Tag Archives: truth

living my truth

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So, I gotta be honest. This phrase drives me bonkers.

Like, legitimately might be my biggest pet peeve with people these days.

“Living my truth” seems to be the kool kid phrase of our culture right now. When celebrities/public figures/people with influence are asked questions in interviews about an.y.thing. that could have a moral standard attached to it, they typically respond with something along the lines of, “Well, I just think it’s really important for us to find our truth and live that out. Ya know, just, living in your own truth can bring you so much happiness and freedom.”

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Yes, Anna. Stop that. Stop that right now.

Although, she’s probably said it too…sigh…

ANYWAYS. Back to my rant.

My issue with this whole “find your truth and live it thing” is that we can’t ALL decide what truth is. I don’t get to decide the 100% actuality of a thing.

And I think my biggest hangup with the whole dang thang is that we pick and choose what we want to be true in order to serve our own selfish desires and fleeting pleasures.

If I decide that the truest truth is that Mexican food is the truest form of good food and that you are a demon-spawn if you don’t like it, and you disagree with me, who is right? Does your inability to realize truth in its highest form (my truth, that is) remove your rights/value/dignity as a human?

(I mean, in this case probably because Mexican food is delicious)

NO. Absolutely not.

Because guess what…that isn’t truth. It isn’t an indisputable fact.

Chinese food is good.
Pizza is good.
Queso is…wait….queso is Mexican. Never mind.

My point is, I cannot be the final decision maker when it comes to truth. Nor do I WANT to be the final decision maker. I feel like we are all so inadequate at deciding ANYTHING, especially what truth is. Mainly because we are all so fickle and selfish and just…well…ill equipped.

We were made by the only arbiter of truth, and that is God Himself.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things (including truth) were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing (including truth) made that was made.

John 1:1-3

If we submit to God as the Creator of all that we see and know, we have to submit to Him as the Creator of truth as well.

We don’t get to only submit to parts of God’s commands and character. His Word was not given as a mere suggestion on how to live your best life now.

No. His Word was/is given as the truest form of truth we can know. Jesus was given as the complete embodiment of Truth – so that we might have a Savior from our sinful ways and an Example of how to submit to the One whose truth gives life and freedom.

Submission to God and His actual truth does not lay heavy bondage on my life.
Living in a world (even if it’s my own world in my head) where I get to choose truth and it changes all of the time — that is what causes bondage, and anxiety, and heartbreak, and disillusionment, and, well, a lost and weary soul.

Submission to God, instead, frees us up to rest in knowing His truth will lead to life everlasting, it never changes, and that it is for my good and His glory. Living in God’s truth frees me from living a lie of working my way into His grace.

I’d rather live in the truth of the Creator who has been faithful throughout history than try to figure out my own truth every morning.

Man. What a friggin burden to bear. I’ll let Someone else tell me what truth is.

It just seems easier — more life-giving — that way.

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psalm 18

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I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (v1-2)

When I was 18 years old, I forced myself to believe these 2 verses.

Wait a second…I was 18. And it’s psalm 18. I JUST PUT THAT TOGETHER. #GodSighting

I digress.

My freshman year of college was SO HARD you guys. So. Hard. I moved away from the familiar and felt so lost. I was in a sea of strangers with no connection; on a team with no teammates. I had nowhere to go.

So, I decided to read my Bible like any good Southern Baptist girl should do when she has no other solution.

(Side note: there typically is no other solution, so we should just start with Jesus.)

I came to psalm 18 and immediately thought, “Yes. This. This is truth and I need to know it in the depths of my soul.”

I would repeat these verses to myself every day.
This is who God is: He is my rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, horn of my salvation, and stronghold. He is the One I take refuge in.

Even if I feel distant from Him, it doesn’t change who He is.

The truth of God’s character and who He is toward me pulled me out of some krap.

But

it doesn’t end there.

The kewlest thing about God’s Word is that it truly is living and active.

When I re-read this psalm tonight, truth that I need to know in the depths of my soul leapt of the page/screen:

 He rescued me, because He delighted in me. (v19)

For it is You who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. (v28)

Yes, Lord. Yes.

He delights in me.
He lightens my darkness.

He fills the space in my heart that nothing and no one else can.
He shows up in ways only He knows how.

He truly is the One in whom I take refuge.
He is the One who, through Jesus, has brought great salvation and steadfast love to you & I.

Man, Lord.
I do love You.

read all of psalm 18 here!

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when it feels like no one shows up

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I wrote the following a couple weeks ago when I felt really naked and exposed and too full of shame and guilt to speak these words to anyone, so writing them just felt like the natural thing to do. Then I shoved them away. But they came back again in a couple different conversations, so, I have to share them now.

I still feel pretty naked and exposed at times, but God is teaching me that my shame is not something I can let the enemy have. I need to give Him my shame, and my guilt, and my exposure, and my nakedness. And in that, I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that He will receive all of it and all of me, and will sit with me in the fiery furnace.

It’s pretty short, but it’s pretty raw. And it was all I could bear at the time.

Read on:

Sometimes I get sad.
Sometimes I think I’m alone and unlovable and that no one really wants to be my friend.

That I’ve been found out. The real Kayla has finally stood up and she’s repulsive.

I’m feeling a little bit like that lately.
I’ve let my guard down and the enemy has snuck in through the back door. I kinda think he’s like a little mosquito that gets in right before the door shuts and you don’t even know he’s in the house until he’s bitten you 7 times and you start to itch a day later.

That’s how I feel right now.

I feel isolated. Unloved. Alone. Unworthy. And itchy.

I know these feelings are not feelings God delights in my feeling.
I know that God is good and that I am loved and worthy.

But I also feel like God is just kinda letting me lay my head on His holy shoulder and is weeping with me. He’s feeling these things just as I am.
I don’t think He’s telling me to just figure it out and get along with my life.

No.
He’s in the mire.
He’s holding me close, throbbing in pain right alongside me.

When it feels like no one else is showing up, the enemy is probably on the move.
When it feels like no one else is showing up, God is.
When it feels like no one else is showing up, it doesn’t matter – the King of Creation and Lover of my soul never leaves or forsakes me. He has already shown up and will not leave.

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redeeming lies

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If there’s 7 things I’m good at, one of them is believing lies about myself. On the Meyers-Briggs personality type, I’m an INFJ, which basically means if you sneeze in my direction and don’t smile at me after, I’m going to think that you don’t like me and probably never will. And I’ll come to that conclusion in about .4 seconds.

I like to think of this as a quality that is endearing, and makes me, me! My friends get a little worn out by it.

Another thing this means for me is that if I ‘hear’ a lie – whether I actually hear it from a person or it’s the enemy whispering it in my ear – I believe it. Without reservation, I can cling to whatever is spoken:

“You’re incapable of professional growth.”
“You’re not worthy of meaningful friendships.”
“You’re missing your window of opportunity for marriage.”
“You don’t look like everyone else, so you’ll probably never attract a man.”
“You’re all alone.”
“You’re the only one that deals with that problem.”
“Your sin is unredeemable.”

And these are not lies I just made up on the spot for example’s sake. They are lies I have heard throughout my life.

Even typing them out just now, my initial reaction is to say, “Yep. You’re right computer screen. All of those statements are true.”

For the last 5 years, God has been in the business of redeeming those lies. Of softening my heart to hear His voice when He whispers, “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased.”

God has been opening my ears to hear His Truth spoken louder than the lies of the enemy.

One of the beautiful ways the Lord is doing that is through meaningful community. If you’ve read much of this blog at all, you’re probably thinking, “well, here she goes again, talking about her lady friends.” And you’re right. Here I go again. Working it in. Because those lady friends are in the business of speaking God’s Truth, not only to me, but to one another, and into the worlds in which they live.

This past Saturday I had 18 (at least, I think it was 18) of my favorite ladies (shout out!!! and to those that couldn’t make it…shout out!! hhhaaaayyyy) over for Galentine’s Day 2016.
I wrote this on my Instagram before they came over: “If you would’ve asked me 10 years ago if I would have (female friends) like I do, I would have said, ‘no. because relationships with women are hard & I don’t fully believe I deserve good friends.'”

If there’s anything that is true in my life right now, outside of Jesus, it’s that I have good friends. Deep, meaningful community in my life that I do deserve – and I deserve it because Jesus died on a cross in order to call me first to Himself, and then into a team of believers. A team to come alongside with, serving Jesus and loving others. As my pastor said a couple weeks ago, community happens when we encourage each other more to follow & love Jesus.

And redemption of lies happens when we allow the Truth of God’s Word and the fellowship of other believers to push us more & more towards the cross – where blood was shed and redemption took place once and for all. Killing lies that so easily ensnare us.

Now, don’t think that the lies listed above are nonexistent today. I still struggle with believing my feelings over Truth. However, God is redeeming them. Love is filling me up. And Truth is winning out.

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entering rest

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I like naps. A lot. Really, I probably love them. Snuggling up in a blanket on my bed while it’s still sunny is one of my favorite things to do.

Physically resting is definitely a norm in my life. Spiritually & mentally resting, however, is a different story.

If letting my mind run wild with different scenarios, worries, anxieties, etc. were an Olympic event, I would most likely win gold.

I specifically let my mind keep busy thinking about my future –

“will I get married?”
“what does this text mean?”
“why doesn’t he call?”
“he liked this picture, so we’re engaged, right?”

It goes on and on and never ceases. The fight within my mind over my thoughts is exhausting.

I’ve been reading through the book of Hebrews and using a study from shereadstruth.com. Today’s passage was about true Sabbath rest. A rest that belongs to the people of God. Not one that we have to work for, or even wait on – it already belongs to us.

One line on the blog that hit me in the gut was:

(God) has already assigned you more worth than you could ever create or accumulate. This is the good news today, on Sunday morning and for the rest of forever.

Did you see that? Because of the worth that the Creator of the Universe has already given me, I don’t have to worry about my future. I don’t have to read in to that text message that may or may not mean some dude likes me. I don’t have to exhaust myself with the cares of this world. I can rest, secure and hopeful, in my Savior’s loving arms – knowing that my future is in the hands of Jesus, the One that lived the perfect life, died the death that I deserve, and rose again on the third day so that I am now redeemed.

That’s the rest that belongs to us. We are free from work, worry, being consumed with things that are out of our control. We get to enter in to deep, restorative, and real rest that only Christ can provide.

Do I want marriage? Yes.
But missing Jesus because I chase after a boy isn’t worth it. Not for one second.
I want Jesus, and His rest, more.

Check out Bedelia’s sleepover & her best friend/mom here!

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the voices in my head

I got to spend this past weekend at one of my favorite camps of all time: FCA Girls Weekend of Champions. It’s seriously the best. We had over 130 ladies join us for a weekend of competition and growth in our faith in Christ. It was a blast.

One of my favorite parts of Girls Weekend – and in particular this year’s camp – is how quickly girls get real with one another, with themselves, and with God. Our speaker did a phenomenal job of making the Gospel clear and real to these ladies. One of the things she talked about was our voice. She talked about how our voice got distorted in the fall, is effected by sin, but redeemed by Jesus.

And it got me to thinking – what is my voice saying.
Specifically, what is my voice saying in relationship to: others, myself, and Jesus.

I’d like to think my voice does a pretty good job in relation to others. I think I’m an encouraging person and that I build others up with my words.

But when it comes to myself and Jesus, I think my voice is less than awesome. My unchecked inner voice likes to tell me I’m not good enough. It likes to remind me that I’m alone. It prefers to keep me secluded and quiet with my struggles. And in that, I think it’s telling Jesus that He isn’t enough. That He can’t satisfy me. That He isn’t my refuge and rock.

My sinful voice is really good at lying to me.

But then I enter into the sanctuary of the Most High and find things like:

I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. – Psalm 81:10

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. – Romans 8:16-17

My sinful voice no longer has a say in my life. Jesus has redeemed me and made me His, therefore He gets to tell me who I am. He gets to tell me that I am good enough, that I’m not alone, that He is with me always. And I get to rest in His arms, reminded that He is enough. That He is all satisfying. That His voice alone gets to speak identity into my life.

It’s easy to let being single become my identity. It’s easy to let that voice remind me that I’m not married, I don’t have kids, etc. But it’s not worth it to let that voice win.

Let Jesus be your voice today and forevermore.

And for all you GWOC ladies…#suckitsatan

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Just Affirm Me, Pleeaassee!

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A couple years ago a friend and I read through “The 5 Love Languages: Singles Edition.”

(Side note: I think it’s humorous that we can label anything a certain edition and sell it. I should market and sell, “Frozen: Kayla Edition” and see how that goes for me…)

I digress.

She and I really learned a lot through reading that book together–learned about ourselves, each other, and how to interact with those around us in a loving and encouraging way.

A couple big notes of mine that came from that:
(1) My “love tank” is filled by quality time with people and words of affirmation from others.
(2) I get sweaty and socially anxious when people touch me. Please don’t test this theory.*

Back to the love tank.
A running joke between the two of us now is when we affirm something the other does, we jokingly declare, “Affirmation!”
It’s funny and the two of us get it even if you don’t.

The struggle here is when I let affirmation from others dictate my joy, my value, my actions, etc. Often in my life I’ve desired affirmation from people who don’t really have a stake in my life. I search and yearn and try to work for the approval of others.

I search for and yearn for affirmation and approval from a guy. I desire to be lifted up by a man so that my love tank may be filled. I want to hear words spoken by a broken human that stroke my ego and make me feel whole…for a brief moment until I forget his words and feel the need to be affirmed even more. I think that being with a flawed man with somehow make me less flawed. I think that my value is less than what it could be if I were in a relationship with someone that constantly told me he loved me (cause that’s what boyfriends and husbands do, right??).

The truth amidst the long list of lies I tell myself is that Jesus affirms me moment by moment. I can list verses upon verses of this truth, but the first one that comes to mind is Isaiah 62:4

You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.

The word “Hephzibah” mean, “My delight is in her.” The Creator of all, Yahweh Himself has declared His delight in me.

Is there any greater affirmation than that?

Lord please teach my heart to rest in Your affirmation moment by moment!

*a note on physical touch: it only makes me socially anxious if I don’t really know you…again…please don’t test the theory 🙂

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