Christian Insight

The Lesson of Making Friends Slowly

I was watching an episode of The Rifleman. Yeah, I’m that chick who watches old black and white westerns. Don’t judge me.  Anyways, there was an episode where McCain tells his son Mark,

“You act in haste son, you repent in leisure. It’s best to make friends slowly.”

I’ve learned recently the importance of allowing the friendships in my life to happen slowly. This is actually true for all of my relationships, romantic too.  If we do things in a hurry or act impulsively without thinking of the consequences, we’ll regret it.

One of the fruits of the Spirit is patience. God wants this fruit cultivated in us, not only in our character but in our relationships. 

In my own life, I’ve been so appreciative of the people who have been patient with me. The ones who have stuck by me when I wasn’t so loving. They’ve taken the time to get to know me and have helped me out of several pits I’ve found myself in this past year. Whether it was a phone call, a chocolate cake delivered to my front door, a card telling me how awesome I am, a card just letting me know they were thinking of me or something simple like a hug, I’m reminded occasionally I am so loved. There’s something special about these friendships that sets them apart.

These friendships have taken months and years of intentional face to face time and weren’t deepened hastily.

Recently, I’ve had to have hard conversations with the people in my life. The uncomfortable but needed kind.  Had these conversations happened without us deepening our relationship with each other over several years, the conversation would have gone differently. There were tears. Not from hurt, but from knowing deep down it was truth spoken in love. I also have friends in my life who we haven’t quite gotten to this point in our friendship, so it’s going to take more time. I tried but quickly learned it wasn’t the right time. Our hearts have to be prepared first.

God is never in a hurry with anything. Amazing how often we hurry through life making decisions or saying things without going to Him first. Allowing Him to work in our hearts and deepen the roots of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in us. 

Things done in haste often lead to unnecessary hurt. Which isn’t really worth it in the end. I have a hard time trusting people who do things without thinking of the consequences first. I know I was this person for most of my life until God did some hard work (He still is) in my heart. It’s none of my business though what people do with their life, dealing with myself is hard enough. But there are people in my life who I love and care about deeply, the ones who I’m willing to die for and you know what?  They deserve my patience. Patience with my words, my actions, my everything.

The important things in our life take time. Let those things happen slowly without haste. Your life will be better for it, mine definitely is.

In Jesus and with love,




Laying Your Life Down for Your Friends

About a month ago, our office had to evacuate because the motor in the staff elevator burned and almost caught on fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt and everyone evacuated safely until the smoke cleared. When the fire alarm went off, the only thing I thought about was to grab my friend and get out of the building. I left all my stuff (cell phone, purse, etc) behind.

This got me thinking about the value in friendship and how important the people are to me in my life. So important, I was willing to risk my own life to save theirs.

I’m not saying all this for a pat on the back. I don’t need that kind of validation. I’m not even saying this to brag. In that moment, it really put in perspective for me how important people are to me more than possessions.

When we are willing to give up all we have for others, there is no greater love than this. 

We can spend a great deal of time chasing things that don’t really matter in the long-run or slowing down enough to focus on things that do. What this really means is putting God and others first before ourselves. Now, don’t get this twisted and think self-care at times isn’t important. It so is. Taking care of ourselves is important, but always looking out for number one will eventually leave us lonely.

Real love means doing hard things but as I’m growing in the knowledge and understanding of God’s love for me, loving other people gets easier.

Laying our life down for each other is the most selfless thing we can ever do.

Will you lay your life down too?

Why I Deleted My Social Media Apps

Earlier this week I deleted Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram apps from my phone. Not going to lie, I’m actually at peace without them. Social media has been a thorn in my side for a while and recently it’s been bothering me being connected all the time. I still login throughout the day, but in the evening, I put my phone away. Out of sight, out of mind.

Why now?

There are a few reasons, mostly personal. The short version, I need a healthier distraction. I think social media is okay in moderation but should never be used as our only source for connection. I’m grateful for the people I’m connected to. Our friendships were birthed through social media and I know we’ll remain long-term friends.

Connection isn’t the problem though, it’s compulsion.

One thing I’m learning is to be better with my time and use my time in ways that matter. Resisting the urge to login to Facebook, scroll through Twitter and Instagram and actually pay attention to the things that are going on inside me is becoming more important.  Healthy habits is a goal of mine this year. This started with making minor adjustments in my daily life and they’ve slowly become habits. Particularly for me it’s in a few key areas, but social media was definitely at the top.

One of the healthiest things we can do is pay attention to how our minds respond to things we see on social media.

To be completely honest, I want to live a more quiet life. I said this in my last post and it’s still true two months later. Not every area of our life needs an audience. There are many things going on in my life right now that have no business or place on social media. We have a right to privacy, and sometimes social media violates this.

2018 is becoming a year of process for me. Things being stripped from me one at a time. It’s also a year of reflection and deep repentance. There have been key moments this year already that have reshaped my thinking. I’m laughing and in awe right now at how God uses the people He does to do this. The amount of closed door conversations I’ve had with people this year helping them deal with their personal pain is in turn helping me deal with mine.

It’s a process.

The people in our life deserve our full time and attention. I learned this over a year ago, but definitely, more so this year. Everyone I sit down to eat with or talk to, I never check my phone and they don’t either. We value the connection and presence of each other, not our screens. What would the relationships in your life look like if you learned to do the same? They would probably be healthier, stronger, and would thrive.

I often wonder about people who are always connected at all hours of the day. What in their life do they need a distraction from? Social media is a distraction and can be an unhealthy one. This isn’t about other people though, it’s about me.

Now that social media is off my phone, I feel better without it. The temptation to check my e-mail or social media in the middle of the night or early in the morning is gone. When we focus on things that really matter, things that used to matter don’t.

My challenge for you this year is to put your phone down. Pay attention to what’s going on inside you and around you. Those things deserve our time and attention, not social media and their audiences.

In Jesus and with love,


2017: A Year in Review

To say 2017 was a year for the books would be an understatement. I’ve been wanting to write this post for the past few months, but it seemed fitting to close out the year and write it now instead. It’s been a very busy few months and it feels good to sit down and finally catch my breath.

Three words have defined and redefined 2017 for me: Re-routed, Renewed, and Reconciled.


A few posts back I wrote about how being in a car accident made me reevaluate some things in my life. Mostly, that it was time to slow down and rest. About two months later, I was in another car accident two weeks after my birthday (Neither accident were my fault by the way, in case you were wondering). Needless to say, God got my attention and things changed immediately afterward. I’m not sure why those two accidents happened, but something told me it was time to take a different route. I don’t drive the same way to work any more and for the past two months I’ve been getting up earlier to spend more dedicated time with God, like 4 AM early and getting to work earlier, like 15-20 minutes earlier to avoid most traffic. Something I should have been doing before my accidents, but I think this is the kind of thing God does in our life to get our focus and affections back where they belong.  Now, the road I travel every morning is narrow. Doesn’t scripture say the narrow ways leads to life? Then again those accidents could have happened completely out of random without God’s involvement, but I know better. Everything that happens in our life has already passed through His hands with His permission. When we go down a path in life that’s familiar and safe, God will sometimes intervene to show us a different way. He reroutes us. As I sit here two months later, I can see the reason behind being rerouted. I’ve had a change in heart about things I had been wrestling with and I pay more attention. Because life is so uncertain and every day could be our last, let God do what He needs to with you. Let Him reroute you, He may be protecting you from the unseen.


Some of the greatest lessons I learned this year came from defining moments and a renewed mind. Earlier in the year, our family experienced a loss that set the bar for how the rest of the year would play itself out. My family took a few hits this year, but we’re stronger and better towards each other because of it. And I’m grateful. Which brings me to my point. Having a renewed mindset about unforseen circumstances is the only way to deal with them in a Christ-like manner. There’s a difference between being a Christian and being Christ-like. One is a label, the other is a way of life.  The only way we can be Christ-like moment to moment is with a renewed mind. Only when the Holy Spirit renews and changes our mind are we truly transformed. A lot of things happened this year that tested my faith and were an important part to my journey of healing. In late July, I got really depressed and experienced an anxiety attack. Thankfully, it didn’t last long and I’ve been okay since. There are days when I get bummed out, but not depressed.This is victory for me. There is victory on the other side of a renewed mind and life.  We can’t live life based on how we feel, this is very dangerous. Our thoughts our powerful and when they’re not controlled they can destroy us.  Pay attention to what you think about. The best way to live with a renewed mind is to ask, “What is truth?” and “What does God’s Word say about this?When our minds are really renewed it will be proved by our outward actions which are directed by the wisdom of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. Last year, I made a decision that changed my life forever. Though a large part of that decision was based on how I felt, it was also confirmed in scripture three times. I was relieved, set free. The choices we make have consequences, but when those decisions are guided by the Holy Spirit, they don’t need an explanation and we don’t need to feel guilty.  We may know what God’s will is, but we can’t prove it in our life apart from the transforming work of the Holy Spirit and with a renewed mind. Test everything to scripture and surround yourself with wise counselors who have the gift of discernment. When our minds are exposed to godly advice and wisdom, God will begin to break areas of pride in us; the areas in us that won’t accept wisdom because it’s not what we want to hear. A truly renewed person stays humble.


2017 was definitely the year of relationships and reconciliation. Earlier in the year, a friend and I had a brief falling out. Neither one of us knew how to navigate our offenses towards each other so we avoided each other. We both realized the relationship was worth saving and we reconciled. We’re closer than we’ve ever been before. This relationship is cultivated with Jesus as the foundation. If you want proof of a healthy relationship, pay attention to how the other person reacts when they’re offended or are being challenged. Most people don’t like to be challenged or sharpened. However, both are equally important to our spiritual growth. If you’re in friendships or relationships with people who never challenge you, maybe it’s time to rethink the relationship. Being with people who agree with or go along with everything you do and never question you are probably in a relationship with you for the wrong reason. God chooses our friends for us, it’s our responsibility though to cultivate and deepen those friendships through a deep relationship with Jesus first. Relationships are very important to me and I’m thankful for the times they have sharpened and challenged me to be a better follower of Jesus. This is what our relationships with other people ultimately teach us. Real relationships help us to stand firm in our convictions and speak truth in love. There is great strength in real relationships. Towards the end of this month, I reconciled with someone from my past who I haven’t talked to in 12 years. We were friends throughout my childhood to high school and we recently reconnected. I’m not sure the direction this relationship will go, but we’re both doing our part to stay in touch. If there are relationships in your life that can be restored, restore them. Rebuild burned bridges from your past.  Leave a legacy that matters, not one filled with regret. 

Despite some mostly bad moments, there were so many more good moments of 2017. I saw places I’ve never been to. That’s something I’m planning to carry with me into the new year. I made a list of the places I wanted to see and went there. I’m thankful to have shared those experiences with one of my closest friends and look forward to going on more adventures together in 2018.

To be honest, I’m thankful to be alive. Coming out of two car accidents without a scratch is a miracle.Those two accidents redefined my year. Though they happened towards the end of 2017, they’ve drastically changed my life for the better. Odd number years haven’t been favorites of mine, so I’m looking forward to 2018.

I’ve been a little adamant about writing the past several months, not because I don’t have a desire to write, it’s because I have more of a desire to live a quiet life.  Social media is becoming a huge distraction for me and has for the past several months. If we’re not careful, it can for most of us. I don’t think our entire life needs to be aired out for the world. Most people we’re connected to are spectators anyway. People who genuinely are a part of our life don’t need to keep up with it on Facebook. If Facebook is the foundation of any of our relationships, we’re doing relationships wrong.

 My only goal for 2018 is to be so close to God that I’m able to discern the difference between a divine encounter and a distraction. Both are similar, but only one is from God.

I’m not really sure what God is going to do tomorrow, next year, or even in the next few minutes, only He knows. But what I do know is I want to live a life that’s pleasing to Him. I know I can’t do any of that apart from Him. There still some work He has to do in me, stuff I still need to take to Him in prayer. Stuff from my past I still struggle with despite a better mindset and holding every thought captive. The difference between who I was last year to this year is I don’t carry unnecessary baggage anymore. Thankfully, I have people in my life who have helped me unpack most of it.

I don’t know what 2017 has looked like for you and don’t know what you’re going through now, but there’s hope.  There’s hope on the other side of a heart break. With the encouragement, conviction, and wisdom of scripture and healthy relationships, I’ve seen the hand of God in everything that’s happened this year.

It’s my hope you will too.

In Jesus and with love,


Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age by Ben Stuart [Book Review]

Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age by Ben Stuart is  one of the most important books I’ve read this year (apart from the Bible, of course). This book gave me a lot to chew on. It definitely made me rethink how I approach my dating life and how I’ll navigate engagement and marriage.

Single: Devotion

During singleness, this is the time we really get to figure out who we are, what we want, and focus on using our God given gifts to glorify Him. It’s in the seasons of singleness where we really deepen our relationship with God. Where we are so dependent on Him we don’t depend on our significant others to fill in the blanks or voids for us.

Sometimes the most loving gift God can give us is singleness.

Dating: Evaluation

The next phase is dating. This is the part where we need to pay attention. Dating exists for evaluation. Dating isn’t mean to find someone out there to complete us, but we should pay attention to the person’s character. Stuart says we need both character and chemistry in order for a relationship to work.

You want solid, Godly character and fun, easy, chemistry.

Engaged: Union

Engagement is about union. It’s about bringing two people together in every respect (except sex … not yet!) Stuart says, engagement focuses primarily on the union of three key areas of our lives: Family, Finances, and Future. All three must be out in the open for the relationship to move to the next stage; marriage.

Ask questions so you can minimize friction in the first years of marriage.

Married: Mission

God designed marriage to be a picture of Jesus and a pursuit of Him. The strongest bonds are formed when two people live out their marriage on a mission together.

God designs a husband and wife to complement each other.

This book put so many things in perspective for me in how I’ll navigate engagement and marriage. Marriage is a big deal. If two people have common vision, their marriage will work. There are so many other details that need to be worked out before we get there though and this is why I appreciate Stuart’s wisdom.

I highly recommend this book if you’re single or dating.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. 

Social Media & Sabbath Rest

Recently, I made the decision to stop using my cell phone past 7pm. This also includes checking or posting to social media. I’ve been thinking about the reality of social media and how negatively being always connected affects us. At least how it’s affected me. After being depressed about a month ago, I knew it was time to change. Something had to change in my daily routine and this was definitely one thing that needed to be addressed. For now, it’s a break but I’m hoping it will turn into a habit.

Three years ago, I wrote about this. Most of it still resonates with me today but a lot in my life has changed. When I think about social media and what it’s used for nowadays, it was time for a break.

The reality of social media is sometimes it leads to false sense of reality. There’s a difference between sharing memorable moments and keeping memorable moments sacred. We want connection, but consider the cost. Screens shouldn’t replace our relationships. 

Most of my interactions nowadays are face to face and this is preferred. It’s more intimate. When I text, I try to keep it short. If I know it’s going to be super long, I call the person later or carve out moments in my day to confront them. So much can be misconstrued through texting.

Hard boundaries need to be in place with how we utilize technology.

About two weeks ago, the word “Sabbath” was repeated a lot in my reading.  After discernment, I knew I needed one day out of the week where I designated solely to rest. Saturday is my Sabbath. Self-care is so important, I can’t stress this enough. I’m thankful God really worked in my heart about the importance of rest.

Sabbath is a day of stopping. It’s one full day where we cease our activities.  God rested after His work and we are to do so too.

Between taking a break from social media in the evenings and having Saturday as a Sabbath, I feel better. Being still has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long while. Life needs space and God prepares us in our stillness.

Examine how often you’re connected and moving. Learn to be still and intentional with Sabbath rest too.

In Jesus and with love,


The Most Dangerous Narcissist

Narcissism is a word that’s been thrown around a lot in my circle this year. Whether it’s close friends with their own experiences with narcissists or my own, I’ve given this a lot of thought.  Narcissists are abusive, manipulative, and deceptive. There’s nothing worse then a person who is all three and claims to be a Christian.

The most dangerous narcissist is a Christian one.

Before I begin, I want to clarify this post isn’t directed at any one person but a culmination of my own or other’s experiences. However, if you’re reading this and think it may be written about you, then reexamine your life and behavior. And if you feel brave enough, contact me and we’ll talk about it.

These five characteristics are all things I witness daily by people who attend Church regularly.

  1. Christian narcissists twist the Bible. Instead of using the Bible as a weapon against spiritual warfare, they use it to call out other people.  Churches, religious groups, pastors, even their own family. No one is safe. They claim they’re speaking truth, but really they’re airing their own opinions and puffing themselves up. There’s no way of understanding in their hearts, only a need to be right.  Proverbs 18:2, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Honestly, I don’t know everything about the Bible. I haven’t read scripture cover to cover but I know the Word of God should never be manipulated by man. We all interpret it in our own way but we should always ask God to give us His wisdom to understand before we go out and try to preach it. Our actions speak louder than quoting scripture ever will.
  2.  The silent treatment is a Christian narcissist’s “love” language. This is the preferred weapon of a narcissist. Pretty much, you’re invisible to this person. The silent treatment is emotional abuse and control. We deserve healthy relationships where both persons involved deal with their issues maturely. Narcissists don’t deal with their issues or any issues at all.
  3. There is no forgiveness in a Christian narcissist’s heart. They can quote scripture about grace and forgiveness but don’t extend either.
  4.  They have a history and pattern of broken relationships. Red flag, enough said.
  5.  They avoid confrontation. Accountability is healthy but Christian narcissists hardly ever allow themselves to be held accountable. And God help you if you try to confront and correct them in an area of their life where they’re not being Christ-like or hurtful. Ultimately, we’re all accountable to God, but Christian narcissists never take responsibility or own up to their own part of the conflict. They’re always justified in their own eyes.

It’s taken me about six months to examine my own life and actions. Earlier in the year, I was probably all five of the above at different times in a month’s span. Thankfully, God has done some hard work in me and my heart.  We’re all narcissistic in some way, but recognizing it and changing are two different things.

So, how do we protect ourselves against Christian Narcissists? I’ve given the below some thought and both have been confirmed. When God shows you something repeatedly, it’s not a coincidence and needs to be addressed.

The most important thing to protect yourself against Christian Narcissists is to create boundaries. Without boundaries we give the narcissists in our life permission to treat us how they want to. What isn’t told to stop will continue.

God wants us in relationships with safe people. Safe people are people we can connect with on a deeper level. In their presence, there’s no fear of rejection. We can speak truth in love to each other, confronting each other when needed. These are the keys to safe relationships and only work when guided by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Setting boundaries and having a safe support system isn’t self-centered, it’s our responsibility.

In your own life, pay attention to the people in it. Examine whether they have deep, meaningful relationships with other people. Gut level relationships, not shallow ones. The people in our life at gut level should know our personal history. If there are parts of our life that are left out, it’s not a deep relationship but a shallow one. There is no side life, everything is out in the open. This is a level of intimacy narcissists are incapable of.

In closing, I’m learning to navigate the relationships (work and personal) in my life carefully. Even with my safe group, there are still boundaries in place. This is healthy. We can’t avoid narcissists completely, but we can educate ourselves.

There are a ton of resources out there about narcissism, but as a Christian, the Bible is always a good place to start. Seek God and His wisdom regarding the relationships in your life. Ask Him to show you any error in you. It’s easy to point the finger, more difficult to focus on the faults in ourselves.

Through God and His grace alone, He will heal and change you.

In Jesus and with love,


Slow Down

Yesterday, I was in a car accident. Got rear ended on the way to work. Thankfully, I walked away without a scratch and with minimal to no damage to my car. The impact of the hit felt far worse than it actually was. I’m thanking God for His hand of protection over me that day. It’s definitely undeserved.

Of course now, I’m in reflection mode because “Oh my Lord, I could have died!” has played in my head but for whatever reason, my life was spared and I still have purpose here. (Wow, can you be any more melodramatic, Julie?) It has me thinking about why God allowed it to happen along with other things that have happened in the past several months. As I look back, there’s been a pattern and it’s always involved my car. Then it hit me.

My car is an idol. 

I depend on my car to get me around. It’s my way of escape when things at home are almost unbearable. My Mom always tells me when things are rough at home and I can’t stand being here to go out. So, I’ve been following her advice for about a year now. Recently though, I’ve felt this pull inside me to slow down.

It must be God. 

I’m not going to say I’m perfect in this area, because I’m not. But I’m starting to scale back on a few things that were taking up my time and money. One of which became an idol too. I was blowing money on stuff and things and the only person benefiting from it was me. I love my freedom financially. I’m thankful God has always looked out for us and we’ve never gone without. Sometimes though we take His provision for granted and fail to remember everything on earth belongs to Him.

I love my car, but I love God more.

I know I’ve not acted like it for a while now, but I’m making the change to be different and do differently moving forward. With a lot of things, not just with money and my car, but with my relationship with God and other people. These are the keys to a richer life.

After my accident, the amount of love and support I received from friends close and far were appreciated and felt. You never really know how much you mean to people until something unexpected happens to you. It’s humbling and makes the bad days not feel so bad.

Sometimes the only way to get through the bad stuff is to confront them head on and to stop running. This is what we do though. We fill our lives with people and things instead of dealing with the hard work of figuring out who we really are. Why every relationship in our life is broken. Why we keep running into the same toxic people. Why we stay in the same broken cycle. Why we never really change, and the list goes on. These are all things I’ve had to confront in the past several months. Sometimes though it’s too much and getting in my car with the music loud is a lot easier than dealing with the junk.

My encouragement to you and myself is to slow down and be still. If you’re a believer, make God number one priority over everything else. Yes, even that.  You know what I’m talking about. Without Him, your plans will fail because apart from Him you can do nothing. That verse has carried me through a lot of decision making in my life and this time is no different.

The idols in our life don’t feel like idols at first. In our mind, we’re going about our life and business doing things that come naturally while claiming to give all the glory and praise to Him. And while God wants us to enjoy our life and live it to the fullest, everything always has to point back to Him. If there’s ever a moment when He’s put on the back burner, something has to change. We need to change.

We can’t do the things we love doing wholeheartedly without loving God first. Really loving Him. Not with our lips, but with our hearts. He is the source and strength of whatever we accomplish here. Change doesn’t happen in the hustle, it happens when we be still (slow down) and know.

In Jesus and with love,


Patient Endurance

I’ve been depressed the past week and have only confessed it to a few people. Outside I look fine, but inside tells a different story. This is the first time in a very long time when my emotions have gotten the best of me and I feel absolutely deflated.

Normally, I can bounce back no problem. Lately though, things are different. I remind myself of scripture, I remind myself of God’s faithfulness, and that it’s okay to not be okay all the time. I feel more human than I have in a while, yet still feel that my faith isn’t strong enough to endure.

And then, God gently reminds me like He always does that patient endurance isn’t for the faint-hearted and can only be developed  through hardship. Not by filling the emptiness and voids with people and things, but more of Him. 

People and things are temporary, He is forever.  

Emotions are only temporary, He is forever.

This too shall pass.

There are no absolutes or guarantees in this life and it can really suck the life right out of you. But I’m learning to get to a place where I welcome the very problems I dread. God wants us to bring every problem into His presence with gratitude. He wants us to thank Him for our trials. In the past few months, I’ve been reminded continuously of His sense of humor even in the face of hardship. In other words, if God allows it, there’s a purpose for it. Usually, a lesson or an area of our character we need to confront. For me, it’s always the latter.

We can’t shrink back in hardship, we must stand firm. Every hardship God allows in our life have already passed through His hands and He wants us to persevere ’til the end.

I’m still not okay but it’s getting easier to face each day with a new attitude and renewed mind. When I feel myself slipping into those dark places, I step into His presence instead. I remind myself of His Word and it illuminates everything.

If you’re in a similar place, turn to someone when you’re in pain. I’ve had to admit to a few of my closest friends that I’m depressed. The one who is the strong one, the one who spends a majority of her life carrying others’ burdens. Admitting I was the one struggling with depression shocked those close to me because I’m always so together. But everyone has their breaking point and I’ve reached mine.

God reminded me the other day He weaves bright, golden strands of His glory into the most heart-wrenching situations. It may take a long time before the pattern or purpose emerges but this waiting builds patience. He wants us to rejoice in the pain. 

Blessed are all those who wait for Him and the one who endures to the end will be saved.

In Jesus and with love,


Hello, it’s me.

Sometimes you need to take a break, dust yourself off and reset. Over half of 2017 is over and what a mess this year’s been. I’ve learned a lot, grown, and paid attention. Life sure has shown me a lot.

About six months ago, I wrote a few posts after another failed friendship with the same person who’s caused a lot of pain in my waking life. At the time it seemed appropriate to write about it but as time’s passed, I realize even though it was how I felt, my feelings didn’t need a platform, they needed a Savior. When we use our platforms to call out offenses or those who’ve offended us, no one wins. All I  did was reopen the wound, over and over again. This is what offense does. It reopens wounds trying to heal. God wasn’t being glorified by calling out the person. God’s never glorified when we call out folks who’ve hurt, offended, or betrayed us. Any hurt done is between us and God. Healing is His responsibility, not the offender’s. Justice is His, not ours. I’ve learned this lesson too late and I’m making peace with my decisions. I’m not going to delete what’s been said and written, but I will do better with my feelings moving forward. Platforms are good when used for right purposes. Whether your platform is a blog, social media, or something else, ask yourself, “Who’s being glorified?” If it really is God, He will be glorified, not our offenses and opinions. The most powerful weapon against fleeting feelings is prayer not a platform.

Something I learned earlier in the year is the deeper relationship, the greater the offense. In April, a friend and I had a falling out that lasted for almost a month. Eventually, we talked, we both apologized and things are fine now. When there’s a fall out, always seek reconciliation. How’s your attitude towards people who’ve hurt you? If your mind still repeats the offense, release the person to God moment by moment because forgiveness is a permanent attitude. Forgiveness is instant, trust is earned and reconciliation is possible when we’re willing to resolve our differences. Pride keeps relationships broken and at a distance. 

The thought of having real friendships seems rare but there are people in our life so important they surpass everything else.  They’re must haves, the ones you can’t live without. About two weeks ago, I had one of the worst days in a really long time and one of my friends asked, “Need me?” Those words changed the way I view every relationship in my life. When it seems the walls are caving in and things seem to be falling a part, a real friend comes in willing to rescue you from the storm. They don’t leave you out there to drown.  At least one person should come to mind.

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I use it mostly to share and connect. However, over recent months I’ve seen it divide more than unite. I don’t believe people should necessarily fast from Facebook but I think it’s important to do a daily inventory of where we invest our time and attention. Last week Friday, I spent some time off the grid and it was nice. Life is an adventure meant to be lived.  It’s okay to take a break sometimes from routine and responsibilities.

As messy as my relationship with God is, I’m thankful He always makes Himself known. About a week ago, for the first time in a while I went on my daily walk alone. Something told me to walk a certain stretch of campus, even though I had the slight thought to go a different route. Instead I went the way His voice told me to. This is what faith looks like. Sometimes you’ll go a different way than the one God directs and it’s okay to wander a while, but eventually, you’ll need to turn around. Faith is following His voice even when the way doesn’t feel right. I’m glad I listened to His voice that day.

Over  the past few months I’ve learned it’s okay not to be liked or accepted. No matter what we do, there will always be critics. Yeah, I come off hard sometimes and can be a “ball buster” as a friend put it, but I’ll never apologize for doing the right thing. When we do the right thing, the Christ-like thing, we don’t need to explain ourselves. Never entertain people who are critical, walk away from them and their ignorance. 

All that aside and said, I’m very thankful for this space. I’m thankful for the ups and downs and for the people who have supported me during hard times because there have been more than enough over the past few months. 2017 has been a bad year. It’s all perspective though. It hasn’t been all bad, some things could be better but I’m learning to take life as it comes.

God’s plan for our life will never happen in a straight line. There will be many twists and turns.  Just because something works, doesn’t mean it’s right in His eyes. I walked my own path and did things earlier in the year even with confirmation, but eventually those things fell apart. Never let someone use you or manipulate you to do God’s will for their life, their way. Without God anything that seems to be working won’t last.  What we do His way builds a foundation of integrity and this is far more important than doing things because they seem or feel right. Honesty and integrity are key to a life lived without regret and they don’t need to prove themselves. This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned this year so far.

In closing, I’ve decided to write only when God leads it. Otherwise, there’s no point. It’s what we do when no one but Him sees us that truly reflects our heart and commitment to Him. Not our words, but by our actions are we truly His.

In Jesus and with love,


Knocking down the old so the new can rebuild.

There is so much in my life and heart God is showing and reminding me of right now.The parts I haven’t liked or could do without are the ones I know where He loves me most.

When the old and familiar came knocking, it’s His gentle reminder to let the past go and rebuild.

Compared to how things were in December, I’m at peace now. I’m thankful for the different people in my life who make their love and presence known. They’ve had a tremendous impact on my life without words but with action.

Dragging my past into my present was a bad habit, but I knew going into 2017, God was going to do something new.  Though outwardly things haven’t changed, inside they have. We are new creations and God wants us to experience this truth daily. 

Rebuilding takes work and what sometimes feels like a lifetime. What I’m learning is having a strong support system is helpful. There are people in my life now with different personalities and gifts and I see how God is using them to help me rebuild my life.  I know I can’t change what happens but I can build new beginnings.

I won’t allow my faith to falter because of flaky people and fleeting feelings. 

My new beginning starts now.





Dating Tip #3: Accept the Truth

My eyes have really been opened the past month. I’m realizing what I had four years ago was safe. We spent hours talking, letting God confirm daily what He wanted from us and we obeyed. We didn’t waver at all from God’s will miles apart from each other. Until we were actually within a few feet from each other that’s when everything changed. It wasn’t a sudden change but over time things changed. Things were no longer safe, we were thick in the reality of what God was doing and each other.

Our relationship was kept off social media entirely. This should have been hint #1. He tried to tell me repeatedly when couples make their relationship public, you’re only allowing outside influences into an area they don’t belong. I believed this and so I agreed with it for almost a year.  Over the past three years though, he’s been very public with his past and present relationships. Three years ago, I took this as flat out rejection. Now though, I realize it was never rejection, it was respect.

The situation didn’t feel right any more. It felt right four years ago when we met in this space. It felt right four years ago when  we built on a foundation we both swore was stable. It felt right when he moved here because God told him to “Go.” It felt right because our situation was unique … so sacred.  Until it was no longer sacred and I pushed it away. I didn’t want anything to do with it any more. He was doing with her what he did with me four years ago. Our connection was no longer between us and he never loved me. He loved the idea of me but not the real me.

This truth has set me free.

I won’t lie, this truth hurts. Earlier this week I fought back tears and I did again yesterday morning. My pride doesn’t like to admit it and I’m almost slightly ashamed to type it, but I don’t know any other way than to be authentic with how I feel. I wanted it this way because I was scared. I was losing this person I created a life with for over four years even if it wasn’t consistent, it was still familiar …. it was safe. And just like that, enter another woman and it was gone. My heart couldn’t take it, so I bailed.

Every thing God places in our hands requires work. I worked pretty hard to obey the Lord in everything. This last time though, it was no longer about obedience to the Lord, but about guarding my heart … for good. I’m protecting myself from further hurt. It’s counter productive, I know but for now, it’s what’s right.

Accepting truth, real truth, isn’t for the faint of heart. 

God’s Word has continually guided and directed my steps since 2012. The only time my steps weren’t directed was when I tried dating in July. I prayed but didn’t wait for clearance, I jumped in. God knows our desire to be close to someone, He understands our desire for companionship. We say we aren’t looking for it, but deep down we really are.  Until Jesus is everything to us, until the reality of His presence is deep in us, in those deep, hidden places, we won’t be ready for the real relationships He has specifically designed us for. 

This truth is what I’ve settled in my heart, let it settle in yours too.

Understand though, I’m not good with relationships. I love people and when that love is threatened I tend to either hold on to it tightly or I let it go without thinking twice. In my dating relationship, I let it go. I literally ran away from it. But with Jeremy, it was different.

Twice in the past week, when I’ve gotten in my car to leave our song came on. The first time, I changed stations immediately because I was pissed. The other day though, I listened to it all the way through. He dedicated it to us when he was back home. He didn’t remember it though after we broke up. I was reminded why I held on so long. Love doesn’t give up. It doesn’t quit. Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and always perseveres. It never fails.  It takes two people who both love each other to make a relationship work. I was the only one in our relationship and friendship who loved the other person. For the first time in four years, I quit because love was never reciprocated and I realized it.

Accepting this truth is disappointing but freeing. The truth really does set us free.

The truth I’m accepting right now is knowing the Holy Spirit can work between people anywhere. It worked between us consistently for four years. It’s worked in my life consistently since I closed this door.  The problem is I tied my experience with the power of the Holy Spirit to a person instead of a Person. The Holy Spirit will work between any one with an attentive heart. A heart that is truly seeking the Lord, one who walks in the Spirit daily, and lays their life down for others. God first, family (children, mother, father, brother, sister, etc) second, everyone else last.  In that order, no exception. 

This last truth is what I keep at the forefront of my mind.

A friend reminded me last week it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to cry for what’s no longer but not to live there. Don’t live in the memories but to keep moving forward in the Lord because He’s going to do something new. In the stillness, I know that new thing is already here. I’ve known it for almost two months. All those pieces coming together perfectly behind the scenes. There’s peace knowing God is control but even without His blessings and what He will give me, I’m secure.

Let me encourage you to do a few things. Let God love you back to life again before making commitments. Open your hands wide for what He gives you, but don’t hold on to it too tight. More importantly, follow Jesus everywhere. I’m not talking about physically or spiritually but emotionally and mentally.  When we’re truly following Jesus, He will take us through valleys of offenses we’ve never fully dealt with. It will be hellish. Instead of running towards the next feel good high, run to Him wholeheartedly. Running the race for Christ wasn’t for quitters, but for people who aren’t afraid to run and fight. And yes, sometimes for a season you have to run this race with only Him and alone. If you’ve never been alone for longer than three months, then there’s something inside you broken and you’re looking for other people to make it or you whole.

Don’t argue with this truth, accept it, and change.

Don’t hold on to your plans too tightly either. Even with prayer and reading Scripture, God can throw a curve ball into our plans at any time. Our plans, visions, and preparation are many, but “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)

I don’t know what 2017 is going to look like but I’ve stopped looking ahead. I’ve spent more time with family and friends during my holiday break. This holidays has been a little hard and not as joyful, but my joy is no longer in people, but in a Person. The one who never gives up on me and loves me unconditionally.

This truth is the only one I will accept forever, I hope you will too.

In Jesus and with love,