Thursday, May 10, 2012

Make Way For Hellos

I am horrible at saying goodbyes. It’s messy and awkward and emotional and I hate it. Yet, for the next few weeks, I am forced to say goodbye to some of the people that have changed my life the most. I know it isn’t really goodbye because technology and the changing world have made it a lot easier to stay up to date on people’s lives. However, it is goodbye to way of the world as we know it. I won’t be able to just walk across the hallway to see my best friend. Instead, I am going to have to budget and make arrangements to possibly fly across the country. Now it is time to see what friendships are really worth because we are going to have to fight for what came so naturally in college. College has been a time of tremendous growth and change for me. I have loved deeper than I have ever before. I have made friends with people that I never would have imagined would have such a special place in my heart. I have been hurt and I have hurt others. My eyes have been opened to things that have forever changed the way I view the world and my purpose in it. I have been told a lot recently that I have had the most noticeable change out of anyone they know while being at the University of Florida. At first, I didn’t know how to take that. Say “thanks, I guess” and then awkwardly walk away? Say “thanks” with a sense of pride? I have come to accept that this statement is true and I am glad. I don’t want to be the same person that I was yesterday, much less four years ago. While I have changed physically and have, thank the good Lord, put the glasses away and started wearing contacts, I think I have changed the most in ways that aren’t exactly visible to the eye. I do not regret my college experience. Every single piece and every single moment have shaped me into the woman I have become. Every painful memory that at the moment, I begged for God to take away was worth it. Every time I felt rejected or unworthy was worth it because I made me long to show others just how worthy they were in the sight of the Almighty Father. Every single drop of pain I feel is worth it because it means that I have truly allowed myself to invest in and love others. So right now I am in the season of saying goodbye to some people that I immensely care for. I will miss these people but I will also take comfort that goodbyes make way for hellos.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TFA Letter of Intent

My passion in life can be summed up with a single quote: "I want to help people for a living. And I'm not talking about commercial customer service. I'm talking about the nitty gritty, helping people who have nothing, who know nothing, who, in the eyes of the world, are nothing" (Anonymous). Through the Teach for America program, I will not only be able to help provide children with a high-quality education but also open their eyes to all the possibilities that are within their reach. By joining the 2012 corp, I will be able to directly and positively impact the life of a child who might otherwise be looked over by society. I have a passion for helping those who are not viewed as significant in the eyes of others. Heartbreakingly, children from areas of lower socio-economic status often fall into this category. I want to show them that not only can they can beat the odds, but that they can set the standards by which all others strive.

While in high school, my Advanced Placement Psychology teacher encouraged me to seek opportunities that at the time seemed beyond my reach. She assured me that I was indeed intelligent enough to get into the University of Florida and so, after much prodding, I applied. The decision to apply and eventually attend the university changed my life in every way. I began to see what others saw in me and believe that I really could make a difference in the world. I owe much of my change in self-perception to the efforts of one teacher who pushed me like no other teacher had before. By forcing me to look inwards at who I truly was, I gained the ability to look outwards at who I could be become. Needless to say, I would love to have the opportunity to pay forward this gift to other students who are likely feeling exactly the way I once did.

Helping those who are in low-income communities is the focus of my heart and what will surely be my life's work. By participating in Teach for America, I will be able to assist in giving children opportunities that they might not otherwise have due to a lack of good education. The success that I achieve can be determined by the value that my students begin to see in themselves and each other. I humbly acknowledge that I may not be able to drastically impact an entire school in my first year, but if I can offer hope and possibility to even just one child, I will consider that year a triumphant success.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


If we are being honest right now, at this current moment, I cannot wait to graduate. I cannot wait to finally know what I am doing with my life, even if it is just the immediate future. My life seems to be in a waiting game.

Waiting on Teach for America.
Waiting on decisions with downtown ministries.
Waiting on finances
Waiting on friends.
Waiting on dating.

Waiting on God.

And, if we are being more honest, I hate waiting. It's not fun. Why can't I know what my future holds or why I'm not getting certain things that I want or even "deserve?" I am trying to seek after God and yet He seems to be holding out on me (more on that later).

If we are being the most honest, the last line (Waiting on God) is a lie. Okay, maybe not. I can wait on God for like minutes ... like a child. Then, I start getting impatient and want to take matters into my own hands. Not only want to but then do and it leaves me feeling only a little bit better. I feel, if only for a brief amount of time, that I have control. After a little while - or not so little - I finally break and realize that I cannot do this life on my own.


And not picking it back up in five minutes.

Complete and utter surrender.


There's distance in the air and I cannot make it leave
I wave my arms 'round about me and blow with all my might
I cannot sense you close, though I know you're always here
But the comfort of you near is what I long for

When I can't feel you, I have learned to reach out just the same
When I can't hear you, I know you still hear everyword I pray
And i want you more than I want to live another day
And as I wait for you maybe I'm made more faithful

All the folly of the past, though I know it is undone
i still feel the guilty one, still trying to make it right
So i whisper soft your name, let it roll around my tounge,
knowing you're the only one who knows me
You know me


Show me how I should live this
Show me where I should walk
I count this world as loss to me
You are all I want
You are all I want


Thursday, January 26, 2012

As a graduating senior, I cannot even begin to count the number of times that I have been asked what I am doing for the rest of my life. If we are being honest, depending on the day, I may either want to punch you or burst into tears. Neither of those are good options. But being asked that question has caused me to really, really think about what I want. More importantly, what does God want for me.

As a child, I remember always telling myself that money wouldn't matter when I grew up and I would always choose the career that brought me the most happiness. But now that I am becoming an adult the choices are not so cut and dry. You have to pay bills and support yourself. So this is where I'm at.

I was recently asked what would I do if I could do anything in the world with money not being an option. My first and lasting thought was downtown ministry. I am so passionate about the friends that I have made while at the plaza. I am on fire in my soul for the advocacy for homeless individuals. It is such a deep burden in my life and I am in constant thought and prayer over the individuals that I meet at the plaza. I truly feel the most alive when I am with them.

I don't know all the details of what is to come but I do know that this ministry has changed my life and God has used it in so many ways to transform me.

Every time I sit down at the computer and pull up my blog I am overcome with an overwhelming urge to blog and every time I end up not even being able to start. I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head that I do not even know where to start. Just a few of them...

I miss home.
Fighting with your best friend isn't fun.
Neither is being rejected by someone you love.
I feel alive when I am downtown and with my friends.
I don't know what to do with the rest of my life but I'm learning that no one really does.
I am human, oh so human.
Thoughts rule your life.

Jesus is Lord.

Sunday, September 11, 2011



It's funny how things never turn out as you plan. For instance, I would have never dreamed that I would be going to the University of Florida. Even more, I would have never dreamed that I would have found a place that I feel like I belong. For this season of my life God has placed me with such great people that I could not imagine my life without.

Now, though, I'm realizing how much I am growing up and, ready or not, I am going to have to leave the parental confines that I am comfortable in and learn to breathe on my own.

I'm scared. Full blown scared but I also know that it is time to embrace all that I've learned at this wonderful university and do what I know God has called me to do. Love Him and love others in whatever way or career that I can.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


A game of Dominoes changed my life. Seriously.

I have been blessed to be able to meet some fantastic people that have literally been used by God to give so much joy to my heart. They have shown me what true contentment is like when Paul speaks in Philippians 4:12-13 ("I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.") I have been fortunate enough to have friends that just so happen to be homeless. When I go to hang out with them, we play Dominoes. Sometimes they win, sometimes I do and sometimes I think they let me win. Through a game that I used to play by just matching the pretty colors, God has opened my eyes and heart.

Before meeting them, I was okay with going about living the American dream. Sure, I wanted to be a missionary but that was for when I got to Africa. That was for a couple years down the road after I had completed seminary and had all the answers... This may come as a shock but I will never have all the answers. I may not even go to seminary. I may never go to Africa. These are all things that I have accepted and you know what? I am okay with it. Missions isn't for ten years down the road or that one week in the summer. Missions is my life. It is my life whether I am in Gainesville, Florida at Bo Diddley Plaza or Zambia, Africa.

These friends that I mentioned changed my life did so with a simple smile and a few kind words. They did so by caring about me. They did so by asking about my day and how life was going. They did so by cracking a few jokes after I had a rough day. They did so by love.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Change of Heart

"Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

I had to give a speech in my speech class...go figure. It was an impromptu speech and I was given the topic of "What is your dream job?" and then given a minute to prepare. Within five seconds, I had my two main points, helping people and going to a foreign country such as Africa. Piece. of. cake. I was going to ace this.


During the entire speech, I failed to mention the ultimate reason why I even wanted to do missions. Why dedicate my life to this occupation? Looking back I can see this sadly a picture of my life. What you put into your life, comes out. I want to dedicate my life to missions yet fail to even follow God's "easy" commands of "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength." I have been relying on the lessons that I have learned as a child to fulfill the substance that I need as a college student.

I have had the amazing opportunity to co-lead a high-school Bible study at my church in Gainesville. The girls that I have had the ability to get to know have challenged me in so many unforgettable ways. They have motivated me to know why I believe the things I do and have been used by God to give me an undeniable conviction that I need to read and memorize God's truth more than I already do. This experience has made me seek God's plan even further than just loving others. What specific group am I most able to minister to?

God has begun to open my eyes to the many humanitarian issues in my city that aren't okay, specifically homelessness. Through different churches in the area, BCM, and Godly friends seeking after God's heart, I have felt my own heart being called to this ministry. I don't know if that just means for a season of my life or spending my entire life devoted to it. I don't know. I don't have all the answers. But I know who does.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. - James 1:27

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It's a huge and necessary part of life but sometimes I just hate it. Plain and simple.

I suppose I may add more to this post later on but that's all for right now.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good to be back...

Writing is good for my soul. Hearing the keys being hit by my fingers is great therapy for my tired spirit. When I was younger I used to want be older, be smarter, be prettier, be funnier. In essence, I just wanted to be someone completely different from who God, the creator of the universe and yet the lover of my soul, intended me to be. It has be a long and still ongoing process but I can honestly say I am content. I am content in who Christ has called me to be. I am content with the decisions that I know God has and is calling me to make. I am content in knowing that God has called me to a higher standard and, although the road is hard, He is worth it all. Content, in this viewpoint, is not to be seen as complacent yet having a peace. A peace that things will work out and God will provide. I have a peace that God will fulfill his promises. Don't get me wrong, I of all people, know how easy it is to get dissatisfied or even anxious that God won't fulfill His word.
However, in Romans 4:20-21, Paul is referring to Abraham and says, "Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised." This is the attitude and trust level that we are called to have in Christ. Our trust in God should not be dependent on our feelings and the praise the Lord that is power is not limited to our feelings. I sure am glad that my finite understanding is not all that the God that I serve is limited to. Praise God, I don't understand everything. For when I am weak, then I am strong...

Monday, July 6, 2009


“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
- Psalms 37: 4
“Above ALL else, guard your heart for it is the source of life. “- Proverbs 4:23

Both these verses deal with the heart. The heart is the center of our well-being. Without it fulfilling its function, the body perishes. Just as the body perishes, so does our soul if it is not protected.
I think a lot of Christians struggle with obeying or even fully comprehending Psalms 37:4. Many of times, we think that if God grants the desires of our heart then it will be easier to follow him. But this isn’t what the verse is saying. It is a cause/effect relationship. IF you delight in the Lord, THEN he will give you the desires of your heart. However, God will not be used as a means to an end. He will not show himself to you if you are searching for him to find answers to your future, success, a relationship, etc. I found a quote, by A.W. Tozer, that I love: “The mighty God, the maker of heaven and earth, will not be one of many treasures, not even the chief of all treasures. He will be all in all or He will be nothing. God will not be used."
Sometimes, though, when you venture on the journey of delighting yourself in the Lord, you find that as you fall more in love with Christ, your desires may change. Our desires will line up with God's when our heart is in the right place. There have been numerous examples in my life that I have found out that when I am seeking God and asking His will to be manifested in my life, my desires change. It is often a painful process but is always worth it.