Who You Are

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In the midst of all the craziness that is becoming my senior year of college, I thought I would take the time to type about the subject of being scared. That is, being afraid of who you really are. The world is spinning, life is proceeding, changes are happening, memories are being made, accomplishments are being met, and even tears are being shed; however, one thing remains. God. He never changes, He is always right beside us, and He is the one who continues to forgive, save, and love us every second of every day. You and me…we are children of God & like someone reminded me of recently: “Once a child of God, always a child of God.” How true is this?! And how often do we forget that it is why we wake up everyday?! Each of us are crafted uniquely; down to the cuticles of our fingernails, the hairs on our head, and the arteries (which I’ve been privileged in learning more about recently) that keep the blood flowing. Each of us are living a life that cannot be replaced and we were put on this planet for a reason. God made us a part of His Kingdom for a reason.

Lately, I’ve been having some trouble remembering all of this beautiful glory. I’ve been told continuously how I’m not good enough, should be doing this or that, and have been failing at life at the moment. And I know it’s not cool. Because I cannot be afraid to be me. I have to remember (same goes for you too) that I am going through this season, even day, of life how God wants me to and only He can define me. That’s it. Plain and simple. The God of the universe just wants me to believe in His word and follow Him with every step I take. He defines me and no one else. He defines you and no one else. He defines your neighbor, coworker, boss, cleaning lady, and professor too. No one else. A child of God is fearfully and wonderfully made, adopted for forgiveness, grace, strength, and love…as well as destined for a place far better than this one.

I think I’m getting a little off track but let me share an example with you. Think of it this way: trees. Autumn is approaching and the trees are starting to turn colors, right? When a tree is green, it is still a tree and we claim this as good (summer/spring). When a tree turns orange/red, it is still a tree and we claim this as good (fall). When a tree loses its leaves and is naked with only branches, it is still in fact a tree and we claim this as good too (especially once snow arrives in winter). This beautiful cycle of growth and life within one tree is just like our identity in Christ. No matter what we go through, whether times of happiness or pain, laughter or cries, we remain ourselves. At the end of the day, we are still a child of God. Whether you are stressed out of your mind (like me) or a five-year-old not having a worry in the world (we all miss those times), you are still a child of God. Whether you are CEO of a company or you are a janitor at a high school, you are still a child of God. Do not be afraid. Do not put so much pressure on yourself to be x, y, and/or z [trust me, this is something I am working on especially lately]. Do not remain anxious or stressed or upset. God’s got you.

You need only to be still, my friend. Trying to be someone you’re not and being scared of the future – Satan loves such anxiety. But you have an almighty God who loves you more than you could possibly imagine. & even if this blog was all over the place, I hope you remember at least that tonight. I know I need to. I’ve been praying for strength, guidance, patience, support, and love…when all I need to do is soak in God’s presence and lean on Him when I am feeling all of the above. I only need Him. I am only His. He is mine. No matter what. Forever and always.

Faith, Hope, & Love

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So it’s been about a week since I got my first tattoo: a symbol on my left wrist. A cross for Faith, a lifeline beat for Hope, and a heart for Love; they all connect together (picture below). A special person in my life went with me when I got this done. She had encouraged me to get this particular tattoo for months and was even planning on getting it with me. When we walked in and made my appointment, I still couldn’t believe it but I was beyond excited. At Totem Tattoo here in Williamsport I was so thankful that Aaron was the artist who inked me. He made my first tattoo experience great and we ended up having a wonderful conversation about each other’s stories after. Looking down at my first tattoo with Demi’s “Warrior” blasting in the background, I felt truly blessed.

Anyway, if you want to know more details about my tattoo I would love to chat with you about it in person some time. The real reason for this new blog is to provide you with real life examples of why this tattoo means so much to me. Now every day I wake up and I have a reminder on me that faith, hope, and love are why I am here. Throughout the day, I look down at my wrist and I am reminded that faith, hope, and love are what keep me strong when I feel weak. When I feel exhausted and overwhelmed, frustrated and lost, this symbol keeps me going. Jesus keeps me going. I continue to have Faith that I will get all my schoolwork that I need to get done daily accomplished. I continue to have Faith that God has a plan for me. I even continue to have Faith that I will be able to find clothes that fit me for my internship soon (this happened earlier tonight and I hate shopping). I have Faith in recovery, and in my community, friends, and family. Without Faith, I wouldn’t be here today.

Next up is Hope. This specifically struck my heart this past Wednesday, September 10th: World Suicide Prevention Day. In a week I will be participating in a walk dedicated to the awareness of suicide with other students and faculty from Lycoming. This past Wednesday I was reminded that Hope actually exists. It lies in the path of someone who thinks they are useless, unloved, unwanted, and ready to give up but just won’t. Hope lies in the heart of someone who is trying so hard not to harm themselves, harm others, or even take their own life. Hope is within Jesus and Hope is within you and me. As you can see in my tattoo, the lifeline plummets to its lowest point but miraculously increases once again to keep living. I’ve been at my lowest point before, which was full of toxins, sin, and negativity; however, I didn’t give up and I leaned on this sense of Hope to get me through each day. Now, just like my tattoo, I am gaining enough strength to rise above the mess again. Life is going to be hard and seem like a roller-coaster at times but luckily I have Faith and Hope by my side to lead me right to Love.

Today in church we were reminded of the most powerful, unconditional, and amazing love there is: our Father’s love. God’s love is eternally free and no person or thing can ever take it away from us. Hearing this today made my heart happy because Love is so important to me. Without it, similar to Faith & Hope, I really wouldn’t be here today. When I was at an all time low, I survived by the Love of the other people in my life who genuinely cared about me. I survived by the Love of Jesus. I survive daily because of God’s love. I survive daily by the Love I receive from people in my life who still do genuinely care about me. Love is so miraculous; I can barely put the feeling into words. I hope you have your own definition of Love and you learn to realize how vital it is. Our bodies are made up of sixty something percent of water, right? We literally need H two O to survive. I believe the same thing is with love. People need other people; love goes a long way; and Jesus can show us what that beautiful Love feels like. If you don’t believe that you are loved, please come talk to me.

I am so thankful that I am able to wake up every day now and see this symbol of strength on a place where weakness once was expressed. I apologize if this didn’t make a whole lot of sense, I just wanted to type my thoughts out 🙂 I pray that you lean on Faith, Hope, and Love as much as you can daily. ❤

Stay strong and remember what 1 Corinthians 13:13 says  “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

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