I hear a lot of fellow Christians on the subject of Heaven talking about the rewards that we will receive. About how we’ll get all of these fancy crowns and mansions. There will be glorious streets of gold. It’ll all be so amazing and like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

But honestly, I don’t get why that’s so often the focus.

Yes, those things are wonderful and sure I guess I’m pumped for it because we all know I’m not going to see those things in my lifetime here.

But in Heaven we’re going to be in the presence, the actual presence, of our Lord and Savior.

I don’t think I’m going to care if I have a crown or a mansion. I won’t care that I’m walking on streets of gold.

Because I’ll be able to worship Him perfectly forever and ever. I’ll be able to sit at His actual feet and praise everything that He has done. I’ll be able to walk by His side for eternity. Isn’t that a thousand times more beautiful and incredible than riches?

Our human minds always go straight to the riches of Heaven, but that’s not even important. We will be with God!

Admittedly, I’m not really one to want to hurry my residence in Heaven along because there’s so much more that I want to do here. But when I started thinking about it like the presence of God rather than a place with lots of riches, it became something that I can actually look forward to. The fancy and gold part of Heaven has never really been what attracts me to it. It’s just Jesus that does.

No more pain, tears, heartache, injustice, anxiety, fear, hatred, depression… so that we can just continuously joyously worship our Father with our Father without those things as distractions. Wow.

There’s also this hope that I can look forward to a place where everyone is unified. There will be a unified and peaceful body of people, with different genders, races, languages, classes, educations, interests, country of origins, backgrounds and sins, together worshiping our commonality… God. It’s so beautiful to me. We live on an earth with so many arguments and wars and conflicts and disagreements, and Heaven won’t have that. We will finally look past our differences and live together peacefully. I literally can’t wait for that.

But I also think we often get caught up in “Lord, come quickly” because we’re tired of living in this evil, messed up world and want that peace. I know I’ve definitely thought that a few times in the past few weeks alone. But I think we have to start  remembering the people, so many people, who have never heard Jesus’s name. They don’t know about His love, grace, mercy, kindness, courage, and forgiveness. They haven’t heard of His incredible act on the cross. They don’t know, and we should have compassion for them because Heaven is going to be so great.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve asked the Lord to go ahead and come just because I know I’m going to fail a test the next day. But in the grand scheme of things, that is selfish. He can go ahead and come because I know I’ll be in Heaven with Him when He does. But what about the people who haven’t heard? We should love the world enough to pray that each person knows Him before they leave this earth. And I know God will come back whenever He wants regardless of what we want or pray or hope. But we should want to see every single person in Heaven with us.

So even wishing for just ourselves to be in Heaven with Him before His timing is selfish. We are still here, living and breathing, because He is using us here to spread the gospel. Embrace that. Yes, look forward to Heaven and think of it as often as you get discouraged by this world. It’s encouraging to know where our home is. But don’t waste your time here wishing you were there. You are being used with every breath for a higher purpose and calling and it’s important. Don’t waste it.

Ultimately, it should break our hearts every time someone dies without knowing Him. Even if they were the worst person on the planet. Even if we think they somehow deserved death.

It should break our hearts.

I guess there’s two actions to do from here that I want to challenge all of us to do:

  1. Tell others about Jesus through words and also actions. Not for an extra reward in Heaven but because your heart is broken. And not just the comfortable or the easy or the ones you think deserve Jesus, but the ones that you know you’re the exact opposite from. The ones you know will be hard. The ones you know will take work. And do it with love. Love that person like Jesus so that they see Jesus before you even speak His name.
  2. And try your absolute hardest to make this world as close to Heaven as possible. Yes, it will never happen. This world will never be perfect. Sin messed that up. But we can advocate for justice and mercy and peace and love and hope and joy and unity. We can make this world better and we should. We shouldn’t complacently sit around while terrible things happen because we know it will never compare to Heaven. We shouldn’t walk by the broken man on the side of the road. This is our home for the time being so we should always strive to make it better, more like Jesus. Be healers and peacemakers and bridge builders and lovers and uniters and joy bringers. Because Jesus himself prayed… “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) And that should be our prayer too.

I imagine Heaven will be exactly like those moments of beautiful and intimate impromptu circles of friends in the middle of the parking lot singing songs of praise to the Lord in sweet fellowship. And it will be just as perfect as those moments. And those moments give me hope that snippets of Heaven can happen on earth too.



You know what I would love? A world without labels. I was thinking about this the other day after another depressing lecture in a Sociology class (I really do love my major, I promise), and I decided that Sociology would be a whole lot less depressing without labels. Because that’s honestly where all the problems begin. That’s where discrimination and oppression start. That’s where the Holocaust began. It’s where violence and hatred and war stem from.

It all starts with labels. Labels quite literally tear us apart.

What if race had never been socially constructed. What if we didn’t call another person fat or ugly. What if we didn’t label someone based on their crime or sin.  What if we didn’t identify ourselves and others by gender, sexual orientation, religion, country, etc. What if we were all just humans. We are all just people. What if we all identified each other based on God’s image and that’s it. What if we forgave. What would happen if beauty didn’t have only one specific look?

Can you imagine? Sociologists would be studying all kinds of wonderful things instead of terrible ones.

Question: why can’t I just say that I love Jesus instead of calling myself a Christian? I mean I can, but if I said that I loved Jesus I would automatically be labeled a Christian in the head of the person I said it to. It’s automatic. This is only one example, but it makes it so obvious how necessary labels are in our world. Do they have to be necessary though?

Labels come with so many stereotypes and baggage. If you are black, you’re supposed to act one way. If you are a woman, you’re supposed to be another way. Then if you’re a black woman, you’re supposed to be something entirely different. But why can’t we all just be human beings? Seriously. Why.

I read a piece by Derrick Bell the other day where he claimed that racism is never going to go away. It’s so true and dark and can be said about sexism, ableism, ageism, whatever else. But racism (and all other “isms”) won’t go away because we’ve created race. I will always see those who look different than me, differently, maybe negatively because race exists. We created racism when we created race. And don’t tell me that race isn’t socially constructed. Yes we look different, but we made it to where skin color is the first thing we notice about someone. We made definitions out of skin color.

I just (disclaimer: this is going to be crazy radical)… I just want to live in a world where there’s no continents, no countries, no races, no labels. Where we are all one unified people. Where we don’t build walls between countries for fear of each other. Where we don’t tell others to leave our home because they don’t belong. Where we don’t tell others that they aren’t welcome. Where we aren’t afraid to be immersed in a different culture because they’re different. Where black people aren’t shot because they’re black. Where I am not commanded to be a certain way because I am a woman. I just want us to be us. Whatever that may be.

Unique but united.

I’ve given up on the fact that this will ever occur unless we can go back in time and change everything. Where’s the Doctor at? Peter Capaldi, could you come pick me up in your Tardis? Let’s go change the world.

But anyway, I look forward to… in fact, I long for the day when I arrive in Heaven where this will be reality. We won’t notice any labels about each other… we’ll just be rejoicing together. Unified. But until then, I will try my best to love everyone and treat everyone like they are human. Like they are me even when they are different than me. Knowing that God loves them just as much as He loves me. Loving them with crucifixion love instead of reciprocal love not expecting anything in return… sacrificing something. Just loving despite of the labels. Loving even though I’ve been socialized to see labels. Choosing to love anyways.

The time I tried the Daniel Fast.


I’m beginning to write this seven days into the Daniel Fast, and I’m already doing a pretty great job at messing it up. I’ve cheated more than once, and I haven’t read a chapter of John every day.

It’s basically turning into a period of giving up sweet tea and donuts (not anymore on the donuts… Update: Or the sweet tea…) and overwhelming guilt.

The Backstory: My pastor asked our church to participate in the Daniel Fast as we begin the new year. If you don’t know what that is, it’s where you limit your diet by taking out meat, dairy, sweets and leavened bread for 21 days. You essentially eat like Daniel did in Daniel 1. In addition to this, we were supposed to read a chapter of John every day. So since everyone else was doing it, I figured I’d give it a shot. Why not right?

I could make up excuses to why I’m sucking at it like food is my ultimate weakness and even though John is one of my favorite books of the Bible, I’ve read it so many times in the past year that I just don’t want to read it right now. Plus I’m doing a pretty solid job of keeping up with She Reads Truth at the moment and adding a chapter of John each day will probably mean sacrificing one of them, and that’s just the truth of my current state of Bible reading.

But honestly, those excuses don’t matter because my heart wasn’t in it. It still isn’t.

But despite all of that, the Lord is still faithful and He has taught me significantly  more in these days of attempting and failing miserably at the Daniel Fast than I think He would have if I would have executed it perfectly.

I realized that I love food. Maybe too much. I don’t really know. I just know that I don’t have much self-control when it comes to food. Maybe I’m gluttonous. I only overeat occasionally though, and I can mostly control my portions. But I just can’t turn down free food, and sometimes I drool in grocery stores. I love food especially the food that you can’t eat on the Daniel Fast. It’s delicious, and I thank God for it. Life would be boring without good food.

Can food be an idol? Probably. In fact, our whole day is planned around meals (and class and work and everything else that’s important to us), but maybe it should be planned around time with God instead. Whoa. That’s intensely convicting isn’t it?

But food isn’t bad. Besides the fact that we need food to survive, I think back at all of the sweet, meaningful times spent with friends and family over meals or coffee.

I’ve also realized how damaging legalism can be to me. I’m not saying in any way that this fast was legalistic. But I am saying that I made it that way. I held myself to a standard that I couldn’t reach. I looked at the list of foods I wasn’t “supposed” to eat for 21 days and made it into a set of strict rules to follow. I do this often with so many different things. I even make my relationship with Christ that is full of love, kindness and forgiveness into a set of rules I have to follow. If I don’t follow them, He won’t love me. I won’t be good enough. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth. The truth is He loves me regardless of whether or not I follow the ten commandments at all times. Regardless of whether I succeed at the Daniel Fast. Granted I should repent when I sin but the point is He loves me, and because of that He forgives me when I fail Him. When I break His heart by turning down the path well traveled instead of the narrow one, when I turn my back on Him and walk the other direction, when I run right past His open arms into the arms of something else, when I sin.  He loves us at our weakest and most disgusting moments, and that’s what makes the gospel so beautiful.

My promises will never be good enough. I won’t keep all of my promises. I can’t because I’m not perfect. I am human. Flawed. But God always keeps His promises because He is holy. His promise to love and care for me. His promise to forgive me when I mess up. Never failing and never ending. His promises are forever. I am so thankful for that.

I have to remind myself that God doesn’t call us to a new law. He calls us to a relationship with Him. Christianity isn’t supposed to be a set of rules and regulations. And I know that. It’s been drilled into me since I was born. But I make it that way so often. Do I really act like this is a relationship? Or am I just trying to be as good as I can because that’s what I am supposed to do? So I can impress God or other people?

It’s not a set of rules. It’s a relationship. And relationships are messy. They are far from perfect. They’re up and down. In and out. Sideways. You argue. You cry. You smile. You fight and make up. You forgive and forget. You move on. You laugh. You serve. You give. You sacrifice. You hug. You hit. You walk away. You communicate. You reminisce. You encourage. You comfort. You get mad. You hate. You love. It’s a roller coaster.

And that’s exactly what we have with God. Thankfully one side of the relationship is perfect, but my side… definitely not.

Every relationship is different. My relationship with my sister is different than your relationship with yours. So my relationship with God is going to look different than yours. What works to grow your faith is different than mine. Your spiritual gifts are different than mine. Our struggles, where we find our joy, how we tell others about Jesus, where and when we pray, everything is different. And that’s okay. We don’t have to all look the same. We don’t all have to interact with God the same. We don’t have to act out our faith the same way. And so often I look at other people who seem to have it all together and seem to be such good Christians, and they are, but I compare myself to them. Then I think that maybe I should be acting more like that girl over there or sharing my faith like that guy on the other side of the room, but what if that just doesn’t work for me? What if I’m not good at what they do? Because God has gifted me and called me to something different. Something unique to me.

This may be why there’s so much disagreement among Christians. Because we’re all unique and we think we’re the only one who’s right when in reality God is the only one who’s right. But isn’t our uniqueness what makes it so beautiful? That God can reach such a wide variety of individuals. That He doesn’t just love one specific set of people who are all similar. That despite our dissimilarities we are all the same in that we are all sons and daughters of Christ. Heirs to His throne. We (should) love each other despite our differences because we’re all the same. We’re all loved by the one who created us.

Finally I realized that for the first time doing something remotely close to the Daniel Fast, it wasn’t wise for me to start with a 21 day fast from my favorite foods. So, I think next time I am going to fast on my own when God tells me it’s a good time, how He tells me it should be done and for how long I should do it. It’ll actually be something attainable where my heart is in it. Where I’m not guilty because I’m failing man, but convicted because I’m failing God. Where I can grow as a Christian and grow closer to the Lord. Then eventually maybe I’ll try the Daniel Fast again because I don’t hate the idea. It just wasn’t for me this time around.

This Is Anxiety (to me).


Your heart drops. Your heart starts pounding. You start sweating. Your breath quickens. A thousand thoughts are racing through your head. Nope. I’m not talking about walking up The Hill. I’m talking about anxiety.

It’s about to get personal.

Buckle your seat belts, everybody.

I want to preface this by saying that I haven’t been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. But I’m fairly certain I have one, but even if I don’t, I definitely have anxiety and I’d be willing to bet that it’s more than the average person. I’d also like to point out that anxiety and worrying is different for everyone. This is it to me. From my perspective and from my experience. It doesn’t mean that this is how it is or feels to anyone else.

I’ve always been a worrier. For as long as I can remember, my dad has called me a worry wart. When I was young, it was simple things like when someone got hurt, I’d ask them over and over if they were sure they were okay. I still do that, but it’s more than that now. I worry about simple things like I used to. But I also worry about the future (a lot). For example, I still don’t know what I’m doing with my life and it scares me to death. I also have anxiety in social situations especially when it involves talking in front of a large group. Meeting new people or going to a place I’ve never been before makes me nervous. Phone calls give make me nervous. I have irrational fears that make absolutely no sense. I also have some normal phobias too like spiders and heights. I worry about the way others perceive me. I worry about other people’s well being. I worry about my dogs (and cat). I worry about myself. And truthfully, I could go on. It honestly feels like I worry about everything. Those people who are super calm and relaxed in any situation confuse me. I literally don’t understand it. I’d love to be them, though.

I’ve always looked at this worry and anxiety as sin. The Bible never explicitly says that worry is a sin, but because it means you’re not trusting God, it’s a sin… right? Well, this is my problem. I’m not denying that the lack of trust in God is a sin because it definitely is. I’m not even saying that worrying is not a sin. I’m saying this. When I’m worrying about something, I typically pray about it. I’m not going to lie and say I pray every time I worry, but for the most part, I do. Do you know what happens after I pray? I might feel at peace for a split moment, but then I still worry about it. This results in repetitive prayers for whatever I’m worrying about AND for forgiveness. These repetitive prayers solve nothing. I use it as a way of coping with my anxiety, but it’s not a way of trusting God. The thing is, I do trust God. I don’t trust Him enough. I doubt Him. But I try to trust Him, and I don’t think that my anxiety is a direct result of not trusting Him. There are times when I worry because I don’t trust Him, but there are also times where I worry because I honestly can’t help it. Because it’s the way my brain works.

I don’t want you to get me wrong, though. I’m not saying that reading my Bible and praying doesn’t help. They help immensely. I’m currently reading a book called Worry Less So You Can Live More. The chapter I just read said this: “God never intended for us to bite off more than one day’s worth of food, or life. Gather enough for the day, God says. Daily bread. Don’t try to gather more than you need for one day. Don’t worry about tomorrow, says Jesus. We’ve heard it so often it’s become trite. But seriously? If we store up, like the hoarded manna, those worries will rot our delight, and our relationships, leaving us writhing with the maggots of fear and discouragement and anxiety. It’s a disgusting image. But the picture reminds me, when I catapult myself forward into the worries of tomorrow (or next month or next year), that I am stashing, storing up, a rotting collection. I remember, then: bread of the presence. See your face. Today. I need to just watch, today, because God is watching, and God is present.” It’s when I read things like this that I remember. I forget, you see. I forget that God will provide. He is here. I am in His hands. I forget, but when I read and pray, I remember. My anxiety won’t go away completely. But I remember for a little while at least.

Seriously though, I think anxiety makes me forgetful. Or maybe my horrendous memory is unrelated. It’s weird… the things I remember and the things I forget. I remember painfully embarrassing moments. I remember people’s birthdays. I remember the overall memories of fun or happy moments, but not the details. I forget things I read. I forget things I learn. I forget what I write. I forget what I watch. I don’t remember basically anything from before middle school. I forget to do things often. I forget. A lot. It’s annoying.

During the summer and breaks from school, my overall anxiety level is generally better. But as school is quickly approaching and I’m thinking about all of the stuff I have to do this semester, I can feel anxiety coming. It’s like a tidal wave that I can see out in the ocean barreling right at me, but there’s no where to go and nothing to do except to stand there and watch it until it crashes over me. Anxiety is a weird feeling. It’s a feeling that I usually push away by distractions. Instead of being productive and trying to complete whatever it is causing anxiety, I distract myself from it by watching Netflix or something. I’m the type of person who sits and waits for a decision to pass by so I don’t have to make it. Distracting myself from anxiety like this is probably the reason I am such a terrible procrastinator. If only I’d realize that procrastinating makes it worse… And that distracting myself perpetuates my anxiety. It just allows it to fester until it boils over into a breakdown.

Another weird thing is the fact that I can usually sleep pretty good. Often times when someone has anxiety, they have difficulty shutting their brain off so they can sleep. It takes me about thirty minutes to an hour to turn my brain off, but after that I’m usually pretty solid. But I think it goes back to distractions… I use sleep as a distraction. When I’m sleeping, I can’t worry. This is also why I go to bed before I finish my homework instead of pulling all nighters on a frequent basis.

I read Philippians 4 often. It helps me remember that I know God has got this all under control. I know that with Him nothing is impossible. I know His plans are perfect. I know everything will work out. But I still worry. And maybe I don’t like it, but it’s okay. God made me a worrier, and I am strong despite it. I can’t let it defeat me, and I won’t. Worrier can easily be changed to warrior.

Anxiety makes me retreat. It makes me sit. It makes me miss out. I put myself in a box and refuse to come out. But movement heals. Getting out there helps. Stepping outside of my comfort zone- my box- isn’t actually as bad as I think it is. So I will try. I will try to step out, and with God, I know I will.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 ESV)

I leave you with an article that’s pretty great. You should read it.


(I didn’t say the word “stress” at all in this post… strange.)

June 30th, 2015

I’ve decided that I want to start writing every day. It obviously won’t always be on here (I need to buy a journal), but there’s a lot of stuff going on in my head at all times, and it needs to come out somewhere. I love to write so I’m going to write about all the stuff in my head. It will probably (hopefully) help out with my worry, anxiety and overthinking problems.


I found this picture on Pinterest today, and it’s something I really need to remember. I very often search for the approval and applause of the world instead of God. I’m definitely the type of person who likes to feel loved and accepted and while I always have that from God, I instead search for it in more attainable and visible places like the world and the people in it. I find myself holding back from sharing opinions or speaking out because of my fear of not being liked by others, and I’m constantly thinking about what others think of me. I think this sometimes causes me to alter my beliefs and views to match the world’s instead of God’s. And because I tend to stay away from conflict, it’s much easier for me to go along with the world to avoid conflict. Because God doesn’t really argue with me… God’s opinions of me are truly the only thing that matters though, and I need to remember that. I also need to embrace who I am instead of changing myself for the world.


I also found this picture which goes along pretty well with that. I’m all against socialization. Seriously, I hate it, but we’re all victims to it. We can’t live in this world without it. But we can definitely do our best to be who we are instead of what the world expects or wants. My Twitter bio says this is me “I’m a sociology major who loves Jesus, the Vols, baseball, coffee, dogs, nerdy stuff, adventures and friends.” That’s definitely accurate, but it’s not ALL of me. I mean we all know that we only put the good (or terrible) parts of our lives on social media. There’s a hole that we pretend doesn’t exist so our friends think our lives are perfect (or tragic). So here’s some random facts about ME. Not what the world wants me to be, but just me. It’s still what I want you to know though… But we can continue working on that.

  1. Brushing my teeth with warm water grosses me out.
  2. I’m terrible at remembering dates unless they’re birthdays.
  3. Speaking of birthdays… my birthday would be my favorite holiday if that was socially acceptable.
  4. I LOVE birthdays okay?
  5. If Lord of the Rings is on, there’s a 98% chance that I’m watching it… and if it’s not on, I’m also probably watching it.
  6. If I had to choose between saving a stranger or saving my dogs, I would probably choose my dogs, and I feel a little bad about it.
  7. If they don’t ask for the coupon, I probably won’t give it to them, and I also feel a little bad about that.
  8. One of my favorite things is receiving emails and just regular mail.
  9. Strong emotions like anger, crying, overly happy/excitement, etc. make me uncomfortable.
  10. I think big, lonely trees are beautiful.
  11. When I say that I’m crying, I’m probably not actually crying. Because I don’t cry. Like ever.
  12. I have an aspiration to do a TED talk, but I know that I would suck at it.

Next up is a post about vacation! So stay tuned for that (after I get home of course).

To end this post here’s a little something that I posted on Facebook a few days ago that I want you to remember…

Dear Person,

Because you are a person, you are valuable. You are loved. You are important. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or who you are. I’m going to do my best to love you like Jesus loves you. I’m going to do my best to see your worth, value and importance. I’m going to do my best to treat you with kindness every time I come into contact with you. I’m sorry that social media has been filled with hatred and judgement this week.


Another Person

A Controversial Blog by Mikayla

Here it is. Arguably the most controversial topic in the United States currently and potentially the most controversial blog I’ve written. People on both sides are probably going to disagree with something I say in this blog. And honestly, there’s conflict within myself about this topic. That’s why I’m writing this blog. I want to not only form some kind of logical thoughts within my own brain, but I want to hear from you. No, I don’t want to start arguments or anything like that. But I would like to hear your opinions. So tell them to me! I won’t promise I’ll agree, but friendly discussions of opinions where each other are open to hearing the other person’s. Those are good. So, let’s do this.


To begin, I’ll state the fact that most of you probably know I’m going to say. Homosexuality is a sin.

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” -Leviticus 18:22

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

It clearly states it in the Bible (in the Old and the New Testaments). BUT, it’s not any worse than lying. Or cheating. Or murder. Or anything stated in the 1 Corinthians passage.

Let’s take me as an example. I worry A LOT. Like way too much for an average human. That’s a sin. My worrying is saying I don’t trust God. It’s 100% a sin, and 100% equal to the severity of homosexuality. We, as humans, spend so much time placing sins into categories of what is worse than the others. But God places them all under one category… sin. It all looks the same to Him. A girl was passing out a survey the other day. Part of it was to rank “evil” things from 1-10 or place Not Evil beside it. I ranked like a human. I put what I thought was the most evil as 10 and put something like lying as the least evil. That’s not how God would have ranked it. I am certain of it.

Taking that into consideration, we, as Christians, aren’t supposed to hate homosexuals. In fact, we aren’t supposed to hate anyone. “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” – 1 John 4:20-21 We are to love EVERYONE. Everyone sins. Homosexuals aren’t exempt from the love everyone rule. I hate to burst your bubble. We can’t pick and choose who we love based on the “severity” of their sin.

Some of you might be saying… “But Mikayla, you don’t know what it’s like to know someone who’s gay. It’s hard to love them.” Wrong. I DO know. My best friend from middle school is gay. I didn’t know it at the time, and we aren’t close anymore. But the reason we aren’t close isn’t because she’s gay. We just grew apart. I love her still, though. My favorite professor I’ve had in college. She’s gay. I would take her for every class if I could. Not to mention the multiple Christians who I call good friends who have struggled with homosexuality in the past. (This goes back to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11… You can be washed clean of all sin including homosexuality. It irks me when people judge people on their past especially if they’ve been redeemed. They are a new person in Christ! The past doesn’t matter.) I love all of those people. And I’m not saying that to make myself sound better than anyone else. I’m saying it because I recognize that it’s a sin, but I still love them. It’s hard to love everyone, I know. But we’re supposed to hate the sin, not the sinner. That’s how Jesus lived so that’s how we should live.

Now, I’ve gotten through the easy part. It’s easy to prove that homosexuality is a sin, but you should still love the homosexual. What’s left is hard. This is the part that I don’t know about. It’s the part that I’m conflicted about.

Can people who live in the constant sin of homosexuality go to Heaven?

I don’t know. Part of me wants to point out that as Christians we are to strive to be as much like Christ as we possibly can. So, we shouldn’t knowingly live in sin. If we are true Christians then, we wouldn’t marry someone of the same sex. So, if you are living like that and claim to be a Christian, maybe you aren’t actually a Christian. But part of me also says that I don’t know anyone’s heart except my own. Who am I to say that a woman who is married to a woman isn’t going to Heaven?

That brings me to gay marriage.

If you know me at all, you know that I am super duper into equality. I have a very passionate hate towards inequality. So, this is where my dilemma lies. Is it equal that everyone has the same opportunity to marry someone of the opposite sex? I convinced myself that that was the case for years. But, maybe it should be that everyone should have the same opportunity to marry someone they love…

There’s also the argument that marriage is a Godly act so because it is a sin to practice homosexuality, they shouldn’t be able to get married. But a lot of people who aren’t Christians get married on a daily basis. If we were to make this argument, then SO many people shouldn’t be married right now. Anyone who isn’t a Christian shouldn’t be married.

Then there’s the separation of church and state thing. I don’t even know how to get into that.

As you can see, I’m a little fuzzy. I’ll admit to that. I don’t know. But I do know that I feel strongly about loving people who are gay. The “God hates fags” mindset of so many Christians today isn’t a proper depiction of the Gospel. It’s no where close. I’m going through the book of John right now… there’s so many times where Jesus loves the unlovable. The Samaritan woman, the disabled man at the pool, the adulterous woman, the blind man, He loved them all when no one else did. That should be us! That’s my prayer for me and you. That we will love everyone like Christ did. But not loving them in a way where we hide the truth. Loving them in a way where we share the Gospel. The whole Gospel. Even the sin and death and hell part. That doesn’t mean that the first thing we tell them is “you’re going to Hell” though. Because we don’t know that at all. Only God does.

Women Struggle Too.

Sometimes it is just necessary to write a response to a post… this is one of those times.

This blog is in response to this blog: http://mountaintopfloridiot.blogspot.com/2014/07/modesty-what-most-men-wont-tell-you.html

A disclaimer to start off… I’m not saying I disagree with everything in this post nor am I saying that this person’s opinions are wrong. I’m just saying that my opinions differ from most of the things written, and I am sharing my differing opinions with you.

I also want to begin by saying that in no way at all am I against modesty. I think that women should dress modestly if not to keep men from stumbling, then to simply respect themselves and their bodies. But I also believe that while I think it’s appropriate to cover up certain parts of my body, not everyone feels that way and I respect that. I also believe that there are different definitions of what modesty is. My definition is simply covering up your chest and your butt. But other people’s definitions could include more or less than that, and that’s okay.

I didn’t read the blog post that the author of this particular blog is responding to so I’m not sure how similar or different our opinions are, but I do agree with some of the quotes that were quoted in the blog.

For example, the author begins the blog with the quote  “…men are responsible for their own thoughts and actions when this happens; they don’t get to blame it on what a woman is wearing.” He agreed with this and so do I. He admits that it is the man who is sinning, but he also places some of the blame on the woman which I find unfair. The reason I find this unfair is because throughout his whole post, he seems to blame it on the fact that since he’s a man, it’s hard for him to look at a girl with a bikini on and not look at her like an object. My question is… what about women? All men ever do is act like since they are men, they don’t have self-control. The Bible clearly states “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). It doesn’t say “self-control (except for men).” Women struggle with sexual sins too. If women need to cover up more, men need to stop wearing baseball pants (or not), suits, and no shirts. The thing is men go shirtless all the time, and women aren’t immune to that. We just try a little harder to have self-control. We look at men as men and not a sexual object. And we just don’t understand why men can’t at least try to have self-control instead of just blaming the fact that they don’t on their male-ness. I am aware that male and female were created differently so yes, it’s probably harder for men to have self-control than women. But at least try. That’s all we ask.

“Now ladies, I don’t think you realize how much of a struggle sexual sin is for men, but suffice it to say that I do not know a single guy who does not struggle sexually in some way.” We do realize it, actually and most of the time when we dress immodestly, it isn’t to impress you or to make you look at us. It’s to impress other women. Honestly, men who don’t think we’re beautiful in our pajamas aren’t worth our time. So, the way we dress isn’t always about you. And also, I don’t know a single girl who doesn’t struggle sexually in some way either. Again I say, baseball pants.

And it actually just flat out made me angry when he said that it’s hard for men to not look at women as objects. Last time I checked, a phone is an object and a human being, no matter the age or gender, is a human being, and it shouldn’t ever for anyone be hard to look at a person and see them as a person.

Also a random side note, there is no way in the world that women can wear long pants and turtlenecks in the summer. Unless you want every woman to die of a heat stroke.

Like I previously mentioned, I am happy with the author’s owning up to the sin. But while although, he doesn’t want to place the entire blame on women, he still places some of it on them. And I do agree that the way women dress can cause a man to stumble, but it also goes the other way. What men wear can cause women to stumble too, and that’s something that men don’t seem to realize. Or if they do, they put all of their focus on their problems and their sin rather than thinking about what they do to affect women. 

I 100% agree with the author when he talks about how men need to be taught at a young age to treat women with respect and not as objects. He goes on to say “it will be easier to train our children not to see women as objects if they will stop presenting themselves in such a way.” And although that is true, I must say that not every woman presents herself as an object. Just because a woman wears shorts and a tank top, doesn’t mean she sees herself as an object or intends to present herself that way. There are women in the world who’s intent is that, but most aren’t and men just assume that that is every woman’s intent.

And this particular statement makes me pretty darn angry: “In the same way was the female body meant primarily for the enjoyment of her husband.” For someone who spent the whole post talking about how women shouldn’t be objectified, that sounds pretty objectifying to me. I’m pretty positive the female body was not created solely for the enjoyment of a man. Sex was created to reproduce and while it’s okay to enjoy it in marriage, the reason it was created was to have children. You don’t marry a woman for the enjoyment of seeing her body or having sex. And that might not have been what was meant by that statement, but that’s sure how it sounded, and I don’t like that at all.

My last point that I want to make is in response to a response he had to a comment on his blog. I agree with the girl’s comment, and in his response back, he agreed too, but one thing he said got to me. He said “Frankly, the reason nobody talks about modesty for men is because it is not mentioned in the Bible. Women are the ones commanded to be modest according to scripture, not men.” He has a point in saying that most verses about modesty in the Bible are directed towards women, but I don’t think that men should use that as an excuse to allow women to stumble. Just because the Bible doesn’t directly point you out, it doesn’t mean you should do it. Because the Bible says to not allow other believers to stumble, that gives men the only option as to dress modestly also. And I am sure that the Bible only mentions women because God knows that men struggle with this more. BUT men aren’t the only ones who struggle, and that’s what I want to get across to men. Women struggle with this too.

I will end by saying that if there is something that I’ve written that is not Biblically sound, I’d like to know. I feel fairly strongly about this subject and my opinions sound pretty firm, but I’m open to altering my opinions if there is something in the Bible that clearly disagrees with my opinion on the subject. So please let me know if there is something in here that is wrong (by Bible standards, not your own personal opinion standards). Also, feel free to share your opinions (in a nice way) because I really enjoy hearing others’ thoughts.

I Have A Trust Problem.

This past year I’ve learned a lot about myself, and through this I’ve grown so much. I finally understand the root of some of my major problems and sins. I worry a lot. It’s something I’ve always struggled with, and until recently I didn’t necessarily want to fix it or even know how if I did want to fix it. The answer is Jesus. It always is.

Along with my worry problem, I also get stressed extremely easily. It’s also always been a problem for me, and sometimes it might be because I’m a horrible procrastinator, but most of the time, it’s because my focus isn’t where it should be. It should be on God.

Finally, I have this problem with impatience. It’s definitely the least prevalent out of all of these, but it’s there and a problem. I want things, now. But that’s not God’s plan, and I need to accept that.

All of these point to one thing, and that’s my very prevalent and strong trust problem. To put it simply, I don’t trust God in a lot of aspects of my life. I like to say I do, but because of my worry, stress and impatience, I don’t live like I do.

BUT since God has made me realize all of this, I’m working on it, and nothing has felt so good. I’m not perfect in any of these areas, and I don’t think I will ever be. I have improved, though. I don’t worry or stress nearly as much. This past semester may have been my hardest semester yet, but it didn’t feel that way, and I’m so thankful for that. Putting everything in His hands and trusting that His plans are what’s best for me, not mine, is the best feeling. It’s so draining worrying and stressing, and so relieving when you let it all go and let God control it. My goal is to close my eyes, take His hand and let Him lead me wherever He wants because that’s so much easier than planning everything on my own.


And A Selfish Problem.

Up until this point, this was written a while ago. I never posted it because it never felt complete. What I’m about to add may not make what was already written complete, but I think it will make the blog overall more complete.

Yesterday, I realized another problem that is so prevalent in my life, I almost missed it. It doesn’t come back to the trust problem, but it’s still important. I am a very selfish person. I pretend I’m not, but I am. I think of myself most of the time and leave very little room for anyone else. And the people I do leave room for are my friends and family. Typically, I don’t give a second thought to the homeless guy I pass on the street or the person who looks lost in Walmart or anyone who needs help. I just walk by. There are so many people in the world who need help or love or a hug, and I don’t give it to them. I don’t even try. And I don’t try because I don’t want to.

I think this selfishness that I have may steam from my personality. I’m not trying to give excuses for why I’m so selfish, but I truly think this is why I am so selfish. I need people’s acceptance. I need people to like me. I constantly apologize for being me, and I constantly try to impress people. It’s something I’ve always done. I simply care what people think of me, and I think that all of this points to selfishness. I have always been so absorbed in myself and how others view me that I don’t even glance at the people around me. It doesn’t matter what people think of me because God made me perfectly the way I am, and it’s so selfish to think that He didn’t.

I have a friend. Her name is Kylee, and I would consider her one of my best friends. One of the reasons why is because she consistently pushes me to be a better me. She forces me to go out of comfort zone so I can improve. She takes the time to attempt to help me. And she did this all before I even made the connection. Yes, I wanted to fix it before now, but I never even really knew the problem. Maybe she didn’t see my selfishness, but everything she has done to make me care less about what people think has been steps toward a more selfless me. God knew what He was doing when He put her in my life. I am so thankful for Kylee and her ability to understand me when I didn’t even understand myself, and she means more to me than she’ll ever know because of that. And maybe the reason I’m sharing all of this on this blog is because I can’t talk to her right now to tell her how I finally understand. And I just had to tell someone. I get it, y’all. It all makes sense now.

And now I will pray a lot. I will put in extra effort in all of these things to improve and get better. And TRUST that God will always 100% of the time take care of me and put me into the situations and places that I’m supposed to be in and that He will never give me too much to handle.

Thanks, God, for forgiving me for things I’ve already done and things I will do, and thanks for being there. I can’t do it on my own.

Sin is sin is sin.

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

I know the phrase “sin is sin is sin” is extremely cliché, and you’ve probably heard it a million times. But it’s also extremely true, and I bet most of you don’t even stop to fully understand what it means.

I’ve heard people express so many times how one sin is greater than another when that isn’t true at all. God sees all sin as just that… sin. We as humans have the tendency to be more forgiving and have more acceptance towards sins such as lying or worrying, but God sees them just the same as murder or adultery. Today, we as Christians put huge emphasis on sins like homosexuality and abortion, and I guess I can see why… because they’re sins that have started being accepted by society today, but if you think about it, A LOT of sins are accepted by society. I think that, as Christians, no we shouldn’t accept these sins… we shouldn’t even tolerate them, but we do need to realize that murder is the same as lying. Homosexuality is the same as worrying. It’s all sin, and it’s all forgiven by God. So, since it’s forgiven by God, we need to forgive it too. I know it’s hard… believe me I do. When I think about the awful people in this world like murderers, rapists, etc… I don’t want to forgive them, but I should.

Hate the sin, not the sinner. That’s what God does and aren’t we supposed to strive to be more like Him? LOVE the sinner, no matter how “bad” the sin is.

I also see so often Christians look down on other Christians because of their past. If they’re saved, they’re a new creature, a new person. Their slate has been wiped clean. So why judge someone, a saved someone, based on their past? None of that matters. None of it. All that matters is that that person is new. That person is 100% clean in God’s eyes. Yes, they’re going to sin more, we all sin more. But they are forgiven. God’s grace is so incredible like that. He will clean up the dirtiest person. He doesn’t want a person to come to Him in perfect condition. He wants to save a broken, messed up person, and that’s exactly what He does. That’s what he did to me. Don’t clean yourself up for Him, that’s His job. And Christians, don’t judge someone based on their sin because that’s also His job. We are called to love, not judge.

And just to make this straight… that doesn’t mean we are to accept sin. For example, homosexuality is a sin. So, do we accept gay marriage? No. But do we continually insult and put down people who are gay? Absolutely not. We are to love them, guys. We can hate the sin all we want, but the person? No. We can be actively against things like homosexuality and abortion, but we can’t hate the people who support/participate in them. Showing love is one of the greatest ways to radiate God. If someone sees you loving them unconditionally, they’ll ask you why… and there’s your opportunity to share the gospel.