I am a Female Freshman: The Painful Realities of College

Female Freshman

Pain is running rampant on college campuses across the globe. Still in college, I have seen and experienced the pain. Some women lack an understanding that they have a God in heaven who loves them and created them with a plan and a purpose. Not knowing about God, they turn to the things the world tells them will provide pleasure and satisfaction. For a college freshman, those things include: boys, sex, drinks, a perfect body, and cool friends.

Maybe you live in a bubble and don’t realize this is happening on our college campuses. Please, open your eyes and realize that pain is spreading like a disease. Women are hurting themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and Jesus is the only one who can provide healing.

I’m sorry for the language, but I want you to read the honesty and pain in her words. This is a poem written by a freshman who is living in the pain:

Continue reading

Do you idolize your mentor?

Untitled design-17

During my freshman year at USF, I began to meet with an older women in Cru, a college ministry. She prepared lessons for me and helped me in my walk with Christ. I loved our discipleship time together. As a freshman, I had recently surrendered my life to Christ, so I was very excited to learn. Every word spoken to me, I held on to as if it was gold. I made her an idol. When the year ended, she left and I was devastated.

Our friendship was one of the most helpful, but also the most harmful, during these early stages of my walk with the Lord. Thankfully, Jesus made me realize the problem, and used everything to bring him glory.

I hope to help you figure out now if you are in a similar situation before the problem gets worse.

Here are 4 ways to figure out if you idolize a friend, mentor, or leader in your life: Continue reading

“I’m not qualified.”

Untitled design-12

“I’m not qualified.”

In my opinion, this is the biggest lie that women believe when they’re thinking about doing ministry or joining a leadership team.

This thought first entered my mind when I was in high school.

I was trying to figure out what God was calling me to do. I was confused, unsure, and it did not help that people always asked me, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”

Adults frequently ask this question. In high school, kids are between 14-18 years old. How do they expect someone to know what he or she wants to do for the rest of his or her life at such a young age?

During my 10th grade year of high school, I started to get the call that God wanted me to go into ministry. What ministry has meant to me has changed over the years, but I knew two things: that I wanted to help people and that God was pretty cool. Combining those two things seemed like a perfect option! But I believed a lie that I was not qualified.

So, when I was asked that question, I felt embarrassed to share with others my heart desire for my career, so I would always reply, “Orthodontist.”

This was the safest way to go. If I would say, “I don’t know.” Then, I would get additional questions, “Well, what is your favorite subject? Did you like math? How about teaching? Etc…  Thus, I realized the safest thing to do was reply, “Orthodontist.” There were no follow up questions, just a nod of agreement and maybe an encouraging statement.

For a high schooler, it is extremely difficult to fully trust God with this subject. It is difficult to share with others when you are not 100% sure that this is what you will do. Students also worry about what others will think of their choice. I worried people would not understand or try and talk me out of it.

When I was thinking about going into ministry, I believed the lie that one had to be perfect. How could I help people in their walks with God when I was not perfect?

Again, when I was asked to lead a Bible study in Cru my freshman year of college I did not want to step up and lead because I thought I was not qualified. How can I lead other women when I have my own issues to work through?

It is common to respond to God by saying, “I can’t. I’m not qualified.” I’ve heard this in high school. I’ve heard this in college.

My response now is, “Well what is qualified? Name one person in the Bible who was qualified.”

Abraham lied about Sarah.
Moses stuttered.
Noah was a drunk.
Jacob was a liar.
Joseph was abused by his brothers.
Rahab was a prostitute.
Jeremiah was said to be too young.
David had an affair.
Elijah was suicidal.
The Samaritan woman had multiple divorces.
Jonah ran away from God.
Peter denied Jesus.
The disciples fell asleep while praying.
And there are more examples found all over scripture!

Friends, if you are thinking of going into ministry, leading a Bible study, or joining the leadership team at your church, I want you to remember one thing: God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called.

Click here to read the new post in the series, “Stop Limiting God.”

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!

                       

Dear Daughter of a King,

 IMG_0137

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)

Dear daughter of a King,

How often do you long to feel beautiful, accepted, and loved? For me, this happens almost daily. I have to repeat these truths from the verses in 1 Peter. I tell myself:

  • “Joy, you are chosen, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s special possession. God pulled you out of darkness and into his light. You are a part of God’s people and now have his mercy!”

Take a minute and tell yourself these 3 truths.

Did you realize that you are a child of a king? You are chosen, royal, and holy. This makes you a princess. Yes, you are a princess. To be a princess, does not mean you have to wear a crown and a ball gown, but it would be fun if all of us did that together!

When I think of the word princess, I also think of the word beautiful. You and I are God’s precious daughters. We are his beautiful princesses! Yet, so many women struggle with not feeling beautiful. Body image is a huge problem for many women. Me included.

I am striving to begin to see myself the way God does: as a chosen princess. God has called us out of darkness and into his light. God has broken us free from the chains of our past, shame, and sins. He has given us freedom.

When we think poorly of ourselves, we keep ourselves chained up in bondage.

Princess, Jesus died to free us from this bondage! When we choose to continue to say to our self ________ (fill in the blank with whatever untrue comment you make about yourself), we are saying that our belief is more powerful than Jesus’ death on the cross.

Join me in getting out of this bondage.

Here are 3 tiny steps to take to start believing that you are God’s beautiful daughter. If you start with these tiny steps, you will begin to see yourself as the beautiful Princess that you are.

  1. Find verses where God says you are beautiful. Write God’s word on post-its. Post them on your mirror, in your car, on your computer. Anywhere. You can even set a verse as the background of your phone. Here is some scripture you could use from Bible Gateway: 1 Peter 3:3-4Song of Songs 4:7, Proverbs 31:30, Psalm 139:14, and Proverbs 3:15.
  2. Look in the mirror as you are getting ready in the morning and tell yourself that you are beautiful. Stop criticizing your appearance. If you do think a bad thought, stop yourself, and say out loud that you are beautiful. I’m serious about the out loud part. Speaking truth helps defeat lies.
  3. Read blogs or books to encourage you. One of my favorite books on body image and self-worth is Do You Think I’m Beautiful? by Angela Thomas. An amazing book that answers the question that every women asks, “Does God think I’m beautiful?”

Princess, I hope these tips help! If you have any other tips, ideas, or scripture that will help your sisters out comment below!

 

For other Dear Friend Series posts click here!

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!

                       

Approval Addiction

20140515-115052.jpg

My name is Joy and I’m addicted to approval.

I want to get real with you all. My desire for approval is an issue that God has revealed to me and has begun working on in my life. I’ve realized that this issue effects every aspect of my life. For example, I want my parents approval, and that sometimes leads me to follow their plan for my life over God’s plan for my life. I want my friends to like me, and because of that I’m not always honest or true to who God made me to be.

My approval addiction hinders my authenticity as a Christian, and hurts how others view Jesus.

I realize it is impossible for everyone in my life to approve of me. I’m working on realizing that none of their opinions matter, only God’s.

We want approval, and to gain it we think we have to perform. We perform when we change from who God created us to be into a person who we think others will like more.

Recently, I have started watching Dancing with the Stars. What drew me to the show was Candace Cameron Bure, most commonly known as DJ Tanner from Full House. Candace openly shares on the show that she puts faith first, likes the light, and performs for an audience of one.

On last weeks episode she said, “I always remember, that no matter how many people I’m performing for, I’m really performing for an audience of one. And that’s for God.”

I admire Candace because she is an authentic Christian. It would be easy for her to get upset over negative comments from the world, but she chooses to not let them bother her. Instead of letting them upset her, she chooses to only care about how God views her and how she is performing to him.

Thank you Candace for being a great example to the world and for being a truly authentic Christian.

People will always have opinions. Some may hurt you and some may help you, but we have to remember that what other people think of us doesn’t matter.

Who are you performing for? Who are you trying to please? Would God approve of what you say, think, and do?

Remember, you are performing for an audience of one.

candace-cameron-bure

I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!