Joy Comes In the Morning

Joy Comes In the Morning

Today, I choose joy.
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For His anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

Lately, I have been thinking of the bad in every situation, instead of the good. I let myself get so consumed with things that I have absolutely no control over. I get so upset over the little things in life that I don't stop to think about how big I am blessed. Things could be a little bit better, but a whole lot worse. Sometimes I have to remember that if I have done absolutely all I can do to fix the situation, then I just need to be still and give the rest to Him.

We all experience pain, sadness, brokenness, and weakness at some point in our life. I have to constantly remind myself that life might not be good every day, but God still is. Joy is experienced when we allow ourselves to really recognize how good we actually have it. If I let myself focus on the "what ifs" in life, then I am never going to turn the "what ifs" into "what is." And the sooner I choose joy in "what is," the sooner I am going to feel peace in what God is doing in my life. Joy is being able to see God's goodness and grace, even when life is hard and messy.

There are two ways to respond to all the tough stuff that life throws at you: 1. Let your troubles consume you and spend way too much time trying to fix things on your own. Or 2. Be brave and choose joy, and respond to life with God's help.

Even through the hard and mess times, God is still there. I think that trials are tests of faith. God gives us troubles to see if we will react and come to Him, or try and tackle everything alone. We can try to fix our problems on our own, but a lot of times we end up making everything worse and ending up hurt and confused. I have learned that letting God gives you so much more peace, understanding, and joy. Sure, sometimes are more troubling than others, and joy does not always come overnight. But if we try to figure everything out alone, we might ever know the feeling of joy. God gives us big mountains to prove to others that they CAN be moved.

So next time you are in pain and feel like you will never feel joy, remember that God will provide. You may not see a change tomorrow morning, or even a week from now, but joy is coming soon.

Be joyful always. Pray at all times. Be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Cover Image Credit: Daylen Bills

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!

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I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

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