For They Will Be Satisfied

 

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Me working as the Dean of Women at Camp Good News.

A thick knot formed in my stomach and I felt like I was going to throw up. I began shaking, was unable to focus, and knew without looking that the annoying rash that formed on my neck when I was nervous was in full flare. I was working as the Dean of Women at one of my favorite places in the world, Camp Good News. I was essentially the counselor to the women counselors and loved every second of my job. I was helping with the midweek water games and I had been told by one of the staff directors that I was needed at an emergency meeting. Immediately my mind began to twist. From leadership training, I knew an emergency meeting would be called if there was a world event they needed to inform of us. Had there been a nuclear attack? An outbreak of war?

Thankfully, the meeting was just about some water testing and how we were going to fix it. That’s it. It took nearly an hour for my nerves to calm down. When I spoke to one of the staff directors after she smiled and said, “Kris, the Lord has really gifted you with a global focus.” I had thought she would have called me a worry-wart or told me to calm down, but instead, she addressed my first response to think about a global event as a gift. I’m sure my face twisted in response to my confusion. No one had ever told me that before. Yes, I think about most things from a global perspective. However, I’d always had my thought process shushed and told I worry or think too much. But now, for the first time in my life, it was addressed as a gift.

Global Focus: When Policies Become People

 

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Niger 2015. Disclaimer: I have come to be opposed to “Missionary Tourism.” During this trip, I was working with an organization in Western Africa that was beginning an anti-trafficking department. I founded a grassroots ministry in Arkansas focused on utilizing college students to fight human trafficking and done extensive research on how to begin a successful anti-trafficking organization in a foreign office, and was asked by the organization to go and help them plan the beginning of their department. Pretty cool and not missionary tourism. But, I also got to hang out with these kids who were pretty cool.

 

I have had the privilege of traveling the world. I’ve been to 19 countries and 5 continents. I’ve traveled for school, pleasure, and work focusing on anti-human trafficking. I have seen a lot. I’ve seen children who have had their fingers chopped off from working in factories, I’ve watched a young boy be sold for sex, I’ve watched a mother sob as she held her child as he died from a disease perfectly curable in the United States, I’ve seen children locked up in a quasi-prison as a form of foster care, and I have seen the wealthy get Westernized medical services while their neighbors die of malnutrition. I’ve watched American foreign policy become people. I’ve seen how Americans can take the wealth we’ve been entrusted with and do great good or great evil. I’ve seen how our military can pursue justice or open the floodgates to unthinkable horrors. Perhaps I care about these topics more than most because God has given me a global perspective.

Justice

To the dismay of many, I’ve become obsessed with justice. If you follow me on FB, I share dozens of articles on foreign events and America’s response, specifically the response of American Christians. My heart is heavy. When I read the news I see evil winning, Christians fighting back, God restoring, and God opening doors for us to become part of His redemptive work. I often then become quickly discouraged as I realize I don’t know many Christians who share this zeal for justice. In fact, this past week, I was told by a Christian that I’m too ambitious and am wasting my potential because the world will remain broken and I shouldn’t expect anything more…meaning, I should setlle for injustice to persist because well, people are broken and this world is decaying. But I won’t settle because I believe God calls us as Christians to join in his redemptive work.

Syria

 

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Individuals killed in the most recent Syrian gas attack

 

My heart has been troubled as news reports have spread of yet another horrific gas attack in Syria as the global community sits back and continues to do nothing. I’ve watched dozens of videos of people dying, because, in a weird sense, I felt like I owed them that honor. How unfair is it that I can close my screen to their suffering? A comfort Americans have enjoyed for too long.

Today I found myself crying out to God, “God I know you hate this. Where are you angelic armies? Where are you amongst this suffering?” And then I remembered Jesus’ words as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel:

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,[a]
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
 God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,[b]
    for they will be satisfied.
 God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
 God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.~ Jesus in Matthew 5:3-10

Verse 6 stood out to me: “God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.” Wow. I had to read it several times, and it still gives me chills. This is a promise, a guarantee: I will be satisfied. Not okay, but satisfied.

And in this, I find hope: although evil rages right now, evil will end. Although weeping is rampant right now, sorrow will end. In fact, it will be forgotten. Erased. Eradicated. Nada. No more.

You and I, as Christians, have the privilege of joining God in his redemptive work here on Earth, while clinging to our confident hope that God will ultimately restore his creation, bring justice, and Believers in Him will enjoy eternity with God in a place that is so just and pure and perfect that our thirst for justice will be satisfied. Woah. Praise Jesus.

But, until then, as Paul reminds us:

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.~ Gal. 6:9

xoxo

Krista

Hope Amid Grief

 

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Me and my beloved Great-Gramma, Jon-Jont, at my 80’s themed 18th Birthday Party in 2012

 

 

It has been 10 months and 27 days since my great-grandma passed away. I’ve been waiting for the day to come when I don’t think about her or the pain ends, and it has not come. Each night I sleep under a blanket she made me, Timehop brings up her picture weekly, and I drive by her house when I go to Vermont on weekends. This grief is suffocating and unrelenting. But in this grief, I am able to cling to hope.

Grief Should Not Be Ignored

“That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” This is one of my favorite quotes from John Green’s novel “A Fault in Our Stars.” The main character, Hazel, is dying from complications of cancer and has fallen in love with another cancer-stricken teen. People try to tiptoe around their grief, around their impending death. But that pain that they’re feeling and living demands to be felt. So does mine, so does yours.

I wrote in an earlier blog post about the frustrations of tip-toeing around grief. People fear pain, I get it, and so instead of validating the pain they attempt to offer comfort, “She lived a great life,” “at least you had someone to love you that much.” These are both true, but they make me feel as if my pain is invalid. That I should feel guilty for not “getting over it” by now, 10 months and 27 days later. If you have ever experienced a deep loss, I’m sure you feel the same way. Grief should be embraced. You should yell. And cry. And break mugs. Yes, you must pick up the pieces and continue living the next day, but pain. Must. Be. Felt. Not ignored. And this is tough.

Hope Amongst Grief

I’ve been very open about my ups, downs, and doubts with my Christian faith. I left church for about a year when I was 18 due to deep pains I had suffered at the hands of fellow Christians that made me seriously wonder if I wanted to worship the same God they claimed to worship. I never stopped believing in God but I had serious doubts. I then got involved in a home church and came back to my faith. Then, during my junior year of college, I had doubts about the goodness of God. Maybe one day I’ll share that story here. Once again, I got involved with a pretty incredible prayer group, who listened to my pain, and, get this, told me it was okay to question God and His goodness because there is no question too big for God. God proved himself faithful. But, in both of these situations, I was pretty dependent upon the Church and not God alone.

When Jon-Jont died I clung to my faith, specifically the promises of my faith, in a way I had never had to before. After Jon-Jont’s death I woke up crying and went to be crying. But it was different. Despite my grief I had hope. I miss her deeply. I miss her smile, her witty humor, her laugh, and the safety and confidence in her love that I felt when I was with her. But after her death I never wished she was back here, because if being with the Creator of the Universe, the lover of my soul, is so awesome as I believe it to be, I could never want her to come back to this broken, faded world.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”~Jesus, John 14:2-4

In the above passage, Jesus is attempting to comfort his friends before he dies. The KJV text and other’s use the word “mansion” instead of rooms. However, scholarship suggests that this does not mean a literal mansion, but was instead used to indicate the availability of room and space available where God is, commonly referred to people as “Heaven.” The chapter goes on to explain that to know Jesus is to know God, and that God’s Holy Spirit is with believers here on Earth.

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 2 Cor. 5:1-8

If you believe Christ Jesus is the Son of God and his death served as the atonement for our sins, when we die our soul is with God. What exactly does this look like, I’m not sure. Since God is outside of time and space do we go there immediately? Or does it just feel like we go there immediately? I don’t know. There are so many questions. But, as Christians, we can be confident that if we know Christ we will be with him, in a perfect place. And this gives us hope.

These deep pains we feel, this brokenness, this weight of sin and evil that we carry around, will dissolve. When I get to where I’m going, I’ll be honest, will I even seek out Jon-Jont? I kind of hope not. Here me out! I hope being with the Creator of the universe is so perfect, so complete, that I don’t see out anything other than Him. Will we recognize each other? Yes. Will we rejoice together? Yes. But reconnecting with loved ones will not be our main focus when we’re with God. In an odd way, the hope that this grief that I’m feeling will be so resolved, and I will be so completely satisfied, that I won’t seek out my love ones, but instead will bask in the glory and worship of God, brings me hope. Because this is what Jon-Jont is doing now. And, if she is doing this, how could I want her to come back here? To this broken place, where age was rotting her body and Alzheimer’s stealing her mind? I can’t. Instead, I can look forward with hope and expectation to the place where “everything sad becomes untrue.” 

Dear Christians: Muslim Refugees Are Coming, Get Excited!

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Dear Christian:

Are you excited about the refugees entering our country? Specifically, the Muslim refugees from countries such as Somalia and Yemen (where President Trump’s executive order to block migrants from these countries was just overturned)? If you say “no,” I understand. I do. Even though Christ promised His followers they would be persecuted and suffer for Him, we still want to be comfortable. I want to be comfortable, too. But our job as Christians is not to be comfortable, it’s to spread the Gospel: that Jesus Christ, God incarnate, looked upon our broken and pitiful state, lived a perfect human life, was tortured upon a cross bearing our sins, so that anyone, anyone who calls upon Him will be saved from eternal separation from him.

We’re told to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel” (Mark 16:15). But, modern politics has made this difficult. As missionaries from the United States, it is difficult for us to enter some of the most unreached and desperate countries, such as Somalia and Yemen. So, you know what God is doing? God is bringing them here. How flipping cool is that?

Now, I’m not saying God caused the wars or the famines that are causing one of the greatest migration of people ever, but God is good. He is redemptive. He pursues. Although the sinfulness of corrupt leaders may be causing millions to be displaced, God is working for redemption. One of the ways, I believe, He is working to redeem and restore is bringing refugees and Muslims to the United States. Although missionaries may be barred from entering Yemen, for example, we are now living literally right next door to these individuals. It saddens me that churches would be eager and willing to spend thousands of dollars and risk their lives to reach a family in Yemen, but when that same family comes to the United States, these same churches protest and close their doors. We must not do this, friends. These individuals have had their spirits broken (we know God is close to the broken-hearted). They are desperate for the Gospel and we can share it with them.

Crazy Love

To me, one of the craziest things about Jesus is that he understands. He can empathize. The King of the Universe was born in a filthy and disgusting stable in poverty and fled his home country as a refugee. Jesus can empathize with the refugees because He was one. Jesus loves refugees, and, throughout the Old Testament, God commands Isreal to love the foreigners living among them. In the New Testament, Jesus demands we love our neighbors AND our enemies as ourselves. Do you want to be hungry? Do you want to be cold? Do you want to watch your children be murdered in front of you? NO! Loving our neighbors and enemies as ourselves, then, means ensuring they are not treated a way we would not want to be treated.

Now, I get it. Meeting people who are “different” than us is difficult. They look different, they may speak a different language, we may have no idea what they’re eating. It sounds silly, but these things can be terrifying. I’ve been to nearly 20 countries and have had the privilege of visiting many homes abroad. It feels really, really awkward because we naturally notice the differences instead of the similarities. But we as humans have so much more in common than we do different. Although we don’t speak the same language we all feel joy, we all feel sorrow, we all want a safe world for our children to grow up in. Your new refugee neighbors will need help assimilating to our culture, and you can befriend and help them, and build a friendship along the way.

So, fellow Christians, get excited! Let’s welcome these new neighbors of ours with the same enthusiasm as we would have sending missionaries to their countries. I’m excited to welcome my new neighbors, and am seeking ways to know and support them. I would be more than happy to help you find resources in your community where you could donate time or money to help welcome these refugees.

xoxo

Krista

You Can’t Please Everyone: When Following God Gets You UnFriended

I stared at my computer screen and laughed aloud at the bolded word on my screen: Positivity. It was my Freshman year at college, I was battling mono, fearing an inevitable breakup, gaining weight, in the process of walking away from my Christian faith (because: #ChristiansAreHypocrits), feeling completely alone and crying hourly. Positive was the antonym of how I was feeling. For my Freshman Orientation, I was required to take Strengthquest; a test designed by famous people with lots of letters after their name that supposedly determined the key characteristics of highly successful people. You took this test and it showed you what your strengths were. As my friends got words I envied like Empathy and Achiever my five were: Woo, Context, Learner, Positivity, and Developer. What do those even mean? Positivity stood out to me. I prided myself on being a “realist”: the glass is not half full nor half empty, the glass simply contains 50% of its max holding capacity. Although, those who knew me would call me more of a pessimist. Regardless, positivity was simply not who I was (so I thought).

After I vented to my career counselor (and, let’s be real, anyone else who would listen) and was told the school would not pay for me to take a test to get newer, cooler words, I accepted my fate of this stupid test telling me “positivity” was one of my greatest strengths and started reading about it. Turns out, positivity doesn’t mean I’m a happy go lucky person, it means I desire to live in harmony with people. Yup, that’s me.

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Me and one of my friends from elementary school, Leah, at the Woman’s March in NYC this past week

 

Ironically, I also have a knack for upsetting people. I developed a deep love for politics at a young age. I was raised by my grandparents, and every night I would sit with my grandpa in our living room and watch Fox News with him. I loved my grandpa dearly and this was a very special time for us. When he died unexpectedly in 2011 I began watching the news more and more to feel closer to him. Grief is weird like that.

In addition from being from a really politically conservative family I went to a super liberal high school. Some of my teachers were literally at Woodstock. So I’d sit at home and hear super Conservative opinions and then go to school and hear the complete opposite (my favorite was when one of my classmates announced during the 2012 race that Rick Santorum was going to outlaw women eating bananas…she thought that was real). I saw that both “sides” really wanted to help each other but were unable to connect. This fascinated me.

I went to a more progressive Christian college (you could kiss, they didn’t kick you out if you were gay…definitely not Bob Jones) and for the first time realized liberals aren’t evil. I took many classes in social justice and saw how God calls us, as Christians, to defend the poor, the widow, and the orphan. While I debated my views on policy in my Political Science classes, I was also faced with tough, tough questions in my Family & Human classes (is gay marriage wrong? How do we actually help poor families? Why are people poor?). I realized for the first time that many of the views I had thought to be liberal and bad, actually weren’t. At the same time, I became part of a very conservative church. A church full of loving and good people with whom  I agreed with on many issues. Definitely not the sterotypical “conservatives who don’t care about anyone” kind of Christians. Once again, like high school, I was put in the middle.

Over the past few years I’ve become, what I would call, pretty moderate. I’m really conservative on some issues, and what some people would call liberal on others. Therefore, no matter what I say regarding politics upsets someone. And, remember, I do love politics (probably more than your husband loves football) so I talk about it a lot. So really, no matter what I say ends up upsetting someone. And to add to all of this, I can’t stand conflict. My life this past year has been a mess. But, not as much as this past week.

The Messy Life of a Moderate

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The above picture describes my point exactly. Above is me holding a sign saying “When They Go Low We Go High” right next to a girl demanding reproductive rights. So, here I am with a bunch of women upset about the policies Trump is pushing that I believe hurt women. They have no idea that I’m adamantly Pro-Life (anti-abortion, anti-choice). There was something special/odd/comforting even about marching next to women that believed vastly different things than me, and knowing that we cared about some similar things. Needless to say, me going to the Woman’s March upset some of my conservative friends, and I lost about 100 followers on Instagram, about 10 people on Facebook blocked me (ouch) and I received some pretty nasty messages calling me a “Baby Killer” (even though I’m Pro-Life). That was a tough day for me. My actions had upset people I cared about.

The next day was Sanctity of Life Sunday. Perfect, I thought. Now I’ll make my conservative post and hopefully my conservative friends won’t think I’m so awful. So I posted this:

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It’s a picture of me and my birthmom. I described my feelings about abortion, specifically, how it’s strange for me to think that my mom could have aborted me and I wouldn’t be here. Well...then the comments from the liberals started coming. My post about the woman’s march ended up being shared in some tabloid websites and gossip columns so I had acquired many more progressive followers. Although many were respectful (and we had some great conversations) I made the mistake of looking at and reading a gossip website someone sent me where my post was talked about. The first rule of being in the public at all is never, ever, under any circumstances, read the comments. I didn’t listen, and it hurt. Some people said some really hurtful things. Specifically that I’m not confident, they would have told my mom to have an abortion with me, I’m entitled, and have no self-confidence or self-worth and was seeking affirmation. Ouch. I called my grandma crying. Because well, that hurt.

If You Take A Stand You’ll Lose People

I was reminded that anytime you take a stand for something, anything at all, you’ll lose people. I’ve lost many dozens of Conservative friends these past few weeks because of my anti-Trump posts and because I went to a March that they thought was only about abortion; and then I lost Liberal friends because I revealed that I’m still Pro-Life. As much as I want to, I can’t make everyone like me. And, neither can you. If you stand up for anything at all, if you are firm in anything at all, people will fall away.

However, what I’ve had to remind myself, and what I’d like to remind you (applause if you’ve read this far!) is that it’s not about what people think, it’s about what God thinks. We need to carefully study God’s word and see what HE says about how we should treat people, all people. And to remember that no political party will represent God. We must read our Bibles, pray, and decide then how God calls us to live our lives. And remember that ultimately we’re only on this Earth for a fleeting moment. It’s more important that you and I follow what God says than these temporary politics. We must love well and fight for justice evne though doing so will cost us.

As always, please let me know if I can be praying for you or encourage you in anyway.

xoxo

Krista

Facing Your Giant

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The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble? ~Psalm 27:1

I often forget that the people in the Bible were actual people, just like you and me. Real, living, breathing people with hopes, dreams, fears and favorite flavored ice creams (okay, maybe I’m stretching the last one a little bit). If you grew up in a church, like I did you, may have had a storybook Bible. But these accounts aren’t stories. I believe the Bible contains actual, true accounts of things that happened in the past. These accounts aren’t fairytales, they’re accounts of true people, their mess-ups, their successes, and God’s faithfulness.

The above picture of David and Goliath gives more weight to the verses David wrote. “Why should I be afraid?” “Why should I tremble?” David had gone up against his fair share of battles and large armies. If I put myself in the above picture, I get nervous. I’m sure David was nervous, but later in his life, He writes that he should not be afraid. That’s powerful.

My Current Giant

 

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My outline for one of my classes

 

I’m currently battling through the trenches of law school exams, and I have been fearful. Terrified. In law school, our entire grade comes down to how we perform on this one exam, and these grades have drastic consequences on the kinds of jobs we can have. My GPA very much determines the first few years of my professional career and my future income, gulp.

For the past few years it’s been my goal to work at a big firm. These jobs are the most competitive and also pay the best. I have a genuine interest in bankruptcy and employment, two areas of interest many large firms specialize in. The income is also appealing because in three years I will be drowning in educational debt.

Goals

It’s always been my dream to have a big house in Vermont. In fact, I’ve had the VERY house I want picked out for as long as I can remember. Here’s a picture of it:

 

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View House Here

 

 

I’m a planner and having the goal to get this very house has been comforting and a source of purpose. I know that if I don’t do well on exams, this dream house is going to become just that, a dream house. No longer a reality.

Running From Fear

 

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I have studied so hard for school this semester. This October my cousin was in a really serious accident, and even as I waited in the waiting room I still did homework. My aunt on my left has recently gone back to school. I know it’s not only my dreams that I’m carrying. I also have a duty to show everyone else fro my small town, especially the girls, that you really can become anything you set your mind to.

 

My whole life I’ve been running from the fear that I’ll end up like my mother: unhappy, living paycheck to paycheck, just overall not in a good place. There’s a lot more to this that I just don’t feel comfortable posting online. My whole life has been dedicated to doing things to not “end up” like that: don’t get pregnant as a teenager, don’t have sex until I’m married, marry the right guy, go to college, get a job, get good grades in college to get a good job, go to graduate school to get an even better job…running from this fear has been exhausting. And at every point in my life I have let this fear control me. My education to this point has been focused on my future career so that I can ultimately accomplish two goals 1) Build the big house above 2) End up better off than my mom.

Any first generation college student or someone who grew up in abusive home I’m sure can relate to this fear, right? Or, rather, running from this fear? It controls you. You battle the lies at every single step and turn and crossroad that you’re going to fail, that you’re not good enough, that you’ve been wasting your time thinking you can become something other than what those before you chose to become.

God Will Never Abandon Me

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.

The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
    Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me.
    Do not reject your servant in anger.
    You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
    O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.

11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
    Lead me along the right path,
    for my enemies are waiting for me.
12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
    For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
    with every breath they threaten me with violence.
13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.
Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

~Psalm 27

I bolded the parts that stood out to me.

This week I’ve been reading Psalm 27 over and over and over again. This morning when I read it before my first law school exam I broke down crying. David, the older version of the kid in the picture above wrote this! Why do I tremble? Why am I afraid?

Although these ar “just”  test, this is such a big battle for me. It’s the culmination of all my fears. What if I fail? What if I just do average? What if I do below average?

This morning I had an epiphany of comfort to these questions.

Fear: What if I fail?
Answer: The Lord has never abandoned me and He will be my helper.
Life application: Even if I fail and am unable to get a high paying job God will still somehow provide for my physically and emotionally.

Fear: What if I just do average?
Answer: The Lord has never abandoned me and He will be my helper.
Life application: Even if I fail and am unable to get a high paying job God will still somehow provide for my physically and emotionally.

Fear: What if I do below average?
Answer: The Lord has never abandoned me and He will be my helper.
Life application: Even if I fail and am unable to get a high paying job God will still somehow provide for my physically and emotionally.

Fear: That I’ll be poor, lonely, angry, ect.
Answer: The Lord wants me to come to Him, the God of the universe desires a relationship with me, He is Good, He will provide.

And, just as this Psalm quieted my fears, it also convicted me. David said the thing he wants MOST, MOST is to live in the house of the Lord and delight in His perfections. Wow. Convicted. Am I doing that? Am I delighting in the Lord’s perfections?  Am I wanting to seek goodness and desiring to live a God-honoring life MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE? No, I’m not.

This Psalm changed my perspective going into my next set of finals:

  1. I need to be rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness: Thank you Lord for always providing for me financially and otherwise, Thank you Lord for giving me academic talents and the ability to think. You are so, so, so good to me. I should strive to do well, to do my very best, because doing my best honors God and the talents He entrusted me with.
  2. I need to stop living a fear based life. I am not my mother, I am Krista. I have a relationship with God. The God of the universe who has always provided for me and always will. A God who desires a relationship with me.

 

What’s Your Giant?

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What’s your giant, friend? What are you fearing? What is driving the actions in your life? Is it your fears of failure, like me?

God loves you. He desires a relationship with you. He has been fighting for you and has a plan. Starting a relationship with God is easy. Romans 10:9 tells us that, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead you shall be saved.” Saved from what? From seperation from God that spans not only this life but all of eterenity. But God doesn’t want it that way. He wants a relationship with you, but he also, like any good man, isn’t going to force you into a relationship you don’t want. The door is open, you just need to walk in.

If you’re already a Christian what are you desiring? Are you desiring above all else to delight in the goodness of God? To seek him? To say, “Lord I am coming?” I know I have been slacking in this area. David is notorious for being human, that is, having great God moments and then slipping into sin: he was called a man after God’s own heart and wrote of desiring God above all else yet slept with a married woman, killed her husband, had hundreds of wives and concubines (sex on call), and was such an absent father that his kids engaged in some pretty messed up incest. He was so human. So freaking human. He wasn’t a person who had it all together, he was a royal mess, just like you and me. And that’s what makes God so awesome, and what we remember this Christmas season: that despite our messes and mishaps God loves us and wants a relationship with us.

He loves you, friend. He loves you.

As always, if I can be praying for you or encouraging to you in any way, please contact me via Instagram or Facebook. I would LOVE to pray for you.

xoxo

Krista

 

 

For Everything There is a Season: A Season of Lonliness

For everything there is a season,
    a time for every activity under heaven.
 A time to be born and a time to die.
    A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
    A time to grieve and a time to dance.
 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
    A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
 A time to tear and a time to mend.
    A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
    A time for war and a time for peace.

Ecc. 3:1-8

Many of us have read or heard the above verses; often at funerals and other major events. These events often signify a specific beginning or end of a specific season. Was Solomon correct? Is there actually a season for everything? What about the seasons, like lonelines, that just “happen”? That don’t have a beginning or an end but are thrown into life?  Because to be honest, I don’t like the season I’m currently in very much, and I want it to end. Soon.

These last few days have been rough for me. Really, really, rough. I reunited with my best friends from high school and saw my family in Vermont. I’m wanted by these people. I’m loved. We know each other. And then I returned to NYC.

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My best friends from high school and I reunited to meet Hope’s precious baby. These girls know me, love me, and are the best kind of best friends you could ever have.

I have great housemates here, good classmates. But I still feel so lonely. I dreaded this transition for almost a year leading up to my move. I’ve never had a time where I didn’t know anyone. Even when I moved to Arkansas, I moved with my boyfriend. I knew someone.

I’m 98% E on Myers-Brigg, and my love language is Quality Time. I love being around people and become surprisingly depressed when I’m alone. I thrive in social situations and find it difficult to focus, ironically, when I’m by myself.  I’m sure God made me this way for a purpose, which is even more frustrating. Growing up, and even now, I often wish God would have made me an introvert: it must be lovely to be able to be alone and entertain oneself. But He didn’t, He made me this way. The knowledge that God made me extroverted, and yet put me in a season of loneliness, has been tough to grapple with. I struggle to recognize and reject the lie that if God really did love me, He wouldn’t be doing this.

 

But, despite this loneliness, this pain, the “God please take this from me” prayers, in some ways I’m thankful. I believe God knows me, that God loves me, and that God wants me. So instead of praying, “God take this from me,” I have been praying through tears, “God, what is your purpose? Just show me, please. If you want me to be lonely, okay, just make this season count.”

I’ve already seen that this season has made me more empathetic towards others. I joined the usher team at my church so that I can be one of the first faces to welcome newcomers because this season has taught me how scary it can be to be new. In some ways, this season has made me even more outgoing and given me initiative to go up and speak to people at events, because I now know what it’s like to make the first move.

What tough season are you in right now, friend? And what is God teaching you in it? I’d love to hear and encourage each other.

As always, feel free to contact me with any prayer requests or encouragement needs.

xoxo

Krista

God Loves Lawyers (Part 2): Your Mission Field & General Life Update

Hello blog readers (all 13 of you followers) and anyone who happens to find this page!

General Life Update

It’s been nearly two months since I have posted and so much has happened: I moved to New York City (haven’t been hit crossing the cross walk…yet…), began law school (and survived my first cold call!), started a business (Summer Storm Fashions, check it out!), and started attending a Presbyterian Church (where they use REAL WINE during communion…Did you know that was a thing? Me neither…). Needless to say, life has been crazy and hectic and exhilarating and <insert exciting synonym here>

Color coding has been a huge blessing for me and has helped me stay sane these past few weeks!

I run an eBay upthrifting business where I sell name brands at a discount. Check out my store here:

http://www.ebay.com/usr/summerstorm*2010

 

New City, New Church

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I’m so blessed to be able to live with such beautiful, kind, intelligent housemates!

New York City is much different than Arkansas, to say the least: the social mannerisms are different (no ma’ams here), the lingos are different, morals are different…everything is just different. It’s been overwhelming lonely at times, but I’m thankful to have gotten involved with an awesome study group and connected with a stellar church community that shares my desire to put my faith into action and my belief that Christ calls us to serve the least of these. Some of you may have heard of the church before, it’s Redeemer Presbyterian, and was founded by Tim Keller. If you ever get a chance to check out his books, please do. For the first time in my life I’m attending a church where it’s the norm to have a master degree. Every person I’ve met at Redeemer so far is in a graduate program or already has a doctorate. It’s just much different than what I’m used to: the discussions are different, the views are different. However, I’ve really enjoyed having great American writers and classical philosophers added to our sermons. Do these philosophers thoughts have equal weight as the Bible? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But, I believe God gave us brains to think and I think we can learn a lot. These experience coincide with Part 2 of my series: God Loves Lawyers.

As Jesus was walking along, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” When Jesus heard this, He said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do.” Then He added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: “I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices. For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”~Matthew 9:9-13

You Don’t Need to Give Up Your Non-Christian Friends

My first day at a clinic! I work at the FLAG clinic where I help clients obtain information about how to stop the foreclosure process on their home. I love it. Do I look like a lawyer at all?

In my last post I explained that God does not requires us to give up our “worldly” God given talents when we become a Christian. Instead, we need to stop using those talents to serve sinful purposes and instead use them to serve Godly purposes. In this post I’m going to talk about how Matthew not only followed Christ, but brought Christ, quite literally, to people who may not have met him any other way.

In the second part of Matthew’s account above, Matthew brings Jesus, literally, to dinner at a tax collectors house. Now, keep in mind that these men were not your average accountants. These men were forcing Jews to pay high taxes to the government that was 1) invading their land 2) oppressing them and 3) torturing their people. Would Jews want to pay taxes to these people? No. Not only that, but tax collectors would charge extra to pocket money for themselves.  Imagine then how despised the tax collectors were!

It says that “Matthew invited Jesus and His disciples into his home, along with other tax collectors and disreputable sinners.” This verse is SO IMPORTANT, y’all. If, when Matthew became a Christian, he began to act like he was better than his fellow tax collects, turned his nose in the air and refused to associate with his previous co-workers they probably would not have come to dinner. Therefore, we can deduce from the text that Matthew was still associating with them in some way, or, that he hadn’t done anything to cause them to not want to associate him anymore.

This is such a large implication for our own lives. When we become Christians we’re not called to reject all of our non-Christian friends. Sure, if being around them always involves sinning we can’t do that. But we can’t reject them as people. We can set appropriate boundaries that tell our friends and neighbors that we love them, we just won’t participate in activities X Y or Z. This does not mean you can’t hang out with them in other contexts. We may be the only Christians they know, and the only “Matthew” in their life: someone that can bring Christ to them.

Be a Matthew

It’s important to keep your Christian friends, too! I’m so thankful for these Godly friends of mine back at my church in Arkansas!

I only know two other Christians here at my law school, and my entering class is 350. Sure, there’s probably more, but not a lot. The non-believers I’m living with and interacting with are watching. I have the opportunity to love them, live out my faith, and share the gospel with them. Don’t just be friends with people to evangelize them! They’ll know what you’re trying to do and you will considered unauthentic. Instead, seek out people with common interests. If they’re already a Christian, awesome, encourage each other! If not, don’t brush these people off! Continue to build a friendship with them because you have common interests and share the gospel along the way.

Who are the Pharisees in Your Life

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This is one of my favorite pictures of “Jesus” (it’s from the passion of the Christ film)…it’s important to remember that Christ’s gift of forgiveness is for EVERYONE! And you’re part of telling them about it!

Jesus was criticized A LOT by the pharisees (religious leaders). Here, he was criticized for associating with sinners. No doubt, if you make an effort to be friends with non-Christians you’ll most likely be criticized, I know I am! You can, as I said, set appropriate boundaries. Now, if being friends with someone continually puts you in a situation where you’re tempted or sin (say your friends want to do drugs or have sex with you, and do not respect your wishes not do participate) that’s a problem. They’re not being a good friend to YOU. Friendship never requires you to be a doormate, if you’re in a “friendship” that is asking this of you, it’s abusive and unhealthy.

 

How have you been a “Matthew” to the people God has placed in your life? How can you be a “Matthew” in the future?

As always, if I can be praying for YOU or encourage YOU in anyway, comment or connect with me on social media.

xoxo

Krista