Losing Control

Losing CONTROL 2

I like having control. I’ve never been a “go with the flow” type of person. Don’t get me wrong, my room organization skills are not on point (#DisasterArea), but I like for my life to be planned out and organized. I like knowing exactly what is going to happen, when it will happen, and what to expect when it does happen. Too bad life doesn’t work like that right?

As I grow and mature in my walk with the Lord, He is teaching me new things. Which by the way, I think is really cool. The fact that the Creator of the universe takes time to help me work out my problems and grow and mature me, is quite an incredible thing. He must love His children a whole lot 🙂

Over the past year, I have ventured out of my comfort zone (another thing I don’t like doing) and have begun a journey as an adult trying to figure out where the Lord wants me working for Him. A year ago, things were quite different. I had not yet started my ministry and I was in yet another waiting period to see where the Lord was preparing me to go next.

As I mentioned before, I enjoy being in charge and in control and I don’t like waiting on other people. I will literally show up to a movie 30 minutes in advance just so I don’t have to wait in line. Being patient is hard for me which tells me God has a great sense of humor considering my entire ministry is based on patience.

But more seriously, I’ve had to learn to give God the reins to my life. He’s been growing me in patience and in trust. I’ve learned that following the Lord’s plan isn’t always such that He gives you a vision and then suddenly, you have your entire life planned out. Although sometimes it happens like that, most of the time it doesn’t. For me, I know there are things the Lord has put on my heart that I am passionate about, but there are still a lot of missing pieces I am waiting on God to fill me in on. Hence the learning to be patient and have trust in His timing.

Sometimes I get really frustrated. I will get opportunities that seem really great and then it doesn’t work out. I remember there was one guy in particular I really thought I had a future with, or that he could have been the person I wanted to marry. God closed that door and I was honestly really upset and frustrated with God.

I’m like, “God, that was everything I thought I could want and now I don’t have it. Why did I have to go through that just to have you close that door?” Goodness, I hated that experience. I hated seeing something that I really wanted, go away. It still frustrates me sometimes just thinking about it.

I still don’t have all the answers as to why it didn’t work out or why God closed that door, but I’m having to learn that the Lord doesn’t owe me answers. It is always nice when He gives them to us, but sometimes I think He stays silent because He is teaching us to trust.

Like for example, I remember when I was a kid (sometimes even now) me and my family would be in an unfamiliar place or like a really crowded mall and my dad would tell me, “Bailey, if I say to come here don’t ask questions, just do it. We aren’t familiar with this place and I don’t want anything to happen to you. I can see potential danger, where you can’t.”  So, if my dad called out to me to come back to him, I would, no questions asked.

He wasn’t being mean or unkind in not giving me the play by play of why he was asking me to do something, he just expected me to trust his judgement . I think that’s what it’s like with the Lord. I used to expect a reason for everything God did but now I am beginning to understand.

He doesn’t need to give us the play by play because He’s our Father. One of the key pieces of a healthy relationship is trust. I don’t ask my dad “why why why” after every decision he makes because I trust him and his judgment and that’s what I am learning to do with the Lord.

If I want to truly grow in my relationship with God I can’t be constantly questioning him or why He does certain things. If I do that then I don’t really trust the person I call my Savior therefore He’s not really my “Savior”.

Losing control of my life and giving the reins to the Lord has been a hard thing for me to do. I like asking questions and knowing everything but in this case, I’m learning to walk in a certain direction because of faith in Him, not knowledge of what is going to happen. He is teaching me to listen and obey, not listen, ask questions, then decide if I want to obey. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)

I’m nowhere near perfecting the art of faith and trust, but I am working to get there. Each day He’s teaching me to be patient and wait until He gives me a new assignment which is all in His grand and wonderful plan. I want to encourage you learn to trust the Lord and His judgement instead of asking questions. Maybe “Losing Control” is not necessarily the point here; “Giving Control” more aptly describes actively allowing God to direct our way. Losing control isn’t always a good thing, but when it comes to the Lord, it’s a great thing.

(c) Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Don’t Give In And Give Up

Don't GiveOkay, so let’s be honest here. Everyone gets on social media and “stalks” their ex or someone they knew from high school or someone they really don’t even know but somehow 2 hours later you wind up 65 weeks into their feed. How does that happen and why do we do it? Not totally sure. But it happens! And if you’re like, “Oh no, I never do that.” You’re lying, everyone does it, do not be ashamed. Embrace it.

We are curious beings and we like to think on the question, “What if?” We wonder, “Whatever happened to that person? What are they doing nowadays? Who are they dating now?” Then we find our ourselves social media stalking their brother’s girlfriend’s mother’s niece. Am I right?

I was talking with a girlfriend last week and she asked “Hey, whatever happened to that one guy you liked?” Incidentally, a couple days before that I had stumbled onto his page. I started asking myself those questions until I was 35 weeks in deep to his account (I mean, it happens). I told her that ya know obviously things did not work out, he was not the one, etc. but then she said something that kinda stuck with me and I’ve really been thinking on.

I was telling her how although I was heartbroken blah blah blah, he wasn’t the person I was meant to spend forever with so it was okay. There were things I wasn’t necessarily fond of about him, but I overlooked them because I thought I liked him and thought he could have been the guy. It was weird because looking at his page it was evermore clear how he was not the one. Then she said, “Isn’t it funny how fast we compromise and overlook certain qualities when we think we like someone?”

BAM. Isn’t that so true?

I think we have all had those moments in social media stalking when we look back and we’re like, “Oh my goodness, how did that not drive me crazy before? How did I not notice that quality in him/her before now?” It really is crazy how fast we can compromise when we think we’re “in love” or we get caught up in our feelings and emotions.

I know I am definitely guilty of it. We get lonely or we look around and see everyone else in a relationship then we enter into a relationship because “everyone else is doing it”. We compromise our standards and principles because we’re bored or lonely. It is a really temping thing.

Back in May I did a series called “#FutureHusbandGoals” and my first blog in the series was about standards. I wrote about how having high standards brings about good husbands (Or wives for my guy readers out there #shoutout) and that we shouldn’t lower our standards in order for more people to meet them. You also have to understand, I don’t just write these blogs for others to read, I write them because I need to hear these topics as well. I need the constant reminder to stay strong in my standards in a world that looks down upon high standards. It’s a constant battle.

I don’t need to tell you how hard it is to walk away because I’m sure you know. It is so hard not to compromise. I meet people and I begin to like them and when I “don’t hear the wedding bells” (Lol see what I did there, if you didn’t catch it check out last week’s blog) I have to decide if I’m going to give in to that temptation of compromise or walk away.

I haven’t done the best job of that in the past. I’ve liked people because I was lonely or just because there was no one else around. I gave in, but that’s okay. I’m growing and with the grace of God, I’m learning.

When I’m in a situation where I feel like I’m beginning to have feelings for someone or entering into relationship that is compromising my standards, I am learning to look to the Lord for my strength against that temptation. I used to think I was a very strong person and nothing could make me break. But I was very wrong. We all have weaknesses and breaking points. But what is really awesome is that God does not.

The fact of the matter is that we’re not hermits. We don’t sit inside and not talk to anyone else of the opposite sex until we meet our future spouse. It’s almost impossible to not feel the temptation to compromise your standards at some point or another unless you actually become a hermit. (I would not suggest that). It’s becoming even more difficult  to keep our standards in a standard-less society.

People always say, “God won’t give you more than you can handle” and I think that’s really amazing. Even though we are tempted to compromise and every day we go into “battle” it is not more than we can handle. How amazing is that? Any trial you come to, God has equipped you to come out of it. Not to say you won’t endure heartbreak or come out without a few scratches, but you’re gonna make it. “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 (NIV)

I cannot get over that. Even though we struggle and we are tempted when we should know better our God has provided a way out for us and a way we can endure it. Isn’t that incredible? What a loving Father we have.

I struggle and I am tempted daily and that won’t change anytime soon until Jesus comes back (which hopefully is soon). But I say all this to say, stay strong. Don’t give in to the temptation that abounds in our culture. Don’t compromise forever happiness for a temporary pleasure. Obviously, easier said than done. But always remember that our loving Father has provided a way for you to resist compromising because He has another plan for you. He doesn’t want you to give in, because that means giving up His perfect plan.

“May God give you every good thing you need so you can do what He wants. May He do in us what pleases Him through Jesus Christ. May Christ have all the shining-greatness forever! Let it be so.” -Hebrews 13:21 (NLV)

(c) Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“Where’s The Wedding Bells?”

wedding bells-2I was considering the focus of my blog this week and the direction I felt like the Lord was leading me to write about. I’m a normal 19 year old female with normal 19 year old female feelings and emotions so many times I try to write about a trial or experience I am having. I laugh to myself, because I used to be such a private person. Now that I have begun blogging; everyone knows my business. But, I figure that someone else out there is probably experiencing the same issue I am. If another can learn from my mistakes or take to heart what I have learned, it is completely worth it.

“I hear wedding bells!” is a phrase I think we all have heard. Probably you heard it from your grandmother or aunt when you brought home your first crush or boy/girlfriend. I do not know why, but for some reason that phrase came to mind over the weekend and it was something that has been on my mind since.

What I want to convey to people regarding my ministry is: it is not necessarily an abstinence ministry. Yes, abstinence is a part of my ministry because abstinence is a part of purity but that is not the basis of I’ll Wait. The purpose of I’ll Wait is to encourage others to wait on the Lord in purity, but our focus is to wait on the Lord in our relationships and to date with a purpose.

“Date with a purpose”, what exactly does that mean? Dating with a purpose is dating someone or engaging in a relationship because you see that guy or girl as a potential marital partner. You are dating to find a spouse, not to find fun or dating because of societal pressures.

However, something the Lord has put on my heart and really convicted me of even more than dating with a purpose, is liking with a purpose.

It is so easy to meet someone and begin to develop feelings before really seeking the Lord and His Will. I’m so guilty of this! I used to think that I could like or have feelings for whoever I wanted as long as I was “dating with a purpose”, but God has really put on my heart that it goes so much deeper than that.

As I have mentioned before, purity is not just physical. It is emotional, mental, and spiritual. Emotions play a huge role in relationships and we have to be careful to not let our feelings run away from us, before seeking guidance from the Lord.

I know “I hear wedding bells!” is a super cliché saying, but I think it applies to the point I am trying to make. Before I develop feelings for someone, I need to ask myself, “Where’s the wedding bells?” or “Is this a potential mate?”

When we get caught up in our feelings, it clouds our judgment. We think about how fun it is to be around them now instead of “Is it going to be fun to be around them for the rest of my life?” In my mind, we need to be thinking that marriage is forever and forever is a long time. We better pick a good partner.

The Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things- “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV).  Our “heart” and emotions and feelings make us feel good for a while. Let’s be honest; it is fun to like people.

It is fun to get butterflies when that guy or girl walks in a room. It’s fun then they tell you that you look nice today, because you know you spent an extra 30 minutes getting ready so would you look nice. It’s human nature to have those and feelings and there isn’t anything wrong or sinful about liking someone. But, the problem is that we have to be sure those feelings are directed at the right person in the right time. It is not fair to yourself or the other person to be a “habit” or distraction till someone else comes along. This is something I am really working on and learning.

I want to encourage you to seek the Lord not just in your relationships, but in everything. Before even developing feelings for someone, pray about it. Ask the Lord if that’s the right path or if developing those feelings are going to be a distraction or hindrance.

The Bible verse I mentioned earlier, Jeremiah 17:9, actually says how we can’t even understand the heart. We are so fickle in our emotions, likes, dislikes, etc. We can change on a whim so how are we supposed to understand our heart and whom we are supposed to spend our lives with? We can’t, but what’s really amazing is that we don’t have to figure it out all by ourselves.

We may not understand our heart or know what the future holds but our God does. That is why I am so passionate about dating with a purpose and seeking the Lord in every step of the way in our dating relationships. He has the perfect plan for every person if we’ll just wait and have faith in that in the right timing, His perfect plan will unfold.

But in the mean time, are you hearing wedding bells?

(c) Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Resting

RestingWell, here we are again.

Summer is rapidly disappearing and pumpkins are rapidly appearing (and I’m not complaining). Fall is coming, school is starting back, and so is our crazy school year schedule. I am told there are 24 hours in a day, but it feels like there’s only 5. Yesterday, I had the kind of day where it took me 4 times to spell my first name right. 4 times to spell my name that I’ve had since birth. 4 times.

There’s never enough time to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. I tend to get stressed out quite easily and worry myself into a tizzy. I get so consumed with what’s on my to do list that it overrides my first priority which is my quiet time with the Lord.

A lot of times in my blog I talk about how I’m growing up and transitioning into new seasons. With each season, I learn and experience new things. With each new season I learn to depend on the Lord in different ways.

Since beginning my ministry and making my way into adulthood, the Lord has really become my safe place. He is where I get rest and where I find “shelter”. Our world is so consumed with busyness and I get swept up in it. I have many things pulling me in all different directions and it’s hard to find rest. And peace. And sleep. And rest.

There are different types of people. Some people thrive in chaos, some do not. I am the latter type of person. I love organization and I love knowing exactly what’s going to happen when it happens. One of the things I love most about our God is the fact that He is a God of order and not of chaos. He grouped together different parts of nature and created them on 6 different days. Then on the 7th day, He rested. “For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day He rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.” – Exodus 20:11 (NLT)
I love that God knows exactly what we need when we need it. He knew to give us a buffer and a time to rest. When I mention “rest” I am not just talking about Sundays, but our quiet time with the Lord throughout the week. It’s difficult to actually slow down and find that rest. It’s much easier to wake up and start checking things off our to do list than to sit and be still before God. I struggle with that daily but I am learning how crucial it is to make time to dwell in the presence of the Lord.

In everything that I have going on, I have to set aside that time to be with God. That verse actually says God Himself  “Set it (Sunday/time of rest) apart as holy.” Our God is the only place we are going to find true rest and peace. If I am not making time to receive that peace, where am I going to find it?

I find that when I am not spending enough time with the Lord, I am not myself. I feel lost and my life feels chaotic. God, to me, is the anchor for my life. He’s what is keeping me grounded through everything that is happening in my life, my career, my relationships, and the crazy world we live in. When I don’t have that anchor, it becomes detrimental to my life, my career, my relationships, etc.

The Lord wants to be our safe place and He wants so desperately to give us shelter from our fallen world. When I make that relationship a priority and not just another thing on my to do list that’s probably not going to get done, I have peace. I mean, I’m not saying everything goes perfectly and I don’t ever have stress, but it’s different. I still have to deal with stress and problems, but I am rested in the Lord and better equipped to deal with stress and those problems. I have hope in that what needs to come to pass will come to pass. I don’t lose sleep over life’s problems and I abound in faith and in what the Lord can do. “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” – Psalm 62:5 (NIV)

The bottom line is, God is our Father. He loves us and He created us. We are His children and He wants that time for us to rest in Him. He wants to help us find peace, but we have to ask for it. We have to make finding peace in the Lord a priority. Because if we don’t have that, we will constantly be in chaos and going in circles.

Like I have always said, I’m nowhere near perfect and making my quiet time a priority is definitely something I am continually working on. I am writing this blog and basically preaching to myself because I need to hear it 🙂 Join me in taking time to make time for Jesus.

“The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'” -‪Exodus‬ 33:14 (NIV)

(c) Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Obediently Waiting

iwwIn my Bible study over the past week, I have learned a lot about obedience. Obedience is a word we all tend to cringe at. No one likes to follow orders or have someone telling them what to do. We are born with a sinful and rebellious nature, so why would we like obeying authority?

I have been reading in the book of Jonah. Most of us heard the story when we were in kid’s church or Sunday school. God gives Jonah a command to go to Nineveh because the people are wicked there and He wants Jonah to witness to them. Jonah doesn’t want to do that, so he runs to Tarshish and leaves on a ship from Joppa.

While Jonah was on the boat, God sends a great storm that almost broke up the boat. Jonah knows why God has sent the storm (Because he was disobedient) and so his shipmates throw him into the sea and a large fish eats him.

After being in the large fish’s belly, Jonah realizes God commands are just that, commands. When God tells you to do something, you do it. Jonah goes on to Nineveh and winds up saving that entire nation. The people of Nineveh repent and God has mercy on them. “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, He had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.” Jonah 4:10 (NIV)

If Jonah had not realized, in the belly of a giant fish, how important obeying God’s commands are, he could not have spared an entire nation from the Lord’s wrath. God would have found someone to save them, but it would not have been Jonah. It has really got me thinking on how important obedience is to carrying out the Lord’s plan.

A lot of people ask me, “You don’t date around, so how do you expect to meet ‘The One’?” Well, that’s something I have really been praying and seeking the Lord about because honestly, I’m not entirely sure. I have no idea how I’ll meet my husband or how I’ll know it is my husband. All I know is that God sets the sun and hung the moon so I have on pretty good authority that He can find me a man. But more specifically, I’ve been seeking God about what steps I need to take to aide in the process of finding my husband. I have the faith, but now I am working on the actions.

James 2:17 (NLT) tells us, “So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” That is a verse that the Lord has really put on my heart lately and it is something that I’ve really been trying to pray about and apply to my life.

Up until now my life has mostly been just about waiting and having faith that one day the Lord will bring that guy into my life. When I was in middle and high school I was not as concerned with meeting “The One” because I was still a kid. Don’t get me wrong; I’m 19 so I’m definitely still a kid in a lot of ways. I have a lot of maturing emotionally, mentally, and spiritually before I am anywhere near ready for a serious relationship, but the fact of the matter is that it is getting closer.

I’m a big girl now with a lot of new adult responsibilities. I am learning to make my own decisions and become my own person, but it is still a lot of new responsibilities. Because you see it is not just about waiting anymore, it’s about doing and waiting. Which sounds contradictory, but let me try to better explain.

A few weeks ago I talked about how God opens doors. Right now I have not begun college yet, I do not have a definite career path, and I am single so there are a lot of open doors in my life right now. I’m 19 and the world is my oyster. I have so much freedom, but what God has really laid on my heart is the fact that with all this freedom, I still need to have complete obedience to Him. Not all freedom is good freedom and not all doors need to be walked through.

My life has been all about waiting, but now it is about waiting on the Lord and simultaneously doing what He has set before me to do. That is where obedience sets in. James 2:17 told us that faith without works is dead and useless. I can have all the faith in the world, but if I am not obedient to what God is telling me to do, what good is faith? I have to be continually working and achieving what the Lord has put before me.

I have faith that the Lord one day is going to bring my husband to me and at some point in His perfect timing I’ll know that it is him. But now that I’m older and have so many options/open doors/etc., I have to be even more conscious of obeying the Lord in what He is telling me to do and where He is telling me to go. I would hate to walk through the wrong door and end up with the wrong person.

If Jonah had not turned from his ways and obeyed the Lord, he would not have been the one to save the people of Nineveh. If don’t have faith in the Lord, listen to the Lord, and obey the Lord, how can I be the one for my husband? How can the Lord bless me if I won’t do what He asks?

I have always known this, but it has become ever more apparent to me in the last few months. The only way I’m going to be blessed with this husband I have been waiting for, is to be faithful in waiting and obedient in my actions. “He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.'” -Luke 11:28 (NIV)

I want to encourage you this week to pray and meditate on this. Maybe there is something in your life you know that isn’t right or isn’t honoring the Lord and it is time to part ways with it. Don’t let it take being consumed by a giant fish to get you to realize how important obedience is. I don’t know what you are dealing with but I know that the Lord wants to bless you tremendously and He can only do that if you are obedient to what He asks of you.

(c) Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Light

Light 3As I have mentioned before, I’ve never really been cool. I’m actually rather dorky and am somewhat of a nerd. I never really fit in, and my purity commitment and the whole no dating thing didn’t really help. I was never that girl that guys pursued, I was the one that stood by and watched as they pursued my friends. Most guys knew my commitment to waiting and so they easily lost interest in me or didn’t even try.

When I started my ministry, I was honestly a little afraid. In my head I thought, “Great. No guys like me now and here I’m going to be screaming from the mountaintops that I’m saving my first kiss for my husband on my wedding day. No one is going to take interest in me now!” That sounds really silly, but in the back of my mind that’s what I thought.

I’m not here to give you the whole “purity and abstinence is cool” speech because honestly, it’s not cool. I was really afraid I would be looked at as even more of a freak when I started waving the purity banner openly and publicly through my blogs and speaking to different youth groups etc. Again, I know that’s kinda dumb, but as many other people, I care about what others think of me and I like to be liked. I mean, who doesn’t?

To my surprise, kinda the opposite happened. For some reason people really liked the idea of purity and waiting. I had people thank me for being so public about my commitment to purity and waiting because it was something they had decided to do as well but weren’t very public about it because of the same fears I had.

I was having coffee with my “big sister”/mentor a few weeks ago and we were discussing this exact topic. I was telling her the fears I had when I began I’ll Wait Ministries and how surprised I was by the response. I thought that it was so strange that people didn’t think I was a totally crazy person and for the most part, admired the stand I was taking. She has made the same commitment to purity and waiting as I have, so she understood. She is awesome because she’s one of those people that says exactly what needs to be said and explains it in a way that makes perfect sense. When I was saying those things to her it was like she already knew what I was about to say before I did.

As I was explaining why it didn’t make sense to me that people would be so interested and supportive of my ministry, she said “It’s because people are drawn to light.” I don’t know why but that really resonated with me and I started thinking a lot about it. It’s not always the case, but people who have goodness in their hearts despite mistakes they might have made, are drawn to the light that we have as Christians.

The Bible talks about how Jesus is our light in the darkness- John 8:12 (NLT) “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’” And it also says how when we accept Christ, we become a part of that light- “Let your light shine in front of men. Then they will see the good things you do and will honor your Father Who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NLV)

We live in a world full of sexual immorality and broken marriages. We look to our culture and see no good examples of Godly, loving relationships. We live in a world that is full of darkness, and as Christians, we are really the only light there is. We are the only hope there is to show people there is an alternative to the way the world says we have to live. We are the ones to set the example of Godly and loving relationships and marriages.

I used to be afraid to wave the purity banner, but now I see how imperative it is that I am open about my walk in purity. As a Christian, I have found hope in Christ. I know that I don’t have to walk in darkness because I have found this everlasting light in my Savior. I blog and share about purity with everyone I can because I have found something people are looking for. We as Christians have found something our culture is looking for. Again, I’m not here to tell give you the “purity is cool” speech, because again, it’s really not. Purity and waiting isn’t cool, but it is our best hope to having lasting and fulfilling relationships which is God’s best for us.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some haters just as anyone does but people are looking for something more that they won’t find any place else. I want to encourage you to not be afraid to stand strong in the fact that you’ve decided to wait or that you have decided to take a strong Christian stand. That is what makes us different from the rest of the world. That is what separates light from darkness.

(c) Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Doors

doors

Everyone loves rejection and closed doors right?

Nope.

But it is something we are all going to deal with at one time or another. I’m 19 now and so I’m at a point in my life where I am trying to figure out where the Lord is leading me and what His plans are. I talk a lot about God’s plan for us, but that is because I think it is incredibly important. Like purity, I don’t think we as Christians and as the church talk enough to our young people about pursuing God’s plan for their life.

What is so strange to me about our culture is it seems that so many people are just straight up mad at God and are continually rebelling against Him. I mean, I’m only human so I’ve definitely been upset with God before, but I worked through it. But what is so unfortunate, is many people don’t work through it.

I think the reason so many people are unreasonably mad at God is because they don’t understand His plans for His children and how they work. We live in a culture of instant gratification and when we don’t receive what we want when we want it, we get mad. But what we have to understand about the Lord’s plans is sometimes, they take time. That’s why we have to learn patience and waiting 🙂 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”- Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

I gave my life to Christ when I was about 5 years old in the Orange Beach post office parking lot. My mom lead me to Christ and I’ve been following ever since. But I have learned that there is a difference between following and surrendering. I have had to learn to not just follow God, but surrender my life to Him.

A big part of surrendering to the Lord, is trusting His Will. When we surrender to the Lord, we give Him full control of our lives. We’re not just following a leader ready to bolt the minute things get tough, but we give God the lock and key to our lives. We’re in it to the end. “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 (ESV)

I’ve learned that when you are walking in God’s plan, He will open a lot of doors. But with a lot of open doors, also comes closed doors. I think that is the part where many people get angry with God and stop following. They are under the impression that when you are in God’s Will everything is smooth sailing and you’ll arrive at your destination without a scratch. But unfortunately, that’s just not reality. Maybe if Adam and Eve had never bit the apple that is how our lives would work, but we live in a fallen world full of sin and imperfection so I think God changed the way things worked a little bit.

I used to look at rejection and closed doors as a terrible thing. I would be sad and mope around because something didn’t go my way or something I really wanted, I didn’t get. I am hoping to get into the music industry, so believe me, I see a lot more of rejection than I do of anything else. But in the last year or so I feel that the Lord has really pushed and matured me spiritually. In the past, when something bad would happen I would cry it out and move on, but God has taught me to look at things in a different light.

Now, when something bad happens or a door is closed, I try to be thankful. That may sound strange and believe me I am still working on the whole being thankful thing, but I am starting to see how much of a blessing closed doors can be to those seeking God’s plan and Will. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” -Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)

As I mentioned earlier, I’m 19 and so I am working on finding God’s plan for my career, college, relationships, etc. Right now, there are a lot of options in my life. Opportunities arise and I get really excited. But when something pops up in my life, my new reaction to it is to just start praying. I have found that sometimes, Satan’s distractions from God’s perfect will can be disguised as good opportunities. Sometimes, what Satan is temping you with may not necessarily be bad, but it’s bad for you because it is not what God wants for you. It’s not “bad” but it’s not “best”. I have to constantly be reminded that only the Lord knows what truly lies behind each door and opportunity.

My new prayer has been, “Lord, if this (insert “good opportunity” here) isn’t in your plan for me, then please close that door.” Believe me, God has for sure closed some doors. Some doors were really hard to watch God close. But God has blessed me in that looking back, I am starting to understand why He closed those doors.

No one likes rejection, but I’ve come to find that it is not only a part of being human but also essential in following the Lord’s plan in a fallen world. Rejection isn’t fun, but if God’s continually closing doors is His way of keeping me on track to His plan so I don’t wander off, then I’ll be rejected all day long. Obviously, easier said than done, but I’m getting there 🙂

I want to encourage you, wherever you are in your life. Maybe you didn’t receive the scholarship to the college you had hoped or maybe the girl you liked didn’t feel the same way. I have no idea what you are going though but I can assure you, I understand the difficulty that comes with rejection. But what I want to say to you is, learn to be thankful in all things. In acceptance and in rejection. Learn to rejoice when God opens a door and also when He closes one. His plans are never to hurt, but to give hope. Don’t stop following Him at the first closed door you arrive at, surrender your life to God and trust in that He only closes doors now, so that He can open the perfect door later.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

(c) Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and link may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bailey Kennon and I’ll Wait Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.