It’s been a bit since I was last typing away at my keyboard!
I pray that you all are safe and well as COVID19 unfolds … but I want to remind you that God is still in control, this was not a surprise to Him, and that we as the church shouldn’t be shrinking back but instead proclaiming His goodness loud and clear!
My life has changed in some ways, but nothing major. I’m a homebody for the most part and before quarantine I mostly left the house for a once a week grocery run, and maybe to hit a coffee shop once a week after leaving my local library!
Since my last post I’ve taken time off from college, let my natural hair color grow out, almost completely purged and organized our home, worked on my spiritual health, selected paint colors for our home, created a workout plan that *actually* works for myself, gotten back to clean eating, decided my break from college was over, attended my first drive in church service for Resurrection Sunday and turned 24!
All in all – a few major things and lots of little minor things have happened in the last few months and I couldn’t be more grateful! I feel like that is my word for 2020 … grateful.
Obviously 2020 hasn’t started how many people planned, and while I think it’s sad and even stressful at times, I think it’s shown many people things that they need to change in their life.
Maybe they took their family, job, finances or even church service for granted.
Perhaps many have realized just how good America has it in many ways after experiencing some hardship, while realizing that while we face some hardships right now, many people in other countries go through life without many of the “first world” luxuries we still have during this time.
Clean drinking water, three meals a day, drive through restaurants, whole physical Bibles, air conditioned and heated churches with padded seats, electricity, cellphones, internet access, closets chock full of clothing, shoes for our feet, expensive coffee, tv subscriptions and much more are what I can guarantee most people reading this blogpost have access too.
Even though we experience some hardships we normally do not face – we are still extremely blessed.
While this is a hard truth to acknowledge, it’s the honest truth.
I was prompted to share this on my blog the other day as I stood in line next to a woman and her two teenage children.
They were all complaining to the cashier how their favorite snack wasn’t in stock, how the son’s PS4 was acting up and (apparently) a gaming store was closed so it couldn’t be looked at. The daughter mentioned how the mall was closed, and what a disaster the upcoming weekend would be. The mom was going to have to go without a hair appointment, and it sounded like they were going to miss a family vacation.
While I do realize how all this could be frustrating, how have we become so self centered that we automatically go into temper tantrums and assume we “deserve” these things?
Have we gotten so comfortable with our lives that the “meaning” of life is about what we have, where we go and how much we consume?
After I graduated high school, my family gifted me a Disney Cruise in the Caribbean. I had no idea it was going to happen, and I was shocked!
About midway into the trip we were going to do a day onshore in Jamaica, but to get to our destination, we had to pass through a section where travelers normally would never see.
On the bus ride, Jamaica turned from glamorous sunny beaches and bright cabanas to “houses” made from tarps, no running water, no bathrooms, no wifi, no internet, no refrigerators, no furniture, and just grass mats for beds.
While I have been on mission trips in the United States and seen poverty, I had never seen this level of poverty with my own eyes.
I was shocked, and it’s something that I have never forgotten and something that loomed in my mind the rest of the trip.
But the fact is, there is still much of the world that does not even come close to our “everyday luxuries” we enjoy, think we deserve, and take for granted when it’s not available.
We have so much in (most of) our lives that are not true necessities – we have so much excess of said things that we cannot imagine living with the bare essentials.
I do not think things or even excess is bad, but when we rely on more than the bare necessities day in and day out and then get so full of ourselves that we believe that we “deserve” these things – maybe even more than others – that is what is wrong.
If we are a followers of Christ and have this attitude/mindset, then we apparently do not understand Christs’ humility or how He lived when He was on this earth before His death, burial and resurrection.
When the things and objects of this world become our “safe zone” and we rely on them more than God – we’ve made a big mistake.
I’ve cut back on things in my own personal life because I felt that they were distracting me from my true Provider.
Our money, housing, cars, coveted wants from our Pinterest “aesthetic” boards, style, internet profiles, retirements, and anything else you think is important can become an idol real quick if we don’t keep them in check.
Keeping up with celebrities or the joneses only gets you so far in life.
I absolutely love my country and I’m proud to bleed red, white and blue – but we are so blessed in America that many people have lost sight of what it means to really live (let alone make in impact) in Christ.
And as sad of a situation as COVID19 has become, I believe it is a wake up call for many of us to really take a pause and reevaluate our lives, what is important to us, and what true necessities are. I think that one end of all this mess is a positive thing, especially for many of the teenagers and young adults of this nation.
I hate the death. I hate the suffering. I hate the pain that this has caused.
My own family has known people who have succumbed to complications of COVID19, and it’s heartbreaking.
But I firmly believe that God is still good, He still cares, and He wants His people to look to Him and pray instead of adopting the chaotic madness of fear that cripples many from spreading the Gospel during this time!
He gave us brains – we should be cautious, we should prep our families to still have basic necessities met, and we should use common sense.
But as Children of the King, we should not cave into the pits of despair and chaotic anxiety that so many have bought into.
If we do, how is that reflecting on us as Believers?
What do those actions say to any unbelieving friends or maybe even struggling Christian friends? How does that propel the Gospel in any way, shape or form?
Obviously we are still humans and we still have feelings and emotions, but as His children we should, without a shadow of a doubt, know where our Help comes from.
We shouldn’t be snapping and griping to the store clerks, glaring at people who pass or stocking up on so much surplus of goods we take all 50 of ________ (you fill in the blank) plus a few more as the elderly couple look on who are obviously struggling to find a simple can of beans/cleaning supplies/etc!!!
And before you ask, yes I have seen this from people who I know claim to be His and many are people from previous churches/past acquaintances I’ve attended/people I’ve known in my area.
At times, I’ve caught myself being this type of person/Christian.
But God showed His love by loving people.
If we are out there (or even in our own homes!) acting just as ruthless as the world is and disliking every person we meet ….. it’s time to check ourselves.
You cannot be His child and hate people.
Jesus’ whole life here on earth was loving and serving the unlovable, the mess ups, the beggars, the lepers, the broken, the bullies and the list goes on and on.
Because at the end of the day, you and I are all those things too – because there was and is only One perfect being!
I know this is a long post. I got carried away. But I actually didn’t plan on writing a blogpost today – I just felt all this impressed on my heart to share.
Some things I shared were hard truths that I didn’t want to write.
But if I backed away from writing them, then maybe whoever is reading this and is supposed to read some of those lines wouldn’t have a “pause” to reflect and work it out with God …. you simply never know who you’re going to reach when you write blogposts, but you always know Who you’re representing.
I’m not a perfect person, wife, daughter, friend, or Christian.
I tend to have a short fuse, am prone to being moody and can be very selfish if I don’t keep myself in check on the daily.
Everyone has less-than-desirable traits, and I learned that you have to get over your own self and recognize these types of flaws before you can work on them and offer them up to God.
You have to humble yourself as Jesus did in order to surrender yourself to God fully so that you can start working on these traits … it’s a hard thing to do, but it’s a necessary thing to do.
The clay has to crumble so the Potter can create a new vessel. In other words, we have to acknowledge our brokenness and become transparent so that God can mold us and shape us as He sees fit.
And this isn’t a one time occurrence – if we’re honest, it’s a daily one.
I grew up in a solid and two parent home, went to church growing up, never had to worry about my next meal, got a car at 16/17, and had an allowance.
I was blind to the suffering, pain and “real” world problems out there for a long time – in my own little world doing my own little thing. But when I finally did recognize them, my relationship with God strengthened and I also saw the many blessings of my life and at this time knew that as a Christian, I couldn’t keep a blind eye to these things.
While I personally think it’s a good thing to go on as many mission trips as you’re able outside of America, don’t forget the real impact you can have on the people you know and your own community, too!
The Gospel and Christ’s love needs to be spread everywhere – abroad, in a jungle halfway around the world, and right next door to you. Even in your own home.
This time during COVID19 is a perfect time to start working on loving people like Christ does and spreading the Gospel by your words, actions, and commitment to the things that make up your walk with God.
If you are unsure of where to start, or if you have never confirmed yourself as a follower of Christ – reach out to a local pastor you know you can trust or direct message me and I will help you best as I can and put you in touch with men and women who can help further your relationship with Him.
Every day that you wake up, Christ has given you another day to spread the Gospel, love people as He did, and live out His work better than you did the day before.
Every new day in your life is grace given to you by God – use each one wisely for His glory and you’ll live a life better than you ever dreamed was possible.
I hope this post has reached someone this afternoon.
It’s very scary to put yourself out there in writing for the whole internet to have a hold of – especially when you feel prompted to put some of the hard truths of God’s work out there for people to read.
Believe me, I’ve had nasty comments before.
But hurt people and people who have been convicted tend to lash out at others at the cost of someone else behind their computer or phone screen – it’s an unfortunate but very real reality.
I’ve learned that as long as I’m sharing what I feel lead to share it ultimately isn’t me personally that someone is attacking – it’s who they see when they look in a mirror and at God.
Not everyone is going to accept the Gospel.
Not every Christian is going to completely go after a life like Christ lived, as it’s simply their “get out of hell free” card.
But as long as you and I are sharing the simple truth of Jesus, His life and His work – that’s all that matters!
Take heart ya’ll,