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Dear College Grad . . .

Dear College Grad . . .

Dear College Grad,

Congrats! You’ve worked so hard, and now commencement is over. I was cheering big as you walked across the stage, and I’m praying for you as you make this transition out of college. I remember well the conflicting emotions: mourning all the goodbyes, anticipating all the adventures just ahead.

Speaking of adventures just ahead . . . let’s talk about that, because if your experience is anything like mine, reality won’t quite meet your expectations. More

Hope Greater Than a Diamond Ring

Hope Greater Than a Diamond Ring

Someone asked me if I’d write about my journey from “boy-crazy to my man.” (If you haven’t heard, I’m getting married!)

I didn’t respond to this person’s request for a while, because I was hesitant to share my “love story.” Not because I’m not excited. Boy howdy, I am!

It’s just that I remember all too well how I used to ask married and engaged couples, “How did you get together?!” I’d lean in, soaking in every word, listening attentively to learn the secret.

As they’d share the details of their story, my hopes would rise or fall based on how similar my current circumstances were to theirs (as if God only has one love story script!).

That’s why I want to be careful about how I share this story with you. I don’t want you to hear, “I finally got a guy who stuck around . . . so surely there’s hope for you!”

‘Cause speaking of hope . . . I’ve noticed that lots of you are struggling not to give up hope.

Emily titled her email to me, “Is there any hope at all?” Here’s an excerpt:

My single girlfriends and I grew up in wonderful Christian homes where strong godly marriages were modeled, and we grew up dreaming of being wives and moms someday. We never dated around or tried to attract attention to ourselves and have even been told by lots of people that they don’t understand why we are still single. Neither do we!

I think the reason that we still struggle with boy-craziness is simply out of desperation. It’s not like we each have a hoard of guys hovering around us, and we just have to pick one. Nope, there really aren’t any guys—at all.

So whenever there is the smallest inkling of hope, we promptly do the “spiritual” thing and start praying for him every day, conniving ways to be where he is and give him a chance to observe us in a group setting, and get our hopes up . . . only to be disappointed when there really wasn’t much of anything there in the first place. It’s terrible.

Emily says it’s terrible because there are two kinds of hope—and she has the wrong kind.

I realized that there are two kinds of hope the day I read 1 Peter 1. Check out verses three and thirteen:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead . . .

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

As I read about the “living hope” we have because Christ has been raised from the dead, I realized that there are also “dead hopes.”

And although I’m commanded to “set my hope fully on the grace that will be mine when Jesus returns for me,” I realize that much of the time I set my hope on so much less: a relationship or success or [fill in the blank].

There is hope—not because you’re currently surrounded by hoards of Christian guys (or even one!), not because you’re the most beautiful girl in your circle of friends (or a close second!)—but because Jesus Christ is returning for you, and you will live forever with Him.

There is hope. But there are two kinds: the dead kind and the living kind. Which kind do you have? (You’ll know by thinking about what sends your emotions soaring . . . or plummeting.) What specifically are you setting your hope on? I’d love to hear.

If you can see that yours is a dead hope, dig into 1 Peter 1. As you do, ask God to lift your eyes from your present situation to Him. Repent of (turn from) your dead hopes, and ask Him to help you begin to set your hope fully on Christ, your Living Hope.

Then click here for the skinny on the love story He’s scripted for me. Just promise me that your hopes won’t rise and fall based on it. Deal?

Hope Greater Than a Diamond Ring was originally posted on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com. 

Christ or Crush? (Super Godly)

Christ or Crush? (Super Godly)

Some of you are attracted to your crush for much deeper reasons than his dark hair and strong muscles. You love the way he loves God. Rock on! Still, I wonder if you’ve thought through this?

Now it’s your turn. How specifically is your crush godly, or God-like? And how does his godliness line up with Christ’s godliness?

Christ or Crush? (Super Godly) was originally posted on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com.

But God Can’t Hold Me Like My Crush Can . . .

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Apparently I’m not the only one who has wondered how God can satisfy when all I want is a pair of strong arms to hold me close. Here’s what Rebecca wrote me:

“The biggest thing I think my crush can give me that God can’t is his strong arms wrapped around me. Although my crush has yet to hold me in his arms, his physical closeness sends shivers throughout my body. I know that God is always there for me . . . but sometimes my feelings get the better of me, and all I want to do is be wrapped up in my crush’s arms and attention.”

Grace added:

“I think what always gets me is that God isn’t physically there like a guy is. He can’t wrap his arms around me. Sometimes I just want that.”

And finally, Isabella said:

“I have often thought, I wish God could come down here and give me a big bear hug. Then I would really be in love with Him.”

But here’s the thing . . . He has come down! And while He was here, He picked up kids and cradled them in His arms. (You have to admit, that shows a tender heart—few guys walk around doing the same thing!)

I know He’s not physically here now. That’s the whole “we walk by faith and not by sight” deal. Like 1 Peter 1:8 says,

“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.”

But one day soon, we will see Him. We will be with Him.

When Christ comes again to “marry” the Church, His Bride, He will likely hold us too. I don’t know this for sure, but here’s what 1 Corinthians 13:13 does say:

“Now we see in a mirror, but then, face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

Now that is something to look forward to! Jesus Christ is not an idea; He is a Person. A Divine Person with arms and legs and beautiful probing eyes. He loves you. Enough to spread His arms wide in order to bleed so you might be healed. And if you have put your trust in His death and resurrection on your behalf, you will soon see and know Him fully.

If you have put your trust in Christ’s death and resurrection on your behalf, you will soon see and know Him fully.

So in the meantime, as you wait for Him, by all means, hug! No, not your crush. Hug your dad. Hug your mom. Hug your brothers and sisters. Hug your friends. Hug those old ladies at church.

And as you wait on your forever Bridegroom, watch out that you don’t make the same mistake God’s people made years ago, when they rejected God for a man they could see and touch. (You can read that story in 1 Samuel 8 and 12:19.)

Now I’d love to hear from you. Are you in danger of deciding God is not enough for you because He isn’t here to hug you right this second? Tell me about it (and more importantly, talk to Him about it!).

Christ or Crush? (His Muscles)

Christ or Crush? (His Muscles)

My boyfriend works out at the gym when he gets the chance, which I love. I’ve always thought strong arms were so attractive. Apparently, you agree with me!

But as strong as your crush is, and as strong as I think my boyfriend is, their muscles are nothing compared to Christ’s strength. Let me give you three examples.

I’d love to hear from you. How strong is your crush? And, how strong is your Christ?

Christ or Crush? (His Muscles) was originally posted on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com.

Christ or Crush? (Gives Great Gifts)

Christ or Crush? (Gives Great Gifts)

One Valentine’s Day when I was a teen, my boyfriend gave me a little teddy bear and a paperweight that said “Sweetheart” on it. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!

Maybe you wish your crush would give you a teddy bear, but you’re happy that he gave you a piece of gum once, or that he let you drink some of his pop. You’re thrilled that your crush gave you anything at all!

Well, have you ever stopped to think about what Christ has given you?

I’d love to hear from you. What has your crush given you? What has Christ given you? And what are you looking to your crush to give you that Jesus Christ can’t give to you?

Christ or Crush? (Gives Great Gifts) was originally posted on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com. 

Christ or Crush? (His Eyes)

Christ or Crush? (His Eyes)

I’m so grateful for all of you who left me a comment telling me what you like about your crush. You girls are suckers for eyes! Some of you think brown is gorgeous, some of you prefer blue, but almost all of you are drawn in by them.

Well, if you think your crush’s eyes are magnetic, you should see Christs’ . . . and you will! Learn more here:

Oh, and if you want to learn more about what I shared, here are some great passages to look up:

  • Rom. 14:10-12
  • 1 Cor. 3:10–4:5
  • 2 Cor. 5:1–10
  • Rev. 1:14
  • Rev. 2:18
  • Rev. 19:12
  • Rev. 20:11–15

Christ or Crush? (His Eyes) was originally published on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com.

Christ or Crush? (Mysterious)

Christ or Crush? (Mysterious)

Everyone knows girls like mysterious guys. There’s something thrilling about not being able to quite figure them out.

But have you ever thought about how the same is true of Christ? If you wanna talk about mysterious . . .

After you’ve watched this video, I’d love to hear from you. What do you think about the mysteriousness of your crush and the mysteriousness of Christ? Do you think you could ever fully know and understand your crush? Will you ever fully know and understand Christ? Does this fact make you want to pursue getting to know Him more or less through His Word?

Christ or Crush? (Mysterious) was originally posted on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com.