Savior, Please

This was my last journal entry before I went to bed last night.  I was desperately tired, but I was also desperate about something else… I was desperate for God to help me overcome what has now become an idol in my life: obsession over my own body image.

Since I don’t have class until 11 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I usually sleep in until 8.  This morning was different.  I woke up around 6:45 and, feeling extremely tired, I tried to go back to sleep.  I couldn’t, though, so I laid in my bed and began to wonder if I would ever be able to overcome this obsession; after all, I had already started thinking about it.

That’s when my cell phone began to vibrate.  1 New Message.  It was from my mom…

For those of you that are here and aren’t sure of what it looks like when God is working in your life… HERE is a perfect example!  God works in our life constantly, and He literally used my mom this morning to guide me in overcoming my idol of food and body image.  He says it plainly… “To take my eating, my thinking, my everyday life and to place it before Him as an offering!”

Right now, I’m just praying for God to reveal to me what it truly means to offer ourselves up to Him.  What does it really look like to place something before Him as a sacrifice?  This is a question that I’ll be seeking to answer through the Bible, my handy-dandy Bible dictionary, and my RUF minister and friend, Brian Sorgenfrei.

Josh Wilson, one of my new, favorite artists, has a song that is really speaking to me this morning.  It’s called “Savior, Please.”  Below is a link for the youtube video and the lyrics.  I hope that it speaks Truth to you too!

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Josh Wilson- “Savior, Please”

“Savior, please take my hand
I work so hard, I live so fast
This life begins, and then it ends
And I do the best that I can, but I don’t know how long I’ll last

I try to be so tough
But I’m just not strong enough
I can’t do this alone, God I need You to hold on to me
I try to be good enough
But I’m nothing without Your love
Savior, please keep saving me

Savior, please help me stand
I fall so hard, I fade so fast
Will You begin right where I end
And be the God of all I am because You’re all I have

Hallelujah
Everything You are to me
Is everything I’ll ever need
And I am learning to believe
That I don’t have to prove a thing
‘Cause You’re the one who’s saving me”

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Redefining Beauty

What does it mean to be beautiful?  We use this word so often to talk about a girl wearing a new outfit, McDreamy’s eyes, or a picturesque sunset.  I have struggled a lot with this issue, but God has been teaching me about what it means to be beautiful in His eyes.  Here’s the definition that we came up with:

Beauty is the value held for an object of Creation demonstrated through sacrifice.

Imagine a table that you sit at.  Before you came to know the table, it was a bunch of crude materials–wood, metal, etc.  Someone came along, though, and planed that wood.  Someone else operated the machine to make those screws that holds it together.  Before you were even able to use that table, people had to sacrifice their time, their health, and their own desires in order to make a table for  you to sit at, to use, and to enjoy.  That table, then, became beautiful the moment that someone sacrificed his own self in order to make it.  That sacrifice proved its value and worth, and that sacrifice made it beautiful.

Now think about your own self.  Not only did God sacrifice His time and His resources to create you, but God sacrificed Himself when He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us.  There is no greater sacrifice in all of creation than this!  God allowed for part of His own self to come to this earth and be hated, mocked, spit on, crucified, and even separated from Him all for the sake that WE could have the hope of living with Him in Heaven.  If this–God sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross and be separated from God’s presence so that we could have the hope of eternity with Him–if this does not make us beautiful, I’m certain that nothing does.

We will only become aware of our true beauty when we when believe Him when He says, “You are Mine, and You are My treasure.  You are precious and valuable to Me.”  We are beautiful because of God’s love for us, and this beauty is guaranteed and demonstrated by the sacrifice of His Son.  We are beautiful because we are His valued treasure.

It’s time to look in the mirror and to see your true beauty, maybe for even the first time.

It’s time to redefine beauty.

picture: mirror that says “Be a woman of true beauty”

Dig Deeper. Dig Deeper.

“Dig Deeper”

These are the words that woke my mom in the midst of her sleep last night.  “Dig deeper,” said some voice or maybe The Voice, but she asked, “What?  Why?  Dig deeper?”  Yet, she kept hearing Him repeat, “Dig Deeper.  Dig Deeper.”

Today, we had another one of “those talks.”  You know, the talk that has become quite common between us these days.  The talk where I say, “I don’t know what I’m doing here.  Why can’t I give everything away to serve in the mission field?”  and my mom reminds me, “Sarah, you are in a mission field.  You can be in that mission field [Latin America] maybe after you graduate (God willing) but not now.”  It’s at that point that I begin to feel the tears welling in my eyes, “But, Mom…” and the conversation continues.

In the middle of our talk today, she told me the story of last night, of “Dig deeper.”  We both knew that this phrase was definitely the workings of the Holy Spirit.  I had been hearing it too; however, I had been too scared to pay too much attention to it.  After all, digging was always painful in the past, and pain was definitely not something that I was hoping to have any more of either.

So tonight, this is all I have to say: dig deeper.  As I wrote just a little while earlier in my journal…”I must dig into the depths of my heart.  I must dig deeply until my whole heart has been completely exposed.  With complete vulnerability, I will then offer myself to God so that He and only He can fill every part of me that has ever been hurt or confused before.

But first, I must dig.  I must dig deeper”

We all must dig.  We must all find the places where we’ve ever been hurt, confused, taken advantage by, or mislead, and expose them completely.  Only then can God truly come and show us that His love is truly enough, even more than sufficient, but overflowing, abounding, and redeeming.

But first, we all must dig.  So…

Dig deeper.  Dig deeper.

Prayer People- Live Compelled

“You da prayer people?  I need some prayer now!”

For the sake of the blog, we’ll name her Alexa, and my friend and I could see the desperation on her face.  She needed prayer, and we were the “prayer people.”

Thirty minutes before I met Alexa, Colton and I were heading to a place that I had never been before: the projects of Starkville.  We drove into the neighborhood of apartment buildings.  Children were playing outside, and some were smoking things that, let’s just say, you can’t buy inside the local Piggly Wiggly.  After parking the car, we prayed that God alone would fill us with His strength, words, and wisdom.  I stepped out of his Tahoe and out of a world that I’ve always known.   And though I didn’t even know it then, I took my first step  towards the place that would soon change my life.

I could write and write and write about the experience that I had this afternoon, but even still, these words would be nothing but a feeble attempt to describe something that is indescribable: doing the work of the Lord. I know that it was just one hour, but it was so much more.  It was a new beginning for me, the beginning of a new life lived in the wake of actually making personal the declaration of Paul in 2 Corinthians.

“For I would rather die than anyone deprive me of this ground for boating [in the cross of Jesus Christ].

For necessity is laid upon me.

Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!”

-1 Corinthians 9:15-16-

Necessity is laid upon all of us.  WE are God’s prayer people!  We are His ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20)!  If this doesn’t give you a sense of necessity, then step outside of your bubble and see the reality around you.  Life is not about money or clothes or houses or careers.  No.  God will use these things in His ministry, sure, but that is not what gives you life.

“To live is Christ and die is gain!” says Philippians 1:21.

“The love of Christ compels us!” says 2 Corinthians 14.

Christ is our Life Giver.  Christ is the very reason why we even have the life that we live.  Once we truly believe this and are reborn through the Holy Spirit enveloping you, you cannot help it; you live differently.  As Donald Miller would explain it, you live a “better story.” (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years).

No matter where you are, be compelled.  Be compelled by the Love that gives you life and live accordingly.

All the names in this post were changed

I prayed that God would reveal His beauty, and He took me to a field of flowers

I prayed that God would reveal His beauty to me, and He took me to a field of yellow wildflowers.

“All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of a field.

The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it;

surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will

stand forever.”

– Isaiah 40:6-8 –

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,

yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

– Matthew 6:28-29 –

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I once read that the presence of God must be practiced.  In the same way, the art of seeing His beauty all around you must be practiced.  Pray to Him this morning, and ask that He reveal His beauty to you.  Once you begin to open your eyes while walking through each moment of every day, you’ll be amazed by how quickly God will show His beauty to you: through a person, through a quote, or even through a field of flowers.