I’m currently sitting in Starbucks as I write this with so many thoughts running wild. I feel blessed. I feel loved. I feel cherished. I feel joy. As I listen to Kari Jobe sing “forever He is glorified” I can’t help but to crave to glorify my King more and more each day. With each breath. With each heartbeat.
But… the past couple weeks I’ve been struggling with those thoughts. Hard. I’ve felt distant from my friends. From my family. From God. Usually when I feel myself distancing myself from God, I turn away from social media. I decided I was going to fast social media for at least a couple weeks, and within the first few days, I kept hearing the thought over and over overwhelm my heart saying “when you’re on the mission field overseas and you feel distant from God, you can’t just “fast” your mission. You can’t take a break. You can’t go home. Same with social media.” And I thought wow… How true is this. Although I may be called to overseas missions later in life, right now, I’m called to social media missions. Part of that is to constantly be raw and real with my followers, not put on a show like I have everything together.
The truth is… I don’t. You don’t. Your friend doesn’t. Your leader doesn’t. Your pastor doesn’t. But that’s okay, because we both know who does and always will.
Although the fast didn’t go as planned, I still learned so much about myself as I spent a healthy amount of time alone rather than with friends every day. I learned it’s okay to be sensitive to things that other people aren’t affected by in the slightest. It’s okay to say no to social events and not need an excuse. Knowing my own limits and learning not to push myself is the only excuse I need.
A couple days ago, I was having an overall good day (after a not so good couple weeks). I got to sleep in (which is my favorite thing to do) and I had my photography class in the afternoon which is so much fun to me. I was sitting in class when I decided to check my twitter. I noticed I got a mention from a girl who, honestly, has never been exceedingly loving towards me. She quoted a tweet of mine from months ago trying to contradict it and when I saw it, I immediately shut down. I wanted to leave class. It may not have seemed like the “rudest tweet ever,” but to me, it was the end of my good day. It hurt. I felt so dragged down for the rest of class. When I got in the car, I began to pray for her heart as well as mine and I immediately felt a spark of joy. A joy that I hadn’t felt for weeks. I have no idea why, but in that moment, the dry season was over simply because I chose to pray for her heart rather than take offense to what she said.
Sometimes it’s easy to be quick to take offense to what others say, but it will always be worth it to turn to God first. There’s usually a reason as to why they’re offending you and if you seek that first, your own heart will be opened rather than shut. Sometimes God may even reveal that reason to you so you can tackle it head-on in prayer against the enemy. Be quick to turn to prayer. It is the most powerful thing you can do.
“But the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavenly expanse and those bringing many to righteousness will be like the stars forever and ever.” // Daniel 12:3
When you choose to be selfless rather than selfish is when God will reveal Himself to you. If you feel as if God is silent in your life, try doing something for someone besides yourself. Pay it forward at a fast-food restaurant. Tell someone Jesus loves them. Offer to pray for someone. Spend an evening with someone at the movies or at a coffee shop. God will bless you so abundantly when you choose to bless others.
Something my church and I personally have been trying to do more of lately is just that. Asking the lady at the checkout or your waitress how she is and if there’s any way you can pray for her. Matthew 28:19 says “therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This doesn’t mean you have to go across the world to make disciples. Your country is your nation. Go. Make disciples of it. Be public about what you believe because if you don’t, do you really believe God’s Word to be true? If He sees you seek this, He will provide opportunities and divine appointments. You trust Him, but are you allowing Him to trust you?
Living for yourself isn’t living at all. Forget your own comfort, forget the potential embarrassment and go. God will bless the rejection as much as He blesses the acceptance.
I watched a boy in my young adult group pray over a girl at the movie theater simply because he felt God tell him to and he although she allowed it, there was still a sense of rejection. I could tell that she had no idea what he was doing and why and it was genuinely the most uncomfortable thing to watch but at the same time, the most inspiring. It personally pushed me to do the same despite the earthly cost. Let it push you too. Move past the uncomfort of others staring at you or judging you. For them, it could literally be life and death. You could be the only piece of Jesus they will ever see. This is something to be embraced, not ashamed of. Be Jesus for others.
Respond to others the way Jesus would. Serve others the way Jesus would. Love others the way Jesus would. Treat others the way Jesus would. WWJD is old and “cliche,” but necessary. Always ask yourself that. Receive and release, not receive and receive. When you pour out to others, He will constantly overflow. It’s a cycle. There comes a point to receiving that when you don’t release, you won’t know how to receive anymore. So be selfless. Be the light to someone’s darkness. Be the smile someone needs. Be the prayer warrior someone is desperately seeking for.
We will never amount to Jesus’ holiness and utter perfection, but we can still strive for it. Let’s strive for His kindness today and every day. Let’s strive to be like Jesus in every way shape and form. With every fiber of our being. Bring a little piece of Heaven with you to earth every day. Let’s see a world filled with not just love and kindness, but Christ’s love and kindness. Be Jesus for someone today.
“The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” // 1 John 2:6