Tag Archives: Faith

Taking My Own Advice //

Hello, beauties! It’s been a while…

I am going to get a little personal here and lay it all out on the table. After all, that’s what this blog is for, right?

I’ve been pretty miserable lately and haven’t done anything about it other than complain. If you were to ask me how my day was, how work is going or what I’ve been up to, chances are, you’d get a grunt and a frustrated giggle as a response. For the last two years, this has been my immediate response to those questions and it hasn’t really hit me until recently.

Before I go into more detail, I really want to clarify something. I realize that I am absolutely blessed to have the job that I do. I am able to pay my bills, live comfortably, I have a steady schedule, benefits, etc. I know that it is very difficult for people to find jobs these days, especially one that is stable. I was having a difficult time looking for a good full-time job before I got married and felt nearly hopeless after searching for so long. But God provided as He always does and gave me an incredible opportunity. I do not, DO NOT whine and complain while I am at work. I am actually known for my positive and cheerful attitude and I work as hard and as efficiently as I can, because I know that this job is a blessing and I am so thankful for it!

You see, I have known for a very, very long time that I would someday be in full time ministry. Over the last couple of years, The Lord has been revealing to me more what that will look like. It’s such a beautiful thing to know your calling and purpose. Although we do not always know exactly what it entails or how and when we will get there, there is still beauty in the mystery.

There is something so incredible about trusting God completely with your life. We tend to think that just by calling ourselves believers, tithing regularly and going to church, we are fully trusting in The Lord. Our lives are so much more than that. How about trusting Him when He says to pack up and move to another country? Or to quit our high paying jobs and to go into ministry full-time? When He tells you to adopt a child? Or when He says to buy that homeless man dinner and a hotel room for the night?

So often we ignore the things God is calling us to do. We are either afraid of the unknown or are unsure of whether or not we are really hearing The Lord’s voice (it will never contradict the Word of God). The more often we ignore these things, the more numb we become to hearing and recognizing His voice altogether. God is always wanting to give us opportunities to spread His love, if only we are willing. We may have the most amazing dreams and callings, but it’s up to us to make it become our reality.

Lately, I realized that I have not been taking my own advice. I encourage others to pursue their dreams and to take even the smallest steps in that direction so that they don’t remain stagnant. I am a firm believer that God opens doors for us and gives us opportunities. But I also believe that we have free will and that He doesn’t always push us through those open doors. Sometimes we have to do these things ourselves, we have to want it.

For the last several months, I have been hearing The Lord loud and clear, telling me to move forward. It’s up to me to take the next step. Nothing is going to change in my life if I don’t decide to listen and follow His voice. One of my greatest fears is not even moving backward in my walk, but standing still. No longer hearing His voice and even losing the desire to pursue the dream He has given me.

The reason I have been so down isn’t because I am ungrateful, but rather unfulfilled. My heart is literally exploding with love for young women all over the world and I am sitting here in an office. Staring at a computer. Typing in random codes. All. Day. Long. For the last three years. It’s so difficult for me to be in here when I know I am meant to be out there and there are millions of women that need to be reached and God has appointed me as the one to reach them.

I realize that it’s not going to all unfold perfectly over night, but I am willing to take a step. A big one. I am currently seeking any job opportunities in that field. Rap houses, halfway homes, youth programs, delinquent facilities, etc. Even if they are only hiring for something as small as a receptionist position. Anything that could get me moving in that direction is better than nothing.

Please keep me in your prayers during this new season I am entering. It is crazy, stressful, exciting, scary and beautiful all at once.

Don’t sit around unfulfilled, watching others doing God’s work when you were created to join them. Be a vessel! Listen to the voice of The Lord and do what He says! Your life will be so much more exciting and adventurous than you could ever make it on your own. It won’t always be easy, but I promise it will be worth it!

xx,

Alyssa

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Finding Your One True Love //

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I got married at the ripe young age of 19. There is so much controversy these days over what is the ‘right’ age to marry, living together before you are married and how long people should be together before they decide to marry. My husband and I dealt with a lot of irresolute comments and ignorant questions throughout our courtship. Most of which came from those who had different backgrounds, beliefs, and morals than we did. They asked us why we wanted to get married so young, told us we needed to live together before we got married to make sure it would ‘work out’ and said we were missing out by not exploring other ‘options’.

In other instances, I have had many unmarried young women ask me about our relationship and seek advice for finding their future spouse. Questions like, “how did you know he was the one and when did you figure that out?” and “do you really think I will find someone for myself?” are among the most common. You see, every relationship is different; no two love stories are exactly the same.

God spoke to each of us individually and told us that we would one day be married (we hardly knew one another at the time…scary). After praying separately and with our parents, we began courting almost immediately, taking premarital counseling courses and going through marriage studies. About 8 months later, we got engaged and 13 months following our engagement, we became husband and wife.

We lived at home with our parents, up until the day we exchanged vows. We waited because we thought it would be worth it, and it was. We are told in Hebrews 13:4 that this is the way it should be. I can stand in front of anyone to this day and say that I have absolutely no regrets with the decisions we have made in our relationship.

Now I’m not going to sit here writing to you about how perfect of a marriage I have and how perfect my little life was before I met my husband. I just want to share the truth- what my life was like as I was growing up and how broken I was, before I completely surrendered everything to The Only One who could satisfy my needs.

Let’s rewind a bit to before we had even met one another. I struggled with a very deep depression for as long as I can remember. I didn’t think I was pretty or worthy of someone who could treat me well. I measured my worth based on the opinions of others. I found my identity in boys and relationships, rather than finding it in Jesus. I allowed myself to focus all of my energy and attention on these relationships, only to end up with a broken heart every time. Rather than finding the satisfaction I was expecting; I found hurt, despair, broken trust and even more depression.

The world has created a new stage before dating. I don’t mean friendship; it’s between friendship and dating. This epidemic is called ‘talking’. I’m sure most of you 30 and under know exactly what I’m talking about. This is probably one of the most juvenile relationships one could be in. Usually a guy will take the girl out like a date…but it’s not a date. Because they’re just ‘talking’. He can kiss her and touch her like he would if they were dating…but he can do that with someone else too, or can he? Because they’re not dating. They’re just ‘talking’.

This type of relationship only confuses and hurts both parties involved. There is no sense of where the relationship is headed, and no proper expectations or intentions set. This typically gives the guys an opportunity to get all of the benefits of a relationship without having to commit to anything. Ladies, you are worth so much more than that. Don’t allow yourself to be led on, and don’t allow someone else to control your happiness. A real man knows what he wants and the person that God chose for you will respect you.

It took an awfully crappy relationship with an equally crappy ending for me to finally snap out of these series of train-wreck-like decisions I was making. I gave up completely. I realized that no matter how hard I tried, I would never be able to find my happiness in another human being. I found myself on my knees in total abandonment in front of my Savior.

I want to take a moment to speak directly to those of you who are single and eagerly awaiting the arrival of your Prince Charming. Guess what? He’s right in front of you! His name is Jesus Christ, the only one who will truly love you regardless of all of your flaws and no matter how many times you betray Him. He is waiting with His arms wide open, ready for you to run and embrace Him. His love for you is deeper and richer than any Nicholas Sparks character or any man you could dream up yourself. Once you allow Him to be your center focus and the love of your life, then, in His timing, He will direct you to the one you will spend the rest of your live with.

I’m not saying that if you’re single, you’re not putting God first in your life. That would be a completely asinine thing to say. I am simply stating that when you give your entire heart to God and find your true worth and happiness in Him, you can’t go wrong. No one else can fulfill that need in your heart, not even your spouse. Marriage was not created to make you happy, and if that’s what you think, you will be extremely disappointed when you find yourself in your first argument with your significant other.

If you think it’s too late to start over, or too late for you to find ‘the one’, don’t fret. And stop searching, your love story has already been written by the most incredible Author. Leave your worries at the feet of Jesus and give Him all of your love. As said in Proverbs 37:4, “Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. ” Trust in Him, I promise you will not be disappointed!

xx

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It’s A Heart Problem //

I have come to the conclusion that I am done. I give up; I just can’t do this anymore.

I am so tired of trying to earn grace. I know that grace can’t be earned, and yet I find myself trying to work for it. I focus too much on trying to make myself look neat and holy, rather than the One whom actually matters. There is a spirit of religion trying to disguise itself in Christianity and we seem to not always recognize it when it comes to our own lives. We walk around with this self-righteous mind set and call ourselves Christians. We point fingers at others and judge the lives that they live, when in reality, we aren’t even right ourselves. The world can decipher the difference between hypocrisy and a genuine love for The Lord and for others.

I have allowed myself to be constantly let down because I always screw up. No matter how hard I try, I always find a way to make a mess of things. That’s because I try and do it all on my own.

We are called to be like Jesus. And to be honest, that’s all I really want. I don’t want people to look at me and see me, the messy girl who is always slipping up and then hypocritically pointing the finger at others. I want them to see Jesus instead. I want them to see a girl that occasionally slips up and isn’t afraid to admit it, brushes herself off and moves on. A girl that loves on others with a love like Jesus.

I have a desire to lead others to Christ not just with my words, but with my actions. I want everyone to know that no matter how far you have strayed, how unworthy you feel or how big of a hole you’ve dug for yourself…it’s never too late. You don’t have to do anything to work for God’s grace and mercy, He has already given it unto us freely.

So how do we live like this, you ask?

First, we must get down to the heart of the problem and realize it’s a problem of the heart. We need to make our first priority to fall in love with our Creator more than ever before. When you genuinely love someone, you desire to spend as much time with them as possible and to do whatever you can to make sure that it happens. You long to know more about them. The more we make it a priority to spend time with the Lord, the more we will begin to see a real change in ourselves. You simply cannot go against the Holy Spirit when you are continuously and consciously walking in Him. It will be even less of an effort to try and act holy, as it will come more naturally.

Secondly, we need to stop judging. Really. I am so tired of hearing others tear down fellow believers and then try and justify their actions. There is a huge difference between correction in love and tearing down another person. Our words are so powerful and death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). I understand fully that we are all human and that we won’t always like one another and agree with each other’s way of living, but we need to stop using that as an excuse. We are called be set apart, not of this world (John 15:19). Jesus loved unconditionally, which is what drew people to Him. We are doing such a disservice to His name when we speak negatively toward others.

We must work on ourselves and renew our minds daily, rather than try and fix everyone else. If you desire to become more like Jesus, make Him your main focus. We are all growing and constantly learning, but the only way to actually do so is by surrendering every bit of ourselves to Jesus Christ.

This year, I am committing myself to getting to know God more intimately than ever and erasing negativity and judgement toward others from my life. Join me in making a genuine change in our lives and in this world. Let’s show everyone what God’s love is really all about!

xx

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New Beginnings //

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Another year has come and gone. It’s truly amazing how time flies. As 2013 is coming to a close, we all look back and review the events that have occurred throughout the last 365 days. Achievements, passing of loved ones, celebration of new life, personal growth, etc. Personally, I have experienced so many new things this past year and my life is forever changed.

In January of 2013, I stepped up and became a youth pastor for an incredible group of kids. For a year, I wrote sermons and preached every Wednesday night. I never really saw myself before as someone who would be putting messages together and preaching every week, but God stretched me and proved to be faithful as always. He really showed me that He will use whoever He wants to get something done. He used this opportunity to strengthen me and help me move in the direction of my purpose. New doors are opening and I couldn’t be more excited to see what He is going to do next.

May 19th 2013 was our one year wedding anniversary. It came so quickly! We spent an entire week away in the mountains of Tennessee. I spent so much time planning the things we would do and just as much time praying that I would be able to actually do them. July 11th 2012 was the date of my car accident. Up until now, I was still seeing the doctor every week, unable to move and do certain activities that I once was capable of. I enjoyed working out, dancing and being active. After the accident, the enemy had really instilled in me that I would never be able to fully do those things again. And I believed him. I told myself that I had faith and was waiting to receive my healing, but I wasn’t really. I still harbored bitterness and doubt.

The Lord really taught me a lesson during this time. He showed me what true faith is. During our time away, we did everything we had planned! Zip lining, whitewater rafting, skydiving and hiking. We spent an entire day hiking to the top of Mt. Leconte, one of the highest peaks in the Smoky Mountains. I had a serious God encounter during the climb. I was quoting scripture and felt The Lord just wrapping His loving arms around me. He filled me with an overwhelming peace and told me that I was healed- and I received it.

On this day, December 31 2013, I can say that my faith is stronger than ever. My marriage is the best it has ever been and I am even more in love with my husband than the day I married him. My purpose and the dream God has given me is clearer than ever before. I wouldn’t trade anything that has happened this past year; It has molded me into the person I am today.

My prayer is that regardless of the things that took place in your life last year, you would learn from all of it. That you would see the blessings over the hurts and the achievements over the failures. It is all just a part of your journey. Step boldly into this new year. This is Y O U R year, your new beginning, and God has got some pretty amazing things in store.

I am so excited to see what God is going to do in my life and how He is going to use me. New opportunities, new challenges, new blessings and new ways to serve others! I hope that you all join me on this adventure!

Have the most amazing New Years filled with lots of love and food!

xx

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