Come To The Table, Sit Down And Be Set Free

Come To The Table, Sit Down And Be Set Free

Scribbled in Chalk was the Phrase, "I am loved, I am wanted."
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We all long to be accepted, loved, and adored.

A little girl sits on the sidewalk and captures her dreams with strokes of chalk a crossed the pavement. Scribbled by that little girl is a phrase, "I am loved, I am wanted." But, the words have dissipated over time; the waters came and the words no longer linger on the pavement, and where the little girl once stood is know a young women. She stares at the sidewalk with chalk in her hand and realizes that the phrase, "I am loved, I am wanted" is not easy to write; her hands tremble as she tries to convince herself that she still believes the words she once scribbled a crossed the blacktop. The words that used to hold such comfort and safety no longer do.

That little girl who once knew her worth. The girl who once understood that she was ALWAYS loved, ALWAYS accepted and ALWAYS adored, got let down just a few to many times by someone she thought would always pick her and always want her. So as she grew, her perspective became warped and she no longer found her worth in words scribbled in chalk on the blacktop. She lost sight of the power of the childlike wonder she once held. Her thoughts were tainted and she turned to others words of affirmation to fulfill her. But, soon she learned that words placed upon her by others could only satisfy for so long. Eventually the words of encouragement that were given to boost her self-worth would fade away and she was right back where she began; craving an acceptance, love, and adoration she could never quite grasp.

There came a point where the young women knew something had to change. So, once again she stood upon the sidewalk with chalk in hand. She closed her eyes and just listened. The laughter of children around her brought her back; back to a time when a little girl with green eyes and brown hair knelt upon the sidewalk and scribbled the phrase "I am loved, I am wanted." The young women finally understood. She finally understood what she had been missing all along. So, she knelt down upon the sidewalk and wrote, "I am loved, I am wanted. He loves me. Even when I do not love Him, He loves me. Even when I do not accept Him, He accepts me. And even when I do not want His love, He gives it to me anyways."

You see, the little girl who once wrote that phrase upon the sidewalk was unaware of its magnificent power. She was just a little girl completely lost in the wonder and grace of her loving Father, but it was not her earthly father that the girls words were meant to portray. But rather, the chalk scribbled upon the sidewalk, described a promise made by her Heavenly Father. The phrase, "I am Loved, I am Wanted" was a promise the little girl understood. She understood that when others let her down, her Heavenly father would always be a constant. When she felt unloved by the people of this world, she could find love in His promise to her, "You Are Loved And Accepted, no matter what."

As the young women stood above the words scribbled in chalk, she also knew that she would always be loved, always be accepted, and always be wanted by He who spoke the stars into being.

I am that girl. I sat upon the sidewalk and scribbled my dreams upon the ground with chalk. I got let down by those who I thought invincible, and I grew into a young women who tried to find her worth in others words. But, I also stood upon the sidewalk and finally understood the magnitude of His love for me. I now finally understand that He calls us all to "come to the table."

All who have been let down, take your place at the table, sit down and be set free.

Cover Image Credit: stocksnap

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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The Truth About Politics In Religion And How It Affects Our Relationship With God

They don't have to be mutually exclusive.

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It's evident that religion can and has been used in politics from the values of voters and leaders. However, to use your religion or your relationship with God for making political decisions doesn't share the same meaning.

I've always loved finding all the best facts and research for argumentative work but I couldn't pursue that approach for this topic. Why? Because I've experienced the pattern in my relationship with God of how God defies logic.

God can't be contained to a definition or explanation. I liked the way I've heard one leader express that, "If you hear someone trying to explain to God as if he knows then he's a fool before he starts talking". That's a paradox within itself.

I've learned more recently to identify that the two sides of the paradox that you might wrestle with in understanding God are both true. That, yes, His hands are big and He knows exactly what to do to make you surrender but you'll also find no greater love than with Him because He has the biggest heart and knows what you need better than you do.

I think that accepting this paradox will differentiate between those that view politics religiously versus those that view it from 'what is God trying to do here'? The one that focuses on seeking 'what is God trying to do here?' would represent those with a relationship with God. This doesn't mean that referencing the laws of God exempts you from having a relationship but the love of God is the strength that sustains the relationship over the law. This is also a bit of a paradox because they're both important in Christianity.

There's the difference from seeing God as one-sided which is very prideful, limiting and incorrect compared to recognizing that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

I believe that what we believe and how we see God will bring limitations or provision on how we can be used in God's plan for His kingdom on earth when it comes to the way the world is run.

God, our relationship with God and the law of God all have to be considered in the things we do as Christians.

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