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

 

 

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Terrified

Terrified

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Last night (okay, let’s be honest, in the wee hours of this morning) I sat uncomfortably in bed scrolling through my various social media news feeds. I read through the various posts of friends about everything they accomplished in 2015, to name a few, they: lost 100lbs, had a baby, got married, filled a passport, fell in love, reconnected with birth parents, disclosed a sexual assault that had been haunting my friend for years, had a book accepted for publication, was accepted to a prestigious graduate school, earned a perfect ACT score, worked at Harvard, graduated from Juilliard, and won a Noble prize. Okay, I lied about the last one, but after reading all of the glamorous things my friends did in 2015, I won’t be surprised if, in a few years, that is there. I was left discouraged and perplexed, as looking at social media usually leaves me, as I thought back on my own year. It felt like 2015, for me, was the year of failure.

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2015 was tough, I: was stood on my 21st birthday, studied for months for the LSAT only to receive a “slightly above average” score, was rejected from my top choice law school, lost my financial aid, accumulated debt for the first time, informed I was .001 points away from graduating with honors, had my heart broken by a guy I’ve liked for years, lost two jobs, broke my six year streak of acquiring an annual passport stamp, watched marriages fall apart, saw addictions overtake the lives of ones I love, experienced failures of integrity, almost walked away from my faith, and last night I watched my all time favorite TV character be killed off from his show. No love, no babies, no ivy league acceptance letters. I did all of this while trying to make it look like I had the perfect life on social media, as we all do. It was tough. After realizing all this I put down my phone, slid under my covers, and escaped my frustration by falling asleep.

 

When I woke up this morning, I let out a deep breath. “You did it, you survived,” I sighed to myself. And, after getting my much needed bowl of Honeycombs, I realized that just surviving, is sometimes okay. This year, I determined, was my “foundation laying” year. Have you ever seen a foundation for a house be made? It’s tough. All of the rocks and dirt must be dug up and flattened. Perhaps, this was my year of getting rid of rocks: the guy that left me—I now realize—did not truly care about me, the friends I lost were friends of convenience not goodness (Google Aristotle’s ideas on friendships to understand this more), the marriages crumbled because truth came to the surface, and I saw others fail in areas of integrity before I had a chance to truly trust them and be betrayed.

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After the rocks are kicked out, the foundation has to be put down, completely smooth and without fault. The slightest fault could cause the entire structure to come crumbling down later. I realized this year, I also put down my foundation: I had difficult but good conversations with friends that restored and strengthened our friendship, I was accepted to law schools, that, if I’m honest with myself, are a better fit and wiser financial investment, I became a better communicator and realized some of my relationships were emotionally toxic so I chose to end them, my faith with God was not broken, I became part of an awesome prayer group, and God provided for me to return to school. Not bad.

Shared Accord

With my foundation down, I look ahead to 2016, and like many of you, I’m terrified.

My life revolves around planning and structure, and structure and planning. My closest friends can attest that I get into a “real funk,” to say the least, when my plans are thrown off. I am entering 2016 with no plan. I have no idea where I will be in 6 months. Graduated from college, hopefully. Preparing to attend law school, hopefully. Employed, hopefully. I am hopeful, but not certain.

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I am terrified that I have no idea where I will go to law school. This decision, second only to deciding if and to whom I will marry, is the biggest decision of my life. A decision that, no doubt, will affect generations after me. No biggie (sarcasm).

 

This week I also realized my lifelong dream will not come true. I’ve had this dream of making money in some city as an attorney, and returning home to the hill I grew up on with my mom’s side of the family and putting a log cabin on my own large piece or property. Due to various events and discoveries of the past week, I realized this dream, the dream that has fueled every employment and academic decision of the past five years of my life, will not come true. Saying this has put in a funk, is an understatement.

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If you have read to this point, it’s because something I’m saying has connected with you. Maybe 2016 terrifies you, too. Perhaps you, your spouse, parent, or child has been diagnosed with an incurable illness, the bank just foreclosed your house, you found out your partner is cheating on you, you were told you or your partner is infertile or for the first time in your life you are questioning your faith. My friend, these are tough. I will not diminish your pain and say it will all work out, or that everything will be okay. Your pain, my friend, is so valid, and I am truly sorry.

So, what can I tell you? I can tell you that you are very loved, you a worthy of love, and you are worthy of being respected. Even though He may feel a million miles away, the God of the universe, the Creator of light, knows your name and loves you. He does not neglect your pain, but can empathize. My faith has given my pain a purpose; I have a purpose. The emotional and physically pain I feel makes me look forward to the day I will be with God, in a perfect place, where pain is a distant memory. This is the hope I cling to, and that I encourage you to cling to as well.

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Please, my friend, let’s pray for each other. Contact me and let me know how I can encourage you and pray for you. You are loved, I love you, and care about your soul. More than me, God loves you. I pray in the excitement of the new year, you are able to feel that.

Much love and many blessings,
Krista