You are the Light

Hello and happy July! 

Half way through the year and the summer, how can this be!? I've been spending a lot of time in preparation for my semester abroad in starting in 38 days, but who's counting?! Needless to say, there is a time for work, and a time for play, you feel? Which, recently, has resulted in me neglecting my blog hardcore, not cool, I know! Anyway, how has your summer been?! Hopefully filled with many sunny days by the pool, popsicle in hand (well, at least in your free time)!

I just want to share a few things that have been on my heart lately. After all, I want this to be a place where a community of like-minded people can connect or a place to gain a different perspective on something (I can always use new perspective). 

Identity is something I believe each one of us has struggled with at some point. Who am I? What is my purpose? Why am I here? Feelings of insignificance begin to rise when I think about the seven billion some people walking the Earth at the same time I am. But I've come to absolutely refuse to think like that.

I recently listened to a message by Christine Caine and Melissa Helser (watch it here and here!), that was sort of a spiritual kick in the butt for me. It's so important that we recognize our significance especially at a time such as this. Social media, while it has its benefits can destroy how we view ourselves if we're not careful (more thoughts on social media here). People have the ability to make us question our purpose if we're not secure in the One who gave our lives purpose. We need to believe that every action we take, every word we say has power. We need to believe that the decisions we make have significance. What we do ultimately affects those around us, whether we choose to recognize it or not. The point is this: you matter and you have a purpose.                

I posted a picture on Instagram this week and talked about the way we are perceived (see it here!). To one person we may be seen in a certain way while another may have a completely different opinion of us. The way we are perceived does not define who we are and we too easily let the words of others create our identity rather than finding it Jesus. The awesome thing about God is that no perception of man can change his mind about us. He knows us to our very core. Our doubts, fears, joy, pain, even how we like our coffee. He doesn't miss a thing and nothing anyone thinks can change how crazy he is about us. It's so easy to get caught up in image, but when we recognize where our identity lies, nothing else matters because he knows the hearts of all (Acts 1:24). 

God is creating something new (Isaiah 43:19). He didn't create us to become copies. He didn't create us to be "Next". The next big Hollywood actor or the next Taylor Swift, no. He is creating something new. There are definitely times I ask, "God, why didn't you give me this talent or this gift? Why did you place me here instead of there God?". Well, it turns out God always has a better plan. He has placed us right where He wants us and is using us in ways we may not recognize. He calls us to confidence. He calls us to find our identity in him, not the way's of this world. Often times we have a tendency to place "buts" after His truth which totally belittles His nature. 

God says He has a plan for me, a plan to prosper and plans for a future (Jeremiah 29:11), but I don't see how that can be true considering my past.

God says He has not given me a spirit of fear but one of power and love (2 Timothy 1:7), but this world is dangerous and I need to prepare for the worst. 

God says not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34), but I don't see how He's going to provide this time.

You see, the "buts" completely offset His truth. There are no "buts". God knows us, He loves us and we can find peace when we declare our identity in Him. He has given us purpose and a meaning. He created us to be the light. 

God knows your heart and He has something great planned for you. He has called us by name and we are His (Isaiah 43:1). Let's find our identity in Him and live like the light.