Hope for the Heart

“Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy – even precarious. This is how it should be. Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things. This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting my promises to care for you.”

– Jesus Calling, Sarah Young

I dedicated my prayer month of February to worry. I have struggled with this issue in my faith for a long time. I am both a worrywart and a control freak so handing over something – like my future – is extremely difficult to me. While I believe God wants us to do things for ourselves and take personal responsibility, ultimately, He will always be in control.

During the first three weeks of the month, I felt I made no movement in giving up control and my daily act of worrying; in fact, after a few hits to my budget and difficulties at my side job, I felt even more overwhelmed by worry than usual. But in the past week, scripture has come to my rescue, helping me to forgo some of my worries. Both big issues – with my budget and the second job – resolved themselves in the best possible way, and the sermon at church this week was all about letting go of anxieties (Matthew 6). If that isn’t God’s reassurance to let Him sit in the driver’s seat, I don’t know what is.

If there is one thing I’ve learned in the last two months of this elevated prayer journey, it’s that – no matter how strong your faith is – you will experience high and low periods. God is continually testing us to see if we really do trust Him with our lives. When faced with troubles and triggers that set off a list of worrisome questions in my head, I have learned to calm my fears by praying. When I don’t have the words, I simply say The Lord’s Prayer, and I’m overcome with peace.

As difficult as it seems sometimes to give up the weight we carry around each day, I know it would be much more difficult to face my troubles and anxieties alone. With God in my court, I know I truly don’t have anything to worry about.

Force Quit on your Losing Streak

Almost a month in, and I’ve stuck to the most important of my new year resolutions: to grow in faith. At the end of last year, I was at odds with relationships in my life and wanted to turn everything over to God. Not only would dedicating the New Year to God bring me closer to Jesus, I felt doing so would also give me the answers I needed to mend the troubles I was having.

2017

In order to hold myself accountable, I made a list of 12 people in my life I wanted to either improve my relationship with or needed to forgive; I make a similar list of 12 topics I wanted to focus on, in order to be a better Christian. I decided I would consciously pray each day for the person I dedicated that month to, and would read specific scripture each day addressing the topic of the month.
The list included subjects such as my parents, my sister, specific friends, my desire for a boyfriend, and working to overcome the negative perception of news. Topics included forgiveness, jealousy, worry, judgment, and being enough for myself.

What I’ve learned in my first month is that both mending and growing relationships, with people and God, takes time. I approached the resolution with optimism and was quickly rewarded with lines of open communication between me and the person I chose for January. But praying and reading the Bible does not automatically grant me positive mending every day. I’ve learned this is a process – there will be days I feel I’ve taken a step back. Yet, overall, I feel more complete. In just one month, a peace has overcome me. While I know there will be days and months full of ups and downs in 2017, I also know I have a God that I can always turn to. And as I grow in this journey, I hope to learn how to¬†better listen and hear His voice, in all the times I turn to Him.

 

Disclaimer: I have not stuck to my resolutions to practice French twice a week or practice piano three days a week.

The Power of Written Word

As a writer, journalist, and communications professional, I know the power of words. I certainly endorse written work, if for no other reason than to keep a job – but really we can learn so much, just from reading others’ writing.

I was reminded of this when I reviewed a particular blog post I wrote a couple years ago, after finishing my internship with Indianapolis Monthly. I learned about different writing styles, online, print and digital editing, but also how to scour through information of all sorts, to simply educate myself. You never know when seemingly random information, read during downtime, may become useful. Seize the moment.

You can read more about my time as an Indianapolis Monthly intern, here

A Lasting Effect

“Everything is historic, because it happens and then it’s history.”

That (or something like that) was a direct quotation from a co-worker today, joking about how many times the word “historic” was used when predicting the snowstorm along the Northeast coast earlier this week. Turns out it wasn’t so historic for most residents, but if you break it down, sure – everything is history after it happens. It doesn’t have to be distant or ancient history to matter.

In the news business, someone once told me, what we are doing is recording history. Years from now, we can look at old newscasts and relive this day. When you want information about something, you can look it up in a newspaper, search the topic online and see how news stations or social media users covered it.
Looking at my job from the perspective that it’s more than just a daily newscast was significant. It puts more pressure on me to produce shows that mean something later, but it’s also more rewarding. The work that I am doing now could be used to inform generations not yet born.

We all know it’s important to record history so we can learn from it. I’m happy to be a part of something that lasting.