeps going on! Is it even possible to live in a single moment for even a full second? I believe if a moment is truly worth living in than you will experience it to its fullest potential.

If you allow worry into your moment it will devour all the beauty and all the peace, causing you to feel anxious and distracted. In that split second where your worries look to quickly creep in, breath. Breath and focus your eyes on God. Thank Him for the moment and thank Him for the opportunity to enjoy it. If God is in every single one of your moments in life you will not only experience that moment, but you will be wrapped within the beauty, peace, and wonder of it all. The time we have here should not be wasted on worrying; whether it is worrying about what you are going to do with your life after graduation, or worrying about the mistake you made 5 years ago. God has a plan for each and every one of us whether we like it or not. It is a plan that has been perfectly mapped out and permanently etched into our souls destiny.

God is in control of your past, present, and future. His timing is perfect and when we look back we can see his finger prints on each moment that has brought us to where we are now. Moments in time can either create life or destroy it. Next time you find yourself worrying when worry shouldn’t be an issue remember to breath and know that God put you in that moment for a reason. His timing is never a mistake, our timing is just a bit faster than Gods. That is why we need to just breath, step back, and overwhelm our senses with the moment God has placed us in… right here… right now.

Breath…

The Answer Key

It starts off with a question. A question that might not be answered, a secret answer locked away in a chest with no key. It is a type of question that is simple and small, but weighs as much as the entire world. This question holds the future, the past, and the present in its hands. It isn’t a matter of what; it is a matter of who. This question haunts our minds and eats at the earthly flesh, because we pick ourselves apart trying to find the answer. The answer may never be discovered in our lifetime, it may never be touched, the question may never be asked. When the words come to surface like a root exposed, will we trip and stumble searching for balance and stability, or will we see the challenge and step over the stumble and discover what is waiting for us in the distance. The question is; who am I?

You are told that success will ultimately bring you happiness. Life is only worthwhile if you have money and riches to get by and fill your “happy cup”. Truthfully, the world can fill your happy cup, but it cannot overflow it. It cannot refill it once it is empty, it cannot satisfy the soul. It can only satisfy the flesh for a short amount of time until you are dead. Experiences in life only last as long as the experience itself, then after that it becomes a memory. Memories can be forgotten and they can be morphed into imagination, they can be taken away by a disease or accident, they do not last forever. What does last forever is not a memory, but a thought. One thought that stays with you always, a thought that makes you think, feel, and experience. This thought can bring you joy, hope, peace, control, confidence, patience, and love. The thought of Jesus Christ will forever be remembered and experienced day in and day out. We will bring this thought to the grave and then live it when we meet our creator. The thought of Jesus can help us answer our question of: who am I?

To start off this process we need to switch viewpoints. Rather than looking in the mirror and asking this question to ourselves, we need to shift our eyes to God. We need to overwhelm our minds with his love and mercy. We need to take his sight and look at ourselves through his eyes. He does not cast judgment over us, He does not condemn the weary and vulnerable, He does not over work the weak. He is our safe haven and our souls quiet place. When God looks at us he does not see sinners, he see’s worriers. When He looks at us He does not see cheaters, He see’s lovers, He does not see liars, He see’s truth seekers. Through the eyes of Christ we are perfect and pure. The unconditional love he as for us is being poured onto our flesh and soul every second and every moment throughout our lifetime. He has new mercy for us every day. The great I AM, is the answer to who AM I?

Now when you look through your eyes at all the junk you have done in your life, do not condemn yourself, do not hate yourself or resist forgiveness, because it is wasting time. Time that is precious and time that has already been forgotten and forgiven in the eyes of our savior. Jesus died for our sins of the past and of the future. It is finished; so do not dwell on your mistakes that hinder the feelings of knowing who you are. Knowing yourself is an everlasting learning process, the best teacher to have is one who has unshakable faith and already knows your soul. There is only one teacher who can do that and it is Jesus Christ. Run to him as if you are being chased by a pack of hungry wolves and learn from him. Feed your soul, drink in the spirit, and discover the answer to who am I, by learning from the great I AM.