Sunday, September 25, 2016

This is What's Supposed To Happen

Lately, I have been so incredibly saddened by the overwhelming amount of evil present in the world. It seems to be everywhere I look now, and it seems to only grow worse every day. It often leaves me feeling depressed, discouraged, and useless.

Over the past months, news of the upcoming election is everywhere. Honestly, the election has just become a debate of who might be the least corrupt. It often leaves me wondering about the fate of our country and what my life, my family's life, and even the lives of my future children will look like. Will it even be a safe place to raise children anymore?

At the end of July, I spent several days in Kenya. Whenever I go to Kenya, I hear countless stories of hardship and heartbreak in the lives of the people there. I heard stories about child alcoholics, girls raped by family members, people brutally murdered, children left to starve, among many other evils. Some children in Kenya are under the age of 10, yet they have already experienced more hardship and more pain than I will ever experience in my entire life.

It seems as if every morning I wake up and I read the news to learn of bombings, terrorist attacks, mass shootings, rioting, murders, and so much more. Even now, I hear stories about such events that are taking place so close to home. I hear stories about angry people just looking for something to justify their anger, and an outlet where they can take out their anger.

I see and hear all of this, and I am just saddened. Ever since I was little, I have always had such compassion for others. So now I see all these people that are desperately hurting because of the evil in this world, and it hurts me. This hurt and this fear caused by the evil in the world leads to fights and arguments among once close friends. Sin has incredibly far-reaching effects. It is like dropping a small pebble into a lake. At first, it seems small, so it must not have major consequences. But then the ripple starts, and it keeps going on forever.

However, I am reminded that this is what is supposed to happen.

We were told that it would get worse before it got better. The world would fall into darkness before Jesus returned. So I am encouraged by knowing that as the world grows darker, we get closer to the Light. However, we were not commanded to sit idly by while the world goes up in flames, patiently awaiting our savior. We are called to so much more. So during this dark time, what are we supposed to do?

1) Overcome the evil in the world with the Light 

{Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21}

Instead of complaining about a situation every time you have a conversation with someone, overcome the evil with good. Instead of ranting and starting arguments on social media, overcome the evil with good.

2) Forgive others

{For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you Matthew 6:14}

As Christ followers, Jesus calls us to forgive those who have wronged us. Yes, you can forgive Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

3) Love others

{But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44}

Many people do not live a godly life. Many people live in sin. God did not call us to accept their sin, or even respect their decision. But, He did call us to love them. No matter what. He commanded us to love everyone, even those who hurt us.

4) Know that whatever the world intends for evil, God intends it for good

{You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20}

God uses everything for His will and His glory. Even the circumstances where it feels like we are suffering without reason, God is using it for a much greater purpose. Even the riots, the bombs, the suicides, the cancer, and the murders. It all has a purpose, and God is using it for good.

Now, let us wholeheartedly run the race that Christ has set before us.

xoxo,
Hannah

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Insecurity is a Parasite

I have been wanting to write this post for several weeks now, but when I write, it is very important to me that I be completely transparent and even vulnerable about what God is teaching me. Insecurity is something I have struggled with for a while now, but it wasn't until tonight that I knew what God was asking me to write. I hope this post brings you comfort and hope.

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Insecurity is a parasite. It eats you alive. It destroys you. There is no benefit from it.

Ever since I first got sick, I have really struggled with insecurity. At times, I have felt completely hopeless, destitute, and unlovable. Insecurity invades the mind and takes over everything in it. It is strong and all encompassing. Because it is so strong, it has made me do some really stupid and regrettable things.

Some days, all I hear in my head is insecurity.

You are ugly
You are scarred
You are fat
You have no friends
You are unlovable
You are not smart enough
You are not funny
You are weird
You are disgusting
You can not sing
Your suffering will never end

And the list goes on and on. It's hard. It crushes me. It makes me lock myself in my room all day because I feel like I do not belong anywhere else. Some nights I just lie in my bed and sob because I feel like the world would be a better place if I did not live in it.

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Winter is my favorite season, but not because of the holidays, or the snow, or even the cold air. It is my favorite because the sky is brilliantly clear every night, and I can see the stars. I have always loved stars. They are so beautiful. There are billions and billions of stars that shine in the night sky that reside millions of lightyears away. But the stars shine and twinkle and they even sing. They are absolutely completely marvelous, and I love the clear winter night sky so I can just stand in awe of the beauty of the stars.

I also really love the sunrise and sunset. I have been so lucky as to see the sun set over the ocean in California, and to see the sun rise over the mountains in Kenya on the other side of the world. There are truly no words to describe such beauty. Our God is a creative God.

Anyone who knows me can quickly tell you how much I love puppies. They are so adorably fluffy and cute and lovably. They stumble around and make cute noises and lick your toes and your nose. Honestly, what did we do to deserve puppies? They sacrifice their precious toys to you in exchange for your love. They cuddle you selflessly when you have a bad day. They are excited to see you EVERY SINGLE TIME.

All of this to say, God breathed into life all these absolutely amazing things that leave me in complete awe every single day. Our God is magnificent, creative, imaginative, brilliant, and just.

And He decided to make me. 

Wow.

He created all these absolutely amazing things, yet He believed that the earth still needed a Hannah Lorainne Mace. So I know I have a purpose, and that God believed that by adding me to the earth, He was making the world better by allowing me to live and bring more glory to His name!

So on the days when I feel ugly, I remember that the God who made the beautiful stars also made me. On the days that I feel unlovable, I remember that God loved me so much, He sent His son to die for me so that I can spend eternity with Him. On the days that I feel scarred, I remember that Jesus Christ was also scarred, and that is how He showed His disciples of God's goodness! On days when I think my suffering will never end, I remember that one day, all my suffering will end, and I will enter into eternity with my Lord and Savior, where there will be no tears, no pain, and most importantly, no spinal taps (Can I get an AMEN!?).

As I continue in my walk with Christ, I only pray that I can remember who I am in Christ and forget my earthly self so that I can serve Christ and serve others to the best of my ability. The best is yet to come.

xoxo,
Hannah