God’s Blueprint

My heart was confused. My mind let Satan play tricks on me. My journey after graduation was nothing like I pictured. Working retail is something I never expected doing with a college degree.

God why on earth did you bring me here? Am I being punished for some reason? Are you trying to teach me something? 

In fact, God was teaching me something…patience, friendship, hardship, humility, dedication, discipleship, and empowerment. Little did I know, I needed retail to get me to where I am today.

I went through an enormous amount of change within this past month and I’ve wanted to tell you all about it, but I wanted it to be perfect. But no matter how I tell this, God’s story and testimony is ALWAYS perfect because He created it. So…long story short, He gave me a big girl job 🙂 Not in my timing, but His perfect timing. After 5 months at Athleta, God opened a door I was longing for. Little did I know, He was working behind the scenes the entire time.

Early on in my retail career I interviewed with Louisiana-Pacific Corporation. I did not get the job and questioned God. I felt like I was so right for the position and it was exactly what I went to school for (so in my head, how could they not want me haha). After this, I stopped looking for a job. Athleta helped me pay the bills and I was in the midst of creating lasting friendships…so I was content. After a few months pasted, I felt the urge that content didn’t fit in my vocabulary. But this urge didn’t nudge me to look for another job, but PUSHED me into alignment with God. In these moments, my church started a series called “Awaken”. This involved all of the churches in Nashville coming together to start a movement. Praying for the lost, the weak, the broken. Giving up something that took your attention away from your relationship with God. You name it, Nashville prayed it. In this movement, they talked about fasting. I never fasted before and never really felt the urge to fast. But one morning, I woke up to late to eat breakfast (me…everyday haha). On my way to Athleta, I thought about what I would eat that day for lunch and dinner and then all the sudden I heard, Why don’t you just fast today? Whoa! What! Not eat ALL DAY! How on earth! It’s simple. When you’re hungry, pray. When I heard that it started to click…so what did I do…not eat all day. As an athlete that is unheard of, but lucky for me I had been failing at working out so it was actually the perfect time (funny how God works that way!)

So as I am going about my day, not really hungry surprisingly, I get this call. Al from Louisiana-Pacific. What the what?! God what are you doing! He called me to ASK me to apply for a position that recently opened. I didn’t seek out this position, but God was silently working behind the curtain from my very first encounter with LP. I was the final interview on a Friday, and that following week on a Thursday, I got THE call. Whit, we’d love to have you as part of our team. Tears of complete joy and praise!! I formed lasting friendships at Athleta that were not going anywhere once I left and I was more secure in God’s life for me.

God’s. Perfect. Timing.

I come to you today with this journey to show you that if you aren’t where you expected or feel like you deserve more in a relationship, friendship, career, literally anything…I PROMISE you God is working quietly in the shadows for your good. 1 Peter 5:10 says,

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.”

I love that God says, “suffered a little while”. God doesn’t specify how long we will suffer or grieve, but God’s promise is to in the end make us strong, firm, and steadfast. So we must do what God calls us to do even in the midst of suffer. Everyone’s suffering is unique and our pain is acknowledged differently. But choose to look at the joy in life…you get the amazing opportunity to spend eternal life with Christ up in Heaven where there is NO suffering!!!! Take that joy you feel when you are surrounded by friends or family, or when you look at a million puppy pictures on Instagram, then times it by more than you can count. That’s the joy that is waiting for you.

So just know, He has the blueprint to your life already worked out…all you have to do is trust and believe that He wants what is best for you everyday in every moment.

I hope and pray this inspires you to give it 110% every. single. day. You never know whose blueprint you may be a part of.

xoxo,

theWhitness

 

 

 

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Move, So God Will Move

Today has me thinking…how do we know God is moving in our lives? Sometimes He’s silent and sometimes He’s flamboyantly loud. During this past season of my life I feel as if God has been here and there. Sometimes He’s waving his hands rapidly in the air trying to show me something and other times He doesn’t say a word. I keep thinking to myself, Why isn’t God moving? After something drastic changed in my life, why do I feel like I am sitting in a waiting season?  I’ve thought about this before in times I need to make a big decision and God sits quietly, like He’s waiting for me to make the big decision without Him. The problem is, we sometimes don’t take the time to sit and listen.

We live a hustle and bustle type of lifestyle and feel like God will just follow along in our busy schedules. I sometimes overwhelm myself with how much I need to do in a day, that I don’t give myself the down time needed to hear God. I constantly need background noise (weird I know). But seriously, I always have music or Friends on in the background. I find it extremely difficult for me to sit in silence. But over the past couple of weeks I learned how to sit and appreciate the silence. I am still working on it, but from this I learned that if it seems God isn’t moving in our lives, maybe it’s because He is waiting on us to move. WOW! That hit me so hard when I first heard that…Whitney slow down and feel my presence. Y’all, I am here to tell you that making the first move won’t be easy. It might actually be really tough for you and awkward. But, GOD WILL MEET YOU WHERE YOU’RE AT! How powerful! No matter what stage of life you’re in, He will meet you in the depths of sorrow and depression all the way to feeling like you’ve got everything figured out. You could be 100 years old and never know Jesus, but if you just make a simple step forward towards the gracious, caring, loving, and most humbling God, your life WILL be changed.

I am a big believer in God using you how He wants for however long you are here on earth. He has a special timeline for you…everyone’s being unique. Your’s won’t look like the next person or the next person. God moves in each individual life differently. At my Bible study this week, we were taking prayer request towards the end and a sweet girl named Lauren asked for us to pray for her friend who had her baby at 30 weeks and lost it within 24 hours. How incredibly sad, yet extremely amazing that is. How powerful is it that God can use someone within 24 hours to change the world. He needed that baby to be born for 24 hours to make an imprint on this world. Imagine what God could do if we took that step toward and extended our hands for God to guide us through our life. If he can change the world through one baby in 24 hours, think how you could impact this world in the entire amount of time you’ve been alive. For me, that’s around 200,000 hours (give or take). That’s a whole lot of world changing! An incredible woman stated, “If you’re not dead, God isn’t done.” Holy moly! For me that’s like a freight training tumbling through my life. If I’m not dead, God’s not done. This can be hard to take. But you are made for a purpose. You are put on this earth for a purpose. The circumstances around you don’t have to change for YOU to change. Look up and breath in the air God gives you. Close your eyes and feel God’s presence next to you. Imagine what your life could be like fully devoted to God. Giving your relationships, jobs, money, living situations, everything to Him. It won’t be an easy road. You may get backlash from people who want to challenge you, but in those moments look to God because He will guide your steps and soften your heart. I still don’t know everything about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I still have many many questions…but that’s okay. You don’t have to have everything figured out before you take your first steps. Just put your trust in God and He will do the rest.

I pray you find peace, love, and guidance from this. I pray God speaks to you in this moment, and meets you exactly where you are. I pray for your journey and pray you know how important you are to this world, the people around you and who may not even know you. I pray you find your purpose and go full tilt towards changing the world for God’s glory.

Until next time,

theWhitness

 

Timelines…

 

Jesus replied, “You do not realize what I am doing, but later you will understand. ” 

John 13:7

Happy Saturday my people! It is the first weekend of our new year and we all have different resolutions, paths, relationships, meaning, and timelines. We have thoughts about how 2019 will pan out, but I had dreams and aspirations for how 2018 would go, but my timeline won’t always look like God’s timeline for my life. I am sitting here at my most favorite coffee shop (Frothy Monkey), and am honestly speechless. For those of you who know me, it is incredibly hard for me to be speechless. I am overwhelmed by how my timeline and God’s timeline for my life are completely different, yet perfectly in sync. Did I believe I would be ringing in the new year without my other half by my side, absolutely not. But instead I rang it in with my friends and family who mean the world to me, giving me a different perspective to the new year.

Recently, I have been reading “Remember God”, by Annie F. Downs, and she so graciously put into perspective many of the things I have been feeling lately. Frustrated, sad, down, unwanted. All of these things whispered into my ear at the end 2018, making it a fight to get out of bed in the morning, write, workout, and even be with friends. But once again, God’s timeline is always the best for our life. Little did I know that the end of my softball career, the end of a relationship, and graduation were all leading me into a life of teaching, leading, and coaching a young, spunky group of girls into the beginning of their softball careers, learning more about myself and God, and creating new, lasting friendships.

Sometimes, we look at our pasts and realize that our lives are pure God moving. Other times we look back and ask, “God where are you?”. This question can turn into a spiral of other questions, but when we don’t see God moving in our life, we tend to shut Him out (at least I did). We see Him working in other people’s lives and wonder why not mine. But we come back to the process of His timeline, not ours. Sometimes God goes silent in our lives to teach us certain things or to ask the tough questions we normally would not ask if He was radiating change in our lives. For me, I stopped writing and doing my daily devotionals. I poured my pain into just “getting through the day”. But I recently learned to look at the little things God does for you. Did he open up a parking spot next to the door when it is raining? Did he save you from a car wreck? Did he put a smile on your face from a dad joke? It may seem silly, but finding the small things God gives you reminds you He is always there, maybe just not in the way you think He should be.

Going into 2019, I want to appreciate the little things. I want to improve my mental and physical health. I want to let God in control of my timeline, instead of me trying to fix every little detail. I want this year to be a “New Year, New Perspective” kind of year.

I challenge you to be in the moment. Build relationships and meet new people. Go out of your way to be kind to someone. Lead your generation. Be a man or woman of God. And let God build your timeline.

Love y’all as always.

XO, TheWhitness

 

Heartbreak in the Hands of God

Hey all! It has been awhile since I last wrote, and today I sit down with a heavy heart and two months of staring at a page not knowing what to write about my recent breakup that took place in my life. I am still confused and heartbroken to this day, but God graciously gave me the essence of peace throughout this journey.

For those of you who don’t know, I dated this amazing guy for three incredible years. Recently, he broke up with me out of the blue with no warning signs. We talked about marriage and our future together, so as most of you could understand, I was left with an overflowing amount of questions. For the first couple weeks I cried…ALOT. After those initial weeks, I was in denial for a week or so. Not really understanding or had the ability to grasp onto the idea of us being apart. Denial equalled shutting down my emotions and just going on with my life, which can look like I am doing all fine and dandy. This lead me to where I am now. I am fully feeling every emotion and have more questions than ever for God.

Two days after our break up, my church had a moment in the sermon where anyone could walk up to the front and have someone pray over them. I chose to do so and from that moment forward I’ve been overfilled with peace. I still feel all the hurt, anger, pain, and confusion with the peace of God. But by giving my breakup to the hands of God, this part of my life is teaching me new things everyday. About myself, about how I maybe could have done better in our relationship, how I do not regret a single moment with him, how to insert God in our relationship more, how our love wasn’t fake, but how incredibly real it was and that love like that exist in this world.

I am writing this not only to help me express how I’ve been feeling over the past couple months, but to help you find a reason behind the heartbreak you might be feeling. God is on your side. He is watching over you every step of the way even if it may not feel like it. Even with His peace, I still felt hurt and anger. That is natural. Let your heart feel those things. But also, be willing to listen to what God has to say about you and your situation. Listen to the truths God preaches over you. Every single one of them is so so true and important that you grasp onto his truth about you. You are brave. You are confident. You are beautiful. You are loved. You are meant for a purpose. You have a gift. I could go on and on, but beautiful soul, please look up in this time of hurt and lean on the one who cast all fears, worry, doubt, anger, and confusion away.

Sprinkle of Jesus recently sent out a notification saying “God will never let what you’ve lost, be the best you’ve ever had.” In my situation this speaks to me as God saying I have something so much better for you. Whether that be us getting back together in a relationship that’s grown us apart to grow us together or for something or someone else down the road. Whatever it is, give it up to God and let your heart rest.

I am praying for you whatever it may be.

theWhitness

Work for It

Hello again y’all!

I know it’s been quite some time since I have written last, but I wanted to make sure these post were the best for you and myself. I’m currently sitting at a coffee shop finding joy and peace in my life. This past summer has been amazing, but also filled with some lessons. I have struggled talking to God everyday, but also find peace and joy where I am now with Christ and thankful for the growing relationship I have with him. This past summer I have grown as a person, grown as an athlete, definitely grown as an avid coffee drinker and have grown in my amazing relationship with Griffin. None of these things came easy and I definitely had to work at them every single day.

One thing that really hit me hard this summer was that we have to prepare our fields. I was sitting in church writing down notes and once Pastor Tom said that I stopped for a second and reflected on my past. Have I prepared my fields? Have I done everything I can to be the best me I can be? I understand that God is in control of everything, but what I didn’t quite understand at that time was that even though I was working hard I wasn’t working hard enough. I decided from then on out I would prepare my fields in the game I love, my faith, my family, my friends and my incredible boyfriend.

This may be difficult for you to process at the time and I pray it clicks for you some day, but for God to work in your life you must prepare your fields for that to happen.

I hope y’all have had an amazing summer and I look forward to getting back to talking with you guys and giving you some fun and enjoyable insight on life!

theWhitness♡

Help Those Who Hurt.

“He comforts us is all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God gave us.” -2 Corinthians 1:4

Alright, I’m just going to lay this out there…we all have hurt. You are never quite sure when it is going to happen or for how long it is going to happen, but there is hurt in this world. Personally, I experienced hurt over the past two softball seasons. I continued to look down upon myself and was not playing to the best of my ability because I felt like others didn’t have confidence in me. I slowly realized that was not the case. God gave me hurt for a reason. He was not doing it to punish me, he was doing it so I could help someone else going through something similar sprout out of the rut of hurt and despair.

The afternoon after doing my morning devotional on this very topic, God gave me the chance to help someone who was hurting. I was on my way to a catching lessons and I was going over in my head what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to sit her down and have a coach to player conversation about having confidence. Little did I know it would turn into an hour and a half conversation between two friends who have and are going through the same struggles. God gave me that talk to comfort her with the struggles she was going through and give her some insight on how I was able to get out of those same struggles in my life. 2 Corinthians 1:4 couldn’t have been a more perfect bible verse for that situation.

Today, thinking about how God works his astounding moments and timing all perfectly still warms my heart and gives me chills to this day. I know that hurt is something nobody wants to experience, because honestly it does stink to feel like your heart is ripping or you feel like you have no more tears left, but I promise you that God is doing it for a reason. Although you may not know that reason yet, God will have the perfect way to show you.

So for this Motivational Monday, I motivate you to take your hurt and comfort those around you who may be experiencing the same thing. YOU CAN DO IT ☻

theWhitness ♡

 

Lessons Learned.

Now that school has come to a close and we are enjoying our tan soaked skin, lake days and iced coffee on a warm summer day, I reflect on what I have learned over the past year. Some lessons are good and some lessons came with a cost. But as I look back I’ve realized that they all have made me into a better person and daughter of Christ.

Lesson #1: Be Adventurous

Being a student-athlete in Nashville has its ups and downs. Being an athlete takes up almost all of my time and doesn’t allow me to explore as much as other students do. In the fall I wasn’t very adventurous and I stayed confined to my dorm room watching all 12 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. But as spring semester came around and the stress became an all-time high, becoming adventurous was the only thing that was helping me get away from the stress. Adventure has opened my eyes to a new world with unique and beautiful characteristics. I explored numerous coffee shops, bought a hammock (so I’d make myself become adventurous :)) and went out of my comfort zone to experience the world. I promise it is worth every minute of your time.

Lesson #2: Believe in Myself

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:13

I know many people use this bible verse, but the words that are written are so true. Throughout this past softball season I did not believe in myself. I struggled hitting the ball off of pitchers I could’ve crushed in high school. I doubted myself and my ability to be there for my team when they truly needed me. All of this struggle came from self doubt. But as this bible verse runs through my head over and over again I think, why did I ever doubt myself?! Christ is going to give me the strength I need to get through this, to get through the negative thoughts Satan is putting into my head. Doubting myself was the worst but best lesson I could’ve learned this year. It grew my relationship with Christ and grew the confidence I have in myself. And today I am UNSTOPPABLE.

Lesson #3: Cherish Every Moment

Recently one of my best friends and roommate found out her dad has cancer. I watched her work through the pain of the devastating news and she was as strong as I could ever see someone in her situation be. She powered through her finals and finished off her freshman year of softball with the best smile she could put on. Her and her family have taught me to cherish every moment in life. You never know what’s going to hit you in life and some things will stay and some things will go. I’ve learned that things like this do not make sense in life and you aren’t sure why God put them there, but there is truly a reason for everything and I agree with that statement whole heartedly. I’ve learned to cherish the good and bad moment. To cherish the moments with my family, boyfriend, friends and strangers who I may create a lasting relationship with. I’ve learned to cherish the struggles in life because they will only make me stronger down the road. I’ve learned to cherish the deep and meaningful talks with someone who is struggling or those minute long hugs full of tears and heartache. We all go through difficult and joy-filled moments in life, but cherish every moment and life will become a lot sweeter. Thank you to the Powell family for teaching me that.♡

P.s. I ask if you could please pray for the Powell family and this journey they are going through.

Lesson #4: HAVE FUNNNNNN

School…where to begin. It is stressful, there are midterms and finals, no sleep is required and the list goes on and on. But what’s school without a little fun involved? Our fun this year was a little interesting. My roommate and I did the condom challenge that took about 30 tries but we finally got it and when we did the halls were roaring with our excitement. Dorm life isn’t complete without the midnight chocolate chip pancakes or hallway olympics. Living in Nashville created fun times for everyone, but for us it was singing karaoke at Lonnie’s, playing on an adult playground and running all around the city on a scavenger hunt. The list could go on and on. Studies are important and so is practicing to become the best player you can be, but I’ve learned that having fun is a necessity and also makes studying a little less boring 😊

The lessons I have learned this past year can now make an impact in my life and make me an all around better person. I hope that this has helped spark a couple thinking bubbles for you to reflect over as well!

I hope all is well and HAPPY SUMMER MY PEOPLE!!

theWhitness ✌

 

Worth the Wait.

Recently I have been in many conversations about relationships where girls are wishing and wanting that special someone to come along in their lives. They feel as if they are in a part of their lives that they need a relationship and want to share life with someone. I’ve been there before as well. I have wished for that “perfect” guy to come along and sweep me off my feet to where I would show interest in anyone who showed interest in me.

Around a year ago I found that is not what I needed or wanted in my life. God showed me His glorious light, and as I followed His lead throughout this amazing life, He would lead me to the right person…and He did. I have been blessed with an amazing boyfriend who treats me like a princess, constantly makes me laugh and smile, someone who I can be weird and goofy with. He is someone who is constantly there for me, keeping me positive when things get tough, someone who will dance with me even though he has two left feet, someone who shares my same obsession of coffee and breadsticks with me and the list goes on and on. But he is also one of the most genuine people I know and most importantly leads me and supports me to a Christ filled life and relationship. And I must say…It was definitely worth the wait.

So ladies, any man would be lucky to get to call you his, show you off to the world, hold your hand through the tough times in life, kiss you whenever he wants and share those goofy moments and crazy obsessions with you. God looks at you as a 10 through His perfect eyes and you deserve a 10 in a man who is going to treat you with respect and honor. Any man that is going to take you away from your relationship with Christ is not worth your time or effort. You are all beYOUtiful, courageous and inspiring women. Take the time and wait for this “perfect” man of yours. God will not let you down when He hand picks him for you.

I am not going to tell you that this waiting will be easy or fun for that matter. You’ll experience times where all your friends will be in relationships or you feel lonely, but I promise you that it is so so worth it. So as you wait and maybe wait a little longer, grow in your relationship with Christ. Become an even better version of yourself. Get comfortable in the skin God has given to you. Become the woman you want to be for your husband someday. Be that selfless woman who will always be there to cherish life’s moments with your future hubby ☺️ You are all so amazing… I pray that you all believe so too!

“Blessed is the man who found a girl that loves God more than him, and bless is the girl who found a man that waits for her and asks her from God.”

theWhitness ♡

Yes, Yes, YES

One day, out of the blue, it hits you. God is with you wherever you go. The feeling is overwhelming. And for me -being quite emotional- it took me a good cry session to realize the reality of God.

I’ve always been a big believer in God and His ability to love and help you through the struggles in life. But recently, I have felt alone. I have felt like I am the only one fighting my battles. I have felt like I am putting all of my energy into fixing life for myself that I didn’t realize God was standing next to me, waiting for me to realize He was all I needed.

As a softball player, the game is around 80 percent mental. Yes, great skill sets are needed in order to be successful in sports, but the mental game is crucial. I know this might not seem like a big problem for most people, but I had been struggling tremendously with hitting – as in batting around .100, for those non-sports people, is not great. This “slump” had been happening for around a year now and I recently realized it was because I did not see God in my corner. I had been feeling like I was fending for myself and hung out to dry. My family continuously told me “it’s all in your head”. I knew that, but I wasn’t comprehending what needed to be in my head.

March 3, 2016, I received a letter in the mail from my mom. The words on the card read, “Yes, Yes, YES you are with me…”.  This day I realized. I realized that God was in my corner. I realized He had been there all along, I just needed that little reminder that yes, yes, YES he will be in my corner forever. I carry this card with me everywhere I go, with a sweet note on the inside from my amazing mom who has taught me what I know and believe today.

Throughout every circumstance in life, God is always with you. It may not feel like it today, but when you feel His hand on your shoulder, guiding you through life, you may just burst out in tears of joy. God is so great. Yes, yes, YES indeed!

God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never forget you.” – Hebrews 13:5

theWhitness ♡

Love is…

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease: where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Today is the day of love. People all around the world show their family, friends and loved ones how much they truly love one another through flowers, chocolate or a simple hand written letter. Others go above and beyond to show them how much they are loved.

What if you made all this effort to show a stranger your love for them?

This is exactly what God wants us to do. He wants us to give the tanks full of love He gives us and give it to someone else, whether it be a complete stranger or a close friend. Show people that they matter. Show them that God loves them and so do you. Show them that no matter their past or the sins they have committed, God loves them unconditionally.

I was listening to Pete Wilson today, the pastor at Cross Point church in Nashville, TN, and he was describing how our love is conditional. We love someone based on ifs and buts and he is so right. I find myself judging others on what they have done in the past and how they live their life and it doesn’t match up with mine. And as I’m sitting there judging them for their past, I’m creating sin in my present that will soon become my past and that is not what love looks like, let alone feels like. Love is unconditionally loving someone no matter their flaws, just like Jesus loves us. Imagine if the world loved everyone no matter their flaws, no matter where they came from, no matter their sins. Imagine sharing our tanks full of love with strangers and loved ones on this very day and every other day of the year…it is tremendously heart warming.

So today and every other day, I challenge you to fill up your tanks full of love and give them to anyone and everyone you encounter throughout your days. Show them the presence of God.

I love you all and Happy Valentine’s Day!

theWhitness ♡