How I fell in love with Jesus

There is something that has been on my heart for a while to talk about: falling in love with Jesus. I’ve noticed that many people I talk to about their relationships with Christ are missing that one key factor.

Often times, we approach getting to know Jesus kind of backwards. We think we have to straighten ourselves out before we can come to Him, and we think we have to make Him love us. We make spending time with Him a task or responsibilty instead of coming to Him out of pure desire. We choose not to sin, because our goal is to go to heaven, and not because we just want to show Jesus how much we love Him and want the life He chose for us. We are after His blessings and not His heart. If this is you, then I’m here to tell you that you are tiring yourself out trying to chase after the wrong thing. You can live in the freedom that Christ died for us for, but if you’re chasing rules and blessings versus Christ Himself, you’re going to continue to find yourself in bondage rather than freedom. There’s so much He wants to give you.

You may be asking, how do you fall in love with Jesus? Guess what? I asked the same question. I knew I wanted it, but I didn’t really know how to go about…getting it (for lack of a better word.) I’d love to share the journey I took to fall in love with Jesus in hopes that it will help you with your journey.

MY JOURNEY

I broke my journey up into steps that may help you. Not everyone’s relationship with Christ is going to be the same. You’re going to find out what works well for you and what doesn’t work well as you go through this process. Through it all, remember that He LOVES you! And we love Him, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

1. First, stop being so hard on yourself.  It may not happen overnight, and its okay. Take a deep breath and relax. There is no condemnation in Christ. God is just rejoicing that you are reaching out to Him. Remember that His arms have been outstretched toward you this entire time and He loves you!

2. Ask Jesus to show Him how much He loves you, and then prepare for your day to turn upside down as He showers you with love. (We love Him because He first loved us — verse here)

3. Spend time soaking in His presence. What does that mean? Just lay there with some worship music on and ask His presence to fill up the space you’re in.  Then, watch Him work.

4. Dive into His word. I kind of cheat with this and use a Bible app that gives me a daily verse because I don’t always know where to begin.  So, I see what that verse is, and then I read the entire chapter.

5. Journal. Keep track of How God is making you feel.  That’s so important.

6. Go on dates with Him. Take coffee dates with Him and long walks with Him and just talk to Him. He’s always there with you. (And no, you won’t look weird. I promise!)

7. Ask God to open your heart up and put it on fire for Him. He will do it, and you will change. It’s crazy!

Pretty soon, you’re going to be so passionately in love with Him, that a day not spent with Him is going to feel weird. That’s a great sign! You’re going to reach a point where you naturally live a sin free life because you love Him so much. And this love you feel will make you feel so free.  It will bring you the free and abundant life that Christ died for us to have, and it will feel so good.

Trust Without Borders

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What an interesting season this has been! I’ve started to realize I am only updating this blog about once a month or so, because that’s when God has shown me something or shared something with me that is worth talking about. The in-between time is my discovery part of the journey where I am really lost and confused, yet following Him still, and waiting or Him to show me what is next.

I know that in my last post I talked about feeling like I was in a rut.  I continued to feel that way for quite some time, and to be honest, in the physical earthly sense, not much has changed.  I still work the same job, my health still isn’t doing too well, and I still don’t know what I really want to do with my life.  However, I have learned so much in this time, and God is still so faithful.

When I decided to make a commitment to live the rest of my life for God’s glory, I knew what I was getting into, but at the same time I didn’t.  Does that make any sense? I knew that with all my heart I only wanted to live exactly how God wants me to live.  I only want to pursue what He wants me to pursue, and be who He wants me to be.  Why? Because He knows me so much better than I could ever know myself. He knows what my passions are when I don’t know what they are.  He created me! Of course He knows me better! And He created you, too.  I highly suggest that if you are feeling lost and confused about who are; seek HIM! He has so many wonderful things to show you!

Anyway, what I didn’t know was that it wasn’t always going to be clear what He wanted.  I’m a person who likes answers in flashing red signs with arrows that say “THIS ONE!”. I mean, who doesn’t, right? But God doesn’t always operate like that.  More often than not, He’s more focused on showing you His love for you than the answers to your questions.  And a lot of the times we want these answers we aren’t ready for.  So God says “sshhhh…trust me. Receive my love and love me back and then I’ll answer soon enough.”  Or, sometimes, the answer may not be exactly the way we want to hear it.  For instance, I have been praying for MONTHS about what I’m supposed to be doing with my life and where does He want me to go next.  I have spent many hours in worship just pouring my heart out to Him, telling Him my desire to only do what He called me to do.  The thing is, I got so caught up in just one answer, and if I didn’t hear that answer, I felt like He wasn’t answering at all.  In actuality, instead of telling me about a specific thing He has called me to do, He revealed to me that I need to work on loving myself as He loves me to even begin living as the woman He has called me to be. Does that makes sense? It really had nothing to do with a specific job or task, but everything to do with walking in His purpose with every move I make, no matter what I am doing.  He wanted to show me that I can do that right where I am. As soon as I learned to do that right where I was, He started to reveal to me where I was headed next.  How awesome is that?

Its frustrating though, because in the moment, you just don’t understand what’s going on.  But that’s what it means to have trust without borders. This has been my prayer, too.  My prayers has been for Him to lead me wherever He will call me  To trust Him so much that even when I am completely confused or scared, I still trust Him completely.  Not a little bit, but completely.  That is extremely hard to do, but we aren’t designed to do it on our own.  He actually wants to help us learn to trust Him like that.  He wants to lead us into that strong relationship with Him.  He wants to hold us and hug us and whisper little things in our ears that will make it so easy to trust Him completely.  His joy is what carries us into that trust, and wherever His presence is, there is joy and freedom.  So the key is to stay in His presence.  He will take it from there.  He’s so wonderful, too, because He also understands that sometimes we may need friends who are going to trust and believe with us.  Just as I was in dire need of tangible love, He brought me closer to my girl friends at church and to my significant other. He didn’t let me feel alone.

His love is so tender.  Its mind blowing!

Now I am starting to see a glimpse of what He has next for me.  Just a glimpse.  One step.  And guess what? That’s scary! Of course I wish He would let me see all of the steps at once.  He knows better, though, and I’m sure if I saw all of the steps I would freak out because I am not ready for them.  So, He’s testing my faith.  He gave me the one step, blinded me to what the next steps would be, and told me to trust Him to take that step. Trust without borders, wherever He would call me. 

I don’t know what is completely in store for me next.  Yes, I still have fears and concerns because it is human nature to wonder and stress over making sure everything is right.  I’m not letting that stop me, though.  His peace He brings me surpasses all of those fears.  My faith is greater than my own understanding.  And while I know all of that sounds extremely cliche, its real.  I’m living it.

Its far from over.  My hard times are still very present.  I still don’t know what I’m going to be “when I grow up.” I still don’t know when I am going to be healed.  And I still have days where I struggle with loving myself.  But I can say with confidence that God answered my prayer.  I begged Him to show me how to become the woman He has called me to be, and He is showing me that one day at a time.

Crossroads: content vs. what’s next

While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but thing things which are not seen are eternal. 

2 Corinthians 4:18

 

I am in a rut that I just can’t seem to find a way out of.  I feel like no matter how hard I try to apply what I hear in the Word and from my brothers and sisters in Christ…I’m just not getting it. Why do I feel like this? Because nothing has changed.  And I know…I shouldn’t be looking at it like this.  I shouldn’t be measuring success with the amount of change that is taking place.  I shouldn’t be measuring God’s love for me by something changing in my life or Him activating my faith with something tangible.  But…gosh.  Sometimes I wonder if God just sees my frustration and could have some sort of grace toward me show me something immediate.  I wish He could just give in.  Its almost like…are you being stubborn God? Are you refusing to show me any hope until I go a certain amount of time without hoping or trying or seeking the answers? 

Everyone says that you are supposed to just “rest” in God.  And wait.  And wait.  And wait. Until He answers. And not do anything.  Just have faith.  Just be patient.  Just wait.  Just speak faith.  Just wait.  God answers right when you can’t go any further.  Just wait.  Just wait.  You get the picture.  So that’s what I do.  I seek Him daily and pray for what I need to make it through that day. I pray for faith.  I speak it over my life.  But…that just doesn’t take the pain away! It barely makes it easier.  Its a constant battle.  And every week I’m still hoping and believing that this will be the week that something changes.  That God will see my faith and also my suffering and want desperately to change it right then and there.  That He will give me a pat on my back.  That He will cry when I cry and want my pain to stop.  But…nothing happens.  So I feel like I’m not doing enough.  I must not be a good enough Christian or I must not be succeeding at what God wants this season because He refuses to move me to the next season.  Its all in God’s timing.  Not mine.  Its about Him.  Not me.  And I’m cool with that.  I live for that.  I just…don’t know what I did to deserve to be in this pain.  

I know it sound like I’m all over the place.  I’m talking about a lot.  It sounds like I’m not grateful with where I am in my life.  Being content because Christ is enough for me.  That’s not true.  He is.  And…if I have to be where I am the rest of my life I know it would be okay because I have Christ.  It wouldn’t be the life I imagined and it wouldn’t be what I want to do for His Kingdom, but I would trust Him that its where He wants me.  What I can’t get with is having to do it all in poor health. My chronic pain isn’t getting any better.  I have been praying and praying for healing for quite some time. Nothing.  I try to “take matters into my own hands” and receive medical help in hopes that something I seek medically is going to be God’s way of healing me, but that doesn’t work.  I feel like I get a glimpse of hope in there and come across an answer and a solution, but I immediately hit a roadblock instead.  As if God is teasing me.  Here’s false hope, but its not going to work because its not directly from me (Him.)  Well what is from You then, Father?? I am DYING to know.  Please help me.  I’m so desperate.  I want to be joyful in your Kingdom.  I want to be content with it all.  I want to grow at your pace and carefully be guided into steps toward your place for me in the Kingdom.  But, do I have to do this in pain?? Can I PLEASE be healed, God? 

I am going to try to continue and live in God’s love until something changes.  But…I am burned out.  I am tired.  I am weary.  I need a change.  Why is that a bad thing? I am content because I love God, but I need a change! I want to grow and work towards what He has next for me, but I feel stuck because first and foremost, I want to be healed! I quoted that verse at the top of this post because I need to remember that since I can see my pain and my situation, its not eternal.  But I can’t see those plans He has or even myself being healed, which means thats eternal.  It just doesn’t stop me from being weary, and it sure doesn’t take the physical pain away.  

If anyone is reading this, please pray for me.  And, if you have any answers, insights, suggestions, or advice, please share.  

 

Be blessed, 

 

Caroline 

Why I haven’t been here in a while

Hello there.  I know I have left this page bare for a few months.  I have gone through so many mental ups and downs, but they all seem to revolve around the same things that are going on in my life.  So I guess exhaustion mixed with overall overwhelming feelings and fear of redundancy kept me away from this page.  I didn’t know what to say about it all, and I am strict about what I put on this page because this is a blog about my journey with Christ.

Anyway, I’m back.  Honestly, much hasn’t changed in my life, but a few things have changed for me mentally and spiritually.  Well, let’s put it this way.  There are some things that I am realizing, questions I have, and things that are inside of me that I have to get out.  While I am waiting for God to answer these questions, prayers, and requests I have been asking Him for months now, I need to seek Him in a more personal way and allow Him to reveal to me who He created me to be.

In your 20-somethings, you are naturally trying to search for who you are.  I guess we always expect to find ourselves in high school and college, and then we get disappointed when it didn’t work out that way and we are in our 20s still trying to figure that out.  Well, that’s what’s going on with me anyway.  I desperately want to know who God has called me to be now so I can just go after it.  But I realized there is something missing.  I STILL don’t have a high approval of myself.  I STILL don’t have a strong confident mentality.  I STILL question every last thing about my personality, my thoughts, what I like and what I don’t like.  I STILL don’t know what my passions are, and don’t believe I would know them even if they slapped me in the face.  I have spent some time hating myself for not knowing these things, but I’m tired of feeling that way.  I’m impatient, but I need to be patient.  I know if I take the time to seek God about this, He will show me who I am, and in turn He will show me who He has created me to be.

That being said, there will be more posts.  More words about my discoveries.  More records of my highs and my lows.  Recording it all makes the journey a lot easier, and will help me outline the bigger pictures.  And faithfully, I’ll get the answers I’ve been looking for.

I guess I know what I’m supposed to do…

So why am I not doing it? 

I have been in a very frustrated state lately.  And I know part of that frustration is with God.  Slightly.  I don’t want to admit it.  I feel extremely bad being frustrated with Him.  Like I’m a bad daughter.  And its not that my faith has gone anywhere.  My belief in that I know He’s got something great coming.  That the prosperous future He’s promised me hasn’t gone anywhere. Or that He has a plan to supply me with the money I need to pay back my student loans and get my health in order.  How? I don’t know.  And I know I’m not supposed to know…how.  I know I’m just supposed to sit back and enjoy the ride until He makes a move.  But…its this waiting game.  Its driving me crazy.  Driving me to greater frustration.  Not knowing what His plans are, what way He wants me to go, and what He wants me to do to get there.  Its…agggghhhhh.  I don’t want to be that guy that complained about God not saving Him when He was drowning and then three boats pass and he says that God will save Him, and that was Gods way of saving him, but He missed it.  That’s how I feel.  Like I’m missing something.  I’m missing what God is telling me, and if I was just better at hearing exactly what I was supposed to do, then all of my troubles would be over. 

 

I honestly don’t know.  But here’s what I do know.  I know I need to get my act together.  And by that I mean I need to stop being jealous of other people when God blesses them.  I need to be happy for them and then use their testimony to encourage me that God is real and that He will bless me right on time, whenever His timing says so. I feel like I’m hindering that with my jealous/frustrated feelings.  I feel like He’s gonna sit there and wait for me to be completely and selflessly joyful in my situation the way it is, before He moves.

 

So…if I know this.  Why is it so difficult for me to change my actions? Why don’t I just get it together? 

God beams with joy about me.

This pas Sunday, the Father gave me amazing revelation that I’ve been needing and seeking for a while now.  Where should I start? Well, let’s be honest.  I’ve been going through a lot lately, and I’ve been in a waiting season where God has me faithfully waiting for Him to make His move when His time is right.  And that is totally fine.  I love my Father and my faith is unwavering.  I know that He has major plans for my breakthrough soon. Of course, that doesn’t always take away from some of the human emotions that might be felt in the midst of a storm, or, even deeper, the thoughts the enemy will try to get you to have about your situation(s).  A constant pursuit of Christ; however, will bring joy regardless of those thoughts and emotions.  I would say, that my joy has been on point lately. But, my emotions have been all over the place, and I guess I have been trying to figure out why.  Well, here’s why.

The struggles that are at the forefront of my life right now (physical health, getting a new job, finances) are emotionally distracting me from the deeper problems that are present as well.  That probably sounds weird, but let’s just say there are emotional/spiritual struggles I didn’t even know I was dealing with this entire time, but they have been affecting me and affecting how I react to the struggles I have been very aware of. One of those, is a battle of self-hatred that I have been dealing with my entire life.  This is a wall (or several walls) that God has been trying to break down for years.  I was listening to a worship song called “Spirit Breakout” by Kim Walker-Smith that talks about Holy Spirit coming to break our walls down, when Holy Spirit revealed to me that this was a huge wall that I needed to let Him break down.  I definitely thought I was mostly done with self-hatred, but God showed me this weekend that I still don’t think highly of myself, like, ever. BUT, He also showed me how I can finally get through this struggle.

God delights in me. (And you, too!)  He beams with joy at the thought of me.  He made me in His image and likeness, which means that the way I am, in His eyes, is already perfect. My constant self-harming, nit-picky, self-comparing thoughts about how imperfect I am are only acts of the enemy.  Especially since I have given my life to Christ and have been determined to serve His Kingdom every day, I know Daddy God is especially proud of me.  And He cares so deeply about me.  How beautiful, right?

So, now I just have to remind myself of this every day to start to fight the enemy in this self-hatred battle.  It has to be more than an internal thought reminder, though.  It has to be spoken aloud and declared, because the power of life and death is in the tongue.

Psalm 18:19 “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

{ Day 187 }.

This is what I devote my life to everyday. I surrender to You, God. I am available. A vessel and solider in your army. Forever.

Rivers of Hope

I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. —Jeremiah 3:15, NKJV

After God gives a beckoning call to return to Him because He is married to us, inviting us to come near to Him in confident love and wholeheartedness, He then, in effect, says, “I am going to raise up men and women who will experience the spiritual reality of God’s heart as a Bridegroom God. That revelation will flow like a river on the inside of those shepherds, and they will live in the mighty power of this revelation. Then they will feed the church from it.” The Lord is now raising up men and women after His heart, like David, and He will give them as a gift to the backslidden church to win her back to wholeheartedness. They will speak it with deep, undeniable revelation and…

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