Orphanism or Belonging?

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear orphan?

Probably a child or children without parents right?

Me too!

This past Sunday during service I got thinking about the difference between being an orphan and having an orphanistic mentality. Being an orphan is out of our control but having an orphanistic mentality is not.

Let me explain…when I think of the word orphan, I think of someone being WITHOUT something.

Our church just got done finishing 21 Days of Prayer on Sunday and I was thinking of people using that time to present their worries, desires, needs, and struggles with others and God wanting to receive answers and freedom.

Marriages fail from feeling like an orphan of love and/or respect.

Friendships end from feeling like an orphan of honesty and trust.

Financial struggle comes from feeling like an orphan of having enough stuff.

Etc.

Having an orphanistic mentality is a decision and usually due to the fact that we look for these things in the wrong places.

Although some may be orphans in the physical, no one is an orphan in the spiritual, emotional, or mental unless they so choose.

From my experience in my short 21 years, I am loved and respected in my marriage because I choose to find my love and respect first in Christ. From there, I now have the power and ability to take that love and respect and transfer it to TJ which allows him the ability to give it in return.

My friendships can remain strong because I learn how to be honest and trustworthy from Jesus’ example.

Our finances remain strong and blessed because I am grateful and content with everything God has given us.

Do not mistake me for perfect or having it all together….I have my “bad, the world is ending” days just like everyone else.

Why? Because no one is perfect and because we all have days where our focus is thrown off by all the things the enemy likes to throw our way.

With everything in life, it is always our choice to let the ball hit us or hit it back at him.

We can never be orphans if we look for our needs in the right place first and then the other areas of our lives will automatically get better.

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.       -Psalm 116:1-2

And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.     -Acts 2:21

If you want to feel valued and unique…then find it from the One who made you that way.

And when we feel loved, unique, and valued, others will treat you that way as well because we radiate confidence in ourselves.

So I encourage anyone and everyone, if you feel WITHOUT in any given area, look at who or what you look to for that need to be filled.

An orphan could look at their lack of parents and feel there is no chance for a bright or successful future because the mountain looks to vast for them to make it to the top. Or they look at that mountain and look at its vastness and all its beauty as a great, unknowing, and exciting journey that they will give their best in every step.

I love the song Touch The Sky by Hillsong. The words and the music make me feel like I can overcome anything. The lyrics speak such truth about what life can be when we put it in Gods hands.

“I found my life,

When I laid it down

Upward Falling, Spirit Soaring

I touched the sky

When my knees hit the ground

What treasure waits within your scars

This gift of freedom gold can’t buy

I bought the world and sold my heart

You traded Heaven to have me again

My heart beating, My soul breathing…”

You can choose to be the victor or the victim. It’s life or death. Blessing or cursing. Truth or lies. Fun or misery.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.    -Romans 6:23

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live        -Deuteronomy 30:19

Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless, for he will get nothing in return.    -Job 15:31

I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.    -Colossians 2:4

It’s your choice…Orphanism or Belonging? Choose Life!

With Love,

Jessica

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Sparks Flew, Sparks Fly

The day you met that special someone, the one who would be yours till “Death parts you.”

All love stories start out so different…some people know from the moment they laid eyes on each other, others are friends first, and some one person knows and just waiting for the other to catch up.

For me, I would say my love falls in the last scenario.

But what rings true in all love…sparks fly when you find that someone. Or at least it should!

As young girls…all we hear and see is these fairytale stories of the perfect romantic moments that puts the idea of what love “should” be. Although love in real life rarely, if ever, happens the way they do in books and movies, they give us the dream of wanting true love.

What is true love you might ask?

I think it is different for each person but the basics..

You can be your true self with that person.

Honesty and respect is something valued and expressed.

I believe that love is when…that person still makes your heart stop and beat faster at the same time when they grab your hand, kiss your cheek, smile, laugh, and when looking at them across the room.

Now don’t mistake me for naive to life..I have felt my fair share of “get away from me now” and “I really don’t want to look at you right now” feelings. Life is not perfect and you may not feel “in love” every moment of your life, but you will feel it every day. That is my hope for all married couples and I know it is God’s as well.

When Tj and I were dating, I felt like life would be over without him. When we were first married, I felt life was over with him…we fought so much, I had no idea where the sparks went. Haha

Over time…the fighting went away when we compromised that Tj would pick up after himself so I didn’t have a reason to be mad anymore! JK(Just Kidding)!

I think what happens too often after marriage is we lose the “I want to date you” mentality. The romance lessens, the dating stops, and we let little petty things cause arguments that just dims the love more. Life happens and sometimes we just have to ride it out and hope to make it out in the end stronger. What we have to hold onto through the trials of life is the sparks that began this journey we call love.

What changed in our marriage? We learned to fight against the problems, not each other.

We can’t lose focus of the bond we share with the person next to us, the vows we made to one another.

We have to learn to hold onto one another in the tough moments, not letting anything come between.

I can tell you just about every detail of the night Tj and I met. I will never forget the feeling when he first smiled at me.

We have been through the mud together and in the clouds together. What I cherish most is that we made our way up to the clouds by discovering a precious love through Jesus Christ.

I believe this verse states it best…

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.            -Ecclesiastes 4:12

Marriage begins with a man and a woman in love and remains because of the love they have for Christ separately and together. He is the third cord not easily broken.

Sparks remain when you run alongside one another and if one gets tired, you don’t leave them behind, you slow down and walk together till the second wind kicks in, knowing that the finish line will be much more exciting side by side, hand in hand.

If the love has dimmed…don’t lose hope! It is never to late to rekindle the sparks! When Tj and I were dating and I was waiting for him to catch up to the fact that we were meant to be together….I remember dreaming of our future and praying that God would bring us together. Although the future I imagined isn’t exactly how it happened, God did bring us together and when life tries to get in the way…I remember all our great moments together and my desire to have the exact life I have now with him. My life with Tj is much more important than the temptation to fight, hold onto pride or stubbornness.

Each couple has their own special story of how they met, the moment they felt the sparks of love, the moment they said “I Do”, and the life they have built to this day. In the tough moments, remember your special moments and the feelings you had in the young love stage.

My true belief from our experience, is that the pure and passionate love a marriage needs can only be attained through the pure and unconditional love we receive from Christ first.

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.                    -Ephesians 4:2 

They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.    -Job 41:17 

“In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.    

-Ephesians 4:26-27

Remember when Sparks Flew, live to see Sparks Fly.

With Love,

Jessica