Sunday, March 29, 2015

The day God Facebook messaged me

I don't even know how to begin this. It's March 29, 2015 right now and I thought today was going to a normal day. I got up at 10 to get ready for church, until something happened that caused me not to be able to go. I was bummed out because I really do enjoy going to church, and that meant I'd have to wait a full week before hearing a preacher again. I helped out a friend, and have been laying in my bed ever since. (It's 2:12 right now) Needless to say, I was discouraged. I've been going through so much lately that I was genuinely upset I wasn't able to make it to church and hear the word of God. Little did I know he would be making his Glory known to me in a very different way this Sunday.

Recently, things have been bad for me. Really, really bad. Worse than they ever have. I won't get into too many details because I do like to keep certain parts of my life personal, but things had gotten to rock bottom for me. I couldn't get much worse and it had been taking over every single part of my life. I'd had false rumors flying around about me that couldn't have been further from the truth. My schoolwork had been lacking, if I even made it to class. My relationship was slowly deteriorating all because of me and my insecurity. I came up with excuses to not have to talk to people, or hang out with friends. My motivation for anything had been at an all time low. I had never been so uncomfortable in my skin then I was last week. Just ask my boyfriend. He had to stay up with me until 3 most nights trying to calm me down and ensure me I was beautiful. But nothing was working.

I finally made the decision to take medicine for my problems, because I had never been this far down. I was completely irrational and thinking of surgeries I could take to get my body to where I want it. I was going to the gym twice a day, 2 hours each. I didn't know what else to do. People were scared for me and people I love were bombarding me with encouragement to help me to feel better, but somehow nothing worked. I was ashamed at the way I felt and kept it to myself. I didn't want anyone to know how I truly felt about myself. Why do I feel this way? I have a great family, boyfriend, friends, school. I didn't understand how I felt the level of unhappiness that I did. I tried countless things to cheer myself up, to no avail. Then I checked Facebook and read this message, completely 100% unedited.

  • Today
Amanda Marie Goeglein
Amanda Marie Goeglein

Hey girl. Alright not quite sure how to throw this out there without me sounding completely insane but please just go with it? Haha. Anyways Jesus woke me up last night. He told me to get up. Get my phone and just start typing as he spoke to me. I did just that and developed this letter from Jesus to you. Honestly Mallory I have no idea what it says. It was three am and I just kept typing. As i finished I was going to go back and read it but felt the lord say, "no this isn't for you to read, it is between me and my sweet daughter." If it's completely off I'm really sorry. I'm kind of stepping out in faith right now hoping that whatever this is its encourage to you. Here it is:
To my precious daughter, whom I love so dearly. There are a few things that I want you to know, I think you may have forgotten some of them recently. First, I want you to know that I love you, I love you more than your mind can comprehend. You are so so special to me. I can see that you are going through the valley right now. But I want you to remember I am walking along side of you, ready to hold your hand and walk with you. I will not leave you alone. Secondly, I want want you to know that I am proud of you, Mallory. I am proud of you you've become and proud of how you represent my name. I am proud to call You my Daughter, my princess, my little girl. You are special to me. Thirdly, I want you to remember that you can come to me. With anything. I think you sometimes forget that I created you, I knew the struggles you were going to face before they even came your way. So turn to me, allow me to help you, to guide you, and to most importantly, walk with you. Fourthly, I see that you are facing many trials right now. And oh sweet girl, I am so sorry. Remember I am protecting you. I am placing people in your life right now and along this journey to help you, to walk with you, and to encourage you. Watch for them. Hold them tight. They are special people. Lastly beautiful princess. I want you to know how perfectly beautiful you are. Yes, perfect. Nothing needs to be changed. I made you just the way you are. Perfectly beautiful. Love who you are. I created you, remember? And I make no mistakes with any of my designs. You are my masterpiece sweet girl. I love you dearly. Love, Your Papa
If you're at chapter tonight please come find me so I can hug you. Also, let's get coffee this week !!
ZLAM, Amanda

Reading it makes me cry all over again. I will be the first to admit that I tend to be skeptical of the "5 minutes in Heaven" phenomenon. I didn't know my stance on God's ability to save other people, or speak to people, or for my matter, speak through people. But I can with 100% certainty after reading this, that I know this was from God himself. Every single word from the letter was exactly what I had been dying to hear. There were things in the letter that I have been too scared to even say out loud- ever. There were things in that letter I had been crying out at night to be assured of. Sweet Amanda is not even close to me. Yes, we are in the same sorority, but we have never spoken face to face before. We have only had one other contact and it was brief. That being said- she hardly knows me. Especially doesn't know me to the point that she knows my heart's deepest struggles and desires. It is physically impossible for her to know that I was going through all of those things- and to that extent. It was after I read her message and gathered my composure after bursting into tears, that I felt ashamed at my unwillingness to believe other's miraculous stories about how God has preformed miracles in their lives. I'm not saying every single story that is told is true- some may in fact be infatuated. But I am none to judge. If I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and that he performed miracles on earth and came back from the dead so that I may have eternal life, why would I not believe that he would be able to inspire a girl at my school to write me a personal letter from him while seated in his throne in Heaven?

This letter saved my life, in more ways than one. This letter put everything back into perspective for me. It reminded me of God's everlasting love for me. I so often fall victim to this world and search for earthy pleasures and compliments, when I have a Father in Heaven that died for me. It seems silly thinking that I spend so much time feeling worthless, when God thought I was enough to send his son down to earth and to be crucified for. There are many things I can understand about the Bible and My Lord, but his love is something I will never be able to fathom. I tend to pass over verses that talk about how much God loves us, because it's something I've been conditioned to know since I was walking. God loves you. I'd heard it a thousand times before. But this letter was the first time I actually thought about it. God loves me more than any parent, friend, significant other, spouse, animal, or thing ever could. God knows me better than anyone on this planet. He knows the amount of hairs on my head and my every waking thought. He knows every flaw of mine, even the ones I'm good at hiding from others. He has seen me completely raw, naked, unedited, and still loves me more than any love I could ever seek from anyone else.

God is walking with me in my troubles. I couldnt help but be reminded of Psalm 23. 

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Alongside with God loving me, he is with me. I never have to worry about suffering through anything alone. I have the ultimate Companion/Savior/Father praising me for every step I take.

He is proud of me. People taking pride in me is something I've always craved, especially recently. I want everyone that knows me to be proud of who I am and that they know me. I'm always seeing how people react to my name. How willing they are to stand up for me. How quick they are to call me their friend. I want the people in my life to think I'm the greatest thing in the earth- when everyone knows I'm not. I'm flawed just like everyone else. But God tells me that I'm special to him. He sees me and all of my effort and all of my good days and all of my bad days and still is proud of me. He's proud of me regardless how much my mental illness is taking over me. He's proud of me when I'm so sad I cant leave my bed. He is proud of me always, and his love is unwavering.

I can come to God- with anything. There are certain things in everybody's life that they don't feel comfortable sharing. There are things so dark and deep we can't even gather the courage to utter them out loud. But God knows them. And he wants to help us through them. God knows every single thing I am struggling with at any given second of the day. And he wants to talk me through it and hold my hand while I overcome it.

God has a plan. With all of the disappointments, let downs, change of plans, and tragedies of every day life, I become discouraged. What's my purpose here? Why did that person leave my life? Why did that plan fall through? I spend so much time everyday mourning over "what could be." Losing close friends is never an easy thing, and it's something I've already had to go through in college. But I am reminded that God has a plan for everything, and that he knows what he is doing by placing certain people in my life at different times. If God takes someone out of my life, I know it is for a good reason. I might not ever understand the reason, but I understand that it is there.

I am beautiful. It feels awkward just typing it, but I guess I better get used to it. Is isn't by chance that the topic of beauty was saved for last, considering it is something I have always struggled with. This past week has been the worst my insecurity has ever been. My boyfriend told me he had never heard me sound like I did one day when he called me. A few new things had come up that left me feeling completely defeated. I felt hideous. I couldn't stand to look at myself. I wouldn't snapchat my boyfriend back because I was ashamed of him seeing my face. He sent me pages and pages of texts telling me how attractive he found me, but I didnt believe him. I cried myself to sleep, ashamed at the way I looked. I decided surgery was the only option for me to get the results I had wanted. I talked to 4 different friends about it, whom all told me I didnt need it but I thought they were lying to me. I couldnt shake the feeling of inadequacy. I wanted to be beautiful, and I was going to stop at nothing to get it. I could feel my friends becoming exhausted at how often I brought up my insecurity, but I couldnt stop. And no matter how many compliments were thrown my way, I still felt ugly. The ending of God's letter to me was just the icing on the cake.

Lastly beautiful princess. I want you to know how perfectly beautiful you are. Yes, perfect. Nothing needs to be changed. I made you just the way you are. Perfectly beautiful. Love who you are. I created you, remember? And I make no mistakes with any of my designs. You are my masterpiece sweet girl.

I had spent the last week especially hating myself for my appearance, only to have God tell me that I am perfect in his sight. And that nothing needs to be changed. I had been so dead set on surgery to become more attractive for the first time in my life this week. I've always been against appearance enhancing surgery until I realized how easy it would be. I thought it would solve all of my problems. I had already started planning on when I would get it so I could start saving money now. But God commanded me to love who I am. It's one of the few commands in his letter to me, and I believe that's for a reason. God knows me and how often I struggle with my appearance, and he is commanding me to stop. He created me in his image and to be perfect, and I am not satisfied. The creator of all the Heavens and the earth created me, with no mistake. Why would I fix something that the Lord of all the earth created? God not only calls me beautiful, perfect, but his masterpiece. God is proud of the way he made me.

This letter opened my eyes to things I had not even come close to seeing before. I know many people in my life are struggling, maybe even with the same things I am. I'm posting this blog and God's letter to me, to help others that might need it. I'm so ashamed of my struggles that I never want to share them and want to keep them to myself. But I never know who might be feeling the exact same way I am. So girl or boy, read the letter again and realize that the letter is to you also. The letter is to every child of God. These are all things we need to be reminded of.  Feel free to reach out to me (Or Amanda) if this letter helped you in any way. Receiving feedback on the word of God is the best feedback I can receive. Or if you need someone to talk through your struggles with, feel free to message me.

A HUGE thanks to Amanda Goeglien. Amanda, your willingness and ability to listen to the Lord and serve him absolutely blow me away. Sending a random girl a message from God had to be daunting, but you served him and I am so amazed by you. Thank you for getting out of the bed and being a servant of the Lord. Thank you for having the courage to press send. Thank you for being the sweet soul you are. I am eternally grateful for Zeta that brought us together. Your heart (and your ear) for Christ is something I will always be astounded by.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Getting through this Spring Break Season!

   So it's here. You all know what I'm talking about. The week loved, and dreaded, by many. The week everybody has been preparing for. The week girls from all around the world join a pact to body-shame other girls. The week you've sweated over in the gym for the past month. The one week a year it's perfectly acceptable to post half-naked pictures. The week with never-ending pressure to be the most fun you've had all year. This week is known as no other than Spring Break. (cue jaws music)

   Don't get me wrong- I love Spring Break. I love being able to get up and leave my normal life behind and travel to the ocean for a week. (or wherever you may end up this season!) However, me and this Spring Break have a love/hate relationship. I love it for the obvious reasons- sun tan lotion, bathing suits, relaxation, good food, beach hair, friends, sandy feet, tan lines (because who doesn't get a sense of satisfaction when they've reached their maximum tan?) However, on the flip side of Spring Break is the insecurity. Girls on the beach. (how does she look that good coming out of the ocean?) People looking at you- and in a bikini. (please stop staring at me.) Pictures. (is that a fat roll?) Bathing suits. (can't I just go in something more comfortable.. like, jeans?) Stereotypes. Fat. Exciting. Skinny. Pretty. Fun. Wild. Boring. Popular. These are all things that come with Spring Break, and things I'm hoping to overcome this season.

   I know how hard it can be on a girl's self esteem during the weeks surrounding Spring Break. Chances are, you aren't happy with your body. Not many people (girls, in particular) are. Feel alone? Don't believe me? Check out a couple statistics: 

Nine out of 10 teenage girls are unhappy with the shape of their bodies
Research shows that the desire to be slender and "beautiful" dominates the life of 14-year-olds.
Only one in 10 of the 2,000 girls who were questioned were happy with their appearance.
Three-quarters of the girls thought that thin girls were more popular and attractive to boys, while 86 per cent of overweight girls thought their thinner counterparts had more girl and boy friends.
More than half of all teenage girls despaired that they would never look like their female role model. 

   Ok. So now that we've covered that insecurity and body image is a very real problem that young girls struggle with, let's see if we can solve it. Or at least try.

   The root of our insecurity is comparison. Constantly looking at other girls, stalking girls pictures, trying to edit, trying to photoshop, looking at magazines, anything to make ourselves feel better. Heck, we're bombarded with comparison whether we're looking for it or not. You can't open instagram during the season of Spring Break without seeing a girl exposed and leaving little to the imagination. You can't browse the internet or check your phone without seeing ad's of incredibly unrealistic beauty standards. You can't take a walk in the mall without having a dinosaur sized pair of breasts in your face from Victoria's Secret. You can't do much of anything these days without being affected by comparison. It's proven that humans use nearly 11 hours of media consumption a day- whether that be through tv, music, movies, magazines, or the internet. 11 hours a day! That's practically the entire time we're awake. That means from the moment we wake up and check our phones, we're smacked in the face with ads. I would argue that this is the very problem of today's body image problem. 

   As previously stated, more than half of all teenage girls despaired that they would never look like their female role model. This statistic enrages me. I mean really just enrages me. It makes me want to throw this laptop out of my window and go live in South Africa for the rest of my life. Ok not really, but kinda. It absolutely breaks my heart to hear that more than half of teenage girls are expected to live up to a standard that is simply unrealistic! These "role models" girls have are simply put, fake. Not saying they aren't beautiful or possess attractive qualities, but most of the photos they see are false. Touched up. Photoshopped. Edited. Nowadays you can do anything through editing. Make your eyes a different color, make yourself more tan, whiter teeth, clearer skin, slimmer waist, bigger breasts, different hair color- you name it and you can do it. The problem with this is that girls are expected to look at these images and then look in the mirror and be happy. Of course after browsing the web for 2 hours and come across 100 ads of women, I won't feel great fresh out of the shower with nothing on. What I'm getting at is that these girls we're comparing ourselves to aren't real. And I know what you might be thinking- ok so celebs are touched up but what about the girls from my school that I see everyday? They can't be touched up. Which brings me to my next point.

   Unless I'm behind on the latest technology and there has been a machine invented to virtually photoshop yourself, I am under the impression that what you see is real. So yes, that girl with killer legs that sits in front of you in class actually does have that good of legs. And yes, that boy with blue eyes so piercing you feel unworthy to look his way, does indeed have incredible eyes. And that girl on instagram that went to your high school might in fact really have a size 0 waist. I won't be naive to the fact that all bodies are different and that some might seem more appealing to you. However, get this through your head. Bodies are made different, not made better. You don't have to be pretty like her, you can be pretty like you.

   Trust me, I know firsthand how awful it is to compare yourself to others when you feel inadequate. But that's the problem right there. You feel inadequate. Comparison can be a good, healthy thing if you only have the right mindset about it! Just because a girl has great legs doesn't mean her grades are well in school, or her arms are toned, or she has money, or is happy for that matter. Looks aren't everything! This is much easier said then believed, but I won't stop saying it. I struggle with my appearance every day. Every. Single. Day. But through beating myself up year after year about my body, I've realized something. Even when I do workout or lose weight or get tan or have a good hair day, I'm still unhappy. (Exciting, right? I promise this is going somewhere) It doesn't matter what I do to my appearance, there will always be something I'm still nagging on. Either physical or mental. Yeah I might feel better after I lose a size on my waist, but that doesn't change that test I failed last week. Looks aren't everything. I read something recently that I fell in love with:

"Don’t tell me I’m beautiful. I have already heard the word rubbed raw across the flesh of so many girls before me. Thrown at them like rocks that beat the skin of those we do not understand.
“You are beautiful,” we yell with such contempt. “!*&$%# , why won’t you just believe me, you’re beautiful!” It is not a compliment. It is a victory march of your own self sacrifice. “You’re beautiful,” we say through gritted teeth. “You’re beautiful,” we spit out through tears, looking at a reflection we hate. “You’re beautiful,” we say, holding a body that has never felt the arms of another. “You’re beautiful.”

Don’t tell me I’m beautiful. A word like that floats on the surface, give me something with depth. Tell me I’m intelligent. Tell me I’m courageous. Tell me that when I laugh the whole world smiles. Tell me that my voice is sweeter than strawberries. Remind me that my hands have helped flowers grow, painted the ocean, and captured the sky in my phone. Assure me that with a mind like mine, I can change the world. 

Don’t tell me I’m beautiful. I don’t really care if it’s true. I’ve spent years trying to convince myself that beauty goes through and through. Don’t tell me I’m beautiful. I’ve felt the word splatter against me enough for a lifetime. I am better than the “beautiful” that slips from your lips. I am the ocean, 36,000 feet deep. There are parts of me you have never seen. I am outer space, infinite in your search. I am not simply “beautiful.” I’m a masterpiece."

   Us women should write this poem on our walls, set it as our desktop, tattoo it on our bodies. Why are we searching for beauty like it's the ultimate satisfaction? Why do we crave to be beautiful and to have affirmation from others more than we want to excel in school? Why do we crawl for compliments and get a certain high when we receive them? If we spent half the time we do of trying to make ourselves attractive and put that energy into something creative and useful, I'd believe we would be much happier (and successful!)

   One of the ways to stop comparing yourself to others is to stop looking! I know I know, I said that we're bombard with comparison whether we like it or not, but there are certain precautions we can take. For example, if every time you check instagram you feel worse about yourself, maybe cut down on checking it so often? Or even deleting the app off your phone for the week of Spring Break? Maybe if every time you see a girl's profile picture on Facebook you feel unattractive, you should unfriend her. (there is nothing wrong from removing toxins in your life. Never apologize for your attempt to get better!) Something I started doing about a year ago was actually facing my fears head on. If I stare at a picture of a girl in a bikini so long that I start to hate myself (and possibly her), I'll comment something nice on her picture. It makes me feel better, knowing I did something instead of self pitying myself, and it makes her feel better, because who doesn't love a compliment? Disliking someone over their appearance is ridiculous. As we know, we don't have much say in what we look like. (If we did, this post would be nonexistent) Therefore, hating a fellow girl simply for her appearance or the way she dresses is shallow. Try to bring a positive out of your insecurity! Build others up. This tactic has made me feel better more times than I can count. So next time you're feeling threatened- take a deep breath, say something nice about the girl you've spent the last 5 minutes destroying in your head, and go eat that chocolate bar you've been saying no to. You deserve it.

    During this week of Spring Break, I plan to check social media less a day. I can't be checking every 5 minutes to see yet another perfect body. I won't be deleting all social media off my phone, but I can promise you I will be checking it less. If you don't feel you're strong enough to handle that, delete it for a week! I guarantee you'll enjoy your time off more if you're not constantly obsessing over instagram. Or twitter. Or snapchat. Or Facebook. And be careful what you post and comment. If you are one of those girls that gets 400 likes on a picture, don't let it define you. Stray away from comments regarding someone's weight whether good or bad. These are all things I'm working on.
   So what your boyfriend's ex girlfriend is more blessed than certain areas than you. Who cares that you didn't get a lot of likes on your bikini post? Does it really matter that you don't have that perfectly toned stomach? Working out, getting fit, and losing weight are all great goals that anyone can aspire to- in moderation. Getting fit wont cure your happiness and being skinny wont make you any smarter. Focus on what's really important.

"You don't have a soul. You are a soul, you have a body." C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

life update!!! :)

hi everyone! sorry it's been such a long time since i got back to blogging (college really is as hectic as it's cracked up to be!) but there's no need to fret- i have multiple blog ideas saved in my drafts i will be getting to soon! i simply haven't had as much time as i'd like to just sit down and relax, and the times i've had i've spent in the Bible or calling my parents or homework- important things like that! :) but things are slowing down and i will get around to posting more often again soon! this friday i leave for florida but after this upcoming week my schedule is free to write which i'm so happy about!!! 
things have been going well lately! after so many months of going downwards, things are finally looking up! all of my classes are going well and i'm halfway done with this semester! just a few things i'd like to address in this short post!
1. i covet your prayers as i officially have begun my registration for the world race! the world race is a 9 month mission trip in which i would be traveling to 3 separate countries: thailand, south africa, and nicaragua. obviously taking a year off from college is a big deal. i have been praying about this for months, and truly believe this is where i am being led by God. i have grown closer to Him than i ever thought possible since my accident, but it is not enough to quench my thirst to live for Christ. i want to leave my comfort zone and enter a 9 month period of worship. this gap program will allow me to leave september of 2015 and return june of 2016. there are multiple technical things and applications i have to fill out and would appreciate any good energy or prayers my way throughout this hectic process!!!! thank you all in advance! this is a very big decision, probably the biggest i've ever made and i've been seeking council with pastors from churches and older people i love and respect. with that being said, most of my time and energy nowadays is focused around this trip. i'll put up a post whenever i get an answer!
"is your heart so filled with love for God that you are watching for the first opportunity to say with Isaiah, 'here i am, send me.'"
2. with spring break right around the corner, you can be expecting another post on self-love! loving yourself purely and completely can be difficult and especially hard during vacations when you can't even check social media for 2 minutes without seeing a picture of a girl in a bathing suit. (DISCLAIMER: there's nothing wrong with that!!!!! if you got it, flaunt it!) however, this can be a hardship to those that struggle with insecurity as severe as i do. therefore, i'm expecting my next post to be tips on how to get through this spring break season! :)
3. i want to sincerely and genuinely thank you all from the bottom of my heart. why am i thanking you, in particular, might you be wondering? yes, you. reading this. thank you. it is because of my readers that i have recently noticed i have gotten over
10,000 page views on this blog!!!!
this is a huge deal to me and as an aspiring writer really encourages me to continue following my dreams. so thank you all for reading!!! and thank you for the feedback you guys give me. compliments go a long way with me! i hope you all have a happy wednesday tomorrow and expect to be hearing from me soon!