The Beauty of Change

When I hear that word, change, I get a little uncomfortable. Change can be difficult, uncomfortable, and pretty terrifying at times. 
The problem is, you won’t get anywhere without it. 
Change will rip you out of your comfort zone and challenge you, and that’s what we all really need. One of the biggest changes I have ever experienced is moving from my comfortable, beautiful home in Canada, to the different, uncomfortable country of America. There were a lot of emotions ranging from excited, nervous, scared, lonely, and a lot of homesick. It took some time for me to adjust to my changed environment, and to get to a place where I felt at home. Once I got to that place, I was able to feel thankful for the change I had experienced.
My little world still changes often, and it can still be difficult to recover from changes. 
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We have to remember that change is necessary. You will not grow without it. I think there is a part of each of us that craves change, it’s just difficult to cross that uncomfortable bridge. There is so much beauty in change, never stop looking for it.
 
So if you’re facing changes, go into this change with bravery, excitement, hope, and gratitude. I am sure that on the other side of your change, there is an immeasurable amount of beauty. I’m going to end this with one of my favorite verses. Isaiah 43:19 always helps me to remember the joy, excitement and hope in change. If you’re in need of some encouragement, all of Isaiah 43 is a great chapter to read. God has a plan for you, and he is never surprised! 
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 -Hannah Scott

Confidence

I look at confidence in two ways:

• Having confidence in the things you do in life.

• Having confidence in yourself. 

In my opinion, this is something you must have to get anywhere in life.

You need confidence when walking into a job interview. You need it to get through a performance (talking to all the dancers out there) or a game (talking to all the other athletes). Other places where confidence would be needed is when trying new things. but most importantly, you need to have confidence in yourself. If you’re not confident in who you are as a person, what you can do, & what you will do… well good luck my friend. Good luck.

However, I will admit something before I continue with this blog.

I am one of those people who have no self-confidence. So when I say this I’m not lying; having no self-confidence makes trying different things, going different places, taking leaps in life, & transitioning from one chapter in my life to another, very hard.

Now I’m going to go on about the first type of confidence I listed above:

With zero confidence, the only thing you believe are the lies that you allow to be placed in your mind. Lies that will put you in a hole so deep that you feel absolutely helpless. At this point, you just go along with it, give into the lies, and stop believing in the person God made you to be and the places he has set for you to go.

For years now I have given into the lies that have destroyed my confidence. So now it’s really hard to look forward and attack opportunities. I’m afraid that the worst will happen because I don’t believe in myself & the things I can do. I tend to get so wrapped up in the fear & consumed in my lack of confidence that I forget the most important thing.

God.

 When I remember that I have Him by my side, the little amount of faith I have in myself grows. Then I feel like I can accomplish my next step in life because I have God holding my hand, walking beside me.

Now going onto my next point that I listed above

I also remember that I am who I am because of HIM. That’s such a wonderful thing too. To be fearfully & wonderfully made in his image. It’s stupid really to get caught up in all the thoughts & lies that tell me I’m something else other than perfect in His eyes. Once I remember that I feel more confident in myself which makes taking the next step in life less intimidating… and I’m pretty sure we can all admit that the future is intimidating. Not knowing what’s going to happen. Or even when something terrible happens & you don’t know how it’s going to affect you.

I’ve learned over the past couple months that confidence plays a big part in life. If you don’t have any in yourself it’ll put a stop to following the path you’re meant to be on. You’ll miss out on a lot of great things because the fear that the lack of confidence placed in you made you stay where you are

So if I were to sum everything I just said & make my point stand out more, I would say this:

Have faith in yourself. Believe that you can accomplish great things. Have confidence in who you are as a person aka the beautiful masterpiece God created.

I dont know if I got more out of this then anyone else who reads it but it was worth a shot sharing my emotions & feelings. But I really do hope someone understood this blog & at least got a little something out of it.

Verses that have helped me gain more & more confidence as the days go on.

“With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

(2 Chronicles 32:8)

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.

(Jeremiah 17:7)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

(Jeremiah 29:11)

How many times did I say confidence in this blog? One too many times.

 

Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13.

“I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.”

This is such a well-known verse to people. Athletes are known to use this verse to help them get through their rough game/practices, you will see it multiple times on shirts, keychains, etc & people will tend to use this verse to give them power to accomplish a tough task or to defeat the enemy.

BUT does anyone really know what this verse means? Why it was written? Who it was written by and the reasons for him writing? What situation was the author in when it was written? I definitely did not know any of that until about a week ago when I was enlightened (have you noticed that this is my favorite word? I use it quite a lot in these blogs)  by a fantastic pastor of mine. (His name is John Ware & he’s the youth pastor at Bethel Church)

The Apostle Paul is the one who wrote Philippians & to understand what this passage actually means we have to read the verse in its context.

Lets take a look at the verses that surround the one I’m talking about today.

10 How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. 11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, [d] who gives me strength.

Philippians can also be called, “Recourses through Suffering.” This book is about our strength + our goals being in Christ, for Christ to be in our lives & mind, & to be joyful in times of suffering.

 Paul stated (in the verses above) that he learned to live with everything & nothing at all, with food & without food, & in any situation good or bad. I could imagine it’s a challenge living with hardly anything. Especially when it comes to food & money. I have been so blessed all my life to always have food in my fridge & pantry. I’ve also been blessed with money in the times that I needed it most. (I also have wonderful parents who buy me things when I have burnt a hole in my wallet because of the liquid drug called coffee in which you get at Starbucks. It literally takes all the bucks from me. okay, sorry for being stupid. moving on.) However, life isn’t that sweet. There will be times where you will have nothing. B U T  living on nothing will not be so hard because you can do all things through christ who strengthens you.

Paul was a very courageous man who was given many opportunities to do momentous things for the Kingdom of God. However, like everyone, Paul had somewhat of a troubled side.  Back then preaching the Gospel was “unlawful” & before he became a Christ follower he would kill and imprison Christians because he thought they were blaspheming God & what was written in the Old Testament. Then he was actually placed in prison because he preached the Gospel. He even wrote this book from Prison.

Paul definitely lost a lot & gained a lot. He was, at points in his life (like stated earlier in the blog), poor. Then at other points he was wealthy and had everything he could ever ask for. He never knew what place or situation in life he would be in. Though whatever path God set him on he could walk until the end because he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him.

If he was rich, he could handle it

If poor, he could handle it

In ANY situation (good or bad) he could handle it. and ( . .bout to get real cheesy here. . ) so can you.

So what are you facing right now? Are you in a good season in your life? Bills are paid, you have great kids, & you don’t dread going over to your in-laws? If so, great! Lucky you. . .  Or are you in a bad season? You’re out of your job, bills aren’t paid, and your in-laws are the last people on this earth you want to see but you can get away from them? Obviously, I’m being idiotically funny for some parts of this but in all seriousness. . .Whatever it is, good bad, & ugly. .It’s nothing you can’t handle….because you can do all things through Christ!

∼ Kerri Anne

Jeremiah 30:8-9

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The other night my journal began with the words: “Can I take a moment to talk about how sometimes life just seems mostly awful?” And I did just that. I took a few moments and wrote down different aspects of my life. All the negative emotions. Eventually I decided that I should probably pick up my Bible and read something that would hold me together and keep me from falling apart. Maybe I’m really dramatic and emotional, but we totally warned you in our About Us section.

I’ve been doing a lot of devotionals and online reading lately, so it had been a while since I picked up my actual Bible. My bookmark was holding Jeremiah 30, and I think it was holding it for that very moment. As I read through the chapter, verses 8-9 stood out to me. As I thought about these verses I broke it down into three parts, and realized why it meant so much to me.

The first words are: “And then I’ll enter the darkness.” This part really grabs my attention, for the simple fact that He enters. I think that there are times when every one of us feels completely engulfed in darkness. It’s almost as if the black smoke around is too thick for Jesus to get through. Or maybe you just feel lost. This verse shows that those thoughts aren’t accurate. He will enter the darkness. It’s going to be okay, because He will never leave you alone, no matter how dark it is. It’s not too much for Him.

The next part says: “I’ll break the yoke from their necks, cut them loose from the harness.” I love this, because it’s an excellent reminder of His ability. These words are so powerful because He is powerful. He can and will set you free from absolutely anything.

And the final part is: “No more slave labor to foreigners! They’ll serve their God and the David-King I’ll establish for them.” This part brings me so much hope because it shows His plan. A while back Kerri posted about Jeremiah 29:11, and that’s what this part reminds me of. Israel was in a dark place, and this verse was written to them at that time. God entered the darkness Israel was in, set them free, and formed a plan for their future.So here are the three points this verse made to me…

1. He enters. He enters darkness. He did so for Israel, and I believe He does so for each of His children, all the time.
2. He breaks. He sets us free.
3. He plans. God has a beautiful, intricate, and perfect plan for each one of us. I hope this fills you with as much hope as it does for me!

An important lesson I’ve learned from my youth pastor: the Bible is best read in context. I looked specifically at verses 8-9, but there’s a lot to learn in Jeremiah 30, and reading the verses before and after what I highlighted will help you understand them even better. If this post spoke to you, I would encourage you to look at even more of the book Jeremiah!

-Hannah Scott

Jeremiah 29:11

You should’ve seen the amount of fun I had making that picture above. It was literally stupid how giddy & proud I was to have actually made that…Even though it only took 5 minutes to make and it doesn’t even look impressive. Yet, I’m pretty darn impressed.

Now I put the picture first so you readers would see and be like, “omg that picture is so cool and hip so maybe what she has to say it cool and worth reading.”

Maybe I’m right. . .Maybe I’m wrong. . .

However, I do know one thing and that is that this is worth reading because Jesus is involved…and Jesus is just freaking awesome.

What I have to say all revolves around the verse above. This verse basically gives me life and brings me so much peace and joy. Let me enlighten you on why:

Every little storm that I’ve been in have been similar. They’ve all revolved around physical issues and injuries that could end my dance career in a split second. Completely changing my life around. OR huge plot twists in life that just change a lot of things in general. . .The one thing that those two have in common is change. My physical issues and multiple injuries have never ended my life with dance…But it could have & that scared the poop out of me. Life plot twists..well they basically turn your life in another direction then what you’ve planned or are accustomed to. When things like this happen I tend to go into my deep, dark hole and I just stay there letting negative thoughts eat me up & I let worry & stress get the best of me.

T H E N I read this verse.

This verse gets me out of of my head with the negativity and reminds me of how wonderful God is and the plan he has for me. It also reminds me that the plans that I may have had for myself mean nothing & my way of walking through life will just me bring harm.

God’s plan is the only one I need to live by. He already has it laid out for me & to me that is such an incredible thought. Especially in the times where I would feel lost & worried, this verse lifts all the worry and stress off my shoulders. When that happens I no longer feel lost & I feel more confident in where I’m going next because I’m walking on Gods path, fulfilling his plan.

This is already 400 words already and that’s too much so I’m going to get to my main reason for sharing this:

I know for a fact that I’m not the only one in this world who needs this kind of encouragement & Jesus love. (yes, i said jesus love..just go with it) This is such a perfect verse to get through the storm you’re in or recovering from (pretty sure recovering from a storm is a thing). I hope that this is a reminder to anyone who reads this that God already has plans for your life and all you have to do is cast your worries & stress onto him and he will guide you through the rest.

Remembering that for me has taken away so much worry & stress & has totally given me a different perspective on life.

~ Kerri Anne