Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sadness strikes again.

Sometimes I just don't get it.


Why am I attacked so much every day?
Why am I filled with so much sadness during this break??

It makes no sense at all.

I know all of God's promises.
And they bring me more than enough amazing joy and peace every day!!
I know how much God loves me.
I know my thoughts are all irrational.

But thoughts still plague me.
Eating at me.
Lately filling me with sadness.

Today the lies filled my head.
I'm a horrible girl friend.
I'm annoying.
I say too much.
I'm a horrible daughter.
I'm not interesting.
I'm not fun.
I"m too complicated.
I'm not there for people.
They think I don't love them.
They think I'm selfish.
I'm ugly.

I have too much I want to do.
I will never get it done.
Time is going too fast.

These thoughts are horrible.
All from anxiety and depression.

All NOT what God thinks.

"You are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you've held inside so long
But they are nothing in the shadow of the cross
You're beautiful.

Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die!

You're beautiful,
In His eyes."

-"Beautiful" by MercyMe

And NOT what Matt or my family or any of my friends think either.
They are opposite.

And they fill me with sadness and depression.
I know they are beyond stupid!!!
I don't want them.
I know they are NOT real.

I just keep praying.
Keep surrendering.
Keep praying.
Keep saying "No!"
I sing.
I pray.
I read.

I go downstairs to sing. Someone is already there. I'm scared to move, talk, or even be there. I say very softly, "I want to be down here, but I know I will annoy you, so I am not really sure what I should do." I was scared and weak. And the replied "You are ALREADY annoying me."

I couldn't stop the tears.
I feel so weak.
So stupid.

Why am I pitying myself so much?? There is NOTHING wrong with me. God has created me beautifully and wonderfully. God loves me and thinks I'm beautiful. I am blessed beyond compare with the extravagant, never ending, AMAZING love of Jesus my Savior, Heaven to look forward to, and with the most amazing and loving people in my life. I am so thankful for Matt, Kelsey, Amy, Kaitlyn, Jared, and ALL of my amazing brothers in sisters in Christ!!!! They show me God's love SO MUCH every day. I have NO REASON to feel any of the thoughts.

Yet I sat there and cried.
The pain of the past was back.
I failed.

My worst fear had come true.


But through it all I AM THANKFUL.
Thankful that the anxiety makes me so filled with joy over God's love.
Over the fact that God loves EVERYTHING about me!!!!

God never thinks of me as a failure.
Even when I feel like I am, He tells me the opposite.

"The LORD has appeared to us from afar saying:
'I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.'"

-Jeremiah 31:3

I am thankful for all of God's love that is poured out to me from friends.

I am thankful that I KNOW all these thoughts are wrong.
I am thankful HEAVEN is coming!!!

I am thankful that even in the pain and sadness I have peace.
I always smile when I think of God's beautiful love for me.

"The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:7

I am thankful that when I am weak, Jesus is my strength.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
-2 Corinthians 12:9

I am thankful all of it makes me spend so much time in prayer.
So much time singing and listening to Christian music.
I am thankful that EVERY Bible verse, every song,
every word about God means so much to me.
I am thankful that all I ever want to do is spend time with God.

"Cast all your anxiety on God because He cares for you."
-1 Peter 5:7

I am thankful that all of it humbles me.
Fills me with compassion.
Fills me with understanding for others.

God brings SO much good from every struggle!!!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him."
-Romans 8:28

Thanks God!!
Thanks for holding me while my head is filled with stupid anxious thoughts.
Thank You for always loving, always forgiving,
and always understanding me when the world doesn't.

Thanks for the promise of Heaven!!!!!!!!
I can't wait to be there with You, Dear Jesus.

"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
-Philippians 3:20-21

I love You Lord!!!
Sorry I am filled with so many ridiculous and irrational thoughts.

Your love for me is beautiful.
Thank You.

"Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace He brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more,
We’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to You always."

-"There Will Be a Day" by Jeremy Camp

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

He is faithful.

I want to run through grassy fields,
leaping carelessly, plucking flowers and throwing them into the air.

I want to shout from the mountaintop!

"The LORD is faithful!!"

You ARE FAITHFUL indeed Dear Lord!

Thank You.

Thank You that even through
even through loneliness,






and doubt,

Your promises remain

And Your promises bring peace.

A lasting peace that is always there.

Underneath the sadness, pain, and anxiety, I
always know You love me. I ALWAYS know I have Heaven to look forward to. There is so much peace and joy in that Dear Lord. Thank You!!

Thank You
that persevering through trials and putting hope in You through everything always pays off. You always have so many lessons for me and for others. Each and every day. Thank You Jesus!!

Thank You for answering prayers!!!
I learn more and more every day how powerful prayers really are. Thank You!!!

Hoping in You during the good times AND the bad times
always pays off incredibly!!

Thank You Lord!! Thank You for filling me with Your amazing Joy!

I love You Jesus!!!


“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His Word I put my hope.”
-Psalm 130:5

"[Trials] have come so that your faith--of even greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
-1 Peter 1:7-9

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
-John 16:33

"The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
-Philippians 4:7

“Praise Him, all you people of the earth, for He loves us with unfailing love; the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!”
-Psalm 117

He never lets go

This break has been painfully difficult.

Struggling with anxiety, depression, and exhaustion.
There is no doubt, I have been an anxious mess.

Some nights, mornings, afternoons, I have been filled with sadness and pain.
Sadness that just won't go away.

I've crawled under the blankets thinking about Jesus.
Trying to find comfort in Him.
In His loving touch.
I know His arms are always around me,
even when it feels like the pain and sadness won't go away.

It will.

God is always with us.
He never lets go.

"Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning."
-Psalm 30:5

Thanks God!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Please change my heart, Lord.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
-1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Dear God,

Please change my selfish heart.
I am trying to forgive. I am trying to move past.
I DO forgive everything. And I AM moving past, excited for a future focused on Your love.

But I still need my heart to be further changed and healed.

I need Your help God.

Please help me to not boast or be proud.
I DON'T want to keep a record of wrongs!! Please help me to look at everything with love.
To see only good and pure intentions. Because that is what they truly ARE!!!
It is my selfish and sinful heart that needs to change. Not anybody else.

Please help me not to be self-seeking.
Take away the anger I have in my heart!!!

Fill me with patience, dear Lord.
Fill me with your beautiful patience.
And love.
Overflowing love.
Sacrificial love. Your love.

Help me to be kind, Lord.
Sometimes I get confused about when to speak and when to be silent.
Help my words to be very very kind.
Honest, but very gentle and kind and filled with love.

Because I know, the love in my heart is SO MUCH GREATER than all of the other things.
Always has been. Always will be.
It is overflowing and totally from You.

BUT I want more of Your love Lord!
Fill my heart with the fruits of the Spirit.
I want my heart to be so filled with Your love that there is no room for anything else.

Help me Lord!!!

I want to always trust You Lord.
Always trust that You know what You are doing.
You know how to use every bit of pain, every time of suffering, every one of my mistakes.
You use everything for my good.

I want to trust that with You at the center of relationships, everything is always okay.
I need to stop letting anxiety, fear, or doubt creep in.
Help me say "No!" to those thoughts Lord.
I can't keep worrying that I am not good enough. That I am hurting others.
That they don't see my love.

I can't keep worrying that they don't love me as much as I love them.
They do.
And I need to trust in that.
You are at the center dear Lord.
And any anxiety just shows I am not putting my trust in You.

I'm sorry for hurting You so much with my anxious thoughts dear Lord.
I know it really hurts You when I don't put my trust in You.
Please change my heart dear Lord.

Change my heart to one that is always hopeful.
Always filled with excitement for what You have in store.
Always confident in You, dear Lord.
And always confident that You WILL bring change and healing and growth in Your time, dear Lord.
Help me not to become impatient.

Help me not to want everything to happen so quickly.
Fill me with patience.
Your timing is SO much better than mine, dear Lord.
You always know what You're doing.
I'm sorry that I doubt.

Lastly, help me to be filled with Christ's perseverance.
Christ was constantly abused verbally and physically, killed and crucified.
Yet He was always filled with love.
Always filled with patience, peace, faithfulness, and self-control.
Never filled with any sinful or selfish desire, even though He was put through the worst of circumstances.
Help me have the attitude of Jesus, dear Lord.

I love You Lord!!
Thank You for Your Love.
Your never failing love.

Monday, December 27, 2010

a constant hunger for more

I want to change. I want to move. I want to grow.

I am sick of THIS.
Sick of letting my people-pleasing desires keep me away from spending time focused on filling my hunger for God. I want to know more about God!! I want to study His word. I want to read books about Him. I want to spend my time with Him. Focused on Him. Focused on loving Him and others. I want to learn more about Jesus so that I can constantly push myself to be more and more like Him!!

I am broken.

I am so broken.

Wounded by the lies. Lies from myself. Lies from the world. Lies from others.
Lies Satan wants me to believe.

I am filled with pain. Sadness. Anxiety. and Fear.

They creep in every day.

I NEED Jesus.

I need His love. His romance. His kind words. I need these things EVERY day, constantly, to keep me going. To help me say "NO!" to the lies. To help me allow the Holy Spirit to fill me with the peace and joy that come from knowing how much God loves me. How much He loves me even though I am so sinful. Even though I keep screwing up. Even though I feel so ugly--He sees me as beautiful! I NEED that. He loves every part of me. Every part of me that is so easy for me to hate.

He forgives me. For everything.

I don't deserve this. I don't deserve this Savior, Father, Friend, and Lover.

But He's there. And He wants to wrap me in His loving arms. He wants to whisper "you're beautiful" in my ear. He wants to hold me forever. To tell me it's okay. He's got everything under control. And a better time (ETERNAL LIFE) is coming. It's going to be alright.

Thanks so much God.
I need YOU Jesus!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Spiritual battle for JOY and peace

I often think about people who are not filled with God's joy and peace. This fills me with sadness. I ache for these people, suffer, allow myself to be filled with pain, I feel on the verge of crying--the thought of not being filled with these fruits of the Spirit is horrible. I often wish everyone else was filled with joy and peace instead of me. I often sacrifice my own joy and peace because I don't like being filled with them when others aren't. But I know I need to arm myself with these valuable weapons against the enemy. And I need to help share and spread these fruits of the Holy Spirit to others.

My past was filled with unbearable pain and suffering. Constant anxiety from wanting to please God and others. Constantly being stuck in work. Constantly beating myself up in my head for being a horrible and unloving person because I was so stuck working on homework instead of helping my family with chores. I believed the lies thrown at me that I was very very selfish. I struggled constantly with body image. Feeling too fat or too skinny. Feeling ugly. I was filled with anxiety about time and getting everything done. Constant anxiety and fear of not being able to do everything I had planned. I would plan everything up to the minute. I was buried in my work. Buried in my pain. An anxious mess. HORRIBLY ANXIOUS. And then I turned to exercise. And food. And I got stuck in emotional eating. That was HORRIBLE. I felt so ashamed of myself. Filled with guilt and anger at myself constantly.

But learning about God's forgiveness filled me with joy and hope. I learned to constantly just lay down on the ground bowed before the Lord and surrender EVERYTHING to Him. All my anxiety, all my pain, shame, guilt, and anger. All my selfish desires. To thank Him for His AMAZING love. To ask Him to do His will not mine. To rest in His love for me. To rest in the fact that He is in control.

It took God bringing me to rock bottom after rock bottom to force me to surrender everything to Him again and again. But I am thankful for this. Because the joy and peace that the Holy Spirit filled me with from doing this is AMAZING. And I still have to surrender everything to God CONSTANTLY. Every day. Every minute. But it's worth it.

I've learned not to expect any people to satisfy me but God. That I need to find comfort in Him being my true Father, Friend, and Lover. I can't try finding comfort in anything of the world. Not food, not movies, not anything worldly that doesn't involve loving God and others. Especially when anxiety, anger, selfishness, discontent, hard times, tiredness, sinful thoughts, etc strike---I cannot try to turn to the world for comfort!!

I need to find my strength from joy in how much God loves EVERYTHING about me, how much God loves and forgives me UNCONDITIONALLY even though I deserve death and hell. I am filled with peace, joy, and strength from knowing God promises me eternal life that will be SO MUCH BETTER than this horrible evil world and than anything we can imagine!!!!! There is so much joy in that!!!!!!!! God wants to fill us with peace even during the hardest of times. It takes constant prayer and Spiritual warfare. It takes getting away and praying EVERY time you feel even a little bit discontent until He fills you with peace again. That means constant prayer and battling all the lies Satan is whispering to you. It takes SURRENDERING EVERYTHING you are worried about or struggling with or that is sinful to God constantly. It takes work, but God is always ready and waiting to fill you with peace again.

"What is joy? Joy is something that we choose to express. It's not pie in the sky; it doesn't come and go like the wind. And where does this kind of joy come from? Well, as you know, it's a matter of attitude that comes from God's Holy Spirit dwelling in us and our confidence in God, the belief that He is at work, that He is in full control, that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening, or will happen."
-United Church of God sermon transcript

I've also learned that this peace and joy is weakened by the world VERY quickly. It takes constant prayer and getting away from the world to spend time with the Lord again to get it back fully. For me, reading the Word, praying, talking about God, worshiping God, listening to Christian music, reading Christian books, learning more about God, LOVING God, getting to know others, helping others, listening to others, sharing with others, and LOVING others allow me to stay filled with this joy and peace. Everything else is just unsatisfying. Everything that doesn't relate to loving God or others tends to weaken the joy and peace that God gives me through the Holy Spirit. I constantly pray that God will fill me with peace even during the hardest of times, and He does. Underneath it all, the Holy Spirit fills me with a lasting peace in knowing God loves me and promises eternal life. But when the anxiety or discontent strikes, I know I NEED prayer so the joy and peace can be AMAZING again. When God fills me with His AMAZING joy and peace there is no more room for anxiety and sinfulness and selfishness in my heart.

We are in a constant Spiritual battle. We need to fight. We need to say "No!" to Satan's constant lies. God gives us peace and joy through the Holy Spirit. We need to stop our hearts from being filled with anxiety, anger, selfishness, and sinful thoughts. We need to stop turning to the world for comfort. God is more powerful than the evil one, and God's AMAZING love is what TRULY satisfies and brings joy and peace!!!


"For the joy of the Lord is your strength."

-Nehemiah 8:10

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm falling in love with You Jesus

I am so sinful and undeserving, but thank You Jesus for dying for my sins so that I have eternal life to look forward to. I will never understand why You love me this way.

--"I'm falling down. Tumbling after You. I'm overwhelmed. Tripping over simple truth. In all I've found, there's nothing that's more beautiful than what I've found in You."----

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

romancing me.

Sometimes I am an anxious mess.

... Okay every day I am an anxious mess.

I need Jesus. Badly.
I need His romance.

His hand to hold.
His kind words.
His love.

... These are some of the songs I listen to to remind me what God thinks of me.

And songs from my heart to Jesus...

Thanks for romancing me, dear Jesus.
I love You!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

While I'm Waiting...

Last night I went to bed sad for how much we are all unable to find peace in knowing what is to come is SO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS. Knowing that should really bring us peace and joy, but instead we often fall into so much worry about the temporary things of this world. This song woke me up this morning describing what I'm feeling right now. Just really excited for Heaven and excited to serve God while I wait!


Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Father, please I need rescuing..."

I heard the song "Freedom" by Run Kid Run on the radio Friday morning. Every word of that song is truly the cry of my heart right now. I had a tough week struggling with lots of anxiety and a few brief feelings of depression. I learned that sometimes, even though I know about God's AMAZING love and forgiveness and about the promises of eternal life, I can't control when my body feels anxious or depressed. All I could do was lay face down on the floor and beg for God's help. God did help, and He was here with me. He also blessed me with Matt and Kelsey and with all the other wonderful friends who poured out God's love to me during this struggle.

There were also points this week where I turned to food to help me get stuff done. I tried really hard not to. My body was exhausted. My head felt heavy and tired. I couldn't focus on the paper I was writing at all. Christian songs were going through my head, and I was thinking about people I wanted to spend time with. I was also feeling weighted down with photos, tests, and everything else. Most of the problem was exhaustion from stress.

On Thursday Oct 14, I tried really hard to be patient with myself, but it was taking the entire day to write half a paper (I never did finish), and I had a huge Psych test, which was also a huge struggle for me to study for, the next day. My main desires were to spend time helping people and with God, but my stupid body just wouldn't function to study. It would just get to the point again and again where it was absolutely RIDICULOUS that I couldn't get anything done. I hate the fact that I struggle with this because I want to be out helping people. So I used junk food. I don't even like candy at all!! I would've much rather ate carrots, but I did it to punish myself so that I would never turn to food again. The sad thing is I kept having to go back for more. I probably ate three or four thousand calories of junk food during each of the two days I turned to food this week. It made me feel gross. But at the time it truly felt like the only way to get anything done. It really did help get the paper done, but I CAN'T KEEP DOING THIS!! I can't keep sinning!! This really hurts God. I did it so I would have more time to spend with people and with God, but each day I did it, it just ended up with a lot less time for others and God.

I know I learned a lot from these struggles. Compassion for others who are going through anxiety, depression, addictions, etc. I learned sometimes anxiety and depression consume us even when we know God's promises. I learned I need to allow the people God has placed in my life to help me during times of struggle. I also learned I need to let go. Sometimes I just don't have the energy to do school work, and I need to rest in God instead of turning to food. I need to let go of my desire to do so well on tests and assignments.

I can't keep sinning!! Yes, I understand God's forgiveness. Yes, I understand I must forgive myself. I understand God's love and forgiveness is SO AMAZING and I am SO INCREDIBLY THANKFUL that He forgives and loves me during my repeated times of failure, but I think even though we know these things we should still try with all of our heart to change. We can't get comfortable in our sins. We can't allow the fact that we know God forgives us to justify our sins. We NEED to change. And we need God's help. Badly.

Thank you God for your AMAZING love and forgiveness. Please help me change for You.

I am now singing this song every time I feel like turning to food. I am crying out for God's help. I know I can't do this alone.

Monday, October 11, 2010

turning to food NEEDS to stop.

I have really been struggling lately. Anxiety has been high. More than anything I just want to be there for people and to help people. But I constantly have to put taking care of myself and getting my work done first in order to stay healthy and not become so anxious.

There have been times lately where I have given in to feelings of hopelessness. To feeling like I am not going to be able to get all the photos edited and all the studying done and everything else. To feeling horrible that I am not spending time with or helping people. To deciding it would be best to just get everything done as quickly as possible at whatever cost. I just really want to be there for others the next day.

On Saturday Oct 9, I turned to food. I don't even like candy. At all. I would much rather be eating carrots or grapes. But I ate package of trail mix after package of trailmix. Package of candy after package of candy. I figured if I am going to sin and turn to food instead of God, I should really punish myself to make sure I will never want to do it again. I felt like I deserve to get fat for how sinful I am. I didn't get more photos done than I would've with out turning to food. I just made the next day a day of suffering.

I was supposed to spend Sunday out with Kelsey taking photos, but instead the next day was spent feeling horrible for sinning. I told Kelsey all about it, and she stayed with me while I spent a day editing photos and telling God how sorry I am that I KEEP sinning. I CAN'T keep hurting God.

I cried a few times that day and felt almost suicidal from how sorry I was for giving in to all the lies that consumed me the night before. Lies that I should feel bad and hopeless about work, instead of just resting in God and His promises. I felt bad for not spending time with friends, I felt hopeless about the work I had to get done, I felt bad for always eating healthy and trying to take care of myself instead of just not caring like everyone else, I felt I deserve to get fat.

I knew I could've just called Matt or Kelsey, and they would've come and sat with me while I worked on photos. They would've been there and made sure I didn't turn to food. But instead I gave in to the hopelessness and wanted to torture myself for being so sinful. Even though I don't give in to food a huge majority of the time, I still do sometimes when I want to get things done, and I know I CAN'T keep sinning day after day. I wanted the next day to be a day of suffering so that I wouldn't hurt God with my sin again.

On Sunday, I told Matt about everything and apologized for not just calling him. Usually just knowing how much Kelsey and Matt care about me and knowing that God loves me EVEN MORE keeps me from turning to food. It keeps me from turning to food countless times every day, and I am so thankful for the people God has placed in my life!!! I am so thankful I am able to be completely honest about everything and am able to constantly get support, advice, comfort, and prayer from my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am so blessed!! And Christ loves me so much more than this!!!!

I learned from this experience I need to trust in God. I can't give in to the lies. Turning to food is NOT going to help. I need to use the people God has placed in my life to help me. I can't do anything on my own with out God's help. I need to just rest in Him. I can't get angry at myself for taking care of myself, even if it constantly takes me away from spending time with others. I also can't get stressed about work of any kind. School or photos or anything else. God will help me get them done if I just rest in Him. I can't do anything on my own with out God.

AND... how AMAZING is it that even though I keep messing up God still love me the same?! His forgiveness and love are AMAZING. So much more than I ever deserve!! I am so incredibly thankful, and I need to allow God's love and forgiveness to continue to fill me with joy. Even though I know I am always forgiven, and I know I must constantly forgive myself, I want to change. I can't keep sinning by turning to food instead of God any longer. Even just eating an apple or an orange for comfort instead of resting in God is sinful, and I want to change!!!

Thank you Lord for always forgiving me and loving me WAY WAY more than my sinful self could ever ever deserve!!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

I don't deserve this.

Thank you, Lord, for forgiving me even though I am a horrible sinner. Even though I am completely deserving of Hell, you sent Jesus to die for my sins. You give me the gifts I could never deserve of Your forgiveness and love, and best of all, You promise me eternal life with You in Heaven.

How can I ever thank You enough?!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thanks God.

One of the main anxieties I have is how I will spend my time. I have a lot more free time now than I ever have in the past, which is amazing and awesome!! But it stresses me every day. I want to spend all of my time for God. I want to love and help others as much as possible. But how??! So each morning I start in prayer. Lots and lots of prayer. Until I feel at peace about giving God the day. I pray that He will take away me and my selfishness and fill me with Him and His love. And I go out ready to see what He has in store for me.

The amazing thing is, He really does place person after person in front of me each and every day!! It is amazing!!! Listening to and helping people and loving people brings me so much joy, and God really will place the people in front of me if I just give each day to Him and don't worry about planning things myself so much.

Thanks God. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

new JOY

Aug 8, 2010

Almost all of the entries in here illustrate a little bit of the anxiety that gripped my life for at least seven years. Today if you were to ask me, "How are you doing today?" I would no longer say "Good," while knowing in my head that I am really an anxious mess. Instead I would boldly and truthfully tell you, "I'm doing really well!! Just really full of God's joy and peace."

How did this incredible change take place? Well, I think God had to bring me to rock bottom after rock bottom in order to keep me on my knees, begging for help. The struggle that was the most humiliating and horrifying and that made me both angry at and scared of myself, would turn into the biggest blessing in disguise I have ever been given. That struggle was emotional eating.

While I would love to dive right into talking about my struggle with emotional eating, I am going to save that for another post. First I want to briefly explain how I ended up so anxious in the first place.

Ever since I was young I have had a few deep rooted desires. One of them is to be good. To obey God's commands, never sin, and be righteous. To please my parents, follow their rules, and do well in school. While these desires may seem wonderful, they consistently brought me to tears instead of filling me with joy.

Another desire is to please people. To be a good friend, daughter, and grand-daughter. To always be kind and loving. To not hurt anyone by anything I say or do. This desire just left me feeling like a failure. A worried, stressed, horrible failure.

The desire that I've tried to run away from and hide, that has made me most angry at myself for desiring it, and that still tries to haunt me if I'm not careful is the desire to feel beautiful. I HATE that desire. But it constantly pulls at me, probably harder than any other worry.

Another desire I have is to be really good at what I do. Perfectionism. HATE it. Writing this post has caused me a great deal of stress and has even made me emotional eat for the first time in months!! (BUT I am thankful for that wonderful blessing in disguise once again, and I will tell you why soon enough.) Being a perfectionist is horrible. It causes me to get very angry at myself for spending so much time on every little thing and for always hating the results once I finally finish.

In the posts to come I will go into detail about how each of these desires really ate away at my life. My mind became a horrible, confused bundle of worries as all these desires fought against each other to win my time and focus. It took hitting rock bottom day after day, to really force me to let go of each desire. I still have to let go every day and put each of these desires, and my entire life, into God's hands instead of my own.

Giving everything to God again and again is now what fills me with incredible joy and peace. I have confidence that God used every single struggle I went through and am still going through in order to make me determined to be filled with the very opposite of anxiety and anger. To instead be filled with the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. I am constantly praying to God to fill me with fruits of the Spirit, and He really has answered my prayers in amazing ways every day!!

Today was the first day I have struggled with emotional eating again in a very very long time. Even though I have been reminded how horrible that struggle is. How absolutely humiliating it is. How angry at myself it makes me feel!! How I feel like I HAVE to give in or there is no other way to go on. How I feel like I wish I could just push a restart button and restart the day... Even though I am feeling all those feelings immensely, I am THANKFUL this happened today. I have really been filled with compassion and humility once again. This emotional eating struggle has been the biggest blessing in disguise because it has forced me to give EVERYTHING to God. It makes me realize I am a sinner, completely undeserving of God's grace. It makes His grace BEAUTIFUL and His love AMAZING. He forgives me for emotional eating and for all my sins day after day, even though I deserve to go to Hell. He saved me from that. WOW!!!! I can't even begin to fathom the depth of God's love for me. Thinking about this and realizing this is really what begins to fill me with joy. As I give God everything--all my desires and worries, each day, each minute, each breath, as I give these to God I am filled with His joy. The joy that comes from knowing God loves me, God forgives me, God died for me. The joy that comes from desiring Him. Desiring to know Him more, to love Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. And the joy that comes from knowing that God is the only One who will ever satisfy me. No person, thing, passion, or desire will ever truly satisfy me but God. This is where my incredible joy comes from!! And if struggling with emotional eating reminds me of all these things, then the struggle is truly a blessing!

Another reason I am thankful I struggled with emotional eating again today is because I feel refilled with compassion and humility. This struggle has taught me to relate to everybody. All of our struggles and sins are similar. Whether we are addicted to drugs or alcohol, whether we are struggling with lust or anger, whether we are struggling with eating disorders or body image issues, whatever it is, we are all sinning just the same and we all need God to satisfy us in the ways that these worldly sins and desires can never satisfy us. It used to be hard for me to relate to certain sins and struggles, such as drug or alcohol addiction or lust, but now I can really see how equal all of our struggles are. This fills me with compassion and humility. With the desire to love others and to share God's AMAZING grace, love, and Truth with them.

I also know I must give my deepest fears and worries to God. Especially my worry about being beautiful. Struggling with emotional eating, and having more fat on my body than I ever had in the past, made me really give my body image struggle to God. Someone close to me was telling me I looked fat and pregnant, but I knew my true Father and Best Friend still loved me and thought I was beautiful, even if others didn't. It really helped me think of God as my true Father and Best Friendand to know that I already satisfy Him even if I will never satisfy my earthly friends and family. It will never satisfy me to worry so much about pleasing anyone on this earth, but it satisfies me to think about how much God loves me!!! I gave all my fears about body image to God day after day and tried to focus on the importance of inner beauty. It was incredibly scary to go to dance class and feel like I went from being the skinniest person there to the fattest person there. I had to give all my worries about what people thought about me to God day after day. It gave me joy to really find my courage and strength from Him. I also felt like I my passion for God and joy and confidence was possibly inspiring to the other girls, and that I could be a good example of someone who wasn't stick thin.

During all of this, I often became bitter about outer appearance, often thought of myself as fat and definitely not beautiful, and always kept my focus on what I know matters most: inner beauty. However, as I continued to give this struggle to God day after day, God used many different ways to open my eyes to the fact that He created me. And because of that He really does think I am beautiful on the inside AND outside. This realization surprised me and changed my perspective on outer beauty. I now understand being beautiful from the inside out is good. God really did create ALL of us beautifully, even myself. I have always easily been able to look at every other person on the planet and see how beautiful God created them, but when I look in the mirror I feel ugly. It still happens every day, but once I pray and look back at myself with Christ-like love and Christ-like forgiveness of my flaws, I can finally see a beautiful face staring back.

Although it may be humiliating and horrifying, it may make me very angry at and scared of myself, and although I do hope I never struggle with it again, I will always be very thankful that I struggled with emotional eating. It has truly been an incredible blessing in disguise. Constantly giving everything to God and constantly thinking about how AMAZING His forgiveness and love are fill with more joy, peace, compassion, humility, and love than ever before!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

thankful for yearbook?!

Aug 6, 2010

Yesterday as I was going through a box of old papers, I found the journal entry I put in here titled "typical day of senior year." While everything I wrote about in that entry might sound tough and painful, I am so incredibly thankful for everything I've ever gone through. Today I've been been thinking about how thankful I am for everything I went through during those crazy yearbook years!!

I remember coming in as the very shy and quiet, but yet very determined, little sophomore I was. I was the only person who had never been on staff before, but I was in the intro class the year before. The people in the intro class are allowed to go to the spring conventions and take part in the "Journalist in Action" competitions. Since I had won the photography competition against the people already on staff, I was given the roles of photographer and assistant photo-editor right away.

Stepping out into the big gymnasium with the words, "Don't be afraid to get in people's faces" ringing in my ears, I was freaked out. But I did it. The whole entire school was there, but I secretly pretended no one could see me! As everyone chanted class cheers as loud as they could, I put all my energy into getting close, turning my head sideways, squatting down, standing on my tiptoes, etc. in order to get the perfect photograph. The whole room was my command. I could walk anywhere--up and down the bleachers and even in the middle of the floor. I learned to love eating competitions best. I was the only person who got such a great view, as I lay on the ground with my camera up to the principal's pie-covered face. I don't think anyone else in the whole school enjoyed pep rallies as much as I did! And after making a fool of myself in front of the whole school like that, I could do anything...right?!

Friday night at the big Homecoming game, I was sore from holding a big camera and lens almost non-stop that entire week, but I was so excited and in my element!! I will never forget forcing myself to go up to Broc Bellmore, the huge star football player and Homecoming king, and asking him if I could photograph his face. Him and I stood alone in the middle of the football field. I forced myself to get right up close to his face as I could hear girls cheering at me from the bleachers, "Go Abby!!" Looking at the cover of the 2007 yearbook will always remind me of that exciting and comfort zone challenging night.

The most challenging experiences on yearbook staff probably all took place during senior year when I was the Editor-and-Chief. Every day was a challenge as the girls fought my ideas and fought me. We all agree that for a few months it was basically "Abby against the yearbook staff." I came in so excited for change and filled with new ideas, but all the girls shot every one of them down. They sat there doodling on their papers, very excited to loudly express their unwillingness to consider any of my ideas and very excited to talk about all their experiences with drugs and alcohol. I could've easily dictated that we use my ideas because I was the one in charge, but instead I was determined to make it a book by the entire staff.

As the girls continued to criticize me day after day and make every mean and rude comment that I don't even want to remember, I went along with their ideas and designs. I learned to shower the girls with positive feedback and compliments. At the same time, I was always honest and had to tell them quite often when they needed to step it up and start meeting their deadlines. A lot of that year is a crazy blur of stress and meltdowns. I constantly felt like I had the entire weight of the yearbook on my shoulders, and it never came off my shoulders until the middle of July 2009 when we finally sent in the last pages. I know somewhere in the middle of the crazy year, I gained my staffs' respect, which was really surprising. I still forget and am scared when I run into them, but they are all so nice to me. It surprises me every time!! When I was looking through that box of papers last night, I also found an award I made for one of the girls. Ha, I made everyone awards for the end of the year with very kind and sincere messages on the back. I can't even believe I did that... but I obviously learned countless valuable leadership skills through out that year, with out even realizing it at the time!

You might be sitting here thinking, "Wait, why so much stress over a stupid yearbook?!" Well, you are right. I now laugh at how much stress we all had about one stupid book, BUT at West Fargo publications are taken SERIOUSLY. I haven't thrown away a single school newspaper from all four years of high school because I like them so much! The newspaper and yearbook staffs are dedicated. It is their life. We were there until midnight many days through out the school year. Every thought that went through my mind, no matter where I was, was always about the yearbook and how it could be bettered. I was constantly missing class or late for class, and my teachers weren't happy. But if there was an awesome photo assignment, I wanted to take it. I did anything and everything for that silly book. I now don't even want to look at the thing because I have so many bad memories and emotions associated with it. Ha. But those emotions are now being replaced by thankfulness!

We incorporated many elements into our 2009 yearbook theme of "Not So Ordinary." We had a few quotes and random facts on every page, a long with a few "candids" (unposed photographs of people). Every day I had to go around the school and knock on classroom doors to interrupt a teacher and ask for a certain student (who I had often never talked to before!) Then I had to photograph them and ask them questions. I also had to constantly interview people, from random people in the cafeteria to the superintendent. I was everywhere!!!! Expect in my comfort zone...

Today I have realized how much this has helped me. I find it exciting to walk into new places or events alone. I am able to introduce myself to anyone and ask them questions about themselves. I enjoy asking my friends deep questions constantly like, "What has God been doing in your life lately?" I'm also not afraid to tell people the truth or to say what needs to be said. If I am afraid of a situation or of saying something, I pray first and mainly get all my strength from God, but I also think about all my yearbook experiences. If I could do it then, I can do it now!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Beautiful, Beautiful

I feel like the song "Beautiful, Beautiful" by Francesca Battistelli speaks strait from my heart to God.

Dont know how it is,
You looked at me...
And saw the person that I could be.
Awakening my heart,
Breaking through the dark;
Suddenly, Your grace...

Like sunlight burning at midnight,
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful...
Mercy reaching to save me...
All that I need.
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful...

Now there's a joy inside I cant contain...
But even perfect days can end in rain.
And through its pouring down,
I see You through the clouds...
Shining on my face...

Like sunlight burning at midnight,
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful...
Mercy reaching to save me...
All that I need.
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful...

I have come undone,
But I have just begun
Changing by Your grace!

Like sunlight burning at midnight,
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful...
Mercy reaching to save me...
All that I need.
You are so beautiful...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

who I am hates who I've been

I am still feeling really sad and angry at myself for how I messed up last night. I keep playing
"Who I am Hates Who I've Been" by Relient K over and over. I did learn from my mistakes, and I am going to try with all my mite not to mess up or stress like that around my family again. I know I can do it with God's help. I am glad I haven't messed up like that for a VERY long time, and I know I will make sure not to do it again.

I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I'm losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics...

'cause I don't want you to know where I am

'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Stop right there. That's exactly where I lost it.

See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said
That it's the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.

I'm sorry for the person I became.

I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

I talk to absolutely no one.

Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.

I heard the reverberating footsteps

Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.

And I can't let that happen again

'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

Who I am hates who I've been

And who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I've been
'cause who I've been only ever made me...

So sorry for the person I became.

So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

selfish mess up

June 22, 2010

"I messed up today.

I was driving to go photograph an event, and I realized how much I was DREADING it SO much. I already am SO behind on photos (and I want to get a lot done before I come to the cities, so I am skipping Chi Alpha and swing dance and working on them tonight) and I just don't have the heart for this job anymore!!! I am such an all or nothing person that I just want to truthfully tell my boss how I feel so badly! I can't stand halfheartedly doing my work!! I know there are so many people who would love this job, and I REALLY don't want it anymore. Even saying it, I feel stupid. This is one of the best, most fun jobs out there--but I feel like who ever is doing it should be passionate about it and I'm NOT. I want to be working at a Bible camp so badly right now!! I know God didn't want that this summer, because my job has allowed me to stay in touch with people, but STILL. Tonight I just REALLY realized how much I want to be helping people instead of doing photojournalism work!!

While driving I was praying like crazy for God to help me find joy in my work. Lots of good songs came on the radio including "Open the eyes of my heart Lord." I tried to relate that song to taking photographs of everything that God has created beautifully. It sadly didn't motivate me though...

I got to the place and just did not want to get in there and take pictures!! I didn't want to ask people for signatures. I didn't even want to be there AT ALL. I was scared and stressed. I finally got to the point where I called Sheila*, knowing full well she would not be happy with me. Haha, she wasn't. She told me to SUCK IT UP. That I can't keep being a quitter, that I can't make such a bad reputation for myself, that no one else likes their job, etc.

I just feel like this is a job someone NEEDS to be passionate about. I feel horrible for not being passionate about it. I was when I signed up for it, but not now. I finally went out and halfheartedly took photos.

Driving home I was very annoyed with myself for feeling so unhappy about doing this job. I half felt God's love, joy, and peace inside me and half felt stress and anger at myself. When I got home I ate supper while reading the Bible, and I was stressed about wanting to get to work quickly on photos. My mom was trying to talk to me, and I was semi-ignoring her, which was not nice at all. Then my sister asked if she could use the computer in the basement, and I was like "I NEED to be down there the whole night!! I tried to tell mom I was coming back home, so she would have you be down there while I wasn't home." They got mad at me for not allowing her an hour of time down there, and I got very stressed and angry at them (and at myself for not being loving enough to let her have the hour). We kept arguing in anger, and finally my sister was like "fine, I won't use it." This was around the time when I was like, "Fine, you CAN use it." But she was like "No! Not after you were all like that."


Sorry for typing all in caps. I was hysterical though. And I feel HORRIBLE for it!! I don't want to be like that anymore!! I don't want my family to see me as stressed anymore!! And they did. It was not good. I have sinned, and I feel horrible.

But I feel better after writing this. I am asking God for forgiveness and am going to ask my sister and mom for it as well. I know I don't deserve it, and they will never believe I've changed after this.


June 23, 2010

"I apologized to my family, and I prayed to God a ton last night. The thing is I still feel very sad that I acted that way. I still feel stressed too. I woke up extremely exhausted. I feel like I barely have enough energy to walk around or function, but I am trying to fight it the best I can.

I really scared myself by acting this way. It scares me that I will be prone to stressing out and breaking down forever. It also scares me a little bit that my all-or-nothingness will hurt me in the future.

I have realized a lot though. I am glad I have this job this summer. It has really shown me that my passion really HAS changed, and that excites me!! While I was taking photos at the event, I was just watching all the happy families there with their kids, and I was like "I want that!! I don't want to be the stressed out photographer anymore." This is seriously amazing!!! So much of my life I thought I would always be the determined dancer or photographer, living on my own, probably with out a family. Now I am so passionate about just being a loving person, and wife and mother someday, it isn't even funny!! (I guess deep down I think a part of me always wanted it, but I didn't know how to leave all my work behind.) God has REALLY changed my heart, and I am so filled with joy about this.

I am also glad this breakdown happened last night, because I DID learn from it. And I do plan to try my best to never let it happen again!!! I know that most of the time I never expect anything to go as planned anymore, but I still expected my plans to edit photos in the basement to work out--next time I just need to plan for my plans not to work and need to not get so focused on what I want to do.

All of the stress I was feeling last night was based on still having SO many photos to edit. I guess I am glad that I haven't been feeling very stressed at all about this until last night!! I would definitely choose having one horribly stressed evening over being stressed all the time. I am really glad I haven't been spending all my time on photos. I know all my time has been well spent. I also know I WILL get everything done eventually. I just need to lower my expectations for myself. I also need to learn how to do weddings way more efficiently and quickly if I ever want to do them again (which I really do)... I WILL learn.

I really really hope and pray that I don't break down like that again. I wasn't crying or wasn't as bad as I could've been, but still. I want to stay calm and loving all the time."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

personality counts, not appearance

May 12, 2010

"Tonight when a friend brought up how he loses a little bit of respect for people when he hears them referring to people as hott or good looking, I was quick to agree. I felt bad for speaking so quickly, but thinking about it more, I still stand extremely firm to my agreement with his statement!

I sincerely do not like to base feelings for the opposite sex upon looks. Examples of how I react to different situations will best illustrate how I feel...

Tonight while driving away from swing dancing I said, "And so many people who swing dance are Christians!!"
A friend said, "Ya, the guy I danced with went to this awesome Christian retreat."
I said: "I danced with a guy who is working at a Bible camp all summer!"

I immediately felt bad after saying that. I felt like we were putting guys on a "likable list" right after meeting them, and that is something I do not like at all! I hate the thought of liking someone before I really understand that their heart is completely for God. (Usually this takes me a very very long time to figure out!) Thinking about it more, I know we were just excited about the possibility of getting to know these guys better (as friends first.) I just felt bad about the conversation because we reminded me of people who are quick to like someone based upon appearance.

Recently a friend told me how a girl he danced with was beautiful. I was like "What?! What do you mean beautiful? To me beautiful has to do with someone's soul." I explained to him how I can't like someone unless I know they are crazy about God and, similarly, how much of a turn off it is to me when someone flirts with me without truly understanding what is in my heart.

When I am told I look nice I admit it really makes me feel really good, but it only makes me feel good if it is from friends or people who respect me for who I am inside more than who I am outside. I ironically struggle like crazy with low self-esteem and low body image, so hearing people say I look nice amazes me. Even so, I would SO MUCH rather hear that I am a loving person, good friend, or a dedicated follower of Christ.

I really enjoy Taylor Swift songs like "Stay Beautiful" or "I'd Lie." But when those songs refer to beautiful I think of someone with an extremely beautiful soul.

This year a friend told me I should see my appearance as beautiful because God created me. I do agree that God created EVERYONE beautifully and that I should recognize that in myself. I already easily recognize it in everyone else!

If friends talk about liking someone because they are good looking, I will still respect them, but I will look at these feelings as a flaw. I don't look down on anyone for having flaws because I know I have just as many flaws if not more than they do.

I firmly believe it is not right to like a boy or girl based upon appearance. I do not think it is good to talk about people as being "hott" or based upon appearance. I don't have celebrity crushes. I think people should be known by their heart for God and not their appearance."

Monday, April 26, 2010

you need that boy like a bowling ball

"You need that boy like a bowling ball
Dropped on your head
Which means not at all"

I love listening to Superchick's song "Bowling Ball" and BarlowGirl's song "Average Girl"

So what I'm not your average girl
I don't meet the standards of this world
Chasing after boys is not my thing
See I'm waiting for a wedding ring

No more dating
I'm just waiting
Like sleeping beauty
My prince will come for me
No more dating I'm just waiting
'Cause God is writing my love story

Boys are bad that's certainly not true
'Cause God's preparing one for you
If you get tired waiting till he comes
Gods arms are the perfect place to run

Sleep that's the only thing
For me 'cause when I sleep Gods
Preparing one for me

I get so sick of how many people in this world think they need to be in a relationship to be happy. NO. If you are not satisfied while you are single, you will not be satisfied in a relationship. God is the only One who completely satisfies us, no matter if we are in a relationship or single.

I am excited to be patient and wait for the one guy God is preparing for me. And in the process I get to enjoy being single and focusing on the true Love of my life: God. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

me and liking guys

April 19, 2010

"I am a complete "all-or-nothing" person when it comes to homework, dancing, eating healthy, working out, cleaning, pictures, and basically anything that requires my energy. I will either give it my "all" or give it "nothing." I guess in a sense that is how I am with liking guys. I either am feeling really romantic and wanting to listen to Taylor Swift or I am feeling like I really don't want to like them at all. I also have to give all my feelings toward one person and give "nothing" or no romantic feelings toward anyone else. These are habits I am trying to break. The truth is liking someone scares me so much! I am so slow to let a guy know that I like him, or even to really like a guy at all. I feel I need to speed into a relationship faster if the guy acts like they like me, but doing that scares me A LOT. And even then, I am extremely slow and cautious!

Yep, so as of right now, I am leaving everything to God. I feel optimistic. I am not looking for a guy at all. I just see them as friends. If God wants me to like a guy, something big will need to happen. (I like feeling this way!) Time to listen to Christian music and focus on the true Love of my life---God!"