a hug from Jesus

i see Jesus in many things. i see Him in the laughs of my friends. i see Him in the mountains. i see Him in the simplicity of life, while i also see Him in the most extravagant pieces of life. a common question asked in today’s Christian society is, “how has you seen Jesus this week? how have you seen Jesus in your life?” i’m pretty sure if you walk into any bible study or small group setting, you will be asked that question. many people sweep this question under the rug, maybe answering halfheartedly with the first thing that comes to their minds. i used to be that person. i’m also that same person who answers the question “how are you?” with “good!” every. single. time. i’m a human of habit. i am a human who loves to mirror comfort. what better way to show everyone your life is fine and dandy than to answer the simple yet hard questions in the most joyous way. are you prone to point only to the blessings you’ve seen when people ask you where you’ve seen Jesus this week? are you prone to automatically answering the how are you question with “good” or even “great!” ya know, just to show people you’re EXRTA GOOD TODAY.

i began to notice more and more that i was truly answering these questions out of habit and falling towards the comfortable answer rather than the real answer. after i began to notice this, i decided to start really evaluating where I saw Jesus in my life and how i was truly doing in my heart. the other day, i was simply running errands with a friend when i received a phone call from my mom and she was just asking me how my day was going. most truthfully and with the fullest heart, i answered her with a genuine, “im great. im super thankful for nicoletta today. how are you?” and on those days where i’m not okay, i’ve began to say, “eh, i’ve been better. my heart hurts and i’m not feeling myself.” i have tried to be honest and vulnerable with my own heart and others so that i can run farther and farther away from being a human of habit and comfort. i believe that the more i GENUINELY look to where i see jesus in my life or how my heart is doing, i see so much more of Him. the more i feel His love for me, no matter if my heart is broken or patched up at the moment. the more i really evaluate all that i see and go through, the more i truly see Him in everything. i see jesus in the struggles i face, but as a glimmer of hope rather than the struggle itself. i see jesus in the different seasons i face, but as a glimmer of peace rather than the anxiety comes from the change of pace in life. i see jesus in the people He has faithfully given me to do life with, because let me tell you, they are some of the best. however, i see their struggles too, which reminds me that we are all human who all need Jesus. i see their joys, which remind me that our God is faithful amidst a world that tells us He is not.

as i have worked to be honest with how i see the Lord and how i see my heart, there has been one major blessing that has stood out to me greatly. in january, i was placed into a weird season of life. i said goodbye to my tiny dorm room with friends down the hall and said a faint hello again to my parents house, with a much more comfortable bed if i might add. i said goodbye to my normal routine that my nineteen year old self was used to and instead, faintly said hello to new doctors appointments and many new ways to spend my time. however, i also got to faintly say hello to a friend of mine who i didn’t have the chance to grow close with over my first semester. well, the thing is she isn’t a college student. nicoletta was my zynstructor and i quickly became inspired by her heart for the Lord and the way she preached truth while cycling on a bike. truly, she is an icon. THE COOL THING WAS THIS: nicoletta was also going through a weird season of life as well. she had to take time off from the saddle at zyn and had surgery on her vocal chords. she had months of recovery ahead of her, just like me. after we both got our feet on the ground, we decided to spend our time doing the things God still allows us to do rather than basking in the fact that we had a long road ahead of us that seemed to be going nowhere fast. and the other day, when someone asked me how i saw Jesus, i could pinpoint SO MANY THINGS. genuinely. i saw Him in an onward and upward health update. i saw Him in my future at Baylor University. i saw Him in my friends i just spent a weekend with. but i REALLY saw Him in my friendship with Nicoletta. the more i sat and looked at all the blessings that have come from our friendship, the more i began to be in awe of our Lord’s provision over us. it is as if He simply knew we would both have trials and long seasons at the beginning of 2018, but He gave us each other to lean on. i’ve been blessed beyond measure by simply affirmations and conversations with nico, and now, everytime im around her i make sure to thank God a little extra. it is truly so humbling to be surrounded by a friend that loves Jesus so much, making you want to be a better person. it is as if i get a little hug from jesus every time i am in Nicoletta’s presence.

it is so easy to go about our days, basking in the comfort of words that scream “IM FINE.” trust me, i know. it is so easy to go about our lives never really evaluating the blessings God has given us, because isn’t being negative the new thing? it is SO easy to complain and find a negative over a positive. it is so easy to look at the amount of friends we COULD have rather than the friends we have. it is so easy to focus on the silver, when we have so much more gold. but i pray you will join me in looking for the gold rather than the silver, while also being genuine about how you see Jesus. i promise you this: you will see the people around you in a whole new light. you will begin to see the challenges you face with strength instead of weaknesses. you will begin to feel Jesus hug you a little more frequently. i promise He is constantly there with His arms around you, you just have to be open to feeling Him. let’s be more inclined to see Jesus in our most raw and vulnerable moments. He has so much waiting there for you to see and appreciate.

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