Tag Archive: teen girls


On Grace by Dawn

Below you will find Dawn’s testimony of God’s grace displayed in her life through her struggle and freedom from an eating disorder. I hope that you will find hope in her story and peace in knowing that God’s grace is most assuredly sufficient for YOU!
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God Loves me so much that he sent his son Jesus that I may live… now and always by grace. How can I not sit back and look at my life and not just wonder, in shock, at what God has done and continues to do? I am so thankful that at the end of the day no situation or challenge can change the goodness of the Lord.

For three years I have walked with Him. Three years ago He held the end of the rope that pulled me out of the pit of death and into His shadow of light.  My testimony is posted on a website and this is part of a comment that someone left…. Like the “dawning of a new day” – your testimony heralds the beauty – the sheer wonder of being new in Christ – the old is past; behold all things become new – Oh what a blessing – may the LORD your King continue to use you mightily like a trumpet, to compel all to “Come, dance with our King!”

Use you …Use me….Hear I am, Lord….How many times have I said that to my Daddy? I’m always asking Him to use this Freedom Walker, to use this girl now three years out of brokenness and three years into the light. This past year has been different than the first two years, there were more days, than I have ever admitted to anyone, that I really didn’t want Freedom anymore, that I wanted to throw it all away and seek the guise of thinness. I know the answer to how all these thoughts started? Something so simple….busyness. I got so busy that I didn’t make even small moments of time to spend with my Daddy, He got pushed to the wayside and when the overwhelming feelings of life came I didn’t have the Truth to stand on to fight. Instead I decided I wanted to fight myself and fight my body for control over what I felt like was an out-of-control life. And let’s just say that putting my walls down to seek out the Truth, in the words of wise counsel, was really, really hard. But I had to do it. I had left that struggle in the past.

But hear me….it is a choice. In my life I had to change that I was Supposed to walk in Freedom to Wanting to walk in Freedom. Jesus said, “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). That’s what he wants for each of us. But we have to embrace the truth, so instead of fighting my body I wake each morning choosing to walk in Victory. Walk out my Freedom! I will not let the mirror or the world define me, but I shall speak the Truth of God’s Word. I WILL LOVE ME; I will surrender myself into the hands of my Father, who will equip me for battle. Too often I, still more than I want to admit, measure my beauty by a number. He has already declared me BEAUTIFUL, His chosen and beloved daughter, the one He intimately wants to know and love me beyond any love that I can seek here on earth. I will continue to fight the lies that tie up my thoughts, I know the TRUTH, and I can speak it! The real battle is making sure my Truth doesn’t fall on my own deaf ears and understand that it isn’t always about those around me hearing the Truth but I need to make sure I’m still hearing it myself.

“If you hold on to me for dear life,” says God, “I’ll get you out of any trouble.” Psalm 91:14, The Message.

Dear Father,

What a journey this has been and I am truly in awe of all you are continually doing in me. One day with you is better then a thousand elsewhere. I know you are good and that knowing you intimately has transformed my life. Give me the faith to walk in freedom and victory.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen

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“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:27

So you want to wear all the name brand clothes, do the things your friends are doing, look the best and be the best? You don’t want to stand out or maybe you do and wear the brightest colors available and have your own unique style.  What if we turned away from the thoughts of flaunting the latest fashions and put on a little Beauty by God? Now this beauty will require that we are willing to be different and it will require many to step out of their comfort zones. I will warn you that many don’t think the Beauty by God clothing line is fashionable, but don’t let that discourage you, God is the best designer around! He is top notch! What does the Beauty by God wardrobe have to offer, you ask? There are many articles of clothing available in this special clothing line and to cover them all in this article is not my intent, but I do want to discuss two of them here.

Let’s see, first let’s look at the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14). Belts are so important, without them let’s just say that we might find ourselves in a nasty predicament, we wouldn’t at times be able to keep our clothes intact! What does the belt of truth look like? How do we know what truth is? We go to God’s Word.  In John 1:14, we see that “the Word [Jesus] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory of the only begotten from the Father, FULL of grace and TRUTH.” We must first recognize where we can be sure truth is (John 14:6); where we can get this belt of truth. Now that we’ve discovered we get our belts of truth from God’s Word, what are we going to do with the belt. When you go to the shopping and purchase the cutest dress, do you just let it sit in your closet, no, of course not, we put it on.  We need to do the same with the belt of truth in God’s clothing line. God’s truth keeps our lives intact. It is His truth that we need to base everything in our lives on. Our thoughts, our actions, our motivations, our decisions, ect. Truth is absolute. If truth isn’t truth, it’s untruth. There are no grey areas. When we understand God’s Word as being purely truth and put on our belts of truth, we can rest assured we will have the most beautiful Beauty by God clothing on because our lives will shine with the light of Christ. (John 8:32)

Let’s look back to the Ephesians passage (Ephesians 6:14), what other articles of clothing are in the Beauty by God clothing line? What about being clothed with the breastplate of righteousness? What does the breastplate do? It guards our hearts. It is when we are putting on the righteousness of God and living that out in our lives that our hearts are protected from this sin filled world and the immoral temptations that we go up against every day. What is righteousness? It is living God’s way instead of our own selfish immoral living; it is putting on the beauty of the righteousness of Almighty God. For some examples and to dig deeper into this thought of putting on righteousness check out these scriptures:

Isaiah 61:10, 1 Thess. 5:8, Job 27:6, Psalm 5:8, Psalm 17:15, Psalm 37:6, Psalm 40:10

God’s Word says in 2 Peter 1:3, “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

So you want to be beautiful? The world’s definition of beauty will only lead to bondage and an ugly heart. Girls, let’s strap on those belts of truth and protect our hearts with righteousness!  With Beauty by God, you are sure to win!

“God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel  16:7

Unleashed

I went on a retreat with the youth from my church this past weekend. The theme for the retreat was “Unleashed.” Going into the retreat I had no idea what that meant and I was wondering to myself why they were calling it Unleashed. I soon found out what that really meant.

You see we have things in our lives that keep us in bondage, things we place before our relationship with Christ. These can be anything– internet, phone, television, video games, boys, texting, cell phones, self harm, obsessive focus on weight, eating, and exercise, beauty, money, caring to much about what people might think, you name it. There are so many things in this world that we get hooked on and tied down to. We tend to put these things first in our lives when what really needs to be first is our relationship with God. We were reminded this weekend that we need to be unleashed of these things that are holding us back from being our best in Christ. One of the youth leaders on the trip unleashed from the notion that she had to wear makeup so she didn’t wear any make-up during the retreat. We all have things that we need to let go of and give to Christ, things we need to be unleashed from. It’s when we are truly become unleashed from those things that we find lasting freedom in Christ.

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves of righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (Romans 6:15-19)

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

So I ask you this….what do you need to be unleashed from? What is holding you back from your relationship with God? What is keeping you enslaved?

There are so many things in this life that we fear. Some of us fear death, some of us fear heights, and the list could go on and on. You name it and chances are someone somewhere is afraid of it. I think as teenagers once of the biggest things we often fear is people. Yes, maybe when you see people you don’t run the other direction screaming, but there is a sense that we take great stake in what people think about us, on whether or not our friends will like us or whether we will be accepted and be in the “in-crowd”. We try to impress each other as if their opinion of us is the only thing that gives us our worth.  If they don’t like us, we are devastated, however if they do like us we are elated. This isn’t something that just teenagers struggle with but I have found myself and I know of other adults who focus way too much on what people think.

It is often said from statistics that people fear public speaking more than death. Why do we fear speaking in public? Because we care about what people are thinking about us and questions go through our minds like what if we look “stupid”, what if I say the wrong thing, what if I make a fool of myself, ect. There is no doubt that the fear of people is a huge fear for both young and old.  But do you fear what other people will think more than you fear what God thinks about a particular situation?

I want to talk to you about two definitions of fear. The first one is the sense I was speaking of earlier which is the fear that leads to anxiety and apprehension while in a certain situation. The second kind of fear I want to talk about is the fear that is defined by a deep respect for someone or something. You see fear in the first sense makes us run away from someone, the second kind of fear makes us run toward someone.

What will it take for us to fear God so much that we want to please Him in everything we say and do instead of fearing people and fearing what they might think? So that’s my challenge to both you and me as well. We need to be so concerned about what God thinks about our actions and who we are so that there is no room for fearing what others might think or say about us. Below are some verses about fearing the Lord more than fearing others.

I encourage you to really memorize this one and make it your prayer.

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth;

give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.

–Psalm 86:11

Here are a few others:

Psalm 147:10-11: His pleasure is not in the strength of a horse, or His delight in the legs of a man; the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.

Proverbs 19:23: The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 29:25: Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Throwing Stones…

Someone who has been so influencial in my healing is Amy (my former youth pastors wife). Below she shares a spiritual principle that is so vital in our journey toward healing and ultimately our relationships with God and others. Many of us have been hurt and think forgiveness is something so far out of reach. But as Amy reminds us, we are all sinners and no one has the right to judge or codemn anyone but the Lord. So who do you need to forgive? Your abuser? Your friend? Your sibling? Your parents? YOURSELF? Amy reminds us what the scriptures have to say about forgiveness.

“Two of my most favorite passages in the Scriptures both talk about forgiveness and speak to the awesomeness of the free gift of salvation. The first passage is a story in John 8 – a story about a woman accused and rightfully so…she had sinned and broken God’s law. When she was brought to Jesus by her accusers for judgement – he rebuked her accusers and offered her forgiveness. He was the only one who was without sin and could have stoned her, but He said “neither do I condemn you, Go and sin no more.

The same thought is echoed in Psalm 130:3-4, “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You that You may be feared.” No one can stand before Him in our sin, not the woman accused, not her accusers, not me, and not you – except for His forgiveness so that He may be feared – respected, awed, magnified and worshipped.”

God has chosen to forgive us. CHOSEN is the key word. We have the choice to forgive or to not forgive. One leads to peace one leads to misery. We also have the choice to accept God’s gift of forgiveness and salvation or not to accept it. One leads to death and one leads to life. What’s your choice going to be?

Stand in Awe

 What I’m about to share I have wrestled with for weeks. I was afraid that by sharing this, my heart would become prideful. But as I sit here and write I can sincerely testify that none of this is a result of anything I have done, or anything I will do, or anything I could even be close to capable of doing but what I have seen is all a work of God, that in God’s awesome love and grace which I cannot fully understand, nor am I worthy of it, God has placed me here. As I wrestled with whether or not to share this today, I’ve been humbled and convicted. I am reminded that even the rocks cry out in praise to God, so how can I be silent about the awesome works that He has done in my life. (And I ask myself how could I have ever doubted Him?) How much more then should we be filled with awe at the greatness of God and tell of His glory. I think about the many people who God healed in the New Testament. I think I now see how much their hearts were ready to burst in awe struck wonder at what Christ had done in their lives. How could they be silent after encountering God Almighty?!?! That is where I stand now. I am at that place right now that if the rocks cry out in testimony of God’s greatness so must I!


God has taken a broken, hurt, torn up girl and performed an awesome work of redemption, restoration and healing throughout the short 28 years of my life. I can speak with the Psalmist as He says in Psalm 18..”The cords of death encompassed me. And the torrents of ungodliness terrified me; The snares of death confronted me.” That was my life. Full of torment, full of hopelessness, full of brokenness, full of disaster. But PRAISE GOD, that now I can say with the psalmist what is said later in Psalm 18, “THE LORD LIVES, AND BLESSED BY THE ROCK; AND EXALTED BE THE GOD OF MY SALVATION.” He delivers, He lifts up, He rescues, He shields us, He strengthens us, He lights our way. He conquers all, He hears our cries and because of this and ONLY because of this I “give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord, and I will sing praises to Your name.” What does God have to do in our lives for us to see that He is God Almighty, He is Sovereign Lord, He is the Most High God. He had to take me to the darkest of darkness and prove Himself more times than I can count. Don’t let that be You! Proclaim His work in your life to the nations, not out of selfish pride, but out of the depth of humility and praise stand in awe! Let Your heart be filled with wonder and let Him take you to heights you could never have thought up yourself! By the GRACE and MERCY of God He loves to take us to a place of complete brokenness and unworthiness to a place of staring in full view of God’s awesome greatness. In Philippians 2, it speaks of God the Fathers plan and purpose for the life of Jesus the Son. God plan, His sole purpose of Jesus’ self-sacrificing gift to us through the cross was “that at the name of Jesus at the name of Jesus, EVERY knee will bow, for those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of Gd the Father.” His greatness extends throughout eternity! So I ask you, what is your victory story???? Let’s surrender it to God and let Him amaze us at how far He will take His awesome work and declare it to those around us if we will just allow Him to take the drivers seat!!!! Stand back, looking up to heaven, hands off the steering wheel, and prepare to be amazed. Stand in AWE!

 I know many of you struggle with physical eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia but is your spiritual life also disordered? There is a book that I have recommended on the Speak Don’t Bleed website called “Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves” by Erin Davis. As I was reading through this book, something stuck out to me. In the book Erin talks about our beauty and how it’s affected by media. Erin talks about her struggle with a distorted self image. One of the chapters in the book is about Eating Disorders. One thing stuck out in this chapter of the book…in the chapter Erin parallels physical eating disorders with spiritual ones! So I wanted to devote this devotional to talking about how we can have a spiritual eating disorder and what we can do to be spiritually well nourished.

Spiritual Bulimia

In the book, Erin asks these questions that I think we all need to consider…“Do you binge on Jesus? Do you get filled up at camp or weekend retreats or on Sunday morning and then purge so that you can live the life you want to live? Instead of getting a steady dose of Christ through His Word, do you count on filling feasts of God every once in a while?”

We need to be constantly fed through God’s word, prayer, worship, and fellowship with other believers. This will give us the proper Spiritual nourishment that our mind, bodies and hearts need!

So consider this, are you a spiritual bulimic? What steps do you need to take to make sure you are getting spiritual nourishment?

Spiritual Anorexia (Col. 1:9-11)

Consider these questions, “Do you starve yourself of Jesus altogether? Do you go weeks and months without seeking Him in prayer, fellowshipping with other Christians, or digging into the Word? ”

I don’t know about you but I have had this experience. I have just gotten away from God. Let me tell you, missing one day of spending quiet time with God can throw you off and that one day can turn into a few days and then weeks. We need to be consistently, daily in the Word of God so that we can come to know Him more. He is our Father! What would happen if you didn’t spend time with your earthly father? You feel like you don’t really know him and you aren’t developing that relationship with him, well that’s the same way it is with God!

Are you a spiritual anorexic? How will you take action and get your spiritual nourishment?

Spiritual Stress Eating

Are you a crisis pray-er who runs to Jesus only when the going gets tough? Do you neglect Him when life is smooth but seek Him with urgency when the road gets rocky?

So many of us struggle with this one, don’t we? We just go to God when things get tough or when we need His help. But is this really growing a relationship with your Heavenly Father? How would you feel if your friend just came to you when they needed help and didn’t talk to you any other time?

So are you a spiritual stress eater? What action will you take to grow in your relationship with God?

Just like physical eating disorders can destroy your body, spiritual eating disorders can keep you from having the kind of relationship with God that God desires for us to have.


Interview with Erin Davis about her life experiences and her book “Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves”.

1. What was your purpose in writing the book “Graffiti”?

“Graffiti” was originally written as a Bible study for a small group of girls I mentored. One of the girls in the group said that she would really like to learn how to feel better about her body. I started doing some research and couldn’t find a resource that approached the issue with the depth and Biblical insight that I knew was necessary. So, I wrote my own study. That six-week study changed my life. It changed the lives of the girls in that small group, and God has been so faithful to multiply that message. Ultimately, my desire is to see young women understand their value from God’s perspective. They can do that by really digging into His Word to see what He has to say about their value. It isn’t as simple as “God loves you just the way you are.” But He does love you, He did create you purposefully, and He does dedicate a lot of time in His Word to assuring you of your value. My purpose is to use those assurances found in Scripture to help girls develop a sense of value that isn’t shaken by the world’s standards or the opinions of others.

2. What has been the biggest struggle in your life and how have you overcome?

“Graffiti” is really the depths of my heart written down for all of the world to read. By far, my biggest struggle has been to see that I have value that isn’t dependent on what I weigh, what I accomplish, or what others think of me. That struggle has manifested in many different ways in my life including destructive relationship patterns, self-hatred, and disordered eating. Even though I accepted Christ at the age of 15, I still spent years battling anxiety and frustration because I didn’t understand my value. It wasn’t until I really began to study the Word of God that I found freedom in this area. It really didn’t matter what others told me about how God saw me, I needed to read it myself. God’s Word truly is living and active. Once I started reading that living Word and discovered all that God says about me, those chains really started falling off.

3. What advice would you give to girls who are struggling with their relationship with God and understanding their worth to Him?

Read His Word, read His Word, read His Word! That seems like a simple solution for me just to say “read your Bible more,” but I truly believe that His Word has the power to free us like nothing else does. Start reading it with the specific intention of learning what it says about you. It is no overstatement to say that from Genesis to Revelation, God declares your value to Him. I would also encourage you to be very careful what alternate messages your allow into your heart. Everyone knows that the World is pushing for a standard of beauty that isn’t real. But that doesn’t keep us from striving for it does it? Obviously we can’t hide in a hole and never see another airbrushed model again. But you can take some steps to guard your heart. Did you know that 70 percent of the women who look at fashion magazines reported feeling depressed, guilty, and ashamed of their bodies after less than five minutes of flipping through the pages of those magazines? Additional research has linked exposure to the unrealistically thin, young, and often airbrushed female bodies consistently portrayed in the media to depression, loss of self-esteem, and the development of eating disorders in women of all ages. That doesn’t seem like harmless entertainment! Make a conscience effort to get rid of as much of the World’s beauty messages as you can. That may mean that some magazines, television shows, or movies need to go, but I promise it is worth it! Finally, I would encourage girls to find a mentor who loves the Lord and can be a truth speaker when they are wresting with something. I have had mentors in my life ever since I came to know Christ and they have had a huge impact in my development of a women seeking to know and please the Lord. Believe it or not, your mom might be a great mentor (she wasn’t always your momma, she has been where you are!) If not, a friend’s mom might be great. Or your pastor or youth pastor’s wife might be a good fit. Just find a woman who is faithfully serving Christ, is committed to the Truth found in His Word and who you wouldn’t mind sharing a few cups of coffee with. And then…get talking!

How much am I worth? Am I worthless? How do I stop feeling like I am? Why do I feel like a piece of trash? I asked those questions frequently growing up. I was convinced that no one cared about me, that I was unlovable and I felt like a piece of trash, or even some days lower than a piece of trash! It turns out that believing I was that piece of trash completely made me worthless in a sense because while I was believing all those lies in my mind, I was becoming a girl that was sitting on the sidelines of my faith and my relationship with God. Because I was so “me-focused” (and yes, when you are so involved in telling yourself how worthless you are…you truly are “me-focused”) I was unable to be “God-focused”. What God desired for my life was being overshadowed by my own false self defeating thoughts and perceptions. So where do those thoughts come from and how do we counteract those negative (and simply untrue) perceptions about ourselves? How do we become “God-focused” instead of “Me-focused”? I hope and pray that you will discover God’s view of you and that you will commit to embracing that.

What does God have to say about my worth?

In Matthew 6:25-26 it talks about God’s love and provision for us.

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

So I ask you this, if indeed you really are worthless…why would an Almighty God choose to provide for you? He provides for the smallest bird because He values His creation. You are part of His creation and it says here that your worth to Him is so much more than the birds! In fact your worth to Him led Him to die a cruel death on a cross for you and then conquer death by rising from the dead, so that you could have life. So how can you think that someone who would die for you and give up His own life for yours, thinks you are worthless? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense does it.

Many things can influence our perceptions of our self worth. But why waste your life away, struggling to feel good about yourself when all you need to do is commit to look to Truth. Every circumstance that has led you to feel horrible about yourself, every negative, self defeating thought that enters your mind will dim in light of God’s Truth. You just need to practice counteracting those lies with God’s truth and the way to do this is to get into God’s Word, the bible and search for yourself. Later on in the Matthew passage above, it gives a clear picture of what we need to do to defeat those self defeating thoughts that come into our minds….it says in verse 33…

“But seek first His Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

God loves to bless His children. He loves to pour out His love on us. He will go above and beyond for you, but the only way those thoughts are gonna be turned around is if you seek Him first and believe His truth. It’s a choice and it takes an active willingness to turn to truth and be free to be yourself instead of live in self hatred and misery your whole life. What are you going to choose?

Below are some scriptures that I hope you will look up to get you started in learning to see yourself how God sees you.

Matthew 10:29-31: Worth more than sparrows

Matthew 13:45-46: Jesus would go and has gone to the ends of the earth for you because you are of great value to Him

John 3:16: He loves you so much that He chose to die for you.

Romans 8:31-38: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

1 Peter 3:3-4: Beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit

Psalm 139: You are fearfully and wonderfully made…

Surrender

What does it mean to follow God? What does God desire from us when it comes to following Him?  Are we willing to surrender to what God has for our lives, even when it doesn’t make sense to us?

These are challenging questions and I say challenging because I’m living with them! God has been showing me so much about what it takes to fully trust Him with our lives. I’m not the most adventurous person so risks are not fun for me! Trusting anyone is not my strong suit either which makes it even more of a challenge. But thank God for His grace in our lives! A story in the bible that has hit me hard in the past couple of weeks is the calling of Jesus’ disciples. They were fisherman, tax collectors, ect., each of them had their own occupation and I’m sure each of them had their own agenda’s for life. But in the lives of two fishermen, Simon and Andrew (two brothers), Jesus came and had a different plan. Jesus tells them to “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Now if I were Simon and Andrew, I would be like, “Who is the man, who does He think He is saying coming follow me? He is crazy!” However, the bible doesn’t say anything about Simon and Andrew asking questions or saying anything like that. The bible says, “AT ONCE they left their nets and followed Him.” Now that’s faith!!! That’s surrender!!! They left everything they had lived for and everything they had trained for, their sole source of income to follow Jesus! God expects the same from all of us. He doesn’t want us to give half our lives to Him, He wants all of us! Every ounce of our being! Following Jesus won’t always be easy, in fact, I think it seldom is easy, but IT IS WORTH IT! It takes denying of yourself…your wants, desires, your goals for something greater….God’s wants, desires and goals for your life.

In Luke 9:23 it says, “Then He (Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

Surrender requires faith! And true faith in God requires a willingness to give ALL! Are you willing???

The bible says “His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts aren’t our thoughts.” Yet He is wiser than any of our foolishness. God loves us so much that yes, He does hurt when we hurt  and understands our pain, but He loves us enough to allow us to go through some really tough stuff because He has a purpose in it. He knows that many times we don’t see the fullness of that purpose unless we struggle. Unless we go through the uncomfortable.

He doesn’t like to see us suffer but sometimes we need a little suffering to see the big picture and help us to grow in Him. He provides a way of escape for us though, He provides the comfort we need to make it through the tough places. I encourage you to read Psalm 18. It is an awesome chapter in the bible. It starts out with this “The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled aroun d me; the snares of death confronted me.” Have you ever felt that way? That your life was being taken from you. That the problems you faced were so horrible and huge that you just were in complete despair. And when we are in despair we ask God alot of “Why?” questions. Well continuing on in Psalm 18, verse 6, it says “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into His ears.” The question shouldn’t be “Why is all this trouble happening to me? Why do you let bad things happen?” but rather “What do you want me to learn through this circumstance in my life? And how can I come through this with a different outlook on my life?”

The whole chapter of Psalm 18 comes from the experience of David in the bible and how Saul (the king) was chasing Him and out to kill David. David could have asked the “Why?” question but He used His bad experience to turn around and get the big picture on the situation. Yes, I’m sure he was scared, I’m sure He was desperate, I’m sure He was confused at why God allowed Him to be in this place at this time….but He went back to what He knew to be true of God and says in verse 32…”It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect….He enables me to stand on the heights…..You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me so that my ankles do not turn.” God pushes us through trials and hard times to make us grow. To make us depend on Him. That’s “Why?” as we would say He allows bad things to happen. He isn’t a malicious God who is out to get us at every turn but He is a God of tremendous love and He knows what we need at any given time, even if it hurts! So next time you are struggling with something big in your life instead of asking God “Why is this happening?”, ask Him…”What are you trying to teach me?” It’s a hard thing to ask but the answer might just knock your socks off.