Tuesday, September 18, 2012

another post about God's faithfulness

so, I was just reading this post from March.
a time of so much uncertainty.
a time when I had no choice but to trust God's plan.

I'll refresh your memory. I had just lost 3 opportunities that I thought were surefire. I didn't know what was in store for my summer or where I would be living my sophomore year. I remember my thoughts, actions, emotions so clearly. I remember every detail of those 3 moments and the days that followed them. the emotions are still fresh; tears came to my eyes as I read my words and remembered.

but then I remembered something better. something I've been thinking about for weeks and something I've become so unbelievably thankful for. I remembered this summer. and how the Lord changed my life. I didn't really think of it like that until 2 seconds ago. but He really did! so much happened. so much that wouldn't have happened if I had been at camp or chosen to be an RA...

the last week of freshman year, I started thinking about transferring schools. I wanted to live at home, go to a smaller school, and start over, leaving my disappointments in Auburn. so I began that process. everything was working out as it should. I started letting it slip to people outside of my family and best friends. there was excitement and peace in this. so I was convinced that I was going to be at Samford.

however, in the background of all this transferring excitement, my family was about to make a change. a few days after I got home from Auburn, my dad had an interview for an assistant coaching position at Alabama. pretty cool, but I was too busy thinking about my plans (and a little concerned about how a job at Alabama would affect them). long story short, Dad was offered and took the job. and with that job came a significant tuition break for me. a great deal, but you can imagine my hesitation. there I was, set on making the move back into my house and to Samford, and here comes a curve ball. Alabama had its perks, yes. but I wasn't too sure how I felt about possibly going to a school where they say those words (roll tide. bleeehhh!..just kidding, Dad and bama friends...kinda...war eagle.) but the thing was, it was still close to home. it was still a new start. my daddy would be there everyday. it definitely wasn't smaller, but it became more and more of a possibility as the days went on. and then one day, it became the decision. I decided going to Alabama was the best choice. I told my friends about the mind change. there was that excitement again! it was final. there was apartment hunting, and there were advisor meetings. the word spread and pretty soon, everyone I knew, knew about my change.

and then I went to Arkansas to see Chelsey. it was such a sweet time of catching up with my best friend who only knew of all this change through letters and phone calls. what a gem she is! she was beyond supportive of whatever it was I decided to do, even if it meant saying those goodbyes we had only ever joked about. we stayed up late and talked all this transferring business out. we weighed the pros and cons for a few hours. no decision was made right then and there, but I knew. I had time away from Hoover. away from people's questions and opinions. and this really helped me make a very big personal decision. (a little background: I had already been second guessing my decision on the 8 hour drive. Auburn isn't a force to be reckoned with, and I was really starting to miss it) I knew that transferring wasn't going to solve my problems. I knew that I was wearing crimson colored glasses and didn't let myself think about the cons of going to Alabama (except for the fact that I would be surrounded by bammers...I thought about that one a lot). I decided about 30 minutes after leaving ozark that I wasn't going to Alabama. I even registered for my new Auburn parking pass on my phone!

I got home and told my parents and that was that. and clearly, I stuck with Auburn. word spread like wildfire again. obviously, I really like to keep everyone on their toes! :) there are still a few confused people out there who think I go to Alabama, but I'm in Auburn and THANK GOODNESS!

BUT Y'ALL, that's not even the best part. the best part is God's plan. the best part is God's FAITHFULNESS! the best part is that I didn't get my way. my faith in God's plan was restored this summer. my self-esteem was restored this summer. my relationships within my family grew this summer. I got to work in the coolest store ever this summer. I got to help friends prepare for college and lead a group of middle school girls this summer. this summer was a BLESSING! that sounds so simple. but oh my goodness, it's so much bigger than a word and all caps doesn't begin do it justice. none of those things would have happened if I had gotten my way. sure, my location didn't end up changing, but my heart did. and that's what needed to happen.

since coming back to Auburn, the Lord has made it so clear that I am exactly where I need to be. that I was exactly where I needed to be last year, even when I felt super lost. He's so good. He's so faithful! and that's why I'm writing this. not because I want everyone to know what's going on in my life. but because I want everyone to know that God is faithful. that He doesn't make mistakes. that He's such a good God! I am so thankful to have this summer and last year as a constant reminder of just how faithful He is and that I can always trust His will.

so yeah. sorry for rambling on, but I needed to share this with more people than those I eat lunch or get coffee with!

"I have had great experience of God's hearing my prayers and returning comfortable answers to me, either in granting the things I prayed for or else in satisfying my mind without it. And I have been confident that it hath been from Him, because I have found my heart, through His goodness, enlarged in thankfulness to Him." - Anne Bradstreet

Sunday, April 1, 2012

distorted

sometimes I feel like what I'm saying, thinking, feeling, praying, etc. is so wrong. SO distorted. so far from what it should be. it's easy for me to craft out a perfect blog post that has been carefully worded and proofread. it's not so easy when I'm venting to a friend or even praying/journaling. 



tonight, I was alone in the room. and I felt it. there are some nights when the emptiness of the rooms overwhelms me. with two roomies at formal and the other at a birthday party, I just felt like there was nothing to do. I had scrolled all my normal Pinterest pages and nothing was going on on Facebook or Twitter. 

so I sat and started thinking--quite the dangerous endeavor. 
so often my thoughts go to things that don't honor the Lord. they go to worry. to fear. to sadness. they bring out my insecurities and my pitfalls. they focus on the bad that has happened and blur the good that has come from it.

sadness that I probably won't ever get to dress up again and go to a formal. fear that I won't find relationships like the ones I see my friends building because I don't have a group laid out for me. worry that the ones I have found are unbalanced, and that I care more than they do.
stupid. stupid. stupid. I know that it is stupid. and those are just tonight's thoughts.

in the midst of these thoughts, I decided to get out my journal and tell God how I felt about all this. and tell Him I did. I am thankful that the Lord allows us to come to Him no matter our emotional state. I am thankful that He forgives and calls me His FRIEND. I found myself asking Him questions and demanding that His will be aligned with mine. after some of the things I wrote I was just like "what? no. not okay." they were distorted questions and pleas. for example, I expressed to the Lord how badly I needed a possible opportunity to work out. "Lord, let it work out. I need it. Let me do your will there. I can't handle another fallen opportunity." immediately, I was convicted. I demanded, doubted, and basically told God that He was not enough. so often I ask the Lord to do His will no matter what, but it is not the cry of my heart. it's not really what I want. it's a lie. and that breaks me. it breaks me when I don't trust Him. it breaks me to think about how it must break Him. I think about how broken I would feel if I knew one of my friends wouldn't trust me to help them.

the Word tells us that His will is good, acceptable, and perfect. it tells us that if we are of the Lord, and not of the world, we will be able to discern what it is (Romans 12:2). this leads me to think of all the worldly things that I desire. friendship, acceptance, beauty, comfort, love--to name a few. we are told that ALL of these things can be found in Jesus. in our savior and our father. we have the ability to find rest in Him. I can do it. you can do it, too. 

so, if I have this ability, why is it so hard to trust Him? to rest in His promises? why is it so hard for me to find joy in KNOWING His will is perfect and that it will come to pass? I find joy in such small, mundane things of this world. they are microscopic in comparison to the joy found in a fraction of the Lord's will. MICROSCOPIC, LACEY! tiny. they do not matter! why do I make these things more important? why do they occupy my mind when I am still? my still moments--and every moment for that matter--should be dedicated to the Lord's will. 



I pray often that I will find comfort and contentment in the Lord and His will. sometimes it's genuine, sometimes it's empty. I am now praying for that to be the cry out my heart. my one and only desire. my purpose. my JOY. I am also praying for this to be permanent and not just another fleeting thought. pray with me, friends?






Thursday, March 22, 2012

faithful faithful faithful!

that's our God, y'all! FAITHFUL.
His faithfulness is so evident right now. He is near in the valleys of life. He doesn't stop loving when we freak out about whatever He's doing (like I did last week).

this still seems so unreal to me, but I HAVE ROOMMATES! 
I HAVE A ROOM IN AN APARTMENT. 
A ROOM THAT I GET TO DESIGN AND DECORATE. 
I HAVE A FAITHFUL GOD WHO LETS US WAIT ON HIS WILL TO BE DONE SO THAT WE MAY KNOW THE JOY OF FULLY TRUSTING IN HIM!

didn't that just need to be in all caps?! I think so...

anyways. YES :) I have roommates. Emily and Megan. 
it's kind of a funny story. Emily is one of the dear friends I made during my time in zeta. she is who I would have lived with on the hall if I had stayed in zeta. and it worked out that we're living together next year! she is a precious friend and I could not be more excited to live with her. I just met Megan the other day but she's awesome, too! I just can't wait to live with these girls and get to know them better. 

so glad I get to share that wonderful news with y'all. I so appreciate the prayers lifting my situation up and the encouraging comments and text messages I received last week! I am so blessed to have wonderful friends and older women who love me and show me what it means to love one another.

"He who calls you is FAITHFUL! He will SURELY do it!"
1 Thessalonians 5:24 

I hope that the Lord's work in my life and the way He has perfectly ordained everything that has happened this year will encourage those who may not know exactly what He's doing to trust in Him and not give up on His perfect will. His are better than ours, friends!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

waiting for my window

WELL HEY! I kind of took an unintentional blogging break for a while. My apologies, dear friends. I figured when people were actually starting to tell me I needed to update my blog, it was time to provide y'all with a life update, and maybe just maybe make some more future blogging promises (don't give up on me yet). Third time's the charm right?

Anywho...prepare yourself for a lengthy post (maybe?)...I'm not sure if it will be long or short, I just feel like I have a lot of ground to cover because so much has happened in my life since November. Lots of things have happened and changed.

The last time I blogged, Thanksgiving and Christmas were drawing near. Nothing particular jumps out at me from Thanksgiving break...I remember spending time with precious friends and family visiting, catching up, Black Friday shopping, and stuffing our faces. Christmas was about the same. Instead of posting a billion pictures from those breaks and telling you everything that happened, I'm just gonna get down to business and share what's really been going on.

Doors have been shut, and my plans are on the opposite side. Things I thought for sure, without a doubt I would be doing haven't worked out. 



I had been set on being a camp counselor at some point in my life since I went to a camp in elementary school. I always thought it would be something I would do. I applied to the two camps I knew the most about back in September. Certain I would be working at one of them this summer. Pouring into precious girls for a week at a time sounded like a plan to me! Camp #1 interview was in November. I was really excited about this camp. So excited at the possibility of working there. I had my interview; it was just okay. But it would surely work out if it was supposed to. I would know before Christmas if I got the job or not. I celebrated with friends who got the call and anxiously waited for mine. I would randomly check tweets with the camp name in them to see how many people had heard...pathetic right? I got the email on December 15th when I was getting ready for bed. "We do not have a position for you this summer." Bummer. But it was okay. I told those who needed to know and went to sleep. Started coming up with new plans for the summer in my head, not including Camp #2. I was bummed, but knew it wasn't the end of the world.

As the interviews for Camp #2 approached, I changed my mind and decided I would go through with the interview and see what happened. Alex was also interviewing to work there this summer. Precious friends had worked there and told me what I needed to know about everything. My excitement grew with every conversation. This was going to be it. This would be the thing I got! FINALLY! After a great interview, I was certain I would be there. Plans of traveling journals and packages were made with my best friends because we would all be going to 5 different camps. These plans unraveled on February 29th. "We are not able to offer you a job this summer." Tears overflowed as I ran into Chelsey's room. Why didn't I get this one? Why was nothing working out for me? I did not understand. I drove home from Auburn that night to have a much needed long weekend with my family. A summer at home with them might be needed, too. I'm way too close to them to be away from them for 3 months. Alex didn't get a job either. He is transferring to Alabama in the fall, and if either or both of us had gotten the job, we would have been apart for the whole summer. That probably wouldn't have been good for us when we were about to enter into a new season of separation, so it's good that we will be able to spend much needed time together before we start another season long-distance. Blessing in disguise. I had one more opportunity in the works, and it was time to wait for an answer from them...I would hear something the Friday before Spring Break. 

When I dropped out of zeta, I had plans to become an RA. I felt called to use that as a ministry next year. I was excited and expectant for the Lord to work through me in the selection process and hopefully through being an RA. Over Christmas break, I was asked to live with two of my best friends next year. I was so quick to throw away a calling for comfort. The comfort of knowing where I would be living and that it would be with people I already knew was so appealing. Soon after though, I felt I needed to continue pursuing what I felt the Lord was calling me to. So, I entered myself into the RA selection process. I prayed continually for the Lord to take it away early if it wasn't His will - the cry of my selfish, anxious heart. He did not. I made it through every preliminary interview. Excitement and a sense of certainty grew with every email I received from eRezLife...until last Friday. I was standing outside my dorm talking with Chelsey and a precious new friend, Mary Elizabeth, when my phone buzzed. My heart skipped a beat when I saw where it came from. This was it. Finally some answers. I'll know if I have a place to live next year. There it was. Thanking me for my interest, but telling me I was not chosen. I was fine. I wasn't upset. So many precious friends' prayers surrounded this process. Obedience was its foundation. It was never in my hands. My God is LORD and He does not make mistakes. I found comfort in that promise. I told those that needed to know...and that's when the panic set in. Just like that I started to doubt my God. My friends had already found another roommate, and everyone else I know will be living on a sorority hall. Where will I live? This question hasn't once left my mind the past week. It hasn't been answered. I don't know when it will be answered. Yes, I am anxious. I have been fearful. There was a night when I was so angry with God for shutting all these doors. First, with the camps and now with this. I was sick of hearing everyone say that there must be something better. 

But they are all right. There has to be! Because God is better. He's better than comfort. Better is ONE DAY in His courts than thousands elsewhere. Psalm 84:10. He is better and He knows. He knows and He knew. He knew I wouldn't get those jobs. He knew when I gave up living with friends that they would find another roommate. And if He knew these things, He knows where I'll be living, and it won't be in a box. He is a gracious God. His love abounds. I trusted Him through the RA process, I can't stop just because our plans weren't aligned. 

"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." Proverbs 19:21. What a promise! My plans are many. They are more than most people's. They are detailed and carefully designed. But the Lord has plans for me beyond my knowledge and ideas. I may live with people I know, or I may be making new friends. Either way, His purpose will stand.

Repeating that to myself constantly. "HIS PURPOSE WILL STAND, LACEY. Why are you afraid? Who are you to doubt Him? He has brought you this far. He is at your right hand, you will not be shaken." My heart may tremble, but He is quick to comfort me with His unfailing promises. 

This journey is hard. This season sucks. It really does. But He will remain faithful. He will bring me to a better place than I could imagine right now. Real talk. 

Thank you to friends that have been with me on this journey. Your prayers and encouragement have kept me sane and on the right path. I ask that you continue to pray for me in this season of uncertainty. Pray for opportunities to share what the Lord has done in my life. Pray that I will continue to trust Him. Pray for the window that He is surely going to open. 


'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
just to take Him at His word
just to rest upon His promise
just to know thus saith the Lord!

resting upon the promise of His perfect will. 

                                                             

Friday, November 11, 2011

Favorite Things Friday : Nov. 11

these are a few of my favorite things...


1. this song.
Forever Reign by Kristian Stanfill

Kristian was actually here in Aubs for a event we had Tuesday called Ignite. Louie Giglio spoke and Kristian and Christy Nockels led worship. it was such a sweet time and a privilege to participate in. so cool see true revival in the hearts of over 3,000 students. but I love what this song says. every single word.
such a great reminder that our God is good and He is here and alive! He is our love, our hope, our peace, and our joy. His promises are true and He will always be enough. 

2. these LEAVES!

(pic via pinterest)

I think yellow leaves are my favorite. I love seeing all the changing leaves on the drive back to Birmingham. fall is my favorite thing in the world. everything about it. mmmm..

3. this book.
Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis.

you all know her. you all love her. this sister's obedience to go to Uganda and leave everything behind is so encouraging to me. I just started it, and I can't wait to read more. I had the privilege of hearing her speak at Church of Brookhills a few weeks ago when I went home. her willingness to do whatever the Lord's calls her to is so evident. she is a woman after His own heart, y'all. check out her blog and this book!

4. Nugget.
the word and the car.

this is Nugget. Alex's rental car. he hit a deer last week, and the Honda place so kindly gave him this little baby while his car gets fixed. isn't it precious? and so appropriately named Nugget! it's a tight squeeze for 3 people, but it has a bumpin' sound system. also, the word 'nugget' is quickly becoming the most used word in my vocabulary. like I use it more than I use to word 'kitten'..which is a lot. everyone and everything has become nugget. yay for new words!

5. butter crunch.

Chels and I decided we needed a little taste of home. noone in Aubs is cool enough to have real ice cream. so we went ahead and got some on our first trip to Kroger (and became members..with discounts. wahoover!). JenJen is the best hall director EVER for keeping it in her big freezer for us; therefore, she gets to be in the picture.

what's one of your favorite things this week? 

happy weekend and war eagle y'all! 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

it's the...

MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!
at least that reigns true in Keller 102.


you see, Em and I are those girls. I think you know what I'm talking about.

those girls get THIS excited to play Christmas music and drink peppermint mochas from red starbuck's cups.

those girls that put up their Christmas trees (yes, treeS!) as soon as the trick-or-treaters are gone.
(this girl was in bed with the stomach bug, but up they went!) 

those girls that sleep on Christmas pillows with Christmas lights and snowflakes hanging above.


those girls that have the countdown clock that tells you how many days, hours, minutes, and SECONDS there are until Christmas.

yep. that's us. 
and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Learning and Trusting

as promised in yesterday's make it monday post, it's time for another life update.

since the last time I blogged, my life has changed quite a bit. three days after that post, I quit zeta. I'll give y'all the spark notes version. after a lot of reflecting on my walk with the Lord, talking to my parents and friends, and praying about it a lot, I decided that being in a sorority might not be the best thing for me. I wasn't happy. I wasn't myself. I just found myself so discouraged. so I quit. I've always been the type to go with my gut with any decision. sometimes this can be a bad thing, but for this I know it was right. however, life didn't magically go back to awesome normalness after I quit..

I have never felt so lonely in my life. honestly, my situation just got worse...I had so much time on my hands. when all the girls in Keller went to their different sorority functions, I was I found myself questioning the Lord and His plan constantly. questioning why I wasn't chosen for a different sorority. why I didn't make things I tried out for. this was all new for me. through high school, I pretty much made everything I tried out for and got whatever I wanted (not in a bratty way, but you know what I mean). needless to say, this was a reality check. and I wasn't too happy about it.

you know James 1:2? "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds." this is SO not easy. it's so hard to rejoice when we're struggling. it was so hard for me to be joyful and draw near to the Lord. and honestly, I didn't even try. I was so caught up in being lonely and down I couldn't even make myself try to focus on Him. it got to the point where I felt like I couldn't even "talk-the-talk" anymore. my faith was tested over and over..and I just couldn't find the joy that I used to find in the Lord.

finally, the Lord kinda slapped me in the face. which is exactly what I needed. He showed me that He IS in control even when it feels like He couldn't be further away. I was so far from Him because I hadn't even really tried to draw near to Him. I was waiting on the Lord to act. and He was waiting on me to actually trust that He would. I HAD to put my trust in Him. not myself. not my abilities. not anyone else. the Lord emptied me of everything in my life that I thought was so great. He is the only thing great in my life. all other great things come from Him.

I am so thankful for this trial. October was the hardest month of my life, no question about it. the Lord emptied me of myself and has filled me again with Himself. I don't have it down perfect. I never will. but I am thankful that I have been through this and have the scars to prove it. they are reminders of the Lord's unfailing love and grace on someone who had to learn to let go and trust God.


LACE