Friday, December 16, 2011

Semester One. Status: Completed

Wow. There are no other words.

Well, actually, there are. But that doesn’t sound as cool. J

I may have said this before, but this semester was vastly different from how I expected it. But that’s okay. It was a good different. I was met with huge challenges, but you know what they say…

The harder the fight, the greater the victory.

I learned so many lessons; I can’t even begin to pin down all of them. But there is one in particular that sticks out to me as I am on my journey home. That lesson is the one that God has patiently taught me over and over and over again.

I am unbearably weak on my own.

There was so many times these past few months where I just wanted to give up. I was done. I kept questioning… wondering… was all this pain worth it?? Let me tell you: it is. Every single ounce of pain that you endure is completely and utterly worth it. I’m not saying you should purposely put yourself through emotionally painful experiences. But when God chooses to place that pain in your life, don’t mope. Don’t throw yourself a pity party. And most definitely do not give up. God will never give you more than you can handle.

I can’t even begin to say how weak I’ve often felt. I am in a constant state of weakness. I will fully and completely admit it: there is no way at all that I could ever do this on my own. None. Whatsoever.

But somehow, I’ve continued on. Every day, I got out of bed, got dressed, went to class, went to meals, and studied. On Sundays, I went to church. On Wednesday nights and every other Thursday nights, I went to outreach. I kept moving. I kept smiling. I kept living.


Even though I am young, I grow tired oh-so-easily.

I am small and weak.

But Jesus loves me.

And this I most confidently know.

And guess what?

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

I waited on Him.

He mounted me up on wings as eagles.

I ran, and was not weary.

I walked, and I did not faint.

Last Wednesday morning was the next to last day of finals. I only had one final that day, and it wasn’t until mid-afternoon. I decided to go to bed “early” and “sleep in” until about 8:30. I would get up, study until chapel, go to student body chapel and lunch with my best friend, then come back to my dorm and study some more until my final.

I didn’t get to bed until midnight. My alarm went off at 8:00. I hit what I thought was the snooze button, rolled over and fell asleep… until 9:30. I literally rolled out of bed, and half-stumbled, half-crawled over to where my laptop was. As I sat there, on the floor, I could barely move. I managed to start up my laptop and pull up my e-mail. But all I could think was: how on earth am I going to get moving, much less make it through this day?? Waiting for me was an e-mail from my mom. As I read it, I could no longer contain myself. Tears began to stream down my face. They were both the sweetest and bitterest tears I have cried in a while. And I’ve cried a lot recently. I cried for the joyful news and encouraging message my mom’s e-mail contained. I cried for the overwhelming reality that I would be home in just three short days. I cried for weak state I was in.

And I did the only other thing I could do.

I cried out to Jesus.

I poured out my heart. I begged for strength. For Him to lift me up in His mighty arms. To sustain me through the two last days of finals that loomed over my head.

There are so many times I try to do things on my own. I try to go on my own strength. But all too quickly, I realize that I can’t. God has used my relatively small size and the physical challenges He has allowed to cross my path to patiently teach me this hard lesson over and over and over again. Every day, I have a decision to make: to go in my own strength or to go in God’s. I can rejoice in that I have been choosing God’s strength more and more each day. And if I ever start straying, start going in my own strength, I know I will only need a small reminder of not only this finals week, but also this entire semester. The only reason I made it through my very first semester of college is because God saw fit to lead me through. The only reason I was even at Bob Jones University this semester is because of God’s merciful and gracious provision.

The joy of the Lord is my strength. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice. Cling to Jesus like a hamster on a finger. The Lord is my strength and my song.

Oh yeah. That final? Went much better than expected. Finals week? Way better than expected. I’m conquering this first semester with a 3.0 GPA. And the only way that happened was because God sustained me. It’s not about me: it’s about Him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I am a Sinner. Needing a Savior.

I was wounded
But He has healed me.

I was broken
But now I am made whole.

My pain is great.
His arms are greater.

My struggle is big.
He is bigger.

My fears are crippling.
His peace is strengthening.

Who can I turn to?
Where can I go?

I have nowhere else better
Than the arms of my Lord.

My soul aches for eternity. 
My heart longs to see His face.

I was created.
For so much more than this.

My soul is eternal.
My body is mortal.

Someday soon
I'm going home.

Monday, November 21, 2011


These past few weeks have been trying. I'm facing challenges I've never faced before. I'm experiencing new things I've never done before. My comfort zone has been stretched to the max. So has my stress zone. I have been met with things I simply cannot understand. I've cried. A lot. I've come to the end of some days wondering if it would even be worth it to wake up in time for class the next morning. I've asked many a time: "What on earth am I doing here??" I've fallen to my knees, unable to control my sobs, begging God to show me why. Begging Him to just get me out of here! To take me far away from my trials and put me in a place where everything is happy and I don't have to worry about drama, or grades, or people I love who have turned their hearts fully against God. I want a perfect world where History of Civ and English 102 don't have to be taken, where friends are always true friends, and everyone loves Jesus. 

I beg God to do something amazing. Something that will GET ME OUT OF THIS PLACE! The place where I'm hurting and confused and going through I trial I frankly would rather not experience.

But if I had my perfect world, would everything really be perfect?

I know that sounds like an odd question, but think about it. If you had everything you wanted and your life was the exact utopia you wanted, would you really be satisfied? Sure, for a couple of days everything would be wonderful! But after a while, things would be boring and lose their shimmer and shine. Perfection would not be as perfect as you thought it was.

As I've gone through especially the past two weeks, God has been telling me the same thing over and over and over again. And on Sunday night, I finally fully and completely got it.

I must rejoice in the Lord always in everything for the joy of the Lord is my strength.

As a Christian, I have every reason to be constantly rejoicing--even in my hardest times. I have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. I am rescued from an eternity of separation from God. I can praise His Holy Name because I am FREE! I can rejoice in Christ because I am reassured. Reassured that no matter what happens, no matter what tomorrow brings, ultimately, God will be glorified.

This Thanksgiving break, I will be pulling an exhaustive concordance off the shelf and brushing off the dust. And I am going to sit down with the concordance and my Bible and highlight as many verses as I can that address rejoicing. 

God wants for us to be joyful, even when it's hard. I can rejoice today knowing that even though my life may seem like a crazy mess, God is looking at the bigger picture. He can see the beautiful portrait He is painting of my life. Even if I don't get to see the answers to my questions this side of Heaven (and for many questions, I won't), I know that God is working out His Master Plan.

And let me tell you...

It's something amazing.

Rejoice in the Lord always: 
and again, I say 
Philippians 4:4

Friday, November 11, 2011

God is Good {All the Time}

Psalm 139

O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, 
thou understandest my thought afar off. 

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, 
and art acquainted with all my ways.

 For there is not a word in my tongue, 
but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

 Thou hast beset me behind and before, 
and laid thine hand upon me.

 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; 
it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? 
or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: 
if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

 If I take the wings of the morning, 
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

 Even there shall thy hand lead me, 
and thy right hand shall hold me.

 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; 
even the night shall be light about me.

 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; 
but the night shineth as the day: 
the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

 For thou hast possessed my reins: 
thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

 I will praise thee; 
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: 
marvellous are thy works; 
and that my soul knoweth right well.

 My substance was not hid from thee, 
when I was made in secret, 
and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
 and in thy book all my members were written, 
which in continuance were fashioned, 
when as yet there was none of them.

 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! 
how great is the sum of them!

 If I should count them,
 they are more in number than the sand: 
when I awake, I am still with thee.

 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: 
depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

 For they speak against thee wickedly, 
and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? 
and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

 I hate them with perfect hatred: 
I count them mine enemies.

 Search me, O God, and know my heart: 
try me, and know my thoughts:

 And see if there be any wicked way in me, 
and lead me in the way everlasting.

My God is Near
Make me know your presence Lord, the King of Glory here.
You know each thought and action, hope, anxiety and fear.
How can I hide from Thee?  Can darkeness hide iniquity?
Oh how can I unfaithful be, when You are very near to me?
When God is near, all the world seems far away.
When God is near, every fear is set aside.
When God is near, how can I stray? How can I falter?
I’ll stay upon the altar, I know my God is near.
Make me know Your presence Lord, when I feel so alone.
You know each trial and testing pain, the hurt that is unknown.
Oh, why can I not see Your hand so firmly guiding me?
Oh how can I untrusting be, when You are very near to me?
When God is near, all the world seems far away.
When God is near, every fear is set aside.
When God is near, how can I stray? How can I falter?
I’ll stay upon the altar, I know my God is near.

Monday, October 24, 2011

His Way is Perfect

When my way seems dark and drear and the future I don’t know, 
My heart feels so empty as the tears unending flow.
When my heart breaks with sorrow and a tempest fills my soul,
This one thing I know for sure: my God is in control.

His way is perfect, His way is perfect.
Though I don’t understand His wise and loving plan,
His way is perfect. His way is perfect.
Take my life and make a vessel purified.
God makes no mistakes, His way is best.

When the toils of life are come and my heart is worn with care,
I faint ‘neath the burden of a cross I cannot bear.
When the joy has departed from my sorrow stricken soul,
This one thing I know for sure: my God is in control.


Wherever I am at the end of this week, I know it will be where God wants me to be. Whatever happens, I know it will be what God wanted to happen. His way is perfect. It is the best way for my life to go. Even when I don't understand why things have to go certain ways, eventually I will understand. Even if I have to wait until I'm on the other side of Heaven.

I don't normally use my blog to solicit prayer, but today I am going to. This week, if you happen to think of it, please pray for me.

Pray specifically that:
I would constantly check on myself that I'm doing/saying what God wants me to do/say and doing/saying it in a way that would bring honor and glory to Him. 

I would trust in Him, even when I have to do the hard stuff.

I would remain focused on my studies, even when I want to waste time worrying over things I have no control over. 

I know God is going to teach me a lot this week. He already has.

Thank you and God bless. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I feel stuck.

Like every driving force in this world is doing its best to make sure I can't.

Like maybe, it's not even worth it to open my mouth some days. Or a lot of days.

Like I could cry a million tears and still not be dry.

Like I'm making every mistake possible.

It's just a stupid English outline, right? No. It's more than just that. It's not only that. That was the straw that broke this camel's back.

It was the break that made me want to run outside and scream.


I've cried it silently more than once. Especially these past couple of weeks.

It's not fair, right? Why should everything all at once be happening to me??

It's enough that I have to watch my friends suffer and much to often be at a loss for words. But to constantly feel guilty and selfish because I'm trying to work through struggles of my own.

I hunger to be alone but long to be with people.

I want to start walking and see how far I could get.

I want 3,000 miles to be 3 inches.

I want webcam hugs to be real life hugs.

I want everything to be okay.

I want.

I want God.

On more than one occasion I have been directed to Psalm 61-63.

"Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer." Psalm 61:1

"Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation." Psalm 62:1

"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." Psalm 63:1

My soul hungers after God.

It's so easy to get fed up and just blurt out with "I hate my life!" Which yes, I've said on more than one occasion this week.

In one aspect, yes it is a joke. Yes, it's a cry of frustration that holds no true meaning. But it is a statement that should never be true.

No matter how trying life gets, it is beautiful. It is good.

So easily have I been forgetting this.

I am so loved. Not only by God, but by others. I get a hundred million hugs and a thousand "I love you"s a day.

Life is hard.

It's okay to be frustrated.

To cry.

To wonder what God's plan is in all of it.

As long as I am seeking after God, all of these reactions are normal.

When placed alone, these emotions indicate hopelessness.

But these emotions all mean something more when they are included with a Christ-seeking attitude.

To be frustrated means to desire change.

To cry means that you feel.

To wonder what God's plan is in all of it means you desire to do His will.

I'm not perfect. I forget this simple truth every single day of my life. And every day I am reminded that God is faithful.

That even though I am in a valley of shadows, I do not need to fear.

God is with me.

I am wanting for nothing.

And everything is going to be okay.

The LORD is my shepherd; 
I shall not want.
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 
he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 He restoreth my soul: 
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil:
 for thou art with me; 
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: 
thou anointest my head with oil; 
my cup runneth over.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Psalm 23

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I have been a college student for four weeks. Every day I have learned something new. Every morning, I get up, get dressed and go to class. Every day I sit and listen to yet another teacher share a wealth of information. But my learning hasn't just come from the classroom.

I have learned from friends.

I have learned from strangers.

Most importantly, I have learned from God.

I've learned...

Smiling at a stranger may just prompt them to smile back.

Acknowledging someone in the beverage wall line that you thought was a stranger may cause you to discover you've met her before, but neither of you know where.

Always take the opportunity to charge your laptop. You will be thankful for it later.

Apples to Apples cannot be effectively played in a group of more than ten people.

There is more than just "me" at BJU. [more thoughts on this another day]

More often than nought, the people who you thought were the strangest are the most likely to become your best friends.

Bananas make excellent weapons.

Your friends aren't the people who you spend the most time with or tell the most jokes with. They're the people who hug you, love you, and pray for you when you're having the worst day of your life.

Every day is the best day of your life. Even when it's the worst. [more on this another day as well]

God knows where I am even when I can't see Him or understand what is going on. Through trial by fire, I will come out as gold. [Job 23. Just read it.]

It's okay to cry.

God is always with me.

God wants me to want Him.

Being 3,000 miles from home can be one of the scariest things in the world.

Beauty is never just skin deep.

Unexpected people have unexpected stories.

Never forget your Sunday Grab n Go. Ever.

No matter how cute the pink flats make your feet look, it's not a good idea to wear them on five-class-days.

Same goes for the grey wedges.

Teachers care.

Teachers pray.

Teachers exist outside the classroom.

Teachers eat lunch. And are willing to eat with their students.

Getting up early is [almost] always worth it.

The truest people are the ones who love you anyway.

Family, biological or not, is the most important thing.

Hugs are not the same through a webcam.

God loves me. A lot.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Let it be known that today was good. 

And not just a "Hey, how are you? Good, how are you?" formal kind of good.

It was the kind of good that makes you feel just a little bit better about all the emotions you've been going through. The kind that lets you smile in the morning and cry in the afternoon and at the end of the day, everything will still be okay.

It was the kind of good that reminds you that this isn't as scary as it seems. It reminds you that even though you're leaving everything you've known for nearly your entire life, what you're leaving it for can be just as beautiful if not more. And it makes goodbye just a little bit easier.  

It was the kind of good lets you know that you are right where God wants. It shows you that you are in the best place for you to be at this given moment. That God is going to do marvelous things and not only do you get a front row seat, you get to take part.

It was the kind of good that shows you that even though you left people that love you tons, there are people where you are going that love you too. It takes your aching heart and soothes it. It shows you that love is everywhere. Even when you're 3,000 miles from home.

Yes, today was a good day.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Psalm 34:8

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Need.

To stop writing blog posts in the Google Chrome browser.

Thumbs down to the 20 minutes I spent writing my heart out only to lose every word.


Maybe someday, when my late nights are spent sleeping, and my days are spent feeling less frazzled, I'll try again to blog.

I promise I honestly don't hate my readers who I know are just hungering for another post straight from the deep recesses of my mind (haha, my apologies, I get delusional at 1 am).

I also promise, I will try to post at least once a month. So here it is, The post for August.

Brilliant, isn't it?

Monday, August 1, 2011


Life is but a vapor. It is a fragile drop of water, sustained only by a thin thread, strung from who-knows-where. We do not understand life, nor the losing of it. As J.R.R. Tolkien once stated through his character, Gandalf the Gray, “Many times, those that live deserve death. And those that die deserve life.”

Late last night, early this morning, the world lost a great man. Not just a great man: a man completely and utterly sold-out to Jesus Christ. His face glowed with the shining light of God’s love. He could not open his mouth without proclaiming the joy of one who has lain their entire life down before the throne of God. Who he was made people love Jesus even more. His faith was unshakeable. He led in a manner unmatched by his peers.

I had the honor of being introduced to Jimmy Brazell at my very first TeenPact state class. As one my committee leaders, his cheerful, Christ-centered attitude cast a bright ray of sunshine on the week. He served as an encouragement to fumbling first-timers such as myself. He led worship with a passion I had never seen in any other person.

While I only knew him for a short time, this short time was well spent. His impact on my life will stick with me as long as I live. Because of Jimmy’s example, I love Jesus more. Because of his encouragement during my Rep campaign at my first National Convention, my comfort zone is outstepped regularly.

Jimmy was no ordinary person. He was as close to an angel as any human could ever get. He impacted literally hundreds of people in his short, but well-lived nineteen years. While I mourn the loss of a friend, I also am compelled to celebrate. Jimmy is right where he has longed to be all of his life: right in the arms of Jesus Christ. He is pain and care-free, celebrating the beginning of an eternal life with his precious Lord and Savior. He has finally heard those words his ears once constantly strained for: “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Death was not the end for Jimmy. It was only the beginning. Oh how I long to be up there in Heaven, singing and celebrating in the presence of Jesus, as Jimmy now does.

I’m gonna miss you, Jimmy. We’ll be seeing you soon.

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus, 
You can have all this world, 
But give me Jesus

When I am alone
When I am alone
When I am alone, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, 
Give me Jesus, 
You can have all this world, 
But give me Jesus

When I come to die
When I come to die
When I come to die, give me Jesus

Give me Jesus, 
Give me Jesus, 
You can have all this world, 
You can have all this world, 
You can have all this world, 
But give me Jesus 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak,
But He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so.

To be honest, I don't actually remember learning the song "Jesus Loves Me". It was one of those songs I just… knew. I remember singing it as a small child in Sunday School. I was very intrigued with the hand motions, which I would later learn were apart of a language known as American Sign Language.

I have many memories locked up in this beautiful children's song. But it's one of those songs that tends to lose it's core meaning. The tune is simple, the words flow easily, and we tend to sing it in a repetitive, meaningless manner. We forget how profound and life-changing the words of this song are. We forget what they mean.

"Jesus loves me, this I know…"
Jesus--the perfect Son of God--loves. He loves. Who does He love? Me. A poor, wretched sinner. I know this in my heart, beyond the shadow of a doubt. But how do I know this?

"…for the Bible tells me so…"
The Bible--the Holy and True Word of God has told me it is so: Jesus loves me. "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen." (2 Corinthians 13:14); "For God so loved the world…" (John 3:16); "…God is love." (1 John 4:8). The Bible is filled with passages like these speaking of God's love for us.

"…little ones to Him belong…"
We are so small compared to God. WE are little one's. Every single one of us. From the newest baby to the oldest adult. We are small. But we belong to Jesus. "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:20

"…they are weak…"
We as humans are weak. When we fall, we cannot pick ourselves up on our own. On our own, we have absolutely no hope. "Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall." Isaiah 40:30

"…but He is strong!"
When we lean on Christ, we are filled with strength that is not of this world. God is bigger and stronger than all of our doubts, fears, trials, and sin. When we place our trust in Him, He will not only pick us up, He will help us to soar. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes! Jesus loves ME.

The Bible tells me so.

help me to never, ever forget the beautiful truths 
held in the simple words of this song. 
In your precious, holy name, Amen.