Even On The Darkest Days, God Is Still Awesome

It is 12 a.m. on this lovely night of spring break, which means as I lay down my head clouds with thoughts. I should probably be sleeping, but it is the perfect time to reflect on life, what do y’all think? This might go on a little tangent, so bear with me here.

I was just thinking about God and how awesome He is. Yes, I know I probably say that quite often, but I am serious. Our God is one awesome God. I cannot even stress enough how incredibly awesome He is.

“For the Lord Most High is awesome. He is the great King of all the earth.” Psalm 47:2

It is incredibly easy to get caught up on the things that go wrong in our lives. We might be going through a storm in our life whether that be something as “big” as the death of a loved one to something as “small” (relatively speaking, I think everything is equally challenging) as struggling with school. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in the bad, that we forget to remember how great our God really is. We did nothing, absolutely nothing, to deserve God’s blessings, yet He loves us so much that He blesses our lives in great and unexpected ways.

We tend to forget about how awesome God is during those hard times. Through my twenty years of life on this earth, I have realized that there is always something to be thankful for, even on the darkest of days. You just have to be willing to look for that goodness.

“The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” Psalm 145:9

Here is a little glimpse at some of the little things and moments that reminded me of how awesome God is tonight (just tonight, there are new things I think of every day because He is that awesome).

Tonight I got to spend some quality time with my two precious cousins and their sweet momma. I had to just sit there for a moment and thank God for giving me them. I do not thank God enough for putting them in my life. They have given me the purest love and joy I can experience on this Earth. I seriously did not know it was possible to love so much. Like the fact that I got chosen to be their RaRa, their sweet name for me,  amazes me. I am blessed beyond words. God is so awesome for blessing me with them.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Lately, I have been feeling like I am not being the light that God wants me to be. I have been struggling with that. I want to glorify Him in everything I do, but sometimes it feels impossible, especially going to school at the University of Oklahoma away from my family and my childhood friends. I do not always understand where he places me, but I finally got some confirmation that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. That was a great reminder for me to constantly be showing God’s love wherever I am at because I never know how He is going to use me. It is usually when I least expect it.

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transfered us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of  sins.” Colossians 1:9-14

Finally, in a couple of days my sweet friend in heaven will turn twenty. This day hits me pretty hard. It is hard for me to comprehend how I got to turn twenty a couple weeks ago, but Unique is not here to turn twenty. I honestly just do not get it, but you know what? That is okay. We do not always have to understand what is going on. What I do know for sure is that Unique will be in heaven celebrating her special day with God. I am sure it will be a huge party filled with singing, purple decorations and lots of “Cheetah Girls” songs. I cannot wait for the day I get to see her radiant smile and give her a big hug again. That is why God is so awesome. He sent His son to the Earth to die on the cross for our sins, so we could have the chance to spend an eternity in heaven with Him. I get to see Unique again because of that. How awesome is God for loving us that much?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Take some time today to remind yourself how awesome God is. I promise you that you can find something to thank God for.

 

New Challenges: Creating A Business Card

This week in public relations publications, we were tasked with the assignment to create a business card for any organization that we wanted.

I chose to create a business card for Soonerthon.

I am currently on exec for Soonerthon as an Ambassador. As a Soonerthon Ambassador, I am in charge of raising a lot of money (and I mean a whole lot) and keeping track of donation boxes around Norman. I wanted to create a business card for Soonerthon because it is an organization that I am extremely passionate about and actively involved in.

Soonerthon is all about raising money for the incredibly strong kids that have to spend their days at the Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City.

When I was a junior in high school, I lost one of my very best friends to cancer. She spent many of her days at the children’s hospital in Tulsa, OK. She is the reason why I participate in Soonerthon. She was an inspiration to me and so many others from my high school. Unique had a tough fight, but she fought every single day with an extreme amount of strength and a never-ending love for God.

As you may know, I am a total control freak and perfectionist. I like having strict guidelines when it comes to projects and assignments. Assignments like creating a business card for the organization of my choice is hard for me because I like concrete instructions.

I decided to create a business card for Soonerthon because it is an organization that I am a part of, one that I am passionate about and one that I strongly connect to.

When you strongly connect to a brand, it is easy to portray their message through a project. I am glad I could portray my love for Soonerthon through something as simple as learning to create a business card.

I still have a lot of things to learn when it comes to creating through Indesign, but I am finally starting to get the hang of it.

Practice, practice and more practice is all it takes. It might not be perfect yet, but here is an example of what I have learned to do through Indesign so far:

I still have a very long ways to go, but I am learning the process one day at a time.

Forever In My Heart

IMG_3470Two years ago on this very day my world was forever changed.

I met Unique Barnes when I was a little sixth grader at Haskell Middle School. She was in the band and I was in choir so I didn’t personally know her that well. That changed in seventh grade when she joined the choir. I instantly knew that this girl was different.

She was the type of person that literally everyone was friends with. She was so friendly and something about her was just so inviting. Unique didn’t care if you were popular, white, black, nerdy, shy, outgoing, or whatever else you were she would talk to you.

I instantly felt so close to her and we became great friends. I loved being around her because her joyful presence could change the darkest mood. Her love of Christ shined through her, and it was always so inspiring to me. I wanted to be just like her.

I can vividly remember January 27th, 2014.

It was my junior year of high school. Unique had been sick and in the hospital for awhile. I would go and visit her and you couldn’t even tell she was sick.Her spirits were high and she only wanted to focus on the positives. We would laugh and catch up on all the latest gossip. I was positive that she would have a quick recovery.

Then things took a turn for the worse. I went to visit her in the hospital and I didn’t even recognize her. I couldn’t even stay in the room for very long because I didn’t want her to see me upset even though she wasn’t talking anymore. I didn’t realize that in that moment I had said my last words to her.

Then the day that I will never forget.

I couldn’t go to the hospital to visit Unique that night because I had show choir practice till nine. Two of my darling friends were with her and they did their best to keep me up to date. During one of the water breaks I felt a small sense of hope. My friend that was at the hospital with Unique texted me and said that while she was talking to Unique she told her “Sierra loves you and she wishes she was here,” and my friend said that Unique smiled after she mentioned my name. That put the biggest smile on my face and I went back to practice thinking that everything would be okay. Little did I know that my world was about to change.

An hour later and practice was over. Right at nine my teacher got a call and he looked grim. My heart dropped. I rushed to my phone and saw the text that I was dreading. Unique had passed away.

There is no pain like losing someone you love. I fell apart at that moment. A whirl of emotions swept through me. I just didn’t know what to do. I was angry. I was sad. I wanted to just curl up in a ball and be away from everyone.

I’m not going to lie, at the time I was a little angry at God. I didn’t understand why this had to happen. I was confused and hurt, but after some time I realized that Unique wouldn’t want me to be mad at God.

During this time of pain I turned to the only thing that could give me comfort, God. I opened up my bible and I saw a verse that really stuck out to me.

“Oh death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NLT

This verse made me realize that yes it is okay for me to mourn the death of my sweet friend, but I don’t have to lose hope because Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we could have a relationship with God. When you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are promised eternal life in heaven. I know for a fact that Unique had accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and I have as well. So when my time comes, I will get to join Unique up in heaven. I can’t wait for that day to come.

Today marks two years since Unique became an angel. This is a wound that time can’t heal. I still miss her dearly and would do anything to give her a big hug again right now. I know she is looking down on me from heaven and I just hope that I am making her proud here on Earth. She is and will always be my biggest inspiration. I want to be like Unique. If I could be half of the woman she was,  I would be set. I am so thankful that I had the honor of knowing and being friends with Unique. Rest in peace angel.

I love you Unique.