We were not made to be complacent individuals in this world. God created us to be set apart, separate from the world. That is what we hope to accomplish in this blog by writing about issues and ideas that affect teenagers in today’s society. We hope it inspires you in your walk with God.
I’ve been reading in Hosea lately. Hosea is a prophet, who tells the nation of Israel what God relates to him. One day God tells him to find a wife. But not just any wife, a wife out of the industry of prostitution. I can imagine Hosea’s confusion, but he does as God says and chooses Gomer. He provides everything she could ever want or need: food, clothes, valuables. He makes sure that she’s wanting for nothing. But she decides it isn’t enough. She wants to go back to where she came from, and leaves Hosea and their three children.
God tells Hosea to go find her, even now as she’s in the very act of committing adultery. I can’t imagine how heart breaking, how messy that must have gotten as he goes to find his wife. I don’t know how he finds her, but I can imagine that she’s on a pedestal in an auction being sold to the highest bidder. In my mind, I see him walking up and saying, “That’s my wife.” The auctioneer gives him a long look: “I don’t care who you think she is. This is her price.” Hosea pays it, pays for his wife, pays for what is already his. He takes her back to their home, and I can imagine her shame and embarrassment as he sits her down and tells her that he’s been faithful. She’s been unfaithful, and he’s remained faithful. Yet he will continue to remain faithful to her, and he will teach her to remain faithful to him.
The most beautiful thing I find about this story, is that this is a picture of what God has done with us. I was in the mire of sin, a wretch, and He pulled me out and saved me. He provided everything I would need, and yet I didn’t find it enough. I looked around at the world, and where I had come from, and wanted to go back. So I left, and God came looking for me. He rescues me once again. As He takes me back, I’m full of shame and embarrassment, but He sits me down and looks at me with love. “Rachel, I’ve been faithful. We both know you’ve been unfaithful, but that’s okay, because I will continue to remain faithful to you, and I will teach you to remain faithful to me.”
2 Timothy 2:13 says that even when are faithless, He remains faithful, because he cannot deny who He is. I’m so thankful for His faithfulness to me. He didn’t just save me and say, “There you go. Good luck, Rachel. I’m just going to sit back and watch.” No. He continues to walk with me, day by day. He’s faithful to stay with me, and teach me to walk in His steps.
No matter where you have been, and what you have done, God still loves you. He still desires a relationship with you. He wants to heal and restore your brokenness. He desires you. Yes, there will be consequences if you disobey Him, for He cannot reward sin. But He will remain faithful to you, no matter where you go or what you do. He loves you. Run to Him!
Valentine’s Day is a day most couples look forward to, a day to show your significant other how much they mean to you. A year ago, around this date, a new erotic movie premiered in fashion. (50 Shades of Grey) It’s all over the Internet again, with the sequel coming out. In case you don’t know what it is all about:
“For those of you who don’t know the premise of the novel trilogy/movie, it centers around a young billionaire mogul named Christian Grey, a shy and inexperienced college student named Anastasia Steele, and their whirlwind affair, which is an indirect result of his traumatic past. Over the course of the story, the two embark on a dark sexual relationship hinged on a paper agreement Christian asks her to sign, saying that their relationship will remain a non-romantic one, with Christian having the right to do whatever he pleases to her while they’re together, contractually making her his “submissive.” (Sarah Fine, Project Inspired)
My heart is so heavy, as I realize the impact this will have on us girls. We are taught that our worth comes from our looks and how great our bodies are. That if we aren’t a certain way, no guy will ever love us, and we will grapple and put up with anyone who shows us “love”. But girls…
I want you to know that you are worth more than just what you can give a guy.
– You’re more than your mistakes
– You’re more than your hormonal days.
– You’re more than your failures.
– You’re more than your acne and bad hair days.
– You’re more than your imperfections. And I have to admit, the list of these is long as we find more and more things “wrong” with us, and just how many ways we don’t fit in to that “perfect” mold.
We love you, and God loves you for YOU. And one day, the right guy will come along who loves you for YOU. Not what he can get or what you can give. Don’t fall for Satan’s lie that you’ll never be loved, so you need to grab at whoever glances in your direction. I know I sound so cliché. The “everything will work out” little speech. But trust me. I know from experience… It isn’t worth it. It isn’t worth it to accept unacceptable behavior because he “loves” you. It isn’t worth it to base all your self worth on how pretty or ugly you may think you are, or what others think of you. It isn’t worth it to give precious pieces of yourself away to someone who just cares that he’s getting them, and not that it’s you who is giving them, or that they’re precious. Don’t give yourselves away prematurely. Don’t go along with this society who believes that pain = love. Or love is all about what you can get. Because that’s the exact opposite of true love.
You are SO VALUABLE. Jesus, Jesus who died a very painful death and suffered excruciating agony, He died for you. Because He loves you. He sees your mistakes. He sees those hormonal days. He sees your failures. He sees your acne and misbehaving hair. He sees your imperfections. And He loves you. Because He sees your value. He sees your worth. He sees your beauty. He sees someone who will never be replicated or replaced. There is no guy on this earth who will satisfy your longing for Jesus. I’ve tried and tried to fill that hole with anything I could think of. There was still an emptiness, an ache, a longing. Why? Because no one can take the place of Jesus. They cannot complete us like He can.
Please, don’t fall for the lies of society. That anything goes, as long as he loves you. That you have to sacrifice yourself to please someone who won’t take a second to think about your vulnerability and fragility. That all your worth is how many likes you get on Instagram and Facebook. You’re precious. You’re loved. You’re worth the wait, and he will be too. I promise.
Change. I admit, this is one of those words that terrifies me. I hate change. Most often, I start to feel steady and secure in my own little world, and I feel like I can handle life for once. Security is my comfort, and I love staying in my comfort zone. It is comfortable there. Then suddenly, everything changes. All at once, my little world is flipped upside down and I lose sight of what I thought was truly steady. My mind whirls around and around: “What did I do to deserve this? God, where are you? What are you doing?”
More often than not, I get accusatory and start blaming God for the sudden disruption to my seemingly perfect life. I lose sight of the Jesus on the waves, and start to focus on the waves themselves. They are such big things, big deals in life. They seem overwhelming, too much to handle, and I start to sink. Just as Peter did in the Bible, I cry out, “Lord, save me!” And just like in the Bible, Jesus reaches His hand out and pulls me back up out of the mess. “Why do you doubt me, child of little faith?” Ouch.
I have recently realized my major lack of trust. Trust is a big deal for me. I do not like relying on other people. I like relying on Rachel, because Rachel has always been there. I get out of the boat, initially feeling confident in my Jesus. Sometimes stepping out of the boat is easy. It is a choice, made in the moment, and I just do it. I get out, and glance down. I am actually on the waves themselves!
I start feeling confident in myself as I take a few cautious steps forward. As if I had done this on my own… Then I take a look around and start thinking to myself, “Rachel, do you see the size of these waves? Do you realize how big they are? It is too much! I can’t handle this. I’m going to drown!” The next step forward seems too overwhelming, and just like that, that seed of doubt and uncertainty starts pulling me under. In a desperate attempt to stay alive, I yell at Jesus. “Jesus, do you see this? Do you see what is happening? Save me!”
He does. He won’t allow me to go under and stay under. However, He also needs to address the problem. My lack of faith. In all of the shifting and changing waves of time, He is still steady and secure. He did not change, however, my focus did. Either because I got too confident in myself and my abilities, or I simply focused on the overwhelming load of life, I took my focus off of Him, and that is when I began to sink.
The whole concept of change for me is, no pun intended, changing. Change is not always a bad thing. Most often it is just a fact of life. People change and move on. Life will never be the same one moment to the next. Other times, change is very necessary in order to get us moving in a new direction we would not have otherwise taken.
It is God shaking up our world so we can pull our small focus off of our own tasks we “need” to accomplish, and focus completely on Him.
I find that when I get too overwhelmed in life, it is because I have pulled my attention off of Him, thinking I can handle this on my own. God is not the author of confusion, He is the God of peace. Despite life being hard and difficult to handle, I can be peaceful if I rely and focus on Him. I can trust Him. He is always there, He is never changing, and besides: He happens to be the maker and tamer of the waves.