He Dropped Me

Snapchatting me  every day. Texting me all night.

There were a few red flags, but I made excuses for them because I loved the attention so much. He seemed like a good guy, so I let that be all that mattered. I avoided digging too deep into his beliefs because, well, if I found out something that wasn’t good I would have to face a hard decision. It was easier not to. What you know can’t hurt you, right? I asked God whether or not it was a good idea to get involved with him, but I wasn’t really open to any answer other than “yes.”

Have you ever been there?

The truth is, deep down I knew it wasn’t a great idea. Just because he was a good guy didn’t mean I was ready for a relationship. I knew I wasn’t. But I let it keep going anyways.

It was one of those situations where he was the guy every girl seemed to want. He had made his rounds, too. But this time, he chose me. It felt so good. All of those girls, yet he somehow wanted me. I could tell from the beginning that he wanted me for the wrong reasons, but there were so many good qualities mixed in there too, so it evened out – or so I told myself.

I fell for him hard and fast. It was the kind of thing where you are three weeks into it and feel like you’re head over heels. How does that happen so fast?! All of a sudden he was all I could think about. Every time it would take him a while to Snapchat or text me back I wondered what he was doing. Was there another girl? Was he doing this with every girl? Was I pretty enough? I stalked his ex-girlfriends and compared myself to every aspect, only to then feel bad about myself because I was determined to find the ways they were “better” than me. There were a few that I used to make myself feel better.

Anyways, soon after I was completely head over heels, it suddenly ended. He decided he wasn’t interested and he dropped me – just like that. What? It had seemed so perfect…he said all of the right things…I thought he felt the same way I did?  I had given him everything he seemed to want, what happened?

By that point, I was in too deep not to feel the sting of rejection. He didn’t want me. That must mean I’m not pretty enough. I’m not fun enough. I’m too insecure. Maybe if I had ______ he would want me. Automatically my brain debated the different ways I could make myself “better” so he would want me.

Not only did he not want me, he wanted nothing to do with me. Completely stopped talking to me. The rejection hurt. It hurt a lot.

I realized I had done it again. I had put all of my security and self-worth in a guy. WHEN am I going to learn?! I was so mad at myself. WHAT was I thinking?

Well, I wasn’t thinking, I was seeking. I was searching for something to fill some deep needs.

I wanted to be fought for

I wanted to be enough

I wanted to be protected

And just like so many times before, I wasn’t.

Also like so many times before, God was so patient and loving. He swooped in as soon as I let Him. And you know what He did? He reminded me that He has everything I am seeking in a guy. And He wants to give it to me so I don’t have to be dependent on things and people that never leave me feeling whole.

Jesus shows us what it really means to be loved and pursued. He died on a cross for us – he died for us. And we let guys who don’t even want to give up a Friday night for us define our worth. The ones who avoid putting us in their stories so they can keep the relationship low-key in case there are other options are the ones we let make or break our self-esteem.

We have been fought for. We are fought for every day. We are protected in ways we can’t even see or understand. I was enough to die for. You were enough to die for. And we still are.

A few things to remember:

  • Jesus does not judge us for our past, and he doesn’t run from our brokenness.
  • He isn’t afraid of our messiness. We will never be too much for Him.
  • He wants to protect us. And He can. That doesn’t mean bad things won’t happen but it does means that when they do happen, we always have someone to run to who will always be right there.
  • We are enough because He paid the ultimate price – his life. It’s impossible for us NOT to be enough because that price was paid regardless of whether or not we even accept it, and someone not recognizing that value doesn’t change it.

Regardless of whether or not we have that earthly love, if we can choose to accept the love on the one who created it in the first place, we can ensure that we don’t crumble every time a relationship does.


“God is love…This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” 1 John 4:9

I love y’all!

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Who Triggers Your Insecurity?

In a recent devotional I brought up two questions for us to ask ourselves as we prepare to kick insecurity’s butt.

  • What am I afraid of losing?
  • What triggers my insecurity?

I want to zoom in on the second question for a moment. Specifically, who triggers the insecurity.

We typically feel insecure around certain people because:   

  • We compare ourselves to them and trigger our own insecurities

Or

  • They trigger our insecurities by what they do, don’t do, say or don’t say.  This can be intentional or unintentional.

We all know some. The “friend” who constantly calls you out and belittles you in front of other people. The girl who hates you and makes sure everyone nearby knows it when you walk past her lunch table. The guy who only texts you when he is bored and has no one else around. The parent who tells you you’re not good enough. How about his new girlfriend who you constantly compare yourself to? Or the girl who just moved here and has all the guys drooling over her? And then of course there are the perfect half-naked bodies plastered everywhere and the real-life bikini model who is sunbathing beside you at the pool.

Those last few examples land in the category that we have more control over. Right now I want to focus on the insecurities that result from other people’s words, actions or lack thereof; the intentional attempts to exploit insecurity.

One of my favorite writers of all time, Beth Moore, wrote a book called So Long Insecurity, You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us. This book holds tons of truth and tricks to combat insecurity. Take a look at the excerpt below:

“Any person who enjoys and exploits another’s insecurity and sensitivity is an emotional predator…The emotional predator sometimes has redeeming qualities that complicate things considerably because they allow us to make excuses for the person and avoid drawing solid boundaries…”

Pause. This is why you just can’t seem to get away from the guy who makes you feel more worthless than anyone else or stand up to the girl who keeps crawling back into your life only to set things on fire and run away – again.

“…we are also explicitly told to have nothing to do with them. I want to be clear in the next statement as absolutely possible: if you are single, I implore you not to [date] an emotional predator. If you struggle with sizable insecurity, you could be a sitting duck (a.k.a. an easy target) for one. Rethink any relationship where you tend to be remarkably and consistently weak-willed.”

“For people will be lovers of self…proud, arrogant, abusive…unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” 2 Timothy 3:2-5

“Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.” Proverbs 25:19

“Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?” Proverbs 6:27

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

He Said He Cared, But He Didn’t.

He said he cared about me. He said I was everything he ever wanted. So why didn’t he want to date me? Was I not good enough?

We have all experienced this or watched a friend go through it at some point.

5 things to remember when this happens:

  • It doesn’t mean you are not good enough.

Who decides what “good enough” means? There are over 160 Million men in the U.S. Which ones get to decide your worth and more importantly, WHY? Does that even make sense?

Do you want to date every guy in your life? Hopefully not. Does mean they are worth less than someone else? No.

  • You can’t possibly be right for everyone.

I am obsessed with ice cream. I hate key lime pie. Peanut butter makes everything taste better to me. You couldn’t pay me to put coconut on top of my dessert.

Does that mean that ice cream and peanut butter are better tasting than anything else? Does it mean that key lime pie is gross or coconut is a bad idea? NO. To me, yes, because I (just like everyone else in the world) have my own taste buds that are different than yours, and the guy next to me at work, and the girl down the hall.

God [thankfully] didn’t make us all the same and we can’t be right for everyone.

  • Actions speak louder than words.

If he says one thing but does another, what he does is the reality you need to accept right now. Anyone can say (or type) words. Snapchatting is not “making an effort” (I mean, really?).

  • It is up to YOU to listen to actions rather than words.

Don’t let yourself pretend words mean something when actions say otherwise. The truth hurts sometimes, but choosing to see the truth now will hurt a lot less than having it blow up in your face down the road.

  • Feeling “unwanted” is a warning sign

It’s a flashing light telling you to slow down, double check your self-worth and realize you are valuable enough to be pursued and wanted. When we fail to do this we often find ourselves settling.

  • Feeling wanted in the moment is not worth compromising your true worth in the long run.

Logically. Think about this one. Be real with yourself. It’s not worth it and we all know it.

  • A relationship game has to have more than one player to be played.

You have a choice in whether or not you play. You are not a game, so don’t let yourself be treated like one.

The Bible says we are wonderfully made. We were handcrafted by the Creator of the universe. Let’s stop wasting our time with people who treat us like we aren’t.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-15

What Defines You?

The definition of the word ‘define’ in the dictionary (lol, no pun intended) includes:

  • to state or describe exactly the nature, scope or meaning of
  • [to] make up or establish the character of
  • to mark out the boundaries or limits of something
  • to make clear the outline of

Some synonyms are to decide, establish, designate, clarify, explain, and interpret.

Something that defines can be an audible statement or it can be a mental concept; a belief or a thought. It can also be a literal written definition of course, like the one I wrote above.

Those defining statements and beliefs can be about yourself, they can be about someone else, they can be about situations or about experiences.

Picture this:

You’re taking a test and you did not study. So you decide to cheat, a.k.a. look for answers on someone else’s test paper. It could get you in a lot of trouble if someone calls you out, or it might temporarily get you a good grade. But when the final exam comes it won’t really benefit you because it’s their brain that holds the actual information, not yours.

Looking for answers in who and what is beside us. That’s what we’re trying to do when we define each other, isn’t it?

We feel like we are going to fail the test of being good enough, so we have to look somewhere else. We turn the attention on someone else either in our own minds or out loud to others. We feel insecure so we try our hardest to be like the girl he likes, or the girl who at least looks and acts like she has all the answers. If we can somehow get on their level, even if that means bringing them down to the level we think we are on, it feels a little more like winning and the shortcomings don’t sting as badly. 

AmIrite?

But hold on. We don’t need to cheat off of someone else’s paper. This is where the literal, written definitions come into play.

What defines you is written in the dictionary of all dictionaries. It was spoken by God and it was proven by death on a cross and sealed with the resurrection.

So if nothing else can define you, that means logically (according to the dictionary) no person, opinion or circumstance can:

  • Define or decide who you are
  • State or describe how much you’re worth (unless it’s in line with what Jesus says)
  • Mark boundaries around who you can be
  • Set limits on how far you can go in life

Jesus died to set us free. That means we are free from being chained to who someone else is, who someone else says we are, or who someone else wants us to be.

Don’t let that truth escape.

I don’t care what you have or have not done, who says or thinks what. Let them talk. Let them think. Then let God take care of the rest because He is the one grading papers.

And here is a tip: you already got an A. Jesus took the test for you. So who cares what answers they are putting.

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”” 1 Samuel 16:7

“Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” Psalm 100:3

“…he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him…In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” Ephesians 1:4-14

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above…as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ” Colossians 3:1-4, 12

And Then He Got A New Girlfriend

I was doing just fine. I didn’t miss him. I didn’t even really think about him anymore.

Until he got a new girlfriend.

Suddenly I was wasting more time than I would like to admit stalking her (and her family, let’s be real). All of her Instagram pictures, as much Facebook info as I could see without sending her a friend request, tweets for days.

Does she have a better body than me?

Is she prettier than I am? 

She sounds funny on Twitter

He never posted stuff like that with me

They look so happy, I bet he thinks she is way better than I ever was

I bet his friends and family like her more

Insecurities swept in quickly and took the place of my good mood. By August on Instagram (we won’t talk about what year I had reached) I was convinced I needed to go to the gym, obsessing over why I had let my hair grow out so long and wishing I had laid out a few days ago when I had the chance. After the third time of scrolling through their cute couple pictures from the other weekend, I was convinced that I missed him.

Wait. What? Why?

Because comparison is the thief of joy.

It really is. And it’s the thief of a lot of other things too.

It steals our security. It steals our friendships. It steals our time. It steals reality.

We all know what it feels like. We compare every detail and either walk away feeling better about ourselves because the mental tally says we “win”, or we feel two sizes larger and a whole lot uglier than we remember looking earlier that morning. Stupid mirror.

That day comparison stole my joy. It stole my confidence. It stole my desire to hang out with a friend after work who is also friends with the “new” girlfriend. Goodness knows it stole a lot of my time and it definitely stole my reality, because in reality I don’t miss him.

I’ve had enough of that. Haven’t you?

Thankfully there is good news. This is one area we have more control over than others. We can choose not to allow the thoughts of comparison to take over. As soon as they start creeping in, we can shut them down. Refuse to listen to their confusing stories.

So ask yourself this: What good can it do anyways? Regardless of whether comparing ourselves to someone else makes us feel better or worse for the moment, it always leads to a self-absorbed obsession with being good enough. And that, sweet friend, is an exhausting box to live in.

Regardless of whether comparing ourselves to someone else makes us feel better or worse for the moment, it always leads to a self-absorbed obsession with being good enough.

So I have a challenge for you. Take a minute to think about the things you have been blessed with – the good things about you, the gifts God has given you. Leave other people out of it. Make a list of things that you love about YOU.

If you’re having a hard time doing that, ask God to help you see yourself through His eyes. He doesn’t see you compared to others. He sees you as YOU – the you He created you to be.

And she is more than enough. What do you have to lose by choosing to believe that?

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14 

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The Party Scene – Drinking

(A lot of the questions you guys have asked have are about the party scene and drinking. There are many parts to this topic, so the devotionals are going to come out in sections.)

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I’m going to be really honest with y’all here – this topic in general was a hard one for me to write about. Not because I don’t know the answers, but because I know what it feels like to be in your shoes and because I know the high school Becca didn’t take this kind of thing seriously. I don’t want to sound like the same broken record that you hear from your parents. It’s important to me that y’all know that I did a lot of these things the wrong way when I was your age, which is big reason why I wanted to start this Bible study in the first place. I know both sides of the track. I made a lot of decisions that led to a lot of bad places, and now that I’m on the other side I understand how I got where I did and I can have these discussions from a place of real understanding. I really do get the pressures y’all feel when it comes to the party scene. Keep that in mind when you read this, OK?

So drinking. Why not?

Well, we have the obvious reason that your mom throws out there. It is against the law. Everyone has different opinions about different drinking ages, but God’s opinion is clear when he tells us to obey the law: “Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” Romans 13:5

When it comes to getting drunk, He is pretty clear too: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” 1 Peter 5:8-9

Some other things to think about…

FACT: Doing something that impairs your judgement leads you to make decisions you wouldn’t normally make. The next morning, just because the real you would not have done what the drunk you did doesn’t meant that the real you has to pay the consequences.

Example: If I let my 10-year-old cousin drive my car, and he wrecks it, who gets to take care of the damage? I do. MY car is the one that’s messed up. Was it my fault? I didn’t wreck the car, but I let him drive it, so you tell me.

FACT: eventually people are going to ask you to drink. You have two choices:

1. Yes

2. No

There is a third initial option – awkward mixture of excuses or “I don’t know”. But this eventually turns into one of the two above.

Let’s assume you want to say yes. OK – I get it. Instead of arguing, I would just ask you to think about a few things. Be honest with yourself:

  • What is the real reason you want to do it? You might not like your answer, but I can promise you that the results of ignoring that answer won’t be too tasty either.
  • What’s the worst that can happen? A lot. Take it from someone who has experienced worse things than most of you would imagine at the hands of other people because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially paired with alcohol or drugs. My biggest mistakes have all involved alcohol. Now, is that to say that I am anti-drinking? Of course not! But I would not

And if you say no?

  • Again, I challenge you to think about what you are really afraid of losing.
  • What is the worst that can happen? Someone won’t think you’re cool? Perhaps – although I would go ahead and throw out there that if that person is judging “coolness” on whether or not someone drinks…not only do they need to rewind and go back to preschool but why in the world would we let THAT person be in charge of whether or not we think we’re cool?

FACT: When we live lives controlled by what other people think of use we get stressed out trying to read their minds, making up the worst thoughts they could possibly have about us and then let THOSE decide how confident we feel.

One last thing…before you throw anything out the window just to be accepted by the guy you like who is already wasted at the part…I would challenge you to rethink what he will do for your life if you do finally earn his attention…and ask yourself if earning it is really about him, or about trying to prove something to yourself?

People are looking for others to take a stand & lead. Let it start with you.

PS – if there are ever any specific situations you want to ask about please don’t hesitate to! I will tell you the total truth to any question you ask about my life/past/mistakes – I promise 🙂

Prayer – Why and How

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One of the coolest things about God is that there isn’t just one way to talk to Him. There are also multiple ways He communicates with us. Talking to God isn’t an art, it’s not a puzzle that doesn’t work unless you get every piece right. It sounds funny at first, but I have learned to talk to Him out loud like I am talking to a friend. After I did it for a bit, it stopped feeling weird. Another thing that I like to do is write things down, like I am writing a letter to Him. You might have a different idea depending on how you like to communicate. Whatever it is, He will meet you where you are. It’s OK to just sit in silence if you need to. Talk to Him like you would talk to a friend.

A lot of people struggle with thinking that you have to say the “right” things in the “right” way in order to talk to God, but that isn’t the case. God is a God of understanding, and He already knows what is on your heart anyways.

The reason He wants us to talk to Him is for our sake, so that we can learn to communicate with Him like He is real, because He is, and the better we can know and feel that the more we can lean on Him and His strength.

He wants us to talk to Him because He loves us, and He knows He is the only one who can truly heal our hearts and get us through these tough times. Sometimes I yell at Him. I cry to Him. I tell Him I don’t understand certain things, and I ask Him “why” a lot. If I don’t feel like I trust Him, I can tell Him that too. He can handle it. Even when that is the case, I can still ask Him to show Himself to me, to protect me, to come through for me – and He always does.

How would you pray if you imagine yourself talking to a friend who will never judge what you say? A friend who will always love you unconditionally? Someone who will never break your trust?

God wants to be that friend. He knows everything you think before you even think it, and He knew everything you would ever struggle with before He made you. And you know what? He created you anyways and He loves you anyways.

He is the only source of true stability. Isn’t instability what ruins friendships and relationships every day? If we are stable, we will be better friends to other people and we won’t be knocked flat on our faces the next time we are faced with the sting of someone else’s instability.

“Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.” Philippians 4:6-7

DEVO: Creating Real Friendships In A Fake World

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Good friendsReal friends – seem nearly impossible to find these days, don’t they?

The good news is we can make them. But it starts with us.

We need to choose good friends, and we need to BE good friends.

Take a minute to think about this question: are you a good friend?

Are you someone who your friend can count on to have her back, or do you chime in when one when she gets torn apart by others? It’s easy to agree with whatever other people are saying, but since we have already decided there are too many fake friendships out there, let’s make ours deeper than just “equal” feelings about other people.

If we can work on being true friends ourselves, we will not only start to make and encourage real friendships, we will start to recognize things in other people who help us decide whether or not to trust them.

I struggled with friends for a really long time, mainly because I surrounded myself with the wrong people – people who didn’t have my best interest at heart. It’s not a good feeling to hit rock bottom and realize that you don’t have anyone that you really trust to go to for help.

How about we choose this group? Let’s choose this group of girls as a group of some trustworthy, best friends. Y’all may run in different circles and some of you may never really hang out, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be great friends. A great friend is made up of more than just hanging out with the same group of people, and a friendship that is built on Jesus is hard to break.

Let’s make this a safe place where we don’t have to do that, OK? We all need one, badly. Especially in this harsh world that we live in. There are enough things hurting us on a daily basis, let’s create friendships that do the opposite. If we each focus on being the best friend that we can be, this group will be pretty dang strong!

PROPOSITION

Let’s take a stand against the drama, the backstabbing, the gossip. Let’s put our foot down when boys try to come between us.

Let’s start today. Let’s build each other up, and have each other’s backs, no matter what. Let’s be real friends with friendships that are too strong to be easily destroyed. We all have our differences, and I know some of you have had some pretty big ones in the past. Let’s let those go, and let’s face tomorrow’s problems differently. Let’s build each other up and encourage one another to work things out. The amount of confidence and encouragement that will result from these friendships, for all of us, will be amazing.

Remember: we are all imperfect, and we will all let each other down at some point. The Bible says “the truth will set you free” so I believe honesty with each other truly is the answer. Even if it’s blunt or seems harsh. Jesus can handle it from there.

When we have real friendships, we have more courage to stick up for what we believe in. When we know people have our backs, we find it easier to stand up against the people who want to push us down. We can help each other up after a fall, we can come to each other’s defense when someone feels too weak to do it for themselves. When we have real friendships, we don’t feel such a need to give in to every boy who pays us attention, especially not those jerks who have never treated us right anyways.

When God is in a friendship, it has a certain kind of glue that creates a bond unlike others. Let’s do this.

DEVO: God – Who He Is & Why We Need Him

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I Know What They Say but…

Who Exactly Is God? Do I Actually Need Him?

Most of us know “who” God is because we have heard Him talked about, or maybe we have done some of our own investigations by reading the Bible, etc. But who is God really? Why do we need Him?

These are questions that I have asked myself, and God, many times. It’s OK to ask these questions. It doesn’t make us bad people, and it doesn’t mean we can’t have a relationship with God. God can handle our questions. In fact, He wants us to ask them.

The most helpful way for me to understand who God is, is to break it down to the basics. Below are eleven verses that sum up who God is and why we need Him.

1. God is the Creator of everything, including you.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…God created mankind in his own image…male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:1

2. He is Perfect

“As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless” Psalm 18:30

3. He knew everything bad you would ever do before creating you, and He created you and loves you anyways

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

5. He is the healer of all things broken

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

6. When you are up against hurtful people and hard times, He is on your team, and God’s team can’t lose

“‘They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 1:19

7. He is a shield against every hard situation in life

 “He shields all who take refuge in him.” Psalm 18:30

8. He is your rock, your safe place and your rescuer.

“My God is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer” Psalm 18:2

9. Everything good comes from Him

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” James 1:17

10. He knows you better than anyone else

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar…you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely…If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day…For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139

11. He loves you more than anyone else ever can or will.

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 85:15

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for happiness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11