Meet Tiffany | Confidence Without Compromise #35

Tiffany_CWC feature_35

Tiffany, Virginia

Creator, Lavender Vines

Meet Tiffany. A blogger, adventurer, and follower of Christ. In this week’s feature, Tiffany talks about finding unshakable identity, trusting God’s love, and discovering the true blessings of living for Him.

Continue reading “Meet Tiffany | Confidence Without Compromise #35”

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Day 7: I provide a way out | Love Letters

Path:

  1. A route, course, or track along which something moves.
  2. A course of action, conduct, or procedure.

[Source]

In the midst of challenges, we sometimes feel alone. We might feel as though our prayers aren’t working. That God doesn’t hear us. And that He doesn’t love us.

These ideas are sneaky lies the devil tries to seep into your thoughts. Satan wants you to believe God isn’t listening and doesn’t love you, because he doesn’t want you to turn to God. And so, these difficult moments are the times we must hold onto the Lord even more.

In a battle, the opposing side you’re up against doesn’t want you to win. Your enemy will try any tactics to get rid of you. It’s a huge bonus if your enemy catches you distracted, because that’s the best time to strike. Similarly, the devil–your enemy in this world–will try to get your eyes off God to distract you in order to attack you. Negative thoughts aren’t from the God of love and freedom–they’re from the devil who comes to steal, kill, and destroy you (John 10:10). Spoiler alert: God is more powerful than the enemy, so you have nothing to fear if you follow Him.

God doesn’t passively watch you struggle in life. He actively fights for you. You can’t know the future, and you can’t see things from miles away. However, your Heavenly Father can. Not only is God working on your behalf now–He’s clearing your path of future obstacles you can’t see.

God will not leave you hanging in the midst of the battle. He won’t suddenly desert you, leaving you to fend for yourself. He will provide the path–the course of action, or the route–that will lead to your victory.

Although you don’t see the way out now, it doesn’t mean it’s not coming. I urge you to keep your trust in God and find protection in Him. One way you can practice trust is by waiting on God–instead of rushing ahead and making final decisions without His instruction.

God’s instruction comes with peace. It may not be what you expect, but you’ll know it’s from God if you know Him. God keeps His word. He’s unchanging and acts based on His character, which you can learn for yourself by reading the Bible (His Word).

Take your hands off, and allow God the space to move in your life. He won’t force you–He’ll look for your willingness to let Him work. But whether God has told you to wait, leave, go ahead, or stop, your obedience will be worth it.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

Love Letter 7

14 days of learning God’s love. Learn about the Love Letters here.

Read Day 6

Read Day 8

 

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Friendships, Rejection, and The Bigger Picture

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

(John 15:20 KJV)


At 1:00 a.m., when I should’ve been asleep, I caught myself in my thoughts. I found myself thinking:

There’s some people I really wish I was never friends with.

In the past, there’s people I felt I gave my best to them–my time, my love–and it felt as though they just took it (or maybe not even that!) and left without even looking back. I didn’t know if this was the right attitude to have, but I sincerely felt hurt and confused by that.

Was I taken advantage of? Did I do something wrong? Did they?

The longer questions poured into my mind, the more I found this “human hurt” so interesting, because we–and by, we, I mean everyone–have treated God the same way. The world has and continues to do so. God created the world–a world that has come to reject Him. What’s mindblowing is the fact that He still loves us unconditionally. He still gave His only Son for our salvation, being fully aware of the kind of rejection that He would experience.

I then started thinking: Would I have still offered just my friendship to certain people, if I knew that in the future they would have just betrayed and rejected me?

My first instinct was to say no. Why would I have wasted my time?

Yet God provided His Son to give eternal life–not just to anyone special but to everyone in the entire world. Everyone.

Ever felt ignored by someone who you care about? People deny the very existence of God–the same people He loves in ways we cannot fully comprehend and the same people He just wants to have a relationship with. He does not turn His back on them.

So I prayed: Okay, God. How am I supposed to see the people who have rejected me?

That’s when I started picking apart John 15:20.

“A servant is not greater than his lord.”

“If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”

I quickly realized that there’s a much larger struggle going on here–one that is beyond human relationships. We live in a world that has rejected God. The mere name of Jesus Christ–the Son of God–alone is hated by many. So, if you are trying to reflect Him, don’t be surprised if you lose relationships along the way.

Our purpose on Earth is much greater than the people we might lose. I believe people are often in our lives just for a season. And because of this, the most important job I believe a Christian has is to radiate God’s love despite this–especially while we still can to certain people.

Love, knowing that you may not receive it in return–which honestly, might often be the case. Love, knowing that you may be rejected but understanding that Christ Himself has done the exact same thing and was rejected in a way we never will be.

He was rejected in this way–crucified on a cross, where He was brutally beaten, spat on, mocked–so that we might have freedom and eternal life with Him in Heaven. And yet we, as humans, still have the choice to reject Him (but He did it anyway!)

As Christians, we have accepted Christ as our Savior and now we have this eternal life that He died to give! The best we can do is to share His Word in hopes that others join in on this freedom.

And if people are ever placed on your mind at 1:00 a.m., that might just be the Holy Spirit giving you a little reminder to show Christ’s love by praying for them.


This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

John 15:12 (KJV)

“Give It Up” for 2015

As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness. (Proverbs 26:11 NLT)


As winter break comes to a close, I’ve found myself worried when I think about spring semester.

For me and other college students, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by upcoming classes/workload, applying to internships, and other future-related things. On top of that, it’s easy to compare our successes with others, who seem to have it “better” than we do. These two habits are quite addicting but are such a destructive combination — they set a negative attitude that can last for hours of our day to weeks, months, and even years. We can chain ourselves in a prison through our thoughts alone without even realizing it.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Proverbs 26:11 (above) in my Bible reading, and it stuck in my mind.

There’s so much depth in comparing “foolishness” to “vomit.” Vomit is unpleasant and putrid. It’s something that was once in you, but has been purged. It’s no longer a part of you–in fact, it’s so vile that you shouldn’t even want a part of it. It makes no sense to even think about wanting it back.

Our “foolishness” (aka sin) is something vile and putrid as well. We should want no part in it. Unfortunately, because we are sinful in nature, we are drawn to these sinful “pleasures.” The funny thing is, they are actually harmful to us and have no value. They steal our relationship with Christ.

When I finished reading this verse, I asked myself: What is something in my life that I keep returning to even though it harms me?

The first thing that stuck out to me was fear. I have a habit of letting fear seep into my thoughts. I never even thought to consider fear as the same “foolishness” described in this verse, but I soon realized how necessary it was to do so.

God promises us countless times in His Word to trust Him, and that He will never leave us. I read online that the phrase “Fear not” is stated 365 times in the Bible! And yet, despite these promises, I continue to fear when stresses come my way. If God Himself wants me to know that I have no reason to be afraid, then it’s foolish–simply useless–for me to continue.

Of course, it’s hard not to fear when we don’t know the future–when we’re faced with obstacles that seem IMPOSSIBLE to overcome. Like any other harmful habit we indulge in, fear steals our hope and faith in Christ, and it blinds us to what He is doing and going to do in our lives.

Nevertheless, when we choose to walk away from our “vomit”–whether it is fear, temptation, etc.–we are choosing to embrace a beautiful, fulfilling life. God loves us, and He wants us to live our lives fully in peace in whatever state we are in (see Philippians 4:11.)

So, for 2015, I’m choosing to give up fear.

What are you planning to give up for the New Year?