20 November, 2017

Dear Girl-Who-Feels-Deeply

Dear girl-who-feels-deeply,

I was thinking about you last night, as I lay in bed, and I wanted you to know: it’s okay.

It’s okay to feel deeply. It’s okay to be the one who cries over the news or the state of the world or the fact that disease and aging exist. It’s okay to feel the pangs in your heart while everyone else laughs it off. It’s okay to have to lift your head from the pages to blink away the tears. It’s okay to take a moment to stare out the window because you need time to absorb what you just learned. It’s okay to feel someone else’s pain and cry in despair of your powerlessness. 

Please don’t be ashamed of the wounds this world gives. Don’t try to hide the tears, the pain. Don’t let yourself grow callous and indifferent because that’s the way others appear. Don’t brush the feelings aside in an effort to be ‘grownup.’ Don’t pretend it doesn’t hurt when it does, it doesn’t matter when it does, and it doesn’t mean anything when it does. Don’t let other’s judgements make you hard.

Know this truth: God made you to feel. He made you to feel deeply. It’s not a flaw, it’s not something you’re meant to grow out of. It’s going to hurt sometimes, but it’s going to mean you understand His heart a little more, because God feels. He feels deeply. He has a plan for your sensitivity, a plan to use it for His glory, a plan to show through you a piece of His heart.

Please, please, stay soft. Stay impressionable, stay sensitive. Let yourself feel the pain, the sorrow, the hurt, the injustice, and the love and joy and trust. You’re a deep soul, and your vulnerability will mean people misunderstand you. But don’t let it sway you. You know who you are, and this world needs more people like you.

From my heart to yours,
The girl who knows what it’s like. xx


The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.  - Elie Wiesel

13 November, 2017

Why I Don't Answer to 'Single'




I was browsing a website some time ago, and there was an article about singleness. I skimmed it, like I skimmed the articles to marrieds. It wasn’t until I read the responses in the comments section I realized the post was written to me. I am the target audience – my age, my relationship status. But I didn’t answer to it. I didn’t see a post written for singles and think ‘Oh, that’s me!! I must read that!’ It feels strange to call myself ‘single.’

Why don’t I answer to single? I’m not in a relationship, I’ve never been in a relationship, I’m already out of my teens; I should be desperate by our society’s standards. But single is an adjective not a noun. I'm single but I'm so many others things first: loved, chosen by God, complete in Him, blessed, and Australian, female, older sister, writer, musician, nut. Single is a description, but it's not who I am.

We need to stop finding our identity in our singleness. We need to stop telling ourselves we’re single, single, single, like there’s something wrong with us, like we’re incomplete, like we’re lacking. Our identity is so much more. God calls us loved, chosen, worth dying for, of inestimable value, and complete in Him. (Colossians 2:10)

It saddens me to see people make their relationship status their identity. They feel they can’t be satisfied until they’re with their ‘other half.’ They feel there’s something wrong with them, because no one has noticed them. They change themselves to get someone’s attention. They fantasize, building up expectations which only lead to disappointment. You are so much more than what a guy thinks of you. A Man has already told you what He thinks of you, and demonstrated His love by giving the ultimate sacrifice. That’s who you are. That’s where your worth comes from. You can rest securely, because it doesn’t matter what your crush thinks of you – God says you’re beautiful and loved. 

Marriage and companionship is a beautiful thing. God ordained it, and I believe it’s God’s plan for some of us, maybe all. But it’s not who we are. The verse in Colossians I referenced earlier really spoke to me: ‘Ye are complete in Him.’ If we aren’t feeling complete, could it be we’re neglecting our relationship with God? He is the only one who can complete us; give us security and fulfilment. It’s normal and God-given to desire companionship – absolutely. But we can’t be looking for our worth and value and identity in it. We will be let down, because people are wonderful, but they’re not perfect.

I was thinking about God giving marriage in the beginning, and saying it wasn’t good for man to be alone. (Genesis 2:18) We use that verse, but God said this before sin and separation; humans were in perfect harmony with Him. A spouse for Adam was the only thing lacking, because his relationship with God was there. We might not have the companionship God gave Adam, but we’ve also lost the relationship with God, and that came first. That’s most important. 

I don’t have this down. I’m not writing because I’ve made it and you haven’t. I’ve daydreamed about guys and my future, had crushes, and tried to change who I am to be noticed. Temptations are real. But what I want to emphasise is: God can give us victory over those things. It’s hard, but it’s so, so worth it. Knowing who you are in God is the most freeing thing. And, if marriage is in God’s plan, the right partner is going to be attracted to you because of who you are, not who you’re trying to be, or who you want them to make you.

I saw a quote once that said, ‘If God could find Adam a wife when he’s the only human being in the world, He can get you somebody.’ Friends, this is not our battle. Our job is to give our lives over to God, and He will orchestrate marriage if that’s in our best interest. He has already given us everything we need for satisfaction and fulfilment in ‘singlehood.’ Let’s walk in that.

Whew! That was quite intense! I hope it’s clear I share not as one who has arrived, but because I care. I’m passionate because I see people struggling in their singleness when they could be walking in the freedom of who God says they are. What do you think on this topic? Is singleness something you've struggled with? And non-singles, it’d be great to hear your perspective too! Is there something I’ve missed? Most of all, friends, stay strong. You’re complete in Him. xx

09 November, 2017

Thankfulness Thursday - Spring Buds and God Working Despite Me




Grace Anne from Totally Graced is hosting Thankful Thursdays this month – it’s about taking extra time to remember and share what we’re thankful for. I realized the reason for thankfulness in November is probably due to thanksgiving, which we don’t celebrate in Australia, but it’s always a good time to be thankful, in my opinion. :)

I’m thankful for God working even in comfort zones. Last week, I was going out for the day – volunteering talking with homeless people and doing their washing, then some shopping and teaching. I was praying on the way, asking God for strength; strength to acknowledge Him even though I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t ask for opportunities to talk about Him and witness, because I didn’t want those opportunities. I didn’t feel like stepping outside my comfort zone. I was tired. It was a lame prayer, honestly.

After I did the volunteering shift, and I was sitting in a carpark eating lunch, I saw God answered my prayer without me even realizing. I got to share my faith with three people directly through the shift, and indirectly with the others who were listening. Two people asked what I was studying, and when I answered ‘Christian counselling,’ it led to more discussion. One man apologised for anti-religion stuff he’d said earlier, and I was able to share what he'd said didn’t offend me, because it’s more about my personal relationship with God rather than structured religion. They were natural conversations, not forced, or awkward.

The third opportunity came when I was talking with another guy, and he told me I was not like other twenty-year-olds he’d known. I didn’t seem like the type of girl who’d spend time in nightclubs, and do drugs and stuff. I was able to give God credit, and say it’s because of God and my Christian upbringing. 

As I was sitting in the car thinking about those situations, it made me laugh. Here I was scared, tired, praying safe prayers. And yet, God still gave me opportunities and used me, and I didn’t even see it coming! So this week, I’m thankful God works, even through my weakness and fear. 

And I want to encourage you: if you’re feeling low, like you have nothing to offer God, and you aren’t worthy of being His witness, be honest with God. He’s not limited – comfort zones and tired hearts don’t stop Him. He can still use you, and the best part is when He does, it ignites His enthusiasm in us, and we get the biggest blessing. Stay strong, friends, and let God use even the little bit you have – He’s a God of miracles. If He can work through my inadequacy, He can absolutely use you. xx

What are you thankful this week? How has God been surprising you recently?