Friday, August 28, 2015

be a living testimony of His love and glory

Have you ever just started crying during worship at church? Like one of those totally-caught-up-in-the-music-and-how-awesome-Jesus-is moments? That happened to me last night and I can honestly say that's one of my favorite feelings ever. I feel at one with God when I'm dancing and singing his praises and I started crying such happy tears because I felt like Jesus was standing there holding my hand. (with one of those hand-squeezes that usually happen at the end of a prayer, ya know?)

I've been filled with so much anxiety about the new year and my new classes and new living space and everything so new. I wake up every morning filled with anxiety, my first thought being "WHY DID I HIT SNOOZE SIX TIMES?!" I worried through every part of my day yesterday; from running late to class, to hanging out with people I didn't know, to going to church by myself. Let me just tell you that God had a hand in everything that happened to me yesterday, telling me to find my trust in Him. I made it to class on time, I met some new friends, and God gave me a friend to sit with at church.

Y'all, honor God and He will show you so much glory! He wants you to go to class and sit next to that girl who ends up being your bestie, He wants you to go and worship Him (and will make a way for you to get there while having the best time), He wants you to go out there and be a living testimony. Pastor Blake Cotter at ONE last week said something that really hit home for me: "Your life is the only Bible some people will ever read." Doesn't that just give you chills (with a side of a little conviction)? Live in a way that people will say, "Are you always this happy? Why are you so pumped...? It's Monday morning..." Live in a way that people will want to know why you have so much love, joy, peace, and patience in your heart and just say "Jesus."

Get pumped for Jesus, y'all. Wake up everyday and remind yourself that this day is a gift from God and He's there in your walk to class (up that mega hill, who's with me on that Thach concourse?), He's there in that awkward conversation with that cute boy in class, He's there in that long line for Starbucks, and He's definitely there in those 8 AM's. God is there in the good days and the bad days and He loves you more than you will ever know. (10 billion+ times more than that boy who won't text you back or doesn't realize you're his future wife)

Love on someone this week, make a new friend, sit next to someone you've never talked to before, invite someone to church with you. Be in community, find an accountability partner, join a small group. Stop waiting for things to change and stand up and be the change you want to see. I love you all so much and I hope you have a rockin' year. Let God reveal Himself to you and really put your trust in Him. Live a life that makes people want to know Jesus.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

and if not, He is still good.

I have really been struggling with not getting what I want lately. I'm not talking about throwing a childish temper tantrum because I didn't get the orange marker that I wanted; I'm talking about getting my hopes up about things that I've wanted for my life for a long time and being extremely disappointed when they don't work out.

I had great plans for Summer 2015. I had a job planned out, I planned to meet some of my best friends, have amazing experiences, and grow as a person and in my walk with Christ. But that job didn't work out and I was extremely disappointed. Heck, I'm still disappointed. But each and every day, I'm trying to find the glory and promise from God in the rejections.

This is not as easy as saying, "God doesn't want me to do it, so I'm not gonna be disappointed anymore! Yay, I'm happy again!" Wow, do I wish life worked that way.

I was scrolling through the She Reads Truth shop online and admiring the beautiful products they have. I saw a t-shirt that was grey and had a black ampersand sign (& <-- this thing if you've never heard the proper name for it!) and I clicked on it because I figured there had to be some meaning to it. Oh man, was I right. The name of the shirt is "Daniel 3 Ampersand V-Neck Tee" and seeing as I'm not so great at remembering the contents of each book of the Bible, I read the description...

"And if not, He is still good. 
It’s become an anthem among the She Reads Truth community from the story in Daniel 3. Do you have something you are hoping God will show up and do? Do you trust that He is good and able to grant that desire? Do you trust that He is also good in the “And, if not…”?

Remember Daniel chapter 3, when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to fall down and worship King Nebuchadnzzar's image of gold? He threatened to throw them into a blazing furnace. 

"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.'" 
Daniel 3:16-18, NIV 
The Daniel 3 Ampersand Tee reminds us that our God is able to deliver us from all things. And if not, He is still good."

Dang, how compelling is that? I know that in the story, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (I always called him Abindigo, #themoreyouknow), they are saying that their God will deliver them from harm and from death in the furnace, but I think this still applies to hurt, disappointment, and heartache.
A different way of looking at this statement is:
"And if it's not in God's plan, He is still good."

Just because it was in my plan, it doesn't mean it was in God's plan. God has plans for my summer and just because this one thing didn't work out, it doesn't mean that there isn't something else waiting for me. I tend to get angry and upset when things don't work out, but we have to remember that He is still good. He still loves us and we don't deserve it and when will we ever come to terms with that? I don't deserve to have "my plan" work out, I don't even deserve His grace.

Just some thoughts I've been processing lately, and I thought I'd share them with y'all. Hope y'all are pushing through spring semester if you're in school, and if you're in school or not, I hope you're having a great week. I've been holding onto some sort of illness for the last week and I can't get enough sleep these days but I'm persevering! I love y'all, I'm so thankful for you.
xoxo, Molly

Thursday, February 12, 2015

there's always more with God.

"The Lord will reveal to you Himself when it's time." Something I've been reminding myself over and over and over again lately.

I'm so quick to over-process and worry about what's to come when that's not my job. At church tonight, we had an awesome guest speaker come and give a sermon on "There's Always More With God." God's never done giving. He's never done making a way. Every time He provides, He provides more than enough. He provides so that all of our needs are met.

I sat down last night, thinking about my major and what's to come and I just kept hitting a wall. I actually wrote out a post with everything I was thinking, like it was a page in my journal but with no intention of posting it, and I just began to get more and more discouraged. Here's an excerpt:

"Most of my life has been so planned out and rational and really just well thought out.


I don't know what I want to do with my life.

That sentence above scares me.

I really want to help people.

And I really want to be joyful in all that I do.

But I don't know what major or career lines up with that.

I can't visualize myself doing anything."

Every time that I believe that I can do all of this on my own, I might as well be pushing God out and locking the door.

The sermon tonight was God speaking directly to me. I know sometimes He must think, "Molly, what are you DOING? Calm down, take a breath, and prepare yourself for what's to come."

I think I've got to have it all figured out but God just repeatedly comes back to me saying, "YOU CANNOT DO THIS ON YOUR OWN. YOU HAVE TRIED AND YOU HAVE FAILED. Anxiety is trusting that I will not provide for you and being anxious will not add another hour to the day."

I don't know what I'm doing right now but I feel the Lord revealing Himself to me more and more everyday.

My last few blog posts have been straight from the heart, and my goodness, how the Lord has used them to impact others. I've heard some stories recently and I just want to keep giving credit where credit is due to the awesome Creator that I serve. I might be typing exactly what someone else is dealing with but I wouldn't be typing the words and they wouldn't be reading them if it wasn't for God and His timing and plan for our lives. I might know when most people are checking social media and wait until then to post the link to my newest post, but God is orchestrating everything and how awesome is that? I don't want to take credit for any of that because lord knows I'm not that wonderful.

The Lord is revealing to me my love for writing more and more each day and I'm just letting Him take the wheel. ("Jesus take the wheeeellll..." lol sorry that's cheesy) I don't want to change majors until I'm sure of what I want to do and I think God's really changing my heart this semester and I seriously cannot wait for this journey.

We serve an awesome God. I think I probably said this in my last blog post but I'm gonna keep saying it as long as it's true. (so, forever. because God is good all the time and all the time God is good.)

xoxo, Molly

My prayer for each and every one of you reading this is that you start to pursue God this week. I'm not saying you need to go and declare yourself a believer because you aren't already; I'm saying to pursue Him. Have some quiet time, listen to some worship songs, and spend some time in the word. God has wicked awesome plans for you, I just know it! He wants you to surrender your doubts and fears to Him so that He can show you how He's going to provide. And even if you can't see that He's providing immediately, I think we could all use some time in the word this week, myself included.

[I keep wanting to end this with like "peace out, y'all" but I think that's extremely dorky. Then again, I just typed out my intentions to say "peace out, y'all" so nevermind.]

Monday, February 9, 2015

here, my hope is found.

At small group tonight, we talked about anxiety and stress and how, most of the time, our anxiety came from something that happened to us in the past. I'm all too aware of anxiety and what makes me anxious so this topic was something that really stuck out to me. While a lot of people encounter day-to-day anxiety, or small things that make them anxious, I'm almost always anxious. [committing to the sentence "I'm always anxious" fills me with anxiety but there are certain things that will always make me anxious.] I started talking to someone about it this semester and it's something that I want to work on this year. But ANYWAYS. We listed things that make us anxious and just shared some with the group and a couple that really get me are:
  • Feeling like I'm not good enough/worth people's time/or like I don't deserve good things
  • Feeling like I won't amount to anything/I won't accomplish anything
  • Feeling like I won't meet expectations from myself/from others
  • And just worry about the future, like God won't provide so I live in desperate need of control

Toxic thoughts, y'all. I mean seriously toxic. These are ridiculous things and I have no reason to believe these, except for how people have treated me in the past but in believing these lies from the world, I'm denying and ignoring the promises from the Lord for my life.

The Lord created us in His image exactly how he imagined. He knew us before we were even born and He knows how many hairs are on our head and how many days we have to come.

We read Matthew 6 and a few verses stood out to me:

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

God has provided with each day that has passed and will provide with every day to come. God's plan is infinitely better than any we could ever come up with or want for ourselves. He has a plan and purpose for our lives and how egotistical are we to get mad at the creator of our universe for not having "perfect timing" and blaming Him for "not providing?"

As I drove away from church, I plugged in my phone and turned on my "It is well" playlist on Spotify, a playlist full of worship music that just fills me with joy. The song "At the Cross (Love Ran Red)" by Chris Tomlin came on and I started singing along and started to see the lyrics that perfectly lined up with our topic of anxiety tonight. (Thanks for that little teaching moment, God.)

At the cross

At the cross
I surrender my life.
I'm in awe of You
I'm in awe of You
Where Your love ran red
and my sin washed white.
I owe all to You
I owe all to You Jesus.
There's a place where sin and shame are powerless.
Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness.
Where all the love I've ever found.
Comes like a flood,
Comes flowing down.
Here my hope is found
Here on holy ground
Here I bow down
Here arms open wide
Here You save my life
Here I bow down
Here I bow down

I heard the lyrics "Here my hope is found, here on holy ground, here I bow down" and instantly thought, "That's exactly what I need to do. Find my hope in God in the circumstances I can't control and bow down to Him with my insecurities, doubts, worries, and obsessions, leaving them behind and chasing after Him."

His love ran red and my sin washed white so that I could be free from my anxiety and worry and instead be full of His love, mercy, grace, and compassion. How can I sit here and find my identity in what others think of me or think that I'm not worth people's time when I'm a daughter of Christ, made in His image? We serve an awesome God that has come so that we could have life and have it to the full (John 10:10). We should find our identity in Him and constantly point others back to Him.

Just wanted to share some truth with y'all because I know that this is a subject that affects everyone. You are beautiful and loved and He has awesome plans for your life. Stop blaming Him for not instantly providing and sit back, have faith, and praise God for being so dang awesome.

xoxo, Molly

I love you all so much and I'm thankful for people who read my jumbly thoughts. After sitting in small group tonight, I decided to challenge myself this year and start a year of thanksgiving. What does this mean? I'm going to (attempt to) Instagram something everyday that I'm thankful for. I think I've gotten caught up in what I don't have or how God hasn't given me what I've "really wanted" and I've lost sight of what I do have and how many things He has blessed me with.

#mollys365daysofgratitude starting on February 10, 2015. Let's go.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

little hike through georgia | FDR state park

I grabbed my new Canon baby and drove an hour away from my college town with a friend for a fun adventure on MLK day this past week and it was a really good afternoon. I had the sudden urge to do something outside since the weather was nice so it was a fun, little spontaneous trip.

how freakin' beautiful. always admiring God's creation.
{I said to my friend Corinne "that's such a cool picture, it looks like a star!" to which she kindly reminded me that the sun is a star...stay in school, kids.}

bright little sneaks ft. my untied shoe

i look gross but #neature

the aforementioned Canon baby aka the light of my life

i'm a mega-fan of panoramic pictures and tend to take them wherever I go... 
 the overlook was so cool

throw what ya know, theta style

we went to FDR state park and i snapped a few selfies with the prez himself (we're BFFs now)

What did y'all do for the long weekend? Did you have nice weather where you live? We were so thankful to have a few days of sunshine before the yucky winter continued.

xoxo, Molly