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Set Apart, Not Aside

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5


I totally went out of my comfort zone, and God did some amazing things.

Because, for some odd reason, I have no problem yapping away in front of my friends, family and coworkers, but when I get in front of a crowd, my hands clam up and my tongue swells.

And the best part? I have a degree in Broadcast Journalism. I was supposed to be a television star who would stand in front of a camera and show her face to millions of viewers. And it scared me to death.

A lot of people actually don't know that about me, but seriously, anytime I had to get in front of the camera while interning in college, I had panic attacks beforehand. My whole body would shake and I would become paralyzed with fear. Somehow, some way, I'd make it through without people really noticing, but it became exhausting to have to deal with.

So, when I was given the opportunity to speak at a young women's group at my home church, I said "yes!" with joy in my heart but shaking in my knees.

What if I stuttered? What if I said the wrong thing? What if I had nothing to say at all?

But then, I just, did it. And after rewatching some of the video my social media manager took for me (thanks mom!), I realized that the words were not my own. The way I was speaking about the Word like I never have before was not in my own strength. I was the vessel. God was the creator behind it all.

I simply said "yes", and He did the rest.

And you know what, you guys? It was so much fun. Like really, I had a blast. I wasn't even nervous once I started pouring out the words that have lived in my heart for so long. I pretended like my fourteen-year-old self was sitting in that audience, and I used the words that God was trying to speak to my heart back then, but I wasn't listening.

When we say "yes" to God, He will do great things. Now, I'm not saying I'm the next Joyce Meyer and I'm certainly not saying I did a great job - I'm just trying to say that God filled my lips with words that even I needed to hear today.

He reminded me of how much I still try to gain acceptance from this world, and how it can only be met through Him.

He reminded me that rejection doesn't come from Him, but He allows us to stay in that place of hurt in order to reveal to us that we have to solely rely on Him, not people.

But most importantly, He reminded me that even Jesus felt rejection. Jesus was denied by His very own disciples. Society asked for a murderer to be released to them, rather than the innocent Jesus. It's almost unfathomable.

But, had they have chosen Jesus and accepted Him, we wouldn't have the incredible story of the cross and the undeserved grace that covers our lives.

We would have absolutely no chance at being in the presence of God because of the unholy barrier that would still exist without being covered by the Blood of the Lamb.

Jesus did not throw a self-pity party when the people rejected this, like I totally do all of the time, but rather He kept His eyes fixated on the purpose of His journey. He knew His Father's purpose, and He knew that that was FAR more important than having the people choose Him and approve of Him.

We need to do the same, you guys. And believe me, it's incredibly hard to accept because we don't know our end game. We don't understand what our purpose truly is, but we do know that we were called to love. We were called to be disciples of His story. The story that has filled our lives with incredible hope, joy and a peace that passes all understanding.

There are so many people broken and hurting in this world. And you know what? I'm happy that I know what it's like to be rejected. I'm okay with this world thinking I'm just the slightest bit crazy because I preach about my Jesus. I'm content knowing that God will remove people out of my life who are not there to help me bloom.

Because I know. I know what it's like. I know how it feels to be heartbroken, isolated, rejected. And so, I can love others. I can pour out that love that others don't feel either, because I know exactly how they feel.

So, if you feel like this world has rejected you, or your friends have left you on the side, or your crush has put you on the bottom of their list - remember this - your purpose is far greater than the acceptance of this temporary world. Your calling is special. God is using this period of isolation to grow closer to you personally because He is the only constant you will ever have!

Rest assured that He has called you -

and has set you APART - not aside.


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