The Power of Fear

I can be so fearful sometimes.  I'm so afraid of making the wrong decision that it causes me to question the best things in my life.

Am I hanging out with the right friends?

Am I with the right guy?

Am I in the right career path?

Am I doing what I'm supposed to be doing?

Am I saying what I'm supposed to be saying?

Am I doing enough?

Am I enough?

Fear cripples the big dreams and loving heart that God has gifted me with.  Fear prevents me from living out the very person I am designed to be.  Fears breeds doubt and anxiousness.  These are not Holy or good.  These are not of God.

I've constantly been having to turn back to God's promises for this season I'm in...

"do not fear; only believe."  Mark 5:36

"casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you."  1 Peter 5:7

"these things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be full."  John 5:11

A simple Thesaurus search of "fear" gives so much insight into this topic and what fears gives me...and what it keeps me from.

FEAR                                       JESUS


It's pretty clear all the good I miss when I worship the idol of fear.  Fear is opposite of Jesus and all He offers.  Fear is against the nature of Jesus.  Fear was hung on the Cross of Jesus, and when I choose to let fear take hold of my heart, I say that I don't need His death.  Jesus gives so much, but His offer is an invitation.  It is a comfort to know that realistically, my future is just fine.  Though it seems far off and unsure, it will come and probably have more good than bad.  I will look back on days such as this and those fears will be answered and I will realize my stupidity for worrying.  

BUT.... those fears will only be replaced with new fears unless I get to the heart of the issue.  My future is not my answer.  Knowing that one day everything will be okay is not my comfort.  Christ and Christ alone is my answer...my comfort, peace, confidence, hope, courage, and assurance.  

The rest for my anxious heart is not that I have a future, but that Christ is my future.  My fear is not erased in knowing that I have great things ahead, but in knowing that Christ goes before me.  

Christ Jesus hung with the weight of my fear one dark day on the Cross.  Jesus suffered with full knowledge in His heart that I would be writing this and I would be desperately needing His death to give my heart new life.  Christ conquered sin and the finality of death so He could prove His capability and faithfulness in overcoming my fear.  In fact, Christ doesn't just offer to take away my fear, but He invites me to replace it with Himself.  All idols must be replaced.  We can either choose what to replace the idol with or it will be chosen for us.  We will worship something.  Jesus offers to let that be Him.  He doesn't demand I just get over my fear or move on, but He comes alongside me with so many blessings, so much understanding, and unexplainable grace.  

Fear has no power over Him...and when I turn to Him, it has no power over me either. 


School Assignment

As an assignment for one of my master's level social work classes, I had to write a blog post.  The blog post was up to us, but it essentially had to involve family policy in some way...

I thought I would share what I wrote.


As I mulled over our recent immigration discussion, a specific thought kept coming to my mind...

Why are people so desperate to live in America?

America is infested with greed, selfishness, entitlement, and vanity.  We live in a country where we spend more time watching Netflix than we do talking with our family.  We read how-to books on every subject, yet seem to get little done.  We are more concerned with instagramming a picture than living in the moment.  We turn a blind eye to violence, addiction, poverty, and abuse.  We give more money to celebrities than we do to our school systems.  We say "land of the free," but really what we mean is "free...if you are an educated white individual with enough money to provide for yourself without asking for help."  In America, we are more likely to vote for a presidential candidate that is most attractive or more likely to be our friend than for a candidate that supports our beliefs and goals.  We watch reality television more than we read current events, and we settle for quick fixes over investing in tomorrow.  Our welfare lines are longer than the resources available, our prisons are overflowing, and retirement is becoming a fantasy.  Children have less responsibility, adults have less accountability, and family is no longer a value with much importance.

Why are people so desperate to live here?  Why are people risking their lives, their families, and the futures to come to our country?

You may answer that it is because America is the greatest country in the world, right?  Isn't that what we are raised to believe?  America is the smartest, the strongest, and the most powerful; all other countries look to America for protection, guidance, and aid.  Or do they?

I love our country and I am thankful to have been raised here, but now as an adult, my perception is a little different.  I feel we have mistaken our love of America with thinking it is the greatest country in the world, and it is just not anymore.

American is not the greatest country in the world.  (please watch this video before going on and sorry in advance for some choice language in the video)

America is not the greatest country in the world...but it can be.  I do not say all these things about America and how terrible we are to end at that.  I say them because I love our country and because I know we can be the greatest country once again. 

"The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one."  Look once more to a portion of the speech given in the video.

"When you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world, I don't know what you're talking about.  We sure used to be.  We stood up for what was right.  We fought for moral reasons.  We passed laws--we struck down laws--for moral reasons.  We waged wars on poverty, not poor people.  We sacrificed.  We cared about our neighbors.  We put our money where our mouths were.  We never beat our chests.  We built great big things.  We made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy.  We reached for the stars.  We acted like men.  We aspired to intelligence; we didn't belittle it.  It didn't make us feel inferior.  We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election.  We didn't scare so easy.  We were able to be all these things and do all these things because we are informed by great men--men who were revered.  The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.  America is not the greatest country in the world anymore."

This is the reason for policy.  Productive policy is informed citizens seeking to do what is right for the good of the people.  This is the policy that we seek as social workers.  We seek policy that is going to change our country.  We seek policy that empowers, that gives hope, that gives opportunity, that gives chances, and that gives new life to our country and its people.  Our profession is equipped with the tools to bring interdisciplinary collaboration across the board to come together for a purpose.  Our profession is designed to help create the America we crave, and policy is a large piece of the puzzle.  America was founded on family values, and I believe family policy must be at the core of our work.  Family is the building block of society, so policies must be directed at strengthening and supporting our families in order to revive our country.  America may not be the greatest country in the world, but if any country can grow back stronger than before... I'd bet on us. 


This Season

My mind has been everywhere in this season of my life.

I have a million ideas but not a lot of opportunity.  I have always been doing something.  I have always held some sort of leadership position and had my hand in plenty of projects, ministries, and groups....but this time in my life is different. And I can't say I'm fond of it.

I can feel my heart searching for what's next.  I'm looking for the next big thing I can do; the next thing I can be a part of.  I feel lost without people looking to me for instruction.  I feel useless, honestly.  I want to do something...but what? 

When I stop and realize the opportunities I have, I realize God has me here for a reason. I may not be in leadership where I am comfortable, but I have an awesome opportunity to learn. I have time to dig into the Word, and oh boy, has God been convicting me of the power of scripture. I could write an entire post just on this alone (and I probably will). I have the Word of God before me and I will always need to learn from it. I will always need the reminders of truth, wisdom, and love within the pages of the Bible. And now is prime time for me in growing in my personal relationship to him. I have no doubt that God has me where I am for this reason. Since moving on from the college ministry, I'm in a new crowd of new people to get to know.  I have such a passion for outreach and women's ministry, but I can't expect to jump head first into these ministries without first investing in them. It's time to be a participant. A servant in a whole new way.  I have the opportunity to learn from incredible women of God through discipleship and training... I just have to diligently pray about who these women will be (and if you would join me in that prayer, that would be great).  I am still involved in some projects, but not to the capacity I am used to.  I'm in a season of life in which I am needing to grow. God knows this. I feel strongly that there is something ahead of me that God is preparing me for. I have no idea what that is, but it's there. And I'm so excited to find out what it is.

Now in the meantime, I must grow. I must hunger for God's Word. He says scripture should be our daily bread.  By this, He means it is our meal...not a snack.  Our time reading and praying and learning shouldn't be on the side to our life. It should be what fuels our life. It should be what sustains us...not what gives us a little boost at the end of the day.  This is where I am.  I'm learning to take God at His Word. I'm learning to grow.  I'm learning how to be the learner.  It's humbling and difficult for me to take a step back, but I know there is purpose in that. God isn't forsaking me by taking me out of leadership. He is preparing me and designing me to be His daughter. His beloved. His servant. I'm pretty excited about that. God doesn't love me because I'm a leader. God loves me. Period. That's it. I don't need to do anything except rest in that. I hope you can too.


If I Had a Little Sister...

I'm about to turn 23. And I'm in graduate school until May. And then I'm basically an adult. With (hopefully) a job, a place of my own, bills of my own (just so excited about this), and endless possibilities of what I want to do and where I want to go.

If I want to move to Haiti, I can. If I want to work on behalf of the homeless, I will. If I want to lay around the house and do nothing....well considering those bills, I probably won't. But I could.

When did this all happen? How did I get to this point? Well it's been a whole lot of Jesus and lots of love, patience, forgiveness, understanding, and support from my family and friends. But lately I've been very reflective. If you know me personally, you know my life has taken some pretty drastic turns over the last year. I've made some mistakes and I've made some big decisions. I've leaned on Jesus and I've tried doing it my own way (hence the mistakes part). I've been able to look back and see some big lessons in my life and if I had a little sister, she would be getting an earful of unwarranted advice and would have a pretty great example of how to do things differently.

Side note: mom, please don't give me a little sister. I don't have time for that.

But let's say I did have a little sister....here's what I would tell her.

1. School isn't everything. School is important and can take you so far. My grades have allowed me to go through 5 years of college without any amount of debt, so you won't convince me school isn't important. But school isn't everything. It's far from it. I remember my freshman year of college...well parts of it. I remember sitting in my room for hours and hours and hours doing calculus homework. And you know where calculus got me...into a different major. What I've learned over the years is that the more I enjoy life and stay busy, the more I get done in school. When I realize I don't have hours and hours to do homework, I get it done a lot quicker. When I know I have something fun with my friends to do that night, my time spent doing schoolwork that day sucks a whole lot less. Enjoy school, but enjoy your life, too. You don't get these years back.

2. Boys also aren't everything. I know, big surprise. I was lucky enough to have a great relationship in high school with little drama and a whole lot of laughs. But I was the exception to that rule. And we didn't stay together after high school, so I then became the rule--not the exception. The chances that you will marry the guy you date when you're younger is slimmer than slim. It happens, but there's a great big world out there to explore. Go do that first. Go find yourself. Travel. Make friends. Live life. Grow. Change. Become the woman you're meant to be and then find a guy that loves the real you. The you that knows who you are and what you want. The you that God designed you to be. Don't waste your time in the drama, heartbreak, jealousy, and confusion of an immature relationship. Go on dates. Have fun. But grow up before getting serious.

3. Despite my last advice, you will get your heart broke. And that's okay. Don't fight it...let it hurt. I know that's opposite of everything our society tells us. "Move on. There's other fish in the sea. Be strong. Don't let people see you cry. Make him jealous." I call bull crap on all of that. Getting hurt sucks. A lot. So why do we try so hard to rush through this season? I know it sucks. Every girl who's ever lived knows it sucks. But it happens and it's okay to hurt. It's okay to cry for awhile. It's okay to watch sad movies and listen to songs about how guys are the worst. Let it happen. Feel it. And cling to God through it because He gets it too. If anyone knows heartbreak, its Him. Don't rush to the next guy just to feel like you're moving on. That's what happens when you rush heartbreak. It never heals. It just sits there in your soul and festers until the next guy breaks your heart because you weren't ready. It's okay to hurt. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. "For when I am weak, I am strong." In the story of David, God shows us that He will fight for us when we can't go on (1 Samuel 30). God shows us time and time again that pain is part of life and that's okay. One day at a time, it will hurt a little worse. You won't even know it's happening. One day you will look back and see the healing that happened that you didn't even know God was doing. But let God do that. Don't rush it.

4. It's better to feel everything than nothing at all. Don't put up too many walls because of heartbreak. One of my favorite prayers is that God would break my heart for what breaks His. And He sures does. Sometimes I can't walk around in public without tears coming to my eyes because of the sheer pain in the world. I feel everything. I'm trusting of people and that gets me hurt sometimes. I get attached and that also gets me hurt. But I've also had times where I guard myself from the world because the suffering is exhausting. And after experiencing both, I take the pain. I know people may say my heart is "too soft" like it's a bad thing, but I see it as a compliment. I would rather hurt every day than to miss all the joys and blessings that also come. When you put up walls, you don't just keep the bad out--you keep everything and everyone out. Beware of that. Jesus was a "man of many sorrows" (Isaiah 53:3). He chose pain, yet had so much joy and peace through the Father. Feel everything. Let it in. You will be truly blessed through it all.

5. You deserve nothing. You are not entitled to anything. Despite the fact that dad may call you a princess and the world says you can have anything you want, you deserve nothing. You do not deserve respect from anyone. You do not deserve a job, a place to live, food, money, or any of these other things that we so easily call "blessings." What about the people around the world that love God wholeheartedly but do not have these things? Do they not deserve it? No they don't, and neither do you. The Gospel shows us that we are sinners and are entitled to nothing. In fact, God willingly gave His Son despite the fact that we don't deserve it. You are a sinner. You are not better than anyone. If you want respect, give it first. If you want love, show it first. If you want a raise at your job, earn it. Make yourself a servant of others and work hard for everything. You are the daughter of a King, but by the world's standards, you are not a princess.

6. Learn how to not only forgive others, but to forgive yourself too. God sees you as blameless through Jesus Christ because He wants better for you than to live in guilt and regret. Who are you to put a label on yourself or someone else that God doesn't? Forgive people always. And when you're at fault, recognize your mistakes. Always ask for forgiveness from God, the people you affected, and from yourself. Then move on. God does and you should too.

7. Find a mentor. Or three. You're going to need people in your life to speak truth. Who tells you what's hard to hear. And it's always hard, but always good for you. Look at the women in your church. Look at coaches and teachers and family. Find people who you admire and that radiate Jesus, and ask them to disciple you. You need it. You may think you have everything figured out, but we are our own worst enemy. We easily deceive ourselves into thinking that whatever we are doing is right, and you need a woman who can shoot you straight. Never underestimate the power of the Bible, a loving mentor, honest conversation, and coffee. That combination will change your life time and time again.

8. Don't save your outfits for a special occasion. I'm infamous for throwing on jean shorts and a basic tee just because I don't want to pull out my new shirt or dress just yet...I'm saving it. Holy cow, just wear it. Every day should be celebration and when you think you look good, you feel good. Now with that in mind, be careful of what you wear. Belly shirts and mini skirts may be fashionable, but what image are you wanting to portray? People will treat you in whatever way you give them permission to. If you want respect, dress that way. If you want meaningless and empty attention from guys and to be hated by girls, go ahead and dress that way too. But clothes are important. And they are meant to be worn so go put on that new dress. The day you've been saving it for may never come, so enjoy it! (I say this with complete knowledge of one dress in my closet I've been saving...)

9. Life isn't fair. The quicker you accept this, the more joy you will find in life. Again, you don't deserve anything and neither does anyone else. Terrible, terrible things happen to good people, and sometimes the worst people get all the glory. There's sin in the world so crap happens. Don't try to reason it or make sense of it. Do what you can to change it, then rest in the promise that God will conquer this sin one day. Move on. He will handle it.

10. Never underestimate the power of a smile. For you and for others. Whether you feel like it or not, just smile to someone. Not in a flirty way. But show kindness through a smile. I've had countless situations where someone else's simple smile turned my own attitude around. Do that for others.

11. Confidence, confidence, confidence. I hate fake. But with confidence, follow the saying "fake it til you make it." It doesn't matter whether you are confident or not. All that matters is that people think you are confident. Hold your head up whenever you walk. Look people in the eyes. Smile. A little confidence goes a long way.

12. Take your shoes off when you go into someone else's home. And call people "Mrs." "Miss" and "Mr." Using "sir" and "ma'am" isn't outdated. Show respect to people at any cost.

13. Cherish your friendships. Make friends and lots of them. But find just two or three to really invest in. Make sure they build you up. Girls have this nasty habit of tearing each other down. Be happy for each other. Celebrate each other's successes (even if you are jealous). Cry with each other. Find friends who make you a better person. And sometimes realize that friends won't really last forever. God gives us people for "such a time as this." I've experience heartache because I've held on too tightly to friends who were never suppose to stick around. Accept the fact that sometimes you're BFF's were really just "best friends for awhile." You will find a handful of friends who will stick by you your whole life, and others will come and go. But cherish each friendship regardless. The friendship will only be as strong as you make it, and trust me, you will need friends.

14. Enjoy today. Don't wait for tomorrow. Don't rush from one thing to the next. Don't wait for the right moment. Be patient with life and take it as it comes. Tomorrow has enough to worry about (Matthew 6:34). If you have a big dream, go after it now. Don't say you'll do things when you're less busy...it won't happen. Don't stress about school or work or friends so much that you can't enjoy the life God has given you today. You will graduate. You will find a husband. You will get a job. Those things aren't what start your life. Your life is happening right now. And you won't get this moment back. Let that sink in for a second. I mean really think about it. If you realize that simple fact, you can't help but find some sort of joy today. You have to.

15. Find God. Every. Single. Day. I'm still working on this, but let me tell you what, it's the most important. Read. Pray. Talk about Him with others. Do something for Him. Don't just act like a Christian. Don't just say the right things. Believe them. When I look back, the thing that made the single biggest difference in the highs and lows of my life was a daily walk with God. No joke. No matter what was going on in my life, if I pursued God every day, I could tell a difference. Even when you don't feel like it, do it anyway. Set aside a time every day and when you miss it, find another time that day. No excuses. He is all that matters.


A Good Advocate

"My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."
**1 John 2:1-3**

A few weeks ago, I was able to attend Advocacy Day at the Missouri capitol in Jefferson City. As a social work student, I was given this opportunity and immediately jumped at the chance. While I love many areas of social work, the work of policy, legislation, and the government are not quite up to par when compared to other skills and knowledge. While there, I met some politicians, lobbyists, and representatives. Other than their outdated suites and fake smiles, one thing they all had in common were their role as advocates.

Advocate = a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy

As a future social worker, one of the many hats we wear is the advocate. We fight for the causes of the vulnerable. We give a voice to the meek. We empower the powerless. We shine a light on the forgotten and we justify the victims. As an advocate, we take the pain, suffering, and hurts of others and find a way to defend them.

At Advocacy Day this year, there was a Disability Rights rally in the capitol while we were there. As I stood and watched people get so passionate over a cause, I couldn't help but think about Jesus as my own advocate. One after another, people stood up to defend each other and to fight for justice. In 1 John 2, Jesus Christ Himself is called our advocate.

Here's what I envision when I think of Jesus as my advocate...
I picture Jesus standing at a podium before the Righteous Judge, His Father, and me standing guilty beside Jesus in a courtroom. God is sitting so high and powerful before us that I seem like a tiny fleck in His presence. A long list is before Jesus, and as soon as I realize what this list is, I get sick to my stomach. These are my sins. One by one, my sins are revealed out loud to the face of God. I cannot even look up into His eyes because of my shame. But for some reason, God's face never changes. As a Perfect Judge, I would expect some angry, wrath, or punishment to be brewing in God's mind...but I never see it as I cautiously look up from the floor. Because when Jesus finishes reading my list, the next words bring me to my knees. As I await my sentencing, Jesus takes my hand to steady my nerves. He simply says, "Father, the wages of sin are death, but it is finished."


After my sins have been read, I can hardly stand to be in the same room as two so Holy. I cannot believe the wrongs I have allowed myself to do throughout my 22 years of life. I am so embarrassed to stand in front of God that I want to literally run away and hide in a hole. But then Jesus says, "it is finished." And as I look up to make sure it's real, God says the last thing I would expect Him to ever say at this time..."Well done, my good and faithful servant."

Are you like me and cannot even imagine this? After all I've done, He says "good job" and that's it? I don't get a lecture? I don't at least get a slap on the hand?


It is finished.

The "well done" is not because of anything single thing that I have accomplished or earned. There is nothing I can do to earn forgiveness or earn more of it. I can stand confidently before God because of my advocate. The one who pleads, begs, and fights for me and my cause...my salvation and my heart. Each and every day, Jesus stands next to the Father and advocates for me. Every time I sin, it's like Jesus is reminding the Judge, "forgive her Father, for I take her sin and it is finished. Let me have her sins. Let me have her baggage. Let me have her pain. I have already won her life through My death on the Cross."

Today is Good Friday and the thought of Jesus as my advocate is burning in my mind and heart. Jesus fights for me every day, but no fight was greater than His defeat of sin and death. My list of sins is far too long, yet He takes my hand and says "it is finished." When I realize this like I do now, I cannot hold back the tears of thankfulness. When I stand before God, I will hear the words I have always longed for, but it will not be because of me. When God says "well done," He will be thinking of His Son but looking at me. He will be looking at me with His grace-filled eyes with the love of His Son in His heart.

It is finished.



My life has been a whirlwind of epiphanies lately. God has been teaching me more than I can keep up with and it's so hard to keep up with all His lessons. I've had to admit sins in my life, forgive myself and others, and start to see myself how Jesus sees me. Tonight, this song really connected with me. I hope you find comfort and belonging in the lyrics like I did.

Pieces by Meredith Andrews
It's a complex puzzle you call your life
It's an uphill climb, it's a constant fight
And it wears you down
Feeling like you're alone, like you don't belong
And you won't be loved if you don't measure up
And you wear your scars
Like they're who you are

Give Him your wounds, your bruised and broken pieces
All your questions, all your secrets
You don't have to hide who you are
You belong to someone greater
Than all your past mistakes and failures

Rest in who He is
He knows how to make your pieces fit

He's the light on the road when you're lost in the dark
And He won't run away if you show your heart
Wants you to believe it
You can taste that freedom

When you give Him your wounds, your bruised and broken pieces
All your questions, all your secrets
You don't have to hide who you are
You belong to someone greater
Than all your past mistakes and failures

Rest in who He is
He knows how to make your pieces fit

You are completely known
You are completely loved
This is where you belong

Give Him your wounds, your bruised and broken pieces
All your questions, all your secrets
You don't have to hide who you are
You belong to someone greater
Than all your past mistakes and failures

Rest in who He is
He knows how to make your pieces fit 


An Honest Journal Entry

So I've been keeping a rather interesting journal lately (but more on that another day). Here is an honest, raw, and humble entry I wrote yesterday. I pray you find comfort, peace, or strength in it somehow.

"For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10).


Dear God,

Thank You for this season of my life. It's definitely not easy, but it has been an incredible growing opportunity that I know You are using. Thank You for helping me move on, but Father, I need some help truly forgiving myself. I need help finding my identity in You and You alone. I keep seeking approval from everyone around me. I want them to validate my choices and to support my decisions, but I'm letting their opinions have far too much weight. God, help me find the balance between keeping my reputation and testimony with those in my life and putting my future in their hands. Give me the courage to live my life with only Your opinion, plan, and will as my guide and standard. Give me the Holy Spirit to decipher Your words and will in my life.

Thank You, Father, for never giving up on me when I confuse Your will. Thank You that my future is not limited to what I have been. I'm struggling to see how I will ever be known as someone different than "the girl who was engaged." God, I know You call me "lovely, daughter, forgiven, blessed, conqueror, beloved..." but it's difficult for me to hear them with the voice in my head calling me, "liar, guilty, embarrassment, naive, immature, shameful..." There's a disconnect between what I know and what I believe. Please help Your words plant themselves in my heart. I can't move on fully without Your help.

Father, help those around me move on as well. To me, this seems like I'm requesting a miracle, but I'm going to ask it from You anyway. I know my actions have caused a lot of pain for many people, but please give them comfort, reassurance, and strength. Please forgive me for causing this to people. Please forgive me for the confusion my actions have caused for those around me, but please begin to reveal Your plan...even if in small ways. God, I know I cannot wait for everyone to approve of me, but I'm asking for Your protection as I navigate this journey with You. Give me patience to wait on Your will, but also allow Your will to be seen by those around me so they know it is of You. Let me be a light to those around me. Let them see the work You're doing and have been doing in my heart. Holy Spirit, speak and act through me, because my efforts will fail, but Yours will not. God, if you allow it, give me opportunities to share my story with other people. Allow my mistakes, struggles, and sins to make an impact for Your Kingdom. "When I am weak, you are strong." I want this to be a cry of my heart. I want a burden to make a change against the hurt in this world. If I can ease the aches of one girl through my broken engagement or past relationships, God, I will praise you for every tear I shed. Thank You for being my comfort and making my pain have purpose, but I pray for the young girls who do not know the love and security offered by You. Guide me to how I should help them. God, show yourself to them in big ways so they will realize that no relationship or guy can fill the holes in our hearts that was created for You.

Father, continue to shape me into Your daughter. Whatever it takes, form me into the lovely woman I long to become. I know the adventure to this is long and full of battles to overcome, but God, I know it's already won with You. Thank You that I'm already lovely in Your eyes and that I am given the freedom to be what I already am. Help me believe this truth. Help me "live according to my calling." Help me live lovely, because You already say I am, and help me live a life of agape.

Your sinful, but forgiven, daughter,