Thursday, February 20, 2014

Being A Leader Sucks

   Yes. You read that title right. I'm here to give my straight up honest opinion so I will do nothing less. Being a leader can suck. It's hard. It can be scary. It can be annoying. It can suck. For me, the hardest part of being a leader is having followers. That doesn't really sound too complicated right? If you lead, people follow; that's in the job description. But for me, I like in inspire people....to go do their own thing because this thing is mine now go away. I've always said I wanted to inspire greatness in others but now that I have...can I not? Its the most selfish thing I've ever thought and I hate myself for it but I'm going to share these bratty thoughts of mine with you because I'm a flawed human and I'm not going to hide it.

   I've always been all about identity. I love the topic, and I've struggled a lot with the topic. I hate being mainstream and liking things that other people like, and I've always been concerned with how people see me and etc. Now the problem I've been having is this: I don't really have anything I can call my own. All those things that used to make people think "Oh! That's so Faith!" is gone.

   Colored hair
   Star Wars
   Fitness junky
   Piercings 
   Going bald
   twenty one pilots
 
   It's all been taken from me. How? Because me being the idiot that I am decided I should share those things with others. Maybe I didn't do it intentionally. But me being however it is I am inspired other people to follow those things. And that backfired. Big time.

   I always feel in the shadows; people always overshadow me and I just sit in the dark all alone. I've always been known as a geek, but if someone else comes with that same identity, they outshine me and I just sink back into my hole of isolation. That's how it always goes. Now every single one of those things have been taken and now I'm without an identity and sitting in the dark. I talked to my mom about this and how upset I was over it. I had just wanted one thing to be my own. One! That's all I asked for. Especially with going bald, I wanted to do this myself; but my sister and two of my brothers joined me. My mom told me it was because they wanted to be like me, I had inspired them or whatever. Which was weird because I was like "Wait, I inspired people?!?!" this was kind of news to me. I didn't know I was a leader, I've never wanted to be one and probably shouldn't be one either. I'm way too prideful for that and I would let it get to my head. When she said that, I was sort of taken aback.

   When you think of a leader you probably see someone who's brave and courageous and a good speaker and fearless. At least, that's what I see. You also don't picture the struggles they have, the possible lack of identity. Leaders constantly have people following them, mimicking them; copying them. At that sucks. But its the life of a leader. I guess if I wanted to be a leader I should have expected followers. I didn't. I know I've blogged about this before because this has been a constant issue for me. Its something I'll work out; its hard to swallow our pride and not care if people think you're the one copying someone else. I'll get it right one day. And today is not that day.

   All I can say is be yourself and if anyone has anything to say about it, just smile.

   "Great leaders inspire greatness in others."-Jedi Proverb

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

About Nothing In Particular

   I've had an eventful past couple of days. I don't have enough focus to be blogging really so today is going to be random. Well on Saturday I dyed my lovely blonde hair black and purple and I love it; I did it because I've always been too afraid to dye my whole head, but I figured since I'm shaving it all of anyway it'll be fine. And I really like it. I also got a packet from St. Baldricks today and it got me really excited for March 7th; the big day. Also, at the store I read the introduction to a book called This Star Won't Go Out, a real life story of a girl who passed away from cancer. I almost started to cry right there in the middle of Target. Seeing her pictures and simply reading the first few pages of her book made me emotional; it got so real. I felt inspired and motivated and I wished that March would come faster so I could rock my bald head in support of cancer patients. I'm just generally feeling inspired. This feeling has been here for a while now, along with this new dose of courage and bravery greatly supplied by my All In All. I just want to help people; volunteer somewhere, do a fundraiser or outreach night; just something to keep me from going crazy like I might if I spend one more day at home doing nothing.



   I want my life to mean something. I want to inspire people. I want to be crazy and bold and confident. For the first time in my life I feel like I've almost reached that point. I don't want to be Faith That Girl Who Is Really Quiet And You Should Get To Know Her Because Once You Do You Realize She's Really Cool. No. I'm done with that. I want everyone to know who I am. I may never be the bravest most audacious person in the way the world sees it, but you can be dang sure I will be that in God's eyes. I want to live for so much more then this. I want to achieve all my dreams. I want to be confident, I want to inspire greatness in others. And you know what? I will. Just watch me. One of my best friends taught me that I say "I'm trying" too much. I always "try" but I never "do." So this time I want to do something. I will be confident, I will overcome my fears, I will stay strong, I will be all that God is calling me to be, and I will change the world.

   On a less serious note, I took some pictures and went to the mall with friends and I watched movies and so here are some quotes and things that have been on my heart a lot. Oh! And my friend found my camera that I lost at camp since they went up the next weekend to work! Yay! Shoutout to Maddi and Giada! Love you guys!

(This was the fire on the lake.)

 (Because I thought it looked cool. Over it.)

(I did a photoshoot with my sister. She got a gorgeous new haircut.)

 (Also did a photoshoot with my nephew today. Look at him!)


   "I'm not particularly concerned with whether or not you like me, because I live to like you and...and I can't like you anymore. So...so when you're feeling real low and...and dirty, and your heart is splattered all over, don't look to me to come pump you back up because maybe for the first time I wont be there."-Duckie, Pretty In Pink. (My favorite movie<3 p="">

   Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
   Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time we're given." 
   -The Fellowship Of The Ring

   And one more thing, I love praying, especially for others. So as always, any prayer requests? You can always comment one if you need or even email me. (Check my About Me tab for the email address.) You can pray for me for strength with some spiritual things going on, and disciple for me to get back into exercising again and not get too caught up in it and in my writing. Because I have hardly touched my novel since I finished NaNoWriMo and rewriting is a pain. Love you guys! I hope you like my photography and rant!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Might Be Going Crazy

Lately I've felt like God has been calling me to do something crazy; and the even crazier thing is, I've actually had the courage to answer the call. I honestly don't know where all this insane courage has come from. Yesterday I was taking the train with my best friend and we randomly went up to someone and asked if they knew Jesus and we were then able to witness to them, and I talked to a new family I saw at church, and I talked to people at camp, and I randomly messaged someone that I was praying for them, and I went to the mall and let myself be free and happy like a kid in a candy store. It occurred to me that after years of begging for courage, God has finally granted it to me. It was totally out of the blue, and I am both so excited and terrified by it. I'm not used to being bold and audacious, but it was about dang time I started to be. A lot of things have fallen apart in my life and I've been hurt a lot, and it really is true then when the world brings you to your knees, you're in the perfect position to pray; because I have been broken and now I finally see that this life isn't about me and life is too short to spend it worrying about the opinions of others and how other people see me. I don't want to live like that anymore. I want to give. I want to be known as someone who just gave and didn't ask for anything in return. My motto has always been "Love without limits." That's what I want to do. Love my enemies, pray for those who persecute me. That's the kind of person I want to be, because that was the kind of person Jesus was. When He calls, I want to follow without hesitation or doubts or questions. God gives and God takes away; but I want to know, really know, that God always has my best interest in mind. Everything that He allows is for my good. I want to love Him with my whole heart and have no other gods before Him.
 
   Now onto what I really came on here to say.

   I decided to shave my head.

   Yes you read that right. I'm buzzing all my hair off. It was weird, you see, I randomly felt God calling me to do it, which is a really odd thing for God to tell someone to do. I kinda just asked pondered over the matter, not too much though. Then it came up again when someone jokingly said I should go bald, and I told them I was seriously considering it. Then it came up again. And again. And again. I talked it over with my mom and best friend and a few others and they all said I should do it, and my little brother even said he would do it with me. I decided to take one day of prayer and I read my bible and asked God about it even though I was fairly certain this was what I wanted to do. I told my mom that I was scared because my hair was my favorite part about myself and she said "maybe that's why God wants you to do it; to show that you would give up your favorite part of yourself just because He asked you to." That was the thing that sealed the deal. I went into my room and read the story of Abraham and Issac and how when he was called to kill his son, he didn't even hesitate or ask why; he just went out the next day to do what he was told to. That's one of my favorite stories because of the tremendous amount of faith he showed. In a sermon I heard once that God knew Abraham could do it, He knew he had faith, but Abraham didn't. Abraham didn't know how far he would go for God; not until that day.

   Today I decided to go for it. I'm doing it with St. Baldricks and I'm going to donate my hair and I'm also going to raise money for cancer research. I'm actually really excited. Nervous, but excited. I'm going to miss my hair a lot and I'm sure I'll get super insecure a lot of days but faith isn't easy. I think I've come to a point where I don't care anymore. I don't care what people think, I don't care if I'm standing alone or if people walk out of my life or if I look stupid or people hate me; if it's just going to be God and I so be it. At least I know He's got my back. I am still hurting, but I'm not going to suffer. I refuse to sit around and cry over my life when I have a job to do. This is by far the craziest thing I've ever done, and I know I'll be proud when I do it; and even better, I know God will be proud. I'm doing something with my life. Today on the radio I heard a single line from a song and I think it was by Mathew West but I'm not positive; it said something like "God why haven't you done anything? 'I did. I made you.'" I thought that was just perfect. We complain that God never does anything but there's a reason He made you and what if that's it?! 

   Now here's where you come in! I'm challenging you; donate to this cause. Come support me and my brothers who are shaving our head for cancer patients and cancer research. I don't care if you can only give a dollar; perfect! Give 50 cents, I don't care.But anyone can help someone and I'm giving you the chance to make a difference. I'm doing it in honor of a boy I've blogged about many times, Silas Edenfield, who passed away from cancer last May, and for Ellie, a little girl I met on my missions trip last summer who also recently passed away. Do it for them. For their families and for other people who have lost someone to cancer or to people who are fighting it. 

   Or if you're crazy too, come shave your head with us! 

   THIS IS THE LINK to donate to my team, The Sea Turtles. Or goal is to raise $200; come help us reach this goal and strive towards the cure to cancer!

 (Ellie)

 (Silas)

(The phrase I've been repeating to myself for the past 4 months.)

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's All Good

What an amazing weekend. I just got back from winter camp and it was great. I had really been craving some time to get away. I love the country and wide open spaces and looking out onto miles of fields or trees. It was incredible and freeing. Of course, the second I come home its like BAM! Stress! I got triggered at youth group again and then I come home and realize I might have left my camera somewhere at camp or in the van or it might have fallen out of my pocket while I was walking around outside. That camera, as well as being my lifeline, also had a ton of amazing pictures from the weekend I wanted to share with you guys. Please pray that I find it.

   I loved this weekend and I was super nervous about going too, but I actually enjoyed myself. I let go of all my struggles for a while and just had fun; and now being home I feel it all coming back. I should have expected it but it kind of took me aback. I thought we were done with this whole "scaring Faith away from church" crap. But apparently not.

   Anyhow; Camp.

   The speaker was amazing and he told his mind blowing awesome testimony and he did so very honestly and bluntly, which I loved and needed. But my favorite part of the weekend was Saturday night when my friend, Maddi, and I went out to play broomball. But no one showed up. So it was just us two on a frozen lake. It was late at night, like 11 o'clock, and there was one giant light that illuminated the lake, plus there was a fire going on the lake. The fire was set up at the end of the dock, so it was in an area with deep water. There was no noise other than the fire crackling and there was a light snowfall. We walked out onto the lake and just stood there and stared. "I feel infinite." Maddi spoke my mind exactly. It was just like Charlie from The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. It was the perfect moment. I was walking on water. I remembered back to the summer when I had gone "blobbing" (as we call it.) and had fallen off and got my foot caught on a rope under the water and could have drowned; yet now, here I was, walking on that same water that almost took my life; and I walked across it like it was concrete. It reminded me of the song Oceans, which we had sung that night. "You call me out upon the waters; the great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find you in the mystery. In oceans deep my faith will stand." I'm also slightly afraid of walking on frozen lakes because I'm afraid of it breaking and then drowning. But I walked and wasn't afraid.

   After walking around for a while we sat down by the fire and a guy came and sat with us. Then two of our cabin mates joined us and we all sat around the fire with hot chocolate and cookies and we made jokes and laughed and just lived. We built snowman and told stories of other times up at camp and other weird and random things. There I was with three people I had just met over the summer and I talked and laughed with them and I wasn't nervous or afraid. I joined in on the conversation and didn't feel awkward at all. It was perfect. All weekend I was waiting for a "Aha!" moment, and I finally got it.

   There was one more lesson God has been teaching me.

   It's all good. Everything that has happened to me, all the people that have hurt me, all the trials...it's all for my good. God always has my best interest at heart. That's so crazy to think about. God was thinking of me when he let my dad leave, God was thinking of me when he allowed fear into my life, He was thinking of me when he let my friend walk out of my life; He was always thinking of me. I can't even imagine how those things are for my good, but I know I will someday. One day I'll look back on all this and see how He was protecting me, and saving me for something better. Because God only wants to absolute best for me; and when I demand my own way I'm demanding second best. So why settle for less when God is saving you for greater things?

   I don't think I could write about every great thing that happened at camp or all the things I learned, or even about all the struggles I'm facing now that I'm home again, but I do know that God has a lot planned for me and I will have faith and trust in Him. I also know that He's telling me to do some things that will be hard for me; have faith, preach the word, and forgive. Fear is attacking and so are many other things but I will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might; not by my own. I would appreciate prayers for me in all of theses areas, and let me know how I can pray for you. I also want to know what God has been teaching you!

   "Be still and know that I am God."-Psalm 46:10

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Story We're Going To Pretend Is Fiction

   "This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story."-500 Days Of Summer

   A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a girl. She was upset because God was telling her to let something go and she didn't want to; she knew exactly what God wanted her to let go. A boy. So she pretended she didn't understand Him and kept asking what is was in hope that He would change His mind. Of course, that didn't happen. Eventually she asked God for two things: a very specific sign and to take away her feelings for the boy and to put them where He desired them to be. Both happened very quickly. She got her signs. She cried as she let the boy go but after that she was fine; God truly had stripped away her feelings for him. She had almost forgotten the last part of her prayer; the part where she asked God to put those feelings where He willed. She thought it wouldn't happen for a while, she would finally be free from petty boys and the drama they carried with them! She knew God would place her feelings in the right man at the right time and then she would be with that guy for the rest of her life, so she was happy to enjoy her life being free from all of that drama.

   But there was a plot twist.

   Suddenly the girl found herself falling for another boy. "How can this happen?!" she wondered. Because God was only going to allow feelings where He willed. So that could only mean one thing...this was God's will. The girl responded like any girl would in that situation. "Heck no!" You see, she was falling for someone she swore she never would. The moment she met him she promised she would never ever like him; he was a flirt and he had led one of her best friends on and talked to her every day and then suddenly stopped. He had a reputation for doing that. She told God that this was not part of the plan and therefore wouldn't do it. It was obviously a trap.

   Despite her utter reluctance, she fell for him. Hard. They talked every day and soon became good friends. They wrote each other letters and went out a few times; they weren't dating but everyone acted as if they were. Soon everyone knew about him and her; in fact, the news was so wide spread that the only two who didn't get the memo were the boy and the girl themselves. The girl knew he would never like her; after all, they were just good friends. Their conversations and jokes weren't flirty, they were friendly. Deep inside she pondered that maybe they were a bit more than friends, but she thought that he would be upset if he knew what she was thinking, so she dismissed it.

   Then people began to warn the girl about this boy she was getting to grow quite fond of. They told her stories of all the girls he had flirted with and then abandoned. They told her he was nothing and she could do so much better; but everyone had said the same about the last boy she liked. It was beginning to frustrate her. So the girl went to the one person she knew would help her: God. She prayed every night and asked God to show her what to do. "If these feelings aren't from you, Lord, rip them out of me." That was her prayer. Yet the feelings remained. She began asking for signs that this was His will; every sign came to be. One night she was laying down and God spoke to her. A small phrase popped into her head as if God had whispered it into her mind. He said "Do you trust Me enough to let go of all the things that other people say?" Yes; she trusted Him. So she let go of the stories people told of this boy and asked God to show her how He saw the boy. That was when she truly met the greatest guy she had ever encountered; because she wasn't seeing him how everyone else did; she saw Him how God did. He made her laugh and quoted movies with her; they talked about things no one else would understand, and she knew she could count on him for anything. She knew that God had done an incredible thing when He pointed her to him, and she was content with their simple but deep friendship. She thought that she had found her best friend.

   Everything was going perfectly. She knew that no matter how the boy felt about her, she was beyond blessed to have gotten to know him. He had shared wisdom with her and insight that she would hold onto forever. He had helped her in a way that no one else ever had before. She had one fatal flaw that everyone knew about but no one, not even herself, thought that maybe she could try to overcome. But the boy knew she could, and every day the boy helped her begin a journey to fight it; some ways were intended by the boy and others he might never know about. The boy understood her like no one else; they were the same. The only difference between them was that the boy was outgoing and fearless on the outside and insecure on the inside; and the girl was the opposite; insecure and utterly afraid, and yet deep inside she was brave. And yet she had no idea that courage was buried deep inside of her until the boy helped her find it.

   But that was when trouble came. The girl was so insecure and afraid that she was terrified of how the boy saw her. She was afraid to look foolish in front of him. The girl had never been one for talking, and that was the one thing the boy didn't understand. The boy seemed to be getting frustrated that she never spoke; he was no longer patient with her faults. Soon their conversations ran dry and started to decrease with frequency. After nearly 6 months of talking on a daily basis, the messages got shorter and their enthusiasm was running out, and as feared, they soon stopped altogether. They hadn't spoken for weeks when the girl received the terrible news; she had been replaced. He had a new best friend, and although she was quiet, she didn't have trouble talking to him like the girl did. So the girl did what she did best; she took all the blame on herself. It was her fault they didn't talk anymore, if only she had been brave for once, if only she could have talked more, if only she were smarter or prettier or less insecure. She had forgotten God's words to her about trusting Him; she remembered all her friends warnings and stories and she knew they had been right all along. Of course he had to leave, because that's what her dad had done, and as her mom had pointed out, he was just like her dad. How could God do this?! How could God promise all the to her and then take it away? Never had she questioned God before that day; but the boy had broken her.

   She slept the pain away and when she awoke she would cry; and she couldn't focus on anything and she didn't want to get out of bed. And the worst realization was that the boy probably got up that morning and carried on with his life without thinking of her at all, and she was crying because she couldn't stop thinking of him. It was a nightmare. There was one person who had always helped her with her nightmares, and that had been the boy. It was messed up how the person she wanted help from was the person who had hurt her. The girl was all alone with her shattered heart.

   And that's where the story ends.

   I'm writing this because there are many "boys." The girl wasn't the only one to experience this; and that's messed up. I'm writing this on behalf of my mom, and my three bestest friends, and my friend from camp; because they all had a boy who became their best friend, and left without explanation and without warning. I've watched them suffer through heartache, and in a few of those cases, I knew the boy too, and I got to watch the girls cry and the boys be totally okay. I have one question: how can you be such a strong man of God and treat girls around you like crap? How can you lead them on and watch them fall for you and let them hit the floor and simply walk away, all the while you love Christ and pray and seek Him? How can those things go hand in hand? In this story, one you sadly might be able to relate to, there is no closure, no answer to these questions. What was the boy thinking? What was God doing? Why would they do this? We'll never know. Often times we don't get answers for the biggest questions in our lives, but we can learn to be okay with that, and we can let the struggles make us stronger and we can walk a little taller and lean on God a little more. Circumstances change, but God doesn't. He knows that people break hearts, so rest knowing that God is in the business of healing them.