Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Lost Note

I was sitting in church today and thinking about life and all there is to do. I was listening to my Dad preach and he went off subject (which is not totally unusual!) and mentioned worry and reminded us not to and that God will handle our problems if will give them to Him. I was sitting there being sceptical.


Well, I'm just a worrier. Poor me.
At least I'm not "as bad" of a worrier as I was. Surely I get some points for that.
Hey, and don't we kind of... deserve to worry considering how we just never know how things are going to turn out?


The last one is the kicker. Don't we deserve it? We never know how things are going to turn out. It was then that I flipped through my Bible, letting the pages slide through my fingers. I saw some of my notes sticking out from the back of my Bible. They aren't even notes. They are scribbles of paper that really are just cluttering my Bible, but for this once, I'm glad I had left them there. When I looked at the small stack, on top of a bulletin insert I had written in pink pen ink to someone in my family during service on a Sunday morning:


"I'm so worried about tonight. I'm so afraid that I will fall apart and will forget an entrance or line. There are dozens of opportunities for me to ruin things. I'm so worried."


Huh. Kind of rattled my seat. My mind flashed back to the total fear that I was feeling the day I wrote that. It was the day of the Passion Play's formal dress rehearsal. March 18th. My mind went here next:


Oh goodness, why was I so worried? Everything went so well.
There was certainly no need to be THAT worried. That's ridiculous.
There was no reason for me to worry like that when God led me through every line and every entrance.


Now, compare those three thoughts to the three from before. Interesting. Looking back I saw the foolishness and colossal waste of time in worrying. I then thought of what Josh Isaacs told me last night when I had been worrying to him about things (when I say "things" I literally mean just random things. I can find things to worry about if there is nothing readily available). He had said,"What's worrying going to do for you? It can't help anything. Worrying is only going to me make things look worse." I had just brushed him off, but he was right.


And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? Matthew 6:27


My point? My point is: Don't worry. Hey, but that is impossible! I thin...thought so too. But God has reminded me today that there just isn't a reason to worry, none. Jesus said DON'T WORRY. He gave no reason or time when it's allowed. I was so worried about the play and I looked back to see that there were times when I literally felt like angels were talking in my place. The lines weren't there, but God was.

It may not be lines for you you. It may be that the money is not there or the time or your health. Yet, God is there. Even if things fall on its face. Even if nothing gets better for you, God is there if you are His child.

Worry will always be a battle for many of us, but we have the power within us to kick it out, and not let it win.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 

Friday, April 20, 2012

My 18th Birthday

As of yesterday I am 18 years old. 18 years old. That seems too old for me. For Pete's Sake, I'm supposed to be 10 or something.

I'm 18 years old. Time flies.

Okay, by now you know that I feel old. I did have a glorious birthday all the way around. My lovely cousin Taylor, whose 17th birthday was just 6 days ago, gave me these gorgeous flowers.


They smelled lovely.


My family made the day so special, mostly by spoiling me. Who doesn't like to be spoiled every once and a while?

I can say that I have been so very blessed the last 18 years. I want to live every year I have left with all my heart and all my soul for the One who gave me the air to breath to even live another moment. He has given me life and the Life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

With That Said

I've given my last post a week to run it's course. I am so blessed by the way the Lord has used this story. It's not my story, it's His story. I've just enjoyed living it.

I've had the privilege over the past several days of speaking with several single women of all ages. I had not realized how many single people there are that need encouragement and to be reminded that God's timing is perfect. I've found that it's easy to say, "Just wait, single people." However, I know that is harder said than done. Many say that they will wait but they can't handle the pressure and buckle when surrounded by the raging waters of the world. Yet, many this past week have come to me telling me that they want to do things the right way, by letting God handle it. It's awesome!

If you want to know more about how things went between my Dad and Josh about our relatioship check out my Dad's blog Father to a Young Man: What's Your Intentions?. Poor Josh. We talk about him all the time, but he knows that my family blogs and shares almost everything. He doesn't care, thankfully.



Now, I hope that you'll forgive me for keeping you in the dark for a few months. Honestly, my recent blog posts have been me working through many of my own issues and worries without being able to just say everything. I have spent months learning how to trust in the One who knows all. I still am learning. I often used my blog as a place to just share my heart.

With that said, a lot of people have asked what I'm going to do with my life. That seems like such a heady question and I have to swallow hard before answering. The answer however is really simple: What God says. Ummm. Is that it? Well, yep! So more detail, please. For me I believe that means turn 18 in two days (I would turn 18 regardless... ), graduate from highschool (which is coming upon me very soon), continue on to online college, serve where I'm at, grow in my relationship with Josh as we take things at God's pace (His pace is neither too slow nor too fast, despite some people's opinions), and live and love. So there you have it. Some think I'm loony for the way I'm doing things. They probably thought I was crazy before, but now they really think I hit my head hard as a child. Hehe! Maybe I did.... I can't remember.... Anyways.

As I get older and I watch my life keep changing I continue to come to the conclusion that I just don't care about the American Dream. It's cheap and worthless. Holy cow, ouch. Yeah, it hurts me too. But think about it with me. The American Dream is all about money, education, academics and comfort. None of those are horrible, not at all. The issue is the obsession with them. If we would care as much about serving and being an a mission for our Creator and Savior as we are about all of our diplomas and trophies, we might could really do some good for the Kingdom.

I am so not perfect, but I just know one thing: I want to live my life for my Lord Jesus. That won't look like the American Dream, because the American Dream can't touch God's plans for you and me. God's plans may seem lowly sometimes, like wiping dirty mouths at your kitchen table day after day, but there is purpose in it. There always is and always will be.

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:7-8

Sometimes the future overwhelmes me. And then there are moments when I marvel at the work of the Sovereign Lord's hand in my life and those around me and I see there is no need to fear. Life is beautiful. A lot of it just has to do with our attitudes and of course... our faith in the One who sees the end as easily as He sees this moment.

With that said, I just keep living. I used to think I had to know everything.... Yeah well, God just wants me to follow and trust.... and I've learned to love it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It Happened to Me....

It has been one of my hottest topics and one of my greatest passions. The life of love between young men and women. If you have been around me long then you've heard me talk about it. I have a passion to see young people live lives of purity and to do romantic relationships right... the Biblical way.
Well, here's the news. I am in a relationship. Yes, really. I've lived the life of the single and "waiting" girl and I thought I would for several more years, but God had a different plan.


See, the one I love ended up being a family friend and honestly, a brother of sorts. His name is Josh. He was the one that you wouldn't really think would end up in a relationship with me or visa-versa. His life was completely different than mine, but since the day I met him when I was 11, I was drawn to him. Josh was just another guy in the youth group and was old enough to be the one who kept an eye on me and I remember him looking after me often. He was fun and I always loved to be around him. Years passed and our paths separated in 2007 when he went to seminary. Things changed and I didn't hear from him for years. It wasn't long after my 16th birthday that he came back and became involved in my church. My Dad and him became good friends and he often came with us on family ventures. He was like part of the family. He was always around. He was just... Josh.


In July of 2011, Josh headed off to Parris Island, South Carolina. I'll give you one guess, boot camp... in the Marines. For some odd reason I missed him a lot more than I thought I would. I wrote him letters along with my family and tried to encourage him. The three months passed by slowly and in late October my family headed to South Carolina to see him graduate. He came home for 10 days and during that time I learned that he was an incredibly strong man in the Lord. Having only the Lord for strength for 3 months in brutal boot camp had made him rock solid. We became closer and talked a lot. He left again and this time I missed him more than ever. And what I didn't know was that he missed me too.

Six weeks passed and while he slept in ditches and trained in the dark woods, eating nasty "meal readys", I was in Africa. I found that I thought more about him there than I had in North Carolina. My Daddy worked with me through it and I kept no secrets from him. After arriving home, I was told by Mom that Josh had moved to Mississippi for more training. I was deeply disappointed. Mississippi??? I was so confused. Josh and I talked back and forth on Facebook, sporadically, and before long he told me he would be home for Christmas. Sure enough, a few days before Christmas I saw him at church. Yet again, my family spent much time with him. But this time, I noticed that he preferred my presence, and I preferred his. We went bowling with my family and, later, with friends. We spent Christmas Eve at my grandparents house and Christmas was splendid. However, time couldn't stand still and a few days later he was leaving. All I knew was that something had to give. I knew that things were beyond just friendship between us and though neither of us had said anything, something just had to give. Josh and my Dad had a conversation about a Josh's potential relationship with me and it concluded with Josh promising to pray about God's will with it. I didn't have to do anything! Dad handled it! You got to love him!

Josh headed back to Mississippi, but we kept closer contact and talked frequently. A few weeks later, after asking for my Dad's permission and discussing the purpose behind his intentions, Josh asked for a relationship with me. A relationship with me is a big thing. Not because I'm great or anything, because I'm NOT, but simply because a relationship means something big. Dad and I talked a lot and agreed on the purpose. The purpose is for more much more than recreation. Josh and I talked via skype and chats and texts for over 3 months. We kept romantic words to almost nothing and instead challenged and encouraged each other. We agreed to protect each other's hearts. Many, many times Josh had hard days and exams, but we prayed. We became a team. Our friendship grew and because it was built on a Biblical foundation and we were trying to put God in the middle, it blossomed, even though we were 600 miles apart.

As time went on, we skyped more and grew closer. These past few months crawled by. Well, this past weekend, Josh came home for the first time in 101 days (since he left at Christmas)! We spent a lot of time together. We kept it family based and remained with someone in my family to keep things safe. Seeing him for the first time since this relationship began was amazing. I wouldn't trade these past three days for anything. Telling him bye yesterday as my family sent him off was the furthest thing from easy. It was hard and it hurt, but I clinged and a still cling to my Father and rest in the truth that Josh and I are both forever in His hands.

Josh and I continue to walk this journey. We know only that God is guiding us and we will follow where He leads. It is incredible to finally live out some of the things I've blogged about. I tell you all of this to really say, keep waiting single people! God's not going to hide that special person. He brings them out right when it's time. I don't do anything perfect, but I am trying to do what the Bible says with the support of my family and friends and Josh in this relationship. A relationship God's way is always best. Even if it is only over blurry skype sessions and through texts. It's worth it. I wouldn't trade anything for the "skype prayers" Josh and I share.

He is still in the Marines and I don't get to see him much, but we will follow the Lord's plans as they come and I will pray for patience for both of us. Life may seem muddy and confusing sometimes, yet God sees it all and I don't have to worry about the future.

There it is. The story. Some may say I fell in love with a solider, but I say God brought us to love. True love is only from the Father and it's the best kind. "We love because He first loved us..."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Amazed

I was looking back over the calendar of the last few months. As I was looking at all that has been done and all the things that have happened I couldn't help but notice my eyes filling with tears. Was I sad? No. Was I disappointed? No. Worried? No. I was amazed. I saw how far the Lord has taken me and how much He has stretched me and I was speechless. I've wanted time to move back a couple months ago, and now that I look back it did and I didn't even really see at the moment how much strength the Lord was giving me for each day, each moment.

The last two weekends have been busy with the Passion Play at my church. It is a MASSIVE  play, taking and over 150 people to put on. This year I got the privilege to play the lead role, beside from Jesus. I was Mary Magdalene and the play was through "my eyes" so to speak. Back in January I thought I would never be able to memorize all the lines. It seemed impossible and I didn't want to let the entire cast down by potential flubs on my part. But God told me constantly, "I have gifted you to act. Tell them the greatest story ever, Katy. You can tell thousands about Me. Do it. Do it."



I did it. There were countless times when the spotlight was in my eyes and I couldn't think of my line, but I am completely sure that it was the Holy Spirit whispering it in my ear at the very instant I needed it. That really happened several times and I can't explain it. Sometimes I don't even think it was me talking. Crazy? Maybe. No, I didn't do everything perfect, but I felt His presence. Kneeling at the cross in the play, I felt His presence. When I came to the tomb to see that Jesus is alive, I felt His presence. It was like a fire inside me. Was I nervous? Sure! I almost lost my cookies before every show, and I really believe it was mostly spiritual warfare because my greatest worry was that I would quench the Spirit. But Jesus is so faithful and He guided everyone's every move.





It is a bitter-sweet thing. I will miss it and I am thankful for the souls saved and the hearts touched... mine included. I put my script away today with tears in my eyes.

So, I am just amazed at God's hand in my life. Even things I can't really tell you. His miracles and blessings are beyond understanding. I'm just so blessed. As we come upon the Easter weekend I am just reminded of  the One who was killed for me. It's a true story, you know. He died, but the big part is that He AROSE. I know most of us have heard that all of our lives, but think about it! Jesus came for you and for me! He has given us the ability to call upon His name and be saved! Saved from what? Saved from our evil sins that will send us to hell. If you haven't called upon His name to save you, I implore you to do so. He is the only way to Heaven. He is life's only true joy. Nothing will ever satisfy without Him. He is the Savior and King and always will be!