Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Recently I was asked to participate in a precious gift idea for a friend of mine, and I was asked to share things that the Lord had taught me and done in my life throughout my teen years. I've been reflecting on those days of my life and am burdened to share some things from my heart.

I have lots of sweet friends, cousins, practically sisters who are between the ages of 12 and 18, and this is for you wonderful ladies...


There is going to be a temptation to find love and satisfaction in relationships, but find your love in Jesus. Spend time with Him rather than focusing on the next boy who has caught your fancy. I am telling you, most high school flings leave you more bruised and torn than encouraged. (Although I must share that the Lord blessed me with the opposite type of relationship in high school and really used that relationship to help encourage my walk with Jesus.)

Try this: GO ON A DATE WITH GOD. This might sound strange, but I tried this as a 23 year old and found out that the Lord loves me more than any human is even capable to love, and it is NEVER a waste of time to get to know HIM (Jesus) more deeply. In God's sovereignty, He will provide and meet the need for companionship, and if His will for you is marriage, God will bring along a man who loves you... and REALLY loves you!

You don't have to tell anybody about this date... but try it. 

RULES: Listen to your favorite worship songs, write a letter to Him, and spend time reading some of your favorite passages of Scripture. Then try talking to Him out loud like He is there.... after all, HE IS!

2. Invest time in GIRLFRIENDS who LOVE JESUS. 

Nothing is more important than having sisters in Christ who love the Lord. It's amazing now as I look at the friends I have kept up with from childhood, and the ones who have been with me through the easiest and hardest times in life are the ones who love Jesus. 

You can't replace your sisters in Christ- also, they stay with you forever.

It's going to be CRUCIAL not to fall into the trap of trying to be COOL. I tried for a long time to be cool, only to realize I never arrived. I spent a lot of time trying to fit in with the "cool" crowd in junior high only to find that at the death of one of my very closest friends those "cool" kids weren't in sight. 

But I did have friends who loved Jesus who were there for me... and they are the same friends who have walked through life with me.

Iron sharpens iron... a man sharpens the countenance of his friends. It is VERY important who we let into our lives to influence us. Yes, we want to reach out and love people who don't know and love Jesus, but our closest gals, they need to love JESUS and help us love Him more.

3. Look for an elderly lady to befriend. This sounds strange, but there is nothing more helpful in the growth of a young lady than the wisdom of women who have walked with God for a long time. Look to reach out to one very special person. Pray about who God would have that lady be. 

Personal Experience: I was encouraged in elementary school to pick somebody to be "friends" with at my church, so I "picked" Mrs. Linebaugh. She and her husband came to my church and were such a neat couple! I spent alot of time with them, writing cards, making calls, inviting them over for Christmas dinners and fun celebrations. They, of course reciprocated this friendship. They always made me feel so special and cared for.

Mrs. Linebaugh was later diagnosed with Alzheimers which she is still battling. I have to tell you that I have never known a man of God who has LOVED as well as Mr. Linebaugh has. He still cares for his precious wife day by day, though she doesn't remember minute by minute.

Mr. Linebaugh came to my high school graduation, he came to my college graduation, and he will one day, Lord willing, sit on my family row at my wedding. His wife would be there if she were capable.

God has changed my life because of this couple that I was encouraged to "befriend"... even as an elementary school girl. I've learned so much about God through their lives. I wouldn't trade my relationship with this couple for anything in the world.

LOOK TO MINISTER. Ladies, it might feel strange to hang out with "old people" (;)) but let me tell you, it is SO COOL and so worth it!

4. Make your family your best friends. 

Do all you can to preserve and nurture your relationships with the God-given family that you are surrounded by. Things might be hard, days ahead might look painful, but cherish your family. Realize that God has blessed you... BLESSED YOU! And when your dad or mom warn you about something, LISTEN. They have been there. They used to have crushes and stay on the phone till 4am... they used to know how to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night... they have had their hearts broken... they have made mistakes (and sometimes BIG ONES!). THEY KNOW. And they love you. That's why they are so interested in your lives. 

Cherish your family. Love them, and tell them. And take lots and LOTS and LOOOOTS of pictures! One day you will need them for blackmail!

5. Please, please, please don't let guys take advantage. I can't say that enough. God has made you beautiful... let HIM tell you that and find your self-worth in Jesus, not boys. 

The LORD loves you... love Him!