Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘God’ Category

I had just graduated college with an English/Creative Writing degree, when I landed a job at one of the largest banks in the United States. It was an entry level teller position, but I fell in love with the company’s core vision. I spent hours reading about what they stood for before my first group interview. They valued their people. They valued their customers. They stood for honesty and integrity. I felt personally drawn to those values and decided I wanted to be a part of that story.

I spent almost four years dedicating my time, my heart, my tears, and my stress to a company I thought would be my long-term career. In that time, I had earned three promotions and was waiting for an opportunity to the next.

When I lost my job, I was the number one Service Manager in the district.

I didn’t realize then losing that career would turn out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

In the desire to climb the corporate ladder, I had lost track of who I was. I had immersed myself in a culture no where close to that of which I had read about before applying. Every day was full of new stresses, every day was another deadline of sales goals, every day I came home feeling like it wasn’t quite good enough. We had to be the best. I had to be the best. And, I was. But, it came at a cost. The cost of not realizing life is a lot more than a means to an end. If your people are who matters most, then that means valuing who they are before what they can do for you.

I lost my job, and felt as though who I was meant nothing. My success did not matter. My ability to lead a team did not matter. My time did not matter. My honesty did not matter. I was as replaceable as any other person.

But the truth is, nobody is replaceable. Every single one of us has dreams, aspirations, personal triumphs and struggles. Those characteristics make us who we are, influence how we work, and determine our futures. It is the heartbeat inside of us, not the amount we’re getting paid, that makes us strive for more.

I may have lost my job, but that’s all it was. A job. It was doing nothing to better who I was as a person or encourage my heart. Day after day, I came home feeling like I could barely breathe. I was constantly stressed. And I complained about it all the time. The saddest part is, I felt like it was worth it. To be the best. To make the money. To influence others to do the same. In reality, it was harming my personal happiness, my real dreams, and my heart.

Since moving on, I have had countless people tell me how much happier I am. How I’m like a completely different person. I have also had other friends move on from the same company to other avenues only to be told the same thing. Funny isn’t it? How you can be so bought into an certain way of doing things that you forget what matters most.

Managing where I am now, I have the opportunity to hire people based on who they are and the personality they add to our team, instead of how much I think they can sell. I have the privilege to interact with customers and get to know their story because I want to, not because I have to in order to uncover a clue leading to another product sale. It’s still a business, and it’s still necessary to sell things to make a profit. But I get to do it in a way that feels right. My boss genuinely cares about who I am, my well-being. And in turn, I get to care about my employees personal lives in addition to our work relationship.

And, isn’t that what matters to all of us? To be known for who we are. To have the opportunity to do what we do best every day and feel like it matters.

Yesterday, I found out that I got a writing position with a private magazine.

The amount of gratitude I feel is beyond words. I now have the privilege to follow my dream as a writer, on top of already loving what I currently do. The craziest thing is, I never would have ended up here if I had stayed where I was.

I believe God allowed me to lose my job in order to find something so much better. The loss, as hard as it was, was not near as great as what I have gained because of it. Not only for my career path, but my own personal well being.

I am not just as good as the day. I am not the worth of one accomplishment. I am not the product of one promotion. I am not the value of one sale. I am a human being. I am the desires of my heart. I am my dreams. I am my aspirations. I am my hopes for the future. I am whoever God wants me to be.

So, thank you to the individuals responsible for my loss of a job. You gave me my life back.

Read Full Post »

There is a difference between flaws and warning signs. The way he leaves clothes all over his room, and snores so loudly it wakes you up. Those are flaws. The way he criticizes you on your appearance or your tendency to over think things and the way he flirts with other girls. Those are warning signs. The sooner you allow yourself to accept the difference, the sooner you will save yourself a lot of heartache. You should be the only one on his radar, and you should be enough. Pretty enough. Skinny enough. Kind enough. Spontaneous enough. Smart enough. Fun enough. You should be worth fighting for. Every minute of every day.

And, even in the rough moments, the moments of doubt, he should still be committed to you. To working together to make it work. That moment you find out he went downtown with his friends and ended up with a bunch of other girls when you weren’t invited. Leave. That moment he calls you too emotional and doesn’t care to ask you why you feel the way you do. Leave. That moment you’re laying in bed with him and realize there’s something missing. Leave. That moment you feel like you’re the only one putting in one hundred percent. Leave. The first time he kisses another girl. Leave. The first time he makes you feel inadequate or question who you are. Leave.

It takes two people to build a relationship. A good one will never be built on lies and deception, on comparisons to other people and a blatant disregard for who you really are. You will never win when he has his eyes on you and everyone around you. You can’t change someone, as much as you want to believe you can. They have to want to change themselves. And, they can say everything you’ve ever wanted to hear, but their behavior will tell you the truth.

I know you can’t see it, because you’re in love. Or, at least you think you are. But love doesn’t leave you questioning your self worth. Love doesn’t cause you to fear whether or not they’ll stay another day. Love doesn’t stay on the surface. Love is not selfish. Love is not conditional. Love is not disrespectful.

Your friends see all of those things. And, they’ll tell you over and over again how much better you deserve. Listen. I know you think no one knows him like you do, and he is different with you, and all this other bullshit. But, do you really want a man who isn’t that way all the time? The people who truly care about you can see his true colors shining through. Pay attention. Even when you can’t. I know you have to figure it out on your own, but trust the people who know you and know him. I promise the truth really will set you free.

Most of all, believe in you. I know that’s cliché and we say it all the time like a song you know all the words to but wish you didn’t. But, it matters. You matter. Take a step back and look at all the factors. You have to be your own before you can be someone else’s. And the minute you become dependent on someone else is the day they win. You are no longer secure enough or confident enough to leave. Maybe you don’t want to be alone. Maybe he pays for a lot of things. Maybe you are just naive enough to think he’ll be who you want him to. At the end of the day, you are only cheating yourself.

You are beautiful. Any guy would be lucky to have you. You are intelligent. Which means you’re smart enough to know this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. You are brave. Remember the last time you lost someone? You’re still here. And you can walk away from this too. Life is too short to make excuses or to ignore the warning signs for the wrong kind of love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only son… What would he sacrifice for you? Will he love you selflessly? Will he choose you over every girl, today, tomorrow, and always? Can you trust him? Does he respect you? Does he love you for who you are, inside and out? Does he care about every desire of your heart? Will he protect you? Will he stand up for you even when you lose your way? Would he choose you over his job, his money, his self?

You deserve the kind of love that moves the mountains. The kind of love other people can see when they’re around you. The kind of love that God created.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

May you believe that.

Always.

Read Full Post »

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The hustle and bustle of buying gifts. The excuse to listen to every Christmas song ever recorded, good or bad. Indulging in too many baked goods. Celebrating in the form of ugly sweater parties and holiday drinks. Time set aside for friends and family. The anticipation of snow. Lights. Trees. Movies. Traditions. It’s the time of the year to celebrate all we have been given, and in return, give to others in whatever form we see fit. Peace on Earth, good will to men.

But did we really take all the good tidings of comfort and joy? Did we really only have one Christmas wish? Did we all get to be home for Christmas? Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year?

As I get older, or maybe as reality becomes more prevalent, I think Christmas becomes less of what it used to be. I miss the innocent anticipation of Santa, the hope in something that never existed. The privilege to play make-believe. Gone are the long holiday breaks spent only with family and friends. Reckless abandon. Carefree play. Joyful adventures. I miss the ability to spend time with loved ones who are no longer around. Hours in the kitchen with my Aunt Karen making cut-out cookies, cookies I now bake alone. The privilege of unlimited time. Christmas hasn’t been the same since, will never be the same. Instead, I see the future of more loss. Family members get older, and you realize you must cherish every moment you have. Time is not unlimited. It is growing shorter by the day. I miss my bubble of safety, being young and naive. The privilege to think everything is going to be okay. Our world is crumbling in front of us. Every day another news story screams of lives lost. Christmas comes in the midst of heartbreak and unanswered questions, and with it, some of the hope disappears.

How can we celebrate when so many are having Christmas devoid of loved ones? How can we feel joy when our lives are a mess? How can we give gifts when we aren’t whole ourselves?

It is the most wonderful time of the year. But only because there is a reason for the season. A hope given and sustained when we have none. A light shining brighter than any Christmas decoration. A gift given that cannot be taken away, that will never depreciate in value, that can be given to all who wish to receive it. It is the most wonderful time of the year because Jesus came to Earth as a baby so that we may be saved. Innocence restored. The lost given a place to be found forever. An answer for all the questions. A restored heart.

He is the only reason I can hold onto hope this Christmas. Even though sometimes it is really hard. Lately I feel as if I’ve been walking around in a haze, trying to comprehend what our world is coming to, trying to deal with the loss I already feel, trying to distinguish a path for the future. It’s hard to celebrate the spirit of Christmas when you feel as if yours has been crushed. But I know that no matter what, He is there. Waiting. Fighting. Pursuing. Saving. You. Me. This Country. This World. We may not see it. We may not feel it. But, I promise, He is working – in the hopeless, in the questions, in the darkness.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

May your hearts be glowing with the telling of Christ’s eternal cheer.

Read Full Post »

The Greatest Love.

Imagine this: You have been given the greatest love in the world. Soul-mates. Best friends. Your other half. It is better than any fairytale ever written. More beautiful than the best love song. More sincere than any sonnet.

You have been given the greatest love in the world. Nothing can tear him away from you. No matter what you do, no matter how many times you try to push him away, he never falters. You break his heart, and he comes back begging for more. Through the pain, he remains strong. He would follow you to the ends of the earth. He would sacrifice his dreams to secure yours. He would stand in harm’s way to protect you. You can tell him everything. You can be yourself. Because he loves you just the way you are, in spite of who you are. He calls you beautiful, beloved, wonderfully made. He treasures you like a precious diamond. He holds you in his arms, whenever you ask. He woos you. He pursues you. He romances you.

You have been given the greatest love in the world. No one understands it, and no one ever will. There is intimacy that can’t be explained. There is a soul connection that will never be replaced. There is love unlike any other you will ever know. He is your world. You are his. You are his beloved, and beloved are you to him. Nothing you do can change the way he feels about you. If you leave him, he will wait patiently until you return. He will wait, and he will fight for you. Fight for the love you share, fight for your heart. For he is out to protect it. Forever. He would save you from anything. He would die for you.

You have been given the greatest love in the world. He never leaves you. He never forsakes you. He always fulfills his promises. He is always there when you call. Love is yours for all of eternity. Your wildest dreams come true. You are led into adventures you never even imagined. You see the world with new eyes. The colors are brighter. Devastating situations no longer seem hopeless. Because he is there, always there. Holding your hand. Drying your tears. Laying by your side. You are confident. Because he is all you need. No one else matters. No one else can tear you down. They can try, but he is always there to pull you back up again.

You have been given the greatest love in the world. There is nothing else you need. It is the best gift that can ever be received, and it has been given to you. He is real. He is here. He is yours. Taste the sweetness. Breathe in the joy. Bathe in desire. It is more than you could ever imagine. It is a reason to live. He is all you need.

Now, stop imagining. For you have been given the greatest love in the world. His name is Jesus Christ.

Read Full Post »

I feel lost — torn between what I know I want (what I deserve) and what could be. The impending doom of possibility. If this is home, why do I feel as if I don’t belong?

I feel the pull on my heart-strings. The gentle tug of a Savior who wants to save me again — the way He always does. I feel Him reach for me in the dark and quiet places, the moments of lost morale and abandoned conscience. I hear Him ask me to listen. I hear Him whisper, “There’s more…”

I feel the gentle pull, and I pull back. And, it makes no sense. The only One I’ve ever wanted, the only One who’s unconditionally loved me for me. The only One worth living for…

and I pull back.

Drown yourself a little longer. Live without air. Eventually you’ll forget it was something you ever needed to survive. Until you are on your back, near death, gasping for Someone to save you. Again.

It’s still there. That deep passion for my King. I see it buried under broken promises and stolen trust. I see hope peeking out beneath the rubble of shallow relationships. I feel love in the darkness of heartbreak. It’s there, because He’s there.

Always. The Shepherd searching for a lamb. The Father coming for His daughter. A lover seeking His own.

I feel the pull on my heart-strings, and I know I’m not completely lost. Someone is there, trying to bring me home.

Read Full Post »

Part Two.

Piece by piece He pulled it out again.
The resurrection of a fairytale turned absolute.

One has found me worthy of a cleansing
love like an unconditional gift.
A promise too incredible to combat
back like coming home again.

He says,
Hear me because I am the truth and
the truth will set you free.

Life has wrapped me inside arms
safe like an everlasting fortress.
A hope too beautiful to abandon
again like a million second chances.

Piece by piece He pulled it out again.
The resurrection of a fairytale turned absolute.

Read Full Post »

In my heart, I hear the calling of my Father — the soft beckoning of love, of grace, of acceptance.
In my heart, I hear the reassurance of forever — a life devoid of second guesses, a life built on promises that never end.

I hear these things, and I am once again filled with unspeakable joy. It is the voice that cries to me in the darkness, pulls me from my destruction, rescues me from self-doubt. I listen to His direction. I do what He advises. I follow where He leads. I move and speak with certainty. I praise Him for all that He has done.

And, then, I crash and burn.
I give in to my selfish desires just to fill something.

In my heart, I hear the lies of Satan — the whisper of impossibility, unworthiness, and guilt.
In my heart, I hear the temptation of the world — a life devoid of want, a life built on self-satisfaction and living in the moment.

I hear these things, and I am once again torn by irreversible hatred. It is the voice that cries to me in the darkness, pulls me to temporary satisfaction, promises me the ability to feel something. I listen to his temptation. I give in to what I know will only destroy me further. I follow where he leads. I move with pride and a guilty conscience. I choose emptiness in order to become numb for a moment.

I crash and burn.
And, I am constantly broken again and again.

I run to my Father, and then I leave Him.
I am a dead woman, longing for life but reluctant to leave the familiar behind.

There are strongholds I must give to Him.
There are hurts that only He can heal.
There are desires that only He can fill.

I have strongholds, but He can break them.

In my heart, I hear the promise of forever — the gift of eternal life given freely through the grace of my Father.
In my heart, I hear the things I already know — a life abundant and full, found only in Him – in trusting Him, in surrendering to Him, in sacrificing my selfishness in exchange for His righteousness.
In my heart, I know I need Him more than I need my old self — every minute of every day I am inadequate without Him, for He is the only one bigger than my strongholds, my hurts, my past, my pride.

In my heart, I know He is enough.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »