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

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Surrender


I don't know that I've ever felt more at peace about a decision, than I do when continually say yes to returning to Wylie.

I was thinking about it the other morning, when I came home from Texas I was dead set on not returning, and never pursuing another DTS.  I convinced myself that it just wasn't for me and chose to focus on and pursue things like the Mexico ministry.  I remember right after I came home I committed to participating in 2 separate Mexico trips down to Casa (the orphanage we work with), I also remember a few weeks later being in tears because neither of them worked out.  I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do and it was eating at me.  There was also a point when I was absolutely sure that I was going to pursue nursing school.  I set out to be a Labor and Delivery Nurse, but literally walked into the community college, looked at the consultants office and walked right back out of the building.

I couldn't do it.  I couldn't pursue a college degree that didn't send my heart up in flames of passion, it just didn't feel right. I adore Mexico (with every inch of my tiny little heart), but God put road blocks in my way so that I couldn't pursue that either.  At the time I had absolutely no idea what He was doing, I was unhappy and angry with Him.  It didn't make sense to me why He would let me pursue and work towards something for almost a year, only to pry it from my hands as it was finally given to me.

Over the last several weeks I've come to see more and more that living a life of surrender means living life with our hands open and in a position of praise. God gives, but He also takes.  He knows what is good and what is better.  He knows when it's enough, and when we need more.  He knows when we're ready and when we still need time. See that was the thing...I needed time, my heart needed time, my mind needed time.  I wasn't ready for YWAM Wylie, God knew it was good...but He also knew that it would be better if He took it away and made me wait.  He gave me time, He gave me Himself and that was enough.  I learned and am still learning to live with open hands in a position of surrender.  He has continued to quiet my fears and clear my head of doubts, He has shown me that He has been eagerly pursuing me and that He wants me.  He has given me peace and spoken to my heart with a love song that has me swooning, He has romanced my broken heart back into relationship with Him and it is beautiful.

I am at peace with my decision to return to Wylie, because I know that God has so gently turned my gaze to Him so that I might choose the path that He has set out for my life.  I'm glad that He broke my heart and brought me home because otherwise I may have never seen Him.

With love,
Alyssa