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I need to stop saying what I need to do— and do it.

It never fails.

I always set expectations for myself way too high.
Then I end up letting myself down. I get stuck in my thoughts and my esteem digs deeper and deeper into a world of negativity.

Why do I repeatedly do this?

I look for my worth in every other thing.. when I should really be turning to God for it.

I need to remind myself daily that I am a child of God and truly with Him—- anything is possible.

A day where I can believe in myself and not always put myself down. That exists somewhere… I just have to lean on God.

See the problem is, I know the solution (to rely on God always).. but the issue with that solution is I always disregard what I know to be true. I push the truth in the back of my head in a small corner and tell myself I’ll come back to it. Only by the time I finally step back to the reality of what I know is true— it’s nearly too late and damage has been done. 

Thankfully though, I serve a God who is forgiving and infinitely extends me grace when I deserve the complete opposite. I will forever be grateful for the debt Christ paid for me on the cross. I will forever love Jesus for dying for my awful sins.

But love is not just something you say. Love is a verb. In order to fully love Christ and live like I do; I need to repent for what I’ve done. I need to change the way I think and act— because as my pastor Corey always says— “Our lives should compliment Christ”.

So once again, I’ve stepped back to the reality of this truth. I’m learning as I go about the life I need to be living for Christ. When we truly learn something though—- we use that knowledge gained to better others and not just ourselves. If I’m being honest with myself—- I don’t fully live for others like I should. And as shameful as it is to admit that; it’s the truth. I know I’m not the only one who does it, but sometimes it feels that way when I get stuck in my own thoughts.

The point? My relationship with God is the most important thing. But it’s the one relationship in my life I focus the least amount of time on. I have no true excuses; because if I believe in God with all my heart, I should be living like it too. There are days that I read my bible, but not enough of them. I try to pray as much as I think about it, but I always end up forgetting or being too tired, or making up some ridiculous excuse about doing it later.

I am not promised tomorrow, or the next five years, or even the rest of today. Any moment my life could be gone. And I would h a t e if I wasted the only life God gave me on this earth spending it to only better myself and not others. I would h a t e if I didn’t focus majority of my time on God.

I need accountability.

I need community.

I need to reevaluate my priorities.

I need to stop saying what I need to do—and do it

Living a Christian life is the hardest thing, but is undoubtedly worth it. As the worldly part of me wants to give in to what society thinks is acceptable; the Godly part of me is screaming to be better and set myself apart from this world. I have to listen to the Godly part of me. Because if I don’t, I will waste my time here on earth.

El Salvador <3 

Just a mere three weeks ago I was in the country of El Salvador. Not only was it my first time being out of the country, but it was the first missions trip I had ever went on. It was the first time I truly stepped outside of my comfort zone with myself and with God. My intention was to witness God in a much bigger way and pour out to the people in El Salvador. What I didn’t realize was how much God would pour back into me and how my heart could long for a country I’d just encountered.

El Salvador is stunning. Hundreds of unique trees, enormous mountains, volcanoes, and beautiful architecture are just some of the visions I saw while I was there. Beyond that, the sky is so much bigger—I felt as if I could touch the clouds that were directly above me. The vibrant color of green is everywhere you go in different variations. Many of the homes we passed had hammocks on the front porch. Walking alongside the roads women would carry almost anything on their heads with such dignity and balance. Chickens roamed the country abundantly. Small red taxi’s resembling the size of a smart car hustle around the streets and roads. You can’t help but stare at the beauty of it all. Pictures do no justice to what it actually looks like, but I appreciate them for the reminder of everything I saw.

You know what’s truly amazing—Is how you can meet a crowd of people for the first time and care so greatly for them. That happened to me every time we stepped foot onto the schools we went to. Looking in front of me into the eyes of children with dark complexions, dark hair, and the most beautiful smiles. There were so many of them, and time after time I was captivated by those sweet smiles, warm hugs, and loads of energy. I was in awe of their selflessness shown to each of us. I cried when those little kids gave me anything. Because in a country that is full of poverty, violence, and danger where kids sometimes have nothing at all—they still wanted to share with us what little they have.

Danger and violence may have been everywhere, but I was never afraid or worried. I knew we were there for a reason and God was going to see us through whatever came our way. Driving from place to place at times took hours and there were moments I could have sworn we were in a Safari; but we had the best chauffeur. He knew how to maneuver every uneven road, narrow way, and even overcome lodged rocks underneath the bus. There was no doubt in my mind that our driver had skill because I could never have safely gotten us anywhere had I been the one behind the wheel.

So here I am trying to explain the most eye opening experience I’ve ever had yet I’m still left with empty words on a blog. I have such a hard time already conveying how I truly feel, but this experience is one where words at all simply fail. What I can say is this… You may think that you are not worthy, called, or capable of being a witness to others and sharing the gospel. Be it out of the country, out of your school/work, or even out of your own backyard…But I can tell you with confidence that story of Christ dying on the cross for our sins needs to be told. It needs to be shared with as many people as you can possibly reach. Initially thinking about it, it sounds intimidating and it may even sound impossible. But I promise you when you get an opportunity to do so—take it. God will give you the words, the eyes, the ears, the hands—to speak, to see, to hear, and to do; if only you will ask Him.

These opportunities are going to look different for everyone and it’s not always going to be easy. The important thing that I’ve learned so far is to do it with love. You can offer people multiple things they are without, but above everything love is the most effective. Love is what stems from our very being and grows and grows beyond more than what we can even imagine. There is not a person in the world who doesn’t need love. No matter your circumstances—even if you’re in a foreign country and can’t speak a lick of the language (or understand it for that matter)—you can show love. Show it by the smiles you give. Show it by the hugs you give. Show it by reaching your hand out to help. Show it by listening to what people have to say. Show it by accepting people for who they are; even if it’s something you disagree with. Show it with your laughter and encouraging words.

God is the same no matter where we are and with the time I’ve spent being back home I’ve had to remind myself of that. I’ve had to tell myself that the same living and moving God that was in El Salvador is the same living and moving God that is right here in Murfreesboro. I just have to remember that even though it looks different—no matter where I am—I can still make a change. I can still get out there and love people like I did in El Salvador. I can still feel God’s intense presence right where I am. I can still grow in my faith and in my relationship with God in the midst of my chaotic life. And when you can be confident in the fact that God is everywhere then you can begin to listen to what God wants you to do with what you know right now.

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