Being girls, and teenage girls for that matter, we often lose sight of who we are and where we’re headed. Some days, we think big. We’re going to be a lawyer or the next inventor of some awesome invention. Other days we sit home thinking we’ll never make it out of the house. Let me say this, we’re always going to have those days, it’s all part of being a girl. But the thing we can never forget is that we should never give up on ourselves, God has a plan for everyone and we are set to live it out.
It’s good to plan ahead and it’s good to have dreams. Having goals and achieving them is one of the best feelings in the world. But don’t think that because you didn’t get to achieve something means you are a failure. IT DOES NOT! You aren’t a failure. You just have to really have faith in God and yourself. Things don’t work out for hundreds of reasons. Whatever the reason, God has another opportunity awaiting you.
Maybe you lost the talent show or choked on your big audition for a school play. Maybe you’re supposed to win the next talent show or maybe you didn’t get the part in the school play because you’re going to be part of the next HUGE show. Whatever it is, God has it set out for you already. So never give up, never think that the universe is against you. Your time to shine is coming. Leave it all in God’s hands, and I promise you, he’ll do many wonders for you.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the varied Grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10
I didn’t grow up in the Christian faith; in fact, I had really never been to church. I lived my life outside of church, like many other friends I grew up with. To be honest, I had no idea how much I was missing. I’d never taken the time to see that God had so many wonderful and beautiful things waiting just for me until I followed Him and His word.
Everyone is entitled to their own mistakes, but the purpose of a mistake is to learn from it, not keep reliving it. For so many of my teenage years, I kept reliving my mistakes. The thought would occur to me from time to time that I needed help to stop doing these things, but I couldn’t figure it out. I didn’t know what I needed. (more…)
I watched in the mirror as the young woman curled my hair. The formal event was staring in just a few hours, and a group of my friends had gathered to prepare together. The lady smiled as she held the curling iron steady. “So what is your book about?” She asked.
I remembered that my mom had mentioned it to her earlier. “It’s a devotional to help teen girls who have gone through their parents divorce.” I replied. “I just finished it the other day, and I’m really excited about it!”
“Wow, that’s great! You’re writing from experience, I assume?”
I paused to think of a way to answer. I didn’t like to sound like I was complaining when I told someone about my book and the circumstances that brought me to write it.
Have you ever felt a twinge of guilt when talking about your problems or prayer requests? As though maybe you were exaggerating? I have definitely felt this when writing blog posts about the challenges of divorce. I wonder if I’m exaggerating the situation or if I’m prolonging the whole experience. Maybe I should just stick with devotional writing without including personal stories, I think.
I was contemplating this the other day when I realized something: if I don’t acknowledge the difficulty of a situation, how can God be glorified in it? God’s power is manifested when it is obvious that the solution did not come from me. We see proof of this in 2 Corinthians 12:9 after Paul asks God to take away a significant challenge in his life. God answers “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” Paul then concludes that he will talk gladly about his weaknesses so that “the power of Christ may rest upon [him].”
Do you avoid talking about your failures? Paul didn’t. Our failures and challenges, when contrasted against God’s power, bring glory to God.
What did Jesus see as He hung almost lifeless from the bloody cross? We know He was coherent because He spoke to John and asked him to take care of His mother. Did He notice the other disciples were MIA? Did He see Mary Magdalene screaming and weeping at his feet? She stood with Mary, mother of Jesus, and John among the sea of haters who quickly turned on Him.
I believe Jesus did see Mary Magdalene because He made His first appearance to her after the resurrection. The disciples were gathered in the upper room speculating their future when He appeared to Mary. Jesus saw her faithfulness during the hostile circumstances of the trial and crucifixion. On the third day she asked the guards for permission to anoint His body with oils and Jesus appeared to her and asked her to tell the disciples of His resurrection.
What a powerful message for us. Jesus will give us opportunities we can’t even fathom if we’re faithful to Him. Mary had no agenda or plan for her own success other than serving her Master and neither should we, but we should always be ready to step up when Jesus prompts us to do something for Him.
Let the cross be a reminder that no matter how bad things look to you, Jesus always has the best view. He sees your pain. He sees your frustration. He also sees your faithfulness and the future he has mapped out just for you.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
John Waller’s song, I Will Serve You While I’m Waiting, gives me so much strength. Download it and let this be your prayer to our wonderful Heavenly Father who loved us enough to die for us.
Know I’m Praying for You,
This is Holy Week and Spring Break sometimes doesn’t allow us the time to focus on the depth and gravity of the cross. Please download a crucifixion movie and watch it on your mobile device. Zero in on the events leading up to Jesus’ arrest and the brutality of His crucifixion. I’m the first to admit how painful these events are to watch and you may feel the same, but it should be painful for us to watch because Jesus wore our skin at the cross.
One of my favorite old hymns, At the Cross, was written by Issac Watts in 1707. The refrain below still humbles me to tears. Substitute your name for I when reading it.
Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
When we think about the scene at the cross and all the anger, hatred, and abuse hurled at Jesus that day, the first assumption is that evil was the victor. Think about your own situation. Do you feel defeated even though you’re trying to do what Jesus wants you to do? The bad guys win again? This is what the disciples thought, too. They felt betrayed. Jesus, their master, was gone.
Thank goodness the story doesn’t end here, but let’s stay at the cross for a couple of days and try to fully understand how privileged we really are. Forgiveness came with a heavy price and we need to never take this lightly. Is there someone you need to forgive? Come to the cross and learn from the Master.
My purpose for recommending you watch the movie or even see a play about the crucifixion is because we can’t even begin to fathom the gory details of that day. Visual presentations help me grasp the pain and the purpose of Jesus’ death. Any problems I have pale in comparison when I watch what Jesus did for me.
Know I’m Praying for You,