Tag Archives: grace

Worth Celebrating

reflection

Trust me, I get it….I’m the annoying girl on social media always talking about Jesus. Can’t say I’m sorry about it. When my heart is overflowing with joy, I just have to give praise where praise is due…can’t help myself!

This week 27 years ago, I was born. But this week 13 years ago I was finally brought to life. Reflecting on how much change and growth has taken place within those years has me completely overwhelmed at the goodness and grace God has brought into my life.

You all know the friendly, goofball I am today. The positive, upbeat, hardworking girl, who trips over air, wears her pants inside-out, says cheesy things, and is not afraid to laugh at herself. I’m a mess, but a completely different kind of mess from the disaster I used to be.

Sad as it is, my life was once ruled by negativity and insecurity. All I wanted was to fit in. I longed for some kind of talent or skill to define me. Good at nothing and fearful of everything. I was made fun of for being nothing more than a chubby, freckle-faced kid. I began to believe it. At times, I thought my life was a useless waste of space. The mirror was an enemy Satan used to feed me his lies. Not an ounce of self-worth. At my lowest, I begged God to take me off this earth; trying to convince Him that no one would even notice I was gone. Only now do I realize how much His heart must have broken to hear my thoughts.

My life began to take a turn for what I thought was worse:

We were supposed to be watching my sister graduate that night. The auditorium filled with chaos as we ended up watching my grandmother die instead.

Never had I felt such a thick layer of darkness come over my world as I did the night I found out my aunt killed herself.

There was the morning I watched the devastation cross my dad’s face as he got news of his brothers sudden and unexpected death.

I also remember the rainy New Year’s Eve I spent in a cold hospital waiting room. With watery eyes, I stared at the single drop of blood on the pillow next to my best friend’s lifeless body.

Death became so real to me. I think that’s the same time life started to become real also.

How thankful I am for the very last opportunity we had to visit my uncle battling Alzheimer’s. He smiled at me though he had no idea who I was. Since conversation was difficult to come by, my sister opened up to the book of Psalms and began to read. I watched my uncle close the eyes on his frail body, tilt his head toward heaven and quote every single verse word for word. Goosebumps rushed over my body at one of the most beautiful moments I had ever witnessed. God’s word was powerful. This kind of beauty had nothing to do with appearance or talent, but rather a condition of the heart.

That was the day I took a sharpie to a mirror. Instead of focusing on my skewed view, I scribbled verses all over that mirror of the things I hoped to reflect…in every aspect of life…because that was an unfading beauty. The only thing I could possibly control in life was my own attitude, actions, and willingness in allowing God to do His work in transforming me from the inside out.

He’s had His work cut out for Him.

It was in the midst of death, I finally realized the value of life; including my own. Not only was it a precious gift, but was overwhelming to think someone else found so much beauty, value, and worth in me, that He was willing to die for it.

My life will never be free from pain, hurt, or trials. God loves me far too much to make it easy for me. However, I’m absolutely blown away by the life I get to live free from worthlessness, comparison, jealousy, pride, anger, envy, anxiety, worry, etc. He’s made my faith far greater than any fear. I’ve got plenty moments of weakness, especially with the enemy knowing to hit me right where it hurts the most. But never is there a chain my Savior cannot break. Though I don’t always know what He is working on, He has somehow managed to bring so much purpose and potential to an ordinary girl like me.

How scary that I almost let myself get in the way of His wonderful work. My soul has slowly been set on fire over the course of 13 years; I can hardly wait to see how He uses the rest of it!

That’s a birthday worth celebrating

Hayley Elise

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Courage, Dear Heart

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

megs

Last night I got in bed completely depleted. Not necessarily filled with worry, anxiety or fear. Just one of those days where a tiny discouragement builds on top of another, creating scenarios in your mind that contain absolutely no truth. Moving away from my entire life, I was fully aware days like this would hit; it would be inevitable. How perfect of a situation am I in for the enemy to pounce?

No way could I ever blame God for this emotion within me.What I have chosen to do with my life was done in complete faith for Him and I will never doubt that decision.

“Commit your works to The Lord and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for it’s own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.” Proverbs 16:3-4

As I lay staring at the ceiling, these verses were running wild through my brain. My flesh may have a moment of despair, but what a great opportunity to trust. Every now and then it’s good to have days like this. Such a great reminder that even when uncertain of what lies ahead, always commit your works to The Lord; there will be greater purpose behind it than you can possibly imagine. If He has overcome the entire world, then why would I possibly need to question if He can handle the little obstacles on my simple path?

How lovely to have a moment of discouragement yesterday, because in it I was again made aware of how little I am in comparison to how incredibly big He is. An opportunity to be well informed of His grace, love, and mercy in my life; to be humbled by knowing the greatest ability I have is to faithfully depend on Him in all circumstances. Even when completely unsure of where He is leading me. What a blessing to have peace in tribulation, full knowing that He carries my life in His hands full of purpose!

courage

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

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Of Beauty and Grace

Given the choice, my every day to do list would be tackled in spandex shorts, a trusty old sweatshirt, and a good pair of Nikes. Comfort is clearly the largest portion of my closet; not always the cutest. Although some days my fashion sense may appear to be socially acceptable, other days I get strangers walking up to me on street corners handing me money and offering to buy me meals.

Okay, so it’s not really that bad. However, I dress in the things I like and claim to know absolutely nothing about fashion or the latest trends.

That is where my lovely friend Vanessa comes in. Her fashion game is flawless and I envy the way she can so effortlessly pull an outfit together in a way I would have never even considered. She would be at my house every morning if I could afford it! Thank goodness for her website to keep me in line. Not only does she have outstanding talent, but her shining personality makes an even stronger statement than the clothes she wears. Check in with her for inspiration and a good, healthy dose of Beauty and Grace!

Of Beauty and Grace. Fashion by Vanessa Ebel

Of Beauty and Grace. Fashion by Vanessa Ebel

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