Life Happens…Write It Out

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Those of you who know the TV show Greys Anatomy know about Meredith Grey & Christina Yang’s “Dance It Out”. Those of you who aren’t familiar with it allow me to explain. Whenever Meredith or Christina are stressed out, they dance it out. They shake, jump around and laugh until their problems are no longer big. Well Greys Anatomy, when I’m stressed, I don’t dance. I write.

I wouldn’t say that I am stressed but life has happened. I completed my Masters Degree. I graduated. I’ve looked for a job. I’ve been turned down from jobs. I turned 25. I’m still living at home. To be honest when I decided to return to blogging I had to really decide what I was going to share first. I still haven’t decided 🙂 But I did decide that I wanted to share a Scripture God has placed on my heart for this time in my life.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13-14

You see, for me a lot has happened the past 6 months. I have had ample opportunities to be discouraged and disheartened. I have gotten bogged down a few times but when this verse was spoken that week in church, I felt God saying, “Stacie, this is what I want you to do.” Yes, I should learn from things but I can’t be stuck in the past. I can’t be too focused on future things either because no mater what, my goal and ultimate prize in life is to spend eternity with Him. I have learned the importance of not being focused on the future. The past year I have been so set on not putting down roots because I was sure I would be moving into a full time job right after graduation. I passed up community (dumb decision for another post) and many other things. What I missed was that God wanted me to take a breath and settle here. And just because I’m settling doesn’t mean I’ll be here forever. It just means that I am happy where He has me. Growing.

So Greys Anatomy, life happens. You can dance but I’m going to write.

ps. sorry for the shortness, I’m just excited to write again and wanted to get something out. more to come in the next week!

Blessings

Not Ashamed?

I started my new job last week and after my shift my head was so stuffy with information. It was the same feeling I got when studying for a test. At my job, of course I met new people. Everyone was so nice and funny!! There was only one thing I was dreading being asked and I found myself strongly convicted because of it. The question followed my response to them asking where I came from. I explained that I had moved back after finishing school so I could complete my internship. Their next question was: where did you go to school? This simple question was the question I dreaded being asked. Why, you might ask? Well, simply because I went to a Bible college and when they find that out, it’s pretty obvious I’m a Christian. I’m not sure why this bothers me.

Maybe it’s because I want to fit in?Seem “normal”?

Why am I so ashamed of the fact I went to a Bible college? Or even just the fact I’m a Christian?

Why am I not more excited to share?

Why do I keep waiting for someone else to bring the topic of God up?

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)

A fellow blogger, Holley Gerth, recently wrote a blog post similar to this topic and she talked about when we get to this point, the point of avoiding circumstances or making excuses, we really are waiting for the perfect moment. She makes her readers realize that that perfect moment will never happen. She’s so right!! If we keep waiting until they bring up the topic or until those butterflies go away we will be waiting forever. I’m sure the Apostle Paul had butterflies when he confronted pharisees. I’m sure he felt defeated when he was thrown in jail numerous times. We are no different than him or any other. We all have the same power to influence those around us.

I almost posted this last week but I’m glad I didn’t because I got the chance to watch the recent film, God’s Not Dead. If you haven’t seen it, it’s amazing and it surely put a tug on my heart especially since this topic has been on my heart lately. At the end we are challenged to text everyone in our contacts three words: God’s Not Dead. The convicting thing is that I immediately thought: I can’t do that! What would so-and -so think? Ugh, I disgust myself. I’m still not there yet, but it’s my daily prayer that He helps me become more bold through the little things and I hope it’s your prayer too.

Joyful

Throughout the Bible there is this command to be joyful even in the midst of hard times. In the Old Testament with the Israelites and then in the New Testament Paul instructs believers time and time again to rejoice and be glad. Now, it’s easy to say that we are joyful in the good circumstances but when our life take a turn for the worst so does our state of heart.

It is SO HARD to do this. It’s hard to be joyful when life throws me a curve ball. It’s so hard to be joyful when I want to focus on my current situation and try and figure a way out instead of focusing on God who’s already got it figured out. This is the difference between biblical happiness and joy. Happiness comes from our circumstances while joy comes from the Lord. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 

This is joy. This is contentment. This is trust.

 I think I have said before that I don’t like to “grow where I’m planted”. I like to think ahead to the next step. To the next thing that is going to happen in my life. But when I do this, I miss out on the beautiful things that God has for me here in this moment. When I do this I’m saying that I’m not content with where God has me right now. That there is something wrong with the circumstances that my life is in. I’m always looking for a way to improve where I’m at not thinking that where I’m at can be great if I focus my attention and state of mind on God and not my circumstances. I am learning that as I am shifting my focus toward God and his glorious riches He has for me right now, I see my complaining slowly die and I start to rejoice even though I may be hurting. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). I love where I am and who God is making me into. I have joy in that. Yes, my circumstances will cause me hurt sometimes but as long as I keep my focus and faith in God, I will always have joy!

A prayer that I saw my favorite Lysa TerKeurst post on Facebook recently,”God I love you. I don’t love this situation. But I love you. Therefore, I have everything I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and will walk through until I get to the other side of this. I trust in you. In Jesus’ name, amen.” This is a gut-honest prayer. I love it! I will have joy in Jesus Christ even though I may not love my current situation. This is true joy…not happiness.

I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest, is the most precious thing in all thinking.

George MacDonald

The Key

I am heading into a HUGE transition in my life. I am closing one chapter of my life that has been all I’ve known for the past 6 years in just under a month. Yes, I am moving on to bigger and better things but that doesn’t make the transition easier. I am hitting quite a lot of bumps along the way too. Over the past few months I have been planning and trying to set things up for myself in regards to where I’m going to be living and where I’m going to work. This has been a daunting task and quite stressful. I have a lot that I could grumble about as I transition. Things aren’t going the way I thought they were. There are doors being shut when they were open not long ago and I feel like there aren’t any other doors left. I want to pound on the doors demanding that they open up but I’ll be the first to tell you that when God shuts a door, only He can open it back up so that it’ll work out to our benefit. If we pry it open, it won’t be pretty. Waiting for God to open the door up is what I don’t want to do. DSCN2174_Fotor_Fotor_Fotor I’m stuck in this transition and it’s hard. I want a job, I want a nice apartment, heck I admit that I want a decent guy in my life but God isn’t ready to give me those things yet. Yes, I know that I NEED a job and I NEED a place to stay so I assume (hope) that those will come sooner rather than later but the guy thing…well that’s just going to be in God’s timing and not a door that I force open. When I force a door open I am being impatient and I am settling for second best. Settling for second best is NOT God’s best. It’s not even MY best. It’s just something that I see and I want to snatch up because I’m doubting that God will bring something better. If a door shuts I want to bang on it because it’s gone and I doubt that He will make another door appear. I had an apartment lined up but I just found out that the rent will be significantly higher than I planned so that door shut (for now at least). I want to bang on it because it was there and I doubt that anything else so great will come along. I had a relationship but the door closed and even though it was my decision to close it, a part of me wants to bang on the door because my flesh doubts that anything else will come along. I am looking for a job and I am banging on doors like crazy but nothing will open. It leaves me feeling hopeless. These things I know God will present to me in His time and I will have the apartment that is best and the man that is best and the job that is best.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). Yes, here in Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples that those who knock the door will be opened but I don’t believe that this verse should be read without looking back one chapter to where Jesus is telling his disciples HOW to pray and ask. We are to pray and ask according to the will of God, with a contrite spirit, asking with faith of who God is and not for things that we deserve but because God wants to give us good things because He loves us.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

James 1:6-7

This is the key to our prayers and getting through the transition when we feel like there are doors shutting. The key is FAITH. One thing that has helped me get through the helplessness is to stop focusing on the problem and focus on God’s faithfulness in those prayers that He has answered in the past. I need to stop banging on the doors that have closed and have assurance that they closed for a reason and that there will be something better and best for me…and for you!