L.A. Stole Part of my Heart

I’m sure of it.

This past week, I went to Los Angeles to bless others; but I ended up the one being blessed. I saw more gratitude and pure joy in one week there than I’ve seen in my entire almost twenty years here.

In a city where you’re either rich or not, the ones who lacked everything materialistic poured into me. I witnessed neighborhoods coming together to  help us serve them. These wonderful people did not just sit around and wait for us to serve them like I probably would have in their position. No, they helped us. Some of them made sure all the others in their communities were served and had enough food before the thought of going through the food line for themselves even crossed their minds; never even knowing if there would be enough left over for them.

I was blessed to not only serve them materialistically and physically, but spiritually. They were so grateful for prayers. One woman, Natalie, asked us to pray over her. When asked what she needed prayers for, she didn’t ask for money or a house. Nothing materialistic. This sweet woman just wanted some food, that’s it. Can you even imagine being on the streets and that being all you hoped and prayed for?

All of these amazing people, who when we looked at them with worldly eyes had nothing, actually had everything with our sweet Jesus. They have such large faith that even though they’re out on the streets, hungry and homeless, they still believe that our God is good. I want their faith, their joy, their gratefulness. I’m so blessed and yet sometimes my faith struggles. I complain, I think way too much about materialistic things. I just want to be more like my sweet friends in L.A.

My prayer is that I would bring back with me a little of their gratefulness and joy. That somehow my faith would grow like theirs and I could continue to look at people, not with worldly eyes but with eyes like Jesus. I would have never imagined being there such a short time would have such an impact on me, but the city and its’ people stole my heart and I cannot wait to be back.img_7803

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Identity Night

Tonight I attended a women’s conference at my church called Identity Night. I went in with no expectations other than a nice night at church; never expecting it to really affect me.  But I was so wrong, it’s funny that it’s normally in those moments when God moves the real mountains.

God reached out to me in that room full of women tonight. See, I have always kind of held Christian twenty-something women to this standard I deep down felt I could never reach. They were all basically perfect. All gorgeous, they could talk to ANYONE about ANYTHING, always surrounded by tons of friends, and then there was me. In my head I had to be the only one who didn’t have this whole life thing figured out, I had to be the only one who was struggling. This past year, God has began a great work in me tearing down walls, but it wasn’t until tonight that I really realized how wrong I was about it all.

This feeling of complete inadequacy had made me become so introverted and isolated. See, it isn’t not that I don’t have friends, I do. But for the most part, they’re not deep relationships. I haven’t poured into them, I have hidden behind the walls I ‘ve allowed the enemy to help me build, I haven’t really tried, bought into the lie that isolating myself is so much easier and better. I’ve said ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ in church, but that’s where it ended. So wrong. Because honestly, what’s church without community? I could worship anywhere, but God wants us to come together as believers and have fellowship.

God made us for relationships. First and foremost with Him, but also with our fellow man. We all need someone. Someone to confide in, to share our struggles with, to do life with. Someone who can hold you accountable and notice when you’ve fallen, a person who can not try and solve all your problems on their own, but someone who will get on their face in prayer and help you run straight back to God.

Guys, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone. Peek out from behind those walls, reach out to someone. Do not let the lies of the enemy cause you to do life alone. God never created you to try and do it all alone; find your people.

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. Proverbs 27:9

Also, a HUGE thank you to all of the wonderful women at Desperation Church who served and helped make this night happen. You are all amazing, and I love you all.