A Glimpse of Mi Vida...

It started with a missions trip to Camden, where my life and perspective were changed and where this blog began. Life has been a roller coaster filled with its ups and downs and I'm excited for the adventure and discovering what God has in store, even though I really dislike roller coasters... I am a Lady in Waiting...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kk = Kindred Spirits

K is for Kindred Spirit

A kindred spirit is someone who feels and thinks the way you do.

Have you ever just felt deeply connected to someone. Maybe it was instantaneous or something over time that you just felt connected to someone because you related.

My best friend and I are like that. We met in life group in 2009 and we had similar stories in our relationships with our family, and even more similar relationships in our walk with God. I asked her to coffee and we immediately hit it off and began serving together and hanging out all the time. I don't exactly remember when it all happen but we've been best friends ever since. We're accountability partners and I cannot imagine my life without her. She will be my maid or matron of honor, without a doubt. I don't have sisters, but she is mine.

There is a saying about how we are born with sisters but we chose them as friends. Well, in Christ, she is my sister and I chose her as my friend, the best of friend... the best friend I could ever as for. The best thing about our relationship is that it is so grounded in Christ and in His love and discovering His desires and will for our lives. We hold each accountable in our relationship with HIM and it only enriches our friendship and we pour into each others lives, which only allows for us to continue to seek HIM.

"The best thing about having a sister was that I always had a friend." ~Cali Rae Turner

"I, who have no sisters or brothers, look with some degree of innocent envy on those who may be said to be born to friends." ~James Boswell

"A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life." ~Isadora James

"To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time." ~Clara Ortega

"We know one another's faults, virtues, catastrophes, mortifications, triumphs, rivalries, desires, and how long we can each hang by our hands to a bar. We have been banded together under pack codes and tribal laws." ~Rose Macaulay

Love you bestie. Thank you for helping grow and learn and I'm excited for our never-ending laughter, adventures, and food travels! :D

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jj = Joy

J is for Joy.

There are so many things that bring me JOY. Even more so things that bring me joy are a few things that start with J. I am thankful for a lot of things in my life that begin with J that I love.

First, allow me to introduce myself... Jennifer Nichole Elrod. Born in January. That is the start of two great things. I love the month of January also because of this man:
Justin Timberlake.
Thank you January for birthing this beauty who also brings me joy and is delicious eye candy. LOL. He is beautiful, he was in the lovely band NSync, then ventured into bringing Sexy Back. Which... he did.

Two other favorite months are June and July... primarily because they are my travel months. Every summer for the past five years, I go on a trip in either June or July and sometime for both months. One month from today, I will be boarding a plane for Peru. I cannot wait. Getting to serve in a new place with some of the most amazing people and friends that I have ever met will be an amazing, challenging, learning, and joyful experience.

Lastly, I am praying this verse over my life as well as my trip to Peru:

Isaiah 55:12 - "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

Thanks for reading, I wanted to keep it short and sweet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ii = Independence

I is for Independence

I am going to toot my own horn with this because I believe I am extremely independent given my circumstances and income.

I grew up in middle class family and my parents worked very hard for everything we have, even though it wasn’t much compared to my classmates and friends. But I now know that everything was for a purpose and all of their hard work and mine was teach me, stretch me, and help me to grow. Since I was 16 years old, I have been working to pay for everything I have to help my parents out. I paid for gas and dances, and even food. I felt bad when asking for money from my parents, if I ever did. In college, I struggled with those who had everything. Those who were so blessed financially that they didn’t have to work or didn’t have to struggle financially. It took me a very long time to realize that I am blessed financially. I am blessed in that I have learned about hard work, I have learned about budgeting, I do have an income, and I have learned that we are all blessed in different ways. I am blessed in understanding the importance of budgeting and hard work. Currently my job does not pay well, quite awful in fact but because of everything I have learned, I know how to budget. I make $12 an hour and I have a Masters degree, which is very saddening to me because I should be making at least double of that. To pay for that Masters, it cost me $400 a month (a week’s pay check). I also have $130 in car insurance and phone bills, $275 in car payments, about $200 in loan payments, plus I set aside a little each month for Peru, as well as I have budgeted $160 in gas money. Well, gas money has been blowing my budget and I have an “allowance” of $100 for food, clothing, and other expenses. Let’s just say, it makes me want to cry and luckily enough I have built up a cushion for emergency and so that I can live with a little adventure. By adventure I mean that occasional cup of coffee or lunch out with friends…

While financially, I do what I can afford while still living at home. This independence has also created dependence. Dependence on God. As I look for new jobs and opportunities, I depend on God providing. I pray for diligence and patience in searching and waiting. While in many ways I am an independent and strong Christian woman… at the end of the day I am a daughter and princess of God, my Creator. I must rely on Him and He will provide for me to become independent in life, as long as I am always and forever dependent on HIM who provides.

Romans 8:35.37
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ....No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

James 4:10
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hh = Home

H is for Home.

There are a lot of places that I can call home and I want to share about those places of where I have lived and where pieces of my heart currently reside.

Home is Where the Heart Is:
Upon reading an old entry of mine: Mixed Emotions.

To quote the end of this journal entry:
“Listen, respond, react, and just love. Love God, Love Yourself, and Love Each Other. Help and Serve One Another. Love by lending a listening ear, don’t bottle things up inside, love with a smile, a long embrace or hug. Love my looking into one another’s eyes and try to gain an understanding how each other is feeling. Love because God showed us how to love and love just because.”

I have lived in my current home for 10 years now (after moving about 8 or 9 times due to my father’s job growing up) and it is where I have always come back to. After every heartache, every missions trip, every night out, every night in… I spent it here in this home. With tear-stained pillows through everything that I’ve been through, my room and house is where I find solace. It is where I knelt down on knees praying for strength from God, it is where I asked for mercy and forgiveness, it is where I laid on bed rest after multiple surgeries, it’s where I cried and laughed, and it is where I have celebrated the major accomplishments of my life from every graduation to every job I’ve been hired for. I have had many sleepovers and BBQs, and many friends come and go, but one thing that stays constant in this home is my family. Many things have come and gone in my life over the past several years, but this home remains constant, along with the family in it and the God who watches over it and resides with me here and in my heart.

There will be many more adventures and journeys and tears that will come and I will always come back to this home because it is where my heart currently resides.

House Arrest: The Story of a Child

I have been reflecting on little stories that have affected my life and I am reminded daily that I am a child of God. That Jesus loves me and died for my sins, in order that I may know that love and experience it. Unfortunately, not every child knows of this love…

From a chance meeting in 2008, I wrote the below entry about a child that I witnessed with an ankle bracelet while working and serving on mission in Camden…

“One of the Camp Freedom boys had an ankle bracelet on because he was busted for selling drugs. This boy was basically on house arrest or city arrest for selling drugs in South Camden.

Think about that…

This child of God had no way out that he saw and he began dealing drugs. How sad is that? A mere child between the age of 10-13 years old.

This is reason alone for programs and relationships built by UrbanPromise, to capture these kids hears and fill them with God’s love and give them hope of a fighting chance to survive the “beautiful struggle” they live and are born into.”

I hope to continue to love those around me and love children and show them the love of Christ, to show them that Jesus loves them and that they are children of God. I also cannot wait to have my own children and show them the same love that has been instilled in me and that I have found only in Christ.

Homeless: A Chance Encounter

Below is another entry from 2008…
My back story is that for three summers I lived and worked in Camden as a camp counselor, intern, and short-term missionary. Once a week we would have a day off and on this particular day I met two people that just made we want to thank God for her divine appointments… because each divine appointment allows the opportunity to bring someone HOME to HIM.

“As Christians and followers of Christ we are called to serve on another and help those in need so as we were walking down Market Street, we stopped to talk to this paraplegic man sitting on the sidewalk with his two canes. Mary gave Orlando a banana and we just talked to him about what we were doing in Philly and about LA and we just listened to his story. While there I found a city paper and the headline was, “Who will pray for Camden?” As we stood there talking to this nice man, I just thought, I will pray for Camden. Sean and Mary will pray for Camden. The interns will pray for Camden and my church will pray for Camden. We as Christian and followers of Christ must pray for Camden because we are called to serve each other, we are called to serve our neighbors whether they are close or far from us. While we were talking to Orlando this man behind us called Sean and I over and so we walked over and met this man named Eddie. Eddie offered us some money thinking that we were missionaries and were out wandering and serving the city. Which made me think, no matter where we go, aren’t we serving if we are showing God’s love and giving a listening ear to a stranger. Eddie told us how God has blessed his life although he’s struggled, and how he has learned to share what riches he does have with others and to spread the love. In that moment I was just like wow, how great is God that he would have someone with less things than I (not to say that someone "lesser" would serve me, but that someone who has really struggled and been homeless would still offer up what little he has to a stranger because they were in need... like WOW!) be someone that would speak into my life. God surprises you and teaches and shows you things when you least expect it and when you lend a listening ear. We went back and continued talking with Mary and Orlando and then Eddie came over and offered Orlando some fruit. True giving and love in that moment. True sacrifice and truly all done through God's love.

Just... WOW.


On the city bus back “home”, we met a woman (who we never got her name) and we began talking to her about how we were headed back to Camden and she told us about herself and about how her fiancĂ© was killed on the streets and how she had just recently had everything she owned stolen (she is homeless) including her Bible that she loved. She talked about God and about how to protect yourself on the streets. When she said she no longer had a Bible, I wished I had had my Bible with me to give to her. As much as my Bible meant to me, if I would have had it the idea that it could serve someone like it had served me brought me to a point I have never experienced. To give something that I treasure to another person because maybe they needed it more that I ever would and just the idea of giving up of something to someone else just because, without any questions asked. As the woman got ready to exit the train, I said a silent prayer and Mary gave her, her little Bible. After she got off the train the three of us talked about how we all wanted to give our Bible to this woman because she was so sweet and caring and how we wanted her to have God’s word with her always.

Our day in Philly was just amazing, I learned and experienced so much in those few hours we spent there.”

Lastly, my new home and where a piece of my heart will get left behind is Peru. I am currently preparing for an upcoming missions trip to Peru with my church. I have not been there and already my heart is filled with love and desire for Peru and a desire to be there and serve. I cannot wait to see what God will do with me in Peru and to see what I learn and discover. I know that God has continued to bless this trip and it is a divine appointment for me to be there…
I cannot wait to return and share my stories of God’s growth and change in my life…

If you’d like to help me meet my goal and raise the last bit of $450 of my $2500 goal, please follow the link below to donate.


I cannot wait to consider Peru as a place where my heart will reside and a place that I can soon call home.

Gg = Godson

G is for Godson

I remember the day he was born. It was an afternoon in September and the night before my aunt had gone to the hospital as it would soon be time to give birth. I was working but couldn’t wait to get off work so I could go meet him. It was there in Baldwin Park at Kaiser that Ronald Christian Reyes entered the world on the 7th day of September in 2008. He came in weighing 6 lbs and 14.6 oz.

I was chosen as one of his many Godmother’s. I will not be an aunt for quiet a few years, nor will I be a mother in the near future. So it was my delight to be a Godmother to Ronald Christian. It wasn’t long before the whole family began calling him Ron Ron., per Filipino tradition of nicknames.

I like to call Ron Ron the Love of My Life. He is the only boy who has my heart. It has been so beautiful watching him grow up and I cannot wait for the rest of the adventures that I will go on Him with, as well. He speaks Tagalog and English, can sing “Hey Jude”, and knows his colors and how to count….

He is continually learning and growing and I cannot believe he’ll be three in September. It feels like just yesterday that we brought him home.

Kisses from me and him!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ff = Future

F is for Future

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt

I believe in my dreams and they are beautiful. I have dreams of a successful career, dreams of traveling, dreams of being in love, dreams of being married and starting a family, dreams of loving and serving those in need, but every day I must lay those dreams down at the foot of the Cross. I lay down those things because I want to follow and be doing God’s will. While I do believe that each of those dreams will be fulfilled and come from Him, I do believe that He will fulfill those things in His’ timing according to His will. There is nothing that I can say or do to make those things happen, well, actually there could be tons of things I COULD do to have those things and those dreams in my life. However, they would not be blessed by God in the way that He desires. I think that laying down my dreams and desires is a sacrifice because what-if one of those dreams isn’t achieved or isn’t brought to life, but I cannot live in the what-if. I can only live in the now and present and knowing that if anything, I would be following God’s will by laying down my desires to follow His direction. While the thought of not having the husband, kids, and white picket fence with a cute and faithful dog at the foot of the bed scares me, I do know and believe that God is faithful and I believe that if I am following Him then He can bring that happiness and joy that does not need to be found in those dreams and desires.

So I leave tonight with a prayer:
Dear Lord,
You know the deepest desires of my heart. You know my desire to show your love through marriage and to be an example of you to my husband and kids. But Lord, I give you him and them and I know that you will fulfill my heart with your joy and love. I desire to serve and love you with my whole heart, to have my cup overflowing with your love and knowing and feeling your presence. I desire that you would take those desires, as hard as it is to let go of them, and that you would light my heart and desire for you on fire. I pray for your love and mercy and grace. I pray for patience in waiting on you in all things. I thank you for your love and sacrifice. Help me to sacrifice my dreams and desires daily in order to love and serve you more.
In your presence and Holy Name,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ee = Earthly Parents

E is for Earthly Parents

With Mother’s Day this weekend it has me not only thinking of my mother and all of the amazing and wonderful things she has done for me. But it also has me thinking of my earthly spiritual parents that have impacted my life so greatly. Recently a dear friend pointed out that we have spiritual mentors, like spiritual moms and dads that are in our lives. I have had several thinking back over the years. My parent’s are Christian and while I love them dearly, with all my heart… they have not been the greatest spiritual leaders in my faith. Don’t get me wrong now, they brought me up in the church and loved as best they could and as best they knew how to, but something has always been slightly missing. They didn’t know how to love with the love of Christ, they didn’t entirely know how to direct and lead me and our family in a spiritual and godly way of life. They lacked a personal saving relationship with Christ, one that relied on faith and prayer and living within our means. My parents are loving and hospitable, and caring but they have not only been the only influential people in my life. My grandmother Millie is super foundational to my faith, but that is for another letter and blog entry.

I have been more than blessed by spiritual leaders and parents in my life and I would like to just talk about a few:
The lovely Sara! She has been like a big sister to me since I was about 15 years old and has always taught me about life and God. She taught me how to balance life and how to take things one day and one step and one assignment at a time amidst my anxiety. She has always made me laugh, especially her blog. A lot of my sense of humor and jokes and voices can be attributed to her and us spending time together. I could not imagine my life without her and cannot wait to see what God has in store for her and cannot wait to have her at my wedding (whenever that is) because it is something we have discussed and something that would be super special and amazing and could not imagine her not being there.

Next is my dear and sweet Kelley. She was a “proctor” while I was in middle school and I talked to her about everything. Middle school was a time when my mom and I fought a lot and even my girl friends and I were always fighting or disagreeing about something or everything… we were preteens and teenagers. The drama always kept me coming to Kelley because she would just listen and talk. Sometimes I even felt like the teacher’s pet and I was more than okay with that because Kelley loved me and always supported me. She came to every promotion, graduation, and ceremony from middle school to now.
Almost two years ago her family was going through a difficult time and my youth group sponsored her family and gave them $400 dollars for Christmas, which I presented to her at my master’s graduation. It was so beautiful because she was there to support me and I in turn go to support her. My whole family cried when I presented her the money after the ceremony.

Two others are Rachel Collins and Joey Versace, my college and young adult pastors and CCV. They are amazing, almost too amazing for words. I call Rachel, Mamas or my Rachy Boo. She is funny and quirky and totally crazy and I love her and her curly hair and her amazing personality. She is the mom over the college ministry and couldn’t imagine someone better fit for it. She is nurturing and loving and she isn’t just my pastor. She is sincerely a friend who I confide in and who I share my life with and she shares her life and stories with me. I am so blessed to have her in my life. Then there is the one and only Joey Versace. Joey is one of the reasons that I am involved in everything that I am. He sought me out and saw me as a leader and guided me and directed me into new ministries and into realizing new and wonderful things about myself and about how to serve God. I am one of Joey’s bible divas… Bare Hipani… a personal favorite if I do say so myself. Joey is also determined to fine me a husband after I helped him and did wonders with an event at the church… bring on the men, Joey. Also I know that Joey has my back and deeply cares for me and is super protective like the Italian father that I never had.

Lastly, there are two new “parents” and mentors in my life that I am still learning from and getting to know but I do believe that they will hold an exteremly important part in my life and in my walk with God. Mark and Shanda Oakley.

Mark is my team leader for my missions trip to Peru and has played such a foundational role in the funcuality and success of our team. He is a nurturing and caring leader and such an awesome man of God. His wife Shanda continually amazes me. She is outspoken in the best ways, lovely, beautiful, kind and caring, and funny. They have been more than generous to me with their finances in helping with the upcoming trip to Peru, their open years for listening, and in giving me guidance recently. I feel as though they have really taken me in under their wings and into their family. I was reminded of being thankful for the simple things that God provides for me as I just sat in the sun with Shanda at a yard sale talking about life, as I washed cars with their daughter Adele for her trip to Kenya, and as our team sat and laughed with Mark over self-serve frozen yogurt. They are truly a blessing and I cannot wait to see what God continues to do in their lives and in their walk with Him. They are my CCV mom and pop!

To end I want to say that God chose Joseph and Mary because of how they would provide for Jesus. God picked them because of how they would fulfill what God had in store for Jesus. While all of these people have been placed in my life for a reason, my lovely parents have been foundational to my faith in bringing me to church at a young age and nurturing me. Maybe my purpose is to continue to help them strength and grow in their faith and to have them have a personal loving and saving relationship with Christ.

Love you MOM and DAD!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dd = Dating

D is for Dating
Dating in and of itself is a foreign concept to me, possibly even a foreign language. It is like me and my attempt to learn Spanish right now; I wish it was easy and that I could better understand it and even interpret it. Yet I am still learning and hoping to understand it without trouble and let it flow into a perfect sanction of knowledge (I’m not even sure if that makes sense, but it sounds lovely). Dating is exciting to me however because in it there is adventure, mystery, and intrigue.
Coming from a Christian university... dating didn't exist. Hardly, and I don't think that the lame school dances and hanging out watching movies with boys count. What about real dating and the excitement of getting to know someone new and that they intrigued you and so you want to go out with them again, until you realize they are really awesome or not so much.
I take dating very seriously because I am not dating for the sport or fun, but I am dating to marry. My emotions and heart are a beautiful thing and they are not to be toyed or played with, forsaken, or meant to be trampled on in hopes that someone better will come along. I am not saying that dating cannot be fun or have job and excitement in it, but I am not going into it with the idea that I am getting a good dinner. I am also not saying that I need to know if you’re my “soul mate” within the first date as well. Something Pastor Jeff said this weekend, stuck with me.. that is that a soul mate is something that is cultivated.
I feel like so many people’s relationships or marriages fail because Christ is not at the center. There is a lack of communication. I have heard so many people talk about how they have been dating for x amount of time and so marriage is the next step. But is it really, have you evaluate your sacrifices and evaluated your hopes and goals for the future? Dating the “right” person should be about the next step being in relationship and then marriage. While the wedding is great and grand and beautiful and fun; it should more of be about the desire to spend the rest of your life loving someone and it being an example of the way Christ loved the church. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for my wedding and to be married but at the end of the day I want it to be about the man who is holding me hand and kissing me goodnight.
Before I depart you my fellow bloggers and readers… I recently went on what I will call a date, more of a lunch with a male friend who I think is attractive, sweet, and funny and also wouldn’t mind getting to know better…but he did what I hope other MEN would do when pursuing a lovely lady like myself. I suggested coffee and asked that he upgrade it to lunch because it’d been sometime since we last chatted or hung out, plus point. He was stuck at work and running late and I have a designated lunch period so he offered to bring me lunch to work and he texted and called before our meeting time to tell me the situation. We walked to lunch, where we proceeded to eat at a little bistro and discussed music, life, and our dreams for the future and or desires. The conversation was a little equal and we both shared and talked and threw questions at each other for equal amounts of time. It was all just the way it should be and so easy going and natural, it was great to be paid attention to for just an hour even if it may or may not have been only as friend. A good’ol hug and well wishes to finish it out.

Until we meet again, and trust me this topic will be coming up at least one or two more times in this A to Z Challenge.

Cc = Congratulations

C is for Congratulations.

C is for Congratulations. This Saturday, will mark four hard years of work, tears, joy, and laughter for many of my friends from Azusa Pacific University. Other than my own graduation, this one is meaningful because I dear friend and sister of mine is graduating.
Her name is Rachael. She is beautiful, amazing, loving, caring, considerate, funny, honest and real, and she has become family to me.
It all started in 2009 when we met. She interviewed for a missions trip to Camden, New Jersey that I was leading. I loved her heart and her testimony and decided to pick her. I chose her because I knew Camden would rock her world, would teach her, change her, and help her to grow. I also saw a bit of myself in her, the young and innocent-ness of being in your late teens and early twenties. There was a connection a bond that grew from something more than two girls traveling together, something more than a leader and student or follower. We quickly became family.

I became like a nurturing mother to my sweet, Rachael. I was just one of the people who got to pour into her life and watch her grow into the beautiful woman that she is now. We fought like mother and daughter and laughed and joked like sisters. Greater than any bond was our bond in Christ and our relationship continually developed, especially in Camden and over our mutual love for children and the children suffering of injustice.
Now over two years after meeting, she is graduating. My dearest Rachael is graduating a woman who has fought for her beliefs, has fought for her desires, and has fought to be an example. She has overcome so much and learned so much. She is graduating with a job and graduating and moving into the unknown and moving into a new life and new place, in an all new adventure.

I love you my dear, sweet, and beautiful Rachael. This only describes an ounce of how I feel about you and how proud I am of the woman you have become and everything you have accomplished. Lastly, I love that you and I will always share our bond of Tyrone Wells! You are loved!

Bb = Balance, Betrayal, and Belief

B is for Balance, Betrayal, and Belief

I am the queen of over commitment, a princess of spreading myself to thin, and a daughter of hospitality, kindness, and generosity. I get it from my parents and it also has in the past tied into my previous entry of feeling accepted. I am awful at saying no because I can be a total people pleaser. I attempt to make sure everyone happy, all at once. God knows the desires of my heart and my love for serving and it was not until more recently that I am learning about balancing my life out with everything in order to keep myself sane. Balance is something I have really been praying for as I have begun working full time because I love everything that I do, but I want to do everything and it is too much. I have everyday of every minute planned out practically. Now though I am focusing more on that despite whatever is on my plate that God will be the center of it. An upcoming mission trip to Peru and following God’s desires and will for my life has me stepping down from commitments that will benefit my health and continually prepare my heart for Peru.

Now having a few nights open, I know God knew what was in store and He knew what things that I would now need in my life. Not just openness but community during the period of life I am in. If you’ve ready any of my previous poems/blog entries, I have been writing and dealing with betrayal. Not going into too much detail, out of my surprising respect for this person still, I was betrayed by someone I trusted and respected. I confided in someone with something personal and heartfelt. I looked up to this person at one point, considered them a friend and a leader, and even a mentor during one part of my life. However, now I am left feeling hurt and betrayed by something they did and something that they did not do. The funny thing (well, not HaHa funny) is that amidst the hurt and pain God is bringing healing, immense amounts of healing and growth. The fact that despite any bitterness or the angry/funny things I could say to hurt this person or make myself feel better; I hold my tongue and I still uphold and respect this person. It is not my job to judge her, I can only pray. Pray for forgiveness, healing, and reconciliation. I can pray that this person will not hurt anyone else and that God will wake this person up to reality and to be aware of those around them.

It is my belief that God will bring healing and so much growth through this hurt and pain. I believe that I am strong and can overcome this and come out with new insight, new growth, and a new and healed heart. For when I lay it all down at the foot of Christ, it is where the healing can begin to transform me. Giving Him the tattered and broken pieces of my heart allows Him to reshape it and mold it, like a new and wet piece of clay. I believe in Him and that He will make me new. I am now in a new small group, have made new and supportive friends, and am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses to help me through this time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Aa = Accepted

A is for Accepted

I think since middle school I have felt the desire to be accepted like most kids and students. In middle school, there were no uniforms so you were allowed to dress however you wanted. Thinking back, uniforms made things easy because I never had to worry about what to wear because the selection was so few… those were simpler times. Now I can hardly decide, not only because I have more than enough but also because deep down there is that desire to feel accepted. What will catch someone’s attention, make me look prettier, thinner, stand out, whatever. Coming from a middle class family, we always had the necessities and the occasional wants but my necessities were the basics for school and clothes. I am a Walmart and Kmart girl, born and raised. So while I was spending maybe $15 dollars on a pair of jeans, my classmates had several pairs of at least $50 jeans and tops and everything. In high school, things only got worse because dating and dances and social classes decided to become involved. I knew that my parent struggled financially and worked very hard for everything we had, so I was lucky if I got a $100 budget for clothes and school supplies. I never really felt like I fit in because we moved two or three times throughout middle school and high school and I always felt like my “best friends” never lasted more than a year or so. I wanted to be in the in-crowd and to feel desired and that people loved me and wanted me to be around. This could have possibly started in the home because my parents both worked so hard to provide that they were not home and I felt like I always wanted to be loved by them. We did not have the same love languages and we still don’t but it’s something that I currently work on. Then there was the desire in school to have a huge group of friends but no one ever seemed to stick around for long. Even in church, I wanted to fit in and to know that I had a community to call my own. I do know and have gained so much self-worth and self-esteem because I discovered that God loves me and gave everything for me.
Looking back now, I believe that God was protecting me and truly teaching me that He was the only one that can accept me. Now I love that I know He loves me. He accepts me for me: all flaws, hang-ups, mistakes, quirks… every single little and big thing in my life.
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalm 139:14) He know every part of me, every hair on my head, every zit or scar I may have and still loves me. He loves me more than I could ever know, He has forgiven me despite the things that I have done and will do. He loves me. He accepts me and that’s all that matters.

Romans 15:7 “Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.” (NASB)