Saturday, January 28, 2017

Crazy Good



Leader. Prepared.

Two words that I would never in a million years use to describe myself or my life.  I am the most unprepared, shy, reserved, follower, that you'll ever meet.  Until recently I would have never done anything that required me to step outside of my comfort zone and be the "center of attention".  I never speak my mind, I rarely stand up for myself, I don't typically join in group conversation, I keep to myself and have never been interested in being a leader, nor do I think I would be a good leader.

I knew God brought me home from Texas because my heart wasn't in a position of surrender, I wasn't willing to let Him work in and through me because I am a naturally stubborn person and I wasn't about to give that up.  So when I'm told that God says he has prepared me and that He has plans for me to be a leader, I'm in absolute disbelief.

This past Wednesday I went to lift group again for the first time in weeks, the topic was Identity and finding ourselves in Christ.  It spoke to me as that is something that has been on my heart lately, I've always been one to struggle with identity and worth, continually "finding" it in the wrong places.  God has placed a sense of overwhelming worth and purpose in my heart these past few weeks and I almost can't grasp it.  It came time for prayer requests and the room filled with voices and requests, we prayed and as the prayers quieted Caitlin's dad spoke and asked to cover Caitlin and I in prayers.  He explained Caitlin's outreach in Cambodia, and how I would soon be leaving in June.

The first thought in my head when he made the request to pray over us, was one of undeserving.  I thought I don't deserve prayers, I came home, I didn't stay, this second shot doesn't deserve this. But as he came to an end with his explanation, Melody asked if they could lay hands on me, and if she could anoint me with oil. Of course, I accepted and sat at their feet.  I've never been anointed with oil before, but they explained the significance and began to pray for me. My head, hands, and feet were anointed with oil, and God spoke through these leaders directly to my heart.  God wants to use me in grand ways, and he assured Melody that I was prepared.  Which is humorous to me because I feel like the most unprepared person, especially when it comes to my DTS.  I'm stressed and worried about so many of the details, but God laughs and says "No, honey.  You're prepared."  God says He wants to build me into a leader, but I have trouble speaking out and being bold.  I would say I'm excited, but in all honestly I'm a little nervous of what He is going to bring me to and through to get me to the place I need to be.

I don't have the slightest clue how any of this is going to play out, but what I do know is that I love seeing God work in my life.  He has been continually faithful, I trust that His plans for me are plenty and grand.

Because God is crazy good.

With Love,
Alyssa


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Gentle Truths




Finding my identity in Christ has been the biggest milestone that I have reached. For years I've struggled with the opinions of others and who they said that I am. I let their words stick to my life like labels, I tried my hardest to live in ways that I thought were pleasing to other people. It was exhausting, and some days I still struggle with this. Feeling like I'm not enough, or that I don't have purpose, or worth because I'm 20 and single, I haven't gone to traditional college, I live with my parents, I work part time as a nanny, to the average eye I don't have anything of significance to give me worth.

But over the last 3 1/2 months I've come to learn that who I am as a person is enough.  Which sounds like a cliche quote that you'd see on Pinterest, and it is. Though I've taken time lately to think deep on those words, while they may be cliche there is much truth attached to them. I am enough, because Christ says that I am enough. As a young person I often feel like I need to do or be something that gives me a place in this world or makes me standout in a crowd of confused 20-somethings.

God has opened my heart to the truths He continually speaks, that I am enough, just as I am.  Without a relationship, without a big shot job, without a 4 year degree, without my own house, I am enough. As I am. I do not need to add or subtract anything to give my life meaning, purpose, and worth.  Even with my struggles, shortcomings, and sometimes bad decisions, I am still enough.  God relentlessly pours these words into my soul, and every morning I believe them a little bit more.  Regardless of life's circumstances we are enough just as we are.

God picks up our broken pieces and mends them together, gently whispering to our hearts that in Him, though we may fall short, we are always enough.  This life has a way of wearing us out, and essentially kicking us when we're down.  It's easy to give in and believe that we'll never be enough or that we don't have anything to offer, but those are lies.  Since learning to hear God's voice, I hear Him almost every day.  Not in an audible voice, but in song lyrics, texts, and little thoughts that are full of truth, He reminds me daily that I will always be enough.

"Jesus came to announce to us that an identity based on success, popularity and power is a false identity-an illusion! Loudly and clearly he says: 'You are not what the world makes you; but you are children of God." - Henri J.M. Nouwen

With love,
Alyssa

Monday, January 2, 2017

Lean In - Let Go




Photo Cred: Kaysie Lynne Photography


God has been so faithful.  I am a worrier, and often I get so consumed in it that I talk myself out of many opportunities. Something that I had worried about greatly was the money for school.  I remember the better part of the year before I left for Texas, I was consumed by worry. "What if the money doesn't come?" "What if I can't go to my DTS?" "What if God doesn't provide?"  No matter what anyone told me, I worried.  All day. All night. I lost sleep, I was sick to my stomach, I second guessed whether I should go to the DTS. I was consumed and I didn't wholeheartedly believe that God could and would provide.

An overwhelming peace has swept over me these past few weeks, I no longer worry about the money and it's an odd feeling for me.  While in the past, I liked to think I trusted God with every worry and doubt, I now see that I didn't.  I didn't really trust Him with anything.  I let my fears and doubts consume me to the point of paralyzation, I had truly convinced myself that there wasn't a point in fundraising because the money wasn't going to come anyways.  I lacked faith and trust in God and how powerful He is.

I've been learning that God doesn't need  me to do anything, He is perfectly capable of accomplishing anything and everything without my help or input. Since learning what it means to live out my faith and place my trust in God, peace has been a very present part of my life.  I have no worries or doubts about the funds, He has already shown Himself faithful in providing money thus far. He has continued to reiterate that He is only asking me to be willing and He will do the rest.

He is big and mighty, He needs no help accomplishing amazing things. This I am slowly realizing.  Trust Him. Lean in. Let go. Pray. Have faith.  He knows. He hears. He sees.  He's got this, and that should be more than enough for me.  As I mention in almost every post, He is moving in my life and I am still amazed with it all.  God is so good.

With love,
Alyssa