Living With The Gift

Living With The Gift

I live with The Gift and every single day can be described as a constant blessed battle.


Life, in its barest sense, could be described as a march through a war zone with birthday cake and job promotions around random corners (just to keep you moving forward.) The simplicity of childhood fades into the chaos that is adulthood and young adults are charged with understanding, not only who they are, but how they fit into the great wide world. Gifts and our abilities to use them play a key role in our development as young, useful people.

Useful could be perceived as a negative item but I assure you that there is nothing more valuable than being a useful adult. Such a term can transcend the workforce where it is so commonly associated. Usefulness can be implemented in personal and spiritual relationships as well as at the workplace. So where do we, as young adults, cultivate this "usefulness?"

I think a large part of understanding our personal worth lies in implementing our God-given gifts. You know what I'm talking about. What makes you, well, you? What ignites a fire within you and makes you burn from the inside out? Hopefully, we all have something, anything, that gives our life meaning and substance.

There's something daunting about harnessing our gifts, however. We are offered talents, skills, etc by our Creator as a means of glorifying him in any way possible. A person blessed with the beauty of artistic craftsmanship may be charged with creating a masterpiece of God's countryside. A person blessed with the beauty of song may be charged with communicating God's glory through songs and devotion. I use the word "charge" because we face challenges every day in regards to our talents.

The secular world in which we live constantly dangles morsels of temptation before us to drag us from Christ with the promise of something better. It seems redundant just writing that. The promise of fame and fortune seems to be on equal footing with Christ and Salvation. I wonder why we allow ourselves to be so easily cowed and dominated by the sins of this world when we have the strength of the universe's Creator on our side. It's not a simple equation to attempt to balance.

I was listening to a podcast a couple of days ago where a concert pianist recalled an experience he'd had with God and his talent. He had recognized the fact that his raw talent at playing the piano was building a barrier between him and God and he "permitted" God to remove the ability from him if it was to be his downfall. The next morning he awoke without the use of one of his arms, no injury, no nerve damage. I was disturbed and mystified. I was relieved to learn the pianist regained the use of his arm--probably through dedicated study and partnership with God. God takes the gifts he awards us very seriously and I think our misuse of those gifts breaks his heart.

It made me wonder what I would be without my gift. The gift of crafting and fitting words together. It made me uncomfortable but, even more so, I wondered how I use my talent. I'll admit I don't always use it to the glory of my Creator. Sometimes I proverbially "doodle" and just enjoy my talent. I like to think that God is alright with that, however.

I constantly try to keep God in the cross-hairs of my life, including in my ability to write. It doesn't always work but, thankfully, God still loves me and chooses to bless me further. I live with His gift of life and promise within me every second of every day. I do my best to live His gift to the best of my ability.

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

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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Find Your Identity In God, Not Guys

You don't need a guy to define your life, or anyone for that matter!


As a student here at Texas A&M;, I sometimes feel like I'm more observant than I should be of other people and their situations. One of the common things I notice is girls going crazy over guys. I understand the occasional crush (or even fling for that matter), but this is different. I watch girl after girl go through guy after guy, seeking attention and love and affection, most of the times through sexual means, and it never works out in the end.

As a person who has been single for the entirety of her life, I've never really understood the need for a boyfriend. Sure, I would like one, but I don't need one to survive. But a lot of other people seem to need a boyfriend to get out of bed each morning. It breaks my heart. However, there is someone I know who can offer you everything you're looking for in a boyfriend, who won't break your heart. Ever. Are you interested??

Good. His name is Jesus. Here's why you should be chasing Him, not guys!

He will always love you.

Our most natural human desire is the desire to be loved. We seek love from our parents, our friends, even people we don't know. We crave attention and affection. The urge to seek love is also normal. We are structured to search for love. However, a lot of people get confused and search for love in all the wrong places. They seek love through men, money, sex, drugs, alcohol, you name it. I have watched girls go home with a different guy, every night, just so she feels like she's cared for. For even just a little while.

But what if I told you there was a guy who would always love you? Someone who will never leave you, or hurt you? Someone who can be your hero. His name is Jesus.

Now I know you may be thinking that I'm crazy and that there is no proof of His love for you. Jesus actually wrote us a love letter, the Bible, which was scribed through a few chosen people who could tell His love for you. We all love a good love letter, especially long ones. Here are some examples of God's love for you:

"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." - Jeremiah 31:3

"Cast all your anxiety on Him who cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us." - 1 John 4:18-19

He will always be with you.

We all long for a boyfriend who always wants to be with us. We want to be around them all the time, and do everything with them!! We crave and long for that attention, where someone wants to spend lengths of time with us. I don't know why, but it's meaningful. But oftentimes, we find ourselves in dead-end relationships where we're the main source of holding everything together, planning every outing, and continually being the one who asks to hang out.

It comes across as desperate, and most guys don't like it. Men have an innate need to chase girls. They want to be the one to seek you out and to ask you out. Sometimes they need a little hint, but if you're the only one who's ever initiating, he probably isn't that interested. However, Jesus doesn't care how often you call. He doesn't care how much time you spend with him, the more the better! Jesus loves being with you! Here are some examples of Him never leaving your side:

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

"And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." - Matthew 28:20

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you." - Deuteronomy 31:6

He will never forsake you.

What does forsake really even mean anyway? God uses this word a lot in the Bible, but do you really know what it means? The best definition for the word is abandon. How many of you have been abandoned by a boy? Cheated on? Ghosted by? Left behind? I certainly have. I can tell you, first hand, that it's one of the worst feelings in the world. I've dealt with all three, up close and personal. And it hurts. There is nothing wrong with being hurt over what has happened to you. But then I realized I had a God who loved me 10 million times more. A God who promises me that He will never leave me, cheat on me, ghost me, leave me behind. No, He remains steadfast. Here are some examples of God remaining true to you:

"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." - Deuteronomy 31:8

"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you." - Isaiah 41:10

"Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you." - Isaiah 43:4-5

He will protect you, strengthen you, and build you.

In a relationship, the man is usually the protector. We as girls long for someone to fortify us, and protect us from harm. We also yearn for someone who will make us stronger (hopefully in faith), and someone who builds us up to feel better about who we are as individuals. Some of these traits can go both ways, where the girl can also build up the boy, where iron sharpens iron. However, often times, we can get torn down by a significant other, where they are passive, and don't take the time to care about us, or they are abusive, where they purposely hurt you to make you feel lesser about yourself.

In either situation, we tend to make excuses for our significant other, such as "Oh he'll take me out someday" or "The abuse isn't that bad". Stop. Stop making excuses. Start making changes. Trust in Jesus who loves you more than anyone else in the whole wide world. Here are some examples of Jesus and how He protects you and builds you:

"But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." - Psalm 86:15

"But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also, I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!" - 2 Timothy 4:17-18

"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name." Psalm 91:14

So, instead of chasing after boys, chase after God, who loves you more than anyone else could. He's the best you could ever have.



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