Monday, October 15, 2012

Love Extravagantly

This past weekend I went on a Ladies retreat with some women from my church. It was located in Frankenmuth and the entire weekend was about realizing that you are God's and He made you special. God thought about each and everyone of us. He crafted and molded me into who I am today, this very second. I am not perfect. I have made many, MANY mistakes. I am bitter, jaded, and easily wounded. But my time for moving forward is now.

There are some things that I am going to have to remind myself of, in order to move on. First of which being, I am loved. Despite the things said about me or written about me, God has made it so apparent to me that I am deeply loved. He holds and protects my heart like a person protecting a valuable treasure. He reminds me on a daily basis that I am thought of, treasured and wanted. He sends people to rescue me from my self-destructive patterns. 

The second thing I am going to have to remind myself of is the fact that I am not my past. He is aligning my future. He is actively placing people, important events, and special purposes for me to further His kingdom. I am so grateful for his mercy and unconditional love!

The third and last thing to remind myself to do, is to love extravagantly, without holding back. This is no small task. I have been challenged to love everyone around me, not just the ones who are easy to love. I need to love those who cause me heart ache, those who anger me, those who mean to cause me harm. I have to love EVERYONE. This love may look differently than the love that is given to my family or close friends. I want to be the person who is known for loving others in spite of any situation. I am not going to be successful every time, but I am going to try my hardest.

In the book, The Message, it says in 1 Corinthians 13: 3-7

"If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love."

I am bankrupt without love. Nothing else matters. It doesn't matter what the world is saying to me or how the world is telling me I should treat people. God has given me a higher purpose than what the world dictates. People's words do not define me, God defines me. HE chose me.Thank you God for staying so close and being small enough to hear me when I am in need. Thank you God for second chances and your redeeming love. Without it, I am nothing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Send your rain

I encourage you to read these lyrics or even go to Youtube and listen to the song on this rainy day.


Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view
If no roof is overhead
And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
Everything we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case ...

We'll give thanks to You with gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessd beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace ...

But, Jesus, would You please ... 

-Nicole Nordeman-

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Exodus 14:14

These past two month have been really draining. At times emotionally and physically but especially spiritually. I have noticed God trying to get my attention for a while now and I have been ignoring His voice and messages through other people, directly allowing Satan to speak lies to me that have brought me to a dark place. This has been happening for a long time... I don't know how else to describe these past two months then by saying this, I have never felt God so much in my life and I have never felt Satan so much in my life too. Not to say that God hasn't been with me this past year and so many months but I can feel Him tending to me differently now. I can feel his protection.

A dream that I had had almost a year ago now, came back into my dream cycle last night. It was one of those dreams that feels so real that completely freaked me out when I woke up. The last time I had this dream I cried for hours after I had awoke and could not sleep for a week after it and even when I did eventually sleep, I slept with my light on for weeks.

My dream was short but, seemed to last forever.

I was living in Veronica's old house at the time in the basement where I had my make shift room. I had a dream that I woke up in real life still in my bed in that basement. My friend Liz was sitting up right with a face ridden with terror. She kept her eyes fixed...staring straight forward as she pulled me to a sitting position beside her, begging me in a low, petrified whisper, "Look, look Sarah. Oh my God help." My shaking hands immediately covered my eyes as I whispered back, "No. No Liz. I can't look. She kept urging me to look and I kept refusing.

The bad thing about a dream is that you can be in two places at once.

I suddenly saw myself on the bed with Liz then I moved my eyes straight forward to the direction that Liz was looking. And there he was... dark and empty. No definite outline of him was portrayed. There were no horns on him. No devil tail like you see in cartoons. It was a massive pit of darkness. He reeked of hatred, corruption and maliciousness. All of the light that was in existence before, now was being vacuumed by this deep abyss that stood at the end of my bed. He was taunting me. Making me feel his darkness as it slowly started to creep it's way and consume the edge of my bed. It had almost reached my feet when I awoke, sweating, crying, shaking and praying...

The first time I had this dream it seriously messed me up. I wrote about it and even tried drawing what I saw, thinking that if I did I wouldn't dream about it again... this was my attempt..

The red part is the headboard of my old bed.

The difference about having that dream then and having the dream last night was the a bible verse I had recently discovered.

I happened to be sent this "message from God" via Pinterest one night. It was on a board with the bible verse Exodus 14:14 written on it. It read, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

I don't know why the devil is working so hard on making sure that I am incapacitated on a daily basis. My only explanation is that I am doing something the devil doesn't like. Or that God's ultimate plan for me is something that the Devil has to stop from happening...Either way, I am making Satan nervous. 
And it feels good :]

God is light. And where there is light...there is no darkness.

This past weekend my group SOLA had sung at a youth rally event called Christ teens and the theme for the weekend was, "In the Dark". The worship was so healing and God spoke to me a lot during the weekend. There was no drama and I had a great time in the company of all my friends. I wanted to remember this weekend and the realizations that I have had around this time so that is why I am writing this blog post. 

Here are some photos from the weekend. 
Some of them are pretty silly :)

 This last shot was taken from the plane as the sun was beautiful.
I love making new memories.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

GCG 2012

Gulf Coast Getaway is an event for college students from different campuses around the U.S to get together. It is located in Panama City Beach, Florida. Throughout the weekend the students are immersed in the word of God and find that focus on Jesus that we all strive to maintain throughout our lives.

I have only been to this event twice, this being my second year and this year was definitely a different experience than last year. First of all, last year I don't entirely remember...I try not to because it was a painful time. But I do remember the overall feeling of last year compared to this year's trip.

This year was healing and eye-opening. There is something about being surrounded by God's beauty, people you love and singing that really puts a person in a great mood. All though this trip was healing I found myself challenged by the messages that were taught and really having to look at myself in a way I haven't for along time. Some where along the way I have lost my focus. The whole weekend was about Jesus. Focusing on Jesus. Not being distracted by phones or technology or drama...this is something I am not good at now. Randy Harris said in one of his teaching this weekend that the biggest detriment to our relationship with Jesus, more importantly our salvation, are the distractions in this world. He challenged everyone to be present. Think about what is happening now, in this moment.

Being present is something I have not wanted to do. I am always looking toward the future hoping for something better, for things to get better. Whether that would be a better relationship, a better opportunity or a better outlook.

I now realize that I need to get back. I need to refocus my eyes. I need to be present even if it is painful. I can't make my problems go away by using other things that just numb me. I am excited to get started on focusing on God and my relationship with him. And I am excited to start thinking better about myself and working on who God needs me to be so that I can do His kingdom work. 

That is why we are all here. 

This past weekend I decided to get a tattoo. I have been wanting another one for the longest time. But I had trouble thinking of something that would commemorate everything that has molded me into who I am today. I wanted the tattoo to be something that reminded me of Jeremy and something that reminded me that God is always near.

This is what I ended up getting.

These words speak volumes to what I want to remember on a daily basis. These are lyrics to Jeremy and I's favorite song. This song was sang on the day of his funeral. Deeperstill led it. Every time I look at the tattoo I remember the feelings I felt when I was standing in the church hands lifted, sobbing, praying and scared to death all at once. I remember thinking, 

"God I feel You."
"You are here."
"You always will be."
"I don't know how we will all survive this but I will be still and know you are God."
 I had never felt God that close than I had in that moment. I ache for that feeling of His arms around me, His presence surrounding me, His love renewing me. My tattoo is a reminder of that.

The weekend was great! Shared by great friends and new memories being formed at every turn and of course hilarious pictures! Some of which I want to share with you now, so ENJOY! :)

Such a blessed weekend...