I Got A Bible For My 21st Birthday And That's Not Weird

I Got A Bible For My 21st Birthday And That's Not Weird

God knew that it was something that, at this moment, was more than just a want — it was more of a need.
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I recently had a 21st birthday dinner with some of my closest friends, and being the lovely, wonderful, especially kind people that they are, they came together to get me something that I had had my eye on for a while: a new Bible.

It was the perfect gift. I know... it's not necessarily what many people would think of as a 21st birthday gift. Yet, God knew that it was something that, at this moment, was more than just a want — it was more of a need.

Ever since I left Charlottesville and my church family when school let out, I have found myself feeling discouraged and unmotivated when it comes to reading my Bible. Instead of using my newly acquired free time reading my Bible and having quiet time, I found myself being more interested in other hobbies and activities.

But now that I have this new (and did I mention, gorgeous) Bible, I have a new excitement to explore it. It has wide outer margins where I can take notes or even dabble in Bible journaling if I want to, and it is also a different version (ESV) than my old Bible.

These new elements will allow me to do more than just read the Word. It also lets me interact with it, comparing it to my other versions and expressing myself via art.

This Bible is new and more sophisticated than my last Bible, and I feel that it fits me as I enter this new year and delve further into my 20s. It makes me excited to explore and study God's word. My 21st birthday gift sparked the stagnant flame in me to be excited to go into God's word... and that's one the best gifts that there is.

Even when you feel far from God, He is there, guiding you back to Him, arms wide open with His love and grace.

Cover Image Credit: Casey Lofton

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God's Letter To The Struggling College Christian

Don't give up on me because I haven't given up on you
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Dear Struggling College Christian,

Life can be tough, especially in college; you're at that age where you're not exactly an adult but also no longer a child.

You're somewhere in between, possessing just enough freedom to do what you want while still being held responsible for the decisions you make about your future. You're always stressed out. You're going to get hurt, you're going to feel like dropping out or changing your mind, and you're even going to want to turn your back on me, your God, but I want to tell you this: your suffering is not in vain.

SEE ALSO: I Am Christian Millennial And I Do Not Hate You

I want you to know that everything you are going through is a lesson. It's all building you into a better person, a better you. The things you've asked of me, the things you've told me you wanted – those are things you have to be prepared for and you still need a bit of tweaking.

The future, though bright, isn't all sunshine and roses.

The path has twists and turns, cracks are in it, fallen logs in your way, and most of the time you're not going to be able to see straight ahead of you. The weather is going to be unpredictable. The hailstorm is going to knock you off your feet and the twisters are going to send you spinning into confusion, exhaustion, and doubt.

But with the strength that I am trying to build up in you, you'll find that you know exactly where to find shelter when the storms break down your door.

You'll find that the lessons you learn from trying times are exactly what you need to fulfill my plans for you. You've read Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 hundreds of times, but there is a verse in the Bible that you may have never paid attention to.

Ephesians 2:10. It reads: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

The most important part of this verse is one simple word: beforehand. So while you're crying and stressing about what job you're going to land after you graduate, if you're going to marry that person you've been with for years, or if you even want to be majoring in what you're currently majoring in, I already have a plan laid out specifically for you. You are my child, my creation and you have a purpose.

However, while knowing these things is great, it is all pointless if you don't do. So here's what I want you to do: do not give up. Have faith in me. You believe in me, so why not believe in me in your darkest moments? That's the reason you became a Christian, right?

Because I'm the one person you know that won't forsake you. You know that I love you, and you know that I'm here for you, so prove it. I know it can be hard when you're pulled in a lot of different directions by your social life, your academic life and your extracurricular activities not to mention your family life and your own personal sanity, but take a few minutes out of your day, every day, to talk to me.

Tell me your fears and your desires. Remember that you can ask me for and about anything. I'm always going to give you an answer, whether it's a yes, no, or not right now. After that, I want you to stop worrying and fight on through the darkness. You are stronger than you think.

My Child, enjoy yourself while you are young: don't stress over the things that you can't see. Don't give in to the depression, the anxiety, or the stress; things that are not of me. Don't let yourself forget about me or believe that I'm not there when I am and know that my plan is set in place for you.

All you have to do is walk in it. Trust that this is all for your good. But most importantly, remember that I love you unconditionally–at your worst and your best. Life can be tough, but you are tougher simply because you are mine.

I've got you,

God

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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5 Verses To Get You Through Finals Week

Finals are coming up everyone! With that comes additional stress. Who is better to turn to in a time of great stress and anxiety than our God?

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As I said before, the semester is flying by extremely fast. We have almost reached the finish line, and with that comes the final stretch. Finals Week. Stress reaches a new level. It feels impossible to study for every final as well as still finishing the last few assignments of a class. When I feel overwhelmed, God is who helps me. Reading the Bible calms my nerves. Here are five of my favorite verses to ease my concerns.

1. Psalms 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble

-King James Version

2. ​Jeremiah 17:7-8

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

-King James Version

3. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed

-King James Version

4. 1 Peter 5:6-7

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

-New International Version

5. Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

-New International Version

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