“God doesn’t give the hardest battles to His toughest soldiers, He creates the toughest soldiers through life’s hardest battles.”
Have you ever heard the phrase, “God gives the hardest battles to the toughest soldiers?” I have been sent that quote by friends during tough times and I see it on Pinterest all the time. But one day, I stumbled across this version of that idea and it changed my perspective on going through the hard stuff. God does not cause us pain. He is not the reason for our struggles. But through those struggles we may face, He gives us the strength to get through those hard battles.
If you are going through a hard time right now, as I know some of you are, just know that God is preparing you to face whatever comes next. Whether you are unsure of your future, have recently lost a loved one, or have hit rock bottom, remember that God will be with you as you fight through the battles of life. Take a break today and pray to God to ask Him to give you the strength to help make you the toughest soldier.
“Have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself.”
-St. Francis de Sales
Day two of Lent. How is it going? Are you thriving or barely surviving? I am definitely somewhere in between. So far, some of my sacrifices are easier to handle than others. No matter how hard it will get over the next 40 days, I will do my best to be patient with myself. Not everyday is going to be perfect. I may fail many times. But God doesn’t care that I fail. He cares that I never give up.
Something the priest said in his homily last Sunday is going to stick with me throughout Lent, and in life as well. Take it one day at a time. Be patient with yourself. If you stumble along the way, that’s ok. Just don’t give up three weeks in because you ate a piece of chocolate or you watched an episode of Netflix even though you weren’t supposed to. Learn from your mistake and do better the next day. You don’t have to do Lent “the right way,” just do it the best that you can. Take a break tonight and write the words “one day at a time” on a post it note and stick it somewhere you can see it every day as a reminder during Lent.
“No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you
doing such deeds for those who wait for him.”
Today begins the season of Advent. All around the world, Christians begin waiting for Jesus. Advent is a season of waiting. It is also a season of stress and busyness and craziness for many people, which make it hard to wait. Students have finals to study for, parents have Christmas shopping to do, and everyone is so overwhelmed it can be hard to keep our heads on straight.
Every year, I run into the same problem during Advent. I don’t feel like I’m “doing it right.” I always feel like I should be doing more to wait for the birth of Jesus. I try to read the little blue books from our parish, I try to keep up with the Best Advent Ever series from Dynamic Catholic, and I try to take a step back and reflect on the “reason for the season.” But every year I feel as if I don’t keep up on everything I think I have to do in order to wait for Jesus.
I have come to learn there is no “right way” to celebrate Advent. I will still try and do all the things I say I will do, but if I skip Best Advent Ever one day or if I forget to pick up a blue book, that’s ok. God knows what’s on my heart and he knows that I am doing my best as I struggle to get through the rest of the semester. As long as I have good intentions and try my best to wait for Jesus, that’s all that matters to God. I don’t have to do all these extravagant things to get ready for Christmas. I can just be me and keep trying my best and that will be enough.
This Advent I encourage you to spend some quiet time with God and wait for Jesus. Whether you take five minutes to pray, or if you do something more like Best Advent Ever or the little blue book from your parish, God will be happy that you are waiting for Jesus. Take a break today and reflect on how you will be waiting for Jesus this Advent season.
P.S. If you’re looking for a good article to read about waiting for Jesus as opposed to preparing for him, check this out.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Have you ever been in a season of your life where you can’t seem to trust God? No matter what you do or how much you pray, God just isn’t giving you what you’re asking for. You have so much fear and anxiety about the future, you feel drained and unhappy with how life is going, and you feel yourself slowly losing faith in God. I’m no stranger to these feelings, so when I heard this verse on the radio today, my ears perked up.
I’ve always had trouble with trusting God when I need something or when I’m in a particularly difficult time in my life. It’s hard to trust someone you cannot see. But I know in the back of my mind that trusting God is always the good way to go. When we put our trust in God, our lives will have more peace and joy because he brings that to our lives whether we believe it or not. The next time you feel yourself losing trust in God, remember this verse. Take a break tonight and write this verse down and put it somewhere you can see it every day. You won’t regret it.
“Sometimes loneliness is God’s call for friendship with Him.”
Loneliness can come to us when we least expect it. It can be really hard to go through life thinking you’re on your own. The monotony of life can be rough on its own, but doing it without anyone by your side adds to it. But you never are. In fact, the loneliness you could be feeling could be a sign from God; He wants a friendship with you. He desires the best for you and hopes you will come to him for all you need. If you are feeling lonely, it could be his plea to you that it’s time to answer the call to a friendship with God. If you’re feeling lonely, take a break tonight and answer God’s call to a friendship with him.
“Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hands in everything.”
Every night when I go to bed, I pray a decade of the rosary. At the end of praying, I say a little prayer where I give my next day up to God and I trust Him to guide me in the day and whatever happens the next day will be part of His plan for me. My mom suggested I start doing this when I was going through a hard time at school and I’ve been doing it ever since. It can be very difficult to trust God to take control of your life, but at the same time it can be very freeing. I am the type of person that needs to feel in control of everything in my life. But if I have to give control to someone else, I’m glad it’s God. God has a plan for your life, and if you trust Him, He can show it to you in time. When you put your day in God’s hands, you will notice a difference in how you feel. Take a break tonight and try to give God control of your life.
I don’t, have to know you, just to know you
Have been lied to at some point or place
Well, I can relate
And you’re wondering, if it’s worth it
Heartbroken, feeling worthless
Oh the hurt is too great
Like a punch in the face
But don’t forget
We’ve got something else in common
Bigger than all our pain and all our problems
This goes out to anyone down for the count
It’s not over
Don’t give up, don’t throw in the towel
Just remember, who you belong to
Let Me remind you
How this ends
Woah, we win
With the end of the school year soon to be in my rear view mirror, I have felt like I am losing in many ways. The end of the year brings a lot of stress and anxiety for me, which affects my life in more ways than one. The last few days have been particularly difficult. However, this song has given me hope that I will get through the end of the year and that I will win, because with God by my side, I can do it all.
This song has really shown me that with God, we don’t need to give up. If you feel like life is giving you many reasons to “throw in the towel,” remember we have something bigger than ourselves that can help us win this fight. You belong to God and He will get you through all the pain and problems you may be facing. If you need a pick me up or a reminder not to give up, take a break and listen to this song as a reminder to who you belong to and who has your back.
We won’t be told who we are
By the nation or the stars
We won’t believe in all the lies
We know the truth inside
Won’t question how we’re made
No, it wasn’t a mistake
And it’s not up for debate
We are the chosen
We are royalty
We are Your children
You set us free
You alone are our identity
I gave up listening to music for lent, so I wasn’t able to hear Colton Dixon’s new album until recently. After hearing it for the first time this week, I LOVE it. It has so many great songs that are inspiring and upbeat. The title track, Identity, is one of my favorites. We should never question who we are because we are made by the same person that created the stars. Our identity is found in God. Sometimes we lose sight of who we are because we are so caught up with trying to be like everyone else. We want the latest fashion trends, we want to have the perfect picture on Instagram, we want the perfect bikini body, the list goes on and on. But, the only thing we should want is knowledge that God is our creator and that we are made in His image and likeness. Take a break tonight and listen to this song (and the rest of the album, because it’s awesome) and remember who your identity is found in.
“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.”
If you went to Catholic Mass on Sunday, you will have recognized this verse. This comes from the second reading and it could not have come at a more crucial time in our country. All over social media and in overheard conversations among people, all I see and hear is division. It breaks my heart to see people tear each other down because of different political beliefs. God calls us to live in harmony with one another and to have no divisions between us. Division is so present in our world right now. We keep ripping each other apart on social media and we think it’s ok. I have chosen to keep my mouth shut for the most part because of a fear of being looked at differently or being yelled at for the beliefs I have. I shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around people who have different opinions than me, and you shouldn’t either. Take a break tonight and decide to make a conscious effort to break down the divisions and do your best to spread God’s love instead of further dividing each other.