Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Love is in the Air: Be God's

"Be Mine" and "You Belong to Me" are popular phrases spoken by people we know and sung by famous musicians in every language around the world. These words and song lyrics convey a universal message known to humankind: We all want to be loved. Such sentiments fill our minds with romantic notions. Such words sweetly spoken (or sung) to us capture our hearts and inspire our minds with the idea of falling in love with a special someone and spending forever together.

Did you know that you as a human are already loved? You're not just loved by people you know and can see, you are loved and deeply known by the invisible, Almighty God who wants you to know and love Him too. Yes, you heard me right. The Creator of the Universe (God) wants to be yours! It's true. Read Ephesians 1:4 for proof. God loves you with all of His divine heart and He asks you to be His not just on Valentine's Day but every single day of your life. Best of all, a relationship with God lasts forever as in eternity!

Today, my dear writer friend Brandy Bruce is here to encourage you to "Be God's". 

I hope you are encouraged and inspired by her devotional. 

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Be God’s
A devotional written by Brandy Bruce

When I was in high school, I was a huge Rich Mullins fan. Songs like "Awesome God", "Sometimes by Step" and "Hold Me, Jesus" inspired me and strengthened my faith. I still remember how utterly sad I was to hear of his tragic death. Just a college student at the time myself, I knew the world had lost something special when Rich Mullins past away. A couple of years later I went to a concert by his band, the Ragamuffins. They were selling T-shirts with a phrase on them that Rich loved: Be God’s.

The phrase has stuck with me ever since. Be God’s.

What does it mean? To be honest, I’m still learning that. But along my winding faith journey, I think I’ve learned what it doesn’t mean.

Let me back up a bit. The truth is that my faith journey has had its ups and downs. Periods of intense doubt. Mountain top highs. Deep valley lows. Moments where I’ve felt close to God. Moments where I’ve been unsure. Not everyone can relate, I know.

Some can.

I’ve struggled with faith. I still do sometimes, but I’ve reached a point where I cling to faith even when I’m not sure. I choose faith even when riddled with unbelief. I choose Jesus, over and over again. I’m not saying it always comes easy. It’s a choice made with my heart and my mind and my soul.

During one specific season of my life, I found myself feeling hopeless, feeling broken. Maybe you’ve been there.

In the midst of doubt and brokenness, I only had the spiritual strength to whisper, “I still believe.”

And it was enough.

That’s when I learned what it means to be God’s . . . and what it doesn’t. My faith doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. Yours doesn’t have to resemble mine—your faith journey is your own. Like mine is my own. I’ve looked at other women in my life and beyond, and thought to myself: I can’t be like her. My faith is so wobbly, God could never use me like he uses her. She probably never goes through periods of doubt. She probably reads her Bible every single morning. She probably never skips church. She would never read that book or watch that movie. She’s probably an amazing wife and mother, and her husband adores her. She probably walks and talks and breathes spirituality. I’m nothing like her. The terrible part is that I don’t even want to be! It looks exhausting.

Have you had thoughts like that?

In the middle of that season of doubt, I found Jesus still there. It occurred to me that because He’s enough, I don’t have to worry about whether I am. When thoughts like the ones above swirl through my mind, He’s that voice telling me that I don’t have to be like anyone else. He loves me just as I am. My relationship with Him is unique, like any real relationship. It’s our own love story, you know. I’m just me. I’m a work in progress, and I’m loved by God through every step of the refining process. I was loved before I chose to be God’s. He loved me then. He loves me now.

He loves you too.

I have no idea what happened to that T-shirt I bought that day. It was white, with black letters scrawled across in Rich’s handwriting. I wore it until the edges frayed and the white wasn’t quite so bright. Be God’s.

Not “be perfect” or “be like her” or “be better” or even “be strong.” Just be God’s. It’s enough.

When I first started to write Second Chance Café, I didn’t know that Isabella’s faith journey would start to look like mine. As her character began to take shape, I recognized her questions, those doubts and fears, as my own. Her story is close to my heart. It’s a picture of a woman struggling to hold on to a faith that feels cold. She’s frustrated by life’s disappointments. She’s wondering who she is. She needs God to show up in a real way.

She has to learn, as I did, that it’s enough just to be His. He’ll hold on tight enough for the both of them. It’s true for all of us. Our faith journeys are our own. They’re going to look different and that’s okay. Different is beautiful. Just be God’s. It’s the best place to start.

I hope you’ll check out Isabella’s story in Second Chance Café and let me know what you think!

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Author bio: 

Brandy Bruce has worked in book publishing for more than ten years. 

She's an editor and an author and a woman who really loves dessert. 

Brandy lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. 

You can find her online at brandybruce.blogspot.com.

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Blurb for Brandy's book, Second Chance Café:

Isabella Romano has given up on love. Between her demanding work as a nurse and her father's poor health, Isabella has no time for distractions. So when a handsome firefighter practically falls at her feet, she keeps him at arm's length. But Ethan Carter is determined to win her over.

Orphaned at a young age, Ethan longs for a family of his own--and he's sure Isabella is his match. But when he opens a cafe near his firehouse, Isabella is less than thrilled. She knows firsthand the strain of being a restaurant owner, and wants no part of that life. Can Ethan convince the busy nurse they can overcome any obstacle and have their happily ever after together?

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Buy Brandy’s book:
Amazon.com - http://amzn.to/1R3D2Cx
Barnes& Noble - http://bit.ly/1GT3YPO
Christianbook.com - http://bit.ly/1cbfkEG
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Connect with Brandy:
Blog - http://brandybruce.blogspot.com/

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