Let’s talk about sex 

Let’s talk about sex 

Actually let’s talk about purity. 

A couple nights ago was the first time I have ever been put down for choosing to save all of myself for my future dude. And although I wasn’t ashamed, regretful, or tempted in the slightest bit… my heart hurt for the individual that thought that something worth great value wasn’t worth treasuring and preserving. 
Now please bare with me while I dive into a matter that I believe needs to be addressed. Because I don’t believe that it’s talked about enough in today’s culture. 
In the beginning God created man and he said it wasn’t good for man to be alone. So from mans side, he created woman. God told Adam and Eve to repopulate the earth. Hint hint – he told them to have sex. Now. This was the first time this has happened. Like ever. So let’s dissect this. Adam and Eve were joined in a covenant (aka marriage) and they were completely naked in the garden. Mind you, they didn’t feel any shame yet. There was no sin. They both walked in purity. Some may say they had it easy because there was no one else to lust after. To me Eden has always meant “the way God intended” I believe that God intended sex for marriage. I learned this not too long ago in counseling. Allow me to break it down for you. We as humans are emotional human beings. So when you have sex a hormone is released, causing a connection between both individuals. So instead of constantly breaking off soul ties and being in and out of counseling, God meant for it to be  sacred and under a covenant. Also because it’s something of value. But I also believe that, that is not the only thing God is asking of us with that covenant. 

I was talking with a friend a couple weeks ago and she had told me that she went to a conference that talked about this matter and it really upset her about the false information that was given. The message that she received was ultimately that when you’re married, it’s a free for all. I believe that Believers and especially non believers are misinformed on how this is supposed to go down. Male and females.. please please grasp this. You are not only to protect your persons heart before “I do”, but for every moment before and after. It should never stop. 

Here’s the deal, Adam didn’t do his job. He didn’t protect Eve’s heart in the midst of the enemy. But Eve also didn’t protect Adams heart either. We see what happens after that. This shows the heavy importance of why we must protect our persons heart. 
If you’re like me and I’m the waiting for your person, protect your heart. Most people think that just because they didn’t have sex before marriage that they’re in the clear. While I would congratulate you, I would also ask how your walk in purity is going. Because the reality is, if you’re watching scary movies and they’re affecting your dreams… imagine what else your watching that’s affecting your dreams and your thoughts. What are you listening to? What are you talking about with friends? How do you approach the opposite sex? What are you doing to fight for purity? To me, I think it is much more honorable to live a life of purity rather than managing to get by for your wedding night. 
There’s another side to this that I want to touch on.. recently my friend told me through tears how scared she was to tell her husband one day all of the times she stumbled. I asked Jesus what he would want me to say in that moment. He told her, there’s grace. There’s always grace. So whether you’ve messed up 117 times or 1 time, grace is reaching his hand out for you. 
I want to end this with a promise. If you’re in the waiting for your person, don’t give up in the waiting. Please don’t settle. Your heart has great value and your soul is worth more than gold. You’re treasured by the creator of the universe. You’re worth saving and you’re worth being saved for. You’re a son and a daughter of the king, own that. Walk in purity, it’s a hard walk but it’s so worth it. I have to believe that it is. Understand that there’s grace, but please be kind to it.. don’t abuse it. The father adores you. I adore you. 
Daughters, know that you’re a daughter of the most high with the most high value. You’re worth being pursued and waited for. You are deserving of a man of God, don’t settle for anything else. Waiting gets lonely, but press into Jesus. Ask him what he wants to show you in this time of singleness. I ask of you that you would ask God how you can be the best you for your person. Walk in truth. 
Sons, you’re the leader of a household. That comes with great responsibility. As a daughter, I ask of you that you would be lead by the great leader and learn from him. Walk in purity and view girls the way you’d view your sisters. Please be gentle with our delicate hearts. You deserve a woman of honor. Please please wait. I can’t imagine that you’ll regret it. You have what it takes and you’re well waited for. 
Phillipians 4:8 

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

We can’t do it alone

I’ve always heard people say that God will never give us more than we can handle. I whole heartedly disagree. If that’s the truth, then that would mean that I can handle everything. I’m good, I don’t need a savior. Because I can handle it. I’m self-dependent. But that’s just not the reality. 
You see, I believe God gave Job way more than he could handle. Job cursed his existence. He would rather have died, than to live another day. Job cried out day after day for God to take away his life. To me that sounds like he was given more than he could handle. 
God came because there was a need. 

If you read in the Old Testament, in the Torah you’re met with all the laws and regulations which carry into the rest of that testament. There was a very real need for Jesus. The world desperately needed a savior to come and take away the burden of sin. Things were too heavy for us humans to handle. We needed to be saved by a savior.

If we were to only receive the things we could handle, then we could handle it. There would never be a need for us to turn to God and ask for help, or guidance. We would never goto his word. Because we “could handle it”. 
There was a time in my life where I truly believed that I had to have it all together in order to be a Christ follower. One day God met me with a question. “China if you had it all together, why would you need me?” Let me think about that one.. “If you were to ask me to get coffee and we met up, what would we talk about? You wouldn’t need me.” And I realized that in fact I DO need Jesus. Every waking second of every day. I don’t have it all together, and I’m okay with that. I can’t handle it all, and I’m okay with that. Because I know that life has things to offer far beyond my human capacity to hold/handle. 
We could easily look at this and say well if this is true and God does give us more than we can handle, how is that a “good God”? I look at it the sense that God is stretching us. If you’re a follower of Christ, I know that you have been stretched at some point. And probably more than once. God wants us to grow. Just like any parents wants their child to grow, God wants to see us grow in spirit. In order to grow, it’s gonna cause some pain. I remember as a kid having leg pains all the time because apparently they were growing. Although they didn’t grow very much.. it still hurt. Needless to say, growing pains hurt. Stretching hurts. Having more on your plate that you can handle hurts. But take heart, because God doesn’t give us things and then flee the scene. His word says he will never leave nor forsake us. I have to believe that’s true. 
I cannot stress this enough. I wish I could actually take your hand and look into your eyes and help you believe that you’re not alone. He’s right there. God likes to work behind the scenes. When people work behind the scenes we don’t really know all that goes into the production.. because it’s behind the scenes. I think that God works that way too. Most of the time we don’t understand why this thing is happening.. we may not even understand what is happening. But we don’t always need the why and what. We just need to be still and rest that he’s got this and he’s got us. 

I’ve come to the point in my life where I don’t feel like I can’t handle it all the time. There’s times where it’s hard to get out of bed and I just want to talk give up on everything. I’m reminded that I need my savior to step in on my behalf and say that he’s got this and that he’s got me. Real life, it’s hard to remember that at all times. 
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t handle what’s been given to you. You’re going to get through this. You’ll even come out stronger. Pain doesn’t last forever. Joy is coming. In fact it’s already here. Freedom is already here. Claim it, it’s yours. 

Know who you are and whose you are

One of the most valuable things that I learned last year was about identity. I realized that as you spend more time with God, the more you learn about him. The more you learn about him, the more you learn about yourself. I’ve found out that there is always more for us to learn. There is always more room to grow. 
 Identity and worth go hand in hand. Better yet, worth is found in your identity. Have you ever been out shopping and something catches your eye? You walk over and fancy the article of clothing in all of its glory. You’re marveling at it and consider whether or not to try it on, or because you love it so much you’re just going to buy it. You look at the price tag and suddenly your heart stops. It’s way more than you would EVER spend on clothing. You put it back on the rack and walk away thinking, “it’s just not worth it.” Right in that moment you’ve labeled the worth of something, and to you it wasn’t worth your hard earned money. 

Imagine if yourself as that piece of clothing. Someone coming by, marveling at you, checking you out.. then looking at you as something way too costly and then proceeding to put you back on the shelf because you, are just not worth it. 

 

  To me that metaphor has always stuck with me. Mainly because I’ve been that article of clothing time and time again. 
  But then I was introduced to the very true story of Jesus coming and paying the ultimate price for me. Sin has a very costly price, so much so that it took The Creator of the entire world’s son to come in and pay for all of our sin tabs. 

  Imagine at the end of the day you having to go somewhere and pay a tab for all the junk that the day brought. But instead you were greeted by a man with kind eyes telling you, “My child, your tab has been paid. Go and tell the others.” I’m pretty sure I would run out of that place doing front flips. 
   But that’s our reality. Jesus paid for our “sin tabs”. One for every single day for the rest of our lives. How cool is it that we get to live debt free? 
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”
  That scripture is mainly used to display forgiveness. But I had it explained to me in a new sense that has forever changed my view on worth. 

The Master let his servant off debt free, and the servant then turned around and had his fellow servant thrown in jail because he was owed something. The first servant didn’t understand the worth of his Master letting him off debt free. He didn’t honor it nor did he really fully understand it. Because if he truly understood what was done for him, he would have turned around and shown his fellow servant the same kind of grace. Because he would have honored that worth. 
 That’s how you start to know who you are. My sister has really planted this seed of desiring to know whose I am. She put it in the most beautiful way I’ve ever heard it be explained. I was sharing with her a time of when someone wasn’t so gentle with my heart. She explained to me that they didn’t respect me because they didn’t find me worthy. She told me to picture it this way… If my earthly dad was the King of Nashville, therefore making me a princess; I would be in royalty. Giving me great worth. If someone wanted to pursue me they would have to go through The King in order to get to me. That’s how big of a deal it would be. To bring that into a reality, our heavenly father IS a king. Therefore, we are daughters of the most high. 

 

 Know that you are a daughter. And with that comes great honor and worth. Know that when you choose to follow Christ, you are then adopted into his family. Like a good father he passes his possessions onto his children. We become co-owners of heaven. That’s my favorite thing to tell people. You have authority that comes from heaven because God has granted you with that. 
  Those things I have really clung to. That’s what has gotten me through last year. God really showed my my identity and worth. Once you really start to walk in that, you start to make changes in your life. And guess what? People will start to recognize that in you and want that for themselves. 

 

 That’s my prayer for this year. That God would come and dwell in me and use me as a lighthouse. That I would literally just be a house and he would be the light, drawing the lost and broken into him. That he would reveal to them their identity and that other people would walk in it so much so that others would be encouraged to walk with us believers and walk in what we’re walking in. 
 2017 is a year of identity. Claim yours. Find yours and walk in it.

Help wanted 

I know one of the last posts I made I talked about how I made the choice not to go to college. Well here’s a life update, I sensed God drawing me to seminary. Seminary is something you choose when you’re wanting to pursue something in along the missions field. I’ve felt that calling on my life since I was a kid. I chose seminary and chose to study to be a Christian counselor. The question I keep getting is, “why?” My answer is this, I believe that as humans we are flawed. Out of our flaws we cause hurt. We operate out of our wounds which unfortunately leads to wounding others. Some wounds bigger than others. I’ve watched people operate out of their wounds and they’ve carried them into their marriage and into their children’s lives. I’ve made the choice to start the healing process of every little things my life. Giving Jesus permission to go places in my heart that I don’t even go. He’s brought up some stuff and we’re working it out together. That “why?” rings through my head again. Why? Not because I enjoy pain. I certainly do not. But because I want Jesus to have my whole heart. Not just pieces of it. Not the left overs of what has been shatter. But rather my WHOLE heart. I’ve decided that my husband deserves my whole heart. Not my pieces. I’ve chosen to not bring my hurts into my children’s lives. 
 Why I’ve chosen to pursue studies of a counselor is those same reasons but a little flipped. Once you dabble in healing, you become healed. In that you are overflowing. You desire to see healing in your community. My heart aches to see healing. I want to see people freed from their bondage. I can say this from first hand experience, bondage cannot amount to healing. Bondage cannot amount to freedom. By becoming a counselor I get to play a small part in that. Healing comes in different ways for different people. Conversations, songs, sounds of nature, sunsets, mountains, fill in your blank. For me I needed help. I needed someone to walk through my stuff with me. I couldn’t do it by myself. I needed community..I needed the body of Christ to do what it’s meant to do. 

  

 I’ve learned that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s more than okay. We’re humans and we can’t do life on our own. We’re not meant to. But what’s dangerous is when we rely on people to heal us. By me becoming a counselor in no way am I trying to propose that I can save or heal people. I know my capacity, and the reality is that I did not die on a cross to save the sins of humanity. Someone else did and HE wants to save and heal you. He wants to do it so bad that he died and made a way for it to happen. He died so that you can receive help. I am fully aware that Jesus doesn’t need my help. But when he allows me to play a small part of someone’s life, it makes my heart come alive. I’m honored that he would choose me. I know that he’s chosen me for such a time as this. We need healing. Our generation needs it. We need him. 
 I’m passionate about healing and freedom because I believe that Jesus is too. If we’re made in the image of him then we have some characteristics of him. 

 I know that it excites his heart to see his children lead into freedom. He makes a way for his children to be freed from captivity. If he spilt the Red Sea to make a way for people way back then, I have no doubt he’ll do it again for you. 

 

  Nothing is to big for Jesus. He knows and sees it all. Isn’t that cool that we serve an all knowing God? You may think that you’re to much or not enough, but Jesus claims you as more than enough. You’re made righteous through his blood. You’re his prized possession. He wants to clean you and make you whole. So let him. Ask for help. Ask for HIS help. Nobody waits until they’re better to goto the doctor, you go when you’re sick. Run to Jesus and he’ll heal anything you ask him to. 
 Jesus is called wonderful counselor and I believe that with all my heart. I want to be and look like Jesus in everything that I am. So I’m choosing that path. I want to walk alongside of him and watch him lay hands on the blind and open their eyes. I wanna help cast out demons, set the captives free, and high five Jesus afterwards. He delights in you. Walk in the freedom that he paid so highly for. Our time is now. 

 

I don’t wanna miss a thing 

Anyone who has read The Bible, knows first-hand that Jesus was someone who was deeply longed for. If you read The Old Testament, you’ll find many laws on sacrifices. A sacrifice was to be made with a spotless lamb. There were rules on what parts of the lamb where to be used. This was the ritual—this was the norm. Thousands of years this went on. I wonder if the people of Israel ever wanted something more. Something, perhaps different? Maybe finding a spotless lamb got tiring. Who knows? 

In the book of Isaiah, Jesus’ coming was foretold. But the thing about prophecies…. not everything is revealed all at once. Sometimes. But not this time. Plus, our human minds would not be able to handle the information that The Creator of all heavens and earth, had a son. And that he would send him in the most humane way possible. But the people didn’t get it.  

 

Fast foreward to The New Testament. Guess what? They didn’t get it either. From the moment that Jesus was born, Herod feared him. A brand new baby. I’d like to think that Herod knew who he was. He sent a taskforce to have him killed immediately. But God came to joseph in a dream and told him to go to Egypt until further notice. Why did Herod want him dead? Surely they knew that the Messiah was coming. The book of Isaiah told them so. But their idea of how Jesus was coming was so so wrong. It makes sense in our human minds so I’ll give them that.

 

I’m sure they would have imagined Jesus to be born into a highborn family. One day he’d take the throne and become king. But we know that’s just not who our God is. He came in a different way that they thought. He came in a quite scandalous way. Born of a virgin. We must remember that having sex before marriage was punishable by death, let alone a child out of wedlock. God didn’t seem to be concerned about the rules and culture. He was ultimately in charge and was in every single detail.

 

The Bible tells us that Jesus had 33 years of life on earth. In those years he did a lot of scandalous things. To understand this, I’ll give you some Jewish custom. A leader or anyone high up was not to go near someone who was sick. Back then they didn’t just have colds, they had leprosy. The had to remove themselves from the city until they were rid of their disease and then according to whichever disease they had they would come back and have to be declared ceremonially clean by a priest.

 

Jesus didn’t abide by that law. Instead of turning away from the unclean he went and made them clean. He went to people’s house and called them back to life. He spoke about things that went against Jewish law. Word spread and Jesus was the talk of the country. He was accused of blasphemy. No one in leadership could make sense of this. He didn’t fit into their box of what they thought their Messiah would look like.

 

How many times do we do that? How much do we limit God because of limitations of who we think he is? Last week I was talking with God in my car. Just explaining my ideal way I’d like to meet my future husband. I was rambling for a solid 10 minutes when I heard God clear as day, “What if you’re expectation of how you want me to come causes you to miss how I actually come?”

Wait what? I really needed to think about that. What if I’m stuck in this box of thinking and praying and asking him to come fit into my box just so that I could understand it, causes me to miss what he actually does?

 

If I’m at Starbucks every day, waiting for my future guy to walk in wearing a red shirt, but my actual guy with a blue shirt walks in.. I’m going to miss him because I’m expecting him to be wearing red. Sometimes our expectations are what hurt us the most. I do this a lot.

 

 

At the beginning of this year I decided that it was time for me to buy my first car. I saved up for 9 months and now it was time. I looked online, I called around, and then finally I found it. A 2008 ford focus. It was loaded with all the features—heated seats, Bluetooth, even cool interior lights that changed colors. I was so happy that I finally found my ideal car. Two days later I took it to get a used car inspection and found out very quickly just how unsafe and unethical this car was. Seriously, it was a miracle that my car didn’t just fall apart while driving. I had to return it. I felt like I had failed. I had failed to find the right car and even felt like I failed at hearing correctly from God. I jumped. Jumped because I didn’t hear a clear answer. I was afraid the answer might have been no and I wasn’t okay with that. I needed things to happen my way and quickly. But in that I missed what God was saying. I don’t know what he was saying because I didn’t ask.

 

After that week I was back to being car-less. I had a weekend of “freedom” and it was stripped away. I prayed and asked God that he would ultimately bring me what HE knew was best for me. I didn’t want to miss what he had for me anymore. I now drive a beautiful Sentra by the name of Ellanore.. and “she” fits all my needs.

 

I remembered this story a couple of days ago when I told God what I wanted in my husband. After my list was finished I paused.. “okay God do you have anything you’d like to say?”

 

“What about what I want in your husband for you?”

 

I never thought to ask my heavenly Father what he might have wanted for me. If I came to my dad with a list of all these things that I wanted, and simply walked away.. I’m pretty sure my dad would read them over and laugh at half of them because he KNOWS those wouldn’t be things I needed. He’d cross them off and re-write things I NEED. I think that God does that too. Like any good father would he’s going to step in and remove the bad that would happen to his beloved children.

 

Last summer God intervened and removed me form unhealthy situations. Was it fun? No. Did I understand it? No. But, am I thankful he did it looking back? Absolutely. ​

 

He’s a good father. He loves his children and he wants the best for us. But he wants HIS best for us. And sometimes that looks differently than what we think is the best for us. Don’t miss what he has for you because you’re too focused on what you think you might need. He’s been doing this for a while. He’s got this, and he’s also got you. Rest in that. Don’t miss Him. 

You make beautiful things out of us 

Last year was really hard for me. Probably the hardest year that I’ve had. I was introduced to pain, deep heartbreak, almost physical pain. Not the type you could prepare yourself, but the kind of pain that creeps up and blindsides you and T-bones your heart. 

I take friendship so literal because I believe it should be. I believe in the power of community but more so in the power of friendship. 

But I’ve also had a hard time trying to write about this. Mainly fear drove me away from the path of obedience, but also because my heart was black with bitterness. 

Jesus had 12 disciples and those were his people. His bestfriends. If you read the gospels you’ll see just how many times they disappoint him, hurt him, and even betray him. But all in all.. Jesus STILL loved them unconditionally. I just don’t get it… but I’m amazed. 

Long and painful story short, I had friends who I’m no longer friends with.. I’m sure we can all identify with that. I was never given answers as to why that door closed. It just kinda slammed shut. I was banging on the door asking that the door be opened or at least some answers. But the door stayed shut and my questions were unanswered. I really blamed myself. “If I wouldn’t have done this” “I should’ve done this better” or the worst one of all, “What is wrong with me?” I really did believe something was wrong with me. The enemy took that lie and planted it in my heart. What grew from that was the ugliest thing. Bitterness, anger so so much anger, and jealousy. 

I talked to a friend and explained the situation and he pointed me towards redemption and forgiveness. But I told him that I really didn’t want it. I just wanted to be mad. 

Just being who I am, I feel things very deeply. And that was a disadvantage in this case. I really felt like no one understood my pain or my heart. And having your heart dismissed or overlooked is quite possibly the greatest pain. 

Within a few weeks I was told by people I should be over it now. “Why are you STILL crying about it?” My heart ached to just be heard. 

I was talking with God one day and asked him why. Why was this happening. Why was everyone I knew and loved being ripped from my life? Some of my questions were answered. But not the way I wanted. I was greeted with my own personal convictions. God showed me that he wasn’t in fact behind the pain, but he was using it. He showed me that he was working for the good of those who love him. Rom. 8:28 

I spent the fall learning really hard lessons. I learned to forgive without given an apology. Learned how to pray for people I really didn’t like. I also learned how to not be dependent on people. God really became my strength in that time. I prayed so long that he would just bring me one friend. And when that didn’t happen I started praying differently. “God would YOU be my friend right now? Would YOU be all that I need right now.” And he did, and He is. 

People encouraged me that God was going to do something beautiful out of this. I strongly disagreed. But God actually came in, mended my broken heart and picked me up by my hand and led me out of despair. Talk about beautiful. 

I thought that, that right there would be the most beautiful ending to this story. But there was more. 😉

When I wasn’t getting the answers I wanted I made a promise to God. Better yet I tried to make him a deal. “I will never be friends with any more girls for as long as I live.” I feel like God had a smirk on his face when I said that. The reason why I believe that is because at the beginning of this year he asked me to start a bible study for girls. If you know me you know I fought hard against that idea. Fast forward to now, I am a leader to some of the most amazing women of God. Who are not just friends to me but sisters. I’m amazed that I get to do life with them. God has totally redeemed that part of my story. I don’t take one single ounce of credit. 

That was my beautiful ending. I used to share my story and cry, speak from a place of horrid bitterness. But now I write and speak from a place of look at what God has done. I can speak from personal experience that The Lord’s faithfulness never runs out, He is the greatest friend I’ve ever had, and His ways are SO much greater than mine. 

I write this to encourage people who might be feeling the same pain or loneliness. I really believed God’s plan for me was to be alone. I cannot tell you just how untrue that is. You’re not alone. You are seen and known by The King of Kings and The Lord of Lords. 

Also want to remind you that this story doesn’t have an ending. He is constantly adding more while removing the bad fruits in my heart. God is moving, and yes it’s confusing and maybe event frustrating at times. But seriously seriously my best advice to you.. enjoy the process. Don’t miss what he has for you. Because he might just do something that’ll blow your mind. 

Our bodies are temples, why not treat them like it? 

What I’m going to talk about might be uncomfortable however, I’m uncomfortable not talking about it. First and fore-most I really hope my heart doesn’t get misunderstood. My heart is 100% for my generation. With that being said I think there’s some areas in which we can grow in.
This morning while I was driving I decided to listen to the radio and this particular song came on. I couldn’t tell you what the name of it is but the message that I received from the song was that the artist was really sure of their-self and was sexualizing themselves in a way that I was quite uncomfortable with. It really bothered me. Which lead me to deep thinking. There is a ton of sexualizing happening around us that the devil has snuck into ways that we become un-phased by it. What I mean by that is, say you’re a mom and you’re in the car with your kids listening to the radio. The reality is in the amount of time for you to drive to the grocery store you’ve probably heard the same song at least twice now. Your kids in the backseat have started to pick up on the chorus. Chances are the song is not something any 7 year old should be singing. Now I’m not saying don’t listen to the radio, and that you should lock your kids in a closet so they’re never exposed. I just wanted to make a point that music, shows, movies, etc. does actually have an effect on you. I remember as a kid looking up to almost every Disney star. I wanted to sing like them, dance like them, and especially dress like them. Back then Disney was still cool and I’m not really sure how much its progressed now. But one thing I do know is that there’s not a ton of modest role models in the media. If there are, I don’t know about them but I applaud you. Now a days modesty is THAT word that if you use people roll their eyes and zone out. I can say that because I’ve sat in too many church sermons about modesty and thought it was a load of crap. The reason I thought that was because of the approach it came with. 
I’ve recently read a lot of things about what girls have to say about how the dress and basically just want to justify for how they want to dress. As a sister of 4 brothers, that scares me. Why do teenage girls in specific, think that they can wear whatever and then say boys just need to train their thinking?
“Treat younger men as if they were your brothers.  Treat older women as if they were your mothers. Treat younger women as if they were your sisters. Be completely pure in the way you treat them.” -1 Timothy 5:1-2
I read this a year ago and it has always stuck with me. Treat younger boys with purity. Treat younger girls with purity. 

To me this is a two-way street. Yes, I agree that as men of God they should be held accountable with their thoughts and actions. But girls don’t you dare think that men are the only one who have lustful thoughts. Girls, don’t be naïve to think what you’re wearing doesn’t affect the people around you, because it does. You can argue that boys need to stop sexualizing girls and our bodies. But if we want to be treated with respect then we must dress in a respectable way. We can also argue that what we’re wearing makes us feel confident. However, true confidence doesn’t come because we think we look good for the day or by what we are wearing. True confidence is knowing who we are, and whose we are. If you’re truly confident then you’d be able to wear a potato sack and know you still got it. (I’m not saying make this a trend.) 
I hope you see my point here. I remember staying with a friend last year and after leaving an event we sat in her car and she told me what I was wearing wasn’t appropriate. I was really hurt by her words. She said that as women who claim to follow Jesus, our clothing choices need to be glorifying Jesus. I didn’t agree with that and actually told a different friend the story and told her that I don’t think that every single thing we do has to glorify Christ. She stopped me mid-sentence and said, when we live for Christ everything that we do will glorify him. That really convicted my heart. So much so that I went home and got rid of any article of clothing I thought would cause someone to stumble. My goal isn’t to convince everyone to wear turtle necks and overalls, or to inflict my personal convictions on anyone else. But, instead to pause and really think… in what areas am I not glorifying his name? What needs to change? He is worthy to be glorified, is he not?

I’m not going to college, but God can still use me 

What I’m about to say might come as a shock. Might even offend you. So let me address something here first. My goal isn’t to offend anyone, but rather share what I’ve learned in my walk with The Lord. What I have found to be true is that God can use someone even if they don’t goto college. I’ve had many people disagree with me on that statement. Which is okay, because my testimony will prove them wrong.  Right before I graduated High school I sincerely thought about going to college. I actually wanted to go. For the longest time I’ve been interested in psychology so I figured I could major in that. I internally started making all these plans, where I’d goto school, where I would live, what jobs I could apply at, etc. I didn’t really think to pray about it. I figured that since it was my life, I get to choose, right? God woke me up one night and really got a hold of my heart. He didn’t say much but it was enough to shift my thinking. He asked me, “Where do I fit in to all of this?” I didn’t really know the answer to that question and thats when I knew college wasn’t what God had for me. 

 I’m sure some of you are reading this and shaking your head thinking I have no idea what I’m talking about. The thing is, I’ve done so many things where I didn’t involve God. Now it is literally the cry of my heart to be wherever he is..College or not. You might also think, “Well what is she going to do then?” I wish I could answer that question. The thing I admire most about God is how he doesn’t reveal his plan all at once. A couple years ago, I was given this foggy picture that is still cloudy but God is slowly removing the fog. So if I could answer that question to the best of my abilities it would be, God is doing some really big things in my life. I’m going a lot of places where most don’t. I’m walking a path that could only be carved out by him. 

  My point in saying all of this is not that God can’t use you if you goto college, or vise versa. My point is that God can use whoever he wants. College Degree or not. If you read the Bible you’ll find not everyone he call was not necessarily equipped. But find peace in this.. God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called. 

“Dear whoever you might be, I’m still waiting patiently”

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be married. Growing up I spent a lot of time playing “house”. Watching all of my “kids” waiting for my “husband” to get home from work. I honestly don’t remember a time that I didn’t want to be married. The desire crept in when I was 16. That seemed a logical time to start dating, right? Ha, no. I decided at a young age I wasn’t going to date anyone until I knew for sure that he was my husband. 2 years later, I’ve still kept that promise. People my age don’t get that. And I can understand that.. Everyone is different. 
I’ve been reading through the Old Testament this year, and I’ve noticed that not once does the bible talk about dating. I’ve read story after story about men taking women as their wives, but nothing about dating. I wondered why that is. I think it’s simply because God wants us to trust him with the fact that he does in fact have someone perfectly picked out for us. But I’ve had a hard time believing that. Now, I’m sure most adults reading this would like to assure me that I’m only 18, and that I have my whole life to figure that out.. Which may be true, but that doesn’t make me feel any better. The reality of the situation is that I have no idea when I’ll get married, let alone meet the man I’m supposed to be with. That reality scared me. It drove me to a place of fear and control. Two things I’m really good at. I tried to imagine myself with quite literally any attractive guy I came in contact with. Wondering what his mother is like, if he would make a good dad, how many kids would he want, without even knowing the guy. I asked my friends if they knew anyone that they could set me up with. I thought it was a really good plan until one day The Lord asked me why I was running. I quickly reminded him that I don’t run, everyone knows that. But he said something that made me quite upset actually. 

“China I’m taking you places right now that I need it to just be me and you. I can’t have you distracted.” 

I was really conflicted on how I felt about that. Yes, I’m excited to go new places with my Heavenly Father, but I’m not crazy about the fact that I might actually have to wait on him for something. 
Waiting on God is a very challenging thing. It tests not only your trust but your faith. It requires you to step out of the boat and walk on water. It means in times where the storm is raging and I’m freaking out, I have to call out to him and know that he is in fact the prince of peace. The idea of trust sounds great, until you have to do it. We sing songs about trusting God, but when it comes to it.. We’d rather run, have our way, and control our circumstances. 
I’m now at a place where I don’t want my ways anymore. If what he has is better then I want that! Regardless of how long it takes. Because Jesus is in fact enough for me. 
So while I’m in the process of waiting, I’m choosing to believe that whatever the cost, I’m gonna follow him. It’s too risky not to. 

My time is Now 

I write this from a place of desperation. Desperate for God to move. Desperately needing him to show up. The past year has been a very lonely year.. I’ve became acquainted with loneliness, almost as if he was a new friend of mine. He was dark, some times a little twisted, but oddly he was comforting. Loneliness is haunting, leaving you with nothing but complete numbness. I started believing a piercing lie. Something was seriously wrong with me and all I will ever know is loneliness. I fed into that lie. It seemed logical, it seemed true. I was depressed for a little while. I tried to shake it off and tell myself to just get over it. But no matter how hard I tried to shake it.. The feeling was here to stay. I tried to hide my pain for fear of being hurt and misunderstood. I couldn’t escape this. 
I started praying, asking God to bring some clarity, some understanding.. SOMETHING that could get me past this feeling of being stuck. I continued to pray and just ask God to reveal things that were hidden in the dark. And sure enough, he did. He began to speak his plans and his purpose for me. As he did, one thing in specific he said that stood out to me was, “I’m taking you down a path no one has walked, it’s a lonely road but you have to trust me.” 

Great. Loneliness and I are pals again. I wasn’t thrilled with this. I was more confused than before. 

I knew that I needed to trust God but instead I shut down. I ignored the things that he was calling me to do. I had every excuse on why I shouldn’t do it. But God was persistent. He kept bringing our conversation back up. I was starting to get the memo. But my feet weren’t moving. I was so annoyed with myself that I wasn’t doing anything. Here I was, with an offer of a fresh start, new plans, and a lot of hope. But I let fear drive me back to my hiding place. 
The past week was especially difficult. I spent some time praying that God would take this heaviness off my heart because honestly, I had no idea why I was feeling the way I was. God brought to mind a conversation I once had with an old friend. She told me that often sometimes when we are upset and we’re not sure why.. our spirit is grieving something. So I prayed and asked God if my spirit was grieving and in that moment..that one question.. I became undone. I knew that I was so unhappy because I was literally robbing myself of the joy that Christ so freely offers. I was stopping myself from receiving all these things that God so desperately wants to do with me. My spirit was grieving the loss of my obedience. So I let my convictions become my motivation. 
One of the things God has invited me into is having confidence. Having the confidence to do the things he’s asked me to, and knowing that I have what it takes to do them. Confidence is an odd thing to take on. I felt like a toddler begininng to walk. Unsure where to go and not knowing what’s safe. 

My heart changed, I started doing things with boldness and assurance. I didn’t take a confidence class online and receive a certificate that shows that I’ve reached a new level. Although that would be sweet. Instead, it was a posture of heart…better yet, a mindset. I had to fight for it. Fight against all the lies. I still have to fight for it daily. 
God has revealed so much to me just in this new year. He has become my very best friend. I’m believing that this is a year of new beginnings and joy. I’m amazed that God would love his people this much.. Stoping at nothing till he has my heart. Doing whatever he possibly needs to, to win me over. And the most beautiful thing is that he knows me. Better than I know myself. He’s fully aware of the things I need, he knows what captures my heart, and what sets my soul on fire. It’s the greatest love story. The most beautiful part about it, is that everyone’s is different. 
I wrote that beginning paragraph from a very dark place. I write this now from a place of redeemed hope. A place of expectancy. A place of thankfulness. Thankful that even at my darkest hour, I’m loved. “I loved you at your darkest.” -Romans 5:8 I’m holding onto that and believing that with my whole heart. I may be walking a lonely road, but I am not alone. My time is now.