Stop Putting Humans Where God Should Be

Okay so Rachel Hollis….

Let me preface what I am going to say with this: I own 2 of her books. I have not completely read them all the way through, I have cherry picked what I read from them and only read them on a situational basis. I do not listen to her TED Talks and before today I didn’t even know she was on TikTok and I didn’t realize that her book talking about her divorce was riddled with controversy. In fact, for my own reasons, I stopped following her all together once the news of she and Dave’s divorce broke out. This wasn’t necessarily an intentional decision, I just stopped following her after that.

Did I read her books as my Bible? Have I replaced the Bible with “Girl, Wash Your Face?” or “Girl, Stop Apologizing”? Absolutely not.

She is a human being. She is not God.

The disappointment and heartbreak that comes when a celebrity’s true colors are shown happens because we tend to place really cool and motivating humans where God should be in our lives. We see these people doing things we want to do or being the people we wish we could be and we put them in a high place of honor. Not just on our bookshelves but we place them on a pedestal in our lives. They don’t just hold a place of honor in our living rooms or our offices, they hold a place of honor in every aspect of our lives. We follow these people on every social media platform, we have their books, their clothes, their jewelry, we follow their diets and their lifestyles to a T in hopes that we will too someday be them. Is it a bad thing to be motivated by fellow humans? No, it isn’t. But it becomes a bad thing when we obsess over these humans and place them on a pedestal. That’s the problem.

Do humans make mistakes? Absolutely 100% yes. Did Rachel Hollis make a mistake? Oooooh yeah she did. She messed up. I won’t share everything she has done on my blog, I’m not even going to touch on what she has done. But I will say that her apologies need some work and her true colors have been exposed.

Do these recent developments and the exposure of Rachel Hollis mean I am going to burn her books in my backyard and spend a week mourning? No.

It does however mean that I am grateful that I did not allow myself to get swept up in the bandwagon that was the preaching’s of Rachel Hollis. I hope she makes a comeback and realizes the things she has done that are wrong. I hope she finds forgiveness and reconciliation in this situation. I am going to pray for her, and pray for her followers who are hurt right now. And I hope you do the same thing.

We can support one another and be motivated and encouraged by one another without attempting to be God to one another.

Change

I do not like change one bit. I will probably say that I like change but that’s me just trying to convince myself I like change. The reality being change sucks. I think it’s a mental thing, I get used to things, I create expectations of life that can be met, I like schedules, I like knowing things. But with change you don’t get that. Change isn’t consistent, change you don’t know what to expect, it’s scary, it’s not something that can always fit nicely into a little box and slide gracefully into a preexisting timeline of life. It’s messy. It’s demanding of flexibility.

But do you know who can handle the things that make me completely bonkers? God. God is all over everything even when I’m scrambling to handle the most mundane change, God is already there. He is already in the mess. He is my rock. He is my refuge among the crazy. I just need to lean on Him, let Him be my strength, let Him take over. Because if I ignore God when I’m in the eye of the hurricane of change, I will completely implode and lose focus on what actually matters.

And what actually matters is loving others like Christ loves me no matter the circumstance and no matter my schedule.

He does not ask for perfections, He asks for my surrender.

Where is God?

Most days I ask myself where is God in all of this?

Well I just haven’t been looking very hard for Him because He is everywhere. He is in every single detail. He works through my boyfriend. He works through my pastor. He calls to me on the days where I’m unable to crawl off the couch and He comforts me. He is always there. Always.

So where is God in all of this? Just look around.

Surrender

I have held it together for so long I forget what it means to not put on a façade. I hold it together until my breathing is shallow and quick and the walls close in around me and I’m on the floor in a panic attack. I hold it together so the outside world doesn’t know that inside I’m a ball of crippling anxiety and depression.

Holding it together isn’t what God is asking of me. He isn’t asking for perfection. He is asking for surrender.

I’ve been drowning for years in a state of constant struggle for perfection. Hiding what is really going on because no one can know that every aspect of my life isn’t held together and everything isn’t perfectly in it’s place. And I’m going to die as completely tense and panic filled as I lived if I do not learn to surrender my thoughts, my actions, my way of living, my everything…to the Lord.

I don’t want to die in these waters.

I’m ready to surrender.

Self Love vs. Self Care

Self care is great, but self care doesn’t necessarily equal the self love that this world talks about. Self care is self preservation…loving yourself AND taking care of yourself. It’s reading your Bible, sleeping, showering, take your medication, doing your laundry, going to the gym…things like that. 

Our society seems to be so caught up on self love. Self first. Others last. That’s not how Jesus functioned. That’s not how He operated. He was love others and also self care. He taught others how to put others before themselves. While He also was the example of napping and eating and taking time away from everything going on to sit in a garden and pray. He took care of himself and was able to love and take care of others. What a concept.

He was love others and self care. Can we all agree that this self love and finding yourself is a gigantic waste of time and is so far from what Jesus intended when He was on this earth? Jesus didn’t say to His disciples, “I need to leave you and go find myself. I need to learn how to love myself. You guys figure this out on your own.” Nope. He was alongside of them during His ministry. He loved them. He did life with them. Alongside of them. He loved others. He cared for people before Himself. He literally died for us, taking on the sins of the world, and saving us!

Check out this resource from Equipping Godly Women’s Mary Harp Click Here! I highly recommend reading through her post thoroughly. 

So let’s love others while also practicing self care.

WWJD? Love others while also taking care of yourself. Which means eat, nap, pray.

Love Your Enemies

Let’s talk about loving your enemies.

I have struggled for years with someone in ministry who is just the oil to my water. We do not mix at all. They have a completely different mindset, thought process, and way of life than I do. They go out of their way to bring strife into the ministry and I’ve almost quit so many times because of them. But ultimately I am serving for the Lord in this ministry and not for that person.

How do I move past the “kill them with kindness” mindset and into the mindset of actually forgiving them and praying FOR them instead of praying for them to change. I need to be praying that I see them through God’s eyes. I can’t change the narcissistic or misogynistic tendencies. I shouldn’t be praying for them to change. I need to pray that I can forgive them and love them how God loves them.

Harder than it looks.

Jesus wasn’t always respected. Yet He still loved those who disrespected Him. If Jesus can die on the cross for people who cursed Him and beat Him and betrayed Him, than I can learn to love my enemies too. Actually love my enemies. Not just say I love my enemies. Not just say that I forgive them. Not kill them with kindness. But actually have a change within my own heart.

Luke 6:27 “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

Romans 12:14 “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.”

1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all that you do be done in love.” (This is my email signature, so I should probably start living this verse.)

1 Peter 3:9 “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

Grace

The other night I felt so defeated in my sin. I allowed myself to feel overwhelmed and suffocated by shame. Instead of turning to God and relinquishing the control I hold on to so tightly, I clung to my sin.

The thought of never being able to conquer this sin left me feeling like a failure. Like a wall was up between God and I. I told God He couldn’t use me until I defeated this part of me. I told Him I was unusable and ruined. And that’s not the case. Me telling Him He can’t use me is pointless because He will use me if He wants to use me. 

If we had to wait to be used by God until we were perfectly pure and sinless – we would be waiting forever. God exposes our sins and uses us right where we are. I need to remember that Satan wants me to feel isolated in my sin. God can use me and He is using me. Right where I am. Sin and all.

Don’t be content to be forgiven and forget. Your past is unique God-given baggage for carrying the Gospel to other. – Marshall Segal 

Don’t let the enemy use your history to distract you from your destiny. – Lisa Bevere

Just because we are tempted does not mean we are our temptations. – Jackie Hill Perry

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Shame

I live in this constant fear that my sin will be exposed. You can know my testimony…just not those parts. You can see the ugly sides of me that I let you see…just not those sides. 

I’ve come to realize that some sins seem to be more acceptable than others. Some sins are seen as ‘well you’re human so you’re going to have those sins’. And other sins are seen as utterly heinous and unforgivable in the church. There’s this unspoken idea that to admit we have lied or said the Lord’s name in vain is to be expected, but anything else is to be kept hidden. How could anyone love the Lord and follow Him and have thoughts like that?!

So those sins stay secret. Those sins fester and grow because to expose them to the public would be an instant regrettable offense. The shame is overwhelming. I don’t want to be this way. I don’t know why these thoughts and desires manifest inside of me but they do. 

How can God use me when this sin is a burden getting in the way of my walk. Why can’t I just get over it and expose it and not allow it to overwhelm me anymore? 

Instead, it taunts me …torments me …tells me I am never going to get past this. This is the sin I carry. I feel like such a failure.

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You just have to laugh…

What a week it has been. On Sunday evening I had a heart episode while in the hot springs in Ouray, Colorado. Since then it has been an exhausting week of going to urgent care in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Monday, being advised not to fly, going on two flights traveling back to Pennsylvania on Tuesday, being met by EMT’s at the Philadelphia Airport, and going to the ER on Thursday.

It is now Friday and I’m beat and I still don’t have any answers. An MRI, neurologist visit, and psychologist visit are my next steps.

Josh has been incredibly supportive this past week. He has been by my side through the entire thing and has been constantly pointing me back to relying on the Lord by how he shows Christ’s love to me. He epitomizes what it means to be unconditional. And I’m so grateful God has him by my side.

With everything that has happened since November and everything we’ve gone through together, I know for a fact we’ve survived it because God is the center of our relationship. And we laugh….a lot. That definitely helps.