Good afternoon to all of you reading this blog. Today has been a pretty eventful day. I went to the beach with my family and started on book three of the Bailey Flanigan series, played Uno with my mom, and tossed a football around with my dad. Following the beach, I went out to eat and got some really awesome fries. Nonetheless, the topic of this blog isn’t going to be fries or football, it’s going to be a different topic of the same first letter.
I saved the most important topic in The Meaning Series for last; the importance of faith in God in one’s life. I began attending church at age nine and asked Jesus into my heart at age eleven. I remember my first experience at church pretty vividly, partly because it was drastically different than what I had expected. I was expecting a very traditional type atmosphere, with an organ and people in frilly dresses. Needless to say, I was pretty surprised to walk in and find a band with an electric guitar and drums, along with a pastor who cracked jokes during the sermon and people who dressed in casual attire. I suppose that whole story kind of illustrates what my walk with God has looked like over the years; there have been a good amount of surprises and unexpected things along the way. I’ve found that there really is no cookie cutter mold for what each Christian’s life is going to look like; every Christian is going to find themselves in different circumstances with different challenges to work through. However, as Christians we serve a really big God who can help us sort out the details of our lives and situations.
I think that what you believe is going to affect the way that you live; the views that we hold are going to seep out into life, touching the lives of others for good or for bad. Some of you out there may be wondering, “If that’s the case, than why do some Christians treat others so poorly?” The only answer that I can give to that question is that we’re all fallen. We all have the capacity to become prideful or act in a way that’s hurtful to others. Nonetheless, if you’ve had a bad encounter with Christians, I urge you to not hold that against God. If you read through the Gospels, Jesus always showed immense kindness towards others. In fact, the people He usually expressed frustrated towards were the religious leaders who acted as if they were better than everyone else.
As Christians, I believe we’re called to emulate the love and mercy that Jesus demonstrated on earth. He was God in flesh, yet He walked in incredible humility that I believe sets the standard for each of us. As Micah 6:8 says, we’re called to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” My goal in my blog, 1timothy412girl, is to write in a way that’s compassionate to people of all life situations, creating a safe haven, while staying true to my beliefs and the Bible’s teachings. I suppose that’s my goal in life too. In a very chaotic, broken world, we’re called to be a light; to show people the hope of the Gospel and walk with them through different trials and seasons of life. Though I’m still fairly young, I’ve gone through rough patches in my own life, and it’s the people who have taken time to listen and be there for me who stand out the most. I can still remember instances, no matter how “small”, where someone took the time to listen and walk with me through a trial that I was going through. To this day, I’m grateful for those people whom God has put in my path and I hope to be that person to others.
To me, faith is not just a belief, but a lifestyle. It’s a flashlight that illuminates God’s love, truth, and hope. It’s a gift that we’ve been given, and that we’ve been called to pass along. In the words of Mother Teresa “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
My topics in this series may all be different, but they’re interconnected. God gives each of us dreams; dreams that can become a reality through hard work and perseverance. We are all unique and special individuals, part of a greater picture of humanity and called to become part of the family of God. And, it is God who gives meaning to each of these things. I could go on to talk about various other topics, such as hope or wisdom, but I believe that the things covered are good starting points: loving God, loving people, and striving to make a difference.