God WILL Give You More Than You Can Handle

“God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

I’m sure we’ve all heard this saying whether you attend church or not. It’s a common saying that many people lean on. We see it cross-stitched on pillows, we see it scrolling through our timelines on twitter, and people pat us on the back after we pour our heart out and say, “Don’t worry, God won’t give you more than you can handle.” I don’t know about you, but that statement provides me zero comfort when I’m in pain.

The reality is, God WILL give you more than you can handle. You will experience brokenness, pain, loneliness, confusion, loss, exhaustion and tragedy in this life. We will have moments where we feel like we are drowning. And this is typically when someone “conveniently” says to us, “but don’t worry, it will never be more than you can handle.”

THAT IS A BIG FAT LIE.

God will most definitely give us more than we can handle. That’s the whole point. It’s the moment where our weakness meets His strength. We can’t face trails in our lives without Him.

God has been teaching me lately that there is strength in brokenness. We need to come to Him in our brokenness. And I’m talking about the crying your eyes out in your car, makeup running down your face, hair a mess type of brokenness. Completely vulnerable, completely broken before the Lord.

2nd Corinthians 12:10 puts it this way…

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

How in the world are we supposed to DELIGHT in weakness?! To be completely honest, when I’m having a “crying alone in your car kind of moment” the last thing I want to do is delight in the pain I’m feeling. I am not an expert on this topic by any means, but I’ll be honest I am in a challenging season right now and God is teaching me how to let Him be my strength. His strength becomes our own.

Romans 8:26 says…

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”

I love at the end of this verse how it says, “with sighs too deep for words.” I don’t know about you, but I can relate to that feeling. Sighs, thoughts, feelings, sorrows too deep for words. We don’t even know how to describe it. That’s the beautiful part, when the Holy Spirit intercedes and makes sense of all the things we don’t know how to begin to describe. God knows exactly how we are feeling and we don’t have to explain it loud to him, He already understands our soul’s desires.

I remember praying a few weeks ago, “God, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t keep trying to control everyone and everything. I am not perfect, and I am in desperate need of you. I am exhausted trying to heal myself. I feel like I’m drowning in my pain, and I can’t get my head above water. I don’t even know where to begin or how to rely on you for strength, but please speak to my heart and show me how. Please teach me how to rest in you.”

It’s so comforting to know that God doesn’t have any expectations of “where we should be”. He simply calls us to rest in Him. To get down on our knees and ask Him to teach us how to let him be our strength.

So, as I’ve been praying this prayer the past few weeks God has been quietly speaking to my heart and helping me be vulnerable with Him. He is helping me realize that it’s totally okay to not have it together all the time. (Shocking, I know right?!)

There is strength in stillness.

Stillness before our Creator who says to us, “I know this is too much for you to handle. That’s why you need me. Come to me in your brokenness and let me give your weary soul rest.”

So, what does it practically look like to rest in God and let him be our strength in our everyday lives?

I want to share with you some tips that have been SUPER helpful and healing for me when I feel weak and broken.

  1. Rest in Him. Literally, take a deep breath and rest. Don’t try and fix everything or work everything out in your head. Allow yourself to sit in your pain for a little while if you need to and ask God to teach your heart how to rest in Him and His strength.
  2. Allow yourself those “crying alone in your car” type of moments. Allow yourself those moments and begin to turn them into precious moments with our Lord. Pray out loud, scream out loud, whatever you need to do.
  3. Find a friend or mentor to sit with you in your pain. We were not meant to walk through struggles in life alone. Be vulnerable with a friend and ask them to come along side you and lift you up when you are weak.
  4. Do something that makes you feel strong. I have found that going on a run daily, and working out has been very therapeutic for me. Find something that makes you feel productive and strong and work it into your schedule.

 “We are never so healed that we don’t need Jesus every single moment of every single day.” -Christine Caine

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How to Make the Best of Your Senior Year

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After completing my first week of senior year, I realized how incredibly fast this year is going to go by.  I plan on making this the best year yet. Soaking up every conversation, every theatre performance, every audition, every lunch with my friends, and yes, even every boring math class.

Just by simply being given the title of a senior, I have been given the gift of great influence over my school, and I plan on making it count.

Here are some of my goals that I pray every senior will strive to achieve as well.  🙂

1. Notice the little things: pick up trash on the school campus, hold the door open for fellow peers when entering a class, invite a new student to sit at your lunch table, offer grace when its lacking, speak words of kindness.

2. Read your Bible: reading your Bible every day before school will equip you to have the courage to be bold in your school and put your heart at peace before the day. Don’t underestimate the power of being in His Word. I recently decided to take on the challenge of reading the Bible in one year with my church small group. It has been amazing to see how God is working in my heart since I took on this challenge. I highly suggest taking your faith to the next level and challenging yourself this year spiritually. How cool would it be if you walked into college saying you have read the whole Bible?!!

Here is the APP I use to read the Bible on YouVersion.

Be in this world, but not of it.

3. Be the example, not the exception:  as a senior, it’s extremely tempting for us to think of ourselves as the exception to the rules. This comes off as rude and as if we think of ourselves as superior to other students on campus. I want to be a role model for younger students, not the lazy senior that thinks I am above the crowd.

Realize that life goes on after high school, and some of the greatest moments of our lives are yet to happen.

4. Live in the moment: it’s going to be extremely hard for me not to be stressing about college 24/7 this year, but if I do this I will miss so many unforgettable memories. Worrying will not fix or help anything; it will only hold me back this year.

  • When I’m at a football game, I’m really going to be ALL there mentally.
  • When I’m performing in the school play, I’m going to soak in every second of goofing off with my amazing cast backstage.
  • When I’m driving my brother to school, I’m going to have meaningful conversations and lots of pre school jam sessions.

Lastly, go on spontaneous adventures,
try lots of new things, love people unconditionally,
offer grace, and be bold.
Make memories.
Go make this year count.

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I Don’t Know About You, But I’m Feeling Seventeen

It’s going to be hard to top last year’s birthday for me. Sitting by the ocean in Nicaragua with the sweet Godinez family, fishing for hours, worshipping the Lord in their church, and seeing their home be completed.

It was the adventure of a lifetime.

This year I was sitting at the beach in Cali on my 17th birthday. I thought back on what God has done this past year and I could not be more in awe. Partnering with 1MISSION and CIY has blessed me so much throughout this past year and has given me such amazing opportunities to reach out into our world.

If you want check out this crazy adventure watch the video above!

Here a few of my goals for this year (because I plan on making 17 the best year evvveerrrr).

  1. Be selfless
  2. Speak life into others
  3. Go on more weekend adventures
  4. Be more spontaneous
  5. Don’t worry so much about what people think about me

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5 Tips to Help You Have a Stress Free Semester

It seems like our culture is over committed and always stressed out. How can we eliminate that in our lives? Last week I was feeling down and a bit stressed out so I decided to put these steps into action and it’s amazing what the Lord will do when you simply come to Him for refreshment.

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1. Re-evaluate your priorities: I often have to take a deep breath, step outside and take a look at where my priorities are. Some questions I ask myself are, “Have I been spending enough time in the Bible and having quiet time with God?”, “When was the last time I had a night to relax at home with my family?”, and “What’s really most important to me right now?” This helps me to get back on track and realize where my heart is amongst the craziness of life. I’ve found that focusing on others, helps me to loose sight of myself and feel less stressed. Take a moment to make a list of your priorities and who you want to invest in.

2. Rest: When I start to feel overwhelmed, I go to bed early that night. Rest restores creativity. A good nights rest allows you to think more clearly and have some perspective. Trust me, you need rest! It’s worth it.

3. Be productive: If you feel stressed or overwhelmed with balancing work, family, friends, schoolwork, church, and sports you’re not alone. It’s challenging to give it your all, 100% of the time. But what I’ve found is if you are productive and work hard in the moment you are in, you will feel accomplished by the end of the day. When you’re in class, make progress and give it your best instead of saying, “Oh I’m so stressed; I can’t do this today.”

Continuing to say you feel stressed will not solve the problem.

4. Take it off the plate: When stress consumes you, consider cutting out some unnecessary activities that take up some of your valuable time. For example, cut out that club at school that you are just not passionate about so that you can invest in your family more, or stop watching that show that’s causing you to get behind on homework. Don’t overcommit yourself because that will cause you not give the activities you are most passionate about your all. You want to do a few things excellently rather than overcommit and feel defeated.

5. Take a day: Take a day. Simply, don’t make plans. Stay in your PJ’s all day and watch movies. Eat lots of ice cream. Spend precious moments of stillness and quiet. Take a day to refresh your soul. It’s not selfish. The best leaders take time for themselves so that they can feel confident, which allows them to lead others better.

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How To Stand Strong When You Are Standing Alone

My beautiful birthday wife Rene @ Getty Villa

Sometimes in life you’re going to have to stand alone. It’s okay.

It takes nothing to join a crowd. It takes everything to stand alone.

It takes courage to stand alone and fight for what you believe in, even when no one else will join you. People will not always agree with you. When you stand up for what is right, you will face opposition.

“And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
Mark 13:13

When you’re standing alone and speaking truth and you get glares when you walk in a room, or don’t get invited to a party you are suffering for Christ. But The Lord is fighting for you. Always.

When other people back down and leave you alone, The Lord is right by your side, cheering you on when other people turn their back. He’s got your back when you feel weak.

“My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”
2 Cor. 12:9

I’ve found that on days when I feel weak, I’m able to experience His power and love even more clearly.

Be in this world and radically love and unleash compassion, but don’t be of this world.

There is a huge difference. Don’t pollute your mind with lies, fill you heart with truth so that when the time comes to stand for what is right, God’s word will overflow from your heart.

I’m continually learning more and more about this, and what God is showing me is that He will never leave me or forsake me. By renewing myself in His Word each morning I can remind myself of what is true. The Lord is always by my side when I’m having an amazing day or when I’m in tears when life gets tough.

He is constant when the world is inconsistent.

So this year, in 2015, I encourage you to remind yourself that God will never leave you in your moments when you feel alone. If He has prompted you to stand up for something or someone then you can trust that He will give you confidence and help you succeed.

He’s got your back.

Be bold this year.

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Jesus Is Enough

I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept lately. I grew up being told that Jesus is enough countless times, and I believed it. But it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve been really starting to unpack it and see it in action in my life.

I was watching a video of a worship leader, Tim Timmons, on youtube with my family one evening.  I encourage you to watch his video, it’s incredibly inspiring and convicting.

He finished his song, Great Reward, and then began to talk about Jesus being enough to walk him and his family through the trials of life. Tim has been diagnosed with cancer for 12 years, and he was talking about Jesus walking his family through life when he’s gone one day. Then he said something that struck me, “What if Jesus was enough?” That question rang in my head throughout the next week. I asked myself this question daily, what if Jesus was enough to fill my soul?

As I looked at life with this outlook, I started to realize that He is enough.

He’s enough to calm my heart and cast out all the worries piling up in my mind after a rough day.
He’s enough when a boy breaks my heart and leaves me feeling confused.
He’s enough when friendships crumble.
He’s enough when patience fails.
He’s our hope when hope is gone.
He’s enough to help us choose joy on the days when it’s hardest to do so.

When other people around us let us down, He never will. He is constant, never changing. This is encouraging to me when I feel like my world is spinning around me and shaking me up.

That hole, that void we try to fill with worldly things will never be satisfied unless we fill it with Jesus. We tend to turn to Jesus on our not so great days, but He’s also enough on the good days – the days where patience and joy prevail. His unfailing love is enough. He has always been enough and will continue to be. We just need to remind ourselves that He is. I let that question echo in my mind; I wrote it on my mirror, and it began to revolutionize my outlook on life.

We can come crawling to Him in tears, and He will refresh our hearts and give us hope. His name holds power. The only name that will ever be enough for us.

I’m still learning more and more about this daily

Ask yourself this week, “What if Jesus was enough?” He’ll begin to reveal moments of indescribable peace if you allow Him to take control and be ALL you need.

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16 Things I’ve Learned by Age 16

Welcome to my blog!
Super excited for this first post. Here’s a little insight on what I’ve been learning lately. Hope you enjoy!

1. It’s okay not to have everything together 100% of the time. It’s okay to cry. You’re not perfect.

2. Some day a boy will break your heart. Its okay to be sad, but don’t stay sad. God has someone greater in store for you.

3. Boys/ relationships do not determine your worth or value. ONLY God defines who you are and He sees you as beautiful and valuable.

4. Sometimes in life you’ll have to stand alone. It’s okay, God is always on your side sitting right next to you, fighting for you.

5. Fill your mind with the truth of God’s Word, not the lies of the world.

6. Sleep. Get rest and refresh your tired mind and soul so you can give every day your all.

7. People disagree with you? Good. That means you stood up for something or someone at one point in your life.

8. Meet new people. Make new friends, even if it’s scary, branch out of your clique.

9. Jesus is enough to fill your soul. He is ALL you need.

10. If it’s in God’s hands, then you can rest assured that it will be done well.

11. Things are never as bad as they seem. Take a step back and gain some perspective.

12. People will not remember how your hair looked or your outfits, they will remember what you stood for and how you made them feel. So, don’t stress if you’re having a bad hair day.

13. Be known for what you love, not what you hate.

14. Show me your friends, and ill show you your future. I’ve heard my dad and many other pastor’s say this before, and it is 100% true. Surround your self with wise, encouraging friends that you want to become like.

15. Grades are not eternal.

16. “Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.” – Emma Watson

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