Lately

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Lately (and by lately, I mean for the past couple months), I’ve just been stuck in a rut.  Most of this I attribute to the fact that I have been taking general education requirement classes at the community college.  (In a program where I take college courses along with high school classes, and last semester of senior year I am on campus. Blah. Blah. Blah.) I am going to be very blunt by telling you that I did not care for them at all.  I am happy that I got them out of the way, but I did not enjoy these classes.

At a certain point in the semester (not very late into the semester) I got very tired with these classes, hence the beginning of a rut.

Along with the characteristic of restlessness that I had assumed, I found it difficult to find the time for the daily time in the Word I so desperately need and endlessly love.

Plus, (here comes a biggie) my family and I are on the hunt for a church home.  This has sadly not been a complete success thus far. Generally, this has put a lot of indirect stress on me. Church is so important to me.  That feeling when you’re worshipping your Father in Heaven and you’re taken aback by His overwhelming love.  Or you’re really digging deep into the Word and the tears to well up in your eyes, because He is just so, so, so good.  Over these past couple months, I have honestly become discouraged by the fact that we haven’t found our new church home.  But I am truly grateful for this time because it is teaching me many things.

Something interesting has happened because of this experience, I’ve realized what I find most important, in my opinion, for Biblical teaching. I won’t go into details, but He has hit me with some important facts.  This has been quite the time to learn to appreciate the present.

Also, the most obvious factor of this slump is the fact that I am graduating in a couple short weeks from high school. Which leads to the loss of motivation at the highest degree I have ever experienced.

On top of this I have been stressed about scholarships.  One of the most stressful processes I’ve ever gone through (multiple times).  It is a lot and I would prefer not to talk about this topic.

But, on a happy note I feel like I am starting to grow a lot and the past couple months have been filled with important and exciting times.  I’ve been spending a lot of time with family and honestly, it’s what I look forward to everyday.  Most definitely going to miss this special and loving family of mine when I start college in the fall.  Speaking of college, I got to make a visit or two to my future home over the past couple months.  (If you haven’t noticed already, I’m very excited to start this new period of my life at a place that I am in love with.)

So, the past couple months have been very overwhelming mentally, but an important time of growth (praise Him).  He’s been teaching me to appreciate the time that I am in.  I’m looking forward to writing and sharing more, because it makes my heart so happy.  So I hope and pray for you to try to appreciate the time that you are in because it is important in His plan.

Advertisements

Wisdom 101

DSC_1653

The word wisdom means that you have gained knowledge that came from experience and have the ability to make good judgement.  In Job 28, Job himself speaks about wisdom and it really stuck with me.  Job has been suffering endlessly and wishes for the wisdom to understand his suffering.  In my Bible, this verse is titled “A Hymn to Wisdom” and I think that is a perfectly stated summary of this incredibly eye-opening verse.

 

I feel like many times all of us think that we cannot be considered knowledgeable or wise.  For example, I feel like I struggle a lot with confidence in my knowledge of the Bible at the moment, because I don’t want to say anything wrong.  But, the thing is we must know where wisdom comes from to strive to attain it.

 

There are so many things that can be found on the earth, but you can’t just find wisdom.  Silver can be mined.  Gold can be refined.  Iron can be taken from the ground.  Copper is smelted from ore.  But you can’t just discover wisdom.  In this verse, there is a metaphor created for God being a miner.  He “puts an end to the darkness” and “probes the deepest recesses for ore in the gloomy darkness.”  He destroys any darkness we may find ourselves in and covers us in His light.  He also is the only one that can see the entirety of our situations, just as a miner can see what is happening underneath, but the rest of us cannot.

 

He looks for our good in even the darkest of places.  When ore is found it is used to make copper.  He uses our gifts and attributes to do great things.  “He cuts a shaft far from human habitation, in places unknown to those who walk above ground.”  He works in our lives in ways we (the people above ground) cannot understand.

 

“Food may come from the earth, but below the surface the earth is transformed as by fire.”  We are fed by things around us on earth, but God is lighting a fire of passion under us and we are changed from the inside out.  He transforms us.

 

He alone knows all.  There is no one else that can be informed of everything on earth.  “No bird of prey knows that path; no falcon’s eye has seen it.  Proud beasts have never walked on it; no lion has ever prowled over it.”  No one has walked his line of wisdom.  He alone is wise in all things.

 

He causes emotions and passions in us all to move.  Job describes this in his metaphor as the miner turning up ore.  “He cuts out channels” leading us through certain paths.  He also sees our gifts and abilities as important as “his eyes spot every treasure.”  He is also there to aid in the hard times when it feels like everything is crashing down around us.  As Job says it “He dams up the streams from flowing so that he may bring to light what is hidden.”  Through hard times he brings light to brighten the darkness.

 

Many people want to be smart or wise.  But true wisdom cannot be found by studying and learning as we usually do.  Job asks “where can wisdom be found, and where is understanding located?  No one can know its value, since it cannot be found in the land of the living.”  We cannot find wisdom around us, just in the world.

 

You cannot buy wisdom.  “Gold cannot be exchanged for it, and silver cannot be weighed out for its price wisdom cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, in precious onyx or lapis lazuli.  Gold and glass do not compare with it, and articles of fine gold cannot be exchanged for it.  Coral and quarts are not worth mentioning.  The price of wisdom is beyond pearls.  Topaz from Cush cannot compare with it, and it cannot be valued in pure gold.”  Overall you cannot just find wisdom or buy it.  Wisdom is “hidden from the eyes of every living thing and concealed from the birds of the sky.”

 

But “God understands the way to wisdom, and He knows its location.  For He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.”  Only He is the way to true wisdom.  He has “fixed the weight of the wind and distributed the water by measure.”  He also “established a limit for the rain and a path for the lightning, He considered wisdom and evaluated it.”  He established wisdom and thoroughly examined it.

 

Job tells us that God said to us “The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom. And to turn from evil is understanding.”  The word fear can be skewed when looking at the Bible.  But, in the case of the Lord the word “fear” is really meant to be defined as an attitude of respect and reverence.  Living with reverence for God is wisdom and striving to do the right thing is an understanding of wisdom.

 

Many people strive to be knowledgeable and believe that knowledge will make them wise.  But, the truth is that if you have a true respect for who God is and what He does for us then that is true wisdom.  And as a sign of understanding, someone with wisdom will turn to do the right thing.

 

It truly is impossible to always do the right thing, but the point of this verse, I believe, is that you cannot find wisdom in other things, because He is the only way to true knowledge and the ability to make the correct choices.  So, look to Him when you do not understand what is going on or what to do.  We will not always be granted with this wisdom in our time on earth, but it is absolutely crucial to understand who is in control of absolute wisdom.

 

This verse has affected me greatly, and I just love the way Job describes wisdom and how we should respect and revere Him.  I thought I would just share this because it has really stuck in my mind over past week and I hope it brings to light some important things to note in your life as it has been in mine.

 

-all of the quotations in this post come from Job 28 (CSB)-

 

 

My Testimony

Senior Pictures: Glitter 1

“My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord GODI will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.  Now also when I am old and grayheaded, o God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.”

Psalm 71:15-18 (NKJV)

I thought today I would just open up to everyone a little bit about my story.  I do not have a drastic transformation like a lot of believers have had, but I have most definitely grown in my faith.  So here goes my testimony!

I spent the majority of my childhood at my Mawmaw O’Brien’s house.  This has been one of the most impactful parts of my life for my faith to grow.  She was the glue that held our family together.  Her character demonstrated her love of and faith in her Savior.  Everyone that met her felt that something was different.  Her faith was inspiring and you absolutely knew she had a deep relationship with the Lord.  She was an important part of all of our family’s lives because she showed us what it was like to follow, trust, and worship Him.  She was always there to let me know that He is always there for me and that He has a plan for me.  I always had this understanding that somehow everything that happened was working together in His plan.  I attended church with her and the rest of my family.  At the church, I was baptized at a very young age.  Her role in my life was great and even now her life continues to inspire me and lead me to strive to be as she was to me to the others around me.  Her life carried out God’s work.  She welcomed everyone with open arms and ministered to everyone she possibly could without feeling like it was a burden.  There was no worry about what others thought of her and she always wanted to help everyone she could.  She gave all she had and then some to aid others even if it put her at a disadvantage.  She had faith that God would provide and He always did.  She never held a grudge and loved on everyone she met.  To me and everyone I know she demonstrated effectively how you can follow Christ.

 

In Kindergarten and 1st grade I attended a private Christian school.  On Fridays, we would have these gatherings with special guest speakers who would tell us how God has worked in their lives.  One of the special guest presentations has had a big impact on me even though I was five years old at the time.  This presentation was from a family of missionaries who had been serving in Zimbabwe.  Their story and faith inspired me in such an amazing way.  I had never really heard up to this point of someone dedicating their life in such a way to ministry.  At the time, I was so excited and amazed about what I had discovered.  Then as time went by I started to stray from this pursuit of a life of ministry.

 

My Mawmaw and Pawpaw O’Brien passed away when I was in middle school. My Mawmaw’s presence had a vast effect on my life and without her I had to intentionally look for the Lord in my life on my own.  I wasn’t alone but without her in my life I had to put more effort into finding Him in my life.  Eventually I fell into a church and a youth group.

 

Here in this youth group I felt God working.  With this youth group, I participated in ministry opportunities and really grew in my faith.  On my last youth trip, we went out on the beach for Passover.  There was an amazing moment when we all broke down in a rush of emotion.  At this moment, I knew I needed to be baptized.  I know, I know I had already been baptized.  But, the thing is I really couldn’t remember my reason behind it, because I was so young.  I felt this is what I needed to do.  The next morning, I was baptized with almost twenty other people in the ocean.

 

At this point I was sort of lost in what I wanted to do. For a while, I was being told that I needed to go into a field where I was guaranteed to make a lot of money, and I was planning on doing just this.  Then this inspiration I found at that Friday presentation came flooding back more than ever before.  I was inspired to go into ministry.

 

Since then my faith and relationship with Him has seriously grown a tremendous amount.  And I cannot tell you how much of a difference this has made in my life!

 

This may not have been the most interesting testimony you will ever hear, but it is an important part of my life that I felt needed to be shared.  My story is still being told, I am loving every minute of it, and I pray that anyone who reads this will find their own story with the Lord.

 

Hannah O’Brien

Solomon’s Gift and Flaw

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

I have recently been working my way through 1 Kings and for some reason I was having trouble staying focused.  For me I have to write in the margins to get the full picture of what is going on.  So, I had to be very intentional in doing so.  I am really glad that I did or I would not have grasped the story of Solomon as fully as I did.

Through the story of Solomon, I really learned something that was just so inspiring.

A lot of the time I feel like many people in the Bible who have a special connection with God do not really have flaws.  I know that all humans sin because we are human, but there are sometimes when I get a picture of these perfect humans in the Bible.  Sometimes I feel like I cannot have this special relationship with God and minister to others, because I do have flaws.  Along with this lesson of being flawed there is also the lesson of asking for the abilities to carry out God’s will and it will be granted.

Solomon was granted a spiritual gift because he asked for it in the terms of doing God’s will.  He was blessed with a gift but also had a flaw.

(I am going to insert the most important parts of this story here to illustrate these very important lessons that can be found in Solomon’s life.)

So, Solomon is the king and he gives a tremendous offering to the Lord and that night he has a dream.

 

“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.  Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.  Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.  And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants. Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and stood before him.  And one woman said, “O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house.  Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house.  And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.  And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne.” Then the other woman said, “No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” And the first woman said, “No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” Thus they spoke before the king.  And the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’”  Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king.  And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.” Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!” But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.” So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.” And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.

1 King’s 3:5-28 (NKJV)

 

He was given the gift of wisdom to distinguish between good and evil, because he asked for it to do His will and had not asked for selfish things.

 

“…there is no one who does not sin…”

1 King’s 8:46 (NKJV)

 

There is no man or woman who does not sin.  We all have flaws but we are also granted spiritual gifts as Christians.

 

“Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with hard questions. She came to Jerusalem with a very great retinue, with camels that bore spices, very much gold, and precious stones; and when she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about all that was in her heart. So Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing so difficult for the king that he could not explain it to her. And when the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, the house that he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his servants, the service of his waiters and their apparel, his cupbearers, and his entryway by which he went up to the house of the Lord, there was no more spirit in her. Then she said to the king: ‘It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard. Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord has loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.’”

1 King’s 10:1-9 (NKJV)

 

“But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.”

1 King’s 11:1-8 (NKJV)

 

Solomon was given the gift of wisdom, was a sinner, but was also used by God to do His will.  There are many people in the Bible who were chosen to be used by the Lord and this may just be me but I feel that many of us have this view of some of them that they are not really flawed or are better than us somehow.  But, everyone has flaws and sins.  We are also called to serve Him and are given spiritual gifts as Solomon was given the gift of wisdom.

 

Hannah O’Brien

Show Them You in Me

Sunset

**This post totally has “Let Them See You” by JJ Weeks Band vibes fyi**

 

On December 1st, I had an interview for a program at the college I absolutely love.  This program presented me with a great opportunity for my college career.  The night before I was laying out what I was going to wear I had a breakdown.  Not anything too dramatic, but up until that point I had been cool and calm about what was to come.  I was ready.  But, at that moment I felt this pressure and it just came out.  That Friday morning, I got up early to take my sister to school, got ready, and waited.  I was very nervous.

 

“Will I be able to convey to them my calling and passion?”

“What if I say the wrong thing?”

 

I sat on my bed for probably thirty minutes to an hour.  Just praying.  Simply coming to Him with my worries.

 

“Dear Lord, I pray that You will be with me today.  Please show them my passion for ministry.  Allow them to know my heart.  If this is meant to be part of my path allow me to be accepted into the program.  Give me the strength, composure, and confidence to display my will and calling.  I pray you give me a sign to show me that I am supposed to be there.  Show them You in me.”

 

So, we drove to the school and got there right on time.  There were no parking spaces so I just got out of the car and my dad left to wander around the little town.  I was the first one to arrive leaving me to sit by myself for a little while.  Leaving me to become very anxious.

 

I became a little calmer after everything started.  I had lunch with many people from the program, which was sort of stressful to begin with.  I began to enjoy the whole process and this was a turning point in the day.  I was excited to continue the day and take part in all of the events that it held.  I met so many new people and it was difficult to keep everyone straight.  Everything was going pretty well.  I explored some of the campus and attended a class.

 

Then I got to the interview and I was surprisingly not very nervous.  I went in and everything went well.  All of the answers were flowing well.  In the middle, I started to get this feeling of I am about to cry.  I had come to love the program from what I had experienced and I did not want to mess up the interview.  I could not even remember who my favorite singer was (shout out to Jack Johnson).  I got through it.  And it went well.  I had the best day.

 

I left happy and excited.  Then I had to wait.  I had been told by what day I would receive a decision and I was stressing out about it towards the end. “Would I find out by the deadline?”  I was so worried and I shouldn’t have been.  There was no need.  I received my acceptance by the day I had been told.  I am so excited, but the fact that I got in is not the meaning of this post.

 

God had been with me and He is always with me. He made me strong, composed and confident throughout most of the day. I had prayed and he had listened.

 

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

1 John 5:14 (NKJV)

 

Those prayers you say in hope are heard by our Lord in Heaven.  I feel it is very important to note when a prayer has been answered in a way that you can see.

 

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!”

1 Chronicles 16:11

 

Seek Him and His strength. It is important to have these verses in mind when praying and when you are in need to trust Him.

 

I am very thankful for everything that has happened in the last few weeks and months, but I know that I still need His strength.  There is no time in which He is not needed and there is no time in which He is not there.

 

**Note to the reader:  Thank you for reading and I hope that at least one person is impacted in some way.  Know that you are loved and that you are set part to be a part.**

 

Hannah O’Brien

Waiting

046012AE-FD57-4D4A-A7A5-4FEC5DFD2869

Waiting…

 

I know the word brings that certain feeling of annoyance and impatience.  We all have to wait sometimes.  All the time actually, whether we know it or not.  It may be a simple thing that takes a matter of minutes or it may be something more intricate that takes longer.

 

There are little things that we have to wait on all the time.  Waiting for an email to load.  Waiting in a checkout line at the store.  Waiting on a table at a restaurant. Waiting for class to end.  Waiting to arrive at your destination.  Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

 

Yesterday I was in the parking lot at school and someone had parked in my space. No big deal, right?  Wrong.  I had to park closer to the area where the line forms and at the end of the day I had to wait to get in line for what seemed like forever. Then to make things worse when I did get out the car in front of me was going so slow.

 

I was so impatient.  I could not wait.

 

I am not saying that waiting on this had some fantastic purpose, but I did get worked up about something that was out of my control.

 

Waiting on traffic is such a little thing, but there are other things that take longer and require us to wait much longer.

 

Waiting on that acceptance letter.  Waiting on that friendship to be healed.  Waiting on that relationship.  Waiting on a sick family member to get better.  Waiting to get past a hard time. Waiting on getting to that next step in life.  Waiting on God to reveal your future…

 

Fall of 2017 has been a major time of waiting.  Specifically waiting on the acceptance letter I had been stressing out about.  I sent in all my applications early. But, here I was waiting. I felt stuck.  Just always waiting and thinking about the future.

 

At this moment, I am in the middle of waiting for a decision about my future.  Will this be part of my college life or not? Would this be the best thing? Again, here I am waiting.

 

There are so many unknowns in our lives, and so many things that we just cannot control.  But we just have to…wait.

 

We are always waiting.  There is always something in the future that we are waiting on.  We don’t know what the future holds, but it is important to wait and trust in the plans of our Lord.  He has all of this in his hands.

 

One of my favorite Bible stories about waiting would have to be the story of Abraham.  To put it simply God told Abraham to pick up from his pleasant life and go.  Go where?  Well at this point Abraham has no idea, but God knows.  He tells him to trust in Him and follow his instructions.  Abraham is stuck like many of us waiting to figure out what the future holds.

 

God said to Abraham,

“’Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.  I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.  I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”

Genesis 12:1-3 (NKJV)

 

Here’s the thing, he goes. He leaves.  He follows His instructions even though he has no idea where he will end up.  He waits to hear where to go.

 

Waiting is a part of all of our lives.  We are always waiting to see what will happen in the future just like Abraham.  We must always trust in His plan, just as Abraham does when he leaves his home country.  He was going into the unknown, which is unnerving.

 

Abraham has to wait to find out where he is going and what will happen.   This is where all of us find ourselves constantly.  We cannot see what will happen in the future.  But He is always with us when we are waiting and knows what we are waiting for, because here’s the thing, He has created what we are waiting on.

 

Hannah O’Brien

Amazing Creations

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

God made an amazing creation, you.  You may not think you are amazing all the time.  You may not think your body looks amazing.  You may not think your mind is amazing.  You may not even think your abilities or gifts are amazing.

 

            Our bodies are amazing creations.

 

Our feet and legs allow us to walk, run, and climb.

 

Our torso allows us to sit up and supports the rest of our body.

 

Our arms and hands allow us to carry, hold, and move things.

 

Our heads have eyes, a nose, a mouth, ears, and hold a brain.

 

Our eyes allow us to see.

 

Our noses allow us to smell.

 

Our mouths allow us to talk and eat.

 

Our ears allow us to listen.

 

You are probably thinking “Yeah, yeah I know all this.  I know what the body does.”  But listen and think about what I am about to say.  All of these things we can do are amazing, because our God is amazing and provides us with amazing opportunities.

 

We can run a 5k or a marathon.  If we aren’t the best at running or are not at the point for long distance running yet, we can walk to and from places or climb stairs to get to the top of something.  Such as climbing to the top of a mountain to see a beautiful view.  We can sit up, allowing us to wake up and literally “rise” with the sun.  We can carry and eat food that we have been provided with.  We can play sports.  We can see all the amazing things God has created, like mountains and waterfalls.  We can smell beautiful aromas, such as the beach or baking apple pie.  We can tell each other about the amazing things God is doing in our lives and share the love of Christ.  We can listen to amazing music and hear birds chirping.  We also have amazing brains that allow us to understand complex things.

 

I am not oblivious to the fact that many people do not have all of these abilities.  Some people are blind, deaf, do not have control over what their bodies do, or so many other things that would make this list very, very long.  But those who have these conditions have other abilities that they have been blessed with.  Some of the abilities may be to inspire, make people happy, or give others hope.

 

We also have different abilities from each other.  For example, I think I can write pretty well where I am not so good at difficult math problems.  You may be the other way around and be better at math than writing.

 

            God has blessed us with great abilities setting us apart from others.

 

            You may not realize that you are set apart, but you are.

 

We also have great spiritual gifts that God has blessed us with.  There are many different gifts or abilities that one can have, but a few examples are compassion, faith, and leadership.

 

“God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:

wise counsel

clear understanding

simple trust

healing the sick

miraculous acts

proclamation

distinguishing between spirits

tongues

interpretation of tongues.

All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.”

1 Corinthians 4-11 (MSG)

 

            Everyone has something amazing about them, and God has a deep love for all of us.

 

I’d like to end on a quote from an American church founder, pastor, and author who describes God’s love in a beautiful way.

 

“God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.”

Rick Warren

Hannah O’Brien

Trust in His Plan

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Lately, I have been stressed about anything and everything.  It is Fall of my senior year and obviously there are many things to worry about.

 

Getting into college

Keeping up good grades

Finding money for college

 

All of this is very overwhelming at times.  When I think about how much I need to do and the weight of it all. The thing is we do not need to worry about the future, because He has it in His hands.  Of course, those hands are certainly capable and trustworthy.

 

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

 

We must trust that our Father in Heaven has a plan for our future and that He will guide us through all the rough times we go through.

 

Trust in His plan and do not stress about what will happen in a day, a month, or a year from now.

 

 

I think that is so amazing.  The God that created this amazing world has our lives in His hands if we let Him take control.

 

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG)

 

He tells us not to worry, but to pray and praise Him.  We need to trust Him with our problems and worries.  Everything will come together in the end to be good, because He has it in His hands.  He will do great things when we let Him remove the worry from our lives.

 

This is really hard for me.  Letting go of things that are important and just believing that everything will fall into place is difficult.  I am not saying that we don’t need to do any work, but we cannot do this by ourselves.

 

We must all work hard for things that need to happen, but we do not need to be anxious.

 

We should listen, watch for His work, and recognize that He has this all under control.  There may be hard time that we have to go through, but those are the important points in time when we must rely on Him and know that it will turn out well in the end.

 

As always, He shows His great and awe-inspiring love yet again.

 

I have already been accepted into the college I wish to attend, but before I was a mess.  Will I get in?  I should get in, right?  What am I going to do if I don’t get in?  I waited and waited, but also stressed and stressed.  But, everything worked out for the best.  If I wouldn’t have gotten into the college I am going to it would have been part of God’s plan.

 

We should not worry, because whatever happens as we follow Him is part of His plan for us.  But, not worrying is really hard.  I stress about everything, but I should find peace in knowing that He has a plan.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

 

Do not be anxious about what is yet to happen.

 

Trust in Him.

 

Trust His plan.

 

Hannah O’Brien

Set Apart to be a Part

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

At this time of my life many people have been asking what I want to do with my life.  The truth is I do not know exactly what the future holds for me.  But I have been felt called to serve as a missionary in some capacity.  So, when someone asks me what I plan on doing I tell them that I plan to major in something along the lines of Biblical/Christian studies.

 

But the responses I have received have not all been confidence boosters.  I have heard:

 

            “You won’t make any money doing that.”

            “Why would you want to do that?”

 

Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten some good responses.  But, those negative responses seem to outweigh the positive ones sometimes.

 

The thing is I feel set apart.  Set apart to be a part of something important.  The spreading of the Word and love of Jesus Christ. 

 

I feel like that is something pretty amazing to be a part of.

 

A lot of people do not understand how deep this feeling runs in me.  It is not just some thought that I have had.  Throughout my life I have felt this tug to be a missionary and/or serve in a ministry capacity.

 

When I was in kindergarten or first grade I attended one of the weekly services we had at the private Christian school I went to, and this was my first-time hearing about what I hope to do one day.  There was a family of missionaries that presented their story to our school.  I felt so moved by their story and how much of an impact they were having on the people they came into contact with, even though I was only 5 or 6 years old.  To this day I remember this presentation and how passionate they were about what they had been doing.  At that moment, there was a tug in the back of my mind that told me that I was being called to do this.

 

This thought went out of my mind for a while until I got to high school.  I went on a couple of youth trips and we would do some volunteer work in the community.  There I fell in love with this interaction with people who are less fortunate than me and what I can do for them.  Whether this was just handing them food or speaking with them. At this time, the idea of putting my future in the capable hands of God did not really click in my mind, but now I know this is what I am meant to do.

 

For a long time, I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my future.  I went from one thing to another and I was not passionate about any of them.  Then, I do not know how, but the idea of being a missionary popped back into my mind.  I think this is an amazing example of how God works through us.  There are many twists and turns incorporated but there He is ready to lead you when you put your life in His hands.

 

“Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.”

Proverbs 16.3 (MSG)

 

I am putting my faith in God and His plans for me.  I know many will think this is not a good idea, but I know that He has this in His hands.

 

I am sure many of my peers do not understand why I am so passionate about this.  But I know I have been set apart. 

 

  I am different.

You are different.

You and I are different.

But we are called.

 

“My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. These people belong to the Christ-denying world. They talk the world’s language and the world eats it up. But we come from God and belong to God. Anyone who knows God understands us and listens. The person who has nothing to do with God will, of course, not listen to us. This is another test for telling the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of deception.”

1 John 4:4-6 (MSG)

 God is so great and the way this future has begun to unfold is amazing.  I am so thankful for those in my life that are so supportive of this calling I have and the amazing Father in Heaven that has called me.

 

I have been set apart to be a part.

 

You are set apart to be a part.

 

Hannah O’Brien