For Girls

Does God Care about You?

By: Karah Grooms

Eblast paragraph: Karah Grooms challenges you to ask yourself, “Does God care about me?”

Does God Care About Me?
            One day while at college, I was listening, or at least trying to listen, to a chapel speaker preach. My mind was filled with all kinds of distractions, and I allowed them to overtake my mind for most of the sermon. I was going through a particularly hard time in my life. I was battling hopelessness, loneliness, and depression. Chapel was honestly the last place that I wanted to be.

1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” I had heard that passage many times before. The speaker paused after reading it, looked up, and said, “Do you know that?” I leaned in. “Do you know that He cares for you?” he said. It woke me and pulled me out of my thoughts. “Do I know that God cares for me?” I asked myself.

God loves you more than anyone in this finite world ever could. He created you intentionally and purposefully in your mother’s womb. He sent his Beloved Son to die a sinner’s death on a cross for you. He cares for you.

During the time in which we are living, it is easy to isolate ourselves. We think no one cares about us or what we are going through. It’s easy to pretend we’re okay and hide, quite literally, behind a mask. It’s easy to hold onto our pain, regret, struggles, and sins.

The beginning of verse 6 says we have to humble ourselves. Holding onto all of our burdens is an issue of pride. Holding onto all our problems and not giving them to God says we are strong enough to fight these battles alone. Or even that God is not big enough to fight our battles. The truth is God is a big God, and nothing is too heavy for Him.

Verse 6 refers to “the mighty hand of God.” The verse is referencing God’s mighty hand saving His people, the Israelites from Egypt. God’s hand is still mighty, and if He can bring a whole people group out of bondage thousands of years ago, then He can handle your burdens. Christ calls you to cast your sins on Him because He cares for you (verse. 7). You can bring all of your sin, all of your hurt, all of your day-to-day struggles to Him. He is a big God, and nothing is too heavy for Him to carry.

 Today, I pray that you can turn from yourself and turn to God, giving Him all you are carrying because He cares for you.

For Adults, For Girls

Intentional Relationships

By: Hannah Gorrell

This season of life has lasted much longer than any of us hoped or expected. We are endlessly separated from our friends and loved ones in one sense or another. Sometimes we only see our friends through screens or plexiglass. It feels like one of the loneliest times in history. We are challenged to find new ways to interact and form relationships. That may even be what led you to be reading this blog.

As human beings, we are made for relationships. God told Adam it was not good for him to be alone, so God made a companion. We should resist the temptation to take the easier route, shying away from relationships. My prayer is that we find new ways to be intentional in our friendships. Intentionality will enrich our love for those people even more. We may do this by writing letters to friends far away or making phone calls to our grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

I want to encourage you to set aside some time every day to do these things. Make it a time to express yourself but also a time to relax. The relationships you need to work on are not far away. Make sure to spend time with those in your household. Honor your father and mother and those who take care of you. Remember, your siblings are your companions for life.

Commit to reaching out to a different friend or loved one every day this week. You will be surprised when you not only lift their spirits, but they also raise yours.

For Girls

Worth the Wait

By: Becky Gwartney

I sat nervously in the car, folding a piece of paper over and over again that I held in my hands. The ride seemed to be taking forever as we drove back to college from a church service a few hours away. Weeks before, my chauffeur for the night had told me he loved me. I was hesitant to get that serious since I had just ended a 5-year relationship before dating him, and I knew he hadn’t been separated from his previous girlfriend for very long. I was skeptical, and I was afraid of making the wrong decision.

I had made plenty of those in my life! In fact, I traveled out of state to attend a Christian college trying to get away from the mistakes I had made. I needed a fresh start, and attending college near my home was not the place to do it. No more choosing the wrong path, and no more choosing the wrong guy. This was my time to choose well.

I had had many boyfriends in the past. All of them were “good guys”, but not all of them were good for me. Some of them claimed to know God and love Him, but few lived that out. I was tired of playing games and wasting time. Now, as a college student, I was ready to wait as long as it took to find Mr. Right.

Was this him, the guy sitting beside me in the car? He had “checked every box” on the list I had made before I would even consider dating someone else. I knew I had set high standards. I wasn’t about to make a mistake again…with my heart or with my life. With peace in my heart and a nudge from God, I knew He was orchestrating every moment and the feelings swelling inside of me.

A songbird at heart, I decided to sing the words instead of speaking them—I love you. I honestly love you. As the words in my heart finally escaped my lips, he pulled the car to the side of the road, eyes full of tears and a huge smile on his face. He knew, then, I felt the same as he had for weeks.

Was all the heartache I had been through worth the wait? Definitely! Was being picky worth the ridicule from my friends who thought I was ridiculous? You bet! Was it wise to wait for the man God had for me? Positively! Had God answered my prayers and given me the man of my dreams? Absolutely!

I never had to keep searching, taking chances, plucking off the rose petals… “He loves me. He loves me not.” But more than that, I knew this man of God was the man God had chosen for me, and he would love me until death parts us. Now, 42 years later, we are still living out the love story God wrote for us, and it’s beautiful. Won’t you let Him write yours too? The man He has for you is worth the wait!!!

For Adults, Uncategorized

A Love Affair of the Greatest Kind

By: Becky Gwartney

In the most recent blog, Becky Gwartney asks a simple question, “How is your love relationship with God?”

When my husband and I were dating, we couldn’t find enough time to be together. We lived in different states for a couple of months before our wedding, and I waited by the phone to answer his call each night. I longed to hear his voice, to hear the events of his day, and to hear of his love for me. No matter the time it took from my schedule or the cost (back when long-distance was a big deal financially), it was worth it to take the time to share my life and dreams with him.  Love does that to you! 

When you love someone, you want to spend time with them, get to know them, and value those moments together. The same is true in our relationship with God. Getting to know Him is vital, spending time with Him is crucial, and moments together should be treasured. We all know this in our hearts because something is missing when HE isn’t included in our lives.

So, during this month of love, let’s examine ourselves. How is your love relationship with God? Do you arrange your schedule each day to make sure you spend quality time with Him? Do you prioritize the things of God over the things of the world? Are you passionate about knowing Him and making Him known?

Maybe some of you are experiencing a crisis of the heart. Perhaps you’re too busy, overworked, or unable to unplug from an electronic society. How do you get out of a spiritual funk? Here are a couple of “no brainers”:

BE IN THE WORD!

God’s Word is not junk mail that is delivered to our mailbox or inbox.  It’s a message that is vital for our existence and God’s purpose for our lives. Second Timothy 3:17 tells us that, through the Word, we are put together and shaped for the tasks God has for us.  We may have been handed down the greatest of legacies, be shaped for God’s purpose, and be willing to serve, but if we lack His Word in our hearts, we aren’t “all in” with Him.

Whatever it takes for you to get into His Word and be intimate with Him, do it. The word intimacy means “into me see”.  I love that! God looks at us and knows us, but we can look at Him and know Him too! What a beautiful gift we’ve been offered, but to create that intimacy with God and become passionate about Him, we must see into Him and His heart through His Word.  Another way we can do that is through…

PRAYER

Psalm 55:17 says, “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice.”  You can’t be intimate with someone you don’t talk to. But, how do we pray so that we connect intimately with our Heavenly Father? It’s a two-way street—we talk, and we listen. We may be really good about the talking aspect, taking our “list of things to do” to God, but do we listen to His voice speaking to us? He wants a deeper relationship with you. He wants you to hear His heart and His thoughts. He wants you to reveal your deepest desires. And, if we set aside the time to be quiet enough (even quieting our thoughts), He will speak—through His Spirit, through the Bible, through friends, through circumstances, or through a gentle “knowing” that settles in our hearts.

These simple truths are nothing new and probably nothing new to you. Simple truths, simple steps, simple measures to take, but, oh, what benefits we reap when we do them! A love affair of the greatest kind is yours for the taking. Are you ready and willing to do your part?