The Love You Grow

The Love You Grow

It's about love. It's about compassion.
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Buddha states in one of his sermons that the “heart is like a garden –it can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love”.

What seeds will you plant there?

When I was in high school a good friend of mine had gone to the mall with me and she had picked up a lot of things that she thought she had wanted but by the end of the shopping trip decided to just put them on random shelves.

I asked her why not put them back where she found them rather than make it hard on the retail workers of the store since we weren’t in a rush anyway. She told me simply told me she didn’t want to. I wish I could say that I said the perfect words, that after that she never did that again. I wish I could tell you that I had never acted in the same way in previous times.

I wish I could say that I made this dramatic speech about how we should treat others the way that we would want to be treated. To show love. To show compassion. It’s easy to make mistakes like these, to act without thought. I don’t mean that you are a terrible person, that you don’t care for others.

But now that I look back at the moment and have grown so much since that time, I wish I had said something. The Bible even states for us to look on our neighbors meaning our peers with love and kindness, but do we do this? No.

A memory that I hold dear to my heart dates to my first-grade teacher. She made it her life’s work to always show love and compassion.

I remember one day I had climbed to the top of the jungle gym, even though I had an immense fear of heights. It was the end of recess and I was scared to climb down. My teacher, at the age of about 70 years old, decided to look on me with love and compassion and climb to the top of the jungle gym to carry me down.

And when my grandmother had passed away and I was home sick with the flu at the same time she called my parents and stopped by to give her condolences to my family and dropped off the work I had missed and pass on a hug and kiss.

New York Times Bestselling Author, Sharon Salzburg, goes on to say that “Any ordinary favor we do for someone…may seem to be going nowhere at first, but maybe planting a seed we can’t see right now."

A simple act of kindness. A job. No not a job a purpose to show love to show compassion.

It's something that is so easy, yet we make so difficult we are so caught in the materialism of this world that we forget the most important things that can’t be brought: love and compassion.

I’m not perfect and neither are you. I don’t always treat others with love, kindness or compassion. I’m making a call for us to do what our kindergarten and first-grade teachers told us early on to treat others how we would want to be treated.

And to remember that a simple act of kindness like maybe putting back clothes in the right spot at a simple retail store can show more of your genuine heart than you’ll ever know.

Like the Dalai Lama said, “love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries without them humanity cannot survive”.

Cover Image Credit: Noni Humphrey

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

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

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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finding healing in the ultimate healer

Leaning on God and not myself.

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I started pulling out of my driveway on Monday. It seemed like a normal Monday and I was rushing to work (as usual). I then found out about a close family friend's death as I tried to get out of my driveway blocked by police cars. I got past them and finally reached the end of the driveway.

Then it struck me.

I stopped breathing. I became light-headed. I felt as if I could not go on. Why would all this hurt happen to me?

I had lost four people in five weeks and I was hurting more than ever before.

Why God? I shouted this question in my car on the way to and from work. I cried and cried and cried.

God does not always give us a why. But He does give us a promise. A promise to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

I began searching for solutions to my hurt... guys, friends, sports, busyness. I could not escape this hurt because I was missing out on the One who is the Ultimate Healer and the Ultimate Void Filler.

I decided to open my heart to those in my Christian community and I found these amazing lyrics from the son, "Though You Slay Me," by Shane & Shane:

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still, I will worship
Sing a song to the one
who's all I need

Our hurt is never an excuse to ignore God. It is an opportunity to pursue God.

I do not need other things in this world to fill voids, I need God. I need Him every single second of the day. He is teaching me a lot during this season of hurt in my life: I should be thanking Him for the growth that I am experiencing in my life and thanking Him for the opportunity to love others hurting well.

If you are feeling the way I have been lately, I urge you to rest in the truth that you are by no means alone in your struggles. You must reach out to people in the church and ask for prayer and help. You must focus on what God is doing in your life as a result of the hurt you are feeling. I believe that God uses the people who feel most unusable to transform lives. God uses our hurt for His glory because He is a God who deserves all glory. How can you bring God glory in your life?

I wanted to conclude with this challenge: let your "whys" turn into your "thank yous" and your emptiness turn into the fullness that can only be found in God.

Cover Image Credit:

Anna Schoeck

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