I've Been Looking For Satisfaction In All The Wrong Places

I've Been Looking For Satisfaction In All The Wrong Places

What do you do when you have everything, but you still aren't happy?
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What do you do when you have everything, but you still aren't happy?

I have a supportive family. I have great friends. I go to a prestigious university that I love. Despite all that, I still feel as though my life isn't complete. I want the last puzzle piece. Surely if I find it, that will make me happy.

So, that leaves me asking myself, What is the last puzzle piece?

Is it my career? Do I need to focus my attention on my classes and finding job opportunities that will propel my career forward?

Is it a romantic relationship? Do I need to actively look for someone? But even I know that that's not how it works.

Is it a hobby that sparks my soul? I love reading and writing, but maybe I like chess, too? Or skydiving? A sport? How about painting?

Is it my image? Do people like me? Would they like me more if I wore makeup or did my hair? Maybe I should go shopping for a stylish new wardrobe...

Even thinking about all these things makes me slightly dizzy and highly stressed. There are so many options, and what if none of those are the missing piece that I am looking for?

Is it some obscure secret? Is it something right in front of my face?

It was right in front of my face.

I'm in a Christian fellowship here at UVA called Aletheia. We meet every Tuesday night to study the Bible. I went this Tuesday, expecting to learn about the book of the semester, Colossians. However, on top of that, I got something I hadn't realized I needed.

We ended up talking about how we forget to prioritize God, the one and only thing that will never perish. We find our value in grades, jobs, or relationships, and when those go south, we don't know what to do.

We're so busy idolizing our grades, our careers, our significant others, our self-image, our me-time, that we often lose focus of Jesus, the one idol that is stable in His grace and His love in a way that nothing else will ever be.

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." - 1 John 2:15-17

So instead of trying to finding the missing piece, I came to the stark realization that I've had it all along. I pushed it aside, looking for "more important" pieces.

However, God is the centerpiece of the puzzle, of life. The sooner I not only realize this, but I truly believe it and implement it into my life is when I know that I'll find true happiness, true love, and true stability... something that nothing in this world can give me.

Cover Image Credit: Casey Lofton

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A Letter From God To Help You Finish The Semester

God sees your struggles and He's here to give you strength and motivation.
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My Child,

The lack of motivation towards the end of the semester is normal. You are mentally and physically tired, but you are almost at the end. Don’t stop walking down the perfect path I have for you. When you’re going along and you come upon a speedbump, I want you to go over it and keep driving. The paper you have to write and the test you have to study for are just small speedbumps I have given you to make you wiser. You can write that paper and you can gain motivation to study for that test. I am here to give you strength, and am here to open up your mind and give you motivation.

You are so loved. You have such a beautiful mind. The light of Jesus shines through your eyes and your smile brings comfort to the world. There’ll be times you feel like you’re carrying a heavy load. There’ll be times you feel like the task I have given you is impossible to perform. But remember this: I would never put anything upon your shoulders that you cannot carry. If I put you in a certain situation, it’s because I know you are strong enough to go through it.

When you feel like crying, cry to me. When you feel like a failure, remember how much I love you. You are not a failure and you are not going to give up. I will hold your hand through every second of your life. I will seek your heart through your darkest moments. I see you, I see your heart, and I see your burdens. And remember that I have your heart which means I also have your burdens. Follow my footsteps and you will be free from the doubt. Remember Mark 4:40-41: “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” I have the power to calm any storm and wave. I have the power to calm YOUR storms and waves. Set your doubt, anger, and tiredness in my hands and simply be patient.

Romans 8:14-15 says,“For those who are led by the spirit of God are the children of God. The spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again, rather the spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” Nothing can separate you from my love. Not even your lack of motivation. You have no motivation because you do not feel good enough. You are more than good enough. You were perfectly made by me and when I look down at you, I think of how proud I am of your heart.

Throughout the last few weeks of this semester, you will stumble upon speedbumps. But hold the hand of my son Jesus and you will be able to go over that speedbump with ease. Go write that paper, go study for that test, and go get an A in that class. I know you can because I have given you power.

Love,

God

Cover Image Credit: Margaret Carnes

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Warning Labels For The Bible

If I felt like decorating my Bible with warning stickers, these would be my top ones

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Two of my friends put me up to this, so here I go.

This post is about warnings people should have about the Bible. Some of my warnings are serious and well-intentioned, while others are meant to cause a little chuckle/giggle, at the very least.

Enjoy!

Bible Warnings

Warning: Jesus likes playing hide and seek, even after he died (#Resurrection #Easterday #findthatsheep #findthatcoin).

Warning: Reading the book of Numbers might give you a headache.

Warning: There are some erotic materials in here (I'm looking at you, Song of Songs).

Warning: Don't read this if you don't want your life to change.

Warning: Bringing this to class might cause someone to ask you about your faith.

Warning: R-rated for violence, especially for all those baby massacres.

Warning: Paul is a well-intentioned chatterbox. (Like that wise best friend who always knows when to call your dummy moves out on you or give you that holy wisdom you so desire.)

Warning: Sometimes, the footnotes don't make sense and you have to do some historical background reading on your own.

Warning: Don't read John 6 if you don't want to re-evaluate the Catholic Church.

Warning: Don't be like Jonah. Big fishes are out there still, and they are #hungry.

Warning: Don't read every book in here literally (another Revelation shoutout).

Warning: Jesus proclaims that faith and works are needed, not just faith alone.

Warning: God doesn't want you to be nice, He wants you to follow Him. (God would've had Jesus start petitions instead of flipping over tables if He wanted His followers to be accommodating/nice all the time.)

Now here are some facts.

Fact: God loves you, whether you're sinning hardcore or becoming a saint.

Fact: God wants to be more than just a cartoon image in your dusty childhood Bible picture book at home.

Fact: When you read the Bible or hear it out loud in a faithful community, your life will change. You might not see it right away, but it will, and you will have more joy (not the same as happiness - it's better).

Fact: Something's holding you back from believing this, and I encourage you to address it, cuz your lack of faith is not a good look for you.

Now here is a reflection

As I was writing this list, I started realizing how many stories I know in the Bible. I also reflected on all of the stories in my life. I recalled how God has calmed my heart when I thought it would burst from anxiety. I remembered when God started and ended relationships and left me with a million life lessons because of it.

I remembered that I'm also a part of the story, and the book of Salvation History is not done - I'm a part of it, too, and I am a KEY PLAYER BABY... if I would only embrace my role more as a disciple of Christ!

Basically, I wish to live life in such a way that the warning label "Watch out, this girl's doing Christ's good work!" would be applicable to me. I wish I was on fire for Christ. I wish I was all His and never afraid of it.

Even though I'm not there yet, God has placed that desire on my heart and He will fulfill the good work He has started with me. I just have to participate.

And I hope you decide to participate, too, because being a part of God's story is the most exciting, dramatic, difficult, fulfilling, heart-wrenching (for all the right reasons), joyful, and straight up interesting thing to do while on earth.

See you next time I release a blog post!

Brooke,

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