Tag Archives: Faith

Friendships Worth Fighting For

NeverUnfriended

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Growing up I didn’t really have an example of what a healthy  relationship looked like so I frequently found myself looking for attention and love in all the wrong places. One of those places happened to be in friendships. I tried out friends like I tried on shoes at my favorite stores.

I would try the friendship out out real quick, maybe over a quick conversation involving coffee and some shallow topic. I would then decide if they were comfy enough to continue on to phase two. If they passed my inspection then maybe I would buy into investing some intentional time.

I would  often adore my friendships for a while but when the tiniest scuff appeared I got rid of them because they didn’t fit my expectations anymore. To me, a scuff meant that I could get even more hurt and I’m not about that life.

I continued that cycle for a long time and it was pretty lonely but then I met this girl at church with curly brown hair who was really interesting. She had managed to break down my walls more than any of my other friends and walked with the Lord in a way I hadn’t seen before. I guess you can say we hit it off pretty quick. All was well but then our friendship got a scuff.

“our relationships have subtle, yet powerful, lifelong impacts on us. This means that while they can burden us with unwelcome PTSD, they also have highly reparative capabilities too. The relationship patterns we have learned can become clues that lead us back to the scene of the original crime and equip us with tools to investigate, understand, and prevent it from happening again.”
~ Lisa-Jo Baker Never Unfriended

After some bickering we both left the conversation with some hurt and we weren’t sure how to fix it. We avoided each other for some time and it wasn’t fun.  Weeks passed and she asked me to meet up for coffee.

We had a pretty painful conversation and in the midst of it I remember saying the words,“your friendship is worth fighting for.” before I knew what had come out of my mouth. That conversation pointed out some bad habits I had kept harbored in my heart.

I realized that the personality God gave this woman was worth trudging through the occasional pain and conflict to find a resolution. Her walk with the Lord made me desire to be a better person and I looked up to her so much because she followed Jesus in a way I wanted to. She was worth being vulnerable and getting hurt. She was a friend I couldn’t even imagine unfriending over a petty argument. 

My friend and I still talk about the fight we had but now we look back and are so thankful it happened because it made our friendship stronger. After that fight I learned to stop making my friend carry the weight of unreasonable expectations and I began to embrace her for the person God made her.

My close friendships are like my favorite pair of shoes (my chaco’s) They are durable, comfortable, and I can walk through life with them because those things last forever. 

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships by Lisa-Jo Baker. This book has helped me go out of my comfort zone to make new friends and it’s given me wonderful tools to be a good friend. If you pre-order the book before April 4th you can even get some free goodies!

I promise, after reading the book I can honestly say, your friendships and your soul will thank you. I know mine did. 🙂

~ Lovelle ❤

A Faith Better Than Our Circumstance

Who You Are

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For the past 5 years I have had an air freshener on my rear view mirror. It’s a cross with big blue letters that read, “Be still and know that I am God.” The smell is long gone and age has definitely set in but every time I think about taking it down I just can’t bring myself to do it.

You see, my high school librarian gave me that air freshener as a graduation gift and it was with me in some of the toughest situations I have ever endured. I would look at it when I was homeless or driving to one of my many jobs.

I would glimpse at that cross when I was in pain wondering why I had to go through life alone. It was my reminder that He was with me through it all.

This air freshener would tell me that God was in control and I need not worry. I still look at it daily and it means more to me now than it ever has. I have walked through the wilderness and God has brought me to my promised land.

I am writing this story because I want you to know a very important truth: You never know who you impact.

It took me years to truly understand how much my librarian helped me and it took me even longer to voice it to her. My librarian and quite a few high school teachers walked along side me in some pretty tough mud that I’m sure they weren’t certain I would get out of.

But guess what??? They also walked with me through my promised land too. One of my favorite memories is when three of my teachers crowded around me for a picture on my wedding day.

wedding

They believed in me and that is the faith that God has called us to live. Being still and knowing who God is doesn’t mean that everything is perfect and it certainly doesn’t mean we are in control.

It means that we trust in a God that knows the end result even if it takes years to fully develop. My job is a hard one. I see kids in some of the worst situations. Some leave to a happy place while others leave in handcuffs.

No matter what, I don’t know what the end will look like for any of them. When I drive home I look at that cross and remember that I serve a God that knows every one of my kids’ situations.

What situation are you dealing with today? What uncertainty do you see? Trust in God and know that He has everything taken care of.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

 

 

What My College Degree Means to Me

Our Circumstances2

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I walked to the stage in amazement. I never thought I would get here but I did. They announced my name and gave me my diploma. I could hardly hold back the tears.

I worked so hard for this.
I almost gave up so many times because it was so hard.
I shed so many tears trying to get to this place right here, right now.

6 years ago I was isolated and alone. I had dropped out of high school for over a year but managed to graduate on time by the grace of our Heavenly Father. College seemed to good for a girl like me.

That’s where the smart people went. You know, the ones with parents that believed in them and actually prepared them for it. I got shoved into a community college and until the first day of class, I didn’t know that college had a different schedule.

I didn’t realize that you didn’t go to school from 8am-3pm. Talk about a wake up call.

I felt so different and stupid compared to the other kids who actually seemed somewhat put together. There were so many nights with little sleep because school and working full time didn’t always mix.

I continued on and pushed myself forward, looking toward the finish line, uncertain of my future. The Lord is so faithful. 

Now I have parents and a huge support system cheering me on. Somehow they knew I could do it even when I didn’t think I could. They never let me give up. They listened to my cries and cheered me on all the way to the finish line.

As I held that bachelors degree as tight as I could with my cap and gown on I was so full of thankfulness. I am thankful that the Lord took a broken girl and did the impossible. He managed to make her a graduate not once, but twice.

He saw something in her that she didn’t know she had. He pursued her with everything He had and He constantly reminded her that His ways are no limit to her circumstances. 

He gave her healing.
He gave her parents.
He gave her an amazing husband.
He proved to her that she wasn’t as stupid as she thought she seemed.
He showed her that she was worthy.

Everything that was taken from her, God in His gracious love redeemed. That my friends is what my college degree means to me.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

 

Getting Through Growing Pains

Joy of Life

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I was in the middle of a very intense conversation with God. When I say intense I mean I pointed my finger up to heaven and said some pretty mean words. To sum up my 30 minute rant, I pretty much got on to God because I felt like He wasn’t doing anything.

It’s horrible, I know but hey, He knew what I was thinking anyway so why not shout about it as I was attempting clean my house. My house is a spot on reflection of my life, it’s a hot mess.

I was sick of waiting. I was sick of confusion and I wanted answers. Like a teenager who thinks she knows everything, I was trying to tell God what I needed even though God already knows me better than I know myself.

I was impatient and rude. The funny thing about wilderness moments is that they put us in a situation where we are forced to depend on God in a way we haven’t previously.

I may have complained but I know God was glad that I wasn’t trying to do things on my own. I may be somewhat of a control freak but I am not one to give up on God’s promises. I have seen God perform so many miracles in my life.

I’ve seen Him provide a home on two different occasions when I was homeless and I’ve seen Him provide finances when I didn’t have anything. I will wait for God to do His work and I will follow His lead, even if that means I have to have some very real conversations with Him.

After my crying session where I literally cried all the makeup off my face I was okay and you know what? God was gracious and patient with me because that’s the kind of God we serve.

Like a parent, He takes us kicking and screaming into some hard situations. He understands our confusion and is there guiding us the whole time, even if we don’t feel or see Him. 

Are you going through growing pains? Are you being molded by God in a way that kind of hurts? Do you feel like screaming at the top of your lungs?

Can I just take a second to say that God’s got this? He doesn’t waste anything and I promise you, it’s going to be okay. When it comes down to it, we find our joy in God. He knows just what we need.

~ Lovelle ❤

God Knows When We Don’t

 

Wilderness Moments

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Have you ever had one of those seasons where you just don’t know what to do? You know, when you don’t feel like the Lord is directing your path and you are just waiting in limbo for Him to respond so you can move? Well that’s been me for the last six months.

I am about to graduate college with a broad degree, and I have a background in every single job you can imagine. I knew that God had a specific plan for me that aligned with my past and my passions but I just couldn’t figure out what that was.

I felt like I was in a box. I was in a situation where I literally had to take it one day at a time and wait on the Lord to tell me what to do. In what seemed like a million years and some, He did! Kind of…

I thought to myself, “Yea! no more wilderness for me! This season is FINALLY over.” Well…  I was wrong. Now I know what to do I just have to wait. My wilderness season involves me knowing His plans, but being patient and trusting that God will work everything out.

I am learning that life is full of wilderness moments. In Exodus we see  the  Israelite’s wandering in the wilderness and I tend to think of that as a one-time thing but as I am relating it to my life I am noticing they actually experienced quite a few.

They were in a wilderness when they were slaves. They were in a wilderness when they were leaving Egypt and escaping, not knowing if they were going to get out alive. Every day they had to trust that God had a plan and that He would provide for them.

They had some up’s and down’s but God was with them the whole time and HE DID lead them to their promised land.

It’s the same way with us too. I’m holding on to the promise that God doesn’t waste anything. Will you join me by remembering that promise for your life as well?

His plans for your life are good. A God that knows the number of every hair on our head certainly knows the outcome of our situation.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

Life and the Storms: This, Too, Shall Pass

It was a bright and sunny day and the temperature was perfect. Although I felt like winter lasted forever, the amazing weather I saw made me think that things were going to lighten up and boy, was I excited. I was ready for the warmer weather, and all that came with it like trips to the lake, pretty flowers, and walks outside.

I looked at my phone to find a notification from a local news station informing me that the area was under a severe thunderstorm warning. I scoffed at my phone in disbelief because from what I had observed, there was no way a storm was possible. The weather was amazing and there wasn’t even a cloud in the sky. A couple hours later the meteorologist proved me wrong, and the storm came down hard.

As I sat on my couch listening to the rain fall and thunder bellow outside my house I couldn’t help but think that this is what life is all about…

I was reminded that life is full of up’s and downs. The adversary has undesired surprises hidden in every corner. One moment things are fine and then bam, you are hit with an unexpected expense or sickness. Happiness is drowned in the midst of a storm. Through all the hardships that come from life, I am so thankful that my God is in control.

This too shall pass

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Are you going through a storm right now? Were you hit with a situation that seemed to knock you right off of your feet? Take heart, my dear friend, because our troubles won’t last forever. Our loving God is full of comfort and guidance. Even if you can’t see Him, He is present in your situation and there is hope because  this, too, shall pass