I went to church service this morning with family and family friends. The message was pretty simple: the overarching theme was about God’s love for us, as shown through the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19, and how God finds and places worth in Zacchaeus and loves Zacchaeus where he is, as he is. God doesn’t need us to change; He doesn’t work that way. He doesn’t have some standard that we need to meet before He’ll accept us. He wants us as we are, right now, and it’s His love that changes us.
Throughout the whole message, “How He Loves Us” was playing over and over in my head, and the words that Kim Walker says when she sings it,
His presence, and His love, is so thick and tangible in this room tonight and there are some of you here who have not encountered the love of God, and tonight, God wants to encounter you and wants you to feel His love, His amazing love. Without it these are just songs, these are just words, these are just instruments; without the love of God, it’s like we’re just up here making noise… but the love of God changes us and we’re never the same, we’re never the same after we encounter the love of God… and you would know because you wouldn’t be the same, you would never be the same again.
Those words kept repeating in my head and I just felt in awe of God’s love for each and every one of us. I couldn’t stop thinking about how much He’s changed my life, me, and the lives of those in my family so much for the better. And, it is so. of God. to do this haha, of course, the worship team played “How He Loves Us” at the end of the message as the concluding worship song.
God is so good and His heart is just. indescribable.
God has an amazing sense of humor.
This has been a week of forgiveness, where He has just been encountering me and showing me His love.
I’m just going to go over what happened over this past week.
God has definitely been encountering me every day.
He’s so beautiful, loving, amazing, and funny.
Each day has a post (which I’ve linked on the days). If I didn’t talk about it, it will be described below.
1.31.12 ; Tuesday
My friend did something that really hurt me. I first prayed about it, but in the middle of the night, started feeling angry again. I’ve always been really good at forgiving people, but for some reason, I just couldn’t find it in me to forgive this.
2.1.12 ; Wednesday
The next morning, I woke up feeling angry. After my first class, both my parents send me the same exact verse (Romans 12:2) on not conforming to the pattern of this world. I have put screen shots.
That same night, my friend also calls me about wanting to forgive someone.
2.2.12 ; Thursday
The message is on… (is this even a surprise anymore?) forgiveness.
2.3.12 ; Friday
Tonight, I just really felt the urge to go to fellowship. We have two big fellowships. I went to the one I mainly attend, last night (where the message was on Forgiveness), but I decided that I wanted to go to the other fellowship tonight.
Before the speaker even said anything, I just knew that God was going to tell me something again. And of course, the speaker spoke on Romans 12:2. The very same, exact verse that my parents sent me. I just started laughing. God has an wonderful sense of humor.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Tonight, He just told me that He’s not going to let me go. That no matter where I go, even when I try to run from Him, that He’s just going to lavish me with His love. God is so beautiful, amazing, so sweet, so kind. From my favorite Psalm:
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
So I just wanted to to share this with you. God is real.
He wants to be part of our day to day lives. He wants us to know Him.
He loves you.
I’ve decided that I’m going to start logging down some of my encounters with God and sharing them with all of you. I’ll make a link on my blog as well. :) But I want to share and edify all of my followers with the ways that God has been moving and working in my daily life! You’re welcome to join along <3
So over the past two days, I’ve been upset over something that a friend did that hurt me. I am giving him/her the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know whether he/she did this thing intentionally, out of insensitivity, or out of ignorance, but either way it still did something.
Yesterday, I felt really angry, so I complained to three people: Lily, Elise, and my mom. I obviously got different responses from all three, but at the time, all I felt was that I was wronged. Yet despite my desire to somehow get “even,” to push this person down in my mind, or anything like that, I decided to pray while listening to worship music. And the lyrics just said to me, “I’m desperately seeking, frantic believing, that the sight of Your face is all that I’m needing. I will say to You, ‘It’s going to be worth it all.’ Lord, I don’t deserve Your kind affection, when my unbelief has kept me from Your touch. I want my life to be a pure reflection of Your Love.” I just realized that, God should take the center of my life and that I should be honoring Him and glorifying Him in all things I do. That means taking out the hate in my heart and replacing it with love.
This morning, when I woke up, for some reason I started feeling that anger welling up inside of me again. I just thought, “What’s wrong with disliking this person? Everyone else has someone they don’t like.” And it was interesting because I’ve never thought like this before. So that put a bad start on my morning.
However, after my morning class, my dad texted me, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2).” At first I was like, “Oh. It’s my daily verse that God wanted to give me every day (from last week). Cool.” And then, two hours later, my mom sends me the same exact verse. They hadn’t talked about it and my mom hadn’t told him about anything that happened.
So I just wanted to share that with you guys.
How great is our God? He is always watching out for us, guiding us, and leading us in paths of righteousness. I now feel blessed that this entire thing happened, that I would learn to have discernment and resilience. Instead of condemning me for my selfishness and my way of thinking, God gently and lovingly showed me the correct way to view things. He broke the lie that I was buying in to. He is so merciful; He is the perfect Father and is constantly showering us with His love!
You know, my first thought was, “How insensitive can this person be?”
But the more I thought about it, and the more I leaned into God and His love, the less it mattered. God is constantly helping me to re-posture my heart correctly.
I just came to a deeper revelation of how… Everyone’s flawed, everyone’s broken, and everyone’s still growing. I’m not going to lower my standards or make myself feel better by giving into the bitterness inside. I refuse to let someone and his/her mistakes else knock me down or make me falter. I refuse to be the lesser person.
I’m going to keep on running right into the arms of God. I’m going to do what’s best in His eyes, which is loving on others. And because He is with me always, He gives me the strength to do this.
His Love far eclipses my afflictions. I’m going to let His love take over my life and I’m going to bless those who hurt me. I’m going to try my best to see them the way God sees them, to forgive them as God has forgiven each of us, to love them as God loves everyone.
So I just wanted to let you know that…
You don’t need to get your significance from anyone else, from anyone’s opinions, thoughts, views, of you. You don’t need to devalue yourself when someone else hurts you or does something insensitive.
God loves you. He calls you “Daughter,” He calls you “Son,” He calls you “Beloved.” He restores all things and that includes hearts.
When you’re down or upset, when you’re feeling hopeless, turn to God and bring all of your troubles and emotions before Him. God always has a way of lifting you up. He is constantly lavishing us with His love and showing us His faithfulness.
These past two weeks have been very stressful and busy for me, and as a result, I haven’t been spending as much time before God and in His presence. However, throughout all of this, I have just been learning that God matters the most. He matters more than my grades, more than school, more than anything that I feel bothered or bogged down by.
I just wanted to share a little of what has been happening.
Yesterday morning, I was praying and had a revelation that I was putting God behind everything else. In my desire to do all things well for Him, I had actually been putting Him last.
I told Him, “I’m sorry for putting school before You lately. I’m sorry for making You a last resort at times. You are what my life revolves around, the center of everything, and I don’t want to put You last anymore. I want to work hard for you, I want to do all things for Your glory. So today, I just want to tell You how much I love You, for the whole day.” And afterward, I just felt this idea surfacing and becoming clearer. It was one that had come up earlier this week: choose a scripture every day and meditate on it.
Later that day, I was texting my mom and telling her about how I had been lately and so she prayed for me. What’s amazing is that… After she finished, she said, “I plan to send you one or two verses every day. So you can ponder on them. Also, don’t forget to do your daily devotions.” I hadn’t told her about my idea. God is so good.
I’ve been having some other experiences like this lately, where God has just been doing things to show me His love for me. I feel so blessed that He’s giving me revelation of how faithful He is, how much He cares about every aspect of my life, and how He’s going to work everything out. I just need to trust in Him.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God knew what He was doing when He made you! He loves and cherishes you.
It’s amazing to think of how small we are in the universe, yet the creator of the universe, God… who is big enough to know the stars by name, to know everyone on an individual and personal level… He wants you.
He knows you from your thoughts down to the very cells that form you! There are only four nucleotides that form your DNA, and yet not a single person has the same genetic coding. Even the very protein that holds your body together, Laminin, is in the exact shape of a cross. God is amazing and He is everywhere.
This very God cares for you and loves you and the best part is… He wants to know you even more today.
I wanted to write this down for myself because it’s been a part of my life and I want to be able to look back in the future and see how far I’ve come. If you read it, it is more personal, but I’m sure it’ll become part of my testimony! So I’m completely fine with that :D
When people ask me how I’ve been lately, I really don’t know how to respond. As cliche as it is, I feel like I’ve been on a roller-coaster. I’ve been struggling with some on-and-off depression, mainly since college started. One day I’ll feel excited, the next I’ll feel like crying, unreasonably irritated, angry, etc. I’ll even feel like this in between my days.
Sometimes when I’m upset, I’ll even find myself starting to get angry at God, until I realize that… God is so good to me. He is so great and He has always been there for me. I could never blame Him for anything. Yes, my emotions have been volatile and yes, sometimes I’m very unhappy; but, God has been faithful and He has been with me this whole time. He understands how I feel, in fact, He has been here. Any emotion I feel, He has felt it and He feels it. That is so comforting. I know without a shadow of a doubt that He knows me. He knows my pains and my joys and I know that He will bring me through this.
So… this morning I had been feeling really upset. I went to the doctors and to the dentist, and the whole time, I just felt depressed and I was questioning my existence. I was thinking, “If I just died right now, I would have accomplished nothing. Wouldn’t it just be more convenient if I did? All the money going to my college tuition could help people who are dying of starvation, people who are being trafficked, people who are going on missions to save people. Why am I alive?” I told this to my mom, and she told me that I had a completely wrong perspective. She told me that instead of thinking that way, I should realize that people have to make the money to help people. I could be one of those people. If nobody got their education and just donated their money, if nobody made the money, the people who are being saved would only have some food to eat, and then… what? She told me, “You are here for a reason and living here for a reason. God wants you to get an education and you can use it to help others.” And I realized that she was right.
When I got back, I decided to continue with my plan that I had made on the first day of the new year:
I have resolved to study 10 chapters of the New Testament a day. This way, I can get through the whole New Testament in a month. I hope to do this for a year; I am sure it will be life-changing.
I had to read 30 chapters, haha! Of course, I was behind, because I’d gotten back from OneThing & been tired and what-not. But I sat on my bed for two hours and finished 30 chapters. It felt amazing. Then, I did my daily devotion and realized that… I should be so much more grateful for everything I have and for my circumstances in life. God has blessed me so much and I should not lose sight of that. I should not buy into the lie that I don’t have anything or that I don’t have anything to offer, because it isn’t true. I’m not being arrogant, but saying that with God by my side, I can do all things. If I stick to God’s will, I can accomplish so much.
So I’m just excited to see where God leads me and where He takes me. I have to take on the perspective of gratitude and ask God to help me see my self-worth from His eyes. He values me, He delights in me, He cherishes me, and He brought me into this world for a reason.
This would be an attempt.
The truth is, I have so many things to be thankful for that I really don’t know where to start. And, really, I should be giving thanks every day of my life.
But I’ll be briefly sharing some of the things thankful for in this post. :)
I’d be honored if you read this!
When I woke up this morning, it had not yet struck me that today was Thanksgiving. So… the first thing I did was finish reading a book that I had started last night. After reading the last page, I placed the book on my bedside table and lay back down to rest my eyes.
How wonderful that my body is, to this day, still working properly.
As my eyes fluttered shut, I heard the door click open. In my mind’s eye, I could see my dad, peeking his head in to check if I had woken up yet.
Smiling, I sat up and greeted him with open arms. My mom came into the room after him, and I gave her a warm hug as well.
M y F a m i l y . : I am blessed with amazing parents and a cute younger brother, Eric. Now that I’m in college, I’m always excited to see them and give them physical hugs. Even now, my family has been giving me the emotional support that I’ve been needing to get through, well, life.
It wasn’t always like this. I remember the days when we would have arguments nearly every day; the days when I would make my mom cry, make her so upset that she would have to drive off to calm down, make my dad so angry that I would want to turn invisible so I could hide from him. I remember saying hurtful things to my brother, things to make him hurt inside.
And with all of this behind me, I am so thankful that everything is different now.
Everything has changed because of God’s love. Now, instead of making my mom cry tears of hurt, we can share personal things together and cry tears of joy. Now, instead of making my dad angry, I can make him laugh and the two of us can joke around. Now, instead of emotionally scarring my brother with my words, I can tackle him with hugs. It is when I look back on all my trials and everything that I’ve been through, that I remember that it is my family and God who have been there for me this whole time. My mom, dad, brother, and God, have shaped who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become. I am so thankful to and for my parents, who have raised me since I was a little baby and watched me grow into a (not quite, but almost there) woman. We have had our share of brokenness, arguments, and pain, but we have pushed through and fought a good fight. We are as close as ever and I would not trade my family for anything in the world.
G o d . : Where to start? I really got to know God this past summer, when I went on my three week conference. In the span of three weeks, He has become the person I want to love the most, the person I want to know the most, the person I aspire to be like. He is the reason why I live. It makes me excited to think of what’s in store for the future: If God could so completely revolutionize my life in twenty one days… how much more can He do with me over the next few years? For the rest of my life?
People have been telling me how much I’ve changed and how “beautiful” I’ve become. Honestly, sometimes, even I can’t believe it. I give all the credit to the Man who made me this way: Christ. He is the reason why I am willing to look past the surface, past the walls, that other people put up. He is the reason why I want to love everyone, even those who dislike me. He is the reason why I want to become a better person. If not for Him, I would be lost. Lost. Lonely. Hurt.
I had the heart to know people and to love them, but I didn’t understand how. I didn’t really comprehend loving someone without receiving in return. It is because of God that I am able to love those who are around me (and even those who aren’t). I have learned to love people even when I am unnoticed and not credited, even when I have nothing to gain. This is all because of Christ. I am by no means the perfect person, but I will be eternally grateful that I know the one Man who is.
“If you are the sun,
then I want to be the moon.
I want to reflect the light
that shines from you.”
I remember who I was before I knew the love of God. I was bitter, impatient, cynical, and disliked people easily. I had a temper that flared up at any given moment. As much as I hated to admit it to myself, I judged people. And who doesn’t?
God has brought me through every high and every low. He has been there for me through all my pain, in ways that I can never describe, and even when I did not notice Him.
And that’s the beauty of it. He loves unconditionally, even when He is unnoticed or rejected. How great is His love? He sees my every tear, and places each droplet into a jar, because that is how beautiful and precious His loved ones are to Him. That includes you.
“He knows my name,
He knows my every thought.
He sees each tear that falls
& hears me when I call.”
All of my life, in every season, God has been watching me and He has been with me. It has been a long process of changing, of self-discovery, of learning, but He has been so patient with me.
God has become my foundation and the person that I turn to and lean on. In my weakness and brokenness, He has made me strong and He has made me more beautiful. I would not trade any experience, any painful memory, because they have all led to where I am today—they have made me who I am and brought me closer to the Lover of my soul. So I thank You, God, for everything that You have given to me. For my family, for all the healing, for my friends, and for everything I have. You make beautiful things out of the dust, You have taught me what really matters. I cannot wait to walk with You all the days of my life.
He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Thank you for reading this c:
Much love & Happy Thanksgiving,