Finding Peace

Happy Wednesday friends!

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“The Beauty of Your Peace” by Tim hughes 


I hope y’all had a great week! This week has been a little crazy for me, I left camp on Thursday and immediately came back to Manhattan and started my job as a nanny for triplets the next day. Between figuring out my new job, getting my room and house organized I feel like I haven’t had to time to stop and think and when I’ve had time to rest I haven’t been good about doing my devotions, which leads to me feeling drained and stressed.

Yesterday morning on the way to work I was stressed and in a hurry, the sun was just starting to rise and it was absolutely beautiful. Even though the drive was kind of crazy and stressful because I was running a little late, as soon as I saw the sunrise I was reminded to be still and remember how good our God is. I was still driving, but I found peace and comfort in God’s artwork this morning. The rest of the day was pretty chill, I was able to start organizing my room but I did it at a rather slow pace while listening to worship music and once again I was able to enjoy peace that only comes from God. And in the evening I got to catch up with a friend while relaxing and getting our nails done, the entire day was filled with a peace that can only come from God.

The past few months have been crazy and the opposite of peaceful but when I took the time to seek out peace it was always right there, even sometimes when I didn’t take the time to look for it God gave it to me through sun rises, or a starry night.

Whatever you are going through, no matter how crazy your life is right now, take a second and find peace in Christ, whether that is through a sunrise on the way to work or a good Godly conversation with a pal, take the time and find it, because for a lot of people this season is one of the craziest and in the crazy we need rest and peace, the Lord will meet you where you are, but sometimes you have to seek Him out. Along with finding peace remember to have time alone with The Lord and rest in Him, because it is so so important.

 

Love y’all!

~Noelle

Reading The Christian

 

C.S Lewis 

Good morning friends! I hope that y’all’s week has been great and you have remembered  to enjoy every second as though it is your last.

My senior year of high school we had to come up with a senior quote to put under our picture in the yearbook. As I was researching quotes I came upon one that quickly became my motto, “Out of 100 men, one will read the bible the other 99 will read the Christian.” D.L. Moody. I think that this is an important quote because we as Christians need to live like we have something different, because we do, but also because people are watching us wanting to know what’s so special about us, why they need Jesus.

If we are walking around just like everybody else, living like we don’t have Christ. There is nothing different about us, and there is no apparent reason for people to come to know Jesus. We are told to be in the world but not of it. So be in the world, but be different, be a light.  Of course we are going to have our flaws, we all sin. But we should let God shine through our hard and broken times, that’s what makes us different.

So shine bright, because somebody is probably watching you and reading you, let them see Him.

Romans 12:2


Love y’all

~Noelle

 

Youthfront Is Home 💚


Good mornin’ friends!

Something that I’ve had to come to terms with this summer and more specifically the past couple of weeks, is that I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know what this afternoon holds, tomorrow holds, or next year holds. I can plan for it all I want, I can dream, hope, and pray about it, I can work as hard as humanly possible for what I want, but that doesn’t mean it will happen. The only person that knows what the future holds is God.

Specifically I’ve been learning this through realizing this might be my last summer at camp, if you know me at all you know how hard that is for me to even think about. I guess I always knew at some point I would have to leave camp, but I don’t think I realized that the point would come so soon. At the beginning of this summer I came into camp just thinking it’s another summer, and I was so excited, I even started thinking about what position I might want to apply for next year. But now as we are at the end of our second to last week I am finding myself begging for time to slow down, begging for more time here, for summer to start all over so I can do small things differently, realizing now that this could be it for me at the place that I love so dearly, the place that I call home.

If you don’t know me, or don’t know my story you might be curious as to why this camp is so important to me, so let me tell you. When I was in 6th grade I didn’t have a lot of friends, the Church camp I went to the previous year was less than great, my home life was not great, and I was not in the best place mentally.  I was very nervous coming to Youthfront with my church, because I didn’t really know anybody in my group, but also excited because my first church camp was fantastic, and I had heard great things about Youthfront. My anxiety was through the roof the entire 3.5 hour drive it took to get to camp, but as soon as I stepped outside of the van an immediate peace fell over me. After probably 20 minutes of being at camp I remember turning to my church leader and saying “I’m going to work here when I’m older”, they kinda gave me the ‘look’ you know the one of saying “ya ok kid you’re in 6th grade calm down.” That week I was loved on by my cabin leaders and the girls in my cabin more than I think I’d ever been loved on before. I saw a community of people that loved each other, but loved Jesus so much more. And I had the best week of my life! The next two years I came back and had similar experiences, the more I came, the more I fell in love with Youthfront Camp West. I continued going to camp at the high school camp, Youthfront Lacygne (then south) and volunteering at West with Teen Staff until my junior year of high school when my church changed camps and I couldn’t afford to drive 3 hours with a full time job in the summer. Those 3 years without youthfront were 3 of the worst years of my life, not necessarily because I didn’t have camp, but not having that community made them even harder.

Last summer my dream came true and I got to be a cabin leader for the summer, this year I got to come back on program staff and be more behind the scenes as one of the office managers/program assistant, which I love. Youthfront is so special to me because of the love and support I experience every time I’m here. But it’s also so important because God used Youthfront as a huge part in my life. When I was a camper I began to talk about my home life for the first time, as a Teen Staff I shared for the first time that I had been struggling with self harm for several years, and as a staff both years I started sharing more and more of my story. At camp something bad always seems to happen, but with each hard thing I was supported and loved more than I knew possible, I was prayed over and reminded that the Lord is good and faithful no matter what, and He is bigger than anything I could ever face, and I never have to face it alone. I say this in all seriousness, God used Youthfront to save my life and I don’t know where I would be without Youthfront. I wanted to be staff because I wanted to serve this camp that the Lord used to help me. I wanted to make sure that campers felt the love of God that I got to feel as a camper/teen staff.

Earlier this summer someone told me to live like it’s my last summer just in case. I’m so glad I’ve done that for the most part, I don’t know what will happen next summer, I don’t know if this is my last summer here, I don’t know if I’ll get to come back to volunteer if it is. But I know that every second I’ve spent here, I’ve grown closer to God, I’ve loved more, and felt more love than anywhere else. I know that the 29 weeks I’ve spent here over the course of my life have been some of the best 29 weeks I’ve ever had. I know that without a doubt Youthfront Camp West is doing amazing things for the Lord and I am honored that I got to be a very small part of that for even a moment. Youthfront Camp West is my home, and the community is my family. Even though it’s hard to think about ever leaving this place even if it’s just for the school year, the Lord has an amazing plan for me and my life, and He has one for you and your life too.

I encourage you to live like it’s your last summer, month, day, second, because honestly it could be. Whether that is because God has something different in store for you, or whether your time here on earth is done. We aren’t guaranteed our next breath, so live every second to the fullest, because when you look back you don’t want to have regrets. So trust in God, even when it’s hard and you don’t understand why things are happening. 

John 13:7

Jeremiah 29:11

Lyrics to “Set a Fire” by Jesus Culture

 

Love y’all

~Noelle

God Is Fighting For US

Hey y’all, I hope the last two weeks have been great! As you can see I’m bad at time management and failed at writing last week once again. 

Something that the Lord has been teaching me recently is finding comfort in Him. The past few weeks have been pretty rough for me, and my anxiety/PTSD have been awful. I had to face some big scary things from my past and will be dealing with them indefinitely, and it is causing me to have awful nightmares and sleepless nights. So even more than usual I am having to trust in the Lord and trust that He is the ultimate protector and will keep me safe. He is bigger than my anxiety and my panic attacks.

This week at church, during worship we sang several songs that were about praising the Lord in trials and hardships, and that the Lord is fighting for us, even when we don’t know it. It doesn’t matter where we are or what is happening because God is bigger and greater. The last couple of weeks it kind of felt like the Lord wasn’t fighting for me,  and I was continuously crying out to him, asking why all of this was happening to me, and while I still don’t know the answer and while I still don’t like it, I know that He is fighting for me, He is keeping me safe, He has everything under control and has a plan for it, and will never ever leave me. I also know that He has provided me with amazing friends and an amazing community to help support me during this. But no matter how great that community is, or how great those friends are, they can’t comfort me like God can, He is the ultimate protecter, and comforter.

So whatever you are going through, whatever feels like the Lord has abandoned you, remember that He is fighting for you in ways that you don’t even know and remember that He is the best protector we could ever have.  Find comfort and rest in the Lord this week.

Love y’all!

~Noelle

Exodus 14:14

Strength💪🏻

Good evening folks 🙂

Last week was crazy and honestly I was just lazy and didn’t make time to blog, this week has been less crazy but I have been more lazy and so I’m just now getting to it.

Strength, we all have different amounts of physical and emotional strength. I have very little physical strength and can barely pick up anything, but I know people who can easily pick up something that I can barely move, some of that is God given and some is because they have decided that working out and building muscle is something that is important to them and they have worked hard to build strong muscles. However I’ve been told and I like to believe that I am fairly strong when it comes to emotional strength. In both cases I know people who are weaker and who are stronger than me, in both cases some of it you are born with and some of it you have to work to get.

Recently I have a new found strength, it is 100% because I am relying on the Lord more, and on other people less. This is the first time in years that I have been single for any length of time, and I recently realized that I was relying on a boy’s strength instead of my own, but more importantly instead of God’s strength. When I think about it now, and say it out loud it sounds silly that I was relying on a human’s strength when I could have been relying on God, who is stronger and more powerful that we could ever imagine. But we all do it, we all try and fix things without God’s help, we try and handle things on our own, or we talk to our friends and they try to not only carry their burdens, but also ours.  Guys I do it too, but we’re actually idiots, we can’t carry our burdens much less other people’s but we have such a big and awesome God who not only can, but wants to.

If you are feeling weak, remember that He is oh so strong, and He is there for you and will carry you through the hard times, and with Him you can be strong, keep fighting friends!

Love y’all 🙂

-Noelle

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Matthew 11:28

 

Prayer

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Mark 11:24

Good mornin y’all!

This week’s is kinda short because I’m on vacation in Georgia and haven’t had time to write much. 🙂

I grew up knowing prayer was important and that it worked but until about 3 weeks ago I never prayed to get things done. A couple of weeks ago I met up with a woman who prayed over me and when I say she prayed I mean she PRAYED over me, and I have never felt the Holy Spirit like that before. We talked for hours about prayer and I learned so much in that time.

Let me tell you prayer works, sometimes the answer is yes, no, or wait, but it always works. I’ve seen God move in big big ways recently:

  1. My depression/anxiety/PTSD have been not, non existent but more under control  and that is 100% because of prayer.
  2. I’ve been praying for some closure on something that happened nearly 12 years ago, it came in a very hard and unexpected way, but I handled it better than me or anyone else would’ve expected and that is completely because of prayer as well.

Here’s the deal with prayer though, you have to believe that God can and will do it, for years I prayed because that’s what I was supposed to do, I prayed knowing I God could hear me, I prayed knowing he could do it, but I didn’t pray believing He would. Now I’m not promising that every prayer you pray will come true exactly how you pray it, because God knows better than we do, and that is a very good thing, because sometimes I’ll be praying for something to happen and after a little bit of time passes I am so glad it didn’t and that God knew better.

God is big and powerful and good. God Loves you and wants and knows what is best for you. So pray, believe, and watch Him move, and accept what He deems best for you!

Love y’all!

-Noelle

 

Polaris ⭐️ 

All my hope by Hillsong


Good mornin y’all, I hope your week was full of laughter and love.

Polaris is the North Star, it is the only star that remains stationary aka it is constant, it is always there, it never leaves, even if it is cloudy and you can’t see it, it is still there. Some of you might have caught on to where I’m going with this, polaris is a metaphor for God. He is there in the cloudy stormy days, He is there when you can’t see him, He never leaves.

A few years ago, during a pretty rough time in my life I was at Youthfront (where I am currently summer staffing aka my favorite place on earth), on the way back to our cabin we could see the stars really well and one of my cabin leader’s told me to look up, she pointed out the brightest star, and said “that is polaris, it is always there. So whenever you feel like God has left, look up and remember that He is constant and will never leave, He will shine in the darkness of your life.” Those words have stuck with me for years. We also would talk about this subject at the beginning of the school year with my youth group in high school. It was always a good reminder that the Lord is good and constant through anything. When I am struggling with feeling like God has left, I look up and it is a good visual reminder that He is there.

When I moved to college 2 years ago, I knew my friend, my then boyfriend, and parents would leave after dropping me off, but it felt like God got in the car with them and said peace out, good luck. All of that first semester it felt like the Lord had left me completely alone, I struggled so much for those long 4 months. Second semester I went to a concert that had the singer Colton Dixon, he was singing a song I’d heard a thousand times, but in that moment, singing with thousands of other believers one set of lyrics stuck out to me: “I let go of your hand to help you understand, with you all along, I was never gone.” In that moment I realized that even though it felt like the Lord had left me, He hadn’t He had simply taken a step back so that I would seek Him more, He’d been holding my hand through the rough parts of my life and now that I was safe He had stepped back.

There have been many times in my life where it felt like God had left me, but even in those times He was there. His presence is not dependent on our emotions or our feelings of whether He is there or not. He is always there, sometimes we just need to seek him more.

God is the only constant in life, I’ve had friends leave, family leave, things and people I thought would always be in my life that are no longer there, but in every situation The Lord has been and always will be my only constant.

He is there for you. No matter what you are going through I promise He is there even when it doesn’t feel like, and He is always will be.

Always by Kristian Stanfill


Trust in him, He’s got this.

Love y’all!💕

~Noelle

Never Gone by Colton Dixon