You see the depths of my heart // and You love me the same

my boyfriend is so incredible!

tonight we had a small scuffle over a misunderstanding, and patched that up first thing.

then he said he didn’t really feel like answering questions

(we’re working through a book called “101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged”)

and i was really, really sad.

he absolutely hates talking on the phone, and my unfortunate mumbling problem makes me hard to understand sometimes over the phone, so that was really the only reason.

he suggested waiting until we see each other on friday night to do any more questions, and maybe just stick with texting and talk on his breaks at work and stuff

well, needless to say, me being me i started crying because it’s been almost two weeks and i miss him so much, the idea of having such a surface-level type of relationship even for that short of a time broke me

i told him this, and he relented, and we did a couple of questions and prayed for a long time together, which helped heal some of the disconnected-ness i’ve been fighting with these past couple of weeks!

he’s just awesome, doing something he hates because he loves me

i have to say, having such a deep relationship with another individual is probably one of the absolute hardest things i’ve ever dealt with in my spiritual journey so far.

i struggle with how do i properly balance loving one person so much with also loving God completely, who clearly deserves all of my love, every last bit of it, yet he gave me this man to share that love with

tyler is a wonderful outlet of God’s love for me, but i still continuously struggle with keeping my love for him in check with my love for God.

Paul is certainly right when he encourages people to embrace singleness – it sure was a heck of a lot easier!

but i know tyler was given to me as a huge blessing from God, and he has opened up a part of my heart that i didn’t know i had been keeping closed off until he came along! God did (and does) the same thing. He can see right through to the core of who i am, and yet He loves me all the time. realizing this about Him completely changed my entire life!  thus why i have given Him my life.

i know i’m definitely not alone in feeling this way in my relationship, my other friends who are in serious relationships have expressed the same feelings, but still, it would be nice if we all had an easy button for this :)

tyler joshua gunn is a total blessing from God, and i love him so much. i know i can be so impossible and so frustrating at times, yet he sticks with me and fights for me.

i hope to be able to convey my love to him better every day, and i love seeing our relationship grow more as we grow closer to God both together and individually.

thanks if you have read this entire gushy post :)

Published in: on August 11, 2010 at 1:39 am  Comments (2)  

all the best lies // they are told with fingers tied // so cross them tight

alright, i truly honestly want to get back into the swing of blogging again like i used to be!

i had a really rough year faith-wise and i am currently fighting my way out of the corner i was backed into.

i’ll leave it at that.

i recently just finished a beth moore study and decided for my next adventure i would begin reading a book i’ve had for almost year and never touched – velvet elvis by rob bell.

so far, my favorite phrase I read is on page 25:

“the moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God.  we are dealing with somebody we made up. and if we made him up, then we are in control…we find God reminding people that he is beyond and bigger and more.”

that’s one of the greatest things i struggle with in faith and always have.

God is so much.  how am i supposed to communicate with what i can’t understand?  i can trust that He knows all, i can trust that He loves me fully, but sometimes the trust is hard to believe when when big events happen in life or when you screw up big time.

how can God continuously forgive me and not finally just throw His hands up and say “you know what, jess? i’m over it. i forgive you for the same stupid things over and over and over again but you just can’t get it through your head!”

bah. life.

i know in my head that God will never say that, my heart just has some trouble embracing it fully is all.

Published in: on July 29, 2010 at 11:31 am  Leave a Comment  

where you invest your love // you invest your life

i realized something today.

ok, five minutes ago, really.

i feel an unexplainable bond between me and my closest friends.  there is this wonderful recognition that i can tell them anything and be accepted by them in love.  i have never had that before today, the absence of judgment in a friendship.

all of my closest friends are believers, and  that is the only difference between them and my other friends.  thus, i can’t help but give God thanks for the ability to love and to be loved.  if i didn’t have such a bond with even one single person in my life, i can’t imagine how much more dreary my life could potentially be.

i have such a huge gift – the gift of love.  it’s a not a gift that comes with no strings attached, it requires me to love others the way i am being loved.  i wish i could phrase that differently, i realize that by saying it doesn’t come with no strings attached that i now made it sound like you have to earn God’s love or something.

that’s not the case.

Jesus is incredibly simple.

love Him and receive His love.

yet by choosing to love him, and thus recognizing that we have received His love in return, we also recognize the responsibility that comes with it!

God is love.

1 John is general is just awesome.

love.

Published in: on July 15, 2010 at 12:41 am  Leave a Comment  

keep your feet on the ground // when your head’s in the clouds

so.

i went sharing today with my mentee, and it was pretty freakin sweet. first we talked about pride and how much pride sucks.  it just gets in the way of everything.

my discipler believes that every sin can be traced back to pride.  and to be honest, when we talked that through for about 10 minutes, i have to say she’s right.  i mean, one of my biggest struggles as a Christian, which i think most girls find themselves struggling with, is not immediately judging another girl in their mind based on how they dress, act, etc.  clearly this is pride – i mean, i’m sooooo much better than them, right?  the “driveby” image that i  portray is much holier than theirs, i’m sure.

you see what i mean.

anyway, this is week 3 of e-mentorship, so this week stacy had to be the one to approach someone and initiate a conversation.  she quickly scanned the wright food court, and settled on a girl sitting alone at a table on the side.  as we got closer to her, stacy realized it was a girl on her floor, and i would love to know if that made her more nervous or not, but i forgot to ask. dang.

we sat down. stacy asks if we could do a quick spiritual survey. the girl agrees.  as we begin the survey, she claims Catholicism.  she believes God is imperfect because of some of the crazy stories in the apocrophae. awesome. stacy asks how you get to heaven. well, she says, not by being “good” because that could mean anything.  ok, so how? well, that depends on God’s opinion of what good and evil.  i nod, sort of smile.  we finish the survey. she says if she could, have a personal relationship with God would be pretty cool. i take my cue.  i tell her God is perfect. He’s white.  our hearts are black from sin.

God = white

sin = black

black + white = gray ≠ God

i use this to tie in where Jesus comes into play.  overall i think a seed was definitely planted, but she still seems to need more of a push.  i’m definitely glad that stacy lives on her floor and maybe they can get together more now that the door to that conversation was opened.

anyway, i’m getting a lot of money back for taxes.  i’d be stoked if i didn’t have to use all of it on my bursar.

silly college.

but my grandparents come on sunday! yay!! i love them.

and i love you!

the (temporary) end.

Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 7:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

we’ll build our home brick by boring brick // or the wolf’s gonna blow it down

oh hiiiiiiiiiiii :)

i know, it’s been a loooong while, very regretfully, for sure!

but i’ve been at odds with God.   maybe “at odds” isn’t the best way to put it, but really i’ve just felt disconnected. i have managed to fnid that a  lot of people have been feeling this way lately, however. and through that i’ve realized that this disconnect may be one of the hardest things for us to admit to our studies about, especially the ones we lead, more than almost any sin we’re involved with.

maybe this is where good ol’ c.s. lewis gets this idea from – the idea that the sins of the self are worse (or more detrimental to our faith) than the sins of the flesh. i don’t think it’s a sin to feel disconnected, but i do this it’s a sin to become apathetic towards God during that time.  the biggest reason for this disconnect is so that we may be driven to overcome it, to seek Him out more, and as a result be even closer to His loving presence.

speaking of love, my discipler shared something pretty sweet with me. i admitted to her that i have a really hard time believing that God’s love is unfailing, especially if i have a sin habit.  in my mind, when i sin God looks at me and just shakes His head, saying, “alright, jess….i need some space to get over this. you’re on your own for a while.”

so melissa asks me if i knew the sole purpose for my creation.  it’s not to glorify Him or praise His name. it’s to be loved.  she pointed to the crucifixion story in Luke 23.  Jesus is on the cross with the two criminals behind him, the one criminal recognizing Christ as the Savior but believes he is too late to receive salvation because he has done nothing but sin his entire life; thus, he asks Jesus to simply remember him.  but Jesus does something more – He allows the criminal to experience God’s love and grace, telling the man he will certainly be going to heaven.

this criminal had done nothing to promote God’s kingdom. in fact, he clearly took actions that did just the opposite!  he is on the cross, asking Jesus in his dying breaths to simply remember him.  it’s not like the man could just hop down off the cross and start doing good or to make restitution with those whom he hurt.  his entire life was over, and he had nothing good to show for it.

yet God loved that man just as much as He loved Paul and Peter and all the other disciples.  He loved him with his undying affections, and didn’t need to see any good deeds in order to have that proven to Him – He already saw the man’s heart!

the point is, God doesn’t need us.  we can hole ourselves up in our rooms with our bibles and maybe some worship tunes and have our own private Jesus party til the day we die and God will still love us as much as He always has.  while this is not recommended for a healthy faith, it’s true.  God just doesn’t need us to do anything we don’t want to – He’ll find a way of getting it done.  every deed we do, every faith-based decision we make, every faith step we take, is all for our betterment, not His.  we do it because we love Him and we want to spread the word that He loves us to others.

so yeah, i’m exhausted. hope this was something to chew on :)

Published in: on February 23, 2010 at 3:46 am  Leave a Comment  

no need to apologize // we’ve got no time for feeling sorry

the other day my friend and i were talking and she said something that really struck a nerve and i can’t quite shake it, so i’m gonna vent a little.

for some reason as we were talking i mentioned rob bell and she threw her hands up and goes “oh no, let’s not even go there, i don’t like him at all”

and of course, being a fairly big rob bell fan, i questioned why.

at first she said “i just don’t even want to get into it” so i thought maybe something she’d read had turned her off of him and she just wouldn’t ever go back.

then, once the topic we’d been talking about was through, she brought it back to the rob bell question. here was her answer:

” i haven’t ever actually read any of his books, but this past summer my friend was reading one of his books and decided she’d highlight the stuff she didn’t agree with him on.  when i flipped through the book she had almost every page covered in highlights. but the main reason i don’t like him is because he’s just so big – everyone praises him, and i just don’t like to try what everyone else is doing.  that’s why i never got into pokemon or dave matthews band or death cab or anything. i just don’t want to be labeled because of those things; i feel like i’m me, and i need to like things that let people know who i am.”

and i thought, but what if YOU like dave matthews?

i just got extremely irritated by this. she’s never even read any of his material!  i’m all about supporting your opinion if you’ve substantially formed one, but she was basing this assessment of rob bell off of so little!

so overall, why was i irritated?

number one, i absolutely despise when people try to be different – i pick up on this very, very quickly. number two, i think that not giving something a chance just so you don’t look conformist, like you’re “following the bandwagon,” is probably the dumbest reason i have ever heard for not giving something a fair chance.

who you are is who you are.  no matter what you like or read or eat or listen to or whatever, nothing will ever make you not unique.

uniqueness is innate. you’re just born with it. there’s no need to try.

if you’re afraid people are going to judge you because you like pokemon or rob bell or hannah montana then i think your view of the world is skewed, especially as a Christian.

if any of those things was anti-Jesus, then there may be a problem. but worrying so much about what people think of you based on the earthly things you choose to enjoy is just silly.  to avoid certain things that are popular just because of how people may judge you or label you is almost arrogant, like you think to highly of yourself to “lower yourself” to indulge in what the masses are doing.

my name is jessica. i’ve read the twilight series, i jam out to britney spears sometimes, i know all the words to party in the usa, and i own three pairs of PINK sweatpants from victoria’s secret (but i used to have four).

now i’m sure that at least half the girls in america also like and have these same things.

but then there’s also the fact that i don’t like shorts, i get anxiety when the foods on my plate are touching, i love washing dishes, i love paramore, i hate the color yellow, i also don’t like lemon flavored things, and ketchup makes me gag.

there’s just so much to someone that if another person was to label them based on one of two “conformist” things that they like, then those are definitely not the kinds of people you need around you, brainwashing you into thinking that you’re not unique.

now, my friend is an awesome person, a great friend who is thoughtful and caring and loving and freaking loves Jesus so so much! i just was very shocked to hear this come out of her, and the more i think about it the more i see this as being such a bad mindset to have.

please just be who are and live for Him. that’s all you need to get by.

Published in: on November 27, 2009 at 3:28 am  Leave a Comment  

oblivious is how i want to be // to the world surrounding me

it’s not that i don’t want to write,  i just don’t know HOW to say what i’m feeling right now.

it’s very frustrating.

i’m just gonna say that i need a lot of prayer right now. a lot a lot!

i love you if you’re putting up with me  :)

Published in: on November 1, 2009 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

honestly, can you believe // we crossed the world while it’s asleep

i’ve got about ten minutes to write this, but i still wanted to post a little something.

first of all, i don’t know if Paramore can get any more awesome.  like really, this album is topping Riot like crazy, how do they not have even one crappy song by now? i don’t know,  i can only dream of being that creatively awesome.

anywayyyy,  i wrote a poem the other day when it was about seventy degrees about the leaves and how pretty they are in the summer sun now but they’re basically going to be murdered soon in the winter. then the next day it was like, fifty degrees outside and everyone’s talking about how cold it is now that it’s becoming fall and winter is getting ever closer.

it’s like i have magic or something, i dunno.

i’m still not down from my happy cloud yet, either. i mean, i’m not complaining because it’s pretty sweet up here. even though money and stuff is frustrating, it’s pretty sweet to watch God work through that and provide.  like, clearly i’m gonna be in debt and stuff but God is very comforting that it’s really not the end of the world, He’s got me covered.

last but not least, John 17 is quickly becoming one of my favorite chapters.  we studied it over retreat this past weekend and what i discovered about it was so awesome!  i mean, Jesus just wants to be with us – he’s practically begging God for us to have unity with him in 22-24.  he’s just so cool, i never cease to be amazed.

Published in: on October 6, 2009 at 5:58 am  Leave a Comment  

it’s not a dream anymore // this one’s worth fighting for

i love life.

i love the people in it, i love watching God work in it, and i love the unpredictability that comes with living out a reckless faith.

and i’m currently on my 4th time listening to the new Paramore album that’s streaming from their fan club page even though the album doesn’t come out for another week.

yes, i’m the fan club.

i know – i’m really, really cool…

again, i love life :)

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 7:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

the end of fear is where we begin // the moment we decided to let love in

why am i so happy all the time?  i don’t remember being like this ever in my life, it’s weird!

i’m just constantly filled with this joy and i just want to bless everyone around me and make their lives awesome too and give hugs and smile and laugh and eventually i’ll probably explode into sunshine.

but seriously, nothing even happened today, all i did was go to work all day and now i’m at home studying for a quiz (ok, clearly i’m not studying, but i like to tell people i am……)

so what’s there to be so darn cheery about?  i guess God is just that awesome.  He can make me chipper over nothing – just today in the car as i was driving home from work, i was listing to Mighty to Save and i looked up at the clouds and i just shuddered at how cool He is!  i love that feeling, i wish it was with me all the time!

i understand if you already threw up a little at this nauseating post but i just wanted to let that out :)

Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 6:23 pm  Comments (2)  
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