by Liv and Liz | Feb 23, 2023 | College, Life Advice
“People are searching within themselves for the answer, when they just need JESUS!”
“My campus DESPERATELY needs Jesus, everything secular is so glorified, yet everyone feels empty.”
“We need a place for young women to come together to grow closer to the Lord and each other.”
“I think that there are so many young women who need to hear that they are worthy. And that God is the true king. I find myself trying to constantly reassure my friends that they are worthy and loved by God.”
“Our female community lacks community and unity. The female student body desperately needs to feel loved and seen, we need to feel as though there are people out there praying for us.”
This is a glimpse into what female college students had to say when Live Original asked, “Why do you want us to come to your campus?”
Hey guys, it’s Liv! I just want to start by saying, that we get it. We know firsthand that college can be a time of searching. Searching for community. Searching for answers of our life purpose. Searching for a true friendship. Searching for fulfillment and encouragement. Searching for balance. This season of life can have a lot of unanswered questions, and it can begin to overwhelm us if we let it.
For many, This is the first time you are on your own. You have the freedom to make decisions for yourself. It’s the beginning of a journey where you get to choose what’s next. From what’s for dinner to what you want to be involved in in your free time. You get to dictate the next steps. It’s exciting, and can be even a little scary.
Liz and I both had pretty different outlooks and approaches when it came to college. In my freshman year of college, I was ready to jump into every campus event that took place. I was excited to rush and join a sorority, and I lived about 5 minutes from campus. I absolutely loved the fact that everyone around me was in a similar stage of life as me. I could relate to pretty much everybody in at least one way, being a student. To me, we were all connected in a way and I was ready to fully step into my new life as a college student. Liz on the other hand was really only interested in the school aspect of college. Liz wanted simply what we all were there for, to get a degree. There is absolutely nothing wrong with either approach and a lot can and will change throughout 4 years of college.
No matter the person, this season will come with struggles, important lessons, and chances are you will graduate knowing a lot more about yourself than you knew before. For me, I found that one way a lot of the other students hung out was by “going out”. My sorority events seemed to be more fun if I had a few drinks with my friends before, and it was more fun to go to the local bar on a Friday night then to be home by myself. So, I did that for a while. At the time it seemed fine because it felt like the thing to do in college, but the next morning seemed to always come with a headache and lot of guilt. It felt like I could either have a social life or not, and if I wasn’t okay with living the “college life” then I wouldn’t have a life at all. My freshman year was a weird time filled with church on Wednesday night, Bible study on Thursday, and a party on Friday. I didn’t want to choose, so I thought I’d just do both and it was exhausting.
My sophomore year of college, God placed my high school friend, Liz back in my life at just the right time. We instantly grew close and our friendship was truly just what we both needed. Turns out, we each had some struggles we could relate on, and some struggles that were unique to each of us. Even in our unique struggling, we helped each other not feel alone in them and there was so much beauty in that. The beginning of our friendship consisted of a lot of late night conversations, a lot of listening, laughs, and a lot of encouraging one another. It was just what my soul needed.
I could have never imagined how Jesus planned to use our friendship. Liz and I learned so much from each other and grew with each other throughout college. Now, we get to work together and visit colleges with girls that are walking through a season we just came out of. Even if I wanted to, I could never pinpoint the amount of times Jesus was preparing us in every moment separately and together for what he has now set before us.
Liz speaking! Yes, yes, and yes to everything Liv just said! College is such a pivotal point in life. So many decisions and so much freedom — and it’s a bit overwhelming deciding how to use all that newfound freedom. My second year in college, I experienced heartbreak. I was on the struggle bus big time during that season. Struggled to find Godly friends, trust God’s timing, what to do with my life, and so on. It took months for me to figure out who I was without a boyfriend. What were the things I liked to do in my free time? Who did I want to spend time with? Needless to say, I did a lot of searching. And I just can’t help but think that someone reading this can relate.
In my lowest point, I remember thinking that I had two choices: run to temporary fixes (such as partying or jumping into a new relationship) or run to the permanent source of life — Jesus. I think this is true for each of us in any given situation. We can either run to or from Jesus, but either way, we’re running towards an eternity. Thankfully, I chose the path toward Jesus. And I tried my best to run toward Him full force, though it wasn’t always the easy choice.
I learned a few things in that season that stuck with me. I learned that no matter how we perceive our circumstances, God is always in the midst of them doing a new thing. I read a quote once that said, “Flowers grow best in the valley.” And I clung to that quote, because it reminded me of how God does the same for us. Whether you’re dealing with a breakup, loneliness, lack of confidence, or poor performance in school, He sees you in the valley. And if we let Him, He will use our valley season to grow seeds in us that will increase our faith.
Sometimes it feels impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we have the light Who holds our hand every step of the way.
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” (John 8:12)
One of my prayers in that season was for all that God was doing in my life to not just affect me, but those around me. God answered this prayer tenfold by opening the doors for “LO on the Road”. Through this ministry, Liv and I have had the opportunity to travel to college campuses and encourage friends with Truth and relate to them by sharing a bit of our own stories. We have been blown away by God proving this to be His plan each time we sit in a room full of girls ready to talk about Jesus.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
This verse is the heartbeat behind LO on the Road. Our goal is to reach girls, whether they are on fire for God or aren’t sure where to start. Our prayer is to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and that it would have a lasting impact.
But we want to encourage you with this: You can start right where you’re at. Gather some friends together, no matter how big or small of a group, and make your time about Jesus. Whether it’s going through a Bible study from the LO Sister app, studying a book in the Bible, or going through a sermon series. Whatever it is, just be in community with one another.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20).
Email us at email@example.com for more information on us visiting your college campus 🙂
by Maggie Castonguay | Nov 30, 2021 | College, Life Advice
Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to bring you this month’s post from our LO sister member, Maggie Castonguay! We are so encouraged by the message she offers today. If you want to be a part of this incredible community, you can join today! Find out more about this online sisterhood HERE. And for more info about what LO sister is all about, visit our Instagram Page!
Now, enjoy today’s post from Maggie 🙂
“How do you find joy in every moment?”
Someone once asked me this question and to be honest, at the time I didn’t know how to answer it. This world is filled with heartache, tragedy, and grief. How do you find joy in every moment, living in a world like this?
While I was writing this blog post, I realized that I haven’t looked up the definition of joy. When I googled it, I found the biblical definition and it put everything into perspective.
“The biblical definition of joy says that joy is a feeling of good pleasure and happiness that is dependent on who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening around us. Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, abiding in God’s presence and from hope in His word.” 1
Whoa. That’s good!
For a long time, my joy depended on my situation. If I played a great game, I would be happy. If I had good grades, I would be happy. If my friends and I were getting along, I would be happy. But if any of these things weren’t going how I’d like them to, I wasn’t happy. In fact, it felt like my world was falling apart.
The reason it felt like my world was falling apart was because my joy had been found in the things of the world. I couldn’t find joy in every moment because I valued the things that were in the moment more than Who was leading me in the moment.
I am sure that most of us have heard the famous quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that says, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” And this is so true about our life here on Earth. As Christians, this world and this life is not our destination. Heaven is our destination, but life on Earth is our journey to get there. There will be ups and downs, happiness and heartache, but through it all we can have joy and peace knowing where we are going.
“And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.” (1 Peter 1:5-6) NLT
Ever since I started to put God above the things in my life, I began to find true happiness. Of course, I still have days where I am upset and don’t feel the happiest. I’m human, and that is part of living in a fallen world. But it is in these moments of frustration and sadness that I feel God’s presence the most. God can turn any moment of sadness and hurt into a moment of joy and praise.
This is because God is joy. When you draw near to God, you will experience love, joy, peace, and understanding far beyond what we can imagine. You can draw near to God by spending time with Him. You can do this by reading the Bible, singing worship songs, or writing in a prayer journal. However you choose to, having alone time with God is crucial when trying to get closer to Him and finding the true joy that can only come from Him.
When I was in high school, I was on a number of different athletic teams. I loved to compete and I loved the adrenaline rush that came with playing sports. To me, being a Christian feels the same way. The closer I draw near to God, the more on fire I get for Him. I want to spread the Gospel, and tell everyone about Him! However, unlike an athletic team, we know that every time we step onto the court our team is going to win. God has defeated death, sadness, sickness, and pain, and we get to be on His team!
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4) NLT
True joy does not fluctuate with your circumstance. True joy comes from knowing Who is in control and Who has already won the war against sin and death. This alone gives me joy, hope, and peace. It motivates me to live my life in a way that glorifies God in every moment. And when you choose to glorify God in every moment, good or bad, His strength and joy will fill you immensely.
“Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!” (Psalms 96:11) NLT
Now, of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t find happiness here on Earth. God has blessed us with relationships and a world to explore His creation. But we will not find true joy when we start to depend on these things as our source of happiness. There will be moments in your life that are filled with heartache and sadness. In fact, even Jesus’s life on Earth was filled with these emotions. He felt our pain and endured the cross for US! We have joy because of who Jesus is and because He saved us.
So, how do you find joy in every moment?
We can find true joy in every moment because we know Who stands with us in every moment.
We can find true joy in every moment because we know Who saved us.
We can find true joy in every moment not because of who we are, but because of who Jesus is.
This joy is not dependent on your current situation. There is nothing that you, or anyone else, can do or say that will change this joy. This joy will last forever.
My prayer for you, friend, is that you will draw closer to God today and that you will find His peace, love, hope, joy, and understanding that can only come from Him. Just know that God knows about whatever circumstance you are going through right now, and He is right there fighting alongside you. God is the source of true joy.
by Lisa Whittle | Aug 5, 2021 | College, Life Advice
I have lived this scenario more times than I care to count: someone made a comment that upset me. I wouldn’t say anything, but inside I was triggered by it, so I shut down and began to shut them out. I didn’t necessarily mean to or know I was doing it – it just happened. My best friend and I used to even have a name for it. It was when I would “check people off my list.” We would joke about it, but the truth is, it quietly hurt my heart so I would quickly let people go.
Sometimes it went a little differently. Tensions between myself and a friend would rise, I would blow up over something they did (maybe even something little, due to things having built up), heated words were exchanged, and our friendship would sever. Later I would think about it, wishing I could turn back the clock and take my poor behavior back.
It feels terrible when your feelings become the boss of you.
There have been other situations of bossy emotions, too. Overwhelming fear that kept me from doing something I really wanted to do. Feelings of jealousy that prevented me from being genuinely able to cheer for someone else. Feelings of bitterness that kept me from forgiving someone…or feelings of guilt that kept me from forgiving myself.
Over time, I got so sick of the feelings of regret that came from my emotions being in charge of me that I decided to do something about it.
I knew I needed to better understand why if God had made me with my emotions (instead of making me like a robot without them), they were actually causing me problems and unnecessary pain? And since feelings were created by Him, what was the best way, His way, to handle them?
As I began to pray about this, the Lord showed me an important distinction: how feelings were meant to be a gauge, not a god.
Gauges are crucial. They give us vital information we need to know – what is happening underneath the surface that we cannot see. What might be a problem we need to address. What is a limit, and when we are going too far.
Just think of gauges in a car. We need to know how much farther we can go on the gas we have in our tank, if our oil and water levels are good so the engine doesn’t blow up, and all of the other important informational “signs and signals.” When I went to college, 16 hours away from home, the one thing my dad instilled in me was to always check the pressure of my tires. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know if I was driving around with a tire about to go flat on the highway. Without these gauges, important things go unattended, and we could even be at risk.
But a god, on the other hand, is a role that goes beyond mere instruction in our life. It is a role of highest placement and priority, in a position of ownership and ultimate power.
We can allow things to become a god in our life to rival the real God of all true authority. (He has no real rival, of course, but we can give things God-like status.) These are our idols, and though we might not think of feelings as an idol, anything we put over the Word of God can be. In our culture, and really, all throughout the history of the world since creation, the tendency of humanity is to turn even good things into idols, exalting them above God. It’s actually nothing new.
Feelings have become that for our current culture. If you aren’t sure you agree, just think about things you have probably observed to assess if what I’m saying might be true. Fights over the internet, due to careless and even cruel passing comments by strangers and “friends.” The freedom to say what we want when we want without any commitment to wisdom, crushing so many of our hearts. The volatile past election season, mask wars, and the divided nature of our country. Families that are still divided because we decided to bow to our feelings and behave in whatever way they took us, and though that felt important at the time, we now just want our family back.
We’ve been told to do exactly what we feel like doing with our bodies, and that has gotten us into messy situations in relationships that are now over and all we are left with is regret. I don’t have to go through the list, and I say this with not an ounce of judgment. I have such a tender spot for us because I know what it’s like to cry over past mistakes and wish it were different. I love Jesus so much because He has loved me through that, and loves me through my mistakes, still. And He wants for both of us to simply know the truth: that He is our God, not our feelings. He is in charge. Feelings aren’t the boss – they are to come under His management and control. And His way will lead to a life of no regrets.
“if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you….And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death…doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it…That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now…” (Col. 3:1-8 The MSG)
I am so deeply grateful I know better about a few things, now. I am so grateful He has saved me from my own thoughts, opinions and yes, my every feeling. What I can tell you for sure is that our feelings are beautiful and wildly important. God gave them to us for a reason. But He is our one and only God, and He alone will never steer us wrong.
Lisa Whittle is the author of eight books, and her wit and bold bottom-line approach have made her a sought-after Bible teacher. A pastor’s daughter and longtime ministry leader in issues relevant to the church, Lisa is the founder of Ministry Strong and the popular Jesus Over Everything podcast. Her love runs deep to see people pursue Jesus for life, grow deep roots of faith, and walk strong in the midst of a world that so often seems to have gone crazy. She and her family live in North Carolina. Learn more about Lisa’s new book, The Hard Good, and take her free quiz about bossy emotions at https://lisawhittle.com/good/.
by Live Original | Aug 3, 2021 | College, Life Advice
Note from Team LO: We are so excited to share a snippet from our Confidence in College workshop inside LO sister out now! This workshop includes a 4-week study for college girls on finding confidence in your identity, navigating dating, overcoming anxiety and living in freedom on your campus. Join here for the full workshop! OH….and for the first time ever in LO sister history, there is a workbook available too for pre-order! Grab yours here! Now enjoy this snippet from part 1 of the workshop 🙂
DEFINITION: Knowing exactly who you are and how you were created.
Have you ever been getting to know someone on campus and they ask, who are you?
Court here. I went to a large university in the heart of Los Angeles, CA. One of the hardest things was to share about my identity, and share with people who I was. So I resorted to easy answers most of the time. My response used to be:
I’m a Theta.
I live in the Trojan Hall dorm.
I am majoring in communication.
All those things are truths about me, but that’s not who I was on campus. So whether you’re preparing to step onto campus or about to graduate, we’re going to take a moment to consider WHO we truly are.
Perhaps you know who you are, or you’re like, help me I don’t know what I am doing or who I am. You’re not alone. That’s 99% of us. And for those who may feel confident in their identity, keep reading on. This is for you to be reminded of all the reasons to love WHO God made you to be.
Make a list, check it twice.
Who are you? Who do you want to be? Why? Jot down a list…
Seriously, right now in your journal, your phone notes, or in the comments below write out the first things that come to mind.
As you look through this list, take a minute to meditate on each line. Ask yourself:
Is this something of the world or something that aligns with God’s heart?
Think about all the things about you, about your mind, your heart. Is this something YOU had to do to achieve?
I sure hope not. If so, scratch it off the list. I’ll help you out friend. (HA!)
Here’s what I wrote down so far:
Daughter, sister, friend, creative, encourager, believer, athletic, sincere, genuine, emotionless, defensive, not a physical touch person.
Take one more minute (and don’t roll your eyes… do it!). Think about the beauty of the true words on that list.
We hope that next time you step into a class, walk into rush or a social setting, repeat these words:
I am beautiful. I am loved. I am a daughter.
Identity is a beautiful gift, my friend. We hope this workshop continues to remind you that you are so loved, known, and here for a purpose. When you know who you are, you can live in freedom.
TRUTH: Ephesians 2:10: For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Matthew 5:13-14: Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this world.
- Who am I? Who does God say that I am?
- What are the things that I am believing about myself and for myself?
- What is one thing that you believe about yourself that you need to let go?
by Maggie Castonguay | Mar 16, 2021 | College, Life Advice |
Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to bring you this month’s post from our LO sister member, Maggie Castonguay! We are so encouraged by these 5 pieces of advice she’d give her younger self. If you want to be a part of this incredible community, you can join today and your your first week FREE! Find out more about this online sisterhood HERE. And for more info about what LO sister is all about, visit our Instagram Page!
Now, enjoy today’s post from Maggie 🙂
1. Do not compare yourself to others – you are who God made you to be!
In high school, one of my biggest struggles was comparison. I would think, “she is much prettier than I am, I wish I had her style, her Instagram looks so much better than mine, why can’t my hair be as gorgeous as hers?” The truth is, we have all struggled with comparison at some point. Maybe even subconsciously. The dangerous part about this is we are not seeing ourselves, or others, through God’s eyes. We are tearing ourselves down by thinking we are less than others, and we are tearing others down to make ourselves feel that we are more. However, God sees the beauty in all of us. He has given us all different gifts. One passage that changed my whole viewpoint was 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. I encourage you all to read it now, but I will provide a brief summary. It talks about how our bodies have so many different parts, but they all serve an important purpose. If our foot wished to be a hand, how would we walk? If our ear wished to be an eye, how would we hear? The same goes for the gifts that God has given us. If we were all teachers, who would respond to fires or accidents? If we were all doctors, who would build houses? God has given each of us a unique gift and has created us in His image. This makes us beautiful in His eyes. That in itself should be enough to tell us that we are perfect just the way God made us.
2. Work as hard as you can – not for your own glory but for God’s glory!
School is a lot of work. Whether you are in middle school, high school, or college, there is always a lot of work to be done. We have to work hard for good grades, to earn a spot on the sports team, to have our article published in the school newspaper, or to create good content for the yearbook. There are so many things to work hard for. However, sometimes I would forget to work hard for God’s glory. I would be so quick to take all the credit when I would do something well, but so quick to blame God when something didn’t go the way I wanted. I would say, “But God, I prayed and prayed for you to help me achieve this goal. And you didn’t.” But friends, what I have come to realize is that our agenda may not align with God’s agenda. God will always answer our prayers, but sometimes it is not the answer that we had expected. We also cannot pray to get an A on the test, but then study as if we were going to get a C. Colossians 3:23 says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”(NLT) Whatever we are doing, we need to work hard for God’s glory and not our own.
3. Be patient and loving towards those who frustrate you!
You will encounter a lot of people in your life that you may not agree with. Sometimes it is so hard to see them through God’s eyes. However, they are a child of God, just like you and me. They are just as deserving of our love as our best friend is. Gossiping is a HUGE problem during our teenage years. It can really get people down. Gossiping can spread lies and private information about people. When we find ourselves feeling negative towards others, it is so easy to end up talking bad about them. However, this is not what God wants us to do. The bible says to “bless those who persecute you. Do not curse them; pray that God will bless them.” (Romans 12:14 NLT) This is hard! But friends, we need to pray that God would help us see through His eyes and be patient and loving towards that person.
4. Do not live for the world’s approval – be bold in your faith! Way too often, I found myself trying to receive the approval of my peers. It is so easy to get caught up in what is “cool” and “trendy” that it causes you to drift away from God’s word. Unfortunately, going to church and being bold about your faith is not considered to be cool or trendy. So I kept quiet about my faith for a long time, scared that my peers would look at me differently. But friends! Your faith is nothing to be ashamed of! I have been able to grasp that the more I read my bible and really strive to live my life for God. It is SO exciting to see someone else’s eyes light up when you introduce the love of God into their lives. You guys, we are not living to please or to be approved by this world. We are living to please and to be approved by God. Our mission as Christians is to spread the good news about Jesus and make heaven crowded! If all Christians were silent about their faith, fearing that they will not be liked by this world, how would anyone else come to know and love God? Instead, imagine what would happen if every Christian was bold in their faith – heaven would be full!
5. Don’t get so distracted by everyday life that you forget to LIVE your life!
High school was probably the busiest time of my life so far. I had extracurricular activities, athletics, academics, and other personal life events that made my everyday life fly by. I would leave for school at 7:15 AM, and I would usually get home around 7 PM, sometimes later. I got so caught up in the stressfulness of my everyday life; that I sometimes forgot to stop and take it all in. To appreciate what God had given me. I noticed this when my senior year suddenly stopped because of COVID. No graduation, no prom, no senior track season, no more walking through the halls of my high school. At that moment, I wished that I hadn’t taken advantage of the everyday life that I was so blessed with. Every day God wakes us up and blesses us with a new day. We need to live each day as if we aren’t going to get another one. (I learned this from Sadie’s book LIVE, by the way)
Now, I wish I could say that I have conquered these 5 struggles, but the truth is I haven’t. I still fall and mess up each day of my life. But the biggest piece of advice that I want to give you is this – don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Go after that big dream of yours and conquer it head-on. Because girl, you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you!
by Kaari Ausenhus | Feb 9, 2021 | College, Life Advice
Note from Team LO: We are SO excited to bring you this month’s post from our LO sister member, Kari Ausenhus! If you want to be a part of this incredible community, you can join today and your your first week FREE! Find out more about this online sisterhood HERE. And for more info about what LO sister is all about, visit our Instagram Page!
Now, enjoy today’s post from Kari 🙂
Maybe it’s just me, or maybe you’re in this boat with me, but most of my life, many people emphasized to me the importance of having a personal relationship with God. While I longed for it, I didn’t know what that meant or how to go about it. Going to college definitely pushed me further in that direction as I realized that I didn’t have my parents’ faith to rely on and had to make my faith my own. However, I still had no idea what I was doing, and sure I grew, but I desperately wanted more.
Then I went on a date this past semester. No, it was not some horror story date, and I really did have a good time. Although it wasn’t destined to be more than one date, our conversation caused me to realize that I didn’t fully understand what it really meant for someone to genuinely pursue my heart. I was processing through all of it with my sweet friend, Megs, one morning when she brought me her Bible and told me to read Psalm 139 in the Passion Translation, and since that day it has been a lifeline for me. It is genuinely one of my most favorite passages now as it beautifully illustrates the pursuit of the Father. I encourage you to read the whole passage (it’s INCREDIBLE), but I have included some of my favorite verses:
1 Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. 2 You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. 3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book 6 This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.
14 I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex! Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking. It simply amazes me to think about it! How thoroughly you know me, Lord! 15 You even formed every bone in my body when you created me in the secret place, carefully, skillfully shaping me from nothing to something. 16 You saw who you created me to be before I became me! Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book. 17–18 Every single moment you are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!
O God, your desires toward me are more than the grains of sand on every shore!
23 God, I invite your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares. 24 See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways— the path that brings me back to you.
Psalm 139, I’m telling you – breathtaking, beautiful, and a genuine picture of pursuit and intimacy. Seriously please highlight, star, circle, underline, bookmark, everything about this passage, so you will never lose or forget it! Every time I read it, God reveals more of Himself and more of His love for me.
Anyway, after reading this passage, I decided I wanted to let the Father pursue my heart as I chased after His. The passage begins with “Lord, You know everything there is to know about me.” Wow! The Creator of the universe knows me – knows you. Take it another step further, the Creator of the world knows you better than you know you both the good and the bad, yet He sent His Son to die so you could enter into relationship with Him. For real, just take a second to truly let the magnitude of that sink in. Let’s talk about this personal relationship and what it really means.
I’m going to use an illustration to explain my point. We live in an Instagram and social media-saturated society where we follow people we have never even met and “know” every little detail about them. Like before you meet someone in person you already know where they went on vacation last summer, the sport their brother plays, the name of their golden retriever puppy, and what they ate for breakfast this morning, yet you have never actually spoken to them. Now imagine if the only way you knew people was by their Instagram feed and nothing else. That would be so awful because we crave relationships – real, let’s do life together relationships. God is the same way. He knows, like He actually knows, every single thing about you and your life and still longs to have a personal relationship with you. He wants to know you because you tell Him all about you the same way you would talk to another person (that’s intimacy)!
I love the song, “Simple Gospel,” by United Pursuit in which we sing,
“I want to know you, Lord
like I know a friend”
That is truly the desire of my heart: to know the Father intimately and personally like I know my best friend because I want Him to be my best friend. I also want Him to know me the same way, so I began my journey to intimacy with the Father because I want to pursue His heart and have a relationship with Him like I would with someone I do life with face-to-face. I pour out my words on the pages of my notebook and sing His praises as I talk with Him in prayer.
I’d love to challenge you no matter what season of life you are in – maybe you’re walking through singleness like me (and let me tell you this has been a perfect time to do this), or maybe you’re dating, engaged, or married – it’s never too late. Begin to pursue the Father like you would another person because here’s the beautiful thing, the Creator made us in His image, sees our imperfections, knows us inside and out, yet longs to have intimacy with us.
Not sure where to begin? Hey, I was in your shoes, so know that you are not alone. If you haven’t already read it or even if you have, I suggest starting by reading Psalm 139 in The Passion Translation. Some other ways I have pursued intimacy with the Father are through penning Him letters and conversations in my journal – some are prayers but some are just me pouring out my heart, thanking Him for the sweetest moments, being honest in my struggles and my need for Him, and asking Him to help me process through different seasons of my life. I also love praying out loud while I drive or run or when I’m in my room, and diving into His Word to discover more about who God is instead of just what He can do for me.
The good news is: He wants intimacy with you even more than you do, but I promise it will be the sweetest journey you’ve ever been on.