Sufferings & Promises

Hey guys! Happy Monday! It’s Alyssa & I am so excited that you are checking this post out! I am so excited to continue to share on Romans 8 today- I wholeheartedly believe that everyone can relate to these verses! Let’s get into it!

We all have dealt with suffering at one point or another in our lives. Maybe you’ve had to say goodbye to a significant influence in your life, or your relationship with your parent isn’t good. For some of us, maybe someone we love is sick, maybe you have financial troubles. In our suffering, it can seem as though God has put us to the side or forgotten about us.

A few years ago I doubted God when it seemed like my whole world was falling apart. My dad became sick, and he was in so. much. pain. Doctors couldn’t explain what was going on with him, and nothing seemed to help his symptoms. It killed me to see my dad in suffering, and it was so discouraging to see that nothing was getting better.

Around this time as well, I began to get sick. I could not eat anything & keep it down, and it seemed like everything was piling up on me. I completely doubted that God knew me because of my suffering. One day, I randomly flipped to a page in my Bible and Jeremiah 29:11 popped out right at me. It said “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you, to give you hope and a future.” I found so much peace in this verse, and it proved to me that God was with me through the hills and valleys.

Romans 8:18- 30 talk about suffering & glory, and not only that but how they play off of each other! Verses 18-25 say “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Paul (the author of Romans) is saying that our troubles & hardships that we are currently facing are NOT worth comparing to the glory that will be shown in and through us. We (as believers) have HOPE in our circumstances because of the glory that God will reveal in us! Creation will be free from our chains to our Earthly ways to have a relationship with God! We suffer in pain from our Earthly ways, but we have an opportunity to know Jesus to separate us from that pain! God redeems our sinful bodies to give Him glory and honor. For in the hope of JESUS we were SAVED! We all hope for things- maybe to get into a college, to make the team, or even for a friend to come to know Jesus. Hope takes faith & courage- and we need to do so patiently.

Verses 26-30 share so much encouragement!

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

The Holy Spirit- the thing that lives inside of every single believer of Christ, guides us. It gives us strength in our weakness and suffering. In times we do not know what exactly to pray for, that same Spirit guides our words and minds. This Spirit knows our heart. It knows our struggles and triumphs, and it intercedes for God’s people- you & I in accordance of God’s will for our lives. In ALL THINGS God works for the GOOD of those who LOVE Him. Through the good and the bad, God is working for the good of those who follow Him and are in His plan. For those God knew would follow Him He decided beforehand to be conformed to the ways and life of Jesus! Those who God chose, He also called to a purpose and plan. Those who God chose also justified and honored them.

God knows our suffering, and through a valley full of suffering comes a hill of glorifying. He uses our hardships to reveal His glory and goodness.

Alright y’all, that’s all I have for today! I hope you all have an amazing week! When/ if suffering comes to you this week, I challenge you to use it to glorify God!

Blessings, Alyssa

God’s Number is 1-800-Prayer, Part 2

Welcome back. And happy Thursday or whatever day you are reading this post! Just like Alyssa, I was at camp last week! It was so good. But, she basically hit all the points! So, I am going to pick up where I left off on the topic of prayer! However, after this series I’m going to share one of my favorite most incredible opportunities, which I was given at Jr. Camp.

Today, we are going to be talking all about prayer and how to pray! Guys, praying is so important in a relationship with God! Prayer is just like a conversation between you get closer.

In my opinion there are four parts to prayer. The four parts are Praising, Confession, Thankfulness and Supplication. Today we are just going to start with Praising. Each week we are going to talk about each one!

Let’s start with prasing.

Imagine this with me (typically I would say close your eyes, but you can’t close your eyes and read so just imagine this with me.)

So just imagine this… You are in heaven, and you walk up into his huge room. Before you is a throne, and upon this throne – God. What are you going to do? You better not run the other way! Its God! You are just going to begin praising Him!

This is how you should begin all prayers, by starting with prayer with praising him.

How can we do this?

For some of us it honestly could be worshipping him with music, while for some of us it could just be our words.

We are showing our gratitude, and love for God. And just showing him how important he is to you! Let’s look at Psalm 148

Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens;  praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts.  Praise him, sun and moon praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created and he established them for ever and ever— he issued a decree that will never pass away. Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth young men and women, old men and children.  Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens. And he has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his faithful servants, of Israel, the people close to his heart. Praise the Lord.

There it is straight of the Bible all about praising.

Have a great week, and your challenge is to try and incorporate praising into our prayers!

Love you,

Raegan

@ Camp… Cool Stuff Happens!

Well hello there & welcome back! If this is your first time visiting our page- welcome! My name is Alyssa and I am one of the cowriters for this blog! On Thursday you’ll catch a post from Raegan! We are so excited that you are reading this and we pray that God moves you in some way from this post! We apologize for not posting last week- we were being counselors for a church camp! God did some pretty amazing things at camp, and we are so excited to share about it!

Today I will be taking a pause from my series on Romans 8 to tell y’all about all the crazy & amazing things that happened throughout the week! Let’s get into it!

We were at camp from Sunday night to Saturday afternoon and it was lifechanging! All of the kiddos and counselors were divided into groups (called families) and my family was called the Purple Pandas. We had 22 unique, amazing & outgoing campers in my family, and as the week went on I really enjoyed getting to know each and every personality. Out of the 22 kids, SEVEN of them made first time decisions to follow Jesus last week, and TWO made decisions to rededicate themselves to living for Him! PRAISE JESUS!! Seeing hearts touched and lives changed by the Holy spirit made all of the challenges worth it all!

Our motto for the week was to “Zoom in and focus on Jesus” and let me tell you, it challenged my faith just as much as the kiddos! I think so often we just barely scratch at the surface of our relationship with Jesus. There is always so much more to read, learn, and take away. Because of this I am challenging myself to find and STICK to a Bible reading plan!

On Operation Barnabas, we learned something called the “cross illustration” to present the Gospel to others. I knew so many of the kids were almost at the point of saying yes to Him, and I prayed that the story would touch their hearts. AND MY GOLLY IT DID! They were completely speechless at the end of the presentation and immediately after it sparked conversations that led to SALVATIONS. It was as if it was the final touch that proved to them that God is ALIVE and LOVES them. The way that the lessons during chapel and our discussions all played together to lead them to Him was so amazing to see. That same day, we had 3 salvations in our family, and 4 the next day! Let me tell you- being a vessel of the Lord is something I would not trade for the world.

Let me tell you, these kids asked some TOUGH questions. So many of the kids in my family experienced hurt, pain and loss like no other. But being able to provide a glimpse of the hope of Jesus to them was such a privilege. These questions also challenged me to become more rooted in my faith, and I wholeheartedly believe again that there is always so much more to learn. The sole fact that these kids trusted the counselors in our family to open up and get real with was so powerful. There were so many times that I felt like I wasn’t qualified enough to answer them, and then suddenly God proved me wrong and reminded me that he uses broken people to save people.

I had the honor of praying with some kiddos to say yes to Jesus and it NEVER gets old. I was taking some of the girls in my family to get drinks and suddenly a little girl named Riley pulled me aside in the hallway and said she had something she needs to talk with me about. She told me that she had never said yes to Jesus before and she was really embarrassed about it. I asked her if she wanted to make that next move in her faith and she yelled YES. So, on the staircase in the girls dorms, I walked Riley through the steps to follow Jesus. After praying with her, (with tears in my eyes) I look down and I see her eyes watering up. The Holy Spirit is ALIVE in her and I remember just hugging her and crying together for a few minutes. She was then so excited to tell everyone she saw about the huge decision that she made and it made my heart so happy! The fact that I had the privilege to do ministry like this last week is so crazy to me! And, the fact that I get the honor of committing my life to help Jesus make sense to others is so exciting!

On Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to share my testimony in front of everyone at camp. I shared stories about trusting God’s plan and I was in complete awe at the fact that the entire room was silent. I remember praying that God would use me to reach the camper’s hearts that night, and I can confidently say that He did. All of my kids in my family were so excited for me to be up on stage and were cheering me on every step of the way. The next day, Raegan shared her testimony, but I’ll let her share about her experience!

On Thursday, God really moved in my camper’s hearts. In a small group discussion, I had a group of 4 friends. We got into a really good discussion and got very real about our relationship with Jesus. 3 of the 4 girls told me they never actually accepted Jesus into their hearts, and they asked if they could pray to do so together. I thought it was so precious that they wanted to enter this relationship with the Lord together as new sister in Christ, and it was a honor to be there for that moment. That day I also had the chance to pray with a camper to rededicate herself to following Jesus, which was so precious. Every conversation that took place while braiding their hair, or walking to the pool truly played a major role into their salvation.

On Friday, we have a tradition of the bell ringing ceremony. At the facility we were at, every single camper that comes there and makes a first time decision to follow Jesus gets to ring the bell to signify their big decision. 7 kids from our family got to ring the bell, which was so powerful to see. Being up there to support the girls I prayed with was so special, and I am so glad that God chose me to be that spiritual leader in their lives. After that, we had a ceremony for those campers who rededicated themselves. They all received a light and then we danced to the song “This Little Light”. Both of the symbolic ceremonies truly touched my heart and made my calling for ministry so much more solid. I cannot wait to be a medical missionary and care for those who need physical and spiritual healing! I’m not exactly sure how this will play out, but I am trusting God that His perfect plan will shine through!

Going home and saying goodbye to everyone at camp was so hard on Saturday. After getting so close to everyone there made it so difficult to leave it all. I cried after saying goodbye to pretty much every single one of my campers, it is so awesome to think how close we all got after a week!

There is SO much more I could share about last week- so here’s just a glimpse of it all! I am so thankful you checked out this post- be sure to come back on Thursday for Raegan’s post!

Love y’all! -A

God’s Number is 1-800-Prayer, Part 1

Hey guys, I am so happy you are viewing my post today! My name is Raegan, and I am one of the two owners of this blog! I post every Thursday, unless something occurs. But,  I am so happy you popped in! So if you are viewing this post for the first time ever, welcome! And you are in luck because I am going to be starting a five week plan on prayer, beginning with this post!

We are going to go through what I believe the four parts of praying are and I think the four parts are, Praising, Confession, Thankfulness and Supplication!! But, today we aren’t going to talk about those four pieces we will start next week and the next few following.

Today, we are going to look in Matthew 6!! Verses 5-8!

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

This weekend my pastor talked about the first part of Matthew 6, (I think his favorite book in the Bible is Matthew.) specifically Matthew 6:1-16.

So we talked about secrecy this week, which isn’t what we are talking about, but he used these verses, and I decided I am going to use them in my post as well.

So this is taken from a very important sermon, called The Sermon on the Mount!

So these verses are talking about praying. Guys, I think this is very enlightening. It talks about when we pray, how we should do it. When we look at those verses, it says don’t be like the hypocrites, and in both Biblical times, and now, it means basically the same thing. But, here it is saying don’t be like them, and don’t stand in the churches or streets just to be seen.

Back in this time and today there are people who just wanted the attention that they are doing Godly things. Then it says, they have received their reward. But what reward? The reward of worldly people noticing them,  saying good job, and acknowledging them.

Then the next part talks about how we should pray. We should pray with the door closed, and in secret – not for everyone to notice. Yes, we can still pray with others in public, but what this is saying don’t only pray for and with others. Rather, pray in private and build the relationship with God.

A great way to think of this..

My pastor used this great analogy with a closet, and praying in privacy, rather than on the corners. That is how God wants us to pray. Think about a relationship. You have a private part of the relationship (I’m not talking about the big thing). Rather, building a relationship, and you will always build a relationship in private.

Before we talk about the four parts, the next four weeks. I challenge you to pray sometime this week in private.

Good Luck,

Raegan

No More Chains!

Welcome back guys! Happy Monday!! It’s Alyssa and I am so glad that you are here! I am so excited that summer is finally here- I love spending time with family and friends without the stress of school to worry about. Today I will be starting a series on one of my absolute favorite parts of the Bible! There is SO much truth and great verses in this chapter- whenever I am struggling I usually turn to this to read and find comfort and confidence. I first fell in love with Romans last summer on Operation Barnabas, where we did a speech choir speech of the truth in this book! We all split up into groups and powerfully recited Romans 8. Now, let’s get started!

Today I will be digging into Romans 8: 1-17. This chunk of the book is about “Life Through the Spirit”. Verses 1-3 proclaim:

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh.”

This is saying that there is no disapproval, or condemnation for Christ followers. This is because through the Spirit that has given us life, has also set us free from sin. We are no longer in the chains of our sin, but set free into eternity! The next verse says that what man was unable to do because it was weakened by the flesh (or sin), God conquered through Jesus. Sent as God in flesh, Jesus was the sacrifice for the sin in the world. I believe that sometimes Christians can become numb to what Jesus did on the cross, and it is so important to revisit what Jesus did for you & I. The last verse says that Jesus conquered sin as a man on Earth- how AMAZING is that!

Verses 4-6 say:

“In order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

This is explaining that those who live their Earthly, not Holy ways have their minds set on what man desires. This may be a physical or emotional want, but I truly believe we all as Christians struggle with this. Maybe its pride, lust, anger or unholy thoughts, but in one way or another we all have or are struggling with our Earthly ways. The flip side of this passage is that those who live in alignment with the Holy Spirit have their minds set on Godly things. Maybe this looks like ministry, encouragement or prayer. The mind of Earthly ways leads to death, but the mind led by the Spirit is eternity and peace.

Verses 7-11 state: “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you

This is talking about how the mind controlled by sinful nature is hostile to God- and there is not a way that it submits to God’s plan for us. Those controlled by the sinful nature of this Earth cannot please God. In contrast to this, those who have the Spirit of God within them are not controlled by Earthly ways, but are controlled by the Spirit, if they are a Christ follower and if the Spirit of God is within them. Through one of the most amazing things called grace, Christ followers are given life because of the righteousness of God. I think that it is so mindboggling that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead is alive and living in us!! What an amazing thing to think about- I pray that I will never become numb to this truth!

Lastly for today verses 11-17:

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory”

As children in Christ, we have an obligation. Our job as Christ followers is to live according to the Spirit, and to put to death the sins of the flesh. This Spirit that lives inside us does not make us slaves to fear- we are past that point in our lives when we say yes to Jesus! We now live in awe and wonder and confidence in Christ, our Father. If we are God’s children, we are heirs of God. We are heirs of the Holy Spirit and heirs of Heaven- how AMAZING is that! If we shared in His sufferings, we also share in His glory!

I don’t know about you guys, but there is just something different about Romans 8. Sometimes it can be hard to pick apart and study the Bible- we all struggle with that. I truly can apply every part to my life and completely understand it, for now! I am a huge believer that each time you read a passage in the Bible you can get a totally different view and takeaway from the reading. I think this is so cool and special to think about! I hope you guys have an amazing week- enjoy the sunshine!! I am praying for you all, see ya next week! -Alyssa

PS- if you think of it, pray for Raegan and I! On Sunday we leave for a week of ministry together being counselors for 3rd-5th graders! We are so excited and blessed to be able to do ministry together again!!

Optimus Raegan or BumbleRae

Welcome back! For those of you who tried to live out your faith! How did it go? I know it can be so challenging. But don’t get discouraged, it takes some time!!

Two weeks ago, we talked about living out our faith, and tring to verbalize it! This week, we are going to pick that up, but talk about  the importance of environments, when it comes to reflecting God!

What this means, is seeing if the environment is stirring our Love with God! If you are in the right environment you will know it because, it will feel right and there will be a challenge… the challenge to grow in your faith!

This is like what I talked in my post called, “Like Drake Said, “God’s Plan.”

I talk about how Abram was challenged by God to get out of his comfort zone .. God called him to go out of his comfort zone and God blessed him!

When we looked back to the verse I picked out of Romans 12 in the last post,

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

  • Romans 12:1-2

And it talks about being TRANSFORMED,transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

This transformation doesn’t only occur once.  It continues to happen as you grow in your relationship with Christ. Guys, I am continuing to be transformed! Over the years I continue to be transformed,  and looking back on all the transforming I have done, its is crazy!

I should be called  “Optimus Raegan” or “BumbleRae”…. (Like Optimus Prime, or BumbleBee from Transformers.)

Just Kidding, but seriously, it is so cool. Try it right now take a step back and look at how much you have transformed over the years!

Crazy right!

It continues to happen time and time again. I have witnessed it with adults as well!

My mom for example. She has been a strong believer since birth. But when I used to come to her with whatever problem might be there, she would come to it in a mom way. Which isn’t wrong, but it is so cool to see how she approaches my problems nowadays! Rather than coming to it in a mom way, she comes to it in a biblical and mom-like way! Which is so cool to witness.

But guys, we can’t give up on God, even when we feel like he isn’t transforming us. I promise He is, sometimes it takes longer!  But, He has never given up on us!

Guys, an example of me transforming was quite recent. After I got home from my trip this summer, I got back to working. I worked at a little ice cream shop at the time. I had this coworker I knew before I left and he was still there when I came back. I called him Toe, but his name is Nick. So me and Nick were pretty good friends before I left.

Once I came back he noticed something was different than the Raegan he knew before Operation Barnabas. We had a whole conversation about it, and it was so cool to talk to him about it, and very encouraging! However, sometimes the transformations can be subtle while others can be HUGE, and others notice it!

Reflection God starts when no one is watching and you run to your creator!

Love you Raegan!

Looking Up Instead of Down

Hey y’all!! I hope you guys are having an awesome day! It’s Alyssa & I am so happy that you are here! I wanted to say thank you to you guys for being so patient with us on Thursday- it really means a lot to us! Just a quick life update- In Raegan’s update on Thursday she mentioned to pray because I was running for Senior Class President- I am happy to announce that I won the election! I am so excited for the leadership opportunities that I will have this next school year & I want to thank you guys for your prayers! With that being said- let’s jump into today’s post!

As you have seen, today I will be sharing on looking up instead of down. Specifically today, I will be sharing on something that is happening in my life right now! 1 Timothy 4:12 is such a relevant verse to this topic & I hope everyone can take away something from this post!

Currently, as some of you guys may now, I work at Chick-fil-A. I started in January and I truly love my job. Recently our store added a new position- Certified Trainer. A few weeks ago I had my evaluation to be out of training, and I had a conversation with some of our store’s leadership about my next step as an employee. I mentioned that I want to grow at Chick-fil-A as a leader and as an employee. It was brought up to me to become a certified trainer, but I wouldn’t do the testing for it until fall. This week it was brought up to me that the leadership at my store thought I was ready for this next step now, so I took the tests to become a certified trainer for our store, and on Sunday it was official! This is such a big deal to me because I am starting my 4th month of employment at Chick and am 1 step below a shift leader! (That’s surpassing 3 positions!) I am also the youngest to do this in our store as well. This is also the first step into becoming a shift leader at the store as well! Now being just below leadership in the store & being so young & newer to Chick is something that I am proud of. With this title comes great responsibility, and I am ready to take on the role that I am now in! A big part of this position is training new team members, as well as fixing problems that we see within the store. (For example- if a member is making lemonade wrong, I would correct them and teach the right way of making lemonade) Being so YOUNG and newer to the store will most likely bring some troubles if I have to correct someone older than me or has been employed longer than I have. 1 Timothy 4:12 immediately popped into my mind when thinking about the possible issues that might arise. That states:

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity”

This verse really hit me how I can use this new role in my life. I can make the most of it and use it to grow, or become content and stay where I am. So, when needing to help fix an error or train someone new (no matter how much older they are than me), I can set the example for them. By speaking appropriately, by loving on them, and by setting the example myself. This will happen many more times in live, and I think knowing and living out this verse can really help me later on in life.

I believe being a good leader also means being a good example. Titus 2:7 says

“In everything set an example by doing what is good”

No matter where in life you are a leader- work, school, the sports team or a club, it is SO crucial to set a good example. If you are working hard, then those around you will work hard. If you are slacking and on your phone all the time at work, then they will think that is okay too.

Jesus was the example to His disciples- in this He set the perfect example of how we should conduct ourselves! Putting others first is huge when being a leader!

I challenge you this week to put yourself in a leadership position and try to be a Godly, good example to others! Love y’all, have a great memorial day! -A

Winning the Battle Over Fear and Anxiety

Hey y’all! Welcome back! It’s Alyssa & today I hope this post finds you doing well. This week is my last week of school & it’s going to be one crazy week! I hope you guys wrap up this semester well, it’s crazy to think that it is finally summer! Today I am going to be talking about fear and anxiety- something I struggle with so much. Let’s get into it!

My anxiety hasn’t always been around- it really just randomly started in high school. Through the years it progressed, and this past year it was at its worst. I didn’t get diagnosed immediately either- last summer my mom made me go to the doctor for it and they confirmed that I have anxiety. The past year and a half I literally worried myself sick. Overthinking everything, it was really hard for me to just be calm and have fun. My faith has definitely been tested through the years but time and time again God has proved Himself worthy and mighty.

Just when I thought it left me, there it came again. I was looking at videos and articles regarding struggles with anxiety and one of the videos challenged me to find my peace in my faith. So, I picked up my Bible and searched through it to find some verses that may help me. One of my favorite verses that I found was Philippians 4: 6-7 –

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

There are so many points in this verse that I absolutely love, one of them being “And the peace of God… will guard your hearts and minds”. Knowing that the peace of God is in me as a Christ follower and then even more that it is guarding me helped to calm me down in the midst of my storm. I also found that when I was overwhelmed, digging into my Bible and prayer truly calmed me down. I think it is so amazing how powerful the Holy Spirit is, that it can take me in a form of panic to peace instantly!

Last summer on Operation Barnabas, each team memorized Romans 8 in a speech choir format. Each section of boys and girls had their own part and we very dramatically preformed this for many people. I quickly grew to love Romans 8, and there is a chunk of it that directly applies to anxiety and worrying. Romans 8: 31-39:

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD.”

The truth that is so evident throughout these verses is so amazing to me. I think that it can sometimes be hard to find Bible verses that directly can relate to ourselves, but not these verses! The truth in how God is for us, and that same God gives us all things, and how truly nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God is SO powerful and calming. Romans is one of my favorite books of the Bible and this is just one reason why. When I am worried about a test, doctors appointment or life situation, I run to find peace in these verses.

I know this post was super short, but I hope that you guys enjoyed this content. I really enjoyed sharing my journey with anxiety & I pray that if any of you guys are struggling with this too that this helps you! I hope you guys have an amazing week! -A

Reflecting God

Welcome back guys, I got some great feedback with the questions at the end of last weeks’ post! I even had a couple people ask me to sing the song I know for Philippians 4:6!

I hope you all were able to fight back when it came to worrying, and to be able to fight it in the future. Trust me, I have been fighting worrying all week!

Today, we are all done with Worrying! Now we are going to dive into the idea of reflecting God!

Since we are talking about reflecting God, we are going to start talking about being resolved. Being resolved means that we have do something.

When resolved, we go from Verbal to Visual. But, what do I mean by visual?? Well, we are representing God. There are three ways we can do this.

  1. Rivaling God
  2. Rebelling God
  3. Reflecting God

(These three responses to God are taken from a discussion, By: Keith Minier)

But what does this mean?

Obviously Rivaling God, would be us like ua trying to be God. Or our own God. But, we aren’t God.

Rebelling God, would be what a rebellious child would do. Decline any ideas of God, or say they don’t need a God.

Reflecting God. This should be our goal as a Christian.

This is would be seeing the way both Jesus and God interact with people, and we should try and reciprocate that act like they do/did.

We want to Reflect God because OUR God is great!

We are already given the GO! In Romans

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

  • Romans 12:1-2

Guys here it states two ways to reflect God!!

  1. Verbalize your faith

However, this doesn’t mean stand on the corner screaming at everyone to believe in Jesus. This could be the way you act, like Lyss talked about in a past post. Use God talk. Using God talks makes it so much easier.

For those of you who haven’t read that post, using God talk means just trying to incorporate God in your conversations. It is easy and can be lowkey. I try and talk about God to someone at least once a day. Prior to this school year no one really knew I was a believer. But, I decided to be more intentional with the way I talk to others, reflecting God.

2. Live it out!

A lot more people at school know that I am a believer. I have a teacher who I am pretty sure is an atheist, and they know I am a believer, but it hasn’t stopped me once from mentioning God in her class!  This teacher has docked points due to the fact I incorporate God into a paper, but it also hasn’t stopped me once!

Guys your challenge this week is to live out your faith, and try to verbalize it to one person!

Good luck, I would love to hear about it! This post is going to have another part! 🙂

Love you Raegan