I should be writing my essay, but

I should be writing my essay, but I can’t escape these thoughts. I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am for my small group. Looking back now that it’s over, I see how much I was poured into and blessed. Without failure. Small group was one of those things that built me up so naturally that I didn’t even see how much it grew me until now. I remember small group kick off second semester - I seriously judged every single person and was 200% confident that I would never be friends with these people. I couldn’t see myself talking to any of them, and I was so standoffish. But God always has other plans. Two months later, I looked forward to going to small group every week, to hear from every girl, to listen to Michelle and Hannah speak truth, and just to bond as sisters. It seriously became my family, and I felt so comfortable with the girls, some of whom I don’t really even know that well. Just bonding and uniting through the Spirit - it’s indescribable. Every night I was blown away, blasted, humbled, struck down, built up, or healed. Hearing others’ testimonies and struggles, their good days and bad, their praise reports and disappointments - God used every single daughter to take each of us on such a crazy ride. My heart jumps thinking about how much we’ve grown, and it blows my mind when I attempt to see how crazily God has been working. I can barely grasp how poured into we are with prayer from other classes, and I can’t wait to see how many more steps and leaps we get to take towards Jesus. And with nostalgia and sadness I left this last night of small group, wishing I had cherished every moment more than I did and overflowing with appreciation and gratitude for my loving sisters. But with enthusiasm and hope I look forward to the upcoming years, eagerly stepping into a seat to be a part of the wild ride God is taking us on next.

Society thinks that people use religion to make their lives easier. And the problem starts with the phrase “use religion.” If we’re seeing it as “using religion,” we’re not understanding the truth. Religion isn’t something that humans made up for ourselves; we’re not the center of the universe. God is real. God is true. And we don’t use the idea of God to satisfy ourselves; we seek out the inexplicable reality of God because we can see how real He is, because he makes His glory known to us every day. We can’t use God; God uses us. Maybe some peopleuse religion to make their lives easier, but that must be because they’re using the institution ofreligion and not the truth of it. When you let God use you, it doesn’t necessarily make life easier. Honestly, it hasn’t made my life easier. As I seek to love God more and know Him more, everything becomes a harder battle. And why would I put myself through this for something that isn’t real? Why would anybody die for something that isn’t undeniably real?

I know what it’s like to find pleasure in being sad sometimes. And people tell you that it’s normal, and society tells you to get used to it, and tumblr tells you depression is artistic. (It really does). But it breaks my heart that so many people are so drowned in sorrow that they start thinking that it’s the norm when there’s this true joy and pure happiness that’s infinitely more promising and fulfilling than anything else. And yet people don’t even want to try to find it because they’ve become complacent with hopelessness. I think that’s the worst part. That humans have become complacent with sadness, so much that we let ourselves dwell in it because we don’t dare to risk being completely shattered, again. We just don’t see the point of hoping in something else out of fear of being disappointed yet again. But that’s because humans will always disappoint. We’re not reliable beings. So may I be one to just put it out there? I want to tell everyone that there is SO much more and that there’s an unfailing love that overpowers everything else, really everything else. And if you dig up what little hope you can muster up from deep down in your heart, the leftover from all the broken hearts and let downs and scars, and put that mustard seed of faith in the one non-earthly being, you will never have to be disappointed again, I promise. He promises.

GOD IS SO GREAT. THIS DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE. SO BEYOND OUR UNDERSTANING.

It’s crazy ridiculous how great God’s love is right now. Or I mean always. It’s so inexplicably infinite and incomprehensible. There’s just such a longing in me to constantly be in God’s presence, just to spend time with Him. I’ve never felt this love before or experienced His grace in this way. I never understood why people were so obsessed with God. I mean, I grew up in church so I always had that knowledge, I knew and was told how God loved me, but I never had the understanding or the passion. I guess I knew it was there, and I guess I knew God loved me, whatever that meant. But I feel it every second of every day now. I am constantly thinking about Him, just wanting to spend time with Him in prayer or listening to music to worship Him. I can’t believe so many people have never met this love, have never felt this crazy good LOVE. It’s a high that nothing else can compare to. Seriously, it’s not even that I all of a sudden think drinking and smoking are terrible sins now, it’s just that they are so pointless and unsatisfying compared to this joy. Yeah I’ll still go out with my friends because it’s fun to be together but it’s just not going to be as permanently fulfilling and amazing as this drunk love for God. His love just fills me with joy and it’s so strange feeling this because I never really grasped this idea. I never thought I’d be one of those people that went crazy and all dedicated, but God works in crazy ways, and He just revealed Himself to me. It’s nothing like I ever imagined it. I never knew people could feel like this. He is SO real and alive and I can’t believe I had been missing out on this. And I also never understood prayer beyond my knowledge of it, beyond thinking of it as something everyone just DOES without feeling. I could never pray for more than a minute because it’d just get boring or dumb. But now all of a sudden I could pray for hours, just talking to Him and spending time with Him. His love pours down on me and while I feel guilt and sorrow, joy from His grace overpowers it all. I want everyone to feel this love, to feel this soaring high that God is waiting for all of us to accept. Oh how He loves us. He truly loves us. I am His forever and that’s all I ever need.

Such a great song. Can’t stop listening to it!

Such a great song. Can’t stop listening to it!

Today’s 365 photo. Just wanted to reblog it on my tumblr.

Today’s 365 photo. Just wanted to reblog it on my tumblr.

Almost failed my new years resolution on the 7th day. Gotta keep up with my 365 project!