Struggling with Doubt || Recap of Junior Year

It’s summer once again. Wow.
Not only is it summer, but school starts back up in a month. WHAT?!
Hands down, Junior year was the fastest year of my entire life.
It’s unbelievable.

So, where to even begin?
How can I describe everything that I’ve experienced and learned this past school year?
Well, either way, it has no doubt changed my life.
I’m still trying to figure out the details of everything that’s been going on…
But all I know is that the Lord has stretched me past all levels of my comfort zone.
It hasn’t been fun, certainly not. But yet, at the same time it’s been enjoyable witnessing this period of spiritual growth. I’ve had to cling to the only hope that I have more than ever
— Jesus Christ.

Here’s what he’s been teaching me: I know extremely little about life.
Just about everything I’ve ever believed was true has come crashing down around me.
Whether it be relationships, health, politics, theology, philosophy, or faith.
Nothing is as black and white as I’ve always thought.
There are so many sides to every single argument.
Life just isn’t as simple as I once believed.
Gosh, I have so many questions.

I think I’ve cried more in this past semester than I’ve cried in my entire life combined.
Okay.. well maybe that’s an exaggeration, but still. You get the point. I’ve cried a lot.
Not crying in public was quite the challenge in the last month before school ended.
I didn’t want anyone to ask me what was actually wrong.

Ya know, I’ve never been one to hide my feelings…
But this journey has been different.
The questions I have aren’t ones I can just casually ask my friends.
They don’t have the answers to my questions.
And quite honestly, I just didn’t want them to be burdened by the same doubts I have.
If they aren’t questioning these things,
why plant doubts into their minds that aren’t already there?
I don’t want to “lead anyone astray” in their faith with my questioning.

Or maybe it’s my pride.
I’m supposed to ‘have it all together’, right?
I can’t be the one doubting my faith — no, not me.
I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone.
I had to struggle through this on my own
Pride in it’s clearest form.

See, the position I’m in is a hard one.. I’m expected to act a certain way.
I’m expected to be “on fire for God” all the time..
So what happens when the doubts come in and my sinful self screams
“I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE!”?

If I’m being honest, I don’t feel like following Jesus every second of every day…
No matter how many Bible verses I tweet or statuses I post about Jesus,
it doesn’t mean that I’m immune to the temptations of this world.
I’m a sinful human being who has sinful human desires.
I’m a broken person who is in the process of being made whole…
But I still live in a broken world.

So, overall this year has been the hardest year of my life, but yet one of the most fun.
I’ve certainly been blessed by amazing family and friends who are always so encouraging.
I’ve been able to travel to many new places and have enjoyed awesome new experiences.
Those were the days though that I chose to turn my brain off
and just enjoy the moment while it lasted. It’s always when I’m alone,
when the thoughts come creeping in and the doubts infiltrate my mind.
My brain never stops with the questioning…

“Why God– why, why, why?
Why can’t I understand what you are doing?
How can I trust that you are good?”

But you know, I’ve finally come to the understanding that it’s okay not to know everything…
We can’t possibly know everything. How could we? — We’re finite human beings.
Even if we combined the knowledge of every human being on the planet we would maybe
know the equivalent of a grain of sand compared to the knowledge of the God of the Universe.

So here’s a quote I found encouraging for my situation:
“Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.”

Elisabeth Elliot also once said,
“Faith does not eliminate questions. But faith knows where to take them.”
So all that being said, I just wanted to encourage anyone out there who is struggling with doubt to take your questions to God. I strongly believe that He reveals truth to the honest seeker.
He’s certainly been answering my questions and humbling me in the process.
You may have to step outside the box and question many things you’ve been taught.
But the answers are there. Keep searching.

– Hannah Myers

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P.S. I’ve experienced that the answers to most of life’s hardest questions are found in an accurately translated Bible (aka, Young’s Literal Translation/Concordant Literal)

Trusting God in my Singleness

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So, I’m 20.

I’m a junior in college.
And I’m single.

Pshhh, I’m SO young. What’s the big deal, right?
Well that’s what I’m saying. Agh, but I forgot to tell you. I go to Liberty University.

Yes, if you haven’t heard of it.. it’s the world’s largest Christian University.
It seems like every where you turn people are getting in relationships or getting engaged!
Our joke is to have a “Ring by Spring” lol. But honestly.. it’s not a joke. It’s reality here.

So, I have people frequently ask me if I have a boyfriend or if I’m ‘talking’ to someone.
When I say “no”, a lot of people can’t understand why I haven’t seriously dated anyone by now…? I mean, come on. A university of 10,000+ Christians?… there’s gotta be someone for me here, right?!

Well yes, maybe there is. But timing is everything.
Dating the right person at the wrong time will still end in heartbreak.
So, is the timing actually right for me to be in a relationship while in college?
That is the question.

Here’s how I see it..I just can’t do it all. I’m too busy! We only have so much time in a day.
I can’t grow in my relationship with Christ, do well in school, be involved with ministry, keep up with friends, play/coach soccer, eat, sleep AND have a boyfriend at the same time. Something important in my life would have to give.
Relationships take up a LOT of time.

And another thing is, I don’t know the future.
What if I went through my whole college career dating some guy and we end up breaking up?
How devastating would that be? My precious college years, wasted.. on a guy… when I could’ve been making lifelong friendships. I’ve seen this happen too many times already.

Yes, we do have to take chances in life.. I’m not saying we should put up an emotional wall because of fear. I’m just saying, relationships shouldn’t be a nonchalant game like our society portrays. They should be carefully considered.

See, our society has forgotten that dating was meant for those considering marriage. It’s not supposed to be a game. We forget that people’s hearts are on the line. You give a piece of your heart away to every person you’re involved with that you can never get back.

So, since I have no plans to get married any time soon, why would I seriously date anyone?
And as a Christian, I do take God’s commands about sexual purity very seriously.
Having a boyfriend though would only put myself in sexual temptation.

What, am I supposed to just date someone for… 5 years? And not want to be sexually intimate? Ha, yeah right. Not possible, for me at least… I know people though who have dated throughout the years and have kept their purity. I have mad respect for them. But that’s why Liberty students get engaged so early. They’re either getting engaged during school or right after they graduate because you can only date for so long without being sexually intimate! Let’s face it. God created us to desire sexual intimacy with the person we love. It’s no secret. Within the context of marriage.. sex is a beautiful creation from God
and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it!

But there’s just no way that I want to be tied down by marriage any time soon.
I have too much life to live, too many things I want to accomplish before I settle down.
And yes, though I do get lonely sometimes and occasionally think I could handle having a boyfriend.. reality kicks in and God says, “WAIT, the timing isn’t right yet.”

Now, I’m not saying I don’t go on dates. There’s a big difference.
I think that it’s perfectly fine to figure out what you’re looking for in a significant other by going on casual dates. But committing myself to an exclusive relationship right now wouldn’t be my wisest decision.

“Do not awaken or excite love until it is ready” – Song of Solomon 2:7

So am I ready? Definitely not.
However, it’s taken me this long to realize that.
used to think I was ready. But God has been showing me so many things that I need
to work on before I get into any sort of relationship.

My goal is to be a blessing to my future boyfriend, whether we end up married or not.
I want to be an encouragement to whoever God places in my life, not a burden.
I don’t want to bring personal baggage from my past into a relationship that I haven’t tried to work through on my own. No matter who it is, I want to push that person closer to the foot of the Cross.

So, I’ve realized that for me personally, these precious college years are for healing and growing closer to the Lord. This time in my life is to figure out who I am and what God is calling me to do in the future. All I know is that God is doing a work in me that I can’t fully understand right now. I wouldn’t be where I am today spiritually if I continued going down the same path of dating guy after guy like I did in high school.

I’ve finally learned to be content in whatever season the Lord has me in.
If I’m single, GREAT. If I eventually get in a relationship, GREAT.
I know that where ever God has me is exactly where I need to be.

So despite the pressures all around me..
I’m finally at peace with trusting God’s timing and allowing him to write my love story.

Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he WILL make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

————————————————————————————————————————————-Disclaimer: In no way am I implying that all Christians who are dating in college are out of “God’s Will”.. this blog is about what God has been personally showing me. God’s timing in every person’s life is different. This post was written to hopefully help others seek God’s perfect timing in their own lives.

-Hannah Myers
Twitter/Insta: @hannahmyers10

Do Christians Serve a Morally “Evil” God? || Refuting Atheism

Let me state one thing before I proceed..

I truly like atheists.. the ones I’ve encountered at least.

Most of whom I’ve conversed with are respectful, while still posing intellectual questions for me to consider.
I always leave our conversations feeling challenged to take my faith more seriously.

So, that being said… This is NOT an attack on atheists.
This is simply a post to stimulate the brain and hopefully show some inconsistencies to think about.

Here goes nothing.

So an atheist FB friend shared the following picture he found on another Atheist website:

HcdCWdT

At first glance, this picture made me pretty angry.
Not only is this extremely inaccurate.. but it is also manipulative.

However, I realized that the guy who posted this was only sharing his concern about how the God of the Bible seems to be a more like an “evil God” than the “loving God” that Christians portray him to be.

He was only showing his frustration towards a valid concern many people have.
So I calmed down.. however, I couldn’t help but asking a couple questions.

I commented and said something like:
“I don’t mean to be that person, but I just want to clarify a couple things.. are you trying to say that God is wrong for doing such a thing? Is he “bad” for killing that many people? Because, I was under the impression that Atheist’s don’t believe in absolute morality? Now, you are certainly free to believe that God doesn’t exist, but who are you to question whether God is morally right or wrong? Under your own worldview, aren’t you supposed to just leave everyone alone to make decisions for themselves without forcing your own morality on them? I’m just confused by this post.”

He never replied, but one of his friend’s did. She said, “Well, then why are you commenting on his post? Aren’t you forcing your moralities on him right now?”

I then said, “Yes well you see, I do believe in absolute morality, I believe that there is an real standard out there for right and wrong that none of us have created.. it does not contradict my worldview to point out that he is wrong for claiming God’s sense of morality is “bad”. However, for atheists, they are not allowed to force their own morality on other people.. or God. See, you are forcing your own moralities on me by telling me that it is wrong to force my moralities on him. This argument is cyclical and can go on forever.”

Neither of them ever replied after that.

As C.S. Lewis states in his first chapter of Mere Christianity, “The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people’s ideas get nearer to that real Right than others.”

So, is God “bad” for killing “2,476,633” people?
Depends. What do you consider bad?
Do you consider people “bad” for raping women?
Do you consider people “bad” for treating others inhumanly as slaves?
Do you consider people “bad” for having sexual relations with anything and everything that walks.. animals included?
Do you consider people “bad” for sacrificing their own children to their pagan Gods?

Oh, you do…? Well good, me too.

Well from my personal opinion, I think that makes God the HERO.
He’s the one who wiped out people who were doing these types of horrendous things.

Of course these are extreme examples and many may have been engaged in what we consider “less severe” sins.. stuff we see today on a daily basis:
Lying, stealing, cheating, coveting, sexual immorality, drunkenness, homosexuality, adultery.. etc. (I Corinthians 6:9-11)

But if GOD is the one who created right and wrong, and HE is the one who made the standard.. well then HE get’s to decide what is morally wrong and HE get’s to decide what the punishment for sin is… not us.

However, it’s not like he ENJOYS doing it. He doesn’t WANT to punish his beloved creation.
Though he IS loving, patient, & kind. He is also JUST. And because of this, sin can not go unpunished, whether it be in this life, or the next.

He stated this from the very beginning.
The wages of sin has ALWAYS been death.
But thankfully He sent his OWN son, Jesus, to take this punishment for us on the CROSS.
God now doesn’t operate like this because the ultimate payment for sins has been made!
Would a morally “bad” God do something like THAT?!

However, consider the alternative if there is no such thing as moral absolutism…
Would Hitler, for example, really be that bad of a person? I mean, he was only trying to live out “survival of the fittest”.. which of course is an integral part to atheism.

And don’t forget that Hitler believed that he was RIGHT in murdering the Jews.
So if there is no REAL moral standard out there, then he certainly is not WRONG for doing so.
Just because I don’t like his “personal taste” in morality… doesn’t give me the right to claim he is a “bad” person?

Ha, obviously this completely goes against our own conscience.
We KNOW that there is a REAL right and wrong out there. Something that none of us have created. Morality is written on every human being’s heart. It is not something that society has come up with on it’s own.

The only difference is whether people choose to accept this standard, or reject it.
The choice is ours.

But remember, there IS hope.
The beauty of this truth is that the story doesn’t end here.
God has graciously provided a way for us to be forgiven for our sins.
Through Christ, we no longer have to pay the penalty for our disobedience…
Though the punishment for sin is DEATH, the gift of God is eternal LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord – Romans 6:23

Welcome to the 20s || Living a Meaningful Life

(Started writing this on September 9th, my birthday, but didn’t get around to finishing it until now lol)

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Welp, today’s that “special” day. The day I kiss my teen years goodbye and embrace my twenties. It’s a weird feeling, not gonna lie.

The song Britney Spears sang when I was a kid has a whole new meaning now. “I’m not a girl, but not yet a women”.. yeah, that basically sums up my life right now. It’s funny cause there are moments when I honestly feel like I’m about 23 years old; but then there are moments where I feel like I’m in high school all over again singing Fifteen by Taylor Swift.

20, such an awkward age…

But you know, I am so thankful to have made it this far. I know that sounds super cheese ball, but honestly… our days are not guaranteed. Often times I sit back and watch the way some of my friends live their lives while in college and they truly have embraced the whole “YOLO” motto. People my age live like they’re invincible, never fully thinking about some of the consequences that could stay with them for the rest of their lives. The majority of young adults have believed the quote, “To be old and wise, you must first be young and crazy”… well maybe there is some truth in that, but what ever happened to learning from other people’s mistakes? I’d like to think that I’d go through life being wise without the extra baggage of the consequences of my youthful mistakes. But of course, we all have freedom to do as we please and I’m certainly not saying that I’m perfect. Gosh, I’m so far from it. God certainly knows this. But what I am saying is that I don’t want to regret even a day of my life. I want so badly to hear those words from the Lord on that day saying, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Something that really struck me over the summer when I was reading in Ecclesiastes was in chapter 11, verses 9-12.

Be happy, young man, while you are young,

and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.

Follow the ways of your heart

    and whatever your eyes see,

but know that for all these things

    God will bring you into judgment.

So then, banish anxiety from your heart

    and cast off the troubles of your body,

    for youth and vigor are meaningless.

Ha, did you catch the humor? Do whatever you want in life.. after all, it’s your life and you only have one chance to live it. However, know that God will judge you accordingly in the end. Wow. What a gut check. I think we often forget this side of God… that although he is loving, he is also just. And perfect justice demands judgment.

So get this, the writer of this is King Solomon.. apparently the “wisest” man to ever live according to the Bible, literally had EVERYTHING the world could offer. He had fame, fortune, clothes, food (yes, TONS of food!!).. and not to mention women. LOTS of women. What else could he want in life by the world’s standards, right? Throughout his life he did whatever his heart desired, but in the end realized that it was all.. meaningless. He looked back on his life and was like, “Wow.. all the time I wasted chasing all these stupid, fleeting things that don’t even mater.. what have I done?”

I don’t want my life to amount to this in the end. I literally dread it.

As one of my favorite Pastors, Francis Chan, said in his book, Crazy Love:

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” 

I want to make my 20s count. Not just my 20s, but my whole life. I want to fight the temptation of just being average and blending in with the rest of the world… living for the moment of temporary pleasures that have no eternal significance. I want to do something extraordinary with my life, something that would be impossible if it were based on my own accomplishments. I want to live in such a way that doesn’t bring glory to myself, but to Christ’s name alone.

This truly is my life desire.

But I know that this is easier said than done. Often times I lose sight of the things I want to accomplish. My sinful flesh takes over. I get caught up in it all. It certainly isn’t an easy journey. But I will continue to hold on to the hope that I have found in Christ alone.. He will surely help me stay focused, pressing towards my goal.

Philippians 1:6 – And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 

Christians Supporting Gay Marriage?

Here is a question that I have recently been asked on Twitter:

“I get disappointed when I see Christians supporting gay marriage. What are your thoughts?”

Here was my reply:
“Yes, such a relevant question facing all Christians in our culture.. and of course I don’t support it.

However, do I necessarily think it should be illegal? I’m not quite sure.

See, we aren’t a theocracy… though I wish it was, it is very evident that the U.S. does NOT uphold the Bible as the law of the land. My dilemma is this: are we as Christians being consistent? Why do we pick and choose which parts of the Bible to force on society?

God clearly does NOT delineate between homosexual sin and heterosexual sin. It’s ALL the SAME sin to him. Sex is meant FOR marriage, between one man, one woman.. (Genesis 2:24). ANY type of sexual sin outside of marriage is viewed as the same thing to the Lord.. even just lusting after someone in their heart.

Matthew 5:28 – But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Clearly the Lord is outraged by any form of sexual sin, but adultery is even rampant amongst Christians.. how is this possible?

1 Corinthians 7:10-11
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord)… A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

Hebrews 13:4
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

Matthew 19:9
I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

All these verses talk about adultery and how the Lord is outraged by it. Yet I know several Christians who are SO against gay marriage, yet they have been divorced (not for sexual unfaithfulness, but for selfish reasons) and remarried…? Which God says is adultery… ?

So, yes. Gay marriage is immoral, not my own opinion, but the Lords. It should never become acceptable, because along with it many horrible things will happen to Christians who try to obey the Lord and His commands. (Pastors will be forced to marry against their consciences, or else maybe tried in court for “discrimination”). However, I just don’t understand how we have become so inconsistent? Pastors should treat remarriages and homosexual marriages the same: unbiblical and against their consciences. I truly believe the Lord will judge adultery, fornication, lust, and homosexual sins the same.

So honestly, I really don’t know what should be done. Because we really aren’t a Christian nation.. should we force our Christian morals on society? And if we do.. why are we not consistent on which ones we choose to get outraged about? I of course don’t want it to happen, (this is a good article “10 Reasons Why Homosexual “Marriage” is Harmful and Must be Opposed” that I agree with: http://goo.gl/KqIRr).. but I’m just not sure if we can even stop it. The Bible says there will be a great moral fallout in the last days. So whether or not it happens now, or in 5 years… it WILL happen.

Jesus is coming back. It’s only a matter of time.”

red-cross

-Hannah Myers

A Message To All Christians || Liberty Students Speak Out

This is a collaboration of quotes and verses taken from several different Christians including Francis Chan and Jarrid Wilson.

Make sure you like us on Facebook and share with your friends! 🙂
https://www.facebook.com/One11Films

We are a group of students from Liberty University dedicated to living our lives out in faith for our savior Jesus Christ. We want to encourage Christians to stand up for their faith and what they believe in, but to never force our moralities on others who choose not to agree. God gives us all free will in life. It is not our responsibility to cram Christianity down anyone’s throat.

Our message is to all those who claim Jesus to be their savior. We want to encourage all believers to LOVE one another and spread His love throughout the world. If another brother or sister is sinning, lovingly show them God’s word and help them overcome their struggles. We are NOT called to condemn them for their sin and go around gossiping about them. Do not forget that ALL sin separates us from God in the end if we do not allow Jesus to take the punishment for those sins.. we too will not inherit the kingdom of God. Too many times we find ourselves falling into the sin of pride.. thinking that we are better than others.

And if someone is not already a believer, we must NEVER expect them to act like they are Christians or to have the same opinions as us. WHILE we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). We are ALL in need of a Savior.

And if you’re not a Christian, we all pray and hope that you will realize that Christ loves you! That no matter what you have done, or will do, God has provided a way for you to overcome your sin! (John 3:16) All of us in this video have experienced how Jesus can change people’s lives.. our hope and prayer is that you too will experience the freedom and joy that only comes from knowing Christ Jesus!