Going from worrier to His warrior

I’m gonna be transparent with you, the last few weeks have been a struggle to me with this thing we call worry. I have lost hours of sleep, had lots of heartburn, and missed out on precious moments with the people I love all because I was worrying about the future.

I, like most people, worry about every little situation in my life. I worry about my alarm clock not going off, even though I have two set every morning, I worry about not finishing my homework, and now I worry about life after college. At least once a day these questions scroll through my mind like they are on a marquee: What are you going to do with your life? What jobs are you going to apply for? Where are you going to live? Is the wedding seriously only a few months away? Why haven’t you done this or done that? This semester, being my last, in college has been a struggle when it comes to my worry problem.

Did you notice all those questions started out with “Why haven’t you” instead of Why haven’t I? I started thinking about that and then it hit me, it’s not me asking those questions on the daily it’s the sneaky little devil!

The devil can make you think this worry problem is impossible to get rid of, but guess what? It’s not. You wanna know why? I’m gonna tell you anyways. The answer is Jesus!

We know that worrying is a sin, but we so many times forget that the One who can throw this sin as far as the east is from the west is as close to you as your phone is.

The Bible talks about worry in Matthew 6 saying, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your lifeBut seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

This is just a glimpse of what the author of Matthew understood about our Father, but man is it powerful! To think, the creator of the universe tells us not to worry. You would think this would be good enough right? It should be! It is!

After reading this and comprehending it, comes the hard part. The part where you have to give your worries to God. Seems simple right? You would think, but as humans we always seem to leave our sins at the foot of the cross but as soon as we think He turns His mighty and powerful head we run and grab it back thinking we need it back in our lives. I am so guilty of this. But I have come to the realization that the moment I truly give my sin to the Father is the moment I truly feel free. You never know how much sin weighs on your life until you decide to truly give it up and never look back again.

I truly encourage each and everyone one of you to be transparent with yourselves and Christ.

As children of the King we are His Princes and Princesses. We need to regain our confidence and stop being worriers and become the true prince and princess warriors God has called us to be.

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Why Long Distance Relationships Never Work

Couldn’t have said any better!

The Musings of a College Kid

Well, thanks for coming over to my blog! I haven’t written anything in quite a while, but that’s because of college term papers and life in general. Now that I’ve had time to sit and contemplate life, I think I’ve found a topic worth considering. Today, I want to write about an idea near and dear to my heart, which is the thought that – on most occasions – a long distance relationship is doomed from the start.

(A disclaimer: I am not speaking directly to any individual. I have experienced nothing but love and support in my growth and my relationship, but I have seen others who weren’t as lucky. I love the people who have been around me, and my hope is that you will see both sides of this topic and come out of it with understanding.)

Sadly, they are.

You want to know why?

It’s because…

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A life changing hit

If y’all have been reading other people’s blogs you might have read some of my boyfriends stuff. He mostly talks about college and here and there he’ll talk about me! So sweet right? Well I’m not gonna lie it’s kind of weird reading about myself from someone else point of view. Every once in a while it’s nice to be able to see how much someone appreciates you though.

Now that I got that out of the way. I though I would tell y’all how we met. I think it’s pretty sweet if you ask me, but I guess I’m a little bias! All of our friends love this story because it’s something that would be in a movie. So if a movie comes out with a story like this, I know one of y’all took it! 🙂

The story of us:

Well I was going into my sophomore year of high school, a he was going into his junior year. I went on a trip with a big group of people from Oklahoma to another great country! Little did I know the love of my life would be going to the same country with a group of people from Missouri going with the same organization.

Anyways, it’s was a few days into our trip and my small group went to a church to meet with some people from that country. We played games, talked about our home countries, and did I mention played a lot of games? Well we did.

I was playing ping pong with a little boy, and you know how people get when they are bored and get a little crazy when hitting the ping pong ball? Ya, that’s what happened. And of course my first reaction when a ball is coming at my face is to either duck or hit it even harder back at the person. Well I decided at the very last second to hit it back. When this happened there just happened to be a boy from Missouri who walked down the steps right as the ball was flying through the air. Did I mention when he walked down the last couple stairs the ping pong ball hit him right in the middle of the forehead? It did. He says it was love at first sight for him. Me on the other hand, not so much.

At that time, I didn’t care about boys. I loved sports, like really loved sports. I’m really competitive, he’s figured that out by now. Anyways, I ran over and probably said the usual, “oh my goodness I’m so sorry, but that was stinking hilarious!”

On the last night, of the trip as usual, everyone gave each other their numbers and promised each other they would always stay in touch, no matter what. By the way, that totally did not happen. We got back to America and everything went back to normal. Then I got this text saying this guy was the guy I hit in the forehead with a ping pong ball. I said okay, but didn’t think much about. He was from a totally different state and I didn’t really having dating on the mind at that time. We stayed friends for about a year or so. That was until I went to speak at a conference in St. Louis in the fall. He just happened to live not to far from there and was able to help us set up and tear down all of the equipment I needed for my presentation.

The deal is, he never asked me to be his girlfriend when we were face to face that weekend. He had asked several times before, but my answer was always, “how will that ever work?.” that was until the night I got back from convention. Finally he asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes!

Did I mention we live like 8 hours away. Seriously. We saw each other two times the first year we were together and a few times the second year, because we went to different colleges in two different states. Did I mention we’ve been together three whole years now, AND we go to the same college now? Crazy right? He graduated with his associates this past May, and moved down to Oklahoma this August! It’s been an amazing relationship. We had a lot of negativity from professors and other people who thought our relationship wouldn’t last because we didn’t see each other often. Well guess what??? We have proven them wrong!

Well there’s my love story! Well, my first love story is my testimony which I shared to you in my first post! I hope you have read it, it definitely changed my whole life for the better! Anyways, I hope that whether you are single, in a long distance relationship, or in a normal face to face relationship you have I enjoyed our love story! Thanks for reading y’all!

Shaking in my boots…literally.

So every college graduate/student has to pass those dreaded Gen. Ed. courses to get through into there major’s courses. I, for one, could skip them and be perfectly fine. Well there are some of those courses that, honestly, I just cannot stand. But, Speech was one course that I looked forward to, crazy right? Everyone is staring at you, on their phones, and/or wishing the clock would strike that last stroke so they can run out and have lunch. 

Well, I have had a little bit of history when it comes to speaking in front of a lot of people. From district, state, and national conventions to national speech competitions, but there is just something about presenting a speech to a handful of people that really scares me to death. Especially when your final grade depends on one 6 to 8 minute speech.

So here’s what happened:

It was a week before finals, and my professor gave me a persuasive speech to talk about. She also gave us, like all professors seem to do, a very long list of what we cannot speak over. Well, as you have read before in one of my posts about Heather, she instantly popped into my head. I knew instantly that distracted driving was my topic. What I didn’t seem to think was how hard it was going to be to actually speak about her. I decided, since we had to have a visual aid, that it would be in memory of Heather. Getting her poster together was definitely the hardest part for me. Every time I would try and finish the poster someone would interrupt or joke about how stupid it was for me to be doing a speech over something no one was going to listen to. 

In the two years of being in college I have never had someone be so rude and inconsiderate to me. I, for some odd reason, thought that college would be different then high school. People wouldn’t be so cruel and would know better than to be that way, but of course that so so wrong.

One of the best parts of living on the dorms at a college is the fact that your friends are seriously living like two whole feet across the hall from you. In this case a whole 5 feet catty-corner(or however you spell it) to me. I was coming back from a study night our collegiate ministry has during finals week, and honestly I was so defeated from peoples harsh words and just wanted to get in my, as comfortable as a dorm bed can be, bed and cry myself to sleep. That was until I was invited to a, really good, friends room. She has really been an amazing friend even though we met not to long ago. After some awkward moments from the dorm room above us and some talking about some of our favorite high school and church memories, I was feeling a whole lot better. 

That was until that dreadful/nerve wrecking morning when I was supposed to give my speech. I had never been so nervous before. I wanted everything to be just perfect because Heather was an amazing person and friend. I was ready, had my poster, speech ,and outlines. I walked out the door and walked half way down the hall when I realized I forgot my Nutrigrain bar and Water, can’t forget breakfast! I was ready again, I told my roommate good luck on her finals, walked out my door, locked it, walked outside, and guess what? It was RAINING!!! Yes, RAINING! I was so rushed, nervous, and needed my breakfast. I ran back into my room. I’m pretty sure my roommate thought I was crazy! I tried to find something to cover my poster up with. Anything would work, finally I found a trash bag from when I moved in. I grabbed it, threw it over my poster, and ran out of the dorm. Mind you I had to dress up for this speech, so I had my hair as best as it could be for a curly haired girl on a dreadful rainy day. I got there with seriously 2 minutes to spare. 

The Speech:

I got more nervous the longer I had to wait. But, it was finally my turn. I had my timer ready, handed my outline to my professor, and hung my poster. It was time. All those tears were going to have to be held back for just 8 minutes till i was all over. Did I mention that I as really nervous? Like so nervous I heard shaking in my voice, almost burst out in tears talking about her story, and couldn’t remember my place in my outline multiple times? Yeah, for the first time that was me. Finally it was over. Everyone clapped louder then ever, and I sat down. I was so revealed to be done with finals, and was so ready to have lunch and then head home for Christmas. But, first I had to get that dreaded outline back with my grade on it. I honestly didn’t think I could show how amazing she was through an 8 minute speech, but everyone was in tear when I looked around. I had so many people come up to me and tell me that they could not do what I just did. Honestly I was only about to get through it with the Holy Spirit. 

P.S. Did I forget to say I got an A+ in the class because of that speech????

In the end I was so honored to be able to talk about such an amazing person. I miss you so much Miss Heather Marie!

I wear pink for Heather

It was October 19, 2013. I came home from college that weekend and was helping out my youth group at a Disciple Now. It was a Saturday night when my sister-in-law got the most horrifying text message, that no one should ever have to get. One of my very close friends was driving home when a man was distracted while driving and hit her from the back side and killed her instantly.

She was only 18 years old and a senior in high school. She had the rest of her life to be and do what God wanted her to be and do. I have never, in my life, felt so lost, confused, or in disbelief. She was an amazing young lady who loved the Lord, was a state officer for Oklahoma FCCLA, and was one of the most beautiful and caring person I have ever met in my life.

I remember being a senior in high school and having her and her very best friend spend the night at my house. One of those nights she was so confused about why it was so hard to get over a guy and why I found the man of my dreams so “quickly” and early in life. I would always tell her that in the right time God will let the perfect man come into her life. But little did I know that she would have her life get cut short because of somebody elses selfish decision.

For the little time she was her on Earth, she blessed so many people’s lives. I know that because she let the Lord have control of her life and because of that she was able to do just that. At first it didn’t seem fair that she was taken so quickly, but after crying my eyes out, wondering why, and having the puffiest eyes in the entire world, I realized how selfish I was being by wanting her to be with her earthly family and friends again. She now is not suffering, crying, or wondering why guys are so mean, she is praising the Lord, hugging His neck, and rejoicing with the Father who created us all.

She was always dreaming about mine and Jesse’s wedding telling us that she wanted to be in the wedding no matter what, and how she loved our story. I think that is what hit me the hardest, the fact that she physically won’t be there to take tons of pictures, have lots of laughs, and lots of hugs with. What I have come to realize is that she won’t be there physically, but she will be there in spirit. Whenever that amazing day finally comes, I know that we (Jesse and I) will find some way to remember her and her life with us here on Earth.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and her gorgeous smile. She will always have a place in my heart.

So the next time you decide to text, call, change songs, or whatever else that takes your thoughts and eyes off the road DON’T! Please please please I beg you! It is totally not worth a life ending.

In loving memory of Heather Marie Hickman October 19, 2013

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The Beginning

Well, first off I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Tori, and by the name of my blog you now know that I am a pastor’s daughter. And today I finished my first year of college!!! I am very outgoing and very involved in the community around me. There has been a lot that has went on in my life, being a pastor’s kid and all, but the Father has definitely had His hands on my family and I.

In being my first blog post, I thought I would just give you a glimpse of my story. Even before I was born, I was in a baptist church. So the church is something that I do not take lightly. We’ve always been at a smaller church, and we loved the since of family. But, in being the pastor’s first daughter, it has had it’s not so great moments. 

Many people see the pastor’s kids and either think their perfect little angels, or their party goers who don’t know when to stop. Well I am hear to tell you that I don’t go to those parties, but I am also not perfect. My family has been through a lot of things, just like your family has. We’ve moved around, and I had to leave the best friends I had since I was born. As a fourth graded I didn’t understand what was going and, and why people were making us move so quickly. My family went from having everything we could ever ask for to hoping and praying we had enough money to buy peanut butter and bread for sandwiches. It wasn’t easy, but we knew all along that God had a plan for our family and that the town He put us in was going to be a huge blessing to our family. 

No one likes moving, especially me. I hate it. Having to leave your friends and family to go to the unknown. Or for us moving somewhere for a couple of months, just long enough where I made really good life long friendships, and then having to get up and leave to go to another unknown town. It’s definitely not what I imagined my life would be like. But, by the grace of God the third town we moved to was one where I would be able to settle down and graduate from high school. I met the most amazing people that love the Lord, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

My love story with the Father started in this third town. I was in the fifth grade, I just moved schools and I was a nervous wreck. It was just after Christmas break when I would go to school in so much pain, but my teacher just thought I wanted to go home so she would tell me, |”go to the bathroom and get rid of those tears.” But little did any of us know that my appendix had burst and I was so ill I could have died. Finally, one night, I went to the E.R. and they immediately took me into surgery. I had no idea what was going on, that was until after the surgery. What changed my life forever was just these few lines my surgeon and dad said when I was waking up from surgery. The doctor told my dad, “if she wouldn’t have came in at the exact moment she did, she would have past away within two hours.” All that my dad replied with was, “We know then and now that God has a huge plan for her life.” I never realized how fast my life could have been taken if I wasn’t in the Lord’s hands.I knew from that moment on if I wasn’t living for Him then I wasn’t living for anything. 

The Lord has done so much in my life since then from calling me to the ministry to bringing me to a college who is on fire for Him. In this blog I hope that you are, if anything, enlightened and pumped up about what the Lord is doing in and through your life. I also want you to know that everybody has hard times, and don’t be so afraid of judgment and criticism that you can’t live your life.