8.31.2012

This Crazy Love.

 
This post is actually the result of three different posts that I had in mind.  They each had to do with love.  And in the end, I just decided to put them altogether.  I thought they would fit.

So, lately, a lot of my peers and friends have been getting together with someone.  Someone special in their lives.  Someone that they really, really like.  Someone that is taking up a lot of their attention and time.

Okay, I’ll just say it the way it is.  My friends are beginning to start relationships and I feel left behind.

There, I said it.  I was honest.  And I know (for a fact) that all of you people are experiencing this too.  Don’t lie.

This is gonna be a bit of a difficult post to write, just because I really, really want you all to know where I’m coming from.  And that I’m NOT complaining or whining.  Really.  This is something that the LORD has been working in my heart and I just want to share what I’ve been learning.  It’s one thing to complain and not be content with your life...but it’s another matter entirely to let someone know you’re struggling.

It’s hard to see your peers with someone they love.  And you, alone.  When they have someone to hold hands with, and hug, and kiss, and sit close to.  And then there's you, without any of those.  Don’t bother trying to explain what that feeling is like.  Because I experience it too.

But something that my heavenly Father has been teaching me is this...
No one - no man - can love me more than He does.  And that I must remember that He will not withhold anything good from those who walk in righteousness.  Anything good.  And anything that He sees fitting for me; to bless me with.


‘For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.’ 

- Psalm 84:11

Another thing He has shown me is to not worry that I’m single.  To be anxious for nothing (Phil. 4:6).  For He makes everything beautiful in His time (Eccl. 3:11).

Dear friends, when our direct relationship with Christ is what we focus on and strive to cultivate and cherish and work at...everything else will fall into place.  Everything. 

He loves us so, So, SO incredibly much that He loves to bless us.  He takes delight in blessing His children and seeing them happy.  You may wonder sometimes ‘well, why doesn’t he bless me with a guy/girl?’  or ‘If He wants to make me happy, why hasn’t He sent my significant other to me already?’

I have a very good answer for that.  Really, it’s the only answer there IS to those kinds of questions.

         He is perfecting you for the one He has chosen for you.

The reason you haven’t met that one special person is because you’re not ready for them.  You may think you are, but God is writing your story, right?  And He doesn’t think you are.  That person will come in His own good timing. 

God has a person set apart for YOU. That person may not be perfect in this world's standards, and maybe not even in yours. But in the eyes of God, that person will be the perfect one for you. The Father has made BOTH of you precisely for each other.

And until you meet that person, all we can do right now is glory in this crazy love that God has for us.  This amazing, unfathomable love that He loves us with.  Friends, we will never, ever be able to grasp how much our Father truly loves us.  In every little detail of our lives, His love is engraved so deeply into it.  We may not always see it.  We may not always understand right away.  But through lessons learned...through tears cried...through impatient waiting...God continues to mold us into the person He wants us to become.

Stop and think - or at least try to - of this crazy love.  This crazy love that the your Jesus has for you.  I promise you’ll never be able to think on it long enough to fully understand it.  I’m still trying...

 This was a Facebook status of mine a few days ago.  I thought it tied in well to this post:

Even when life hurts...and is confusing...of one thing I am sure. This crazy love that God has for me. I'm still trying to wrap my imagination around how big it is...and I know I never will. So all I can do is return, is love Him back.

8.29.2012

His Purpose For You

So many times, we get caught up with trying to find ‘our purpose’ in life.  Even as Christians, we sometimes fail to remember that Christ is our purpose...and the reason we are alive.

Sometimes we try to look ahead to the future, thinking to ourselves ‘Ooh, my purpose is somewhere in the future.  God will reveal it to me tomorrow...next week...next month...next year...’

But no.

Your purpose is here and now.

And that purpose is to serve God.  To love Him.  To obey Him.  To follow the purpose He has for you right here, right now. 

What your goal should be, isn’t in the future.  What you are supposed to become, isn’t ahead of you.  You are living your purpose right now - even as you read this!  Your purpose is to live for the glory of God and to serve Him in everything you say, do and think.  His plan for your life involves every minute detail in every part of your day in every little thing you do. 

You are serving your purpose in being the soft clay that God is forming into the beautiful person He wants you to become.   

What greater purpose to have?

8.21.2012

Everyday Blessings // 3

 
>> attending a friend's wedding {and being assistant coordinator}
>> getting a hug from one of my best friends {a.k.a. my big bro} after he'd been gone for the weekend 
 >> riding Knight on the beach
>> friends surprising me and showing up at my house with ice cream
>> getting an anonymous text from someone and then finding out that it was someone I never thought I'd talk to again
>> editing my friend's novel {so.much.fun}
>>  reaching 200+ followers on instagram


>> finding the perfect dress for a special event
>> knowing that there are some friends who will stick with you through, literally, anything
>> staying up late watching movies
>> finally listening to that song that has been playing over and over in your head
>> having a group of friends that I text Bible verses to daily
>> fasting (along with hundreds of other abolitionists) for the A21 Campaign every 21st day of every month.
>> finding a book that I've been looking for at a discounted price
>> hanging out with a friend...and ending up helping her give her horse a bath
>> staying up late texting a bestie
>> colorful pages in your Bible from the highlighter pens marking your favorite verses
>> receiving an e-mail saying how encouraging a blog post was 

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Winner of Jessica's Jewels giveaway is Mikailah! Congratulations! 

And also, I guest posted at Aidyl Ewoh's blog:)

8.17.2012

He Picks Us Up


Warning:
I really have no idea how well-written this post is.  I felt so led to just...pour out my heart with y’all...at 11:41 at night.  And, as everyone knows, when it’s that late, Miss Raquel can tend to ramble more than she usually does.  I hope this post speaks to you - that God speaks through me to you.  That is my prayer.

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Do you ever have those days when you feel like such a failure?  When sins and mistakes come back to haunt you...and breathe lies in your ear, telling you that you are a sinner.  That you are a failure.  That you amount to nothing.

And you believe those lies.  Because in a way, they are true.

Everyone has something in their past that they are ashamed of.  Every single one of us.  It may be something that we made a mistake in physically...emotionally...intellectually...or spiritually.  Something that we wish we could forget.  Something we wish we had never done.

We all have regrets.  Regrets of our mistakes and failures.

I know I do.

There are personal things that I have done that...I wish I could erase.  I wish I could go back in time and STOP myself from doing them.  Tell myself just how much of an idiot I am and that I shouldn’t go any further in this sinful indulgence.  I am the first one that would step up and say that I make mistakes.  It’s a part of who I am.  I’m not perfect.  I know a lot of people think I’m this fabulous, beautiful, perfect girl who has such an amazing blog and is surrounded by friends.  But really, people...I fail in life...probably even more than you.

There was a time in my life...a certain chapter...that I felt dead.  I was steeped in this horrid, horrid place of trying to do what I thought was ‘okay’...what I thought was ‘making me feel good’...what I thought I could do, just so long as I didn’t go too far.  And only by the grace of God can I say that I was rescued from it.  I made a mistake...but I learned from it.  I hit a huge bump in the road...and it through me off-track...but I learned from it.
It takes healing, though.  Falling hurts.  And the pain is sometimes, seemingly unbearable.  But when you fall, you have the best Healer to pick you up.  Someone who loves you so, so dearly that He is willing to pick you up...to fondle you...to hold you...to caress you...to tell you that He loves you...no matter what mistakes you’ve made.  No matter how much you’ve failed.  No matter how many times you’ve failed.

No matter how many times we fail, God will never NOT be there to pick us up.  He will never get tired of us asking for His forgiveness.  Granted, that doesn’t mean we should continue on in whatever we’re doing.  But if we make a mistake, He is faithful and just to forgive us.  In fact, He already did.  A long time ago...when He felt three spikes being driven into His wrists and feet.  As He hung there - bleeding, in pain, and suffering from feeling all the dirty sin that He had never, ever felt before...He felt the wrath of God the Father being poured out on Him, killing Him...for my sins.  For your sins.  For all the mistakes and failures that you and I will ever make in life.  All of that has been paid for, covered by His blood.

'In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.' //Ephesians 1:7

It takes time to heal.  It took me...a while (and many encouraging people...whom I love so dearly), to truly see how much God loves me...and has forgiven me.  No matter what I have done in my past, He has forgiven me.  He looks beyond that, into who He is creating me to be.  He has my life story all written out.  And He used all those little incidents...all those little mistakes...and failures...and falls...and hurt...to continue to mold and make me into who He wants me to become.

Dear readers, I know a lot of you think I’m some incredible person.  But really.  The Miss Raquel you know through this blog...is full of sin and mistakes.  She fails every single day.  If you think she’s amazing - if you think that she’s beautiful - if you think that she’s incredible in what she does - if you think she’s encouraging - if you think she’s a blessing - if you think of ANYTHING that you like about her...it’s only because you see what Jesus has done in and through her.  None of her amazingness is her.  None of her beauty...none of her encouragement...none of her writings...nothing is done by her.  The Miss Raquel who you know is only a tool in the hand of the Mighty King.  She is only an instrument being finely tuned by the Master Musician.  A light kept burning by the fire of love that she has for her Savior...and He has for her.  She sins every day.  She makes mistakes every day.  But she has come to the knowledge that her God is bigger than any mistake she can ever make.  That her King can look past any blemish on her because it has been covered by the Prince of Peace.  That she can smile and be happy and radiant...because she is loved with an everlasting love that only God the Trinity can bestow on her.

Glory be to God.


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It takes a while to truly realize how forgiven you really are.  Sometimes you just need someone to tell it to your face for you to really understand.  God uses different people in many different ways - and speaks through them to His children.  Words coming out of the mouth of someone can really be God’s words to you.  Everyone has struggled - or still is struggling - with something from their past.  Even you - the person reading this.  If you haven’t come to the knowledge of just how much God loves you and has forgiven you, I would encourage you to find someone who can pray for you.  Someone you trust, who you feel comfortable pouring out your heart to them.  And who can encourage and lift you up (parents are #1 for this).  You don’t always have to give details about your mistakes...because they’re in the past.  Some failures are only meant to be known between you and God.  Don’t live in fear, dear reader.  God can free you from any bondage of sin.

8.03.2012

Miss Raquel's Vlog, #1

I am very, very excited to be presenting to you my first-ever vlog.  I would like to give the filming credit to my good friend, Rachel Jones.  She did amazing and it only turned out so well because of her.  Thanks, Rachel. <3 p="p">
Readers...I introduce...myself... :)