Charlotte, You Have My Heart

Charlotte, You Have My Heart

My home away from home.
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This is going to be ironic because my last article was about being hurt, which is honestly an ongoing battle, but after a few weeks of refreshing my mind away from the lull of social media, I am feeling more at ease now instead of on edge.

I'll tell you why.

This past weekend, I went to a place that has felt like home for the past year even though I had never physically been there. I went to a place that brings light to dark days and situations. I went to a place that introduced me to the best relationship in my life.

Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina is my home away from home and I finally made a weekend trip to go visit and attend a Saturday night service.

Let me just tell you, Pastor Steven has been preaching on a series called #SavageJesus and Jesus is the bomb - even more so than I thought.

Sorry, I just had to get that out there.

But let me tell you what I learned from this sermon.

Pastor Steven was preaching in Mark 1:40 about the leper.

Lepers in that time were not allowed to go anywhere near "clean" people. If they did, they had to shout "Unclean" before even making it there.

Well, the man with leprosy was so tired of feeling unclean that he would rather risk trying to see and talk to Jesus than continue his life in isolation.

The leper made it to Jesus and asked Him to make him clean. Of course, Jesus did, because He's a loving Savior.

But this is what I took away from this sermon.

In the wise words of Pastor Steven: Jesus can't heal what you don't reveal.

This relates back to my last article; I felt hurt, sad, lonely, confused. I felt like my walls were caving in and I was being smothered by everything around me. I felt helpless.

Until....

I revealed my hurt, my sadness, my loneliness and confusion. I admitted that I had no clue what I was doing and I was tired of trying to figure it out on my own; I couldn't do it anymore.

So, I gave it to God. I had no other choice.

And then Pastor Steven put it into the perfect words: He can't heal what you don't reveal.

And when I revealed my hurt, I felt God take it all in His own hands, like a breath of fresh air.

Thank you, Elevation, for being the guiding light towards my relationship with God and Jesus Christ. It was the best coincidence I ever had by coming across you on YouTube. God put you in my life at the right time, when He knew I needed guidance, when I needed healing.

I can never say thank you enough to the clearness you have brought into my heart and mind.

Cover Image Credit: Mandy Parsons

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30 Bible Verses For The Broken-Hearted

The first month is always the hardest.
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These Bible verses aren't only for people experiencing a break-up; they're meant to be uplifting, comforting and to bring a sense of peace to anyone who's hurting. The first month after every hardship is always the most difficult.

1. Matthew 11:28-30

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened; and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

2. John 14:27

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

3. Psalm 55:22

"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be moved."

4. Psalm 147:3

"He heals the broken-hearted, and bandages their wounds."

5. Proverbs 3:5-6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight."

6. 1 Peter 4:19

"So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good."

7. Romans 5:1-2

"Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God's glory."

8. Romans 8:28

"And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."

9. Philippians 3:13-14

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive towards the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

10. Psalm 34:18

"The Lord is near the broken hearted; He delivers those who are discouraged."

11. Romans 8:39

"Nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

12. Psalm 73:26

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

13. Psalm 71:20

"You who have shown me great distress and troubles will revive me again, and will bring me up again from the depths of the Earth."

14. Isaiah 43:1 b

"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine."

15. Romans 8:18

"For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us."

16. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord, 'plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and hope.'"

17. 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."

18. Ezekiel 36:26

"Also, I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will take away the stoney heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh."

19. 1 Peter 5:7

"Cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you."

20. Revelation 21:4

"God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. There shall be no more death. Neither shall there be any more sorrow nor crying nor pain, for the former things have passed away."

21. Isaiah 41:10

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, yes, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

22. Deuteronomy 31:6

"Be strong and of good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God it is He who goes with you. He will not fail you, nor forsake you."

23. Romans 5:8

"I loved you at your darkest."

24. Isaiah 43:18

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past."

25. Psalm 46:1-2

"God is our refuge and strength; a well proven help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the Earth be removed."

26. Hebrews 13:5-6

"Let your lives be without love of money, and be content with the things you have. For He has said 'I will never leave you, nor forsake you'. So we may boldly say, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?'"

27. Romans 15:13

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit."

28. Luke 20:17

"But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’?”

29. Psalms 9:9

"The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble."

30. Psalm 30:5

"For His anger endures but a moment, in His favor is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."



Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Getting That Degree Is Important, But Caring For Yourself Is Worth More Than Tuition

Don't let your head fall beneath the surface...

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Yes, there are about a million articles just like this expressing the ~importance~ of caring for yourself and mental health in college. They tell you to take a bubble bath, eat some good food, sleep, etcetera, etcetera... Honestly, that stuff is good and all, but bath bombs and chocolates can only do so much for your ACTUAL mental health. Even though I'm only a month into freshman year, I feel like I've learned more in that month to last a lifetime.

Well, buckle up, because I'm about to give you the cold hard truth about caring for yourself, cutting the toxic bullshit from your life, and truly thriving without being suffocated by societal pressures. Here we go...

1. We're all "adults" stumbling around trying to figure out wtf we're doing.

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There's more days that I don't know what I'm doing than days where I feel confident. I've also noticed that others are feeling the same exact way, especially when I sit and people watch in the library. I've already seen countless people wanting to pull their hair out, just silently putting their head down, or just giving up entirely over school work. It happens to the best of us...

2. No one gives a shit what you wear. I promise. 

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The first week of classes I made sure I ~dressed to impress~ every day, but I quickly realized no one cares. Someone may compliment your sweatpants one day, then your cute romper the next. It's such a stress reliever to not have to worry too much about my outfits.

3. For emphasis: People really DO NOT care about looks. 

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On another note, no one cares if you wear a ton of makeup or none at all. They won't notice if your hair is in a messy bun or perfectly curled. We're all just trying to get through each day, honestly.

4. You'll know your true ride or die friends when you meet them. They aren't going to be the first people you meet on campus unless you're SUPER lucky. 

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So, I just so happen to be a ~lucky~ person, because I met my group right off the bat when school started. However, I've heard so many people talk of how they didn't meet their group until second semester or even later than that. Relax. Talk to people you live near and have classes with, but don't force friendships.

5. Do your homework ahead of time... You'll thank yourself later. 

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Everyday I thank my past self for deciding to work ahead in my classes. Professors give syllabi for a reason, and it's beneficial to use it to your advantage. When I wanted to be lazy and watch Bachelor in Paradise, I could because I worked ahead on most of my homework due the next day. It sucks in the moment, but it's great later on.

6. If you want to take over-excessive notes, then just do it.

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I AM THIS PERSON! Literally, people are in awe over how perfectly constructed and color-coded my notes are. They question how I even keep them organized. It's hard to answer simply, because I've just created a certain way I like to take notes. Then come exam time, I type them or rewrite and organize them all together.

7. It's okay to want to stay in on a Friday/Saturday night

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If you don't want to go out and party, then don't. This is where the stereotypical "treat yo self" advice comes in. Make popcorn, order some food, watch a movie, clean, whatever you need to do to just chill out and feel like your life is together for a small amount of time.

8. Destroy the idea that life has no time for simple pleasures and happy things

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If someone gives you shit for liking a certain show, self care routine, habit, etc., then they don't need to be in your life. Simple as that. Yes, school is of utmost importance, but don't let that stop or shame you from doing what you like to do.

9. You're allowed to forget things sometimes

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If you forget a pencil, ask someone beside you. If you forgot to eat today (guilty), grab a good snack. On a wider scale, if you forgot to turn an assignment in, talk to your professor. You've most likely get a grade cut, but it helps to talk to them face to face instead of just forgetting about the assignment in general. We're humans, we forget, fumble, and make mistakes.

10. This isn't high school, cut the drama...

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No one cares who slept with who or what happened at the party at Alpha Chi Pi Psi Epsilon on Friday. I just want to get through my meal or class without dealing with people's extra-ness. Chill.

11. Join whatever clubs you want to, but don't overload. 

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Actually join clubs that will benefit YOU. Don't let someone guilt you into joining things you don't want to either. It's also beneficial to look at what career aspirations you have, and find clubs that will help you build skills for that. Just don't overload. My rule is three clubs I'm going to put my 100% effort into, then 2-3 that I'm interested in being a member of, but not too much commitment.

12. Stay organized, whatever the hell that means for you.

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If this means knowing where everything is under on your desk, then great! If this means color-coding everything and making binders and folders and tabs on things, then go do that! Don't feel pressured to be picture perfectly organized.

13. Again: No one gives a shit. If they do, cut them off. Simple as that. 

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Enough said...

14. Enjoy it. 

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This is the prime time of your youth. Take some time away from social media and snapchatting every moment of the day. Listen in on lectures, be with your friends, compliment someone you pass walking to class, and don't be afraid to just live life.

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