Allowing yourself to be loved after loving

In November I helped lead a retreat that really changed my life. I gave my testimony, lead a small group, and found Jesus all over again. I loved more than I ever have in my life, and leading the girls on retreat was one of the best experiences in my life. I put my entire heart into planning and leading this weekend.

And then it ended.

Don’t get me wrong, my desire and need to love others continued, it continued intensely. But, I was unable to allow myself to be loved, by God or others.

The relationships I had made on the weekend were incredible, founded on vulnerability, openness, and a desire for relationship with Christ. But many of these friendships were with girls who I had led, who I was supposed to lead to Christ. After that weekend, vulnerability and openness about my hurts, pain and struggles was nonexistent with these beautiful women I considered sisters.

In my testimony, I talked about my depression. It’s a taboo topic for me in some ways, I hate admitting my mental illness, and often I feel like once I admit my flaws and allow my loved ones to see me at my worst, they’ll be afraid and run.

What if the people I trust run away from me? 

It’s a common fear, being afraid of our own flaws and what will happen when others see them. Fear is the reason we keep these flaws in the dark.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus says: “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” – John 8:12. We are not meant to live in darkness, no matter how scary, awful, and just plain dark our lives get. We are the people of light and love. Let there be light.

At Jesus’ most vulnerable, the night of His death, he was alone. The man He told to build His Church denied even knowing Him. One of His best friends put a price on his life. What was it? Twenty pieces of silver for a friend? Throughout His mission, people followed him all over, He had twelve steady apostles who all said “Aw, bro, yeah, we’ll do anything for ya!” When He was carrying His cross, a complete stranger was the one who helped out. Not one of the people who declared Him Lord, not the blind man who was now able to see, but a random man picked from the crowd. Besides His Mother (God love her), complete strangers were the one who carried His cross, wiped His face, wept for Him.

At the foot of the cross was John, a young boy, Mary Magdalene, who may or may not have been freed from demons (no one really knows, but she’s still a boss), and His mother.

How could this be? Jesus is God. He didn’t have to be so alone. When picking His disciples, He could have chosen people who would’ve stuck by Him, but He chose these sinful, flawed people, knowing full well the abandonment that was to follow.

Please, I beg you, don’t let fear ruin your chances of loveAllow people to see your wounds and scars. There is no deeper love than the love of one who sees them, and sees beauty and strength. You deserve that love, whether in a friendship or romantic relationship. Allow yourself and your scars to be loved. 

You are worthy of love. Real, true, heart racing, lay down my life for love. Seek friendships and relationships that encourage this love.

“We love, because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

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Instaloved

I love Instagram. I love making my pictures look pretty, and square, and using filters on pictures that need no filter. I love seeming hipster and artistic. I love sharing my life with my followers, most of which are my beloved family and friends.. But most of all, I love getting likes.

I love seeing those little hearts pop up at the bottom of my page, and once I post something, I wait at least five minutes to see who’s going to like it first, and make sure it’s a steady stream of likes. I love that people notice what I post and take the time to double tap. I know which of my posts has the most likes, and figured out what type of pictures will get the attention I so crave. I want to beat my “record of most likes on a picture”. When I’m with a friend and they’re on Instagram, I’m so offended if they don’t like my picture. Why?

We live in a world where declarations of love, or even friendship, are rare, practically non-existent. For me, a like on my Instagram photo is a declaration of appreciation, of love. But in the long run, it’s not really love. Love takes action, and two taps isn’t action.

If you love someone, don’t just like their photo. I mean, sure, go ahead if you want, but tell them, to their face, about how much they mean to you. What if Jesus simply said, “Yeah, I love you” but did nothing about it? We’d literally never be saved. Fun fact. One act of love can literally save humanity. And love is reduced to tapping your thumb twice on Jackie’s black and white selfie captioned with a tear-jerking, inspirational quote?

Love and friendship are more than liking statuses or pictures, or even commenting. It’s telling them why you love them, those little quirks and personality traits that people don’t notice.

Humanity deserves a crucifixion type love, not an Instagram love.

Reach out. Love. Really love. Love like Jesus.

Modest, Not Hottest but oh-so Beautiful

Bekah strikes again!

Classy catholic

image Being modest is hard. Speaking as  a Nineteen year old Catholic woman who loves fashion, I will tell you first hand that modesty is not easy. You know why? Because skin is in. The media is saturated in images of girls in crop tops and barely there pants. Less and less is being left to the imagination and my generation is being coerced into accepting this sick image of what womanhood and beauty are. Even the term modesty is becoming sexualized. I have heard the phrase “modest is hottest” more times than I can count. It is supposed to be an encouragement to girls to dress modestly because it is “hotter”.

Is this the message that we really want to portray? Should women dress modestly because it will make them “hot”? Well I say no way, Jose. Being hot is not a compliment. Food can be hot, Arizona in the summertime can…

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Beauty in the breakups

A fantastic blog post by one of my closest friends and dear sister in Christ!!!

Classy catholic

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Every time I hear the word “breakup”, images of Ben and Jerrys, sappy movies, and a large supply of tissues come to my mind. Because, let’s face it, breakups are hard and ice cream is delicious…. That being said, I think that it is time to start looking at breakups in a bit of a different light. Sure, sobbing, crying, and blowing your nose into your friends sleeve are all okay… unless your friend isn’t okay with you blowing your nose into their sleeve.

BUT  I think that a lot of people overlook the beauty that lies in this brokenness. A bible verse that I have been meditating on a lot lately is psalm 34:18 which says plain and simply “God is close to the brokenhearted.” It does not say that he immediately fixes all of their problems and takes away every feeling of hurt or betrayal; it says…

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