9,053 Feet of Change

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As you may have noticed, a significant amount of time has passed since I’ve posted on my blog. I think I moved into a new season of life where writing wasn’t as much of a priority for me. And that’s okay with me! But with so many major changes happening in my life, I wanted to update the world on where I’m at, what I’m doing, and how I feel about it.

Here’s what my priorities/interests HAVE been the last year (and I mean new ones, so just insert God, family, friends, school, etc. in all the right places):

1. I started taking piano more seriously.

2. I started dating Isaiah Struve. *insert heart eyes*

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3. I took up an interest in amateur iPhone photography and the community aspect of Instagram. I met a lot of really awesome people (mostly photographers) through Instagram this year!

4. I started exploring Dallas more thoroughly, discovering all its secrets and trying to see it from every angle possible.

5. I discovered coffee as something to actually learn about and enjoy, not just to drink as liquid Holy Spirit in the morning. I’m now one of those annoying people that can talk to you about beans, roasters, origins, notes, quality, etc.

SO. That was this last school year. ^^^

Now to summer:

I’m living in Estes Park, CO. 9,053 feet above sea level. I’m the Arts Administration Intern a music camp called Rocky Ridge Music Center. Basically, Arts Administration is the way of combining a taste and love for music/art with leadership, organization, and business. I’m pretty much learning what goes into running this camp specifically, but also non-profits in general. I’m looking at Arts Administration as a possible grad school route, because I think it would be awesome to teach music and then eventually run a music department, an orchestra, a symphony, etc. We’ll see what happens!

I love the mountains. I love the taste of tap water up here. I love that my log cabin windows are always open. The views are incredible. The air feels clean. The food is all organic and healthy. The views are amazing. I drove Trail Ridge Road yesterday, which goes above 12,000 feet. I was driving in the sky.

And yet, I’m not going to lie…. I am 500% out of my comfort zone. I’m not just a people person, I’m a my people person. So being uprooted from my family, my friends, and my favorite city, and coming here 13 hours away to a super isolated place where I don’t know anyone, is still taking some getting used to. There were some lonely moments in the first few weeks. There still are sometimes. I was wondering why I was here and how long I was going to feel that way. And its a long story, but basically the Lord spoke to me specifically and directly and told me that my purpose for being here would become obvious eventually. That His stamp of approval is on my life. That my identity needs to be in Him and not who I’m around or where I’m at. And that He is going to reveal Himself to me at a depth I never knew possible this summer.

That’s pretty cool. It’s definitely an adjustment. I am outside my little Christian school bubble. I’m learning how to build relationships with and truly embrace people who are different than me without apologizing for who I am. I miss Texas a whole lot, but something I’ve been reminding myself of is to “learn to love the skies I’m under.”

Looking forward to next year, I’m going to be a senior at SAGU. I’m planning my senior recital and taking over the Rooted ministry at SAGU, which is focused on church planting. I’ll also be part of the leadership team for SAGU’s local chapter of MTNA (Music Teachers National Association), although its still somewhat up in the air as to what that looks like, and I’ll be teaching piano lessons at Destiny Studios in Mansfield, Texas.

At least, that’s what I anticipate it will look like. In reality, I never know quite what a year is going to look like. I usually find myself looking back on where I was a year ago and being amazed at much changed and how God’s plan is always better than my plan.

I’ll leave you with a verse that has become important to me. It’s a good reminder when I’m questioning God’s goodness, when I want to complain, or just generally when I feel Him calling me to express gratitude.

Psalms 103:1-5

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Next Step

Sunkiss__by_escaped_emotionsMany of you have been reading my blog posts and have been watching me through this journey of healing and restoration. Many of you may remember what a mess I was in “An Open Letter.” Here’s where I’ve come since then. I want my brothers and sisters in Christ to be able to experience this with me, but I also want to remember what I’m feeling and thinking during this time. None of this is to glorify myself or to make myself seem great. When you read this, please see what an awesome God I serve, how much He loves you, and what He will do when presented with brokenness and repentance. 

Dear God,

Thank you. That’s the first, most important thing. Tears spring to my eyes just typing those two, simply words. Maybe because I feel like they’re so inadequate, yet so all-encompassing of what is in my heart towards you. I wish there were better words, and yet if I boiled down all the rantings and scattered ravings of my heart to one thought, that’s what it would be. You would still be the loving, merciful, faithful God that I know if you had decided to stop with the sacrifice of Jesus. If after Jesus you had never done another thing for me, you would still be deserving of all my praise and devotion for the rest of my days.

But the amazing thing is that you didn’t stop at Jesus. For every day of my life, you have been there. Holding me like my mom did when I was a toddler throwing a fit. Unrelenting, always loving, and patient. You let me rage against you in my brokenness. I know you were weeping with me in my pain, but you probably chuckled a little bit here and there. I sure would too, if I knew the future and knew how I would someday soon be eating those same words.

I’ve never fully known what it meant to trust you until my future was figuratively ripped out from under me and put in your hands. Trusting you is the lightest burden I’ve ever carried, yet the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But as I’m finally getting the hang of it, I’m kicking myself for not giving in sooner. As I was tearfully, painfully trying to cling to a broken, earthly romance, you were putting on your suit and fixing your tie – getting ready to show me that you were the author of romance and that you were really, really good at it.

My mentor told me that You would show me this side of Yourself. That it would change everything. That all those things I used to think were important – who I married, what kind of career I have, the kids that I have, all that – would become extraneous information compared to just chasing you. Whatever happens, I can now face it with you. I am so totally open to whoever, whatever, and wherever you want to bring me. True forgiveness changed me – freed me. Only by realizing that you forgave the inexcusable in me could I bring myself to forgive the inexcusable in others. I don’t forgive for one person. I don’t even forgive for me. I forgive for You, Lord. Because my unforgiving was inhibiting what you wanted to do in my life, and I couldn’t stand to make You wait a second longer. It didn’t open up my options – it opened up Yours.

I’m still human. I’m still a woman. My first reaction is still to overanalyze, conjecture, and imagine myself into wishful thinking. You know that I still want my ideas. But I choose Yours. I’m trying to get to the part where those are the same thing.

I’m not there yet…wherever “there” is. I suppose I never will be, until I’m with you in eternity. But you’ve brought me a long ways.

Thanks.

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this or you’ve experienced something similar, I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and tell me about you. xoxo Lucy

I’m Done Winning

tumblr_n839z5XJWL1qg9kado1_500 What you are about to read is my opinion about opinions in general, and why I’m cutting a lot of them out of my life for the next few weeks. It’s a little experiment, I suppose.

The other day I was feeling just very heavy. It took me a while to figure out why. I realized that I had spent much of that day reading other people’s opinions. Whether it was the modesty debate on Facebook, the political discussions on FOX news that plays in front of the elliptical I use at the gym, or simply reading through different blog posts, it seemed everyone had a say about the way things should be.

I think that in the name of “lively discussion,” (which can be helpful and enjoyable) we’ve neglected each others’ stories. We’re so focused on trying to change minds that we don’t bother to share hearts. The unfortunate reality is, I’ve seen drastically few minds changed because of an online altercation. How many times have you changed your mind because of a Facebook argument or a blog post? For me, it’s rare. It’s not that I’m not open-minded or willing to grow and learn – it’s just that many times, I have to have a personal relationship and a personal conversation with somebody before I truly take their opinion seriously enough to make a change in my life.

Somewhere in the back of our minds, I think we’re reluctantly aware of this. But we keep on engaging these conversations because we want to be perceived as winners. We want to prove ourselves. We want to have the last word. If they don’t reply, then we’ve won – correct? In my mind, I’m thinking through all the reasons why modesty DOES mean what I think it means, Barack Obama IS a sketchy president, and no I DON’T need to do those 35 things before I get married.

It’s exhausting. 

That’s why I felt heavy.

So, I’m taking a break. For the next month, I’m not “sharing” any articles. I’m not reading any blog posts that are trying to tell me what to do. I’m not commenting on any controversial Facebook statuses. I want to surround myself with encouragement and beauty. I want a chance to form my own opinion without the thoughts of 19385928375 different people swirling around in my head. The internet has become everyone’s soapbox, but we’ve begun “sharing” each other’s thoughts instead of forming our own. We’re losing our individuality.

Here’s what I’m going to do instead. I’m going to talk about God and how wonderful He is. I’m going to take and look at pictures of things that make me happy (like the one at the beginning of this post – how cozy is that?). I’m going to take jazz piano lessons and receive great joy from it. I’m going to watch as many episodes of Psych in a row as I darn please. I’m going to drink coffee in the early morning and read a story. I’m going to keep being the idealistic, optimistic, hopeless romantic that I am. I’m going to read the Bible, because that’s the only person’s opinion that I need to care about, am I right? I’m going to stop worrying about what I need to do before I’m (insert age here). After all, I’ve often wasted time trying to focus on having a good time. Aren’t the best times the ones you didn’t realize were happening until it was over – the ones you didn’t try to have? I’m going to ask people their story. I want to give someone the feeling that someone is legitimately interested in them as a person, without a motive or an agenda. True joy doesn’t come from winning. True joy comes from seeing the beauty in people. The beauty that no one’s ever bothered to ask them about before.

I’m done winning. I’m done discussing. I’m done arguing.

Just tell me about you. 

Sincerely, Generation Y

FRIENDINFASHION4-6 Hello. Tonight, I am writing on behalf of my generation – commonly referred to as Generation Y. You’ve most likely seen some of us around. We like to dress like the stylish girl in the picture right there (or we at least wish we did), we are most likely active on 3 or more social networks, our blood is 48% coffee, a lot of us are liberal arts majors who have deep philosophical thoughts about the world, and we take full responsibilty for when people write about “Trendy Christianity.” I’m talking about those trendy pastor in the horn-rimmed glasses, those worship pastors with the v-neck tshirts, and the sound guy in the back in the flannel shirt. Those fabulous people.

Us “trendy Christians” have often been accused of turning church services into “concerts.” If I had a nickel for every person who has talked about the “bright lights and loud music,” in a negative way, I’d be rich. Because they’re distractions, right? This doesn’t look like the Church of Acts at ALL.

Because here’s my opinion: Even if my attention is temporarily focused on the audio/visual things happening around me, I can still be engaged in worship. How is that? Because I’m admiring God’s handiwork manifested through someone. The first thing God created was light. So why would I think that He has a problem with me taking a second to fully experience and admire something that He did? It’s akin to looking at a sunset and being amazed at what God can do. I feel that same way when I see interesting light patterns or hear an awesome bass riff in a worship service.

To say that we must be actively focused on God every single second in order to be worshipping doesn’t make sense. Haven’t we all been preaching that worship is a lifestyle, how music is just one way that we worship? While I try to live a life of holiness, it would be dishonest of me to say that my mind is actively focused on God every single second of the day. I understand that we typically view a worship service as a specific time set apart to focus on God. But I think that I can express my love to Him and be in a state of worship if I am admiring the creativity He is pouring out through someone else. (Disclaimer: This idea only works when the people on the stage and with these talents are using them with the right heart and the right motive. I never play on a worship team with an intent to perform and draw attention to myself.) My daily quiet time involves a lot more focus and one-mindedness than my time at church.

Furthermore, in my opinion, church was never intended to be a time where you focused on the name of God every single second. The church’s purpose is to connect Christians of course with God, but with other Christians and the lost! How can we do that if we don’t take the time to appreciate the talents and gifts of others? Those big bright lights and that loud music is the creative expression of somebody who loves Jesus. Orchestrating those lights? God gifted somebody to do that. Play guitar and sing? God gifted somebody to do that. Why don’t those talents receive as much support and encouragement in the church as they do in the world?

What if we changed our attitude? What if instead of viewing those bright lights as unnecessary distractions, we appreciated them for the creative value that they hold, and choose to see God’s creativity shining through them? I think there’s going to be lots of worship “concerts” in Heaven. Imagine how many more colors and sounds we’ll have to work with!!

 

 

Perpetually Inspired

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Watching people be happy makes me happy.

This is, in all honesty, one of the most liberating realizations I’ve ever had. There is always beauty to be found on this Earth. As much death and destruction that plagues it, there is still always a glimmer of joy to be found somewhere, if you look hard enough. It takes the pressure of “being happy” off of me. I can take joy and find inspiration in watching other people create and embody beauty. It’s an art that takes nothing from anybody else. It is focused solely in that person. I spend so much time doing. Being. Becoming. Sometimes, it’s okay to just sit back and be inspired by what is being done around you.

Watching my best friend nail a piano piece makes me happy. Watching a Youtube video of someone achieving a huge feat of rock-climbing makes me happy. Seeing pictures of people cooking something healthy and colorful makes me happy. Seeing somebody who I know is smiling because the Lord just met them makes me happy. Capturing images of a child giggling makes me happy. Spending a night at the lake with my friends, taking in everyone’s dimly-lit smiles makes me happy. Sometimes it can’t even be put into words, but you know what I’m talking about. When somebody is just PASSIONATE. Seeing, watching, hearing, experiencing the art and beauty that just drips off of people makes me happy.

That satisfied, complete feeling of being inspired is straight from the air of heaven itself. It’s like a drug. Like a breath of fresh air. Like when the wind blows through your hair and you just close your eyes and savor the moment. Pablo Picasso said that the purpose of art is to “wash the daily dust of life off our souls,” and I couldn’t agree more. There is nothing more cleansing or uplifting than surrounding yourself with beauty.

God was on to something when he told us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice.”

Coming back around now, I suppose the purpose of all this is to give you hope. To propose a change, if you are bogged down. If you are caught in the mundane and need to be lifted up, change your surroundings. Spend time around happy people. It’s contagious. Learn to appreciate art and beauty in the little things. There are lots of things that I can’t do or recreate. But rather than let that turn into an envy or a jealousy, I choose to be inspired – to be in awe that there is a God who created people capable of so much beauty.

This life can be so beautiful. Let’s open up the windows and get some fresh air.

On Being A Woman

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There’s a question that’s been on my mind lately. And its been growing into this thing in my brain and I might get a little preachy for a while, but bear with me. I’m not a pro at relationships by any means, I don’t consider myself an authority on giving relationship advice, and this isn’t just meant to be another “10 Things You Should Look For In A Wife” post, but I am going to look at this question from the angle of relationships. Maybe it’ll just get you thinking.

What makes a girl vs. a woman?

1 Corinthians 13:11 tells us that there is a definite difference. “When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” (NLT).

So Biblically, the difference between a child and an adult isn’t when your body changes and isn’t dependent on your age. It’s your maturity and behavior, which is shown in our speech, thoughts, and reasoning.

If there’s any place where your maturity will be tested, it’s in the area of relationships.

I personally, have vastly, grossly, and pathetically underestimated how much maturity is required for a healthy, Christ-centered relationship. I am almost 19 year old and I am nowhere near ready to enter in to a romantic relationship with someone. There’s just so much work that I need to do on me. I love my future husband enough to not: a) Date him before I’m ready – before its time, or b) Date somebody else that isn’t him. When I say “before I’m ready,” its not the same ready that you are when you climb into the seat on a roller coaster. Its not mentally and emotionally bracing yourself. It’s reaching a level of maturity. Its the kind of “ready” that you are when you walk across the stage to receive your high school diploma after 18+ years of work. It’s the kind of “ready” that someone else decides that you are. In my case, God will decide when I’m “ready.”

Because the reality is, unless I could see myself being ready to be a wife and a mother within the next two years, I don’t need to be dating. Being a wife and a mother are the first and highest callings of women in the kingdom of God. I don’t buy into all that feminism stuff. I’m independent, but I believe and understand that I was created to fulfill a certain role. And I don’t think a lot of us fully understand what being a wife and a mother are going to demand of us. You have got to be a woman. 

What are some signs (I think) that you haven’t reached an appropriate level of maturity to begin entering into that chapter of your life? Let’s see. First and foremost, what is your devotional life like? Are you consistent? Are you being fed? I cannot emphasize this enough: If you don’t have the self-discipline to establish a consistent, fulfilling prayer life, then you need to shut down any romantic relationship in your life or any semblance of one. Because your partner (or just relationships in general) will become your god if God is not your god. Where you spend your time is where your god is. Are you pursuing relationships simply because deep down (if you were honest with yourself), you’re scared of never getting married and of loneliness? Are you pursuing marriage just because all your friends are getting married and they look so happy? Do you struggle with gossip? Are you driven by your emotions? Is marriage your ultimate idea of security and happiness, or is serving the Kingdom of God? Have you spent a significant amount of time being independent, single and being okay with that? Have you learned how to be independent and responsible, and yet humble?

When I picture a woman, I picture somebody who is strong, yet soft. Who will not be walked on like a doormat, yet displays humility. Who knows how to pick her battles. Who walks closely with the Lord and whose love for Him is evident. Who speaks wisdom and life. Who exercises restraint with her words. Who understands the appropriate balance between emotions and reason. Who exhibits the fruits of the Spirit. Who is teachable. Who has a servant’s heart. Who lifts the people around her up with encouragement. Who is beautiful and at rest. Who is honest with herself about her shortcomings, but relies on God’s grace for growth. Here’s a tough one – who is (for the most part) drama-free. Who has found her passions, her calling, and is pursuing them with abandon. Who puts forth her best effort for every task she has been given, even the ones that may be a waste of time.

Sometimes, the differences between a girl and a woman can’t even be explained. At my Christian college campus, there are certain ladies that strike me as women. My friend Meagan strikes me as a woman. My RA, Justice, strikes me as a woman, to name a few. But there are other ladies that strike me as girls. That’s okay. That’s why I came to this college – to grow and mature. And if anything, this past year I learned to be careful what you wish for. Let the close people around you give you insight as to where you are in the growth process. Develop an inner circle of friends who can be honest with you about things you may not see and that view your growth as more important than your feelings. Honesty, mentoring, and discipleship hurt our feelings sometimes. Even with the most loving words, sometimes there’s no way to avoid it. But it’s in those moments that we need to allow ourselves to be accepted and loved by those same people, and we need to demonstrate humility and a teachable spirit.

I don’t know about you, but I desperately long to be all that. I’m not there yet. I’m nowhere close. But to me, my immaturity gives me the same feeling as when you sleep in your makeup and then you wake up the next morning. Get. It. OFF. Maturity is a process, but develop accountability when it comes to progress.

So women, lets be women. It’s going to require more of us than I could’ve ever imagined. But I am so, so ready.

Things I Should Really Remember

“The fact that you’re struggling doesn’t make you a burden.
It doesn’t make you unloveable or undesirable or undeserving of care.
It doesn’t make you too much or too sensitive or too needy.
It makes you human.
Everyone struggles.
Everyone has a difficult time coping, and at times, we all fall apart.
During these times, we aren’t always easy to be around — and that’s okay.
No one is easy to be around one hundred percent of the time.
Yes, you may sometimes be unpleasant or difficult.
And yes, you may sometimes do or say things that make the people around you feel helpless or sad.
But those things aren’t all of who you are and they certainly don’t discount your worth as a human being.
The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved.
You can be difficult and still be cared for.
You can be less than perfect, and still be deserving of compassion and kindness.”
Daniell Koepke

The End of the Beginning

Well, its my last full day on campus. My first year of college is done. Everyone is leaving and posting obligatory statuses about how great their year was, how they’re looking forward to summer, etc. 

And there’s just this huge war going on inside of me. 

Because, in all honestly, I’m not totally satisfied with my first year of college. I’m leaving feeling like it took more from me than it gave. I feel like I was robbed of the year that I wanted and thought I was going to have. And I’m not in that place of “Well, see, these were my plans and God had other plans,” because I legitimately believed that I was in the center of His will. I was seeking Him and feeling like I was where he wanted me to be. And then I had the roughest year I’ve ever had. I’ve made a lot of close friends and had some amazing experiences, but I feel like looking back, its all been in the shadow of the pain I’ve been in. The spiritual aspect of all of this is what kills me the most. What happened? What did I do wrong? Do I not know God as well as I thought I did? Do I not hear God as well as __________ does? Is God on ________’s side and why? Why would He see fit to put me through emotional hell during what should have been a great year? I just hope that soon I get to the part where I see how all of this is for the best. Because I still don’t see that right now. 

And then there’s the issue of summer. All my friends have their plans locked down and are super excited about whatever internship they have or whatever camp they’re working. And I have nothing. It was a last minute decision to even go home. I’m going to love seeing my family, but man. I just don’t feel like I really belong anywhere. Its this feeling of having to hold my heart in my hands because there’s no place to set it down, and its getting kind of heavy. Its this rotating between not wanting to go home because this year has just been so rough and I feel like I need to stay here and find some way to resolve everything and wrap it up with a bow, and just wanting to wash my hands of this place and say “Leave it.”

But here’s what I know.

God is good. He loves me. He has a plan for me. He hasn’t forgotten me.

I just need all of that information to make its way down from my head into my heart.

This is probably the most whiny and depressing post I’ll ever put here. I guess  I’ve just always been the girl who knew who she was, who she loved, and what she wanted. And right now, I’m just bummed and aimless and crossing my fingers that that Fall 2014 has better things in store for me than what Fall 2013 did.  

 

An Open Letter

To everyone who has talked to me, interacted with me, seen me, read me on social media, everybody: 

Here’s where I’ve been. I wish that everyone at my school could read this and maybe it would clear up some of the confusion or the opinions surrounding who I am or how I’ve acted. 

My name is Lucy and if you don’t know me, I would love to meet you. I came to my school dating a guy who I had been with for a year and a half and promised that he was going to marry me. We had had discussions about whether it was going to be my dad or his grandpa that officiated the wedding. We had picked out a spot for the ceremony. He had joked about having an Alice in Wonderland theme for our wedding. Like, we were getting married and nothing could stop us. At the beginning of 2013, he told me that he wanted to have a ring on my finger by the end of year. Except, two months into school, he explained to me that God had told him to break up with me and walked out of my life. I went back to my room and closed computer tabs on my Pinterest that I had been using for wedding planning. I still take issue with the way that I’ve been treated since then, but this post is not to slander him or paint him to be a bad guy. I’m not saying its wrong or right. I hate that it fell apart because its always a tragedy when things like that happen. The relationship definitely had serious problems to begin with that I should have been more active in addressing. We were both way too immature to be in a relationship at that level of commitment and my identity was in him and not in Christ. I hate the way it ended and the way that we are now, but I understand that he did what he felt like he had to do. 

But to everyone who knows me at this school: These past 6 months have been the hardest 6 months of my entire life. It was my first heartbreak. I quite literally have never been more hurt. I thought I had this huge part of my future set in stone and that completely fell apart. I was put in the midst of making this huge transition to college during my first semester, and now I had to figure out how to do it without the person I was in love with. I saw him on stage leading worship or performing his original songs and I missed knowing that I was the girl that those songs were about. I wanted to scream out loud to everyone how terrible of a person I thought he was. And to a lot of you, I did. And I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have. That was wrong and immature of me. I’ve seen some of you wonderful girls at this school become friends with him, hang out with him, sing with him, and enjoy being in his life. Its not that I hate you. Was I jealous? Duh. Because that used to be me. And I was demoted in his life to a level below friendship. Below being acknowledged in public. Learning how to deal with a situation you never thought you be in – don’t you always screw it up a little bit the first time around? It takes a long time to move on, and I think that process is a lot more drawn out when you go to the same school and have classes together. 

But please. If you feel like I have ever stalked you, given you a dirty look, talked bad about you behind your back, or even just given you less than friendly vibes, talk to me. I’m a people person. I hate finding out that I hurt or offended someone unintentionally and they now think less of me because of it. Please, give me a chance to own up to how I’ve been and apologize. I have been so hurt and so struggling with feeling wronged and screwed over. That doesn’t justify it. It was still so wrong, even if it was by accident. But maybe it can help you sympathize with me a little bit and extend me some grace. If I talked bad about him behind his back to one of you and you had a problem with it, please come and talk to me so I can repent in person. I’ve learned lately that I have some work to do as far as repairing who I am in a lot of people’s eyes. The only way I know how to start is to completely open myself up to any complaint that you guys may have. I’m trying to totally lay aside any pride or self-defensiveness here. If you have a problem with me, talk to me. Email me and tell me whats up. lucy@soerens.org. I want to fix it. 

Maybe some of you will talk about this post to your friends. Laugh at me for all of a sudden wanting to fix things and saying “Uh, that’s not how it works.” To be honest, I have no idea how it works. I’m 18 years old and I have no idea how anything works. But I’m doing my best and if this screws things up even more, then I will have learned another way to not make friends. This isn’t to make you feel sorry for me. This isn’t to justify the way I’ve been. None of that is justified. But I want to say that I’m sorry. That every day is hard, but getting a little bit better. That I’m a different person than I was Thursday and I’ll be a different person next week. Making myself believe that I am valuable and beautiful and worthy of respect and strong and maturing is the biggest battle that I face every day. That’s a battle that I fight with myself and my peace with that is going to come between me and the Lord, and that’s it. But I screw up a lot and I know you guys see that. Let me try to fix it, please. 

Talk to me. Email me lucy@soerens.org. With anything. The smallest thing.  

“All I Can Do Is Pray.”

Man, its been an interesting week. Saw some things I was surprised to see, saw some people I wasn’t prepared to see, and felt some things that I never want to feel again. Of course, underneath all that was time with great friends, fun nights, productive practice time, good grades, and a great office environment. It’s interesting how a week can appear so normal on the surface, but inside my brain, more thoughts are swirling around than ever before and wearing me out. Its hard to focus on all those good things when it feels like its overshadowed by these situations that mess with my emotions. I hope you girls can relate.

And so I get myself into this trap of thinking “All I can do is pray.”

Um, what? 

…Lucille. Josephine. 

Basically, I forget that prayer is the MOST powerful thing that I can do. Even when it feels like I’ve been praying the same prayer for 6 months and the situation has only gotten worse, prayer is the most powerful thing. Its sure better than me trying to fix it on my own and then shooting myself in the foot before I stick it in my mouth. Just like the first time, and the second time, and the third time….

Luce, have you prayed about it as much as you’ve worried about it? Have you spent more time on your knees than in the shower rehearsing conversations that will never happen? Because I think the MORE that we pray about something, the LESS we are inclined to worry about it. When we pray, we are growing our trust in God. We are telling God, “I give this to you. I know that You’re the only one that can restore this.” And we tell ourselves “It’s not your problem anymore. Relax.” Prayer is one of those things that the more we do it, the more we want to do it. There is nothing like His presence. Its addicting. Its everything you’ve been searching for. You won’t find that kind of peace or understanding in the right playlist, in more sleep, in practicing longer, in an A on a test, in a successful chapel worship week, in compliments, or in anything else but the presence of the one, true, Holy God who is wildly pursuing you. It might not be just a bad mood you’re in. It might be that your Spirit is weak and starving for more of Him. 

If my best friend was sick, would I want her to walk to Walmart by herself in the freezing cold to buy the medicine that she needs, or would I want her to walk two doors down the hall to my room and ask me for what I already have in my cabinet? Its the same way with God. We can try to handle it ourselves. It will take longer, it will be harder, we are weak, we are poor, we are alone, and in the condition we’re in, we might not even make it back. But God is so much nearer. Loves us so much more than Walmart does. Already has what we need. Won’t charge us a thing. Is saddened when we would rather make ourselves miserable than take advantage of the relationship that we have with Him. Wants to be wanted by us. Is overjoyed and generously willing to give when we simply ask. How could I turn that down? 

“How angels must wonder that we make so little use of this privilege of audience with the King!” – Know What You Believe, Paul Little. 

Lucy, keep praying. Keep praying. Keep praying. Keep praying. Stand on what you KNOW the Lord spoke to you. As a woman you have a unique intuition. You know when God has confirmed something in your spirit. You know what the Lord has spoken to you. Stand on that and don’t let anyone take it from you. Hearts will be changed. Hearts will be healed. Situations will be restored. 

If you can’t already tell, I really needed to hear all of that ^^^^ this morning. But I encourage you to replace my name with your own. Maybe you too needed to be reminded of the power that you hold when in the presence of God. If we will allow ourselves to be made completely powerless before Him, then He will lift us up and give us favor that we never knew existed. Pray. Enter in. He is waiting.