Let It Go

“Conceal. Don’t feel. Don’t let them know.” – Elsa from the ever popular Frozen

In honor of everyone’s favorite ice queen returning to the big screen this weekend, let’s talk about vulnerability. If you’re anything like me, you were completely and totally obsessed with Frozen when it first released. Plus, as a former Disney Cast Member, I think I have a valid excuse, haha. 

The quote by Elsa perfectly describes the attitude leaders tend to have about letting people into the personal aspects of their life. It can be so easy to just build up the wall to the point where you don’t have to be personally involved.

Easiness = Cowardliness

During my undergrad, I took Student Leadership Development classes by one of the most amazing, leadership professors I’ve ever encountered, Dr. Mike Hayes. I was pushed beyond what I could have imagined. A continuous theme of the class was opening up and being vulnerable. We examined leaders across history who were both vulnerable and put up a facade. 

As leaders it can be so easy to put up a facade as if everything is perfect and nothing is going wrong so that we can help those around us who are truly in need. Leaders tend to not want to be thought of as just like everyone else. Because honestly, who wants to be helped by someone who is broken and doesn’t have everything together??? (In case you didn’t catch that… TOTAL SARCASM). We need leaders who are willing to get raw, honest, and down in the dirt with those around them. 

Too often, we can get so caught up in helping others fix their problems that we neglect to inwardly reflect on what is going on inside of ourselves. The people in our lives will respect us and benefit even more so if we finally come to the realization that in order for us to be fully effective, we must tear the wall down and be vulnerable. Sharing with others opens you up to a point of vulnerability and they begin to see your heart and passions.

Openness = Vulnerability

Vulnerability = Possible Pain

It takes a lot of self-confidence and self-awareness to look inwards. Once you take a look at yourself, you will be able to help those in your care more effectively. The process may be painful and tedious, but the end results will leave you more fulfilled and satisfied. 

This quote perfectly sums it all up, “You never truly understand someone until you see them as a whole. When people inevitably open up completely, you start seeing every shade of them. Not the curated version that is feasible to uphold for an hour, for a lunch date, for a night out, but who they are at 2 a.m. on a particularly rough night or the way they get sick to their stomach when they’re really stressed out, vantage points usually reserved for their bedrooms back home.” It is easy to hide when kept at a distance, but once you become intimate and personal there is nowhere to hide, you must become raw and exposed – REAL.

You never know, the thing you try to hide the most might just be the thing that will help someone else overcome their toughest hurdle, or allow them to finally let go of the chains binding them and run fully into His arms. Your story and struggles may be the example someone needs to continue pushing on. There is no gain in placing yourself on a pedestal above the world. Be careful who you allow into your heart, soul, and mind. There must be a method to the madness. Allowing everyone into the intimate areas of your life can be just as harmful as putting up walls. Choose wisely and use discernment in all things, but learn to let people in to the real you. 

Never let the fear of rejection and vulnerability keep you from fulfilling the call God has place on your life. In the words of the ice queen herself, let it go.


Doubt Your Doubt

Not to go into unnecessary, dramatic details, but earlier this year I was driven back to a place I never thought I would go back to. I am a firm believer that people come and go in our lives for a specific purpose and to teach us a lesson, and apparently I have not learned this particular lesson yet because here I was going on attempt number three to get this drilled into my thick skull. This situation has shaken my trust and my security, which had already been shaken from the past hurt. While attempting to deal with my mind and get myself under control, I decided to read through one of my journals. The particular journal I picked up was one from college. I turned to a random page, and in the way that God so often does with my stubborn self, I read a couple sentences I had written during the same situation as I am in right now, which put me right back in my humble little place. And this is what I read: 

“Nevertheless, means trusting God’s handiwork even when you can’t see His face or understand the reason for your situation. My faith cannot be shaken even though I am shaken. Faith does not mean I don’t doubt, it just means I don’t doubt my faith.“ 

This time, or rather times, have shaken me in a way I never could have imagined. I can believe we have all experienced a time in our lives like this in some way or another. People who were the closest to you suddenly became strangers. People who you entrusted with your dreams and the personal aspects of your life, had now betrayed you. Your heart had been broken by someone who was supposed to hold it safe. Your trust was shattered in a seemingly irreparable manner. Due to pain and hurt, you distanced yourself from the world and put up a wall in order to keep yourself safe. Your emotions ran away with you. Your heart began beating uncontrollably from the anxiety. Now, you’ve backed yourself into an even lonelier and unhealthy situation.  

There are three verses in particular that I have found myself clinging to in times when it seems as if life is spinning out of control. 1 Peter 5:9 says to “Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you.” Psalm 94:19 reminds us, “When my anxiety multiplies, your comforting calms me”. Luke 21:9 states, “By your patience possess your emotions”. These verses are hard to come to terms with. If we’re a control freak, we don’t like to feel as if we have lost control. When our emotions are out of control, we get impatient. We try to take it all into our own hands. Yet, here we are so blatantly told to do the exact opposite. 

God wants us to take everything in our lives and place into His safe and secure hands. This requires me to abandon my reliance on me and run toward the rest that can be found only when I fully rely on the power of God. I will never find peace within myself. I will never find the strength to carry on with all life throws at me.

I want to share with you a meditation I discovered a few years ago that I kept on my bathroom mirror throughout college as a daily reminder to keep peace within myself and God. 

Close your eyes 
And just breathe
Go to that place
You know, 
that one place where everything else just doesn’t exist or matter anymore; 
the traffic, 
the deadlines, 
all the hassles of doing life in a world like ours. 
Go to that quiet place, 
it doesn’t have to be for long. 
Just enough to breathe, 
to be. 
Give yourself the gift of time, 
of space, 
of solitude. 
Go there. 
Listen some more. 
And in that still, small whisper, 
hear the Lord.
And know that your are loved.  
Loved by your Creator and Father.

Selfless Love


A Christian’s primary response to God is love. There are numerous ways for us to respond to God; devotion, respect, reverence, honor, service, obedience, praise, thanksgiving, and oh so many more. Only one response is the source of all other responses; love. Everything flows forth from love. Every single thing we do is a result of love. There is no devotion to God without first a love of Him. Without a love for God there is no honor or respect for Him. The greatest commandment given to humanity is love. We see so many times throughout the Bible mentions of love. We are told and shown how to love through the examples of Christ during His time on Earth. 

 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 NIV

If we do not love God, we cannot love ourselves. If we do not love ourselves, we cannot love others. If we do not love others, we cannot fulfill the greatest commandment given to us. If we do not love others, we cannot fulfill the Great Commission. We best fulfill the call of God when we rightly respond to Him with love. When we love Him first and best, we are then able to love ourselves and the world.

When love is our primary response to God, everything else will then begin to fall into place. Our intimate time with Him will  fall into place. We will honor and praise Him rightly. We will respect and thank Him properly. Our outward expressions of the spiritual disciplines will come forth. Our love for ourselves will become real. Our love for the world will become evident and tangible. The fulfillment of our calling and the Great Commission will come to fruition. 

Responding to God in love is an exhibition of our unwavering and complete trust in Him and His work. A response of love has the ability tear down any fragment of doubt or fear that may creep into our minds. 1 John 4:18 tells us “there is no fear in love”. The beautiful song by Steffany Gretzinger, No Fear In Love, always rocks me to my core and perfectly sums up why a Christian’s primary response to God is love. 

Who’s Gift Are You Wearing?

“Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:38-40 ESV

David could not wear Saul’s armor, and you cannot operate in someone else’s gifts.

Our human nature can easily slip into one of comparison if we are not careful. Yet, that is not how God created us to operate. He created us each unique with unique gifts and callings. Just as the human body cannot operate with all hands, the Church Body cannot operate with all pastors. Each of us have been given gifts that are purposeful and important. Each of our unique gifts are designed to fill a unique void in the world. 

A wise, godly woman once told me, “You will never be able to do it all. You are not gifted to do everything. If you are trying to do everything, you are hindering someone else from using their God-given gifts and talents”. Now, as someone who loves to do every single thing I can get my hands on, this hit me in the heart. Hard. 

How selfish can I be to attempt to poorly do a task that another person is eloquently gifted in? 

Who am I to intrude upon another person’s calling? 

Who gave me the authority to reroute the gifts God gave someone else? 

If I am so distracted by another’s purpose, am I fulfilling my purpose?

Just as David had to stand firm in what the Lord called him to, so must we. Stand firm in what the Lord has gifted you in so that you may wholly fulfill His calling upon your life. You have been given a unique calling paired with unique gifts that are designed to fulfill a unique void in this world. 

Actively Hold On To Your Promise

Until now, this area of my life has been one of extreme privacy. Sharing this always makes me feel like the most cliche Christian Girl there is. But that is not the intention of my actions or saying the following. I, in no way, am sharing this in order to make myself sound incredibly holy. Please do not see it as that.

With that disclosed: happy reading, friends  

For as long as I can remember, I have been praying for the man I will one day marry. I pray for our future marriage. I pray for our future children. I pray for his parents. I pray for his current choices. I pray for his friends. I pray for whatever may pop into my head, or I feel the urge for.

In October 2008, some of my youth leaders challenged me to make a list of “My Perfect Guy”. A list to hold as a reminder of what I was looking for in my future spouse. A reminder of where I wanted to end up. An accountability tool to hold throughout the years ahead. I placed this list in my Bible in the Scripture that has served as God’s promise to me since He first made this particular promise.

I have kept that original list in the exact same spot ever since. However, I have added, removed, and prioritized certain items over the years as I have grown and better grasped what the Lord has placed in my heart. 

Over the years, I have often found myself thinking about what this future man of mine may be doing or going through, like every typical girl ever. 

All of these thoughts, and so many more, led me into praying for him and whatever situation/need came to mind. The endless prayers/words began to seem insufficient and fleeting over time. I wanted something tangible that I could pour into and keep over time. As someone who loves to write, I decided to begin writing to him.

Yes – I know. 

Writing to someone I don’t even know yet? 

How crazy can I be? 

I know how insane this may seem. Trust me, it seems crazy to me at times as well.

I began to write random notes. 

Some significant – Others quite random. 

Not always profound. 

Not always drawn out letters – Often quick musings. 

Starting this helped make him more of a real person, instead of an unfathomable being out there in space somewhere to begin existing only when we meet and marry. 

Writing and praying for him helps make him real. 

Writing and praying for him helps keep me focused. 

As someone to whom the Lord has given a very specific calling and promise, it is helpful for me to have this method of output that draws me back when I begin to wander. It gives me hope when I start to doubt and lose faith – renews my passion for the future – most importantly this reminds me of God’s faithfulness in my life. 

When I write to or pray for this man, I remember that there is someone out there somewhere who will someday become my lifelong partner and best friend – I want to be able to present myself to him without any regrets – I want to remember the days spent preparing and praying for him – I want to look back and see how it all worked together as a beautiful picture.  I want to be able to give him this box full of notes and letters that show him how much he has been loved for a very long time. Show him that even when he was not physically present, the Lord was placing him and his needs of my heart. I want to be able to look and remember how the Lord so beautifully orchestrated each and every aspect of our individual lives coming together as one.

Lord willing, one day I will give that wonderful man of mine a box which contains years of dedication, love, tears, and prayers expressed through notes and letters. I will give him a glimpse into my past – a glimpse into how my love for him carried me through some of the most difficult times – a glimpse into how he was in my heart long before I knew him – a glimpse into how God worked through us even before we were united. 

If you have a promise in your heart which you are waiting for, I encourage you to spend time in prayer and reflection to see what the Lord would have you do in this season to actively prepare for your promise. Whether it be the promise of a spouse, child, career, home, friend – whatever that promise is, take hold of it now and don’t let it go or sit idly by. The Lord places things within us which often take years to unfold, so do not give up hope and lose pursuit simply because His timeline is different than your own.