Karrueche Tran

“Dear God, Please keep me strong. To keep me strong, keep my head up and to put my best foot forward and to love regardless of whatever situation I go through. You know always love and be kind. To stay strong and keep the faith.” – Karrueche Tran

I don’t follow much in Hollywood and the Entertainment Industry when it comes to celebrity gossip. I work in a field where I so see a lot of headlines, but I don’t catch everything that’s out there or follow everything that’s out there.

Someone on my Facebook page posted an article about this girl Karrueche Tran and since she usually posts good articles I clicked on it. Long story short Karrueche Tran dated the singer Chris Brown who after some time, cheated on her. Through the power of the internet I was able to see that she did an interview and it inspired me to post today.

I don’t know much of anything about Karrueche Tran which I think is a good thing because I can be objective. I feel bad for this girl. I feel bad because I can relate. In my past I dated a guy who totally destroyed my trust through his use of drugs and other women while we were together. You suffer sometimes silently as a result. And sometimes you break down publicly whether it’s at work or school or grocery shopping. It’s truly sad in her case to have to go through something so painful with everyone in America watching you crumble. It’s even worse when social media enables people to heckle you in the midst of your suffering.

I hope this is a reminder to us all that we are not all that different from celebrities. It’s easy to thumb through a tabloid in line at the airport or laugh at snarky Tweets while watching our favorite show. But I think all of this has eroded our humanity. This isn’t all entertainment. This is still real people and their real problems in their real lives. I hope by extending grace in all aspects of social media–that it will no longer be acceptable to harshly judge and mock people from the comfort of our personal computers and cell phones. Proverbs 12 tells us that our words have the power to build up and the power to destroy. I don’t want to ever fall into the trap of destroying someone else with my judgmental words because it’s “funny”. I encourage you to build up someone you see is being torn down, even if it’s a celebrity you see being bullied on social media.

So as silly as this is. I wanted to make a comment on this especially after reading people’s horrible comments under the YouTube videos and seeing particular comments highlighted during the video that were extracted from Twitter.

Dear Karrueche,

I saw your interview online and I was proud to hear that you are owning your mistakes and being honest with yourself and your own brokenness. You said it many times and you are correct. We are human. I think after my own relationship’s demise years ago I began a new journey with God. I didn’t realize that through my Father’s own inadequacy in my life and bullying from peers growing up that I had very low self-esteem. I don’t say this to belittle your feelings but to merely acknowledge that I’ve been there too. When you are finally given attention and believe that you have found love you are willing to endure anything to keep it. As a romantic myself you can get lost in the fiction of it all. I love Jane Austen and Shakespeare and it seems so poetic to have such pain when you’re in love because it seems to validate that your love is real. That your love is passionate. That your love is unique. I would be lying to myself if I were to tell you that I am completely over it. There are still days even years later that it fills me with sadness. There are even more shameful days where I miss that relationship. It is important to remember whether you are at your best or at your worst when reflecting on your past that God loves you not only infinitely more than a man could, but loves you more than you even love yourself. In the times where I mourn my past relationship I am quickly reminded that I love myself less. Meaning, I don’t love myself completely yet. I am still healing. I am still in a small way, saying that my past hurt wasn’t bad enough and I could reunite with my ex. I tell myself that it is still a love worth missing. The greatness of God is that He will always listen to my cries and my prayers but His will for my life will be done. Not in a a controlling way, but in a gracious way. If my past relationship is full of pain and feelings of unworthiness He is not going to give me what I ask. As a healthy loving dad would, He desires more.

The Bible says it best in Matthew 7:9-11 NLT ““You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”

You see? In essence we have settled for snakes and God wants to give us a fish. We have settled for tainted love when God wants to give us His true love and because of His true love He wants to give us a man who is worthy of His daughter. I pray that you continue to go to church and realize how much God loves you. I pray that you continue to heal. I pray that you will always be loving and kind. I pray that you guard your heart from those who would bring it harm. I pray that you will be strong and keep the faith. Last but not least I pray that you will (if you haven’t already) surrendered your life and all of your hopes and ambitions to Christ. I can honestly say that I regret nothing in my past. Over the course of the past few years I’ve felt happy and loved by God as I wait for His many blessings to unfold. I declare Isaiah 62 MSG over your life from this day onward as not only a verse you can hold to but a hope and a promise from God:

You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand, a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God. 4 No more will anyone call you Rejected, and your country will no more be called Ruined. You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight), and your land Beulah (Married), Because God delights in you.

Love,

Jessica

Tuesday Inspiration 12.16.14

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It’s been a crazy couple of weeks hasn’t it? Between the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, the verdicts in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases, and the school shooting in Pakistan the world has a lot of reasons to lose hope. Today I came across this quote on someone’s Instagram and decided to use just a simple PicMonkey.com font to design for today’s blog post.

It was only ten words but it took my breath away. I thought it was such a simple and beautiful concept because it’s easy to feel defeated. It’s human to mourn death. It’s easy to feel scared about the future and to wonder what is wrong with the world today. But the important thing about this idea is that it causes us to see beyond the current horrors. Fields full of seeds can look dead before they sprout crops. And situations, people, and places can seem irrevocably damaged or evil but God is still at work here on Earth.

In 1 Peter 1:23 it says:

“For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.”

In Mark 4 it says:

26-29 Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!

In other words those of us who have accepted Jesus as Savior are full of God seed. We are not defined by time or death but are new creations who will live forever in community with our God. For those who are still committing evil here on Earth or living under the blindness of their sin, I try to remind myself that Jesus’s heart on the cross, though broken by what man has done, still had enough sympathy for us to say “Father forgive them, they do not know what they do”. I’m not saying the world events are right. I’m not saying they aren’t a big deal. They are. Any death is devastating. Any evil hurts to hear about. But ultimately I don’t want to live in fear or feel like the world has somehow come off its rotation and we’re all spiraling out of control. God is still on the throne, He is not hard-hearted towards the conditions on Earth. Instead, miraculously, He holds back for the sake of those who have yet to come to salvation. This is scandalous to us, but if we believe, truly that God is all-loving but also all-fair, we have to understand that while things look like they are dying all around us that God is still at work. Seeds of hope and life are still being planted no matter what the Enemy or evil-doers think they are destroying. I know that God wins at the end of all of this. Let that be our hope.

Wednesday Inspiration 9.17.14

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SO many times it has been hard to remind myself who I am and that I am valuable. This isn’t a low-self esteem thing. It’s a human thing. You have moments when life knocks you down so hard that it’s like the air leaves your stomach and you’re gasping for breath. In those seasons it can be disorienting a quite normal to lose sense of reality and who you are. The good thing is God never loses sight of who you are and while I might have felt like a “caterpillar” He continues to draw me out of my cacoon and show me who I am.

God does his deepest work in your life when he deals with your identity — who you are and the way you see yourself. You will always tend to act according to the way you think about yourself. So God does his deepest changes in your life by changing the way you see yourself.

He says, “Let me show you how I see you.” When you see yourself the way God sees you, it’s going to change your life.  -http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/let-god-tell-you-who-you-are

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Thursday Inspiration 7.24.14

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Isaiah 61 The Message (MSG)

Announce Freedom to All Captives

61 1-7 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me
because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—

a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
planted by God to display his glory.

They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,”
honored as ministers of our God.
You’ll feast on the bounty of nations,
you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
and your joy go on forever.

This verse is beautiful in so many ways. The first thing I love is the image of God’s spirit on me, anointing me. I imagine that it would feel like a blanket straight out of the dryer. Or like the sweet syrupy taste of tea as it slowly warms up your throat on a chilly day. You get the picture? Total peace is in that first verse. But it goes on to say that because I am, you are, we are anointed in this way we are to be that warm blanket or soothing tea to others. “God sent me to announce the year of his grace”. To show people what they haven’t seen or heard before.

And what about bouquets instead of ashes? That’s poetry. Pure poetry. Imagine all the dead parts of your life: divorce, a terminal illness, poverty, depression, whatever it is and imagine it as physical ashes in your hands. It’s not contained an urn. That’s not big enough. Right? Every time something dies it’s just another empty sandbag in your open hands. It’s overwhelming in it’s magnitude and grief and you close your eyes because you’re tired of looking at dead things. But to God. They aren’t dead. To him death is a temporary circumstance—because life is eternal. So what if you opened your eyes again and somehow there were flowers where there was once decay? Your joy would be visceral. Deep in your gut you would have butterflies, and maybe be so overcome that you would shout, or burst out laughing, or cry. The joy is what God wants to give you.

And His joy? Well it goes on forever.

Tuesday Inspiration 7.8.14

Maybe it is because I am tired and have been waking up in the middle of the night for days. Maybe it is because I don’t feel too good. But since Sunday night I have been falling back into patterns of believing that where I am is wrong and too hard and why is this happening to me. It has been very difficult for me for the past several years to accept that the dreams I had to write or do something creative with my life was on hold–or potentially not what God has in mind for me. I found myself in Advertising and while I am good at it most days I carry around a heaviness because it isn’t my passion and it isn’t where I thought I would be. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts it’s actually the LAST place I wanted to be. DawnChere Wilkerson spoke at my church this past weekend and among talking about Living in Peace aka RIP because of Jesus she mentioned that we shouldn’t be only looking to Heaven for our happiness. Instead we should be enjoying that now, happiness, peace, joy, etc. While I think there are days where I feel that way–the majority of the time I am not. I know as Christians we are called to be joyful at all times, to be realistic in times where were need to grieve, but to ultimately not be buried by it knowing that all things will be made new through Jesus. 

One of my favorite verses about the future is:

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

51-57 But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:

Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?

It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God!

58 With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.”

I think a lot of the time that is my problem. I am so often NOT confident that what I am doing isn’t a waste of time or effort. I feel forgotten a lot. Like God–you know I hate this. You know often how I feel like I am just going through the motions. Why did you put me here? And if you did–why can’t I let go? Why am I so often unhappy? Can you transform my mind and heart so that I do not feel this way while I am serving this purpose for this time?

So today I remind myself to breathe. I do not need to figure it all out. I do not need to believe the lie that I am wasting my time or last on God’s to-do list while everyone seems to be flourishing in their dreams and gifts. I can be grateful for this day just as it is. 

Photo Credit: Found on placeboeffect.com

Monday Inspiration 7.7.14

I haven’t read for pleasure in a while. On June 28th I decided to purchase the Divergent series on my Kindle. I loved the first two books–I thought they were beautifully written and real. All of the characters were well done and the plot was great. Just yesterday I finished the last book, Allegiant, and was totally heartbroken–I don’t remember ever breaking down and crying with any book I’ve ever read but with this one I was totally depressed. Now, I’m not always the person who needs a happy ending. It’s nice when it happens but I can cope when it doesn’t. It was more of the fact that it seemed pointless. After everything that happened before this sacrifice of a character in the book and after it none of the characters seemed happy with it and the ending was too bitter to even really be bittersweet. Although some may argue it was for “the greater good” of the society in the book it didn’t really seem like it transformed anything. The end did not justify the means.

I am aware that this is just a book. But even today preparing for my work week, dopey after having trouble sleeping, I still have this weight in my heart over it. I feel foolish for it to be honest, but it would be pointless to deny how sad this book made me. I even texted a friend of mine to ask for prayer over my heart. I do not want to allow something fictional to upset me so much.

I think I might actually do a three part post about the book series if I can’t shake this feeling. Maybe it surfaced in me conversations that need to be had. Who knows? But all’s I can say for now is that I feel unrest. Total unrest over how the story ended. It didn’t feel right.

I think part of this is because as Christians we like redemption. Jesus might have died, his disciples may have been murdered, and today people fight to defend their faith–but we know this isn’t the end. Jesus rose from the grave. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. But I feel like nowadays–whether it be tv or film or in books there is often a desire to be depressing. There are certain movies for example that I’ve regretted watching, because they leave you heavy. I’m not saying we only need to watch/read stories about bubblegum and ponies but I think only focusing on the bad is the wrong approach as well.

In that way this book ripped apart that redemption story. There was sacrifice but there wasn’t redemption. Time seemed to go on and nothing looked restored. No one seemed healed. Nothing seemed to be better for it.

All of this to say when I saw this quote it reminded me that maybe my feelings aren’t as silly as I sometimes feel they are. Why as a child did I care to make leaf homes for caterpillars and why now do I care about the death of a fictional character? Right? I don’t know. Sometimes my feelings can be strange even to myself. But Dr. Seuss reminded me that someone has to care. Sometimes we can just accept the bad or fill our hearts and minds with sad stories and chalk it up to life–that’s how life is. But to me, that’s not right. Life is more than that. We were made to be more than that. We were made to desire more than what the world tells us is an appropriate ending.

Photo Credit: addapinch.com