Dear God, Thank You

Dear God, Thank You

I am a human who does not deserve your constant and undying love for me.
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Dear God,

Since it is Holy Week this week, now would be a good time to reflect on how you have blessed my life. My life isn't perfect and I do face struggles, but in retrospect, my life is pretty good. I have a family who loves me, friends who stand by me, an opportunity to further my education, a roof over my head, shoes on my feet, clothes on my back and a job that helps me pay for the things I want, just to name a few blessings in my life. Even though you have been generous to give me all these things, I still have doubts about my faith and sometimes accuse you for leaving me behind. Even though I know this, why do I still continue to do it?

The answer is simple, because I am human. Instead of listening and trusting you, I feel the need to do it all on my own. I want things done on my watch and not yours, which causes even more problems, I have learned. You know everything that has and will happen in my life, yet I still sometimes think I'm alone in this journey. When I go through those moments of doubt, I look back on those dark moments that I faced in the past and see that while I felt alone at that time, you were there with me all along. You made me strong to say goodbye to people who hurt me, you helped me find myself again, and you helped me forgive myself and others.

With all this being said, I am not worthy of your undying and constant love for me, I am not worthy of your continuous blessings and I am not worthy of your forgiveness. Yet, you are always ready to hear what I have to ask of you each night when I say my prayers. You don't answer every prayer (which is a good thing sometimes) and I can't hear you like some people claim to be able to do. While this sometimes seems unfair to me, I can feel your presence at times in the good moments and the bad. You will never leave me even if sometimes I wander far away. You still find me when I hide and when I am broken. You died for me so that I don't have to be alone and face things by myself. Your love is pure and everlasting and for that I am forever grateful.

Thank you for giving your life so that my soul could be saved. I hope to live a life in which people can see your light through me. It is tough and I know I will spend the rest of my life constantly searching for you, but if this means one day when I die, I will get to spend eternity with you, it will be worth it. I can't wait to ask you someday all the questions I have about myself, my life and the world. Until that day comes, please know that I am forever grateful you are in my life, even if I don't say it all the time like I should.

With love,

Your Child

Cover Image Credit: Crosswalk

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Where Is The Good In Good Friday?

The million dollar question: why is it called Good Friday if what happened to Jesus on this day was so gruesome?

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The name of this holiday and what happened on this day all those years ago just don't seem to add up. Jesus was beaten, mocked, and scorned. He hung on a cross with nails driven through his hands and his feet. He had to struggle for every breath of air up until his last one. This doesn't seem to fit our definition of good, So why do we call it Good Friday?

Perhaps the reason for the name of this day is not because what Jesus had to go through was good, but because what was to come was. When Jesus died on the cross, nobody who loved Jesus at that time perceived that moment as good. There was so much sorrow and hurt and darkness literally fell over the earth. They had no idea that on the third day Jesus would conquer death and raise from the dead.

Good Friday is good in the eyes of Christians because without that gruesome death Jesus went through on the cross, we would never be able to experience life with Him. When Christ died, the veil of the temple was torn in two, thus erasing the separation between God and man. We wouldn't have His holy spirit living inside of us without His death.

Another reason Good Friday is good is because His death had to occur in order for the resurrection to happen. The resurrection happened on the third day, the day we also know as Easter. This is a day of great celebration because we perceive the fact that Jesus defeated death and came back to life as a good thing. It makes you wonder why it's not called "Good Sunday". This celebrated resurrection could not have happened without the gruesome death, which Jesus knew as He was hanging on that cross.

While it's difficult to give a definitive answer to the question of why Good Friday is, in fact, good, I hope this provides a little bit of perspective. On this day, let's remember Jesus' death and celebrate because of what it means. When Jesus died, so did our sin and shame, but unlike Jesus, they did not come back to life. The death of Jesus means the death of sin and the death of the shame that accompanies it.

Let's celebrate Jesus and that good news on this Good Friday!

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