4 Reasons That I Am (Apparently) Crazy

To be honest, everyone always defined me as…interesting. That’s how they always put it, anyways. When I was a kid, I was crazy for my wild personality, loud voice, and imagination. However, now that I am an adult (kinda), I’m hearing “Oh my goodness, you are crazy!” about more important things in my life. But they always have a theme to them. So here are four reasons I am (apparently) crazy.

1. I’m going into ministry.

God has called me to be a pastor. So with barely a backup plan or any kind of plan, I am going to Bible college to be a full-time pastor. A lot of people thinks this idea is nuts. How could I ever expect to make money as a pastor?! And I am really going to school 4 years for it?! Yes, yes I am. Why? Because God has called me. Not only that, but God has designed me for this. No, I don’t plan on making much money. But that is okay, because I am serving God.

2. I’m going into ministry… as a woman.

Yep, I’m going there. Kinda. Let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, I am a woman, who believes I am called to the ministry. And I am not saying I’m going to be “The Pastor’s Wife”. While that is completely 100% awesome and admirable (I am in no way under-valuing the role), it’s just not for me. God has called me to full-time ministry, as a pastor. Sure there may be seasons where I am not working, but God has told me He has called me to be a pastor.

3. I’m going into youth ministry.

Not only does going into youth ministry make some people blink twice, but it’s also quite interesting to see people raise an eyebrow to a woman being a youth pastor. To be honest, I was a little uneasy about the idea at first. Before Bible college, I hadn’t met a woman youth pastor. Plus I couldn’t really see myself as the a youth pastor. But with a year of prayer, I know God has called me to be just that, and I have no doubts about it.

4. I’m getting married!

Okay, I wasn’t going to post this at first, but yes I’m getting married. I figured seeing my blog was about the transition from teen to adult I should probably mention this monumental change. God started calling me and my fiance, Garrick, to get married, unlike after we finished school like we planned. But God not only provided for all my financial worries, but also my emotional and spiritual worries as well. It’s kinda funny to say that I was scared to get married. I was believing that I wasn’t good enough yet. I was convinced that I had to have all my spiritual and emotional baggage all checked. But the thing is, I am never going to be good enough. That’s why marriage is not just husband and wife. It is husband, wife and God.

However, it is still crazy I’m getting married. Yes, I will only be twenty. Yes, I will be finishing school and living on campus while being married. I have been praised and condoned for it. But Garrick and I prayed and fasted about it and we know God wants us to get married.

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So overall, I’m always called crazy when I follow what God has called me to do. Following the call of God is crazy and it doesn’t always make sense. However, it is the best thing you can do with your life and God will have your back every step of the way.

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My Next Adventure~ My Internship with Youth Alive!

page17_picture0_2Today I am leaving for my internship with Michigan Youth Alive! I recently posted in Recent Blessings, Lessons, and Opportunities about how God has blessed me with this amazing opportunity to minister in the way I have always dreamed of, with Youth Alive.

Youth Alive is a program that trains students to being missionaries on their middle/high school campuses, as well as help students create on campus Bible studies and clubs. I was a campus missionary in high school, and my friends and I tried to start a Bible club at my school.

So long story short, (read more in the article above) I was hired to work with Michigan’s Youth Alive and work at youth camps and such for two months. I am really excited! I get to work with teens and talk to them about evangelism, which is where my passion is.

I am also quite nervous. I have never been so far from home before for such a long time. Especially alone, with no friends or family with me. It will be hard to be away from my fiance for two months too. And driving in new areas petrifies me. But I know that it is out of my comfort zone where God will use me. So here I go!

Please pray for safe travels as I drive from Massachusetts to Michigan and please pray for the ministry that will be taking place. I will be keeping you updated on my adventure! Make sure you follow me! And comment with any questions if you’d like 🙂

God bless!

~Lillian ❤

Anxiety (My Struggle and Freedom)

IMG_0077 - Copy copyI can’t. I can’t. I can’t. 

What if…? What if…? What if…?

Am I wrong? Am I wrong? Am I wrong? 

One of these three things would repeat in my head over and over as I held my head, alone in my room, barley breathing. Sometimes I would cry. Other times I would throw up. I was having a anxiety attack.

Anything would set me off. An upcoming test. An argument with my fiance. Failure at making friends in school. Lack of money. Drama from home. It was getting close to every other day when I realized (a little late) that anxiety was controlling my life. One day I came across a verse which says not to let the devil have a foothold in your life (Ephesians 4:27). It was then I felt God reveal to me that I was being oppressed by the spirit of anxiety.

Now please, do not hear what I am not saying. I fully believe anxiety can be a medical condition that we need to treat until God will heal. But I also believe that the devil or demons can bring anxiety on us to keep us from God’s calling on our lives. The later was my case, and I know plenty of girls who have the prior. However, I know it was not a medical condition for me because I never had a problem with anxiety in the slightest before I came to Bible college.

So after God revealed it to me that the enemy was gaining a foothold, I started to pray for freedom. I needed to cast all my anxiety on Him (1 Peter 5:7), so much so that He takes my spirit of worry and fear completely off me. I knew I had the power to free myself from the enemy’s schemes because of Christ, but I also knew like any healing, its a process. So after a few days of prayer, fasting a few meals here and there, I came to the alter in chapel after a sermon about worry. A fellow student prayed over me, one who had not known my struggle, and casting the enemy off of me, and I felt that I was free!

It has been confirmed to me that I am free several times. I’ve gone through situations (including finals) very calmly that would have sent me into an attack before. I’ve been told that I walk differently now. I praise God for this freedom and I don’t blog this to brag, but to extend an invite for freedom if you suffer like I suffered.

If you have anxiety or anything not of God that is controlling you (addiction, anger, forgiveness, etc), pray to God and seek freedom in Him (I recommend the Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson). If you do not receive freedom after a season of prayer, do not be afraid to seek medical help, but always after seeking the Lord’s healing first.

This is my testimony. God has set me free! And He will set you free too! Amen.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

~2 Corinthians 3:17

Recent Blessings, Lessons, and Opportunities.

beachHello, dear reader. I apologize for not posting on my blog in such a long time. There is no excuse, but I wanted to update you on recent things in my journey. The end of my first year at Bible college is approaching, and I can not believe how much time has passed. But most of all, I can’t believe the amount of growth in God that has occurred in my life. .

As you know from the news and my post titled Snowmaggendon 2015, the semester started off rocky. Despite this, the semester has gone very well. I had a lot more time on my hands going from taking 7 classes last semester to taking 4 this semester. The overachiever in me wanted to take more classes, but God held me back from that, telling me this would be a season of rest and growth. And I am so glad I listened to him! I have learned to forgive long held grudges, to believe in God’s plan in my despite where I have come from, I have learned to love the way God created me and see the beauty He has given me, and I have been delivered from the spirit of anxiety. (I will post on these at a later time.)

However, spiritual growth is not the only blessing I have received this semester. God has been teaching me to trust Him with providing for my needs, from small to large. It started off with quarters needed for laundry- whenever I ran out I started finding them everywhere. Whenever I ran out of a toiletry, a friend would randomly bless me with what I was needing. I have starting giving my needs to God, refusing to buy what I needed and let God provide. God hasn’t failed with it yet.

Then God provided for me greatly as well, and this is where opportunity has arrived. The US Missions of the Assemblies of God was offering internships across the country here on campus, and I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to apply. I did and I was accepted, and I will be working my dream job this summer. I will be interning in Michigan with Youth Alive, a program which teaches teens to be missionaries in their public middle/high schools. I will teaching teens to evangelize to their friends and peer at different summer camps. All these things have been dreams of mine! Not only that, but in exchange for my work this summer, I will be receiving a grant of half my tuition for next semester. And I am blown away by what God is doing. He is so good!

This summer I will be keeping you up to date on the work I will be doing and all the things God will be showing me. I hope you enjoy these posts and I am looking forward to showing you my adventure even further! And please pray for my travel and what I will be doing this summer!

God bless!

Lillian ❤

For the Days You Feel Overwhelmed

overwhelmedFeeling overwhelmed is a pretty common thing for us young adults. Trying to learn how to live out new “adult” lives, being swamped with college work, money being low, anxiety being high, living away from home for the first time- sometimes we just feel surrounded by worry or even failure.

But Christ doesn’t want us to live like that. God gave us the power to live above worry and troubles; to be in the world but not of it (Col. 3:2). Jesus came and provided a better life for us, one free from the bondage of being overwhelmed.

Now, please do not hear what I am not saying. I am not saying as Christians we should be unrealistically happy all hours of the day. I am not saying that if you feel overwhelmed you are not “Christian” enough. I am not saying nothing should bother you. What I am saying is that we don’t have to let things rule us. We may still feel overwhelmed, but we don’t have to be overwhelmed (read more on that here). Life is still the same but we are not. Through Christ we are free.

Now that we know that we don’t have to live like this, let us learn how we can live differently. The secret to rising above the overwhelming feelings we experience is summed up in three words: Focus on God. 

How did Peter walk on the water? He focused on God. The Bible says Peter walked on the water easily until “he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (Matt. 14:30). When believers in Israel were being forced to chose between Judaism and Christ, the writer of Hebrews told them, “We must focus our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2). We have to take our eyes off of things of this world, and set our vision on God. (For more on this, see Colossians 3).

Start off with simply diving into your time with God. Pray, read the Bible, and spend time listening to God. Go to a secret place with Him, where there is no distractions. As you focus on Him, He will help you when you feel overwhelmed. He will give you a state of peace beyond what you can understand (Phil 4:7). He will help you prioritize, guiding you to what you can let go of and what you can pursue (Psalms 25:4-5). Put God first in all you do, and the rest will fall into place. (Matt 6:33)

Snowmaggeddon 2015???… Not so much….

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Sunday night, my friends and I received a call from the school. The automated voice recited that on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday there would be no classes. What a cry of rejoicing followed! Voices of excited students filled the campus of Northpoint Bible College.

But the next day, the excitement turned into chaos.

Monday morning was peaceful until we received yet another call from the school, asking anyone who lives an hour and half away to go home for the week. The school wanted to have as few students on campus as possible in case of loss of power. And guess who lives exactly an hour and a half away? That’s right, me.

At first, I refused. I have lived in New England my entire life, I sat comfortably through 3 ice storms and several state of emergencies. This storm would probably be less than we are expecting. But worried students from everywhere else in the country would not rest. People were really worried, it was crazy. My anxiety started to rise. After several students and staff members asked us, my fiance and I finally decided to head home, against my personal wishes.

Now I am at my fiance’s place, sitting by the window, watching the snow fall. The storm has not met our expectations (yet). But I am seeing this storm as an example of God using all things for the good of those who love Him. My fellow students and I basically have a small break for this week. Also, I get to spend some lovely quality time with my in-laws and my fiance. When the snow clears up in a few days, I will be able to visit my own family, too. This will be a nice recharge before the rush of the spring semester. I’m relaxed and blessed.

To my fellow New Engalnders, how are you surviving in Snowmaggeddon? Any blessings falling with the snow?

Thanks for reading and liking this post 🙂

God bless

~Lillian ❤

Identity, Struggle, and Potential

Today I’d like to share another post being transparent in my struggle and what I’m learning from it. Today I want to talk about Identity.

I’ve been struggling with knowing who I really am for some time. I often feel that I’m not the same person as I used to be, that I’m not reaching my full potential. Feeling confident is hard, but it never used to be.

One day, I found an article written by a psychologist about identity crisis. She wrote that people start to question their identity after a foundational shift in their life, whether it is where they work, live, or in family situations, etc. I realized this is my problem. Not only did I start college, but I don’t have a room at home anymore, and my family is turned upside down.  With this happening, I have lost a foundation- a norm that has been there my entire life. This creates a feeling of instability which robs me of confidence in who I am.

In the last month, I made more of an effort to put my foundation in God. The Bible says God is our Rock. If we stand on Him, we stand firmly on solid ground (Matthew 7:24-27). In order to make God my Rock, I have to study His Word, do what it says, and depend on God every single day. And when I depend on God, my foundation never shifts, because God is constant and trustworthy.

With this dependence on God, I learn more about who God is and about myself. Knowing I’m created in God’s image and being loved by Him slowly reveals to me my identity in Him. I feel more confident because I know He is guiding me. I know I am valuable because of what He has done for me. And I am learning to love every part of myself, because God created me and God doesn’t make mistakes.

Through this struggle, I have learned that without God and self approval, we never reach our full potential. We can’t do anything without God (John 15:5). If you feel like you are doing than you could be, I encourage you to check your heart in two matters: how you see yourself and how dependent you are on God. You might find that you have done what I did- I let my struggle become my identity. 717c09cb8236bbb337c493334eaf6d1c

You may feel insecure about yourself- but you don’t have to be an insecure person. You may feel alone- but you don’t have to do it alone. You may struggle with sin- but you don’t have to be a sinner. Let the Truth of God’s Word rise above how you feel. Focus on what God says about you, not on your emotions or doubts. After all- how can God be wrong?

If you enjoyed this post, please comment and like! If you know someone in the identity struggle, don’t be afraid to share this post!

God bless,

Lillian ❤

A Secret Place

closet“In the secret, in the quiet place,

In the stillness, You are there…” ~ In The Secret (song)

***

“Take me to that place, Lord,

to that secret place where

I can be with You…”  ~Wrap Me in Your Arms (songs)

Today I am back on campus of Northpoint Bible College, and the Spring Semester has started rolling along. I am very excited for what God has in store.

Today, I wanted to share with you a message that I have heard many times on Campus. I really believe every person can benefit from this and more Christians need to hear it. When I arrived at Northpoint last August, I was encouraged by our President and teachers to find one spot on campus, dedicated to letting God work in me; praying to Him, crying out, meditating on His Word. And I found my own little spot. I’ve made it my place to go when I am struggling or scared or just need to be alone with God. It’s quiet, private, but powerful.

Jesus also talks about finding our own little spot for prayer as well. When Jesus was teaching His disciples on how to pray in Matthew 6:6, He said:

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

The Greek word for “your room” (or “closet” as most people know it) is tameion which means “storage room” (hence “closet”), “inner chamber”, or “secret room”. The last definition stuck out to me. After all, Jesus was just telling His disciples not to pray in public for their own gain. For this reason, I edited out my description of my secret place, simply because I realized it is unneeded.

I believe one of the rewards for praying in secret place is the experience you have there. Prayer seems empty to many Christians, for with our intellectual culture, most people simply think their prayers as we go about our day. But God does a powerful thing in us when we make the time to stop, go into our room, shut the door behind us with the world outside us, and pray.

I encourage you, if you have not already, to find yourself a place to go and pray in secret, letting God work in you. It could be a nice cozy spot outside, or a corner with a chair in your house, or maybe at your kitchen table. Anywhere, as long as you are alone with God.

Thank you for reading, liking and commenting your thoughts. God bless!

~Lillian ❤

Happy New Year to You!

Happy New Year, everyone! I am so happy to be back on WordPress after a holiday break. I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year.

This past year was definitely crazy! I graduated high school, got engaged, started college, and God is taking me down a path of life-changing things. Growing up and being busy has never been so real! I have learned so many things, and I’m still learning things as I grow. I’m so excited for what God will do!

I encourage you to look back on the year and learn from it. How did you change? Did you change at all? Why don’t we change that? Thank God for what is behind you, but don’t look back too long- keep moving forward, eyes on God, and 2015 will be a great year!

What did you learn in 2014? What are your goals for 2015? Comment below! 

Thank you for liking, commenting, and sharing!

God bless,

~Lillian ❤

Bible Verses for Finishing the Semester Strong

Keeping your motivation up towards the end of your semester can be hard. Really hard. But I find comfort knowing that God will reward us for our struggle and hard work!Know that God has you where you are for a reason and wants you to try your best at your academics. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will be rewarded.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

~Colossians 3:23-24

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

~Galatians 6:9

And one of my favorites:

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

~1 Corinthians 15:8

Until next time, God bless!

Lillian ❤

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