3 Lessons I Learned Being Single

Anastasis Faith
By Julia Schoeffler

          I think we can all admit we’ve all dreamed of the day where we find out who our “prince” is. And we dream of the day we are swept off our feet to go live “happily ever after”  in a castle where it never rains and is always sunny. 
          Okay, maybe we weren’t that unrealistic but we have all thought about who we were going to marry and of the day we’ve meet him, right? 
          I certainly have, and it seems like everywhere I look I see it around me, boyfriends and girlfriends and couples. And while dating is not a bad thing, if you are the appropriate age, our culture tends to stress its importance unnecessarily. While being single, I have learned quite a lot. A lot about myself and most importantly a lot about my relationship with God.  So I’d thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned! 

1. I’ve learned to be Content.

          This is perhaps the most important lesson I have learned. I have learned how to be at peace with where I am and where God has me right now. I’m not going to lie, it's not always been easy, but whenever I'm feeling discontent in being single, I've learned to ask God to give me a content heart. In fact, In 1 Peter 5:7 Scripture reminds us to “Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” (ESV).   
          It is something I would recommend, if you're finding yourself tired of  being single to not forget to ask God for a content heart, because once we become content with our life we are able to direct our focus back to God. Once we do that we are able to live life to glorify Him instead of focus on ourselves.

2. I’ve learned that being single is not the worst thing in the world.

          Contrary to our popular belief, being single isn't the worst thing ever. In fact, it actually can be rewarding! And if you look at it as a blessing it will show its benefits time and time again. Even though you might be single,  God promises He will never leave you.  
          In Isaiah, God reminds us to, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10). So next time you are feeling lonely I hope you will be comforted in knowing that God is always with you. 

3. I’ve learned not to find my worth in a boyfriend.

          It is a really easy mindset to slip into. It’s easy to think once you have a  boyfriend that your insecurity will no longer be a problem. However, a boyfriend will not make your life easier, better, or even make you more confident about yourself. Worth found in a boyfriend will always fade away.  
           The only way you can you can find your worth is looking to the One who paid for it with His life for you. He loved you and He died for you. The cross is the only thing that will be able to heal your brokenness, insecurities, and sins. 
          Romans 5:8 says, “…But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ died for you and that is what we all should find our worth and identity in! The God of the universe loved you enough to die for you! Make sure to direct your focus on the Gospel’s message next time you are feeling down on yourself. Once you find your worth in Christ you will be able to stop searching for it in other things and people.
          I know it’s not easy, but God promises us to reveal Himself to those who seek Him. Deuteronomy 4:29 says “But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” So continue to seek Him above all things. 

          So those are a few of the many lessons I have learned in this season of singleness. I hope to provide you all with the encouragement and remind you of an everlasting joy found only in Christ, not in a significant other. I hope you will realize to stop living a life of “waiting” for a boyfriend and learn to start living a life full of joy found only in the knowledge of knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior.

Julia Schoeffler is a senior in high school who lives in Blairsville, Georgia. Her Hobbies include reading, writing, baking, running, and playing the piano. Julia is duel enrolled at Young Harris College for the last two years. She plans on attending NGU in the fall of 2017. In everything she does, she strives to give all glory to her Savior Jesus Christ. You can check out her own personal blog here: https://feetthatfollow.wordpress.com
For more posts on this topic, check out 5 Reasons I Don't Flirt, Part 1 and Part 2, and Why I Decided to Save My First Kiss for My Wedding Day.

What lessons have you learned being single? Which of these resonates the most with you? Share in the comments!

5 Ways to Dishonor God in Your Journal

Anastasis Faith
           I opened up my first journal that I received when I was nine years old. Here’s a super embarrassing excerpt from when I was eleven. For ease of reading, I left out the spelling errors.

          I have just realized how mature I am. Give or take, I still like to play pranks on my sister Liza. And I still like fairies. But I know so much. Mom trusts me and tells me she doesn’t have to worry about me spilling beans about stuff. I’m really interested in politics. I listen to conversations about Dad’s company. I feel like I’m not a little child anymore. Some people, like my babysitter, think that I’m a little child—not knowing right from wrong. She punished me because I tried to tell her that my brothers aren’t allowed in my room! She said that I talked back, which I did. But that was because she wouldn’t listen! I wish people would stop treating me like a little ignorant child!


          The next entry was me venting because one of my siblings had “mistreated” me. A few entries later I was yet again complaining about someone else. I ended that entry by praying, “Dear God, please change this person’s heart.”

          I seriously should probably burn some of these journals. Or at least go through with a thick sharpie! Over the years, I’ve learned more about journaling and more about honoring God in my journal.

          Just because it’s private does not mean that it’s an excuse to sin.

          So how do we dishonor God in our journals? Here are five ways that you can sin while journaling.

1. Complaining

          This is probably one of the biggest sins in my journal. I complained about people, I complained about school, I complained about EVERYTHING. It’s easy, when we’re mad, to just rush to our journal and pour out our frustration. While sometimes this can be helpful in getting rid of a spirit of bitterness and anger, it may more often be a way to savor the anger longer. 

2. Using it to keep a record of wrongs

          I would harbor bitterness in my heart against my siblings, my parents, and other people in my life who made me angry. My journal became a storehouse of offenses instead of a fountain of joy from a prayerful walk with Christ. Writing things down is a GREAT way to keep records of wrongs, which the Bible says is not love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). And 1 John 4:20 says that we cannot hate our brother and love God.
3. Talking about how great you are
          I don’t know if you have ever done this, but I think the clip above from my journal is enough to tell you that yes, I journaled about how great I was. Which is super embarrassing and now quite humbling. I was a very arrogant kid. Pride is the root of all sin and it is something we will always be fighting. I had more than my fair dose of arrogance, however.

          Maybe it goes without saying, but it didn’t for me. Talking about how great you are doesn’t honor God. Even if no one else reads it, it is self-glorification when we should be only glorifying our Savior.

4. Being boy-crazy

          My journal was more like a soap opera drama than anything else. You can totally process your feelings and think through potential boys. But if that’s all that you’re journaling about, you’re teaching yourself to be boy-crazy. It’s a hard line to walk, but God is not honored when we make our journals places that we idolize the cutest guy in our circle of friends. 

5. Dwelling on sinful thoughts

          Journaling can be a great way to process life and sort through emotions. I love journaling now, because it often leads into prayer and such peace. But when I was younger, I often used it as a means to dwell on sinful and arrogant thoughts instead of surrendering those to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:31). These can include bitterness, anger, lust, envy, or idolatrous thoughts.

          A journal is a personal place to process life and commune with our heavenly Father. Just as the private place of your mind is under scrutiny by God, so is the private place of your journal. A journal is a wonderful thing. For those of us who need writing to survive like I do, journaling has been a serious blessing from heaven. It’s the most effective way in my life to surrender my worries to God.

          I regret the years that I dishonored God in my journaling and I encourage you to learn to avoid these pitfalls.

          For more thoughts on journaling, check out this Girl Defined article, Don’t Let Your Journal Turn Into a Soap Opera Drama.

Do you journal? What have been the number one BEST and WORST things about journaling? Share in the comments!

3 Reasons You Should Read Your Bible Every Day

Anastasis Faith
-By Miriam Hamstra

           One topic that is stressed in the Christian life, maybe even to the point of cliché, is the subject of a daily devotional life. Why is that so? Well, I believe that we won’t be able to answer this question until we know three things. First, the power of God’s Word. Second, what the Bible says about reading the Word. And finally, the reason consistency in the Word matters. 

Reasons you should read your Bible every day

1. God’s Word is powerful

          Looking at Hebrews 4:12 we see the very power of God’s Word. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and can discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Some translations say “living and active”. When we read the Word, it pierces our soul and spirit. It is the Word that changes us.           
          The Word of God is not just words on a page, but the very words of God! When we read and study it, it is just as if God were speaking to us.  People who think that God doesn’t speak to His people as He did in the Old Testament have missed the very power of the Word. The Word tells of the high glory of God. It is from God, and it speaks to us.

2. The Bible commands it

          There are several reasons why God gave us His Word. We will look at three of them.

God gave us His Word to equip us. 
          “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16)  

God also gave us His Word that we may know Jesus Christ. 
          The Word of God contains the gospel and the entire Word is an revealing of His redemption plan. “Then He [Jesus] said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:46,47)  People come to faith in Christ by the power of the Word being preached. 

Finally, God also gave us His Word as a weapon against sin.  
          When Satan hears the Word of God, he runs and flees from it. I have found this to be true in my own life. When I refute the lies that tempt me with God’s Word, I can avoid sin. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11) This is a lesson that I have grasped recently. My godly mentor taught me the importance of using God’s Word as a weapon against sin. She has taught me what it means to take up the Sword of the Spirit.

3. Consistency in reading the Word every day matters

          What does the Bible say about meditating and studying God’s Word?  The psalmist says in Psalm 119:23, 24 “Princes also sit and speak against me, but Your servant meditates on Your statutes. Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.”

          We see here that we are to delight in the Word. In Psalm 19 it says, “The commandment of the Lord is sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” This Word encourages and fills us. It guides us in our lives and is a lamp to our path. Those who meditate on it will gain wisdom and grow in their faith. 

          The Word is one of the means by which we grow in our faith.  Psalm 1 is a great picture of the person who delights in the Word of God. Verses 2 and 3 say, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” Trees that are nourished grow to be big and strong. It is important for us as women to be planted strong in the faith. More than anything in our culture today women need to be planted in the truth. We need to be like a strong trees that are not moved when new ideas contrary to God’s Word come along. 

          I think with all that we see here, we know why consistency matters. In order to grow in our faith we need to be consistently rooted in the Word. As a piano player I know what dedicated practice means. If I want to learn a song, I need to practice consistently! If my practicing was hit or miss, a day here and a day there, I would never accomplish my goal of playing beautiful music. Our endeavor to become women of God is the same. We need to be dedicated to the  study of God’s Word. You will see that the more you soak yourself in God’s Word and pour over it, the more you will want to be in it. 

          This is a lesson that I have learned just recently, and I can tell you that it is a valuable lesson to learn. Ask God to reveal Himself and teach you from His Word. He is faithful and dedication to His Word will bring fruit.  I love this verse in Psalm 119:165 that says, “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.” When the storms of life come, and the hurts and hardships are many, those who love God’s Word have the peace of God with them. Nothing, even the deepest pains and wounds, can make them stumble.

“Incline my heart to Your testimonies!” 
Psalm 119:36

Miriam Hamstra is from the state of Indiana, and she loves life there. Adopted at 14 months old, she is originally from Russia. She enjoys competition of any kind, especially sports. Miriam’s greatest passion is writing and pointing others to Christ through written words. She loves sharing the great truths of the Word with others, and she finds joy in telling them about God’s love and faithfulness in her life. She also enjoys spending time with her family which includes her twin sister. She enjoys playing volleyball and basketball, spending time with friends, and playing music with her sister.

          For more resources on this topic, please check out these Morning Glory article, 10 Tips for Beating a Crush: Spending Time with God, and the GirlDefined articles: 5 Easy Ways to Read Your Bible, 3 Quick Tips to Improve Your Personal Devotions, 5 Quick Tips to Having an Awesome Quiet Time. Also, join Morning Glory's Daily Devotional and choose what days you want to receive a devotional in your inbox!
Do you read your Bible every day? What tips do you have for others who are struggling to do so? Which reason listed above do you feel like is the most important? Share in the comments!

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