THIS SHOW. 

Hello Reader of this post, 

As a follower of my beloved Saviour Jesus Christ, I am called to lay out the things of my heart in hope that I plant the seed of truth, and glorify the gospel of Christ. 

In this post, I hope to contribute to the ongoing conversation regarding mental health and suicide. I will also discuss and compare my faith in Christianity in contrast to the novel-turned Netflix original series, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. 

In the short but powerful TV drama 13 Reasons Why, the viewing audience is quickly made aware that Hannah Baker is dead.  A troubled high school student that we come to know through several self-recorded tapes, documenting the people and reasons behind her decision to end her life. 
Apart from the extensive and graphic topics of suicide, the series explores mature themes such as: bullying, alcoholism, drug-use, self-harm, domestic violence, gun violence, and rape. 
By the final episode, I was heartbroken and absolutely gutted. 

To me, this series reaffirms the distance between God and all of us; highlighting the penalty of our sin which has brought trial, pain, and suffering to this world. 

Of course I wouldn’t blame Hannah or anyone for feeling pain towards those who did them wrong. This is expected, and in a way, an inherited human trait; without God, our unfortunate circumstances can define us, but it doesn’t have to.
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
 each of us has turned to our own way;
 and the Lord has laid on him
 the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6 NIV) 

But. What I have stated above, is not the entire gospel truth; for Jesus has felt the pain of sin we committed before and forever. Jesus died in our place, and rose again so that we may have LIFE. His blood shed on the cross is the greatest sacrifice for all human brokenness, human pain, human suffering, and human sin. Our life is restored through a perfect saviour.

In 13 Reasons Why I feel the opposite is true. Death is a logical means to a literal end; relief of self, words and feelings are actually heard, and death represents victory from devastation. It pains me that for some, this is truth. 

My faith has inspired me to believe that we are not meant to die in vain. The intention of Christ for us was never to succumb to the paths of mental, emotional, and physical brokenness. 

In conclusion, I pray in all ways we seek a solution bigger than ourselves. May we flee from evil and put on peace. For our Lord is kind, and turns us from being weathered to renewed in spirit. In Christ’s transformative name, 
“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5 | NIV

May life win. 

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Mustard Seeds

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.  Matthew 13:31-32

I realized today in church that I’ll be doing some major ‘seed planting’ this year, next month, a few years, and preferably, a lifetime from now. 

Today, I was mainly fixed on the idea that next month I’ll have a new birthday. I’m getting baptized!

I turned 22 in June, but as of August I’ll be a bright, glowing, puffy – eyed newborn —- taking my first breathes of God-renewed life as a born-again, Christian. 

I’m thrilled to be taking the plunge (literally) and professing all that I have been given in life, back to the Creator of my life! 

My life-long commitment —- I’m sewing my soul with my greatest discovery, my truest friend, and my only hope. 

I’m not even there yet, and I’m feeling a mountains worth of grace-upon-grace-upon- grace. 

Look out trees…I’m’a comin’ 



The Art of Being Out of Control

          One time, I did this cool thing called planning my life. Not all of it of course, but I had a fuzzy idea of what I wanted to make of myself.

          Technically, I was being responsible and making sure that I set all my ducks in a row by figuring out: a career, my likes, my loves, my dislikes, and also discovering myself while of course, having fun — because I’m young, free, and by 25 all will go downhill; including my metabolism, fountain of youth, and childlike wonder (I know there’s a few other drawbacks but, I’m assuming I’ll know when I get there).  The important thing is that I had a plan. 

In the midst of all of this, I re-established and  discovered my image and faith in Jesus Christ. I committed to consciously connect with my Lord and Savior, everyday and all the time.

          I was in control. I had a grip on how I felt things needed to be, when in reality God had been leading the show all along….my life show.

          This little life of mine that I drew up so strategically, is actually developing frayed edges and falling away so gracefully.  I feel like I’m being undone, replanted,  and fully tied up into something extraordinary that only God could have created. My life is shifting in a direction I never imagined for myself and it has subtly, freaked me out.

In a way I’m collapsing into pieces and I’m not even mad about it.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) 

          I can’t  grasp the direction that my life is going, and I’m willing to leave that with God.  My life right now is, extraordinary and unfimiliar. I’m changing and falling in love with every moment, every piece, and every person along the way too.

I’m out of control and God thankfully is in control. I’m falling apart and falling exquisitely into place. How lovely. I’m not even 25.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13 (NLT)

Why Love Why?

I wish I could be stronger.  Then I wouldn’t feel the need to cry, or be reminded of all the loveliness that causes so much pain.

Love and pain are almost one in the same.  Love feels like too much desire, and pain is the desire itself. Does that make sense? My own feelings have a way of filling me up right to the top, and spilling all over myself…everything is just mess now.

I’m so happy it’s this way though.  This hardness that no one talks about that you feel when love is so painful, it’s almost delightful.

I read somewhere that first loves can be one of the most devastating means of heartbreak.  What if I’m devastated but not heartbroken.  My heart is actually very much together.  It just falls every now and again.

But this must be Jesus? This must be the way Jesus feels when we turn our hearts from him.  That’s heartbreaking.

This man is always bugging my brain.  His face is always showing up when I’m trying to have a good day; I’ll be going out, or seeing a friend, or just doing every day things.  He ruins what was suppose to be a good day. He wonderfully makes the day bright, yet so very dark.  This is a hard thing to go through.  It’s like a flickering light bulb.  How annoying.

But this is God isn’t it? It’s you right? Who else?

How can I know? It’s the way he makes me feel when he’s not even there. I’ll be looking at him, though that fuzzy screen, and WOW, it’s him! His shirt looks great…what a face, I love his face…and UH how I’ve waited to see him actually looking at me! With the same lovey look that I look at him with.  It really gives me so much life.  His far-a-way presence but also so close.

It’s hard to believe that these feelings have been felt over and over, and there expected but DARN, my senses make it feel like the first time they’ve felt such hurt. My feelings bully me everyday….hitting me at all my weak points.

But someday, I imagine that it won’t be like this at all.

It’s overwhelming to think that I’ll be walking into something new very soon. I never imagined that this is what 21 would be like.  A future that involves a lot of love. A lot of it. With the BEST MAN EVER. He really is THE best. I had to put that out there..way into….the universe.

All I can think about is love, marriage, marriage vows, where and when our personalities WILL clash, cooking an actual meal of some sort, that whole ‘me’ to ‘we’ phenomenon, sharing everything, our possible dog, that whole Canadian to American change-over thing, the across the country (universe) moving part….I’m a wife…well…alright.

Why love why? Because God has been good to me.

thatswhatevesaid: about being in God’s waiting room

Snails, turtles, and sloths are the top 3 slowest moving animals in the world — though, without doubt, I believe God’s timing claims that 4th position fairly easily.

*ba – dum – tss*   

A few wonderful things have happened to me, and sometimes I can’t help but snarl and throw my fist to the sky, and wonder why God won’t pick up the pace, and let the flood gates of blessings rush towards me….like….right……now.

I realize patience is a virtue but frankly, I’m not in the mood.  

Thankfully, the Word of God illustrates why patience is important through various instances, and many people throughout the Bible.

It’s encouraging to know that I’m not the only one that has felt tested, and admitted into God’s waiting room.

Job, was one of the most well known men of faith that demonstrated patience; God willingly allowed Satan to strip Job of all that was important to him as a way to test his faith.  He lost his property, crops, cattle, children…EVERYTHING.  He suffered tremendously yet he still had fervent love, and patience to see how God would work in his life.

After all that, he continued to wait.

Luckily, God enjoys happy endings and he blesses Job with twice as much as what he had before!                     
                                              
By the end Job declares,

3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

Job 42:3

If Job had not been patient in his faith, he would have never experienced the glorious blessings that God had in mind for him.
                
My hardships don’t nearly touch the grievances of Job but, a lot can be learned through his journey of faith. Our beautiful Creator has a distinct path for each of us — the key is to wait and see!

He is in control, he calls us to wait, and he calls us to trust him.

8Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.

Psalm 143:8

image

For the Love of God…and Ribs

I’ll start where God started,

In the beginning, Genesis chapter 1, starts with the design of heaven and earth; God creates light and darkness, known as day and night — the ground with livestock and wild animals, known as land — and the waters of the sea, which he populated with fish and other forms of life.

By verse 26, he crafts the creation of mankind and designs the first generation of people.

This is the first account of all creation; the mighty hand of the Sovereign Lord forming the beginning of everything.

The awesomeness continues in Genesis 2:18, 21-24 (NIV)

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[a] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[b] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

24 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” 

The lovely idea of ‘oneness’ and joined union to another human being is highly satisfying and pleasing to the heart; although love and relationships are absolutely wonderful, there is something to be said on why it is imperative to become ‘suitable’ within yourself before you are for someone else. In simpler terms, woman was basically a ‘prime’ rib for man; she was formed specifically because she was right for him.

After all, when God created man, he instructed him to do a lot of ground work (literally) before (his) woman ever existed.

When I think of my own relationship, my source of joy is not only from the man that I share it with, but in fact by the God that created him.  The active presence of Jesus within myself and the relationship itself, is what ultimately creates such unity between the one I love, but also the God that I loved first. If I had wavering faith in God and myself, I wouldn’t be able to handle the responsibility of such grand blessings.

 Like creation, it all started with God. 

 I know the whole “rib-from-a-man-forming-a-woman-and-being-one” is a thousand times, to the tenth power, uber romantic but, if I had not decided to give my life to God, my feelings towards my relationship would have been very different.

29  “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)

The idea of starting this blog was to intentionally gratify God and develop as a woman of God.  The radical changes that have taken place, have shown that there is work being done within me, and my life.  I have gained more satisfaction in Jesus and myself; and I’ve had more clarity and joy than I could have ever imagined.

I’m delighted at the blessings of growth, love, and pure faith that are evident in my life today. I will continually seek my creator.

I want to be a ‘prime’ rib.

12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever. Psalms 86:12 (NIV)

INAUGURAL GOWN // amazing work from from @Katie Schmeltzer Schmeltzer Rodgers

thatswhatevesaid : about reaching Jesus level

“As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.”
Nelson Mandela

The late Nelson Mandela was an enormous impact on the world.  He was that type of person that made you wonder what the heck you were doing with your own life,

I for one, am eating a banana — it’s all about baby steps, right?

There are many like Mr. Mandela that seem to have that ‘it’ factor; the ones that unlocked their awesomeness early on in life, put it into action, and subtly sedated us with their kindness and bountiful servility (I’m talking to you, Craig Keilberger).

When it comes to Jesus, I think it’s safe to say that he takes the cake.  After all, he preformed astonishing miracles, walked on water, ministered to all, laid down his life for others (aha, humanity), and rose from the dead! Plus He  really really loves us! A fairly well-rounded guy if you ask me.

I believe there comes a time in every Christian’s life, when they ask themselves how they are going to make an impact.  What they are going to do, that will catapult them to the next step in their walk with God; the moment that they feel they are fulfilling God’s plan or living in a Christ-like way….Jesus level:

The state in which a human decides to emulate the characteristics of Jesus Christ!

This proposition has been meandering around in my mind for some time, and this year I’ve really learned a lot about myself.  My relationship with the Almighty is forming more day-by-day, and I’m starting to acquire who I am and what I want to offer.  Of course, this is all thanks to His tough-love teaching style, but I’m coming to adore what I believe God has in store for my life.

I have been urged in many ways to start ministering to other people.  This coming fall, I have a perfect opportunity to do so as I begin university! God is so good, and I’m so excited to prove how He is working in my life.

 

Watch out, I’m entering Jesus level.

 

minty ocean