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God’s Love

I started first year at Charis Bible College. I’m quite surprised; I was a little skeptical if I would truly connect to God this way. Luckily, I was proven wrong. It’s the second week in and it’s already changed my life. I have noticed that I genuinely feel so much happier. Not only that, but my relationship with God has completely flipped. All I knew before is that I loved God and God loved me, that’s it. Today in class, Carrie and Mike Pickett were speaking on Life Foundations. I couldn’t think about a better title for their class. They truly speak about the foundation that you need in life, especially with God.

I wish I knew back then how much God loved me. It would’ve changed my life 9 months ago, before the depression and the over thinking about everything. The thing is, God loves you so much, that you don’t have to prove your love to him. He gave his only son, the only one he’s ever purely created, and he gave him to us as a gift of how much he loves us. Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins as a reflection of how much God adores our lives. Imagine giving your only son, who is so pure and perfect, to your creation to save everyone. Not just the people who believe in God, but to everyone. You don’t have to prove your love for him because he doesn’t need that. All he wants is for us to know how much he truly loves us.

I’m going to admit that I am skeptical about praying in tongues. I am not comfortable with it, personally. What I didn’t know is that my spirit has done it already. Christ lives in us, our spirits, and Christ has done everything. He’s healed people and raised people from the dead, he also has spoken in tongues. Instead of your soul and your mind on what people think around you and how you sound, focus on your spirit praying to God. Praying in English is your soul praying but praying in Tongues is your Spirit’s language. I truly didn’t understand this till today.

Since we don’t have to prove ourselves to get God’s love, what do we do to show him our love? That’s why we worship to his songs. When we worship, we are singing “God, thank you for loving me, this is how much I love you and more.” When we raise our hands, it isn’t because we want to show others how much we love God, it’s to push our love towards him. “Here God, here is my love for you. I will sing your song and I will shout your name because I love you that much.”

Carrie Pickett was talking about a prayer she prays everyday. “Lord, show me how much you love me today.” It’s not selfish or rude by asking that of him because he will gladly show you. He wants you to know how much love he has for you. It’s nothing to be ashamed about and hide because it’s amazing. God is Love. You don’t have to buy his love and you don’t have to prove your place in his heart by volunteering at your church or giving everything you have, it should just be something you do because you love him that much. Walk by Faith, and not by Sight; Know that he loves you so much, that you don’t have to worry about finances or relationship issues because He will take care of it for you. Don’t go up to people begging for money, have faith that God will provide for you.

 

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My Photography

Hey Guys!

New blog post will be up next week, I promise. This is an update to let y’all know I have officially made a portfolio on my website. It’s called “Laur’s Photography” and I would love for y’all to check it out and tell me what you think. The farther down the page you go, the more recent the pictures are. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and if you’re ever interested in doing a shoot, let me know. No charge obviously, just fun! I am not a professional by any means and it’s just a fun hobby of mine but I would love to get some of y’all in front of the camera! Thank you so much for all of the love and support and I will keep everyone posted on the portfolio.

Love y’all

Survivor

Have you ever been on a juice cleanse? If not, I’ll explain it for you. After feeling like you might have eaten too much junk food and you feel as if you need some TLC in your body and diet, you go on a juice cleanse. For a few days (or depending on how long you choose to do it for) you are drinking strictly juice and water. It gets tiring after a while, but once you’re done, you feel so much better. Almost like a new person. That’s how depression is, in a sense.

I was depressed for five months. That might not seem like a long time to some of you, but for me, it was new and felt like five years. It was absolutely miserable and a lot of different factors contributed to the depression. I did not take any medicine because I am very stubborn on any sort of medication. Ask my mom, she knows this for a fact. I won’t go into details on why I went through that phase and what happened, but I will tell you how I am doing now. For starters, I’m not depressed. I get sad sometimes, but it’s never a recurring misery for being alive. I have moved on in life and I truly do feel so much happier and I am at peace.

When you come out of depression, you go through different waves of emotions. Some nights, you couldn’t be happier. The other nights, it almost feels as if you’re in the black hole again. It’s been almost three months since I have been healed from depression. When you go through the “cleanse” of depression, there’s still some left over emotion and grief. It’s inevitable, but it’s not a bad thing. It’s actually very healthy to go through those stages of after shock. It means that you’re really getting in touch with your emotions again and you will be able to see and feel more clearly since there’s no more waste. Once all of the left over toxins and unhealthy emotions leave your body, you are left clean and a new person.

I never recognized how bad I was drowning until I looked to see how far I’ve come. I also thought it would be impossible for me to restore myself and come back to who used to be. Instead, I became a different person than I was. My faith for God has grown stronger than ever before and I finally feel comfortable and confident that what I am doing in life is his path for me. God uses broken people and I believe that I would not be born-again if I didn’t go through certain things this past year. Rahab was a prostitute; she was broken and flawed, and yet she was faithful to God. When the spies came into the city of Jericho, she helped them escape the king and they repaid her by saving her family. She had faith in God and his people and is an example as righteous and faithful by her actions. He used her to teach other people how to follow God and I know he did it on purpose.

Any recovery process takes time and sometimes, you get the feel as if it is coming back. It happens with anything that takes healing. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for God, family, and real friends. I want to make a disclaimer though. I was not diagnosed with depression and I honestly didn’t even think depression was a real thing and I thought it was just being sad for a long period of time. I realized it’s more than that and mental health is serious and needs to be taken care of properly. I thought about seeing a therapist, but I was too stubborn to do so. mental health is just as important as physical health and it needs to be taken care of properly. Not everyone knows how, but it starts with talking to someone. A friend, your family, someone new, or someone old. Sometimes writing out your feelings is easier than a phone call. If you feel like you need to talk to someone, here’s a free number to text. It’s a crisis counselor hotline. It’s never too late to talk to someone. The number is 741-741.

Fat Shaming

Just wanted to write a quick apology because I know I’ll hear from them about this picture. I’m sorry it’s not the best but I love y’all so much!

I was called “fat” once; it didn’t mean anything till it became a routine of cruel comments and having people laugh and point at my body.

I was bullied for being different. I looked different and I acted different. I was told to ignore them and that they were just jealous, but when something like that becomes repetitive, you start to believe it. It works like this; You have blue eyes. If the majority of people you talked to, told you that you have brown eyes, you might start to believe them. You’ve never truly seen yourself, except your reflection. What if you saw something that was or wasn’t there, you would never know though because it was just a reflection, not the real deal. So, people keep telling you have brown eyes and now you’re convinced you have brown eyes. Your friends and family will tell you that everyone’s lying and you have blue eyes, but you start to wonder, “well, if I have blue eyes, why would everyone tell me otherwise? Even people I trusted told me I had brown eyes. Why would all those people lie?”

So why would people lie and tell you something you’re not? It’s because they only see the surface of you in their own filter called their “perspective.” They are comparing you to someone you aren’t. Your sight can be misleading and so can others’. It’s messy and scrambled up because you aren’t sure who truly sees you the way you are. You can’t trust your perspective because it’s only a reflection, but you can’t trust others because they all see you differently. This is when you have to get in sync with yourself. Relying on others to tell you how you are and aren’t isn’t the way to go. It’s when you have to make your own judgement by how you feel. This time, ignore what’s on the surface. Get down deep with who you are as a person and ignore what you might see on the outside. If I were completely blind to who I am, I would see a body that has issues here and there, that I might not be confident with. The thing is, I see who I am and that’s how I judge myself. I might be self-conscious about my body, but my personality shouldn’t even align to how people see my shape.

It took me almost my entire lifetime (so far) to realize that I’m not fat. I’m not a size 2, but I don’t see myself as overweight in any way. If I’m being real with you right now, I still get self-conscious about my body. I don’t like wearing a bikini when I go to the pool and I don’t like wearing tight clothes, but that doesn’t stop me when I do have those days where I’m more confident than other times. I know my body isn’t ugly, but I also know it’s not perfect. Our brains become wired that we have to be the best we can visually in order to please everyone, but the truth is, we can’t. Not everyone will be happy with you and how you appear to be. If we get the mindset that we aren’t perfect and that no one else is, then we will stop fat shaming. It’s beaten me up completely knowing that I was seen as fat, ugly, and overweight to other people, but I realized I’m not going to grant their wishes on the way I should look in their minds.

The picture that is at the top (left to right) is of me, my sister, and my best friend. We are all different in shapes and sizes, but I love them so much. I don’t see their imperfections and insecuritues, I see someone who is strong, beautiful, and intelegent beyond compare. They both have their own little quirks that I love about them and they will probably hate me for posting this picture but they are so beautiful and I am so thankful to have them in my life. If we stop seeing people on how they appear physically, we can focus on who they are and embrace their qualities as a person and not objectify them because “they’re different.”

 

Unfixed Problems

Holding a grudge isn’t healthy. Take my word for that because I’m experiencing it right now. I am angry at my (ex)best friend because she didn’t realize how much I needed her. I despise my (ex)boyfriend because wherever I go, I can’t get rid of him. I hate the man who made me afraid for 8 months of any physical contact from someone else. I was holding the biggest grudge over these people because I was hurt. I didn’t know how to fix my own problems because I was sinking in my tears and dwelling on the fact that I was in pain, rather than trying to heal myself. It was like putting a bandaid on a scab; The The bandaid may help it for a little while, but it’s not the thing that makes it all better. Time is what fixes everything. Doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to the process though. You have to be forgiving and dedicated in order to fix the things that make you feel broken. It won’t happen over night, but the more you work on trying to get to the root of the problem, the faster it will heal.

For me, I didn’t work on my issues. I let the pain get to me in a severe way instead of trying to dig deep for the benefit of my future. I knew I didn’t want to hold onto it forever, but it was fresh, so I was grieving. I thought, “how could the people I once loved and trusted completely vanish in one second?” I couldn’t grab onto the fact that people leave and it will hurt, but also that I became lonely and depressed because there was no one for me to go to anymore.

The reason why it took me over 6 months to forgive those people is because I didn’t know how to. I knew I was hurt, and that’s all that was processing in my head. I was very much stubborn and I couldn’t comprehend that I should forgive them, after all, they were the ones who hurt me. Another reason is I didn’t want to see the people who hurt me, walk away with it and be completely fine the next day. It bugged me to know that I was the only one in pain from the situation. Now looking back on it, it is very rare for someone, who may be hurt that you aren’t close with anymore, come out and spill their problems to you like they used to when y’all were on better terms. Just because you have a lot of friends, you’re lathered in rich expenses, and you act almost prideful, doesn’t mean you aren’t going through something. Once I lost them, I didn’t know how to overcome the pain because I always had that one person I could go to; it was always my best friend. You go to them for everything because you know, after all of that change and heartbreak, they will always be there for you.

I didn’t like the fact that I was alone. I’m going to admit it, my coach is my best friend because she has been the only who is consistent and is always there for me. She was my one person after the heartbreak from the ex and the best friend. I was used to having my best friend and my boyfriend but I had to learn how to live without them. I also didn’t know that if I didn’t forgive them and let my heart heal, I would be more depressed than I was. It’s hard to let someone you have spent so much time with NOT effect you afterwards. Honestly, one second your best friend is by your side, the next, she’s gone. It’s hard. My stubbornness got the best of me in a greater way to where I completely shut down the “rehabilitation” process in my heart and in my head. I let the pain and agony of losing my best friends get the best of me in the worst possible way.

What is it like now, that I have forgiven them? I still miss my best friend and I wish the bad tension that we had, never happened in the first place, but I know that everything happens for a reason and that maybe it was the best for us to go our separate ways. I also forgave someone who was hurting more than he wanted to admit. The manipulating powers and control that he lost after me, made him desperate. He went after my friends and after awhile of that process, he came running back to me. If I didn’t forgive him, I would’ve responded with an angry and not very ladylike message. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. I forgave the mistakes and pain he caused on my heart and in my head, even if I’m still having to deal with some of it. The thing is, I don’t feel as if I need to do something for them or against them anymore. I let go of the pain that was getting very overwhelming and I focused on what I did had. I have God, my family, and the few other special people. I started to realize, even when I don’t have a lot of friends and I’m not popular, I have the people who really matter closest to me. I definitely started counting my blessings and I am very thankful for the people I have now.

Why Him

The question of the year.

I didn’t vote for a racist narcissist, I voted for a man who loves God just as much as I do and who truly wants the best for us.

I get asked “why him?” meaning in why did I vote for Donald Trump. Well, I didn’t. Sadly, I missed the election by a few weeks of my birthday and didn’t get the opportunity, but I still participated. Throughout this year, I have lost many friends because of what I believed and what I wanted in a president. I wasn’t always behind Trump though. My main support went to Ben Carson, then to Marco Rubio, then roughly Donald Trump. He was one of my least favorite options, other than Ted Cruz. I was very hesitant on supporting Trump at first because he was an angry carrot with a wig on his head. After everyone dropped out, I looked forward and it became party over person. All I knew is I didn’t want Hillary Clinton to become president. I didn’t support her beliefs and I absolutely despised her husband, Bill Clinton. I thought he should be banned from Earth and sent to Mars, honestly.

There was more in it than me just not liking a person. I don’t support abortions, free college (surprisingly), and I don’t think we should keep people here who are a danger to the entire country and potentially the world. There were a lot of lies and secrets that were very unappealing to me. The secret emails that had links to ISIS and trading illegal government secrets and documents. Also, we have never had this many rights as women. We have so much already and we all know complete equality will never exist, so why do we protest for something we know is near to impossible. I am not a feminist, but I do want equal rights myself. I just won’t protest for something that I think is unnecessary when we have so much already. Speaking of protest, the amount of violence from the Democratic Party is absolutely horrendous. There is never a reason that it’s appropriate for that amount of hate. Innocent people were dying because democrats were throwing a pity party.

Now, the real reason I was for Trump was because of God. No one ever saw Hillary Clinton pray to God or even thank him. It’s because she doesn’t believe in him. I wanted a president who truly loved God. In the pledge of allegiance, “one nation, under God” is supposed to mean something. People started to forget that we have always believed in God and we truly saw it as one nation, WITH God. “In God We Trust” is the official motto of the United States. So why vote for a president who didn’t believe so and actually wanted to get rid of God in this country.

There are some things that I want to clear up though. Police brutality is real. Racism is real. Good illegal immigrants are real. Just because I was for Trump, doesn’t mean I was close minded and forgot about real issues that people suffer with. I wrote a letter to the CSPD to thank them for their service. I dated a guy who was mixed races. I have friends who are illegal, but I love them. The one exception I had on abortion is rape. I wish free college or even cheaper college could exist and not screw up our finances in the US. I want to be seen as capable and not doubted because of who I am. I’m not a homophobe and I have LGBT+ friends. I still drink at Starbucks and I’ve been to Target multiple times. I watched Beauty and the Beast and it is my absolute favorite movie.

I voted for Donald Trump. I’m not a bad person, I’m a Godly person. I voted for someone like me. I voted for a Republican who loves God.  He isn’t perfect, at all. None of us are, though.

 

Self Image

Growing up, I’ve struggled with self confidence. I looked in the mirror and saw someone I didn’t want to be. I knew who I wanted to be and what I wanted to look like, but it almost seemed impossible to accomplish it. I didn’t want to go through plastic surgery and be someone I wasn’t and I didn’t want to starve myself in order to look like the other girls at school. I was tempted, but I never wanted to go through something so negative just to look the same as other people. Even when my friends would ask me to go to the pool during the summer, I declined them half the time because then I was opened to the world. I didn’t want to see people look at me or make comments to me because I already knew what they were going to say.

Psalms 8:3-4 tells us that we shouldn’t doubt ourselves and our image. If we are God’s, then what else matters? Why look away for what he has for us and care about the things that don’t matter? If we know that there is someone who sees us as perfect and beautiful in every way, we shouldn’t care about what other people say and think.

To this day, I still struggle with how I see myself. The only difference from then and now is that I want to see how other people see me and appreciate that, rather than ignoring the people who compliment me and doubt their sight. I want to see how God sees me and embrace that. The thought of being looked at as ugly has left my head and my heart. Self image isn’t just a physical being, it’s also inner beauty. How you see yourself on the inside reflects on the outside and that’s one of the most important factors to confidence.

What people say and wear shouldn’t matter anymore. The reason why our society is so screwed onto needing the new trends is because we care about how other people see us. We compare ourselves to the “better looking” people around us and wish we didn’t look the way we did. When I was walking down the street with a friend of mine, she would be practically praised by her beauty but she wasn’t right in the heart. I was jealous of her because of how beautiful she is and once I had a change of heart, I saw her heart. I realized, it’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside. I know, “that was super cliche” well it is the first time I’ve ever truly believed it.

If God sees us as beautiful, then nothing else matters. You can be flawless on the outside, but ugly on the inside. Find out who you are and who God wants you to be, fulfill it, and you won’t ever need to think about how you look on the outside. Smile, walk with God, and you’ll be in complete bliss.