Just Got 2 Tell

Anything & Everything I Feel Compelled to Share with the World!

How Do We Show Our Hope? August 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anna @ 2:05 PM

So everyone and their mama are blogging about Robin Williams’ suicide. Why shouldn’t I? Honestly I was trying not to. I try so very hard to do my own thing, to not copy others, to stand out and not give any hint of blending in. But this topic has been heavy on my heart the last few days.

A friend of mine shared a couple of posts written by others on the topic of suicide. One in particular stuck out to me: “Staying Alive in a Suicidal World” written by Katelyn Beaty. At the beginning of the article it listed a number church pastors who had committed suicide in the last year or so.

I was floored.

Now I know and completely understand that those in higher ministry positions are not perfect and they have struggles just like the layman. There are the pressures of leading a church and a family, and then of course because you are working for God’s kingdom and His glory, doing His work, Satan is going to do everything in his power to stop you. But still, I would think, I would want to believe, that these men of God would be walking so close with God to know, understand, and truly believe that God has more for them.

Suicide should never be the answer when life turns sour. And no, don’t think that I have no business writing on this subject because I live a hunky-dory life. Depression is something that affects a lot of people no matter what background they come from.  My life has been touched in many ways by depression and suicide.

I do understand that depression affects many within the body of Christ, those who believe and follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Just because we are born again does not mean we no longer battle with our old self, but when we are born again as children of God, we are given new tools, equipment, weapons with which to battle depression and all other things that attempt to pull us back down and away from the fullness of life Jesus promises to us (John 10:10).

When we accept Christ as Savior, we are given the Holy Spirit to reside in us. This same Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead!  Talk about powerful. Why do we (myself included) so often struggle to walk and live in this power on a daily basis? 

Think of how our lives could change if we were to focus on the goodness of Christ, on His love and mercy, on His glory, on His presence with us, instead of how bad our circumstances may seem to be at the moment. Satan wouldn’t have a single foothold into those lives.

One more thing to think about:

We as believers are commanded to share the gospel (the Good News) with everyone. We want them to be saved, to come to know and love Jesus the way we do, right? But how can we expect others to see their need for Jesus, to want to follow Him and become a Christian, to believe He can change their life when Christians are so dissatisfied with their life in Christ that they grumble and complain about everything or even go so far as to commit suicide.

What witness are we giving?

hope

 

Happy New Year January 1, 2014

The last two days, I’ve had so much running through my mind that I’ve #JustGot2Tell so I might actually be a bit more active in updating this in the next week or so. To start things off, I just want to ask how did you say goodbye to 2013 and bring in 2014?  I’ve celebrating the new year in many different ways, parties, sleeping, at church, Murder Mystery dinner.  But this was the first year I’ve been at Liberty University for Winterfest.

I LOVE music. Absolutely LOVE it. It’s one thing that I would hate to live without, (I know I could physically live without it, but if God asked me to, I would probably do so grudgingly and with lots of whining). Better than that I LOVE music that honors God. Yes, my mp3 player has a lot of 80s and country as well, but music that praises God or is God-honoring, that feeds the soul. So what better way to end the year and start the next one than praising God and rocking out with 12 different Christian artists.

Many of the names I knew. I’d already seen 5 of them in concert before. Fell even more in love with Unspoken, whom I’d just seen in Danville a couple months ago. Rekindled with flame with Skillet, a band I was obsessed with in college, but had fallen away from the stronger rock feel.  Gave the new Audio Adrenaline a try. LOVED them with Mark Stuart. Hadn’t realized Kevin Max was the one doing lead vocals, but I knew he looked familiar. They aren’t the same as the original; the old songs had a new sound (which made sense this morning when I realized it was Kevin Max). Their new songs did NOT disappoint.

We rang in the new year with Third Day. They were huge surprise. I have to say I’m not a huge fan on their music. They have some great songs; I know a lot of them and sing along on the radio, but they’re never ones I find myself in the mood to listen to. Hearing them in concert, though. That was amazing!!! Hands down one of the best worship experiences ever.

What was really cool was that even though they each had their own style of music, ranging from Hip Hop and Rap to Rock of extremely-varied levels (some a little harder than I’m used to), they were each there for One reason: praise God. And that is most certainly what we did.

There were some pretty great speakers lined up as well. It was pretty cool to hear from the Duck Dynasty teens. Sadie, John Luke, Reed, and Cole Robertson opened up the first night and shared their faith as well as some interesting Uncle Si stories. It blesses my heart to see them use their fame as a ministry and witness for God to so many. Thank you for being honest and real.

There’s an old wives’ tale that I grew up hearing. Whatever you do on new year’s day, you’ll spend the rest of the year doing. With that in mind, my mom avoided laundry, dishes, and most other cleaning on New Years Day. It never really made sense because I mean, seriously those things never end anyway. Not really. But on an opposite note. What if the first thing you did in the new year was praise God?  What if you made that your goal for the first day of 2014, to make an effort to praise and worship God?  What kind of pattern would be set for the entire year?

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Lastly, I have to share Unspoken’s song, “Lift My Life Up”.  This is the prayer of my heart for 2014 and the rest of my life. Take my dreams, my plans. Take my life and let it be all for you. Have your way in me, God!

 

 

Confessions Of A Good Christian Girl December 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anna @ 11:41 PM

I’ve written before about the discrepancy of what I see in me and what others see.  I actually think it’s popped up in various ways in more than a few posts, but here I am again, feeling much different than what others see.  Is this me putting on a mask or trying to appear as someone I’m not?  Is what I feel only imaginary?  Or do I just not know how to show it?  Am I just the type that holds it all in, not knowing who to let see the real me?  But I don’t think I’ve ever been the one to try to change who I am or limit what people see in order to gain their approval. I have definitely felt outcast before, that others thought I was too weird for them, but that didn’t change how I acted or who I tried to be.

But here I am feeling ‘in every sense of the word’ like a contradiction to just about everything I’ve preached.  I have for so long talked about contentment in singleness, in finding purpose and life without a spouse or even a significant other.  I know in my head that everything I’ve said and believed is true.  God completes me, not human relationships.  A boyfriend, no matter how awesome, is not my goal in life.  My life does not begin when I get married. It begins right now in this moment, in each moment.  God has a purpose for me in each moment, day, year, and it is not dependent on my relationship status.

I know all of this, but why is it so hard to convince my heart of this? Why do I still find myself longing for someone to call just because he cares? Why do I dream of the day when someone will call me his love and little ones call me Mama, which is not followed by an embarrassed smile and then “I mean, Ms. Anna.”

After several Bible studies, which many touch or focus on insecurities, I think I have traced a lot of this back to fear. The fear of being alone. Reasonable, to some extent. I think many feel this, some to the point of making rash decisions, chasing after relationships, a need to always have a boyfriend whether they are good relationships or not. But as a Christian, I feel like I shouldn’t be struggling with this over and over again.

“Immanuel” means God with us. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God has made a home within my heart.  God is always with me.  I am never alone. Yet, I still long for human companionship.  I am close with my family and have good friends that I do feel like I can share anything with, but I still crave something more.

My thoughts direct me to Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst. I still haven’t read the actual book, but have read the 60 Day devotional several times. Made to crave. We were made to crave. The actual feeling of ‘cravings’ are not wrong or sinful. God put it there. He created us with an emptiness that needs to be filled. But what do we seek to fill that emptiness with? Only one thing will fill it. God, Himself. Nothing else comes close to filling every crevice in our souls.

In my journey to a healthy weight, I’ve read so many things about controlling appetite and what I actually eat. One thing that I’ve learned is often your stomach/brain is confused on what you actually need. It was something I read that said when you think you feel hungry, you’re often really thirsty, and instead of grabbing a snack you should try drinking a glass of water first.

So my new revelation. I feel like I’m craving/needing/wanting a boyfriend/husband/marriage, but what my soul is truly longing for is a confidant, a friend closer than all others, someone who loves me unconditionally and shows his love to me on a daily basis. My head/heart gets confused and think that a boyfriend/husband is what will meet that need and be those things for me, but there is only One that can always do those things and never let me down. And He gave His life on the cross in order to that for me.

Wow, that ended way different than where I thought this post was going, but doesn’t that just show how amazing God is!?  That even in my ramblings He meets my needs.

He is enough!!!
 

It’s Finally Happened October 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anna @ 11:07 PM
Tags: , , , ,

Have I really become that person? I can hardly believe it. As meek & shy as I’ve always considered myself , to have actually become like her. Her?  Who’s this person I’m comparing myself to?

Oddly enough, I remember her clearly as if it were yesterday and not over eight years ago. A senior in high school doing the wildest thing of my youth. I was an hour & a half away from home with 2 of my best friends for Christian concert. No parents or trustworthy adult chaperones. It felt awesome. Looking back on it, I can hardly believe our parents let us do it and can think of many who would never allow their child to do anything similar. But really, what trouble would I have looked for? God had a strong hold of me even then. We had floor seats, were in the second row. I remember being semi-deaf afterwards, and kinda hoarse, too. Hawk Nelson, Kutless, Audio Adrenaline!!!! The music was awesome! But more than that, I remember one particular concert-goer.

She was just catty-corner to us, also on the floor, but stood away from the chairs. I never noticed her talking with anyone else, to all appearances she’d come alone, and honestly I could tell that to her, there might as well not be anyone else in the entire Vines Center. She rocked; she danced; she worshipped God, free and without a thought or concern for what anyone else may think of her. I remember then being impressed by her, wishing that I could do that, just not care about what those around thought of me. For it to just be me, the music, and my God.

Well it happened. I’m not really sure how (except by God), but I realized it last week, and so be warned anyone who’s with or around me from now on out. It was pretty awesome hands in the air, dancing as Big Daddy Weave sung Fields of Grace to a sold out crowd, not that I cared at all about the crowd being there. 

And even as I think about this boldness, I realize it’s been in the making. It didn’t just happen, and I realize others have seen it long before I recognized it. The World would try to say that this boldness or confidence came from the weight loss, that losing 50 pounds in 13 months has given the confidence that I have that I can do and be, etc. But I know better. It is all from God!!!

He is molding me, shaping me, chiseling me into who He wants me to be. He’s chipping away the insecurities finding again what He put there and I’ve covered with junk of the world.

And as a reminder to anyone and everyone who reads Just Got 2 Tell, God wants to do the same with you.

 

Surrounded but alone July 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anna @ 8:11 PM

Transferred from old blog “runners log 2010”

 

This entry is different than others I’ve written. Most of the time I already have the ending in mind, and it’s typically positive & uplifting. At the start of this one, I’m not even sure if I can spin it around to have an uplifting end. I am praying it will.

Why is it that so many times when I’m surrounded by the most people, these are the times when I feel the most alone? I don’t know really how to describe it. It doesn’t happen all the time, but this feeling I get surrounded not necessarily by a whole group of friends or a whole group of strangers, but surrounded by people who are just inconsiderate, always seeking the center of attention, putting others down for fun; it’s a feeling I would never even get if I spent a week without seeing another human being.

It’s times like these that make me want to close up to those around me, to not let people see who I really am. I did this in high school, and it wasn’t fun. It is not something I look forward to doing again. This feeling of being an outcast is much worse than just being alone. Being alone has an air of retreat and respite, something needed at certain intervals to recuperate or to get re-energized. Being alone is a personal choice that you make to separate yourself. Outcast is other people pushing you away, separating you from them without choice.

It’s like the teenager longing to be accepted by the cooler kids. They look up to them (to a certain extent, or for a certain time) hoping to be welcomed, instead he/she is made to feel less than worthy because of the way they dress, the way they look, or even the way they talk. It would be awesome if those problems went away as people grew older, but apparently at twenty-one they are still strong.

I know I shouldn’t let it bother me. I have great friends, those who know how to joke without being mean, those who know my quirks and personality and love it. I have awesome times with those friends, despite how different we are from each other. But we are told to love others, to love our neighbors in this world, no matter the differences. If only it was easier to convince those people of this command.

The only thing we have control over is our own reactions.

Lord, help me to remember to love others. Help me to remember that You love and accept me as I am, flaws and all. That You love even my accent.

This world rejected my Savior, I should count it a pleasure/honor to be rejected as well.

 

in god we trust July 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anna @ 8:24 PM

Transferred from old blog.

 

It’s written on our money. It’s something we constantly hear from other Christians, “just trust God, He’ll take care of you.” But how many times do we actually stop and think about what it means to trust in God. Merriam-Webster defines trust as an “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” It is also described as having confidence or faith in another.

As with most things trust is easier said than done. It’s all good and well to say we trust God, especially when things are going well. But when life turns sour, what is the first thing we tend to do? Do we freak out, cry, breakdown, go to mom, a friend? Or are we filled with peace and understanding, knowing that even though it didn’t turn out like we wanted it, that it will all be okay.

Last week while I was with my church’s youth group at Outdoor Mission Camp, we were asked what is a friend. The answers the youth gave went along the lines of, someone you can share everything with or tell everything to, and someone you can trust with everything. In John 15, Jesus calls us his friends, and says “Greater love has no one than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends.” That is what Christ did. We can call him friend, and part of what makes him a friend is trust.

But we can’t just say we trust Him and expect to have that peace and assurance. It’s more than that. We don’t just go up to a stranger, say “You’re my friend, I trust you.” In order to build that trust in a person you have to get to know them, learn about their character, their qualities, personality, and see them to be trustworthy. The same is true in building that trust in God. We have to get to know him, just as we would any other friend. We have to grow close to him, learn about his likes/dislikes, his past. We have to learn about how he has proven in the past to fulfill his promises.

Building trust is something that really takes a lifetime. But don’t give up. We are told to draw close to God and he will draw close to us. Seek him, stay in his word, and he will reveal himself to you.

 

Almost 23 & Single July 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anna @ 8:26 PM

Transferred from old blog

 

When we’re younger we develop so many ideas about how our life will be. Everyone creates a different future in their mind, but in some aspects they are still the same. I was talking to a friend the other night, and as usual our conversation turned to the topic of dating and marriage. I realized I had 4 weddings to attend just in the month of July. One I missed due to camp, two this weekend, and one at the end of the month. Though I’m thrilled for each couple getting married, three of them are younger than me, and something about that just seems unfair.

Somehow years ago, I formed this vision of my future. In that vision, well nothing else is the same as this reality. I had visions of foreign mission fields, or veterinary clinics, or working in a hospital. But the one thing that stayed the same in my visions no matter the occupation I dreamed of at the time, there was always a special guy, my prince charming, my husband in each. And for some reason, I had the idea that I would find him and be married by now, or if not now then soon.

Alas, earwax (always think earwax when I think ‘alas’). Seriously now, my birthday is around the corner, this Saturday, so what 5 days. I’m turning twenty-three, and for some reason it just feels like an old number. And I definitely never thought I would be twenty-three and single.

But God has other plans and He knows my heart. I’ve finally fine-tuned my Pandora to a pretty good reflection of my music tastes (I just really started trying to a few days ago so it’s not too hard to accomplish). Two, nope a third one is playing now, songs have played reminding me that “I’m Not Alone”, it’s okay to be “Single” just “Turn Around” God is right there waiting to love me.

I can be content; no, that’s not accurate. I can be happy and have joy and peace and patience being single now because I am not alone. Jesus tells me that if I remain/abide in Him then He will abide in me. Everything I long for in a boyfriend/husband—a friend, a confidant, a provider, someone to listen, someone to give me advice, someone to spend my life with, someone to watch the sunset with—I have it all and more in Jesus Christ.

“Quit over-thinking love, stop thinking that I’m not enough
’Cause you don’t need anything that you don’t have here with me”
tag from ”Turn Around” by Josh Wilson

 

child of god January 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anna @ 8:33 PM

This past week or perhaps the week before (it’s a recurring instance, so I’m not exactly when this particular instance happened to make me think this) I had a preschooler do something that she knew was wrong. Even before I could say anything to her, she knew what she’d done and hid her face from me, seeking to avoid eye contact. I’m not sure whether she thought by hiding I wouldn’t find out or if by hiding she could avoid whatever consequences might have come. Even now I can’t remember what it was she had done, probably just something like playing with her seat belt (unsnapping and snapping it back).

It’s not just that particular child, but many if not most tend to avoid a parent or teacher when they know they’ve done wrong. Some even lie and answer ‘nothing’ when asked what they did. I haven’t quite figured out if they are afraid of the possibly pending punishment (hey look at that alliteration) or if they just don’t like disappointing the caregiver. For different children it’s for different reasons, but what I’ve also learned over the years is that it doesn’t end in childhood.

God has been convicting me a lot recently and over the past year or so about my avoidance of Him, as if that was possible. All it takes is a day or two of forgetting to read my Bible, or perhaps realizing that I’m behind in my prayer journal or I’ve waited till the last minute yet again to prepare for Sunday School. But instead of going to God with my tail between my legs, confessing that I put other things once again in front of Him in my life, I listen to Satan’s whisper in my ear and hide my face from God.

But just like the little child hiding her face behind another child, I still know she’s there, I know what she’s done and I’m disappointed that she did it again, but I still love her. And God still loves me. He’s not waiting with a tongue lashing, ready to let me have it, telling me ‘you’re old enough to know better’ or ‘I thought you loved me’ or ‘how many times are we going to have to deal with this’. He’s just waiting, waiting with love and forgiveness and mercy. Why? Because I’m His child.

 

Verse of the week: In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you O Lord make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

 

fighting evil forces January 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Anna @ 8:36 PM

Transferred from Runner’s Log 2010 (old blog)

 

There are so many idioms I could put here, but I figure it might be better just to describe it all out and save the idioms from getting worn out and over-used to where they lose their effect.

Never doubt for one instance that when you make a plan to better yourself that Satan is just going to let you do it. It’s very interesting that that is the exact topic that my pastor just began preaching on this past Sunday with his key verses being Acts 20:28:31

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!”

Because as sure as we are only one week into the new year, Satan is already at work, trying to destroy each of us who are seeking a closer walk with God and who are seeking to be better people for the kingdom of our Lord.

Stomach bugs are my least favorite bugs to catch, while lightning bugs are most definitely my favorite. Between that and running out of fuel and finding out the motor in my heater has gone bad, my motivation for exercise has plummeted. The cold weather isn’t much of a motivator either.

But let us not be discouraged. There are still 51 weeks left to becoming a better person. Whatever your goal is, do not allow Satan to win. Press onward, find that spare minute to pray for the sick in your church, or for the nation we live in (because these are certainly dark times we live in). Every little bit we do to fight Satan gets us a little bit closer to God.