August 29, 2021

Pain is so hard. Mental and physical hurt can take such a toll on our wellbeing as humans. Sometimes we come face to face with pain that we don't even recognize until we are knee deep in the struggle. Diagnosis's, treatments, counseling, these are all words that as people living in todays society can be shed away from and given negative feedback. But now it is time for us to look into how we can trust the goodness of God even when life hits us smack dab in the face. While these trials can be some of the most difficult things we endure, they can also be some of the best. 

Trust me, you are probably thinking that I make zero since. Hard things usually don't seem good or positive. I will be honest, when I started struggling with my health trials, the last thing I believed was that is was good. However, as time has passed and I am healing, I've started to have a change in mindset and you can too. People often ask if I could go back and change what happened if I would? My answer is a definite no. The more I think about what has come from this trial I faced, the more I realize what a gift it is and was. 

All of this is a matter of changing our own viewpoint, and asking ourselves, How do I define "good"? 

Have you ever heard about the two kingdoms : the world we are living in and Heaven. God states in Matthew 6:24, it is impossible to live an in-between lifestyle, you must chose on or the other. For those of you who have devoted your lives and became a disciple of Christ, this is a choice you no longer have to ponder upon. When you pray the prayer of salvation, you give your life to the Kingdom of Heaven. When this takes place, you will begin to see your definition of "good" change. Whenever we face trials James reminds us to "count it all joy". James 1:2 

This change in mindset happens because we are no longer focused on the things of this world. Our earth is full of sickness and sin however when we give our lives to Christ, we are then entirely focused on Him and the furtherance of His kingdom. 

As much as these trials can cause pain and hurt, we have to see how it grows our faith. I often think about where I would be today if wasn't for my trials and it is a fact that I would not be helping and influencing people like I am today. These hardships are strengthening you and growing your faith as well as those around you. God is making it so that you can help others and grow their faith by sharing what you have been through. We must trust that our trials are shining a light for others which is always a very good thing.

James 1:17 states that every good thing comes from above. I think a lot of times when this verse is read people immediately think "well yes, trips and family are great gifts from God." But we must also keep in mind that these aren't the only gifts. I challenge you this week to really test your definition of "GOOD". I hope this helps each and every one of you. REMEMBER: God is constantly working and you can always find goodness in knowing that. 

 

 

 

August 22, 2021

 

Good afternoon everyone! I am so glad you came back to read another weeks update. I have been looking forward to today since Tuesday of last week when I discovered exactly what I would be talking about this week. I was getting ready for school Tuesday morning and I had decided to make a list of all the things I needed to do before the end of the week. I’m not talking about a three to four bulleted list, I am talking about a 15-20 task list of projects, school assignments, club dues, etc. It wasn’t until I wrote the last thing I could think of down on that list that I quickly became overwhelmed with anxiety. My mind went strait to “what if”. What if I forget about my homework? What if I fail the test Friday? What if, what if, what if. My mind was racing with these thoughts and I had to take a second to sit back and think about how common this is amongst all humans. I know it is not just me, so I really want you to read this update and think about how you can apply it to your own life. 

 

Making goals and setting expectations is something we are expected to do as humans. Let’s be real for a second, some of us are more “on top of” things like lists, reminders, schedules, etc but above all the ways to manage these tasks, we all have things we need to get done. Something I really struggle with is setting my goals and expectations too high. Now I know this might sound crazy. How can you make plans to do too much? And to be honest I don’t know but it is certainly possible. It is so easy for us to overload our minds to a point that we just want to shut down and do nothing. We can be so quick to sign up and commit to too many things and our goals become thrown off do to overextending ourselves. Being realistic is an idea that we must all practice. 

 

We are called to serve and even in the midst of healing can make an impact on the lives of others. None of us are perfect and we are all going through trials however, we must remember that if we put all of our trust and confidence in God then all else will fall into place. 

 

A short verse that wraps all of this up into a bow is Psalm 46:10. “He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” God calls us to quiet ourselves before Him. He has plans already placed for you and me. Now sit down and ask Him what the next step is. 

 

Thank you so much for coming back this week and I pray this lesson will apply to you like it did me. I really encourage you to take a second to think about one you know that could use some encouragement. Maybe they have too much on their plate. Now slide back over to the B3 Box tab at the top of the screen and submit a form for them. This is a quick and easy way to share the love of Christ. I love you all so much and will see you next week! 

August 15, 2021 

 

      Good morning y’all! I don’t know about you, but I am so so ready for a new week. I need a fresh start by far. This past week has been more than hectic. Different plans everyday I felt like me and my family were left running all week long. To be honest, today is the first day in quite a few that we have zero plans. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Not to mention on this day just three short years ago, I was sitting in CHOA the day after I got my NG tube put in. This past weekend, I was honored to be asked to speak at a women’s event called Radiant. It was so empowering to not only tell my story but be able to make connections with many other women who knew someone or were struggling with mental illness themselves. I certainly saw God working through me and it was so pleasing to gain that reassurance that I was making a difference. Speaking of going through hard times, let’s dive into this weeks main topic. 

 

      If I had to name this lesson it would be “Facing Failure”. I think we often forget that when what we deem as “bad” things occur or don’t end up like we want, it might just be that God has a greater plan in mind for your life. I will be honest, in this world we live in today, so many people find their worth and values in their success. It is like everyone hashes idea that if we don’t succeed then our lives are over. However, we must turn to scripture when these thoughts pop up. Psalm 73:26 states that “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Failure can be positive, but it is all about our viewpoint. Failure gives us strength and increases our resilience to hardships. Failure makes us educated and more forgiving of those around us. 

 

      This is all something God reminds us of in the beginning of Isaiah. The Israelites were failing to follow what God command so in turn it would have been easy for us to think “well they failed God so He must be done with them” but no. A few verses on, we see that God offers these people forgiveness for their disobedience. God gives forgiveness. He knows we are sinners, it is our flesh however, because he made the remarkable sacrifice of the lord Jesus Christ, we are able to be forgiven for our failures. 

 

      It is completely normal for us to feel like failures. I find myself thinking this sometimes too. Yet we must remember that God gives forgiveness and He calls us to offer this same forgiveness to those who fail against us. So, I encourage you to look at your falls differently. See what God wants as a result or your failure. He has a plan and we must follow it obediently. 

 

      I love you all so much and hope this lesson will allow you to have a much better week. Stay strong and please let me know if I can help you with anything. 

 

August 8, 2021

      Hey everyone! I'm so glad that you came back for another update! I hope that you have all had a great week back at school/work/etc. after the weekend last week! I know personally this past week was pretty crazy. With starting back at school and having different practices, appointments and meetings by Friday I was so exhausted and needed a weekend in a super bad way. Now after two days of rest, I think I'm ready for another week. How about you? Was this past week really easy, difficult, boring, stressful. If you were to describe it in one word what would you say? For me I would say NONSTOP. 

      Now I want you to do something, take this one word and write it in the middle of a blank sheet of paper. If you don't have paper with you right now, just type it into your notes or do this in your head. Next, I want you to fill the outer rims of this paper with words you would have liked to be able to use to describe your week. For example, in the middle of my paper I have the word NONSTOP written in a black marker then all around this word I filled the page with words like exciting, positive, and relaxing (15 words total). I wrote those words in glitter pens which just makes it more fun and eye catching to me. Last, I want you to challenge yourself this new week to use those words every single day. Monday - Sunday. Hang this paper up in your bedroom, bathroom, or anywhere you will see it each morning. 

 

      You might be asking Gracie what is the point in this but just trust me, try it and see how much better your day will be. We as humans tend to look at busy or complicated situations as negative. Whether it be stressing about grades or being in a difficult relationship, there is always things that rack our minds. When we change our mindsets from neutral or negative to positive, we are setting up our day to be 10 times better. So don't start your day dreading your to-do list instead look at it, do it, then think about the good things that came out of those situations. I really hope this will help everyone have a more productive week and can encourage you to stay dedicated. 

      Please let me know if you need help with this or anything. I am always here for you and waiting to help. Continue to fill out B3 forms for people you know. I pray everyone has a safe week and I look forward to seeing you next week. 

 

 

August 1, 2021

      Good afternoon! I pray that you have all had a good start to your week and have been awaiting this new update. First off, I cannot get over the fact that we go back to school this month. Is it just me or has summer been swept away in the blink of an eye. I mean I feel like the world was getting shut down because of quarantine just a few weeks ago. I don't know about you but most students are getting ready to return to school this month. I go back on Tuesday!!! Ahhhhhhh.... is all I have to say. I have so many mixed emotions. I am nervous because it's a new year, new teachers and just new overall but at the same time, I am excited to meet new people and start my mental awareness club. How do you feel about returning? 

      Being anxious is something everybody deals with especially when starting something new such as a new grade, job, or lifestyle. However God reminds us in Matthew 6:34 that we should not be anxious for the days to come because Christ is sufficient. God already has a plan set in stone for this new year of your life. Nothing we can do as humans can change what He already has in store for you and me. Therefore, we must make a decision now about our mindset when going into these different situations.  Let's just be honest, this school year is going to be packed full of trials and triumphs, good times and not so great, easy work and difficult, good relationships and toxic, we must remember throughout all these times who is in control. 

      We can't let fear of these circumstances affect the way in which we approach something new. So my advice to you is to go into this new school year with a smile on your face. Be ready to enjoy the good times and accept the challenges. God doesn't promise life to be easy yet He promises to be with us through it all. Isaiah 41:13 says, "For I, the Lord your God will hold your right hand, it is I who say to you, fear not, I am the one who helps you."

      So, no matter how anxious, alone, excited, or mad you feel, remember who is with you and in control. The Creator is standing by your side ready to defeat any giant that comes close. Stay strong throughout these times and make sure to let me know when I can help. I have been through and still experience the same feelings you're feeling. I am here for you. I love you all and hope this really helps you when preparing to go back to school. Have an amazing week and please please please be filling out B3 forms for friends and teachers as we approach this time.