Dealing With Haters

Dear World Changer,

In today’s society, “haters” have become so normalized. We hear about dealing with haters in songs and media, “haters gonna hate” or however it goes. This doesn’t change the fact that when faced with a hater, it hurts when they attack something close to you.

When I was in elementary school, people used to call me names. They would say things like church girl, Jesus freak, or holy kid. I never got invited to sleepovers on a Saturday night because they knew I would have to leave super early for church the next day.

When the kids played truth or dare on the playground, I was never included because they thought I was “too innocent” or “too holy” to participate in all the games. People would get freaked out when I knew all the words to the service we held in the gymnasium, I was even more ridiculed when I was an alter server during the service and the pastor knew me by name.

People would ask me why I believe in this. They tried to argue against what I believed. They didn’t believe in religion and they were so grateful their parents never “forced” them to go. However, I really grew from that experience. Along the way I learned some things that helped me deal with the haters.

1. Stick to your values!​ If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. I was really rooted in my faith with Jesus then. I went to church happily, I even volunteered there willingly. If people hated on me or tried to argue against me and I wasn’t sticking to my beliefs, then I could’ve easily crumbled under the pressure and started to side with them. They could’ve won, but because of my strong relationship with Jesus,I was able to hold my own ground.

2. Stay on the defense, never the offense.​ You’re allowed to share your faith, in fact that is encouraged. However, don’t attack them for not believing. If I had started to ridicule them back then for not believing, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. They would have been pushed further from Christianity. Also, when you give bullies a reaction, you’re giving them the satisfaction of upsetting you.

3. Knowledge is power.​ Often, people judge what they don’t know or don’t understand. If you have the opportunity to have a conversation about it, then share your faith. The more people that know about Him, the more understanding and accepting the world can become.

4. Invite them.​ I wish I belonged to a youth group back then so that I could invite them out so they can see for themselves what I believe in. When movies and media paint a boring picture of the church, it was hard for me to get my friends to come out. So I encourage you to bring your haters out to youth group so they can see what it’s like before they choose to judge it.

5. Pray for them.​ God calls us to love everyone, even our enemy. So show them kindness, even on the hard days. Pray over them that they can come to know Him and that they can find the kindness in their hearts to stop treating people poorly.

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. ​But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10: 32-33 NIV

At the end of the day, it’s your faith. It is a part of who you are. You shouldn’t be embarrassed over it, you shouldn’t be embarrassed over Jesus and how awesome He is. Embrace it regardless of what people think. Never try to push it aside to get people to like you, make sure your friends like you for who are, a Christian.

Meghan Hickey

How to Deal With Stress

Dear World Changer,

Stress is something you not only feel but you probably hear from people all time. There are different situations that cause people to stress, and it comes in a variety of forms. I think it’s easy to conclude that stress is something that will always be with us and knowing that can be discouraging. However, although there are times in life that will bring us stress, does not mean our lives need to be that way. There are two things that can help us deal with stress.

 

Know the source

Stress doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. There is always a cause behind it. School, family life, friends are examples of reasons that I’ve heard from people in my life that have brought them stress. Finding the source of stress can be hard to admit at times but once you know the reason, you put yourself in a position where you can find solutions to help you cope with it. Now, with that said some sources of stress are easier to deal with than others. Depending on the situation, you may need professional help from people such as counsellors or doctors, a pastor, or people in your life you trust. Stress is multifaceted we need to approach from all angles to ensure that we are dealing with it properly. Don’t face your stress alone, be wise in choosing people who will help you.

 

Release it

Stress has a way of consuming us inside. Therefore, releasing is an important step in moving forward. Here two ways I’ve learned to release stress. First, do something you enjoy. When I feel stressed, I like to take a walk or if the whether is not nice I’ll read a book or listen to music. Stress affects our health so doing something allows you to rejuvenate yourself.

Secondly, you need to release your stress to Jesus. The practical things I have mentioned are effective but they can only take us so far. The stress we feel in our lives is also a reflection of a deeper issue in our hearts. Jesus is the only one powerful enough to help us overcome our difficulties. In Philippians 4: 6-7 (ESV) it says:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”

What I love about this verse is the assurance that when we come to God with our burdens that He answers us. Although Jesus promises His peace, for us to truly experience it we must choose to accept it. What I mean is, I think when we read scripture we are comforted but don’t embrace the truth of what Jesus is saying. Remember, the Word of God is living. So, when the Lord promises something, He means it.

The stress you are fighting in your life is one Jesus is more than able to handle. So, don’t be afraid to take it to Him. By truly releasing your stress to Him, you will not be fighting it in your own strength. Stress is real but it does not have to rule our lives. There are practical things we can do but when we factor Jesus into the equation the victory is overwhelmingly ours!

Ahiney

XOXO

 

Self Confidence

Self Confidence.

 

Bah.

 

Those words alone sometimes give me the jitters.

 

Not because I feel I’m lacking it, but because I think it’s something that is a never ending issue… a never ending phrase that generation after generation of girls gets taunted with. Even me. I have had moments when I have felt so INsecure, when I felt so OVERLY secure, and when I simply haven’t been sure how I felt. And that’s the thing, regardless of our upbringing, we all face some sort of self-evaluation at some point in our lives… which sadly, will only worsen… with the ever growing, in-your-face, social media society that allows us access to so many lives – and in sometimes, very unhealthy ways.

Self-confidence is the phrase that gets thrown around so much as you journey your life as a woman. I don’t think there’s an easy answer or an easy way to prevent any one girl from asking that one, dreaded, “I wish it never existed”, question: AM I GOOD ENOUGH?

I’ll never forget the year when my life started to get more complicated.

You see, Grade 6 was the last year I remember as a year of innocence.

It was the last year I wore overalls until recently (yes, I’ve been around long enough for overalls to go OUT of fashion and BACK in… oy.)

It was the last year I remember being brave enough to sing a solo in a school play.

It was the last year I remember where everyone was friends at school and we had secret handshakes with unforgettable recesses.

It was the last year I remember before genuine social hurt entered my life.

 

Grade 7 for me was the year I remember my social life changing … Having friends decide they no longer wanted to be my friend, having hurtful words spoken over me, realizing that my face was now acne filled and my body not “picture perfect”. It was the year that I became immensely self-aware of what I WAS NOT. The pure innocence of enjoying my life as I was had ended. Sadly.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have grown up in a VERY supportive and empowering home where my parents never spoke words of hurt or negativity over me. (I am extremely thankful for that.) But as I journeyed my teenage years, I was increasingly aware of what I was NOT…

 

Thank – you – society.

 

I think this “what we are not” focus is where it all goes south. So often we focus on what we are NOT versus what we ARE. We focus on our weaknesses, our so called flaws, our inabilities and insecurities. We forget the very essence of what we enjoyed as a child all because of what society deems as what we “should” be like.

However, as I have continued to journey through life, there IS one thing I have learned in all this: I cannot change who God created me to be.

 

End of story.

 

I am tall, blonde, and blued-eyed.

I am a middle child.

I am more introverted than extroverted.

I cannot sing. (Not sure why I got the role in Grade 6. LOL)

I am not a morning person. (No matter how much I try…sigh)

I can listen to the same song on repeat when I discover one I like.

I love eating sweet potato ANYTHING.

I get extremely anxious when I enter new social settings.

I am intolerant to gluten and dairy, and have health issues.

I love to run but health limits my endurance.

I thrive in small groups.

I could live in water. (But actually, swimming and me are like soulmates.)

I only like watching competitive sports, not playing. (Like it makes me SO anxious to play.)

I dislike cooking but love baking.

I am terrified of my car flipping over when I turn on the onramps to highways.

And, I could go on.

Now, my list above definitely included a few things that could perhaps change, but in this current moment, they are what describe who I am. And I’ve learned to embrace it, whether some of those bother me or not.

Why? Because they are not what DEFINES me.

 

God does.

 

Even as a woman in my twenties, I have moments of wishing I could change something about myself. The “God if only I had…” moments. We all have those moments, and I just as quickly remind myself of who God has made ME to be.

In Ephesians 2 it says: “For are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (verse 10).

In Psalm 139 it says: “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (verse 16).

You see, GOD has placed each of us in a specifically tailored place, with a uniquely designed purpose. You didn’t just end up in the city you live, in the job you have, in the class you attend. Our confidence needs to come from that – from knowing that it is GOD who defines us and has placed us where we are for a reason. That he was given us those quirks, those traits, those physical features – and to Him, we’re perfect.

So, what are some things that describe you? I’ve listed a bunch of mine. Think of some of yours! Some things that make you uniquely you. The things that scare you, make you happy, make you excited. The things you once enjoyed but society has made you think you can’t enjoy anymore because they’re not “cool”. I’m so over the cool factor. Do YOU my friend. Be YOU. The crazy or goofy or loud or quiet or smart or artistic or whatever it may be, YOU. Go back to the times of your innocence when life was simple and you simply LIVED. If there’s anything you’ll regret, it’s not living life to the fullest and embracing each season. Let your confidence come from knowing that GOD does have you and your best interest in mind. Can I get an AMEN?

 

Much love from your sista in Christ,

 

Jenn

 

Spicin’ Up the Devo Life

Dear World Changer,

How do I read the Bible? What is the best way to connect with God when I am on my own? Where do I start? What is the formula Christians use? Chances are you have pondered these questions and have tried to follow the same formula of Bible reading and praying and still no connection with God. Then you get discouraged or disappointed leaving you in a spiritual rut and feeling like you can’t make your way out!!

Well girl YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I have felt overwhelmed many times not knowing where to start or what to do when I don’t ‘’feel’’ like pressing in with God. I have been tempted to lean on mimicking how mentors connect with God on a daily or follow a formula. BUT guess what? There is no formula!! God did not create us all to connect with Him the same way, there is no one-size fits all when it comes to worshiping God! Therefore, look for ways to connect with God that are TRUE to WHO GOD CREATED YOU TO BE! This is where you may need to look at your personality and how you learn best.

What are some creative ways to connect with God? How do you create a devotional life that works for you? you may ask. Below are a list a creative ways to incorporate in your devotional life.

Just remember God won’t be more impressed with you if you do any or all of these activities listed below. Reality is He is after you HEART!

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The intention of the list of ideas are to spark passion to get to know yourself in how you learn and explore YOUR relationship with God! ENJOY the journey of exploring God and getting to know Him and his word!!

Creative devotional ideas through personality, interest, and learning styles (visual, logical, verbal, physical, social)

  • Going for a prayer walk or ride your bike around your neighborhood.
  • Reading your Bible outside
  • Worshiping God while watching the sunset\sunrise or another scenic scene, thanking God for nature’s beauty, His creation.
  • Meditating on God’s word revealed in through ART (music, dance, painting, film, etc)
  • JOURNALING. This can be writing paragraphs, writing bullet points, drawing etc. I have started using a sketchbook where I use many different colored pens used different fonts to get my thoughts and ideas across. Have fun and discover what you enjoying doing with your journal for it is highly encouraged to keep a journal of sermons notes, bible reading notes, and writing about your personal journal with God. This can be a tool to look back upon in future devotions.
  • Go where it inspires you or where you do what you love. Go read God’s word, pray at a place you like to be. (e.g. soccer field, basketball court, stage, dance floor, honkey arena, view with water, playground, kitchen, library, computer lab, bakery, the mall)
  • Writing verses on index cards, hang them up around your house, keep some in your purse or backpack.
  • Find ways to memorize verses that accommodate your learning style.
  • Record yourself saying verses and promises in scripture to listen back to later
  • Read Bible in chronological order
  • Listen to the Bible on audio. I listen to the Bible in my car instead of the radio sometimes or when I am doing chores this has been a huge part of my daily life.
  • Listen and study worship music. Research your favourite worship songs and artist get to know the reasons behind the lyrics. Watch interviews of artist get to know their story. This may encourage you and give you even more passion for that particular song.

 

When you get stuck and do not know where to start.

  • PRAY in various positions: standing, pacing, kneeling with hands raised, dancing, laying face-down, sitting in child’s pose etc)
  • Say Lord’s prayer Matthew 6:12
  • Pick a weekly word and look it up in a Bible’s glossary and it will link words to verses (e.g. love, Sabbath, glory, evil, redeem etc)
  • Pick topics you are interested in or thought about (e.g. Forgiveness, Servanthood, Honouring parents, Sex, self-esteem etc.) look them up where you can find them in the Bible and read.
  • Pick people to study in the Bible (e.g. Ruth, Paul, Jacob, Elijah, Jonah etc.)
  • Write down prayer list to remind you who and what to pray for. Write down prayer requests. Divide prayer requests into 7 day week where you can pray for each request a least once week. Write down things you have prayed for, therefore can look back on and reflect if it has been answered
  • Read devotional book Recommendation:

’Why on Earth am I here for’’ by Rick warren

‘’Power Thoughts’’ by Joyce Myers

‘’Jesus Today’’ Sara Young

  • Read devotionals through apps: YouVersion, Bible gateway, She Reads Truth.
  • Watch sermons, listen to podcasts.
  • Use resources aimed for children. For example I use ‘’Superbook’’ an app that simplifies Bible text and includes videos and games.
  • Getting alone. Practicing solitude getting away from people and daily tasks.
  • Do devotions with others. Use social media. Meet with one, two, or five friends for bible study. Do woman’s devotional with your Mom or mentor.

The list can go on and on. I encourage you to talk to other followers to get more ideas. But know you are more creative than you think. Just use what you like to do, your personality, and learning style and soar.

‘’Your devotions may seem ordinary today, but God is making something extraordinary through it’’

I want to camp on the importance of CONSISTENCY and DISCIPLINE when it comes to your devotional life. Like I mentioned before where do you go when you don’t ‘’feel’’ like pressing in and excuses come into play. For example I have been establishing a specific time of day in the morning before work to have God time. By giving yourself a specific time keeps you accountable to that time and it becomes a habit where without it your day is off. Devotions can be sketched in weekly and monthly as well (e.g. meeting with a few friends monthly, having a weekly devotion with a friend over You Version app. Maybe this looks like every Monday night you listen to a sermon online. Possibilities are endless but create what works for you and be consistent with it and have self-discipline to work through it and making God a priority.

Just remember God is after your HEART not your works! For it is how we worship rather than all we do.

How do you feel most connected to God? What ideas above do you want to try? What other creative ideas do you have?

Please SHARE we would love to hear from you!

LIVE A LIFE WITH WORSHIP THAT MATTERS, WORLD CHANGER

Maddy

Trusting the Process

Dear World Changer,

If you’re like me, your life has been a series of seasons. Some were awesome, others were not so good. Some lasted what felt like forever, and others seemed to be over in no time at all. From the seasons I walked through, I have (and am continuing to) learn about how I can fully trust the Father with each season I am in. And I am so thankful to be able to share a bit of what I have learned with you in this little blog post!

A lot of what it takes to trust the process and the work that God is doing in your life is rooted in knowing who He is. If I know God and His character, then I am more likely to live and walk confidently in every season. Think about it…if you began to fully grasp how good our God is, how much He cares for you, and how awesome the plans He has for you are, wouldn’t you feel better about the future? If you understood in a real way that He sticks closer than a friend, is faithful to the end, and His plans are going to prosper you and not to harm you, wouldn’t you be able to rest confidently in the season you are in and where you’re going? The fact is this: our God works everything for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) and every season you encounter has happened for a reason (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

So what are some ways you can start confidently shedding fear and worry and begin trusting the process? Well for starters, get in the Word and begin finding promises. The Bible is filled with promises of God’s faithfulness, His protection, His goodness and His awesome plans! Start searching for them and storing them up in your heart. When the voices of doubt and fear rise up and try to make you worry about where you’re at, knowing these verses will be your best defense.

Another thing you can do to better trust the process is pray over your future. Pray over every aspect of it. In the same way that you can combat doubt and fear through memorizing scripture and the promises of God, you can drop worry by choosing to chat with Jesus. Tell Him how you are feeling, ask Holy Spirit to show you where your peace was lost, and ask Him to help you see how He is moving in your current season. In Philippians 4, it talks about praying about everything instead of worrying about anything. So, if you feel those waves of uncertainty start to crash over you, bring it to your Heavenly Father, and His peace will replace your fears.

One last thing that is so helpful when trying to trust where and how the Lord is leading you is by remembering that He loves when you have desires and dreams. Jesus didn’t make you to be a robot, He actually designed you uniquely with dreams in your heart that He wants to fulfill. What matters to you matters to God. Let’s say you really want to get married in the future. God, in His perfect timing, will surely bring the most epic guy for you into your life. So instead of running around and dating whoever, you can rest in the promise that He put that desire in you and will take care of it when it is right to do so. Maybe you desire to go to school or have a certain career down the line. God has placed passion inside of you, so you can be sure He is going to bring you down a path that will allow you to have maximum impact on those around you in your school experience and future work…trust that He will place you exactly where you need to be!

I don’t know exactly where you want to be or where you are, and what you are facing right now, but I know this: God is for you, not against you. You can rest in the knowledge that no matter what season you find yourself in, He is faithfully walking beside you. I know that He has awesome plans for your future that are going to blow your mind and He can be trusted to fulfill His promises to you.

My prayer for you, sweet one, is that you will learn more and more each day about the heart of your Father and grow in your trust of Him and His plans. You can be sure that us leaders here at She Is Radiant blog are on your side and cheering you on, but even more than that, God is on your side! So what is there to fear about the future?

Much love,

Jenny

High School Meets Jesus

Dear World Changer,

Your high school heart gets beat down, drained and pulled in a thousand different directions. High school is hard. People are going to try to tell you your life is easy. Sure, you don’t have kids, a husband, debt, bills and all those adult parts of life that can be stressful but what you do have is a high school full of the unsaved to face. That can be daunting and complicated to navigate.
So this is for you. The you that’s in high school just trying to make it through. Let’s talk about you.
Let’s first start by talking about who you are. You are worthy.
You are beautiful.
You are capable.
You are bold.
You are loved.
You are strong.
You are needed.
You are wanted.
You are brave.
I️ know who you are even though I may not know that you’re even reading this. I know who you are because I know whose you are and who you belong to. Jesus. He calls you all of these things and so much more, and if you don’t know who you are yourself read the bible, it’ll tell you!
Let’s talk about how loved you are. Honestly, I️ heard about it again last week. All my life I’ve been told I am loved and wanted by God but it clicked in a whole new way. That’s not to say I️ didn’t believe that I️ was loved but it just sunk in on a whole new level. You and I are children of God and so often we wonder “why and how could you possibly love this” and it’s as simple as this;
He loves you because you are His. You are His child. He does not love you because of what you do or say. He simply loves you because you are His.
Even if you don’t have kids, I️ think this may hit home a bit, when a baby is born instantly that baby’s parents love him/her endlessly and without limits. There is nothing that little baby can do or say to his parents to make him love him anymore or less. He is loved because he is their child. God loves us the same and that love calls us to love others. Being in high school it is so important to fully understands God’s love for you because it is steady and unchanging. High school however is roller coaster that will sometimes be scary or painful. Being rooted and connected to Him will study you through the bumpy valley’s you’ll take. Know Him, know His character and cling to Him through it all.
Who you are paves the way for how you live, and this is where we dive into high school. More specifically, how to live as a Christian in your high school.
This world is broken. Full of broken and hurting people. Longing for so much more in life and not sure where to turn.
Here’s the most important part about being a Christian in high school; who you are says a lot about who He is.
For so many of your friends you are the only glimpse at a relationship with Jesus they will ever see. In the same way you look at a couple and instantly can see what kind of relationship they have, your friends can do the same about yours and Jesus.
Are you living out your daily life the way He has called?
Are you treating everyone as equals.
Are you respecting your teachers and parents.
Are you speaking in a way that would be honouring to him.
Are you encouraging, loving and kind.
I️ think we can all agree we’ve seen a friend or family members relationship/friendship and have hoped ours are never like that. Let’s not let our relationship with Jesus be like that.
Let’s live in a way that people see the relationship we have and crave that. That our lives would draw in a curious crowd to desire what we have and through that curiosity of freedom, love and joy doors will be opened to talk about your faith and who your God is.
I think one of the tough things about sharing Jesus in your schools is the “open door moments” and when to bring it up. So, let’s carry ourselves in a way that our friends open those doors themselves through an eagerness to have what you have.
Walk in a closeness with God that is admirable.
You’ve got this and your school needs this!
Gracie

The Year of Courage

Dear World Changer,

Just like some of you, I have never named my year before 2018. I didn’t know where to start in doing so, which is a situation you guys may have found yourselves in. I looked over the big goals I set for myself this year. I’m a huge dreamer when it comes to making plans. So as big and daunting goals loomed over me, I felt the word courage.

I will need courage to get through all the plans He has for me this year. Entering a new chapter of my life with starting university, digestive issues that impact me every single day as I figure out what works and what doesn’t, learning what being a leader at IntenCity for the first time entails, etc. There are a lot of things that are new to me and unknown. It takes a lot of courage to walk through unknown situations.

Therefore, I’ve named COURAGE over my year. Courage, by definition is “the ability to do something that frightens one” or “strength in the face of pain or grief”. As mentioned, there are many things I will walk through this year that frighten me or that will cause me pain, yet I will continue to walk through those situations. A part of Psalms 23:4 says; “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”. Which I think is a perfect verse to go with the word courage. So may I walk through the valley of the known and unknown without anxiety and fear. May I have courage this year.

Meghan

Replenishment

Dear World Changer,

For me, 2018 is the year of Replenishment. This word can be defined as “make full or complete again, as by supplying what is lacking, used up, etc.” This word came to me in the final week of 2017 and it was a timely one. I just finished exams, and before I started school I was working two part-time jobs over the summer. By the end of the year, I was truly exhausted in a way I had not experienced before. So, when the Lord gave the word replenishment two things came to mind. First, was peace. I knew that after a busy period I needed to rest. Second, was excitement because in comparison to the other words God named my year this was one completely different. Like last year, 2018 will be a year of transition but I believe Jesus will reveal another layer of it.

One of my favourite songs lately is ‘Seasons’ by Hillsong (it is amazing, I would highly recommend listening to it). The chorus goes like this:

“I know though the winter is long even richer the harvest it brings though my waiting prolongs even greater your promise for me like a seed I believe that my season will come”

What I love about those lyrics is that it not only communicates the importance of doing each season of life well (as hard as it can be at times) but it reminds us that when we wait upon Jesus it is active not passive. Now how does that relate to my year of replenishment? During this transitional time in my life, the major decision upon me is graduate school. The schools I applied to could respond anytime between February and April. Based on how it all goes will determine my next steps.

So, what do I until then? Well, there are two areas of replenishment God is leading me in. First is personal replenishment. I feel called to invest in myself by doing things that fulfill me. For me those things are reading, learning how to crochet, being relational and taking care of my health. The final area is spiritual replenishment it involves cultivating a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, growing in the ways He wants me to in this season, and being sensitive to His voice.

A verse that has been guiding me is Psalm 90:12 (ESV) and it says, “so teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom”. What I love about this verse is it teaches me that although I have more free time, it doesn’t mean I can go about my life aimlessly, each day needs to be intentional. What helps me be intentional is writing it down. If I don’t write it I usually don’t do it because I won’t remember it.

In the past, I have been in seasons of DOING but right now I am in a season of BEING. Both seasons are necessary. In a season of being, I am learning that it requires me to pay attention to where I am NOW. There some big unknowns in my life but worrying about them is not productive. I know worrying is easier said than done but in times of uncertainty I ask myself this question that I pose to you, where do you put your hope and trust in? What brings life is focusing on what Jesus wants us to do now. If we pine for what we desire no matter how good it may be, it can create discontentment in our hearts. I’m not saying that you should not have hopes for the future. I’m just saying that we need to be mindful of letting our desires lead us astray from what God is currently doing in our lives. Another amazing thing about a season of being is that He prepares us in ways we’re unaware of.

My dear world changers Jesus has so much in store for you in 2018. He is truly just getting started. This year there will be some bumps along the journey but I promise you that He will work it all together for your good (Romans 8:28). No matter what God has named your year go after seeking it with all that is within you.

Love,

Ahiney

 

Eagle Eyes

Dear World Changer,

On behalf of the new year, I wanted to jump on the blog quickly and share my words/names for 2018. In years past, I have received one specific word or theme, but this year I received a few words that I want to look at with you guys. I have a huge dictionary and I love knowing the definitions of words so that I can better grasp the concept of them, and I’ll be sharing those definitions with you as well. This way my 2018 words can impact you the way they have impacted me.

The first, and most specific word that I felt for 2018 is “Greater”. The definitions for greater/great/greaten are: “to make more distinguished // increase in size or significance // considerable or remarkable in magnitude // preeminent over others”. What I felt the Lord was saying about my year with this word was that He not only wanted to bring me into a greater season (He takes us from glory to glory [2 Cor. 3:18]), but I also feel like He is going to show me a greater intimacy with Him. I am so excited to experience more of His love and His Kingdom.

And that leads me to the second word I got: “More”, which the dictionary defines as: “beyond a previously indicated amount // a greater extent or degree // to a progressively increasing extent…”. I believe that the Lord has MORE for me this year! More experiences, more encounters, more blessing. And I also believe there is more in me, in the sense that I can accomplish MORE, and am capable of MORE. So another thing that I am working towards this year is more discipline which will lead to more discovery with the Lord!

The last word I received for my new year is actually a phrase; Eagle Eyes. I was surprised that the dictionary had this “word” in it, but it actually defines “eagle eye” as: “the ability to see and observe with exceptional keenness // keen vision or insight.” Keenness is defined as “boldness, bravery, and sharpness”. This last promise is so encouraging to me. I want to experience this year with eagle eyes. No matter what comes at me, I want to soar above it, and boldly observe the Lord’s will in each season. I want to SEE what is coming and STILL soar with bravery.

And that is my prayer for you! That you, sweet one, would soar towards MORE! May this year take you from glory to glory with the Father, and may you bravely walk forward into it.

 

Much love,

Jenny

My Year Of LIFE

Dear World Changers,

Are there any acoustic music lovers out there? If I’m honest, I love acoustic sets. It takes away all the extras and allows the words to be so real, raw, and at the forefront. Confession: learning the acoustic guitar is still on my bucket list – a list that only seems to get longer each year lol … Anyways, it was not too long ago that the song “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury came out. I’m sure most of you have heard it. And if you haven’t…

 

stop reading this,

 

go listen,

 

and them come back.

 

But actually.

 

Did you?

 

Now, it was during the 2017 Christmas season that Cory released an acoustic version of this song and well, let’s just say, it was a MERRY Christmas to me! It’s been on R-E-P-E-A-T-T-T-T-T. (I won’t confess how many times!) As a whole, it is such a powerful song and has such a powerful message, but I want to point out a few specific lines.

At the very beginning of the song it says:

 

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me

You have been so, so good to me

Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me

You have been so, so kind to me

 

I don’t know about you but those lines speak VOLUMES to me. Before we were even thought of THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE was singing over us. Think about that for a second. God knew you’d be where you are now, even before you were born where you were, and then came to where you are at. You may need to reread that; what a confusing, crazy and yet also peace giving thought. Then, while you were in your mom (yes, at one point you were in your mom, for NINE months I might add – wow, shout outs to my Mama), HE was the one who formed you from the start AND gave you LIFE. Those breaths you breathed today, all thanks to Him – have you ever heard the quote: if you’re still breathing, then God still has a purpose for you? It’s true. Despite what you may think.

The specific word here that I really want to point out is: LIFE.

How God breathed His LIFE into us.

 

Ahhh, what a word.

 

As the days were passing by this December I was really praying into where God was taking my 2018 – praying into the word that He may have for it. Something that I have been in the habit of doing for many years now. At first, the word didn’t seem quite clear and I wasn’t certain on the direction, until I came across this verse one day and couldn’t shake it; it reads:

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:18-21)

 

Now, you may wonder where I am going with this, but bear with me.

 

Here in Romans 4 it talks about Abraham and Sarah. It talks about their “dead” situation. You see, God had promised that Abraham WOULD be the Father of many nations. One problem: him and Sarah were old and at a point where all seemed at a loss to have a child. Aka, they were past the point of having kids. Their situation truly seemed life-LESS. How could Abraham be the Father of many nations with no kids of his own? Yet, Abraham and Sarah remained faithful AND trusted in God’s faithfulness, and guess what? God brought LIFE to their dead situation. They became pregnant and had a son! As I read through the verses above I couldn’t help but feel a jump in my own spirit – how we often think our situations are dead and then God’s like: “think again, I gotchu!” God showed up for Abraham and Sarah and did the unimaginable. He literally did a 180. So what makes us, as 21st century humanity, think that God can’t do that today? The God who showed up for Abe and Sarah is in fact the SAME God of today. Do you believe that?

You see, He IS the God of LIFE. He’s the God of victory. He’s the God who brings dead situations to life and brings HOPE to the hopeless. He shows up in the mundane. He loves on the unlikely. His love seeps so deep no human words could fathom or articulate. He’s perfectly, perfect and undeniably, unbeatable. When all seems gone, He’s there. When all seems lost, His presence is ever present. He’s peace, joy, hope, and LIFE.

So yes, LIFE. It’s the word I’m declaring and praying over my 2018. I’m not sure the form it may come in, probably not a baby for me ;), but it’s a promise of my own. That God would bring LIFE over situations in my own life that have seemed dead, without hope. That I would cling to HIM – the one who gives HOPE and brings the miraculous like He did for Abraham and Sarah. And perhaps He has new journeys, new promises, new seeds for me to plant this year. Whatever the case, LIFE.

I challenge you to pray over your 2018 if you haven’t already. To pray over what God may have for you or for what He wants you to start declaring over your life for this 2018. Or maybe you already have a word for 2018, and if that’s the case, I still challenge you. I challenge you to look at your current life and re-kindle some faith for a situation that you may SEE as dead. Do you believe that God can bring LIFE to what seems dead? He did for Sarah and Abraham.

Remember the lyrics from Cory’s song? Do you really believe that God perfectly designed you and placed you where He did for a reason? He SO did, and if you think giving up now is going to help, that’s the exact opposite. That’s what the enemy wants you to think. Don’t lose hope. Don’t stop fighting. Keep pursuing HIM. Keep clinging to His promises and declaring LIFE over those areas of your life that seem dead. God IS a God of the miraculous and THE God of perfect timing. Trust that He does have a plan and a purpose for what you are walking through.

And, do me a favour? Choose to have an Abraham-like faith over your current situation. A faith so rooted and so deep that you can’t help but get up in the morning and praise Him again, because you KNOW He’ll be faithful.

 

Psalm 42:5 – “… for I shall again PRAISE HIM, my salvation and my God.”

 

Jenn

XO