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Thanksgiving

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I have to be honest the holidays are sneaking up on me and I didn’t even realize we were so close to Thanksgiving (probably why this is going up on Thursday, but let’s just keep thinking that I totally did this on purpose) Now it’s here. It’s Thanksgiving. The holidays are the busiest part of the year for me, and often I think I get caught up in all the madness. Sometimes, I think I just forget how awesome God is and everything he does for me. I forget how thankful I am for the life I’ve been given. It’s frustrating to think that I only remember to focus on my thankfulness during the holidays, and I’m working to change that.

I’ve been thinking about all the things I’m thankful for, and I began to make a list to help me write this Spoken Word. I realized everything I was thankful for came from God. God is pretty awesome and I think for this week I just want to talk about everything he is and does that we should be thankful for every single day.

It’s easy to forget how many things God provides for us on a daily basis. A teacher reminded me Tuesday. “If you don’t have what you’d like to have, be thankful for what you do have.” If you’re reading this you’ve at least got something pretty cool. Internet. I’m willing to bet that you’ve also got a house with some pretty nice things. I obviously could be wrong, I don’t know you all personally. I suppose I should speak for myself. It’s so easy to take for granted everything around me. I go to the pantry and pick out whatever snack I want. I have water coming out of faucets and a home with heat and air. I have a computer that helps me with school work and I can use it just for fun too. I often never think about how how easy it was for me to sit and make this blog. God provided me with everything I needed to start this venture. He provided me with inspiration from my friends, the drive to start it, and the talent to write poetry and the talent of being able to express my thoughts well when they are being written down. It’s also easy for me to forget it isn’t me doing the talking. Just the writing. I’m thankful for a God who gives me the words to say when I need them.I’m thankful he gives me what I need when I need it.

With God there is infinite joy no matter the situation. I’m so thankful for that, because without God’s joy I would just be a hopeless pile of crying mush. Recently, in Student Ministry, some parents of a student who passed away from my school spoke on how God is a God of comfort. They were thankful for the impact their son had on students he was friends with, even after he passed away. They were thankful for God, because of who he is. They were joyful even in one of their hardest situations of their lives. I’m thankful for a God of joy who can give peace and happiness in times of trouble.

I’m just plain thankful for a God who puts up with all my mistakes. I’m thankful for his forgiveness and his constant presence even when I’m being a not-so-great person and I’m not always meeting him when and where I should be. I’m thankful he doesn’t give up on me even when it seems like I could be giving up on him. He always shows me his power and strength. I’m thankful that he shows me when I make mistakes and then when he proceeds to be an unswerving support while I’m working towards growing.

I’m thankful for the series of events in history that led to this exact moment in history, with all our technology and improvements in overall world health. All of them were in God’s perfect plan. I’m thankful for Jesus and the fact that he died for me. I’m thankful to live in the United States where I can worship a God freely in a church that anyone can come to. I’m thankful for the life I’ve been given. I could go on and on, but honestly, I’m just thankful. I’m thankful for everything and I don’t even know how to express this overwhelming gratitude I feel.

This is probably the most cheesy thing people say on Thanksgiving, but I’m going to say it anyway. Always remember that we shouldn’t just be thankful on Thanksgiving. Thankfulness is important every, single day of the year. I know that it’s really easy for me to forget that, and I’m almost positive I’m not alone in that struggle. If we don’t look back at all we have laid before us, we forget how awesome God is and how blessed we really are. I pray that during this holiday season, we all can remember how much we truly have to be thankful for, and I pray we will remember everyday to thank God for everything he has provided for us.

Wishing You all the happiest of Thanksgivings!

-Jess

Bible Verses about Thanksgiving:

  • Psalm 9:1
  • Psalm 107:8-9
  • 1 Chronicles 16:34
  • Psalm 100:4
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:18

P.S. I know the holidays can be hard for many people, but just remember that even though it is a time for remembering and celebrating people we lost, there is a God who is always there when we are hurting. He never leaves us. He provides comfort for those who are suffering and a peace in knowing that if those we love were believers, we will see them again one day. That’s quite something to be thankful for.

P.P.S. I’m also super thankful for all my friends, family, and others around me. I could never be the person I am without them. I could never be writing things like this without all your encouragement and support. Thank you all for being there for me and helping me through anything and everything. I’m grateful I get to go through life will all you amazing people. You guys know who you are. 😉

 This Week’s Spoken Word: HERE

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Everything is Going to Be Okay

“Life is difficult and full of disappointments, but that’s okay.”

-Jess Helms (me)

There’s a good story behind that quote. I promise. In fact, for a long time, that wasn’t even the quote. It was originally, “Life is difficult and full of disappointments.” It was an inside joke between myself and my best friends when little things didn’t go our way, but slowly I realized that it was pretty pessimistic. So, when I writing this Spoken Word, God showed me how I can turn a pretty negative statement into a super uplifting statement. I think it’s even better now than when I created it.

Psalm 34:17 – When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

I’m not under the impression that I have some horrible life. I know that I’m incredibly blessed and I have a ton of opportunities that many people around the world don’t have. I have a great community of Christian friends surrounding me and a church I can call my home all the time. (but let’s not talk about everything I’m thankful for… that’s for next time) However, just like everyone else, I do have rough times. I get sad, angry, and hurt. I’m sure you can relate. Struggling is no fun, especially when you feel like you are going through it alone. I have good news. God is beside you through everything. He is always right by your side when your struggles seem to overwhelm you. God uses our struggles to help us grow closer to him and he helps strengthen us in our faith. God even uses our struggles to help others around us grow.

These last few months have been pretty rough, but God really used them as an opportunity to teach me how to lean on him and not the people around me. I lost some things that were really important to me, and I genuinely felt like I could never possibly recover. Looking back, I realize how much God helped me through probably the hardest time of my life, and how losing those things have really helped me mature. At the time, all I could do was just pray that he would take the pain away, and everyday a little bit of pain left my soul. And I’m not saying everything is rosy now. Sometimes a hint of those negative feelings still sneaks in, but God always puts joy in its place. Without all those struggles God allowed me to go through, I would never have changed my perspective. I’m sure I wouldn’t be making videos and creating blog posts like this.

Often, God uses our struggles to encourage others around us. Whether that be someone seeing you in the middle of your struggle and watching you lean on God, or you using that situation as a part of your testimony to encourage others afterwards-which allows you to show how God has gotten you through it You get to show them you are still okay and joyful at the other side of it. This gives you a great opportunity to give the glory to God.

I bet you guessed it. I have a story to go with this point too. 😉

So a few months before I hit my “rock bottom” one of my friends hit it first and bounced back. I remember calling her and saying I felt like “all the strings broke.” She reminded me that there were always ways for me to bounce back and that God was going to get me through it no matter what. She really used her experiences to bring me back to the reality of how powerful God is. He had me in the palm of his hand the entire time and when I put my focus on him I could truly feel that. She helped me through it by sharing what God showed her through her experiences. It was super helpful to have a strong Christian who had gone through the same things as me there to talk to me and have encourage me in my relationship with Christ.

A few months after I began to start healing, another one of my friends began having to deal with something very similar. This time myself and the friend who helped me both tried to encourage her. We both shared our individual experiences and how God got us through them. I like to believe our stories helped her at least a little bit. That’s what being a part of the church is all about. We are there for each other to encourage and draw those around us closer to God.

The point I’m trying to make is… embrace your struggles. They’re obviously not fun, and sometimes it’s hard to remember that God has a purpose for everything that happens. However, the sooner you look up and consider why you might be going through that at this particular time in your life, you can begin to lean on God and he will show you exactly where your path is headed. As long as you remember to stay faithful to him things will always get better, because God will never let you struggle forever. He will use your struggles in ways you can never imagine. Just remember if you’re not okay, it’s not the end.

I’m praying that all of you will remain strong in your faith and that you will lean on God throughout all your struggles. I hope you all will also be praying for me these next few weeks as well.

I love you all very much and I appreciate your support.

-Jess

Bible Verses:

  • Psalm 9:9
  • Psalm 56:3-4
  • 1 John 4:4
  • Romans 8:18
  • Philippians 4:19
  • James 1:12
  • 2 Corinthians 1:9

This week’s Spoken Word: HERE