I Got Lost

I don’t know how but somewhere along the way I lost all motivation. I lost my sense of direction. I lost my eagerness to do something important with my life. I lost my goals and my dreams.

Now, none of that matters.

Motivation fluctuates, directions turn, and goals and dreams change.

I am constantly fighting an internal battle with myself. What should I do next? Do my friends really like me? What am I good at? Does my life have any purpose? Am I going to feel like this forever? Why don’t I know anything? Am I really where I am supposed to be? Should I move to another country? What do I really want out of life?

These thoughts keep running through my head like a train going 300 mph with brakes that don’t work.

The other day I wrote in my journal about how cool it is that I have no idea what I am doing with my life but isn’t it cool how God knows. He is the only one who knows. The Creator of the universe knows what my life holds. It is like a little secret between me and Him, except He just hasn’t told me all the details yet. 

So I guess right now I will just accept the fact that I am lost, my life has changed, and wait for my Father to tell me our little secret.

 

The Imperfect

So I’ve messed up. A lot lately. Sin is entangling me. Sometimes it is fun, seems okay for just a little awhile.

This is not what Jesus intended. This is not the abundant life He came to give. He wants us to trust that what He has for us is greater. So much greater than what we think is great or fun.

By choosing Him, we are not missing out. We are not giving up anything. We are gaining so so much more. If only I could see and believe this truth in my life.

I am learning how imperfect I am. We all are sinners has never been a more true passage than in my life than right now. I’m digging into this passage tonight, realizing the grace available. That God’s way may not be clear to us, but he is good. He has good for us, even when we don’t see it.

“Still, if you set your heart on God
and reach out to him,
If you scrub your hands of sin
and refuse to entertain evil in your home,
You’ll be able to face the world unashamed
and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless.
You’ll forget your troubles;
they’ll be like old, faded photographs.
Your world will be washed in sunshine,
every shadow dispersed by dayspring.
Full of hope, you’ll relax, confident again;
you’ll look around, sit back, and take it easy.
Expansive, without a care in the world,
you’ll be hunted out by many for your blessing.
But the wicked will see none of this.
They’re headed down a dead-end road
with nothing to look forward to—nothing.”
Job 11
Let’s choose Him… and when we fail, let’s choose Him again.
-Lana

The Giving Over

Ya know in all my years of living, I’ve never really thought much about how when you begin a relationship you are giving yourself to another person. I’ve always just focused on my want and longing for another person, but not really on the giving over of everything that I am (including the things I don’t want to share).

Lately it has been popping up all around me that I need to start being vulnerable, accept who I am, and be confident in the story that the Lord has given me. 

I’ve heard the phrase “we are not made to live in isolation, we were made to live in community” so many times in the past few years. It didn’t really hit me until I got back from spending 3 months in Europe becoming family with my classmates. They taught me how to share life and really invest in each other’s burdens. 

These days I’m learning what it’s like to let my true self show. I’m learning that I don’t have to hide my past, the things I am embarrassed about, or the things I am afraid of sharing. 

I’m learning that there is beauty in vulnerability. 

As I hope and wait for the person I so want to be vulnerable with, I am realizing that I haven’t even been real with God. Before I can be completely myself and vulnerable with the love of my life, I think it’s important for me to let down my walls with my soul’s true Lover and Maker. 

So as I stop trying to let God in and start resting in the presence of the Lord, I am learning that these walls were not meant to exist. 

We were meant to let go and give over our complete selves. The shameful things, the embarrassing things, the things that society won’t accept us for, and even the things we are afraid to tell our family. 

This giving over of our complete, imperfect selves will ultimately lead to freedom and peace that our Father so wants us to have. 

Welcoming change

This next week is going to be a really hard one. Going into this fall is going to be a big change from my past two years of college life as I knew it. The decision I made to study abroad in Austria this year really changed the direction of everything I thought my college years would look like. Now I find myself not being a D1 college athlete anymore, giving up all I thought I wanted. I invested myself in running for 8 years and now its over…

One of the reasons I gave up running was because it had become a major idol in my life. It was more important than God in my life and I knew that I wasn’t happy. It is even more evident how important I had made running because of how hard it is for me to let go.

As I sit here in my childhood home, packing up to drive eight hours back to college tomorrow, I am sad because my teammates are at training camp (my favorite week of the cross country season). I can’t help but think that I made the wrong decision to quit. My teammates are my best friends and we have supported each other through a lot. I can’t help but feel as if I’ve given up on them. I feel as if I gave up on myself. I haven’t lived on campus with them for over 8 months and I feel like as I move in this week, I am moving in as a completely different person than I was before.

This year brings big change and a ton of new friends and a new schedule and a new internship and a new need for me to really trust in God’s plan and cling to His promises.

I want to go into this fall with a longing and thirst for more and more of my sweet Jesus. Please pray with me that Jesus would be enough. That Jesus would be beautiful enough and clear enough to me that nothing else in this world matters.

So even though I may not know if I made the right decision, I am going into this fall with the realization that I don’t have it all together and I need my Jesus so much more than I thought. He is good no matter what.

Isaiah 55:1-3

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Sometimes it’s hard to dream… things get in the way, your family and friends think you’re crazy, you wonder if God is really putting this on your heart or if it just you, and you wonder if this dream is really possible.

Fear gets in the way and you might think “no that’ll never happen.” I can never do that. That is “just” a dream.

But I believe with all my heart that even if it is just a small, tiny idea in your head, then God put it there for a reason. No matter how impossible it may seem, God makes a way and this dream, it will work out because God uses even the least likely people to do incredible things. He will make your idea a reality, but in His own way and timing.

This “dream” that i’ve been thinking of is at least a year away, so I still have time to ponder and worry and wonder about the possibilities. I don’t know if my life will take me in the direction of making this “idea” a reality, but I do know that if I let fear get in the way, then it most definitely will not.

The only way our dreams and tiny ideas that God places in our hearts and minds will become real is if we place everything in His hands and trust Him completely. We have to be fearless because ultimately God only knows what is ahead. 

So for now, place your dreams and “little” ideas in a bubble of faith, because if you let them sit in a bubble of fear and doubt, they will never have the possibility of becoming a reality.

“Look at the nations and watch— 
and be utterly amazed. 
For I am going to do something in your days 
that you would not believe, 
even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5

 

Why I need Jesus and why you might need him too

Do you ever just feel like life is so hard and confusing and frustrating? Do you ever feel like you’ll never figure it out? I do. And sometimes, in those moments of doubt I lose it. I think how do other people have “everything” figured out? Well, let me tell you a little secret… they don’t either. Life is messy and I’m learning that it’s okay to not be perfect. In light of not being perfect, I have a confession.

Confession: I need Jesus because I am a true mess.

So I’m gonna be vulnerable now and tell you some of the reasons I am a mess. I’m a mess because I want a boyfriend/husband more than I want Jesus.

I’m a mess because I want people to like me more than I want Jesus.

I am a mess because I want adventure more than I want Jesus.

I’m a mess because I want money more than I want Jesus.

I’m a mess because I have been chasing after everything but Jesus.

I’m a mess because I have been chasing after an answer of what to do with my life when the answer has been right in front of my face: rest and live in the presence of Jesus.

I am learning that here, in this mess, is where Jesus meets me. He is here in the middle of it. He has always been here, just patiently waiting for me to acknowledge Him. If we take our eyes off of our mess and place them on Jesus, we will be able to see how He has covered everything abundantly with His grace and love. 

When I acknowledge Him in my life, I don’t have to worry about life being “messy” because He has made it a beautiful mess.

Let me know in the comments below why you are a mess and need Jesus.

Sweet invitation

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God is giving me an opportunity. It wasn’t until right now that I realized it, but He is waiting for me to lean into him. He is offering a sweet invitation to me to rest in Him.

Coming back from study abroad, I was not expecting such a “culture shock”. It has been a hard week of realizing that I am “back to real life”, but I know the past three months were, in fact, real life. They were confusing, beautiful, hard, incredible and looking back it all feels like a dream. I’ve realized that I cannot go back, but I must lean in to gratitude and see the blessings that have been surrounding me.

After returning home to Ohio, I have been so stressed and conflicted over a big decision that I need to make. I’ve been crying over this decision, missing Vienna so deeply, and the remains of my childhood life all crashing in on me at once. I have not been turning to God, even when I know I should. I know he is waiting for me to lean in to him because he already knows what my future is. He knows the results of my decision before I even make it. He knows I miss Vienna and he knows whether I will be going back or not. He knows my childhood and knows what my family needs.

I feel like God is standing over me saying, “Lana, I am just waiting for you to lean in to me.”

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17

I discovered this verse while I was reading an article the other day and it just hit me. As much as I fail at going to God when I am stressed, struggling, or making a decision, it doesn’t matter. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. No matter what happens he already knows… He is just waiting for us to lean in and join him in the journey.

How have you been leaning into Him lately?

XO, Lana