3 Ways to Overcome a Break Up

3 Ways to overcome a breakepDo we ever actually break up with people? After a breakup, we remain Facebook friends, Snapchat buddies, and Instagram followers; but the position changes. You go from once knowing every intimate hope and dream of another person to suddenly watching their lives through a frosted glass. The conversations stop and you go from being someone’s main confidant to an outsider. Someone who isn’t welcome anymore. This transition can be devastating, life-changing, and confusing. It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to be best friends with someone, then the next day you don’t matter. Having gone through some gnarly break-ups, I want to share with you how I have not only survived them, but grown through the miserable process. God CAN and WILL use break-ups to grow you and teach you how to be more Christlike; you just have to be willing to allow Him.

1. God is your Refuge

I wish I could show you my prayers from a break-up I went through a while ago. I remember praying the same prayer over and over again from Psalm 18:2, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
I literally prayed this nonstop.
I prayed this in the car, I prayed this in the morning, I prayed this on my pink moped driving to class.
This prayer sustained me.
This prayer comforted me.
Take refuge in your Father during this time. He is the only one who can make you get through this. Alcohol won’t help. Going out won’t help. Those things numb you.
God saves you.
He rescues you.

2. Singleness Can Be a Blessing

So many girls want a relationship so badly. We want to share our feelings, passions, and love with another person. God made humans to be relational. That’s a natural, God-inspired desire. It’s not bad, unless it consumes you and comes before God. Also, relationships don’t have to be romantic. You can grow spiritually through friendships. God uses different seasons in our lives to stretch and grow us. Over the past 6 months, I have grown more spiritually than I ever have before. And I know a large reason is because I have been single. For once, I haven’t had a man competing for my attention with the Lord.
Singleness can be huge blessing.
Accept that season in your life and see what God does with it. He has a plan we can’t always comprehend. But remember, God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according His purpose (Romans 8:28).

3. Don’t Contact Him

After a break-up, you need time to recover. I know it is so tempting to call/text/tweet/instagram/snapchat/viber (WHATEVER) him. Just don’t do it. Once you break-up, let it sit. Go be with friends who love you and will encourage you to seek the Lord’s face during this time. Seek God’s presence, don’t run to another guy either. You need to be okay with yourself without a man. I know it’s hard to not contact him-he was your best friend right? You are used to sharing your feelings with him. It seems natural. But remember, he is not that person to you anymore. The relationship has changed and the sooner you understand that, the better. Contacting him will not do you any good, it’ll end up hurting you more. If he refuses to stop contacting you, after you’ve told him multiple times to stop, then block him. If you ended it with him and he can’t respect your decision-that significantly shows how much he respects you. A guy must respect that you have choice in the relationship.

Break-ups suck. They can be some of the most awful, heart-breaking, and devastating times of your life. Whenever you go through a breakup, remember to seek God as your refuge. Pray that prayer from Psalm 18:2 all the time. Write it out and put it on your mirror and memorize it. Lean into God’s Truth that you are His daughter and He loves you immeasurably and walk with that confidence and knowledge at the forefront your mind. Remember, God’s love defines you, not a guy’s affection.
You are a daughter of the Creator of the Universe.
That’s who you are.
That is power.
God is watching out for you. He has the perfect man chosen for you who will love you and help you walk closer to the Lord. God closes doors for a reason, and it is always because there is a better one He is wanting you to walk through once you are ready. Allow Him to work in your heart and make you into the woman that He has empowered and called you to be-with or without a man.

-Rachel

5 Dating Non-negotiables

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Dating is the training ground for marriage. I didn’t realize that until after I was done with college. Throughout college I dated just for fun and didn’t look for the qualities that were necessary for a godly mate. Now that I am on the other side of college, I have begun to see the characteristics that are absolutely critical to have in a boyfriend. These qualities are rooted in scripture and some in common sense. Whenever you are dating someone, you should be a detective. Analyze how he interacts with others, what he believes, how he spend his money, and where he spends his time. Try to be analytical, don’t be swayed by his deep blue eyes or his elegantly disheveled hair. Look into his heart. These are the non-negotiable qualities a guy should posses if you are considering a dating relationship. We all have other qualities we want in a guy, but these are character traits a man really needs to possess if you’re considering a dating relationship.

1. He Loves the Lord More than He Loves You

As women, we often want to feel like the most important person/thing in our boyfriend’s life. That isn’t healthy. Christ needs to be the most important. Then you second. If the guy knows how to love Christ wholeheartedly, then he can love you correctly. A man who loves the Lord will be more committed to your relationship because he is committed to God first. That means he will take his promises seriously because God tells him to. God commands in Exodus 20:3 to have no other gods before Him, this includes YOU.

 

2. He is Kind to His Family

See how he interacts with his close friends and family. Is he kind to them? Does he have good relationship with them? See especially how he interacts with his mom. If he is kind and gentle with her, even when she’s annoying, then it’s a really good indicator of how he will treat you in the future.

3. He is Gentle

A real man is gentle. He is kind to those in positions lower than his own. He is kind to animals. He is gentle when he speaks to you, even when he is angry. A man should never yell at you. Instead, when they are upset, they should come to you in gentleness and love. Gentleness is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) and it oftentimes gets overlooked.

4. He Makes you Grow Closer to the Lord

The purpose of a relationship actually isn’t to make each other happy, that is just a great benefit. But the purpose of a relationship, dating or friendship, is to run after Christ together. To make each other increasingly more Christlike. The man you’re considering ought to not only be pursuing time with you, but pursuing your heart for the Lord. This means asking what you are reading in the Word, asking how he can pray for you, and praying with you. He needs to be able to lead you spiritually.

5. He Serves Others and Tithes

The absolute best indicators of where a person’s heart is, is where they spend their time and money. A person can have the best intentions and a great philosophy on life, but if they don’t act on those good ideas-what’s the point? If a guy consistently serves others in some way-that is a great sign. Also, if a guy tithes, he loves the Lord. Tithing is hard to do. People don’t want to give up their hard-earned cash. So if a guy gives his 10%, he probably loves God.

Girls, don’t settle for less than God’s best. I know it can seem like a guy who loves God and is fun doesn’t exist, but he does. Remember Luke 12:7,
“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

Pray and trust that God will provide for you. He knows every minute, tiny details of your life.

Sometimes God’s timing is very different than our own. He is omnipotent and sees the big picture. We can only see what is before us. The best thing to do, is run after God. Run after God as hard as you can. Seek complete closeness and intimacy with Him. Become the woman that God has called and empowered you to be. God should be your first love, not your boyfriend or even your husband. Come to God in prayer and trust him wholeheartedly. He always comes through.

-Rachel

5 Ways to Overcome Guilt

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I don’t know about you guys, but I am a wallower. Whenever I make a mistake, I will beat myself up for hours or even days. Conviction hits me hard. It’s really probably one of my most annoying qualities. All my friends have told me to never, ever wake them up before 9 am. Whenever I am feeling guilty of something, I always have to confess in the early hours of the morning. The Holy Spirit convicts us after we have sinned and that is a good thing: it keeps us in check and makes us continue to walk with God when we’ve strayed. But here’s the thing: we don’t have to feel guilty after we have repented. I want to share some truth with you that I need constant reminding of also.

1. You are set free in Christ

Jesus’ blood has covered you. You are set free from the bondage of sin. You don’t have to continue berating yourself after you have confessed and repented of your sin. Let it go and focus on how you can live your life to honor God instead of analyzing your past mistakes. Dwelling on your past mistakes doesn’t do you any good. Once you repent, keep your eyes focused onward and upward. Don’t live in the guilt and shame of your past mistakes, Christ has covered you.

2. Remember that God Uses Sinners

Whenever I open up Psalms, I thank God that He used David. If you are not familiar with his story, David was a “man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22) who messed up royally. He committed adultery and then murdered to cover up his sin. I know God used someone like David on purpose: to show us that God can use anyone. God uses sinners and even sinners like David can still have a heart after God.

3. We’re only Human

One thing to remember is that we’re all on this life journey together. No matter how godly or perfect someone may seem, everyone messes up. Everyone has fallen short of God’s grace. There is nothing we can ever do to deserve it. We will make mistakes, even if we are trying with everything we have to walk with the Lord. We are imperfect people.

4. Learn From Your Mistakes

It’s important to recognize when you’ve messed up and make changes. I know in college, I made the same mistakes over and over again. I kept on messing up and then running to God because I felt convicted. That’s not the way we are meant to operate and it won’t bring you joy. Once you’ve made a mistake, put up barriers to help you not make that same mistake. Ask a trusted friend who loves the Lord to hold you accountable or stop hanging out with people who encourage you to make that mistake. Let your conviction teach you to not make the same mistakes time after time.

5. Guilt Isn’t Always Healthy

There is a natural conviction that you should feel after you have stepped outside of God’s will. That guilt brings you back to Him and makes you change. But if you have confessed and repented from your sin, then the enemy might be using your guilt as a weapon. I know when I have really messed up, little thoughts creep into my mind and tell me that I am not worthy of God’s love or make me doubt my calling. These are lies. God can handle any sin you throw His way. It doesn’t matter how huge it is. He can handle it. Recognize these lies from the enemy and remind yourself of Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Whenever you feel guilt about a past sin, remember that you are forgiven.

We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. The Holy Spirit will use conviction bring us back to Him. But once you have confessed and repented, don’t continue beating yourself up over a past sin you can’t change. Instead, look to the future. See how God can use those past mistakes to bring him glory. You are not tethered to that sin anymore because you are set free in Christ. His blood has completely redeemed you! I am unbelievably thankful for that freedom we have in Christ.

-Rach