Blog Posts.


The choices we make today lead us to the doorway of what we allow into our tomorrows. I’ve been hit in the face, figuratively, this week with how drastically the choices we make affect the way our lives unfold. I don’t really have a creative opening for this topic, or a cute, funny story about a dumb choice I made yesterday and how it affected my today. This topic of conversation might even frustrate you, and honestly… I’m more than ok with that. Because I believe most of us have never been taught to believe that we do have a choice. We have a say on how we want our lives to be, we have a choice on the kind of person we want to become, and to an extent… we dictate the amount of trash we allow into our lives. We continue to whine and complain about our lives, but we choose to remain the same and treat change as if it were the enemy. Taking responsibility for the choices we make, owning who we are now, gives us freedom from the chains of remaining the same. Owning the choices, allowing them to become our teacher, allowing the consequences of those choices to make us strong instead of cowering in the shadows and wishing for a better life, is how I believe we take the first step toward owning our stories. 

Ok, so we started off a little harsh right out the gate! I want you all to know that I’m speaking to myself as well, and when I sound harsh, it’s only because my heart aches to see you grow. My dad is an expert in the arena of tough love, so my fire and my smart mouth I owe to him. I am incredibly thankful for how strong he and my mom have made me, and I’m proud to say I am my father’s daughter. I’ve made the choice to own that, and not everyone likes it… and it has taken me years to be at peace with that. I know I’m a lot for some people, I know I can sound “too opinionated” or “too blunt”. I used to let those comments offend me. I used to be hurt when close friends couldn’t see that my honesty came from a place of deep love. Now, I choose to walk with humble confidence in how Jesus created me, allowing Him to speak my identity over me. If you don’t like it, that’s totally fine, and honestly not my issue. We have the power to choose to walk closely with who Jesus calls us to be, or we have the choice to shy away and choose what is easier – conditional acceptance from the people around us. Jesus gives us that free will. He gives us the opportunity to have a say in how we want our lives to look, the people we choose to surround ourselves with, and the person we walk this life as. 

Do you know what is directly tied to these choices we make? 

Our hearts. 

The condition of our hearts. 

The wounds that lay dormant and rear their ugly heads at the most inconvenient times, the scars and memories that find you when you least expect it, your motivations and your fears, your joy, and your peace… they are all at the center of past choices that translate into who you are now. The choices you make are a stark reflection of who you are on the inside; they have a really annoying way of showing the world what’s most important to you. Is it an image? Is it wealth, status and privilege? Is it rooted in what others think or perhaps, is it rooted in you being the center of your own life? Do your choices tell a story of a life littered with the love of Jesus? Or do they tell a different story; a story filled with choices influenced by the voices of this world marked by an aching emptiness you can’t seem to fill? 

Jesus is after our hearts. He doesn’t want a piece of a heart or half of a life… He wants everything. Trust me, you have no idea how badly that scares me! I’m not warm and fuzzy. I am terrible at being vulnerable, and showing my weakness feels like getting a tooth pulled and the dentist forgot to give me the drugs that are supposed to make me loopy. I have a hard time trusting people, and every day it is still a struggle to surrender all of who I am to Jesus. But slowly, and faithfully, He has gently removed my mask that I had become an expert at hiding behind. The first step was making the choice to move from an insecure, image-obsessed and control maniac of a girl… and submitting her to the presence of Jesus. I gave Him my heart, and truthfully, there are days that I snatch it back. I hide it away once again under this false facade of security laced with deceitful control. But then, there’s Jesus; compassionately and gently reminding me of His faithfulness, as He holds out His hand to receive my heart once again. It never stops, this wild pursuit of Him chasing after our hearts. I’m a taker and He will forever be the Giver. I take and I take and I take and yet… He still gives all of Himself every single time, without question. He loves you and He aches to hold your heart, but He can’t hold your heart if you have made the choice to give it away to unworthy things. 

I come from a middle-class home, with two parents who love each other madly and raised their children to be strong warriors after God. Financially, we didn’t struggle. I didn’t come from a broken home and I don’t understand or know the hideous sting of addiction. I don’t know what it feels like to fear that there won’t be enough to survive. I’m telling you this because I am not ignorant to the fact that some people have a deeper pit to climb out of than others. I understand that there are people in this world that didn’t have much of a choice. They couldn’t control the pain and ache of an absent parent or horrendous abuse. They couldn’t control the family they were born into or the pain that was inflicted at the hand of someone they trusted. What I do believe to my core is that you can’t change where you come from or what happened to you, but you do have a choice in where you’re headed and who you give your heart to. You have the choice to reach out from the sea you’re drowning in and reach for Jesus. You have a choice to let Him mold your heart and lead you to people who can teach you healthy habits and what true freedom looks like. It’s going to suck, and be really hard, and there might be people and things that you are required to let go of. But I can promise you this; if you continue to choose Jesus, He will make a way. If you trust Him, He will provide what and who you need in this life. He will absolutely blow your mind if you let Him because the Giver only takes that which inhibits your freedom. 

We can choose to be victims of this world and continue to go back to trash, or we can choose to let Jesus empower us to break the chains of our pasts. We can choose healing in His presence or we can choose comfortability in our festering wounds. We can choose to continue the same unhealthy habits or we can choose to do what’s hard and learn to listen to the voice of Jesus. We can choose to give half of our life, half of our heart, or we can dare to be brave and give the Giver the ultimate gift – our raw and hurting, messy and broken, chaotic and crazy, beautiful and wild, whole entire heart.