Not Without God

Not Without God

I believe in God because He is the only thing that saves me from drowning in the crashing waves of life.
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Why do I believe in God? That's a tough question. I mean none of us lived in Jesus' time, and according to a lot of scientists, there's a long list of explanations of how this place was created that don't include the book of Genesis. So why do we believe?

I'm not trying to push religion on anyone by any means. In some of my darkest days, I'll admit, it's been hard to not question it myself. I mean if there is a God, why would bad things happen right? Why would we have to go through heartbreak, loss, rejection, fear, etc?

I'm not the most Christian person out there. I don't always make it to church on Sunday, I miss a few days here and there on reading my bible, and I sure don't know every story in the Bible by detail. But I do know one thing. For being 20 years old, I sure have been through quite a bit. Now, I know there are plenty of people out there who have had it way worse than I have, and I do know that I am blessed, but I'm not strong. I'm really not.

Not without God.

Because you see, I've tried to do things on my own. I thought I could handle it. But when I find myself crying uncontrollably, God has always been the One to pick me up.

When a boy degrades me and tells me I'm worthless, God shows me my worth.

When a job I loved doesn't work out, God opens another door.

When mean girls try to tear me down to the core, God heals my core by making me believe those things aren't true.

When I'm hurting physically because of a health problem that can't be cured, God gives me hope and healing.

My family is amazing and always there for me, but we don't always agree on everything. Friends come and go, some from distance or a busy life, some from betrayal. My life is ever-changing because right when I think that I have it figured out, something else changes. But He doesn't change. He stays the same. He never loves me less because I mess up. He never gives up on me when I make a mistake. He will never betray me. And He is always there.

So why is there bad in this world when God is supposed to be good? Because if everything was perfect, why would we need Him. He is the light in the darkness. He is the calm after the storm. There has to be darkness so we will see His light and run to it.

So why do I believe in God? Why do I still try to make it to church, read my bible, and pray? Why do I try to keep the faith when everything in my life seems to be falling apart? Because He is the only thing in my life that will never change and will always turn out right. Because I believe in Him, my future is set. My mountains will move. My waves will not make me drown. My fears will be conquered. My mistakes will be forgiven.

If that right there can't give me hope, I don't know of anything in this world that could.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash

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15 Bible Verses To Calm An Anxious Mind

Finding peace in the midst of turmoil.
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Anxiety hits us from all directions. Whether it be school stress, work stress, a stressful family situation, or anything else in life that causes us to feel unsettled, tired, and afraid of the future; anxiety can feel like it's taking over our lives.

As someone who constantly struggles with anxiety, I know how hard it is to find peace in the midst of a stressful situation. When we feel anxious about something, we generally try to do all that is in our power to control the situation. When we can't control it, we become even more anxious. So how do we stop this downward spiral of anxious turmoil?

We must turn to the one who is in control of all things. God holds all of our lives in his hands and is the only one who can calm our anxious minds. When we frantically struggle to put the pieces of our life together on our own, we will fail.

The only way to gain peace in the midst of anxiety is to turn to God, trusting in His perfect will and His power to hold us in His hands. The best way to remember this truth is to look to the Bible. Here are some verses to help us remember God's provision in the midst of anxiety.

1. Philippians 4:6

We don't have to be anxious when we can freely talk with God about our needs. We can cry out to Him for help and He will hear us.

2. John 14:27

Peace is a wonderful thing. Notice how it says, "I do not give it as the world does." We have to remember that worldly peace is only temporary, but God's peace is forever.

3. Isaiah 41:10

Not only will God give us peace, but He will also strengthen us. The image of God "upholding us with His righteous right hand" is pretty powerful and very comforting.

4. Psalm 94:19

Anxiety can make us sad and upset, but knowing that God is with us can bring so much joy in the face of desolation.

5. Psalm 34:4

Freedom from fear is so empowering! Imagine God setting us free from all the fear that holds us back. Oftentimes fear can make us feel trapped, but God can set us free.

6. 1 Peter 5:7

God cares about us so much, that He allows us to cast all of our worries on His shoulders.

7. 2 Corinthians 12:10

Human capacity is limited. We can by no means do everything, in fact, we can't do anything without the help of God.

8. Philippians 4:13

Nothing can hold us back or scare us when we have the strength of God.

9. Proverbs 3:5

We always try to lean on our own understanding, but it will never be enough. We try to control everything, but it will always fall through. It is because of this that we need to trust in the Lord for everything.

10. Matthew 6:25-34

This passage, while somewhat lengthy, is such a great reminder that God is truly in control of everything. We don't need to worry about a thing because He has it all planned out. We stress out about things that were never ours to worry about in the first place.

11. 2 Timothy 1:7

We were not created to be afraid, but to be empowered and loved by God.

12. Isaiah 26:3

If we simply keep God in the forefront of our minds, we will have perfect peace. Trust in Him brings the greatest peace.

13. Matthew 11:28-30

How comforting is this? Anxiety causes a lot of weariness but knowing that we can rest in God is amazing.

14. Jeremiah 29:11

God has a plan for us, so we don't need to worry about it. His plan is always good and always exactly what we need. His plans will always be better than anything we try to control ourselves.

15. Isaiah 41:13

When we feel anxious and afraid we can take comfort in knowing that God is reaching out His hand to us to help us trust Him and walk with Him.

While anxiety can feel overpowering or terrifying, we should not fear, but rather trust in the perfect and never-changing love and peace of God.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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The Evolution Of Easter

Hopping through time!
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Among all modern celebrations throughout the year, Easter is one of the most ancient. It began as a Jewish tradition which turned into a Christian one and finally a secular one. Its diversity has led to many interesting celebrations. In the Jewish tradition, Passover celebrates the freedom of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery around 1450 BC.

It is named Passover because the enslaved Jews were to mark their doors with the blood of a lamb so that God would pass over them and not kill their first-born son. For Christians, Jesus Christ died on the Passover. After three days, Jesus resurrected which showed that he conquered death and sin. By his sacrifice, every person who believes in him will be freed from sin and death. This monumental event in Christianity is celebrated as Easter.

The transition from Passover to Easter was a long process. Early Christians celebrated Easter much like Jews had been celebrating Passover. There was even a big debate on whether to rely on the Jewish calendar for the date or create an independent way to figure out the date. As Christianity developed, Easter became more distinct.

In the end, Christians decided to create their own calendar. However, as time went on, even the new calendar became fractured. Now, Western Christianity celebrates Easter on a different date than Eastern Christianity.

In most other languages, Easter is better translated as “Passover”. But, in English, the name Easter comes from St. Bede, an 8th c. English monk who studied history. He wrote that Easter derived its name from the pagan festival of Easter, which celebrated the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, Eostre.

It was celebrated around the same time as Easter, and so, early Christians replaced Eostre with Easter. The name stuck through the influence of St. Bede. It literally means “dawn” or “east, toward the sunrise”.

In modern times, Easter has gone a secular transition as can be seen in the Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny. Originally, the Easter egg was a pagan symbol of new life. Christians adopted the egg as a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection and our new life. The empty egg is a symbol of the empty tomb Jesus was buried in. Today, the Easter egg is filled with candy.

Similarly, the Easter Bunny was a pagan symbol of Spring and new life since rabbits reproduce prodigiously. Christians adopted it as a judge who determined which children were good or bad during the Easter season. In Australia, the Easter Bilby is becoming a popular alternative to the bunny since they are pests there.

The long history of Easter and its interesting combination of cultures and traditions make it one of the unique holidays we still celebrate. Despite the many differences, life and people are at the heart of this celebration.

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