For the questions standing unanswered

Why does God allow murder?

Why does He allow suffering?

Why does He allow bad things to happen to good people, and good things to bad people?

Why does he allow accidents to end with death?

Why does He allow what happened to me?

Why does he allow …?

I am sure we all have asked some difficult, BIG questions at one point in our lives. They are difficult, because there really are no answers to them. I understand how it feels like when all you can see is, “how can God be just, when He allows such things?”

Tanya Anurag asked some BIG questions a few weeks back, and I thought it was so great of her to end her post with:

“BUT He(GOD) has His own plans to FINISH it- the Master Plans! The plans we cannot question!”

I think it is only natural for us humans to question things, we seek understanding and knowledge, and I think it is OK to question God sometimes too. As humans we will never be perfect, not even in our faith.

“Thank you that you don’t condemn us for our humanity but instead hold us until we can move forward again.” -Holley Gerth

But I think it can be unhealthy to ponder these questions too long and give them too much room. I am thinking too much room is when you don’t get peace because of some questions NAGGING you and poking you, taking you away from your faith.

I believe that there is great comfort for those mourning: if they seek the Lord, they will be comforted. I believe that even though we can get angry at God sometimes, the only way to heal our wounds is to turn to God.

18 “I have seen his [willful] ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him also and will recompense him and restore comfort to him and to those who mourn for him.

19 Peace, peace, to him who is far off [both Jew and Gentile] and to him who is near! says the Lord; I create the fruit of his lips, and I will heal him [make his lips blossom anew with speech in thankful praise].”

Isaiah 57:18-19

It is OK to tell God your angry at Him. He loves it when we share our whole lives with Him, so He can participate. And He knows we can be angry, He created us with those feelings. But more than anything He wants us to turn to Him, and not from Him, when those feelings and thoughts and questions comes.

I also believe that there are certain things God can’t intervene with, because of our free will. Sometimes He can’t intervene, because I am not the only one with free will, and everybody don’t have the same way of giving my free will to Him, as I do. And even though I give my life to Him, and let Him steer me, I still make mistakes, because I fail to listen.

When “bad” people decides to do bad things, I believe God is sometimes hindered to intervene, because of the free will He has given us all -because He loves us so much! The same goes for “good people” doing bad things.

I don’t believe God separates us from each other with labels like “good” and “bad”.

Because we all do bad stuff.

We all sin.

God IS love, and can only act lovingly.

He cannot act against Himself.

But there is an enemy in the world who does all in his power to convince us and show us that God is not just good, that God is not loving, that God is not JUST.

But God is just.

We sort of placed ourselves in this situation -when Adam and Eve were disobedient in Eden. We are facing the consequences for that here on earth, but that’s where God’s everlasting love comes in again. That’s why He sent his only son to SAVE us from those consequences. To save us, so we can get an eternity in fellowship with our loving creator.

All we have to do is believe.

And trust.

Ava Sophie

Ava Sophie

I am sure you know this, but I just want to share with you what perspective I’ve gotten after having struggled with those kinds of questions.

All the bad started when we sought knowledge in Eden. And still we seek knowledge, and that is usually a good thing, until we reach a certain point. We are promised that if we seek God first, we will be given all else in return. All God really wants for us is to have fellowship with us, in Eden, and now.

Because He knows that that is what is BEST for us!

To have all knowledge is not what is best for us,

being with Him is.

Believe me, I am the type of girl that don’t like to accept anything until I understand it;-) Knowledge. Which is why faith IS hard.

We need to take a leap of faith, not knowing all there is to know.

But I promise you, He WILL catch you, and give you all you need;-)

If you’re carrying any unanswered, difficult questions, there is only one who can answer them. Only God can answer the hard questions. Some things we won’t get answer to until He comes to take us home. But it is important to be honest with ourselves and God -to acknowledge those questions and feelings, and be talk about it!

“we both know there’s one thing worse than the question that can’t be answered. It’s the question that was never asked.” Jennifer Dukes Lee

For Jennifer, it was the unanswered questions she dared to ask that saved her faith. If you want to read about it, click on the link above.

“Dear Lord, I pray for those asking questions that won’t get an answer in this life, may you fill their hearts with peace and let them feel your love, fill them up with your love! I pray for those asking difficult questions with difficult answers, May you give their soul rest, peace and grace to lay the questions with no answer yet away. May you lead to them someone with an answer, those that seek an answer You can give. I pray for all those who have lost someone. Comfort them. Be with them. Let them feel your presence, know that you are there, show them that they can come to you to get all that they need.

I pray for those who want this life to end, who is ready to come home with you, may you be with them all the time they are waiting, give them peace in their hearts, and fill them with your love.

I pray for all people having doubts about you and those who can’t see the true you because the enemy is telling lies about you. Protect their hearts and thoughts against lies and hurt! Lead them to the truth, heal their hurts and heal their wounds. In Jesus name, amen!”

Kristen Welch writes about how telling someone her question, and brokenness, be met with an genuine interest made a difference in her life. She says:

“I let her in. And she tasted my brokenness. As I wiped my tears and apologized for my awkward answer slash confession, she asked me what I wanted to happen. How did I want God to answer this big question mark in my life?”

I wrote this several days ago, now I am adding my Five minute Friday contribute below:

Ava Sophie

Ava Sophie

Go:

Last night I asked a friend a question that has been nagging me, one I thought I had made peace with, but reappeared. She really wanted to know how I was, and I told her the ugly truth. She really listened.

She didn’t have the right answers.

She didn’t say much, but she listened.

She said she was right there with me.

That I am not alone.

She reminded me of Jesus’ love.

That is powerful!

I think I can be so bold to say that it is more powerful than giving the answer to my question. Because knowledge and answers is not always the most important.)

Let’s not put our lives on hold while waiting for answers. Let us pray instead

-the prayer Jesus taught us:

9″ Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.

10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven ([a]left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have [b]given up resentment against) our debtors.

13 And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen”.

-Matthew 6:9-13

“Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

God is the one to change the world, and He will do it through you if you let Him in.

Even when it is messy.
Even when it is ugly inside.

Stop.

With love,

Ava Sophie


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Do we tell anyone?

Joining the Five minute Fridays writers at Kate’s who write for FIVE minutes, with no judgement, no backtracking, no pressure. Today’s prompt is TELL.

Go:

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship and community lately. About how we live as brothers and sisters in faith.

For those of you who has seen the tv-series “One Tree Hill” might remember the teenage girl Peyton Sawyer saying to the girls(second season):

“I want us all to be friends. I want us to be so close that we can tell each other stuff. The bad stuff too.”

Because who do we tell when something happens in our lives?

Or do we tell anyone?

Do we just show the mask we want people to see on Facebook and let that be the way people see us?

Do we just tell our best friend and hide from the rest of the world?

Do we wear a mask?

Or a do we carry a brick wall with us to place between us and people, afraid anyone will get to close?

I don’t think we ought to tell everybody everything.

But I do believe in living an open life, where what we say or do can stand the light of day. I believe in confessions, confess to someone what didn’t take the light of day. That way you take away the devils weapon, and he cant hold anything against you.

I believe in living a real life, where we don’t have to hide anything, where we don’t have a mask, and where we crush that brick wall till there is only dust left.

Ava Sophie WordPress

Ava Sophie WordPress

Let God blow his wind over the dust and carry it away from you.

The Real life costs. You’ll be vulnerable. You might feel like an easy target. It might be really uncomfortable.  You might experience hurt. You might experience to hurt someone unintentionally.

But it is real.

And then the honesty,

forgiveness,

humbleness,

and grace

are great tools God has given us to move on,

and still lead a real life.
It all starts with telling someone.

Tell about your joys.

tell about your love.

Tell about your hurts.

Tell your confessions.

Tell your heartbreaks.

Tell your struggles.

Take the risk.
Live real.

STOP.

I know a little about those masks and brick walls.

I’ve lived a life filled with a lifetime of fear, anxiety, especially the social anxiety part.

I know how difficult it is to leave the mask at home. I know how hard work it is to start banging down at that brick wall.

I know what it takes to start living real.

To let people in.

To live a life that can stand the light of day to shine on. I know what it takes to tell someone that dark secret defining me for so many years.

I know it isn’t easy.

I am not telling you it is.

I’m telling you it is worth it.

That letting go of it all, is worth it.

And I am telling you that if you give people the chance to see the real you, those of them that are truly friends will still like you.

Still love you.

And still see what is beautiful about YOU.

Actually they will see it better than before, because honest, real and open will always be better than any “perfect mask” you can let your imagination come up with.

Ava Sophie wordpress

Ava Sophie wordpress

I am telling you that you don’t have to do the work on your own. God is with you every step of the way.

God is cheering YOU on.

All He wants is to be with you, show you His love. He wants you to succeed. He wants you to live real, because He already see what you’re trying to hide from everybody.

“Thank you that instead of guilt and shame you offer us compassion and grace.

What we need most is simply this: to know you love us no matter what.

                                                    –Holley Gerth

So don’t hide those tears streaming down your face.
You are more beautiful than ever!

With love,

Ava Sophie.

also linking up with Holley Gerth:

How God raises his children

I’ve heard it has been said that in the spiritual life in Christ, we all start out as newborns when we are saved. The old life is not only past, it is buried. Dead. We are born again, and start our lives the same way a newborn does.

A newborn is helpless at first, totally dependent on love, caring and practical help from the people around -preferably the parents. Gradually the baby can do more and more, and manage some things him or herself.

Three things are important to keep in mind about newborn and babies: for one, they have a personality of their own from the first day. Second, they seek social contact with persons close to them from day one. Third, as they grow in age, maturity and physically, they manage more and more of their own.

But children/teenagers WILL still need their inner circle of caring persons around them to guide them, to encourage, cheering them on in life, and to tell them when they are going the wrong way, or to intervene when something bad is ahead.

Children are born with curiosity(in grades that differs from child to child).  In their need to explore, they don’t see limitations and have yet to learn common sense through experience and reflection.

I often feel like I can’t get past the newborn stage in my spiritual growth. I’ve felt that I still -after three years- need to be fed milk, that I am dependent on my inner circle of people(parents =God, spiritual mother/mentor, and the christian community) to live in Christ. And then sometimes, like a night not long ago, I read or hear a verse or two from the bible I haven’t heard before, hear a preaching, or learn something new from someone in my circle.

My immediate reaction used to be: “Oh, no! I’ve lived like this for three years, why didn’t I know this? I should have known this…”etc. I immediately started judging myself. I am my own worst judge. But in that judgement I am not capable of changing my life. That judgement is keeping me from giving everything to God, and keeping me from total honesty and giving myself over to God. That judgement I put over myself, makes me want to hide from God.

I don’t know about anything more unhealthier than hiding from my Father, my Savior.

How could I have known this? I can’t learn everything at once. One of the many amazing and great things about God is that he gives me room to learn one thing at the time. He does not give us everything at once, because he knows we won’t handle it.

God let’s us take those baby steps(and so should I).

As a good Father, God wants us to lay all judgement, all worries, all that is on our shoulders –all that is  in our mental backpack– over to Him. Only then we can continue our spiritual growth like He wishes for us. To do that, I need to be honest with God -completely honest.

If it is something I feel, but can’t describe with words, I don’t have to figure it out on my own and then come to God after. God wants me to talk with Him about it, give it over, and then I am much better equipped to  first of all figure it out, and second, do something about it. Not alone. Always with God, and I promise(Jesus promises) that it will be a much lighter load, easier to carry. It might save us from a lot of pain.

 If you can’t tell even God you don’t have to. Those in Christ has been given the gift of speaking in tongues. Just feel what you feel and speak in tongues, and your soul will pour out whatever it is. Have you only gotten a few words or perhaps only one word in the language The Holy Spirit has given you? No problem. Just use that word. God will eventually give you more words, but He also understand perfectly what your soul says through that one word.

If you haven’t yet received that language, ask someone close to Jesus if they can pray for you, give you the spiritual baptism. After that, you need to try whatever comes to mind, even if it seems/sounds silly. Because it is not silly! It is powerful!

26So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.” Romans 8:26(AMP)

I love to handle things myself and hates setbacks and defeat. But I don’t always see that having to handle things alone usually results in setbacks/defeat… I feel God is saying:

“Dear child of mine. I am waiting for you to tell me, ask me and talk to me so I can walk with you!”

I think I need to print this out and hang it on my bathroom wall so I can read it every day and remind myself of it, because thought it is so clear and obvious to me in this moment, we all need reminders along the way.

In my childhood I was a girl filled with fright. You can ask me what I was afraid of, and I can honestly answer you: “Everything!”. I still don’t watch important news(working on that one), because if I heard anything on the news, radio or from an adult conversation(or from other kids’ who had eavesdropped on adults speaking), you could be sure that I became afraid of whatever it was about.

I remember something about a dying man on TV, whose hands were shaking and that was a part of his disease. I started noticing that my hands sometimes were shaking teeny tiny bit, and I was convinced that I was now dying… I am sure you get the picture.

The point is, I tried to figure out of these things on my own, and two weeks was about the general time it took before my mom caught me being afraid all the time, and had gotten the answer “It’s nothing” too many times on her questions about me being worried about something. She called my “bluff” and convinced me to tell her what was troubling me. After a talk to my mom I wasn’t worried until something new came up(which was shortly after).

Had I only learned the connection “telling my mom=no more fears”, it could have saved me from a lot of worrying,  but I thought I needed to figure out things for myself. It’s really the same with God now. Just that I am grown up, and have different worries than when I was younger.

Tell God first!

And then let me tell you (and myself) a little secret you’re free to share:

God intended us to live close in community with other Christians who live close to God.

When we forget that we can go to God, someone can remind us(of course there are many others reasons God created us to live in close community with each other). To quote one of my close friends:

“God WANTS us to NEED each other, and even more of course to need HIM, but as parts of a body we need the other bits around us, closely all the time!”

Someone showed me a picture once:

Let say we had a string attached to us. What happens when we get closer to Jesus is that the strings would be tightened, and we would find our-self closer to each other.

When we get closer to Jesus...We get closer to each other!

Dare to take that step in openness.

Take a step closer to Jesus. Let him in.

And dare to invite someone in your christian community into a part of your life you’ve been hiding, or trying to handle on your own.

I am here at the finishline of letting fear get to me.

The line where I stop letting anything other than Jesus rule over me.

I’m finished.
Done.

I’m starting a new life with Jesus.

I am inviting Him in.

And I am inviting you to do the same.

We are your family.

With love,

Ava Sophie

It is the time of the week that I don’t seem to get right. Five minute Fridays, where I tend to arrive (a little) late! Anyway, I wish to honor Lisa Jo who started Five minute Fridays, kept it going for  four years. She is hosting her last Five minute Friday next week(next Friday from now), and giving the baton on to Kate Motaung.

Five Minute Friday

 

About how dreams (terrifyingly) comes true

– My second letter to YOU

Do you know how important you are?

Do you know how important you are to me?

I don’t necessarily know you.

But I know that I have you to thank for being able to live parts of my dream.

I couldn’t do this without you.

When I read one of Jennifers encouraging “TellHisStory” posts, I was reminded of how my dream is coming true right now.

About how being

guided out of my comfort zone by the Shepherd

has driven me to take step after step.

And those steps has led me on the road towards my dream(s).

I was reminded that

I am already living my dream.

Partly because of YOU!

How does that make you feel? To play such a big role in a life to someone you may not even know, just by reading a blog, perhaps following a blog, and/or commenting on a blog? You may think that’s nothing, but for me it isn’t.

For me, it is truly a blessing!

By the way, that’s not the only thing that makes you special, it’s not the only thing that makes YOU important.

You see,

YOU are CALLED.

You are called…

…whether you know about it or not,

…whether you like it or not,

…whether you feel ready or not.

How dreams come true

You are called by God to do something no one else can do the way you can do it.

You are called to live a life with Jesus,

to live a life with Christ as your Lord

where The Holy Spirit guides you, counsel you, challenges you,

and reveal his plans for you.

“God’s grace is there to cover me. Teach me. And even in the middle of a bad moment, interrupt me, redirect me, and change me.” Lysa TerKeurst, “Am I Messing Up My Kids?”

He wants to show you how special you are,

how you are a part of His GREAT plan,
that he has a unique plan just for you.
He is waiting for you to accept the life he has for you,
to accept who you are in Christ and accept who you are becoming in Christ.

This is HUGE!

Previously I’ve written this about my dream. Well, one of my dreams… I love to write this blog, and like I’ve written in my previous letter, I am on my way to fulfilling my dream of becoming an author. I may still have far to go, but I am on my way –step by step.

I’ve got other dreams. Many of them have been shaped lately. Many of them I didn’t even know I was dreaming of. Many of them seems unrealistic.

“Dare to make that difference. Take that step. Follow that dream.” ~ Holley Gerth

{All things are possible with God. Mark 10:27}

26 But Jesus beheld them and said unto them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

I didn’t know that I dreamed about making a difference in young adults’ lives. I didn’t know that I dreamed about sharing my mistakes in my past, to prevent others to make the same as I did.

I realized I dreamed about helping young adults to get through the confusing years of puberty and step unto adulthood without having to face the consequences I had to face YEARS later because of my mistakes. It may sound like a parent who want to shape her kid into the dreams she never got to live. But it is not about that.

I am not perfect.

I have done so many huge mistakes in my past.

Mistakes that has led to agony for myself, agony for others.

Mistakes that comes with consequences bigger than I imagined.

Mistakes I have had to pay a price for.

I am redeemed. I am borne again.

I am forgiven. By GOD.

I don’t have to answer to my past mistakes anymore, because I am forgiven and given new life. My mistakes are forgotten by The One who gives life! But I still have to take the consequences. That’s life. That is how I know I won’t do the same mistakes again.

22 “But now, being made free from sin and having become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness and the end, everlasting life.” Romans 6: 22

Lately I have been dreaming of being able to help young adults to make the right choices. To stand strong through temptations, to understand what is right and wrong(and WHY). I want to contribute the Society, and serve God, by guiding young girls and boys to live up to be honorable and holy women and men of God. I want to teach them to have many counsellors

14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

I want to teach them to make good choices on their own. I want to teach them to see that they are not perfect -that they are not supposed to try to be perfect. I want to help them see that in Christ they are made perfect in him.

They are created beautiful just as they are,  but also created to live a life with Jesus and to flourish under Him.
I want them to see the gifts He has given them so they can use them to honor Him.
17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
                                    James 1: 17
17 (May Jesus Christ, our God and Father)comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work. 2 Thessalonians 2: 17

It is a little scary to put my dream into words. I have never before dreamed of being a teacher. Or being a guide. Most of all I dream of forming relations, where there can be trust, comfort, guidance, and lot’s of fellowship, God’s word, praise to God! Where there can be life.

I didn’t know until this moment that I dream of being a spiritual leader.

Recently I told someone,

“I don’t know what I have to offer, but I want to work with kids and young adults. I don’t know how or what, but I want to contribute. “

To another friend, a while before, I said about the kids and young adults in our area, “I don’t even know how to connect with them. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know any of them.” The answer she gave me was:

“Just be you”

I feel like I am on unknown ground. Like being in a new country (as a shy girl), not knowing how to get in touch with anyone. Not knowing whether I dare to take the first step. There is a long way from that start, to fulfilling what I dream of.  From that perspective I am dreaming BIG. For me, it seems unrealistic. Remember what Moses said when God told him His plan for Moses? He said,

“Who am I to do that? How can I do such a great thing? How can I speak your will to all of them? I am not a man of words. I am not good at what you ask of me.”

God promised Moses that He would be with him all the time. He promised to lay the words in his mouth. Moses just had to take the steps, and God would see to the rest. That is how it is with you and me, when we dream of something we don’t think possible in our own power.

11 And the Lord said unto him, “Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb or deaf, or the seeing or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?

12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth and teach thee what thou shalt say.”Exodus 4: 11-12

But God knows what He has laid down in me and you. He knows what we can do in His power.

God knows what He can do through us.

And He loves it when He can dream for us,

and make the dreams he has laid on our hearts come true.

My task is to hold on to that dream, take one step in faith, and hold on to what God has given me. Hold it in my heart and believe that God can do huge things even through me.This is what God has showed me lately. He is showing you too. He wants you to know this.

Yes, you!

(Paul is praying that…)19 “to know the love of Christ, which surpasseth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” Ephesians 3:19-20

37″For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1: 37

27 “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there any thing too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:27

I’ve started living this dream as well. I’ve already been blessed with sharing some of the hard things I’ve been through. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to share some of my mistakes, WHY it was mistakes, and what consequences that followed. How I don’t wish for anyone to walk the same path I did.

It is truly a blessing to see how God can use my imperfections, what I am ashamed of, what I wish I never did or said to do something good.

28″ And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28.

I’ve gotten in touch with some amazing teenagers and young adults where I live, and been blessed with the “boldness” to be who I am, when I am with them.
It is truly a blessing to be able to Live your dream, as you take one step after another towards it!

Be bold!

Take that first step today.

Invite Jesus to be with you all the way!

And then, bloom!

With Love,

Ava Sophie

Five Minute Friday
Blossom Bunkhouse

If you are going through struggles…

 

…then this post is for you!

I’ve been through so many hard struggles in my life-or huge storms if you like. Before and after I invited Jesus into my life.

But God has said...
I’ve heard the saying:

Faith doesn’t make things easier. It makes things possible.

Have you heard that faith can move mountains?  That is a picture Jesus gives us to show us how powerful faith is. It is impossible to move mountains. Faith makes things possible. Because God is the one with the power. And the power lies within us from the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior. Because of what He dis for us at the cross, when He raised again.

And Jesus said unto them, “Because of your unbelief; for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘Remove hence to yonder place,’ and it shall remove. And nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20

It helps to do what Jesus tells us to do, simply because it is given us to be used to bring forth God’s kingdom here on earth. Important sidetrack…

The point is(don’t you just love that part of a sentence?) that when I’ve been through difficult struggles after I met Jesus, I’ve had a hard time believing something the Bible  (God’s word) promises us…

That He will turn everything in our lives into something good.

Make beauty out of ashes…

Because in the middle of that struggle, it is sometimes impossible for me to see how ANYTHING good can be made out of it.

One of the things I LOVE about my husband(that sometimes annoys me as well), is if I ever doubt something (and that I do) he says “But God has said…” and then he reminds me of God’s word and His promises.

So here I am to remind you of God’s promise in your struggles, and to testify that God keeps his promises.

When I was pregnant and gave birth to my child more than five years ago, it was such a hard time for me in so many ways that I can still catch myself in worrying how it would be if I were to get pregnant again. Though I dream of more children, I don’t feel ready just yet. I’ve wondered many times how on earth God could make something positive out of it.

God knows me, He knows you. He knows what you need to hear from me and what I need to hear from you. He also know when I need to tell who what, because He knows when who is ready to listen…

This Fall God used my very hard and difficult experience with pregnancy and birth to encourage women to be honest about how they feel, to reach out and see that it is okay to ask for help when it is needed–whether the need is for  someone to borrow their child an hour so mommy can sleep, or it is to see a psychiatrist to help them through a depression.

My story could encourage women to see that it is okay not to be overwhelmed with happiness after birth. It is okay to be exhausted, tired, scared, it is okay to not have a clue how you are going to take care of the baby.  And it is also okay to feel that you can manage everything, to be way up in pink clouds never-been-so-in-love-with-any-being-on-the-planet-before-crush on your child. But no matter what, it is okay to be honest and share your experience with someone.

God used my experience to encourage other women!

How cool is that?!

I also recently discovered that my painful past with boys, sex, crushes and my learn-the-hard-way-path to finding true love(and recognizing it) could be used to lead others on the right path.

I lost my virginity at fifteen to a boy who said he also wanted to wait with sex until marriage. He lied. When he put pressure on me, things got tempting and exiting, and I suddenly had no idea why I was supposed to wait with sex until marriage, that’s when.

I had just heard that’s what you’re supposed to do. Don’t have sex until you’re married. I didn’t know why. I just wanted to be the good girl who did what she was supposed to. Until I was tempted and scared at the same time, and didn’t know how to say no to this boy. Now I know why.

I got to share (a teensy bit embarrassed) my painfully learned lessons of why in front of a crowd of some amazing young adults. I am pretty sure they were embarrassed too, but they didn’t laugh. Because I got to share God’s vision and love behind the places where The Bible says that sex is meant for the marriage.

God used what I really hoped I never would have to talk aloud about.  I was ashamed, and wished to be one of those who’s been Christians all their life and didn’t do the stupid mistakes as I did.

It took a while before I stopped condemning myself.

And when I did,

God shoved me that I was pure, holy, clean and loved as I am.
That all of that was forgotten for Him.
And then he shoved me His endless, unconditional love…

….and when I had figured out the most basic important things about being God’s child(being loved),

He showed me how to make beauty out of the ashes,
and how He can use my weaknesses and make it strengths.

He WILL do the same to you.

With love,

Ava Sophie

Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee over at Tell His Story:

What do you fight for?

The last six months I’ve been fighting.
I’ve been fighting to keep my head above water.
It sounds like dead or life situations,
but it’s not really about dead or life.
It has felt that way, though.

What do you fight for

You see, something has been ”off” with my health, and I’ve been fighting against my health to manage everything at school, at home with my family, with relations, and being a mom. I haven’t been able to live up to anyone’s expectations or demands: others expectations, demands, and MY expectations and demands.

Why?

Because I’ve had this picture in my mind that if I don’t, everything will fall apart.

If I don't...Everything will fall apart

Witch is, in fact, an illusion. I’ve thought of this illusion as a truth, when it was not. I felt that I had no choice but to meet these expectations, demands.

I know it is wrong (and not just with my common sense and with my mind, but with all of me). I sought God for answers, a way out, healing so I can be better. I’ve cried out, I’ve been angry, I’ve been desperate, and I’ve been so tired that I thought I couldn’t even form words together in a prayer –I’ve just let myself be in the Lords presence. But still, I’ve felt that there’s been no answer from up above.

I’ve felt abandoned, less worthy and all –just because of an illusion that I’ve put my trust in. Where I saw huge Goliath’s raising one after another before me, it surely seemed impossible.Like I started this post with: “I fought against my health to manage everything.”

But…

…I believe that God gives us strength beyond human resources if we ask for it. I also believe that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle

…I believe that he never leaves our side, even though it may feel like it sometimes

…I also believe that God always listen to us, with no exceptions.

…I believe that He answers all prayers, but I also believe that the answer won’t always be yes –for our own good.

But I know God has not said it will always be easy. He has said that it sometimes will be hard, but he will also guide us through it.

Sometimes that means He won’t take the pain or the challenges away, but he will help us get through it, or He will learn us to make choices, so we learn to get through life.

If our Lord always take the challenges away or always tells us what’s the right thing to do, we will never learn to be confident. We will never learn to make the right choices, and perhaps we will never learn to listen to what God says, or to understand what way He has to show you and me.

God speaks in many different ways, and He also speaks differently to each and one of us. We won’t learn to stop, tune out all that is happening around us, realize we are totally dependent on God, and really listen to what he has to tell to us; to give Him the chance to reveal Himself to us.

My challenge isn’t gone in any way. But I have taken a decision, several actually:

1. I’ve decided to pause, tune out the world to listen to my God.

In my situation, that pause includes taking a leave of absence from school, because the last 4 months (at least) I’ve forgotten my priorities. I’ve put school in front of every other priority. I’ve prioritized school before God, before my health (which have been screaming to me for a long time now), before my marriage, before my family, and before absolutely everything. Which has resulted in a totally empty fuel tank.

2. I set my eyes on God, and not on the world anymore. It has to do with my attitude.

I can let myself drown in all the worlds complaint over me, MY complaints over what I can’t achieve, what “everyone else” seem to achieve, OR I can look at what God says about me, about the world and really focus on doing HIS will. That way I will be able to really listen to what His plans over my life is. Because there will be no better plan than that one, the one He has for me.

3. I’ve decided to treat myself as His temple,

which I haven’t at all in a long time. I am His bride, together with my sisters and brothers, and I need to prepare myself for that. To do that I have to start taking care of my self again. That way I will also be better able to nourish my marriage, take care for my family after God’s will, and other relations.

4. I want to get closer to God.

And of course there are lots of ways to do that, which I have described more in the “Are YOU in Christ”-series.

This is not any New Years resolution or  a list full of practical things to do to improve my life for myself or “Now I’m going to change that, and that and that, because THEN my life will be perfect”. The grass may always look greener on the other side, and it easy to never feel happy or grateful if one keeps thinking that way.

No, this is a change of attitude and a change of view that has already happened in me.

I saw the world with new eyes

I have set my eyes and trust to God (again), and stopped depending on myself.

It is not an attitude I will get, or will work on changing. It is something that has changed in me already, that I will work on keeping.

And when that changed, I saw the world with new eyes.

It is as different as night and day. I still have good days and bad days. I have plenty of days that I feel I can’t get out of bed, but somehow I still do (it just take a little more time).

I’ve welcomed God’s mercy. I can just be held.

I don’t have more energy than before, but I am using my little energy where it should be used. I’m released from my chains, I am preapproved, and I am happy! But with this new view, a lot of practical changes will follow. It’s only natural.

When a person ask Jesus into his or her life, it is impossible to do that without it being followed by many changes in that life.
It’s because The Holy Spirit lives in us and changes us every minute, every hour, every day of our lives.

 

It’s just not so easy to notice all of those changes when you’re in the middle of it ;)

 

I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five minute Friday,

and Jenifer Dukes Lee’s Tell His Story this week.

Click on the buttuns to find out more, or to join:

Five Minute Friday

When life GOES according to your plan(and God’s plan)…

…but you discover it is not what you wanted.

I have a plan.

A plan for my life.

I have a plan for my family and for my child.

I have plans for the future.

Some of the plans are of my own designs, some of the plans were made based on what I believe is God who has shown a tiny little brick of HIS plan for my life, which is the basis for deciding that plan. Not that I necessarily understand that tiny little brick of a plan…

And some plans are carefully planned with my husband and other close ones that has a say in my life.

This week, life went according to my plan.

And I sort of got confirmation that it for some reason was a part of God’s plan as well. Which is great!

This week, life went in favor of a plan that my husband and I take very seriously, because we’re thinking about the future. Which is great!

We just got married, I study full time and have a kid from an earlier relationship(before I met Jesus), and my husband has a need of change in the job situation because of physical health, the economic, and to finally be able to have the priorities God has recommended for us: God, family and THEN work.

I am really tired, he is really tired and we find ourselves struggling with getting the everyday-life to come around in a GOOD way… So for us, it is only natural to decide to wait a few(or more) years before starting expanding our family.

But…

Thing is, for a few weeks I have had more than five different signs that there might be family expansion on the way. To be honest, it really wouldn’t be a good thing right now because of the situation. And to be honest, I didn’t really think that the test would be positive. But, It is a little hard not to notice all of those signs, so we took a test to be sure(we took a blood sample to be 100% sure).

The test was negative. Which is great!

It’s just…

I don’t feel great.

I feel sad. I feel that I lost something, that wasn’t even there to begin with.

When life goes according to your plan(and God's plan)...But you discover it is not what you wanted.

When life goes according to your plan(and God’s plan)…But you discover it is not what you wanted.

Only for a moment I asked God “why?”, before I realized all the good reasons for why. I also realized that in our situation right now(and at least three years ahead), this is a blessing. But it doesn’t feel like a blessing. I feel sad. And for two days I haven’t been able to “shake off” my sadness. My comfort is (no matter how ridiculous this mourning of mine feels):

Blessed are they that mourn,

for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

A lesson from Jesus

Someone have pointed out that Jesus said to his disciples before crossing a lake, “We’ll cross over”. During the crossing, the disciples get scared and are sure that the boat will go under. The point is that Jesus pointed out the heading, he never said it would be easy, but he didn’t say we’ll go under. He said:

We will cross over.

I also take comfort in that he said “we”. He is with us all the time, and he will make sure we won’t go under in our trials. Just like he were with the disciples and made sure they didn’t go under(DESPITE their lack of faith).

A blessing

I figure that I AM blessed to have confirmation that God’s plan matches mine, that I am blessed with less worries in this time when I feel overwhelmed by tiredness and all that has to be done for the everyday to come around, that Jesus is not only with me, but also WILL comfort me.

I am blessed that no matter how ridiculous my sorrows feels to me, there is nothing too small or too big for my savior Jesus Christ.

I am blessed to have a husband that understands my sorrow even though he doesn’t feel ready for bringing a baby to life just yet, blessed to have people around me to remind me of the scripture and show me new perspectives. I am blessed.

And it is okay for me to feel the sadness I feel for a while. It is okay to mourn, even for something that was never there.

It is okay to bring everything to Jesus.

He want’s us to.

 

I wrote this post months ago, but I was not ready to share it. However, I want to encorage those that mourn for something. It is okay to mourn(as long as we don’t get lost in the mourning process). It is also a great opportunity to share your thoughts with Jesus, invite Him in and let Him heal you.

You were never meant to carry anything alone.

With Love,

Ava Sophie

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee where we share stories of how God has changed us.

Paint

Paint is a difficult word for me, because it’s impossible to choose WHAT to write about the topic in just five minutes(beware, it might take a little longer)…

I’m writing about this weeks one word prompt hosted weekly, every Friday by Lisa-Jo Baker, where lots of brave writers join in to write for five minutes flat, without editing or backtracking.

Go:

When I read the word paint it is like reading about me.

I am painted and I do paint.

It’s like reading about all my life, from an early age until this day. Because I do paint.

But most importantly I’m painted.

Last week, Kim over at Dappled Things shared a post from 5 of her friends, where Steph wrote about how we are a blank page in the book that is our lives, and how God writes our story. I thought it was a beautiful image, and it really made me think.

 

I see another image…

Where I am a canvas.

Where I am not a blank canvas, because I have my history.

In my history I’ve done stupid and bad things, and I’ve done good things.

After I met Jesus, got baptized and let He be the boss of my life, my canvas was made blank. Because when I was baptized, I died with Jesus, got a new life and a new identity in Christ.

But Jesus painted back those bits and pieces from my past that was me– the way he intended me to be.

avasophie.wordpress.com

avasophie.wordpress.com

He also keep painting new things on the canvas that is me. Sometimes He paint over something to make new, even more beautiful pieces of me. And all along the way, God sees me as perfect, because He sees me through my painter.

At the same time I am so highly loved that he can’t stop painting me until He has fulfilled His good work in me. It means I will be a painting with many layers.

(I, Paul, am)being confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6.

 

YOU were beautifully painted too, you know.

Lets shout for joy to the Lord, burst into jubilant song with music!Psalm 98:4

To celebrate the beautiful picture He is making out of the Canvas that is us!

To celebrate the life He has given!

To celebrate The Lord, Jesus Christ

Blessings

-Ava Sophie
Five Minute Friday

Being a writer at heart

Today, I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and her Five Minute Friday group of brave writers that write for 5 minutes flat(more like 15 minutes for me) without editing.

Ava Sophie has always been a writer at heart.

But it is only lately she’s been brave enough to call herself that.

She bound herself with thoughts like, “How can you be a writer without having written a book?” and “How can you be a writer when you haven’t written for almost a year?”, or “How can you be a writer when you haven’t published anything?”. And perhaps the most “joy-killing” thought, “How can you be a writer when so many people out there write so much better than you?”.

Now, she is asking herself a different question, “Who?”

“Who is the creator of me?” God.

“Who created me a writer?” God.

“Who did He create me to be?” For now, Ava Sophie knows that He created her to be a girl, a woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife, a writer, an artist, a lover and a friend. But that doesn’t really answer the question. That answer describes roles Ava Sophie currently are playing, or juggling if you like.

God created Ava Sophie to be:

REDEEMED. LOVED. HOLY. SAVED from sin and death. DAUGHTER of the KING of kings. CHILD of GOD. HUMAN. IMPERFECT but PERFECTLY MADE. FREE. LED by the lamb. FORGIVEN.

The How-question returns: “How can she call herself a writer?”

Because God created her with an urge to write, to share her thoughts.

I knows who I am IN CHRIST.

I know there is nothing I can do to deserve His love and sacrifice, but nevertheless, I receives it.

I accept this love.

By accepting this love, she accept who she is.

Avasophie.wordpress.com

Avasophie.wordpress.com

She is free to do what He has called her to do –to write(amongst other things), to share her thoughts, to share her life, knowing that if only ONE person is encouraged, if only ONE persons life is changed by that writing, she can proudly call herself a writer. It doesn’t matter if anyone write better, because no one can write the way she does.

Ava Sophie is created unique.

And so are you.

Raise your voice!

Five Minute Friday

Present

I told my husband last Saturday what to write in this post. I had it all figured out…I thought. I had figured something out in my mind, that I thought I had accomplished into practical living. I thought…I hadn’t. I couldn’t write this post until today, because I wasn’t finished with the lesson God had for me.

Go:

I once was at a depression course. A course, not to learn to be depressed or facts about depression, but a course about freeing yourself from a depression. One of the things I learned at the course was to live in the present. We heard the saying:

“learn from yesterday,

Live for today

and hope for tomorrow”

-Albert Einstein

The point was to only look back on the past to avoid making the same mistakes. The past is over. There is nothing more you can do with the past except from preventing history to repeat itself. So don’t dwell on the past. Move on, and keep your eyes on today. Today is the day that matters, because today is the only thing you’ve got. Today is the only day you can make a difference, whether it is in your life, in your family, with friends, in your country or even the world. We hope for tomorrow to be able to dream big, to be able to do more for today, to have a goal and something to stretch towards. BUT, if we start living for tomorrow, we have lost something mayor. The present. Today.

I would say I understood what I was taught about this. But maybe because I wasn’t saved at the time I learned this, or maybe because this teaching didn’t have anything to do with God’s word, anyway, it wasn’t  until God showed me this week I fully understand about living in the present. What I was taught at that course was to live in the present for my own good, at that’s something. It is good to take care of myself. but at the course it was a focus about the individual that was not the healthiest. And quite frankly, it helped me, but it couldn’t free me from the past, and it didn’t prevent me from living for tomorrow. And believe me when I say so: it wasn’t because I didn’t work hard enough with my thoughts, focus, or attitude.

It was because what I was taught was missing something crucial. 1st of all, I can’t do anything on my own. I believe I can, I can see progress, but I won’t get anywhere on my own. As I see back to that time when I tried to fight the depression on my own(with help from the course), I see that there is a huge progress. I also see God where I was blinded before. I see that God worked with me, walked with me, and helped me along the way. I see the consequences of God’s interference when I see the progress now.

If you are not a christian and don’t believe in God, this may seem like bullshit to you, or you may think that “that girl manage to see God everywhere, just because she has decided to see him. Faith is just a mind trick on yourself.” At least that is what I thought about some of the sayings that came from one of my christian friends many years ago. Well, I wish I could see God everywhere. But I don’t, because I am only a human and there is so much I don’t know yet, there is too many times I fail to see God just because I forget to look up when I am down. Because I can’t see the real present. All right, I have a habit of writing long posts, so I’ll get to the point now.

The point is, we can’t really escape the past and only look at the past to learn…before God has forgiven our past.

We can’t only hope for tomorrow and dream big without living for tomorrow… before we’ve accepted Gods gift of eternal life.

We can’t live completely in the present… unless we live it with God. Unless we live the present for God.

Part of the last week, I’ve sort of hidden myself away. I didn’t want to speak to anyone, I just wanted to rest or watch a movie or something that could distract me. I had many really swollen mosquito bites all over my body, in addition to quite intense pain in all of my stomach. I was sick, most of the time I was sure that I would throw up( I didn’t, but it felt like it), at the same time It was especially hurtful when I moved my body. Every time I ate, it was like my body wanted to punish me. I’m not sure what was going on, either I had a food poisoning or a stomach virus.

Anyway, when I don’t feel well, I like to hide. I don’t want anyone to see me that way, I don’t want anyone to speak to me, because I am afraid I wont be polite to them, and I also feel I don’t deserve any comfort, compassion or help when I am like this. I don’t have all the answers to “why?”  on this one, but I know there is a bad habit in all of that, that needs to be changed ASAP: God is love, through and through. He is compassion, He is comfort and He WANTS to have my permission to help me. Since I feel I don’t deserve this, I shut out God as well as anyone else. Luckily I have the most wonderful husband that don’t take no for an answer and make sure I eat, drink water, give me comfort and encouragement no matter how much I try to shut him out. And I am convinced(though I know my husband is a wonderful man), that God use my husband to give me the comfort and care that I need, by giving my husband a patience that amazes me, and grace to keep being good to me when I shut him out. But even though God cares for me through my husband when I shut him out, and my husband keep caring for me when I shut him out as well, it is bad. As long as I shut out God, I cannot live in the present, and my present feels bad, because I don’t let God be as close as He should be,(and wants to be). PS! It is not good to shut my husband out either, or anybody else for that matter, but I got to start the change with God first.

My husband and I figured out we needed to start the day by having a one-to-one time with God by ourselves first, and then spending time with God together as a couple(as ONE), to better the way we treat ourselves, each others and people we meet during the day. But most importantly to give everything over to God, to give God the permission to interfere in our lives, so the day and our life will be the best possible. To give ourselves(and the control) over to God. To release the pain we’re feeling(either it is physical or mental) by giving it to God.

THEN, and only then, we can live in the present, like God intended us to.

I must admit that yesterday my prayer to God was not surrendering to God. My prayer wasn’t wholehearted. It went something like this: “Oh God! I don’t like this, I don’t like the pain, I don’t like feeling this way, I don’t like to be this way or act this way. I really want to be led by you and to do what you say, but today I also want to just watch movies so I can distract myself. I don’t have the strength or will today, to give up watching the movies. Please help me to choose you and give myself over to you, lord, because today I am selfish, and I can’t(“or won’t?” a whisper in my head replied) do it by myself…”

Today, my mind was set on giving praise and time to God right after I had eaten breakfast. And I did. I don’t know how long I sat there with God, I’m guessing it might have been 45 minutes or so. My plan was only to sit there at least 15 minutes, and really focus on God, go all in, wholeheartedly. And I did. It was a little hard, and wonderful and all at once. God showed me how the last days were sinful against Him and My husband. Not because it is sinful to watch a bunch of movies while being sick, and not because not being polite all the time or expressing the pain is sinful, or even feeling sorry for myself is sinful. It was sinful because I didn’t let God in, and because I showed with all of me, my actions, my attitude, my priorities, that God was not the most important to me these days.

A few weeks ago I saw a movie that illustrated how spending time with or prioritize God(or your husband/wife) shows that you love Him/them, as well as not spending time with or prioritize them shows that they are not the 1st love in your life. At the end of the movie, after having “experienced” this in action, we got the conclusion loud and clear: what you spend your time on, reflect the priorities and the love of the heart.

This time, as well, I really thought I understood what I was “taught”. Yet I did the same mistake only a few weeks later-this week. So it was a little hard to realize this in my conversation with God, but also wonderful because God forgives, and he gave me the courage to confess and ask my husband to forgive me. It was wonderful, because being in god’s presence always is uplifting and He showed me some other tools in the bible how to keep close to Him and how to prevent these sort of things in the future.

The Better mom‘s post about 5 mid summer energy boosters, gave inspiration to better priorities to make it a better day for me and my priorities to God.

And Holley Gerth’s post about God not being done with you, really gave me a change of perspective to the better.

Also, I need to remember that Jesus said:

“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

– Luke 4:18-19(*Isaiah 49:8-9, 61:1-2)

‘Cause today he preached the gospel to me, he healed my broken heart, my deceptiveness was delivered, he opened my eyes and he gave me mercy.

With Love

Ava Sophie

PS!
I really am getting worse on keeping it down to five minute writing…well, I’ve heard that practice makes the master, or something like that…;)

Five Minute Friday