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You are enough...

'Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.' Proverbs 31:30

I'm going to introduce you to 16 year old Lily - actually, I was probably Lesley-Ann!! If I pushed fast forward 20 years, I WOULD NEVER have believed that I would be sitting in my New York apartment, looking out at the snow - and after living here for 10 years be able to call myself a New Yorker!

A 16, I thought I had it all figured out - I'd just play the piano, teach and I'd swim through life. I thought I was madly in love with whoever I was dating at the time - and thought 'this is it...I'll marry him....' I had lots of friends - on both sides of the fence. I loved to socialize with the popular peeps, hold the good ones close to me (just incase) and have a few bullies in my corner in fear of any times of trouble.

I guess I was a people pleaser, wanting to be friends will everyone because I loved people of all sorts, but selfishly incase I needed a 'certain' someone to have my back I thought it was best to be friends with everyone.

I loved my high school days. I went to a really beautiful school, surrounded for the most part by real nice people who I'm still friends with now. Did I boldy share my faith at that time?! Did I live out the 'Sunday life' through the week?!?...not always! There are many situations where I look back and think...what on earth was I doing? But each episode in my memory has strengthened and taught me something new.

Its important to be intentional about who we surround ourselves with. I wanted everyone to like me so I surrounded myself with a lot of different people, some good for me and some not. However around this time 4 beautiful girls stepped into my life - girls who loved the Lord and made it easier for me to be who I needed to be. This was God! God placed me around people who would hold me accountable...who loved to help me that I wouldn't keep living this second life and screw the entire thing up!!

At that time I thought I'd marry anyone I dated for longer than 3 months. Didn't we all?? I had no idea that this huge curve ball would come into my life - sweep me off my feet - and marry me. I remember standing at my bedroom window looking out many nights praying. When I look back, I prayed for my future husband at that window all the time. My personality wants to know the now immediately and I don't like waiting for things to unfold (I'm trying getting better) - and even at 16/17 I wanted to know who my husband would be - I was ridiculous!!!

I was a musican, a Salvationist - I didn't expect my husband would not be one of these two things - maybe thats why I prayed about it so much - I was anxious about the small pool around me that ticked those two boxes!

'For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare, and not for evil, to give you future and a hope.'

Then, when I was 19 - my Craiggers bolted into my life, almost by accident...and the rest is history! He was not a musician, or so I thought - even though I introduced Him to my dad as a choir boy - (welcome to the brain of Lily past!).

Craig has one of the best musical ears that I know and trust, he slaps the bass guitar and has such a crazy singing voice, so as it turns out...he's very musical. He wasn't a Salvationist - he was a Presbyterian. The first time I took Craig to my church, The Salvation Army - he didn't come back for a year - I think the timbrels scared him off! Fast forward to today - because if I write about all that happened in between I'll have no content for any other blogs. He is a Youth Worker for our home church in White Plains, New York. God has transformed his life to love his church, love his God and reflect that to all the kids and young adults he works with. God has worked through our relationship like a roaring lion, we have had SO MANY dark valleys to crawl through together and come out the other side smiling in the face our the enemy. He has stirred Craigs walk and testimony to something that is bigger than what my 16 year old heart could ever have prayed for or imagined.

This is not a note to all 16-20 year olds slamming you down and saying you haven't got it all figured out, because without your energy and vision we wouldn't see this world through your eyes and as it is. The cravings and prayers of a younger heart are the best, imagination is wild, and if it's for Jesus - well who knows what will happen and the possibilities are endless!

'But seek first His kingdom and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.' Matthew 6:33-34

I love the phrase - ' Follow the wind of God's breath...'. I use it a lot - because once we do that our lives will at least be going down the right direction. In some ways, I'd rather have that pleading prayer of not having a clue what the future held and the innocence of not really knowing where my life was going. Now, sometimes I pray with restrictions...because living with a few more years to my belt, I'm cautious instead of being free and I pray with stipulations instead of without.

We look for approval from too many things these, friends, dresses, shoes, mirrors...I could go on and on. We let it consume us, but He is the one. Following Jesus is a lifelong journey filed with glorious mountain tops and low dark valleys. We are enough for Him... and my goodness He is more than enough for us. I pray today for the young hearts that have their entire open canvas in front of them...I pray that they follow God's will and be intentional about their surroundings.

'You are altogether beautiful, my love, there is no flaw in you'

Song of Solomon 4:7

So its all about trusting. To trust in Gods plan...even at 36 I still think I have it all worked out...I certainly have more than enough to say sometimes...I might have a little more experience but thank goodness He has it figured for me, and I can rest in that promise.

'Cling to the hope we've been given in the gospel, that God has gone before us and made a way for us, that he'll continue to work He began...'

If you're a gal with your life ahead of you - keep praying those prayers at your bedroom window - pray for your future husband, pray for how you might influence Him if he doesn't quite fit into the boxes YOU wanted to tick off for him.

You are always enough...know that God has control of your life, your ambitions and your heart. He will place the right relationship in your hands at exactly right time in your life. We don't need to rush Him, because His timing is perfect. You never know what God will do with your life, He lead me and my 'choir boy, guitar slapping' husband to New York City...and He uses us as we serve Him in our ministries.

'Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 4:6-7

And for those of us who wish we were that young again...pray with the excitement and innocence of a 16 year old heart, with aspirations and visions that we can make a difference and that we will follow the wind of Gods breath to where He wants us to go. To be a difference and create a positive, Godly energy in the world today - to support others - to build up instead of tearing down.

As sisters in Christ, life can be rough. Society pressures us to 'fit in' with the constant obsession over our looks, the future, and everyday struggles. One thing that I have learned is that through it all, God is there for us and we are enough...

He has advice for everything we are going through or will go through...walk along the wind of His breath...

The Nook


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