The Thing I Learned About Free Will

“Why do bad things happen?” Asked little Bobby. “Well son, it’s because of free will.” Said his pa.

Of course his name is Bobby. I swear, every example of logic puzzles or solving equations starts with a boy named Bobby. While I concur with his dad, there’s much more to life than just, “Bad things happen because of free will, and that’s just how it is.” What then? Is that all there is? I crave more clarity than that! Being a protagonist here, I believe that there’s a brighter side to free will than what often gets displayed in stories or life events. Mainly because of my own faith.

Do misfortunes and tragic events happen? Every single day. Is that the end all be all of a tragic tale? Not if you don’t want it to be. Life isn’t always fair, and that’s just the sad reality that is our world. But what if I told you there’s more to the story? Your story. Perhaps something down the road that you can’t see yet? A spark, a light, maybe even.. dare I say hope? A dangerous little spark that ignites new possibilities. It’s called turning what was meant for evil into something good. It’s surely possible, but it’s not usually a light and easy process. Nothing that good ever is, amirite?

“Okay, but you don’t get it Rachel. If there is a God in heaven who loved me, then why the hell would he allow this to happen to me? I’m a good person. I don’t deserve this!” Trust me, I’ve asked God the same exact question as well word for word, and less politely to boot! My version of “asking” would be crying and yelling at Him. Heck, there was even a time that I told him I wanted nothing to do with my faith anymore, but that didn’t stop His relentless love for me. Nothing can ever separate us from his love. How beautiful, right?!

I ain’t a perfect Christian, I’m a real person. That’s why I try to remind myself to thank Him for the grace and love he so freely gives all of us. That’s one of the main reasons I’m writing about this. My heart is totally connected to the mission of helping people because let’s be real; all of us need help. The funny thing is, it’s usually the believers that need the most help! Don’t write me an angry email, ya’ll know it’s true.

The truth is I don’t have all of the answers for your hardships, and that sucks. You might not find an answer for a long time, and that really sucks! All I can tell you is that God is more than able to bring good out of any hardship or unbearable grievance you face. The caveat here is trust, and it’s not easy. However, it is refreshing to believe that the God who can raise the dead and save the lost can surely bring light into the darkness of our missteps and misfortunes.

We don’t know when, where, or how (unless He reveals it to you, but that’s for another day.) We just need to hold on and cling to the truth that Jesus loves us and no doubt still has a plan regardless of how it may look. He is Abba. The way maker. The bread of life. The lifter of our heads. The one who knit you in your mother’s womb. The one who has the hairs on your head numbered. Don’t you believe you’re of any value to Him? You’re worth dying for.

All you need to know is that you never walk alone. The constant battle for your soul that most can’t see is fierce, but so is His love for you. Keep fighting. You might not have your answers right now, and it’s okay to be angry. If anything, be angry at sin. Be angry with the enemy because he wants you to question God and His love for you.

You may hear something along the lines of, “He’s not even real, do you see him working right now?” “Well, you never really heard Him anyway.” “What kind of God would put you through all of that?” “You’re not smart, you can’t do this.” Fill in the blank. Those are all lies from hell, and it’s time for you to stand up and step into the calling you feel in your heart and soul. You are more than able to do all that you’re destined to do through Jesus who will totally give you strength. So I just want to leave you with that. Whatever you face, remember that you are more than a conquerer.

~Xo, Rachel.

The Miracle

Life is full of seasons! You’re continuously walking through different ones whether you know it or not. Some are full of joy, and some are filled with sorrow. Some will bring you clarity, while others will leave you with unanswered questions. At least unanswered for that time being in your life.

Nobody knows the length and intensity of each season you’ll encounter but God. I’ve found that some of the hardest times whether it be emotionally, spiritually, physically, or all of the above create depth and character to each and every one of us. However, it’s up to us to take what we’ve learned from each lesson and apply it to our lives. If we don’t learn from it the first time, God will bring it back full circle again until we get it. Will you give up when it’s hard? Will you keep fighting for what you believe in and who you want to become? It’s all up to you.

If you want to become strong, you typically won’t just miraculously obtain supernatural strength out of nowhere. If you want to build muscle, you’ll have to work for it. Instead of sitting on the couch all day eating potato chips and twinkies, (btw those are nasty.. cut that -ish out k) you’ll need to get into a gym, or go outside and start training. If you ask for emotional / spiritual strength, you won’t just wake up with it one day. You’ll be involuntarily placed into situations/adversity that will knock you down and cut you so deep that it will truly take not only the hand of God, but also your perseverance to get back up again. This one is a toughie.

So, if you’re reading this right now congratulations. You’ve made it to another day! Whoohoo! You’ve probably had times in your life where you felt that maybe it’s all just too much, and you want to throw in the towel. Maybe you’re in a storm where it’s going to take an actual miracle for you to get out! Maybe you’re believing, waiting, and praying about something and it seems like your prayers are just bouncing off the walls. You may be asking, “What’s really going on here?” “Why is this happening to me though..?”

Allow me to shed some light! A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to God about something that I’ve brought up to Him only about 10 million times, asking the same questions over and over. “Why?” “Why did You do this?” “What is ACTUALLY going on?” Just being real here, k. The funny thing is that I ask the same things over and over again full well knowing that we can’t see the whole future, and His ways are totally higher than ours! Sometimes He’ll show us bits and pieces, but not always in full detail.

As I waited on Him and listened, I heard the softest voice ever. It brought so much peace, and really confirmed a lot to me. “Maybe the miracle isn’t getting what you thought the way you believed or wanted it to go. Maybe the miracle is the fact that you survived it all when the opposite happened.” It left me speechless. It was so profound.

We all have storms in our life, and so it’s easy to want to experience a miracle. A little spark of hope to encourage us that our happy ending is just on the other side waiting for us. But the miracle doesn’t always have to be proof of a hero coming in last minute to save the day, or a random breakthrough that totally changes your whole situation. That could happen, but it doesn’t always go that way. Your miracle could simply be the fact that you’re still here, and you survived the storm. You went through ALL of that, and you’re still here. Which is amazing!

Take heart, and know that miracles happen around us everyday. Some of them are only visible to us if we change our perspective, and learn to trust the process in each season of life we step into.

~ Xo, Rachel.

The Battlefield Of Your Mind

Have you ever heard, “As a man thinks, so he becomes?” (Proverbs 23:7) Well, Its true! Whatever you put into your mind will absolutely have great impact on your life and the quality of it. It affects your perspective on life, your predisposition towards life, and what you’ll attract in life. I’m currently reading a book by Joyce Meyer about this subject! I just felt led in my heart to write about the importance of having a healthy mind.

Sorry to say it, but we all have times in our lives when it can get quite hectic and brutally unpredictable (not the good kind of unpredictability mind you.!) You’ll be thrown curve-balls you weren’t prepared for, undefinable mishaps and tragedies, and good old heartache. This is life, and thanks to sin and free will, we often have to suffer its consequences.

I grew up with and also have developed a positive mindset. I knew that this life wasn’t going to be easy, and I also knew that somehow God still has His divine plans throughout the course of my life even though several things would come try to disrupt and hinder them from happening. You see, If you’re able to shift your perspective from, “why is this happening to me?” to “what exactly am I supposed to learn from this?”, you wouldn’t believe how much your life will change just from looking through that perspective!

Is it going to be easy? Absolutely not. Will it happen right away? Absolutely not! It’s a constant decision you’ll have to make every single day. It’s a choice to speak positive words to others including yourself. It’s a choice to listen to uplifting music every now and then to cleanse out any negativity or intruding thoughts that may be repeating themselves in your head. It’s a choice to cling to positive affirmations and throw out the lies that tell you you’ll never make it. It’s all a choice. Life isn’t just happening to you, you’re happening to life. Your story is constantly being written and played out for a plan and a purpose.

Many people walk around with wars going on inside of their heads, and we don’t even recognize or see it! It’s easy to feel like you’re alone on this, but let me tell you, that is far from the truth! The truth is, we’re all broken. We all need love and freedom from all of the nonsense that gets thrown at us whether it be spiritually, emotionally, or physically. We need to lift each other up, and watch the thoughts we allow to take residence in our minds and dwell on. I’ll end with this quote; “You cannot have a positive life with a negative mind.” – Joyce Meyer

~ Xo, Rachel.

The Time I Stole My Friend’s Man

Everything was perfect. I had just made a new friend in the school I was attending at the time. Before I knew it, we were taking road trips to her beautiful house that was a few hours outside of LA. Music blasting, sunsets setting, the mesmerizing ocean, mountains, it was dope! I was looking for a new church to go to, and she went to one in Hollywood called Mosaic. I had heard of it before, but never went. She invited me to go with her one Sunday!

Since the day we became friends, she had been talking forever about a guy she was crazy about ever since she was young! I’m talking years of liking him guys, not just a random new boy in town. He was a long-time family friend, and I told her to tell him how she felt since they knew each other so well! She didn’t tell him, but I still hoped that somehow things would work out for them.

Image result for mosaic church hollywood

We went to an evening service one Sunday at the church, and the guy that she liked met us there with a few of his buddies. He was really sweet, such a great guy. I purposely sat on the end of the row so that they would sit together. I know, I know, kind of dumb but I’m a hopeless romantic like that okay, let me live my life. After the service, we went to a pizza place next door because honestly what’s more romantic than pizza? Nuthin!

The guy she liked was cool, but very quiet! She was quiet as well that night to my surprise! I talked with everyone there, and apparently impressed all of the guys with how much pizza I ate that night. Listen ya’ll, I was really hungry okay, so If a guy offers me his piece you best believe imma be all over dat! Is that an attractive quality or something? I don’t know, regardless we were all having a great time and I thought things were going really well! Boy was I ever wrong.

After that night I hadn’t heard from her in a while, so I shot her a text. One day later- no response. Two days- no response. I began to wonder if everything was alright, because we would normally text all of the time! I gave it at least one week, then tried reaching out again only for her to tell me that we were no longer friends. No real reason or answer behind it, just that it wasn’t “working out.” Which made absolutely no sense, because we were such good friends!

I was confused more than ever, but I just let it be. About six months later- the summer of 2017, I was on summer break back in my hometown, Minneapolis. One morning I received a text from a number I didn’t recognize. In this text was a very detailed, and poetic paragraph of how much affection and admiration this person texting had for me. I didn’t know who it was at first, then at the end of the text he wrote his name as if he were signing a letter. It was the guy my friend liked. She gave my number to him, and he told me he hadn’t stopped thinking about me ever since we met.

Well… I finally got my answer! I felt absolutely horrible. I honestly loved her as a friend, and had no intention whatsoever of that happening. The lesson here? Don’t eat too much pizza in front of a guy, or you might just make him fall in love with you.

~ Xo, Rachel.