Only Jesus can heal your heart.

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Jesus came to heal the sick and the broken. He came to save the sinner. In one of my classes, this thought came to mind as I heard sad story after sad story from my classmates. (Jesus, will my classmates ever know you?) This does not mean that he supports their actions, but his love for them will never change. Why is this? Because Jesus came to save the broken.

Jesus came to save my classmates, but they lack the realization that they need him. Maybe they think their lives are fine with out him. Maybe they think they’re spiritually healthy.

While on earth, Jesus spent most of his time with the lost and broken. In Matthew 9:12-13 (NIV) Jesus states, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Healthy people don’t understand that they are sick, sinful, and in need of a savior. But the sick, they line up outside of the doctor’s office hoping for something to heal the pain. Do you realize that you are sick and in need of a savior? Maybe you are immune to the hurting in your heart. Maybe like my classmates, you think these feelings are a normal part of life. Or maybe you actually think you are healthy. Continue reading

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Jesus, will my classmates ever know you?

Jesus,

I walk out of class in a daze. So much sadness. So much pain. Jesus, will these people ever come to know you? Will they ever experience your life change? When will they experience your healing, forgiveness, redemption, grace and love?

This is my last semester of undergrad at the University of South Florida. I’m taking a class called Storytelling, and each week we share personal stories from our lives. During class last week, students shared one sad story after the next. Topics included: abortion, death, getting kicked out of the church, loss of friends, moving, getting arrested, abuse, and more. I was left questioning, God, when will you change their hearts?

In class, I looked around at my classmates and thought how beautiful each person was because God created them in his image. God, shouldn’t that mean you care about them? Yet, they don’t know you at all. Do they want to know you? Do they even have the information that you exist to be able to make this decision?

So many thoughts. So many questions.

Then, I think about how God saved me. What makes me different? Why did God choose me? I’m just like them. I have similar stories of pain and brokenness. I have screwed up just like them. What makes me different than them? Continue reading

I am a Female Freshman: The Painful Realities of College

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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

“I’m not qualified.”

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“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!

                       

I was failing, yet Jesus kept pursuing me.

 

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Hello friends!

I am so excited today because I get to be the first ever blogger to share her story on the Set Apart Spotlight!

She is Set Apart is a Christian ministry with this vision: to see women of all ages un-ashamed of what makes them different, to be bold and embrace what sets them apart and not conform to worldly standards. (Romans 12:2) This ministry was founded by a wonderful new friend of mine, Tierraney Richardson. Later in the week, her story will be featured on my blog, so make sure to check it out!

Here is the link for my quest post, “SET APART SPOTLIGHT: Joy Pedrow.”

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The Power of Your Story (Part 3)

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I love talking about how powerful our stories are, because when I realized this my life changed. I began to understand why I needed to share my story with other women. Through this, I experienced so much growth in my walk with God!

In the past two weeks I’ve blogged about how powerful our stories are. Here is why:

  1. Our stories have as much power as Jesus’ death on the cross, and are extensions of God’s power! (Click here to read the post.)
  2. God has an eternal perspective and knows how each event in our lives will be used to impact eternity! (Click here to read the post.)
  3. Finally, the third reason why our stories are powerful is because vulnerability leads to growth.

“So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

When we admit our weaknesses to others, God has an opportunity to be glorified. We are powerless. God is powerful.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Have you ever gone through a difficult time, reached the other end, and thought, “How in the world did I get through this?”

God.

My freshman year of college I was in a ditch of loneliness, sadness, and anger. At that time, I never thought I could be where I am now. Now, every time I am vulnerable and I share my story with someone of how God healed me, I let my weaknesses show God’s strength. I get to give God all the glory.

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God.”  2 Tim 1: 8

When Jesus was dying on the cross, everyone thought he was a complete failure, except God. They believed that all he had done was a lie and was now dying a useless death. They didn’t know God’s plan or look at the bigger picture because they focused on the now.

Three days later they saw things differently. God’s plan became clear.

Friends, we are just like this! In the midst of pain and struggling we question God. Then when we see the other side, we see how God used that situation to glorify himself. We begin to think differently.

I love journaling. When I go back and re-read old journals I can truly see that God has used my story to bring him glory. Here is one prayer I wrote in November of my freshman year of college, “God, I know someday I will see how you’ve made a beautiful thing out of this.”

God has answered my prayers. He has fixed my broken heart. And he can fix yours too. He can and will make a beautiful thing out of all your pain and suffering.

Ladies, be vulnerable with the other women in your life. You don’t know what they are going through. Maybe you have similar stories, and God wants to use you both to help each other.

Allow God to use your story to bring him glory.

 

Check out: The Power of Your Story (Part 1) and The Power of Your Story (Part 2)

 

I hope this post has been encouraging! Check out my other posts about the power of our stories by clicking the photo below!

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When Prince Charming Isn’t Enough

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Friends, I am so excited! Today I get to share my story on a wonderful blog called Revolutionaries! I hope you check it out!

Click here to read my story of how prince charming wasn’t enough for me.

If you are a Christian, Bonnie @ Revolutionaries would love to post your story! Just contact her on her blog. Let her know that you have a story you want to share. Remember, that your story is powerful and can impact someone’s eternity!

 

 

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