Relentless Love

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I have struggled to come up with words to accurately describe a few things that have happened in my life in the past week.
While I have yet to completely share in my writing, my struggles in previous months, to sum in all up, I am learning what love really is.
While I thought I knew, in so many areas of my life, the Lord has stripped me to the core, challenged me, and truly has been refining my heart and my thoughts. 
By no means has this been an easy process, but I can honestly say, in preparing my heart and myself for this new season of marriage, I have a new hunger and desire to understand Love the way God intended it to be.
1 Corinthians 13 is the kind of love I am learning and I have been challenged to search my heart, my actions, and my motives.
All of that to say, I serve a big God who not only comes to me to challenge me, to change me, and to make me more like him, He also in recent days has shown me in quiet moments of my life, just how much He loves me, and how far He will go to show me.

My thought life has been a major area of struggle in the past year, and fear takes over and it is crippling. While I have come to recognize the patterns, the thoughts, and the lies of the enemy, these moments are less and less but they still happen, and at times I almost feel desperate. Last week I found myself in a valley. While nothing specifically happened, multiple areas of my life had me feeling discouraged, worried, weary, and like no one could understand where I was in my own spirit.
As I laid in my bed one night, crying out to the Lord about how I felt and being transparent in all of my fear and worry and hurts from the week, I decided to text someone in my life that has been an encourager, supporter, mentor, and has become family. Rob is someone I met on the district going to teen camp and as an 8th grader I think I gave him a run for his money as I'm sure he wasn't thrilled to have me as part of his team for an entire week of youth camp. Over the years, I have found the brother I never had, and he has truly encouraged me and loved me, pushed me to cling to the promises God has for me and I am so grateful for him and his sweet family and all they mean to me. 
While it was 12:30 at night, I didn't think he would be awake. I sent a text simply asking him to pray for me. To my surprise I received a text back saying that he was still awake. He then began to tell me that he really isn't usually up at this hour but his sweet daughter had been restless for the past hour and a half. A few minutes later he text me and said that he thinks I was the reason he couldn't sleep, and as soon as I text him and he began to pray for me, his daughter fell right to sleep. He ended our conversation by saying to me, just remember, there must be a God that loves you this much.
I was beyond humbled. My thoughts quit racing, and I feel asleep, so grateful.

I began reading a book this week that I have had on my list for quite some time.
While I am only through chapter 4, this book is challenging me even more in the way I think and view God and His love for me. Francis Chan is an amazing writer and I would highly suggest this book if you haven't read it.
As the week continued I felt more encouraged and truly in small ways each day the Lord was showing me that He loved me, and He had every detail I worry about under control.
Two nights ago, for no specific reason, I began a long battle with my thought life that I have truly struggled with in the past several months. I know exactly how this goes and while it would seem to be easy to just 'not go there,' at times I feel so enslaved. Within 2 minutes of the thoughts racing and fear beginning to set in my heart, I got a message from a dear friend of mine asking 
"How is your thought life doing? I have been praying for you."
My thoughts stopped dead in their tracks.
I responded to her saying you have no idea, I am currently not doing so well and the thoughts are racing.
She sent back to me this verse from Zephaniah 3:17
"The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing."
I began to cry and just thank the Lord for using my friend in that moment to personally show me that He is in control, that He cares about me and the smallest details of my life, and the He loves me.

I can honestly say this week I have felt so unworthy, but so grateful for the Lord's work through others in my life to show me His relentless, powerful, life-changing, love.

As a I am continuing to change and grow, it is my prayer that I would understand more and more what this Love really means in my life and that I can be one of the doors that He will use to show someone else His love as I have experienced this week.
I serve a good God and He deserves all the glory.

How has the Lord shown you His love this week? 

A Day Off!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Andrew and I had been looking forward to a day-off together for awhile! No agenda, and a chance to just relax and have some fun. One of the joys of living in Florida is that we live about an hour and a half from all the different theme parks. When we moved home, we decided to purchase year passes to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and after a year of enjoying this get-away, we renewed our passes and we are certainly glad that we did.
So, for President's day, I packed my small back pack and we made our way up to Orlando to meet one of our friends, Andrew's best man, Shawn, and his awesome other half, Whitney. 
We enjoyed the rides, the laughs, and of course butter-beer in Harry Potter world is always a must. 
We are anxious to see what the new part of the park will look like when it opens in the summer! 
 Here's a few pictures of how the new Harry Potter attractions are coming along!

After leaving the park, Shawn and Whitney took us to 4 Rivers Smokehouse. 
Holy Good Barbecue! The wait was totally worth it! The food was phenomenal, there were so many amazing sides to choose from, and it may have made Andrew's list of favorite restaurants. My favorite part though was the sweet shop they had inside. 
Cupcakes, Cake, Banana Pudding, Ice-cream....It was a tough choice but the cupcake/shake won. It was fantastic.

This was a much needed day away.
Andrew and I were so glad we got to spend the day with our sweet friends and I know for me, the laughs, the fun, and enjoying the moment was much needed. 

My Best Friend Got Hitched!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Shortly after moving home from Nashville after I graduated from college, I was reunited with my best friend Natalee. We have a unique story for how we met/became friends, actually I'm not even sure how we became friends but regardless, we have been friends since I was in 10th grade.
So much in our lives have changed since then, but the memories that we share, and the history that we have, has built a foundation that I can honestly say I don't have with many.
We have been through ups and downs, a million changes, we have been separated by 1000 miles for 4 years in row, we have been through good-guy relationships, and those relationships where we both ask "what in the world were we thinking?" We have experienced seasons of joy, and also seasons of heartache. Together in our own lives, we have both walked roads of uncertainty, and were brought to places we never thought we would be. Regardless of circumstances, situations, miles, and change, she's been a constant in my life and I'm so thankful.
I can honestly say in the last year, above everything else, our relationship has changed in the sense that we have both been preparing for the next season of our lives, but in this, the Lord has been working in her life and He has been faithful to work in mine, and sharing this part of our journey together has brought some of the sweetest moments we have ever shared. After moving home, Andrew and Chase became friends and this relationship was an answer to prayers I prayed a long time ago. I also grew up going to church with Chase and think he is an incredible guy. A good choice for my best friend, no doubt. 
This weekend was one I feel that I have been waiting for, for the past year and a half. My best friend said "I Do" to her best friend.
We have anticipated, worried, thought about what we would feel like, laughed, cried, screamed, had 100 coffee runs and late night snacks to calm nerves, and prepared for all the details that this day would hold. 
It was beautiful.
She was stunning.
My heart melted when I saw the way Chase looked at her as she turned the corner to walk in the church.
Most importantly, I watched as her and Chase before the Lord committed themselves to each other, and acknowledged that they need Christ at the center of their lives in order to live out the promises they made. Praying over her before she walked down the isle by far was one of the sweetest prayers I have prayed in my heart for my best friend. While the world has a way of doing things, I know her and Chase have a desire to have a strong and unbreakable marriage and I was honored to be a part of this day to witness their promise to each other and to the Lord.   

This was no doubt a special day and I'm so glad it turned out to be everything she hoped for!

I felt honored that Andrew and I were both asked to be a part of this special day and honesty I can say it makes me all the more excited for my wedding day. These two will be standing next to us the day we say "I do" and these are truly two people I am so thankful for. 

A Road Trip In October: Our Engagement Pictures!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Shortly after we got engaged, I began searching for photographers as I knew this was one of the most important parts of this whole "wedding planning thing". I knew who I wanted but the problem was she doesn't live in Florida. I contacted her and told her our plans, and she said she was willing to travel. Over our skype session we talked about when the wedding will be and minor details about everything, and then I told her our real hope was that we would be able to make it to Nashville to have an engagement shoot but we weren't exactly sure how we could pull that off.
She knew how important this was to us and we picked a weekend and met her there!
It was awesome!

I can't tell you how meaningful it was to have our pictures taken in Nashville, some right outside of where he proposed, and while I always thought it would be so cheesy, I am thrilled that these pictures captured where I fell in love with the man of my dreams.
Anne-Camille did an incredible job! It was so fun, relaxed, and truly these pictures turned out to be better than I could have imagined.
If you're looking for a photographer, seriously, she's amazing! Check her stuff out here:) 
She also has a blog and posted part of our story with her favorite pictures, check it out here!

Now for a few of my favorites.

A New Name, A New Face, and A Changing Heart

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I am so excited to be writing today!
It has been almost 6 months since I wrote last. I have certainly missed it and I will save a lot of the "catching up"  for other blog posts coming soon, but I have been learning so much in the last several months.
I have wrestled with the Lord over my dreams, goals, desires, and my love of writing. 
All that to say, I'm back and excited to see all that God will do.

The New Name.
I must say, come December, when Silvas is my new last name, I will be the happiest girl in the entire world as I promise "I do" to my best friend. But really, in the last several months (like I said above, posts are coming about some of these lessons) I have been learning so much during this season of engagement and I wanted all of this to reflect the changes happening in my life. The Lord is truly refining my heart and this hasn't been the easiest process, but I am thankful. 

This writing space in the past has blessed me so much. It is incredible to look back at my journey, to see where I've come from. I've laughed at myself, remembered some of the hardest moments, and I have also experienced again just how much God has blessed me.
So whatever brought you here to my small little blog page, I'm glad you're here and I hope you will keep joining me as I share my heart and my story!

Powered by Blogger.
Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan

Your copyright

Your own copyright