this life.

You know when you log on to Instagram or Facebook and you see all of these people’s lives and their amazing adventures, their families, their successes, their heartbreaks, their rants and of course their opinions? Does it ever make you wonder, what is this life?

Bali has made me dive deep into my own life and look into what I share and what I represent myself to be on social media. People constantly tell me they live vicariously through me, which yea, it’s flattering but it stirred up a lot of questions. Am I representing myself the way I want to be seen? Or am I hiding behind something?

In Bali I re-discovered a lot about myself. I went there to dive deeper within, and I did.

My self study on the trip stirred up a lot of deep and dark emotions of my past that I was sure were healed and far behind me. I dug into current wounds that feel like they are ripped open daily. I have struggled with family relationships for a long time and I have tried to stay above and apart from what tries to tear me down constantly – but the best way to heal is to tear off the band-aid, no matter how much it hurts – so I did it and I’m healing.

Everyday I choose to seek refuge from what I can’t control within these relationships by living a positive and uplifting life and I surround myself by choice with people that help me grow and push me in the directions of my dreams. Do you ever look at who you surround yourself with and realize there are a lot of people that tear you down more than they build you up?

I have let relationships like this and the wounds of my divorce and the struggles that followed that time in my life hold me back from truly pursuing my dreams. I have let fear of failure and fear of being successful and proving them wrong hold me back. I have been taken advantage of most of my life and I have let people allow me to fill myself with self doubt because of how they treated me or how they talked to me. For a long time I have not believed in myself.

Years ago after I got out of a relationship I was told I should try dating myself for a while. It was the best advice I have ever been given. In my relationship with myself I have been discovering my worth, I am believing in who I am – and my trip to Bali helped me to discover even more in this sacred relationship. I am believing I am someone that is worth being successful, I am someone that is worth pursuing my dreams and I am someone that is meant to cheer on others and let them see we are all in this life together.

I believe God has big plans for me and I’m realizing that the path I am on has gone exactly the way he has planned it – I wasn’t supposed to marry who I married and I wasn’t supposed to have a family then – I was supposed to discover, experience and live this life of building up others and motivating people to be their best selves first.

Yesterday I went to church and I connected so much with the message because it hit all the area’s of my life I have recently been questioning now that I know myself more, I know who I am. The biggest takeaway from the message was, “Why settle? Would you choose a hot dog over a filet mignon? Don’t marry a wiener.” Jason Strand (watch the message here)- Yea, that was said in church, but really – why would I settle when it isn’t right. God hasn’t been ready for me to settle. So here I am, surrendering, digesting and taking in this life. Living it day my day exactly the way He is showing me I should live it.

This life.

My life.

“While you dream your dreams, He’s busy building your destiny. And there is as much beauty in your destiny as there was in your dream. Let go and believe that whatever it is, it will be beautiful.” –Carry on, Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton

 

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Tattoo

2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.


Why this tattoo? This is what it means to me: 

I will begin by crediting Miss Lindsey Wells. Over a year ago I received a text message from her that simply said “2 Corinthians 12:9, I just read it and you came to my mind.”  I read her text and quickly went to the internet to find out what 2 Corinthians 12:9 could be. I read it several times trying to make sense of it. 

I was just re-opening my relationship again with God and as usual I needed more explanation to help me understand what the bible was telling me. So I googled “What does 2 Corinthians 12:9 mean” This is what I found: It means that the grace of God is all that is needed by any person. It alone saves a person from the consequences of their sins. It alone provides the abundant life for each believer. The person does not ever need to do anything except accept the gift of God’s grace.

This definition sunk in right away. It spoke to the emptiness I was feeling and the need for something in my life that I wasn’t able to find. It made me realize that finding my relationship with God was the right step to make. That He could fill that empty space, the feeling of loneliness, temptation, sin, He could fill that hole in my heart. Powerful feeling. 

What I had been missing was Him. Not a relationship with friends, family or a significant other. My emptiness was the lack of accepting God in my life. By opening up and letting Him in I can allow myself to be saved from the loneliness, I can be given power through my weakness by letting Him guide me.

Shortly after I started looking at this verse I stepped back into church. My friend Laura invited me to Eagle Brook Church. I had heard so much about EBC, but I had never attended. My first service I was hooked! I continued to go back with Laura and finally I began going on my own if she couldn’t make it. The series in January “Losing our Buts” was so powerful. Every week they talked about topics that 100% spoke right to me. They even followed suit with 2 Corinthians 12:9 and the feeling this gave me. Wow. I was just amazed at the power I felt after leaving services. I actually left many services and I would get in my car and cry because I was so overcome by happiness and grace. 

February 16th, shortly after the “Losing our Buts” series I was off to Hawaii for 2 weeks. Life was going so well I was feeling so blessed with my new relationship with God and my opportunity to spend so much time on vacation. On the way to the airport my mom handed me a devotional book and told me to read today’s passage: 

Feb 16

Fitting Right…….”Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again.” I was about to spend 9 hours on a plane (not including airport/layover time).  But what hit me most about the passage of the day was the bible verse they refer to, 2 Corinthians 12:9. Yes right there, on the day I leave to Hawaii I see this same bible verse that has made such a presence in my life recently.  Little did I know how much I would need God during my trip.   

Halfway through my trip I found out a friend back home died. I was 4,000 miles from home grieving his loss and finding myself to be very weak. I needed the strength of God to help me answer the questions of “why?” and to help me figure out how to get through the pain and heartbreak I was feeling. It was His power that helped me through. It is his power today that is still helping me take each step and realize the power that is behind His words that can help me live this life I have been given. 

This is why I got the tattoo. This verse reminds me that when I am feeling weak I can turn to God and I can let him help me through it. His grace is enough. 

I know I got pretty deep (and long winded) on what this tattoo means to me. But for those of you who were curious, here it is! 

The link below is one of my favorite messages from EBC during their “Losing our buts” series.  Check it out! 
http://eaglebrookchurch.com/media-resources/weekend-messages/i-just-cant-stop/