To the Lonely Girl,

I’ve written about you before, and I promise I’m not picking on you. I just have a story I feel I need to share with you. When I met Christian (my fiancé) we both had so many idols in our life. Alcohol, clothing, parties, just to name a few. I had been lonely for so long that I had strategically placed things in my #1 spot, trying to convince myself that I wasn’t. Because if I was going out having a good time than I was doing okay, I was “single and loving life.” Or at least convincing myself I was okay when really I was struggling to keep my head above water. But when I met Christian, things were different. I fell head over heels with this sweet, funny, charming young man and suddenly.. he became my #1.

You’re probably thinking… okay great, thanks for rubbing that in my face. Like thanks Ally that’s exactly what I wanted to read, your stupid love story. But that’s not the point of this at all. If you were to ask me where God was on my priorities list in the first couple months I had been dating Christian. I probably couldn’t have given you an answer because I don’t think he made the cut at all. That isn’t Christian’s fault, I just thought growing up that if you love someone you were supposed to give them every single part of you and that’s what I did. I consumed myself with him and he did the same with me. I lost my relationship with Christ because I didn’t “leave room for Jesus”. I become more concerned with worshipping my relationship than worshipping God.

But a relationship without God, doesn’t have much of a foundation to stand on. How was I supposed to know how to love Christian, when I didn’t even know how to love my Lord? That may sound crazy, but I wanted to love Christian the way the Lord loves me and at that time neither of us really knew how. And when earthly idols started to get in the way of each other, things started to crumble a little.

GASP.. says the crowd. Well how are you engaged now? I thought this was a love story? It is. We both took a step back to look at our relationship and we felt like something was missing. I think for a long time we kept trying to fill it with earthly things and struggled communicating what we both needed. Until we both realized it was God. When God is at the center of your relationship, things start to piece together. How great to love a man who reminds me to spend time with my Lord everyday. How grateful I am to love a man who shows me mercy and grace when I make mistakes. How humbling it is to put my pride aside sometimes and watch him do the same because it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong in an argument but that we are humble like the big guy upstairs.

“Matthew had been married for five years when his marriage began to struggle. He took his concerns to the Lord and asked Him to supernaturally infiltrate his circumstances. While searching the Scripture, Matthew was reminded of how God had given His life for him even when he didn’t deserve it. He knew God was asking him to love his wife the same way he was loved by God:  unconditionally and completely. Matthew asked the Lord to allow him to see his wife through the Lord’s eyes. He emerged from his time with the Lord and noticed a change. His wife was the same, his marriage was the same, but he was different. God’s voice had changed him. He saw his wife in a brand new way. Thirty-five years later, this couple testifies to the changing power of God’s word.”

How amazing is it to love someone through the eyes of the Lord. Nothing has changed in my relationship from the early struggles except that we both made the decision to stop idolizing earthly things, and put God before anything.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

I was lonely like you. Ask all of my friends, I was boy crazzyyyy in high school (sorry mom). I put love on a pedestal because I convinced myself that being single for the rest of my life was the scariest thing that this world has to offer. But I’ve learned, that choosing anything before God, is way scarier than that. Actively search for Him. Make him your #1 goal. Take time to “Date God” and put aside alone time with Him everyday. Because when the right guy does come along, and he will, you want the creator of the universe to be there through it all. I can’t tell you indescribable it is to wake up everyday and know that the man laying next to me loves me through the eyes of my Lord.

So if that’s you, if you feel like you can’t keep your head above the water. You’ve treaded just about as much as you can and you’re just exhausted. Don’t look for anything else to save you. Stop looking for a man to be your knight in shining armor. Don’t reach for the bottle of vodka because it convinces you might be okay. Look up. Fall in love with the word of God and find a man who falls in love with that. I saw a post yesterday from a friend that said, “You should be actively searching God so much, that a man has to find him to get to you.” How true that is. It’s okay to find love, to get swept off your feet, even in times of struggle. But it does you no good to leave God in the cloud of dust.

peace and blessings XOXOX

 

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Green Light

I took the time today to re-read a chapter out of a book I got a couple months ago called “Simply Tuesday” by Emily Freeman. She writes, “I say I have faith, things hoped for but not seen, but when I really burrow down deep into my soul, I wonder. Faith doesn’t mean waiting for understanding or clarity. Faith means trusting God in the midst of misunderstanding and lack of clarity.”

She goes on to say, and this is my favorite line, “Sometimes faith feels like nothing.”

Why is this my favorite line you ask? Well thank you kind stranger let me elaborate. Over the years I have confused the word clarity with the word peace. I have caught myself time and time again asking God during prayer for clarity on pop ups in my life. Yes, I call them pop ups, why? Because they’re messy, and get in the way of my ultimate goal either by slowing down the process or freezing up my timeline. Isn’t it frustrating? It’s easy to blame God for letting things in the way or what you’re working towards. Anyway, I was begging for answer after answer on what he wanted me to do. Sometimes I just want God to flash a big sign that says, “GO THIS WAY ALLY!” or “WATCH OUT”.

Which pegs the question, if I’m waiting for a green light from God, what does that look like? For me, I have come to the conclusion that sometimes, my green light, comes from sitting. I’ll repeat that line again, “Sometimes faith feels like nothing.” I’m not trying to be cliché or go all Carrie Underwood on you folks, but Jesus please take the wheel. I find the most “CLARITY” and I’m using that word right now, from just sitting and giving it all to God in the midst of my struggles.

One of my favorite stories of the Bible comes from Luke 10:38, and it’s the story of Martha and Mary.

“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Raise your hand if you’ve found yourself being more like Martha than Mary! *insert sassy girl emoji* Time and time again I’ve found that I have a hard time just sitting down with God soaking in His word. It’s become almost as if we want God to work and move in our life but only in big ways. I want him to speak to me, but I want it to be dramatic. Where is my message sent through a burning bush? It becomes unfair when we hear of God working in other peoples lives when we feel like we’ve done everything we can do and ask of God and we feel as though they haven’t been as faithful. But have you sat down with Him? Have you sat in silence and just listened and meditated on his word? Or do you wake up in the morning and open Facebook and indulge in the word of your peers? Hey, I’m guilty. Ask my fiancé, I have trouble getting off of my social media too.

If we as Christians don’t take time away from our busy lives to meditate on His word, how will we know when He is speaking to us? Priscilla Shirer says, “The more scripture you have hidden in your heart, the more opportunity He will have to bring it to your mind and direct you. Our goal should be to saturate ourselves in His word.” Be a biblical sponge. Absorb as much of His glory and truth as you can.

I know what you’re thinking.. how the heck did she end up talking about scripture AGAIN when we were supposed to be determining what a green light looked like? But my friend, that’s just it. Spend your time reading scripture and learning how to discern God’s voice instead of convincing yourself that you feel peace about a situation so it “must” be God. There is no probably or maybe with God. He IS the way, the truth, and the life.

So get off of Facebook, take a break from your busy schedule, and sit down on a park bench. Get out your bible. Listen to the words He spoke, to the lessons He taught and the miracles he created. You are one of them darling.

“Colossians 3:15 says that the peace of God should rule our hearts, not our circumstances. We can’t depend on what our circumstances say to determine what God is doing. We must always look inward first and move according to the Holy Spirit’s witness in accordance with God’s Word. When peace rules in our hearts we can confidently move forward regardless of what external circumstances look or feel like and regardless of what others say.”

God is your green light. So go.

peace and blessings XOXOX

 

Buckle Up

Sorry about no post yesterday on here, but I think I needed the reminder that things are not always wrapped in a tight little bow. Yesterday I went with my mother just to look around at David’s Bridal for dresses and to get an idea of what I wanted. Little did I know, I would end up trying on a couple and find THE ONE. I was so overcome with emotions and tears because I finally felt like a bride and my mother felt it too.

Picture perfect right? Wrong. I had no idea that just three hours later I would be sitting in a parking lot in the dark of night with my fiance trying to change my flat tire. In that moment, I had the decision to let that circumstance ruin my day, ruin my entire moment. I could have let it steal the joy I felt just a few hours earlier and being a person with intense anxiety, I had a million questions running through my brain. What time does Tire Discounters open? Will they be able to fix it or will I need an entire new tire? Can we afford to do all of this, I mean we have so much to pay for?

My fiance drove me to Tire Discounters this morning even though he didn’t have to be up for work until 1. Tire Discounters fixed my tire for $26 and I was only ten minutes late for work. Why in the world am I giving you a play by play of my life? Because I got the reality check I needed. Our lives will never be nice and neat and there will be moments that try and steal your joy. It’s the same way with our relationship with God. Are you always going to be happy with what God is putting you through? No. You can get angry with God, you can yell and cry and bring it all to him. He can take it!

Did I want to be sitting in a parking lot at 12:30 at night when I had to be up early for work? No. But I learned how to work together with my fiance and when the tire was back on, I felt like we had successfully accomplished something. He will never put you through something for no reason. God’s ultimate goal is not to make you miserable and unhappy, that’s Satan. For a long time I thought I could only talk to God when I closed my eyes and prayed. But when I tell you that that is just the enemy getting into your ear, I mean it. God is always ready, arms wide open, ears ready, to listen to you.

James 1:12 (NIV) “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the victor’s crown, the life God has promised to those who love him.”

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Rom 8:37 (Jer) These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.

There are so many places in scripture where we are reminded of the power of the Lord our God. You will have bad days. There is no doubt about it. You will have days where everything feels like it’s going wrong and you just want to cry out, “WHY GOD WHY.” But know that through your trials and tribulations God is with you, and he is preparing you for something so much greater than you could ever imagine. A popped tire is something so small on a scale of bad things. But I still in the moment felt like I didn’t deserve that kind of trouble. The truth of it is, we didn’t deserve God’s love either, but we are so blessed with His love and grace.

When you become a Christian you are not promised rainbows and butterflies. When you become a Christian you vow to take on the pains of this world because He took away pain for us. Give it all to him, leave it all at his feet. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You are more than the messes you face in life. Don’t let your circumstances define you, let them be the boulder in which you climb to conquer the mountain. Shout His name from the top and spread His word. Remember it’s all in the journey and sometimes it’s going to get a little bumpy. Grab the ultimate user manual (BIBLE) and buckle up cutie.

peace and blessings XOXOX

I am His Bride

You, yes you. The one who can’t wait to find the man God took a rib from to construct you. The girl who justifies downloading Tinder over and over because “Maybe God put him on there for me to find”. I’m so not judging I’ve been there. But why are you searching so hard? I know we live in a right now world where it feels like if we aren’t moving as fast as the person across from us, we must not be on the right stepping stone God set out for us but do you ever look up instead of looking forward? That was me, and if it sounds anything like you, this ones for you. . .

Today I was staring at my engagement ring in the sunlight marveling at how beautiful it twinkles. If you were to ask me right now when our wedding will be, I couldn’t give you an answer. I’m not the best planner out there. I wasn’t the eighth grade girl you caught looking through bridal magazines and picking out dresses, in fact, if you would’ve asked me in eighth grade I most likely would’ve told you I had no interest in getting married. I was the obnoxious feminist who played the “Independent woman who don’t need no man” card.

But then there was high school, and trust me if you’re anything like the girl I listed at the top.. I was probably more like you then you could ever know. I threw myself at any guy who looked my way because how was I supposed to know what my soul mate looked like?Better to strike out than to never play the game at all right? Let me ask you a single question, and take a couple minutes to let this soak in. When you spent all that time searching for your “Mr.Right” did you spend as much time searching for your Lord? I wish I could bite my tongue here but I’m going to say your answers probably the same as mine. You left God on the benches while you were up at bat and chances are you’ll probably keep striking out until you decide to put him first.

In Ephesians 5, Paul says that marriage is a “mystery” and AMEN do I agree. But he goes on to explain that the actual mystery isn’t between a man and woman but of Christ and the church. I am currently reading a bible study with my fiancée by Francis and Lisa Chan called You and Me Forever. In one of the chapters he says this, and I can’t get over how beautiful it is,

“We are the bride of Christ now, but the Bible also describes us as waiting with anticipation for the “marriage of the Lamb.” Think of how much time, money, and effort goes into our wedding ceremonies. But THIS is the marriage that Scripture emphasizes, so this should be the marriage that we are obsessed with.”

SEE girl, you ARE a bride. You are God’s bride! He took away all of your ugliness and sin. So please stop focusing on what guy is going to say “Wow” when you walk down the aisle one day and realize that God has been saying that about you ever since he made you. And yes… even those days when you don’t change out of your pajamas and finish that pint of ice cream for breakfast. Pursue him and let your cup overflow. Let it be a shadow of the greatness that will come, when God allows it.

peace and blessings XOXO