the idea of “fighting the good fight” and “staying joyful” have been very relevant throughout my recent topics, but I want to talk about what no one really wants to talk about: the not so joyful days and the days that you do not really feel like fighting the good fight. we all have those days. the days when running the narrow path that leads to life is a lot harder than we would like to admit. the days where we find ourselves gasping for air between our cries. for me, those times are filled with doubt, anxiety, and insecurities. the “highlight real” is not always present & that is OKAY! i believe there is SO much beauty in vulnerability & that is why I am here to talk about the vulnerable parts of life: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful.
this past week, i had my first college breakdown. you know, the one where i called my mom in tears because i was overwhelmed with stress and was feeling anything but secure in nearly every aspect of my life. & after she let me cry it out, she encouraged me to not stress because “stress fixes nothing.” i know, we have all heard that one before, but the foundation of that statement rings true to how we are to live– WITH CONFIDENCE. i have been one to be known for my anxious nature. to be honest, that is something I am not proud of at all but something that has made my testimony what it is. it is something that has allowed me to grow stronger and most literally fight for the joy i have today by the grace of God. you could ask any of my friends in high school and they will assure you that i was the girl who was extra”, “anxious” and “a little too much.” this description my peers placed on me proved me to be just that: a little extra and all over the place. in my opinion, who i am was never a bad thing, no matter what others felt. i am outgoing and love to spark conversation with anyone. so yes, i will high five, hug, or greet anyone in a five foot radius of me just for the fun of it i’ll probably yell your name from the other end of the hall and then sprint to hug you with no reason at all. that covers the “extra” aspect of myself; however, the anxious aspect of my human nature is one i have fought for years to slip under the rug, the one i tried to hide with all of my own strength.
in fact, anxiety used to be something i struggled with immensely throughout my high school years. many times i would heavily rely on pleasing others and would spend way too much of my time making sure that everyone else was cared for. my excuse for this behavior was that i was simply “granting others grace” or “loving them well.” however, i soon came to realize that this way of living led me to not love and take care of myself. i suddenly began to question why i would worry about anything when an Almighty God loved me the way He does. & that is why I am here to encourage you all to rest in the fact that God’s love is constant. & with God’s consistent love, there is no room for fear, anxiety, or depressing thoughts unless we allow those thoughts to take up more room than the truth in our hearts.
instead of being filled with fear and anxiety, God reassures us that His love should cause confidence to stir in our hearts so that we may live out our actions in the most fearless way possible.
it is a daily struggle. we are HUMAN; therefore, waking up everyday and committing to the truth while we are surrounded by a world that fills us with lies is difficult. i will not deny the difficulty of living in confidence, but i will say that it is OKAY to not be okay. God wants nothing more than for us to rest in His embrace; however, He is also so very patient with us. God wants us as we are. He does not want the “highlight real” that we may present to our social media followers. He does not need us to dress up and put on our best show for Him– He wants our good, bad, ugly and beautiful!!! so, no matter how you wake up, go to Him. whether i am having my most God fearing day or one of my worst days, God says, “Come as you are and I’ll love you like that.” God will meet us where we are in order to take us where He wants us to go, no matter if that place is on your knees on the verge of a breakdown or at His feet praising His goodness and mercy.
PSALM 23:1-6– The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
so, why do we lack in confidence and rest in things other than God’s love? personally, this lack of confidence is usually because I allow things of this world take over my heart. hence the breakdown over three tests I had this week. I simply let my heart be dismayed and focus on things that the world deems perfect. thats just the thing; the world tells us “present to us your perfection”, while God encourages us to bring what we believe is not “good enough” and He will supply us. FRIENDS, HE WANTS TO SUPPLY YOU! sometimes we look for love in different places other than God, and this leads us to come up empty handed. we look for love in a boy, we look for validation through our GPA, and we look for confidence in our appearance. we are made for relationships, but we should not place our hope and trust in another human. girls, God prepared a man for you long before you even knew him so that ya’ll may go throughout life together, fearing God together. our education is something that we may use to magnify the Lord’s name and honor Him with our minds, NOTHING ELSE! our GPA is not what defines us. i always remind my friends that “you are already victorious in Jesus, so this test does not define if you have won your race or not.” (yes, i am aware that I did not quiet follow my own advice this past week, but i am VERY human.) the world may tell you that your appearance is what deems you worthy or not, but let me remind you that God believes that all of you are more precious than rubies and more valuable than gold– rest in that.
resting in truth and putting on our armor of God is something that IS NOT EASY, but we can work on speaking truth to ourselves by noticing how we speak to ourselves. the words we speak to ourselves become the house we live in. God is our firm foundation, and we should build up our house with words that build us to be strong and courageous, not frail and feeble. let us work to wake up and speak truths to ourselves. claim the fact that you are victorious in Jesus every day so that your heart can be armored with the love of God, making little room for lies to creep in.
go confidently in the love that holds us all together—– BE ENCOURAGED. BUILD YOUR LIFE ON HIS LOVE.
For I know that my God is faithful and I know that He is good. Some days that is all I need to know because I simply cannot bring myself to anything else.