- Bible Study: Matthew 5:16
Hey, pretty girl!
In my Instagram post today, I shared a photo that I took at the “Rise and Shine” mural in Minneapolis (mural address in the photo caption). This specific word, “shine,” reminded me of a great biblical quote in the chapter of Matthew. This verse is Jesus explaining to his followers that they are the “light of the world” and must “let their light shine.”
Before I get into this verse and it’s application and meaning to me personally, I figured I would share how I personally study my Bible.
- I go on Pinterest and find verses/chapters that interest me the most
- I plan out on a calendar which days I will read certain chapters
- I set a designated time to study the verse (usually prior to sleeping for me)
- Grab highlighters, colored pens and sticky notes for studying
- Journal following your study session to share what you learned
- Share what you learned with God through a prayer
Now, I read the entirety of chapter 5 of Matthew, but I wanted to just highlight this one verse in this blog post. However, I recommend reading the entire chapter for context and complete understanding. This is just what I personally took from the verse and doesn’t have to be a direct reflection on your thoughts.
To me, this verse is pointing out that you cannot keep your love of faith and God secret or concealed. This is because when other see your good works, it may inspire them to also praise God and embrace faith like you are. If we are to conceal our “light,” in other words, hide our faith, we are not living to our fullest potential. Your honorable and faithful actions WILL be seen by others, no matter how small these actions are. Those living through their faith will be sincere, faithful and humble in their actions.
I pray that my actions through the light of faith within me can inspire others so that they see the good works I do for You.
Happy bible studying 🙂
With Love, Marin
- On My Side of the Fence
When I was listening to every Dan and Shay song in preparation for their concert (before Corona postponed it) I fell in love with the song “My Side of the Fence.” (Y’all I swear it is 1000x better than “Speechless”) Listening to the lyrics, I envisioned the kind of love I wanted. I even told myself that I would wait for that kind of love and not accept anything less. However, at that same time, I was very distant from God and fulfilling Christ’s word, as well as being filled with anxiety and negative self image. I knew that I would not be able to find that kind of love until I began to work on correcting those things.
Attending St. Thomas, and taking theology class last fall semester, I began to get closer to the Lord than I had been in an incredibly long time. That’s when I realized that that there was a reason why I had ended up at this smaller, catholic college and not a large public one. In high school I had made it clear that I didn’t have time to learn religion on top of all my school work, because school was my top priority over Him. While that was not a good excuse, now God was making a point to me that since religion was now part of my school work, I had an opportunity to learn and grow in my faith, while also focusing on my schoolwork.
Following this class, I made a promise to myself in the new year to grow in my faith. For me, this looked like putting my anxiety on Him instead of bearing all the weight myself. When I felt like things were hard to handle, I took out my bible and read a chapter (or two or three), put on some worship music and, most importantly, prayed.
Now, I had been praying for years, but not like I was this year. Before, I had prayed in a way that was more like a mutual deal than actual trust. I prayed that “I would do X if God would do Y.” However, I realized that God wasn’t a genie to grant my wishes and by praying in this way, I wasn’t truly trusting Him. So I learned to pray in a different way. I began to pray for what I had and for what I knew I was one day going to have through trusting His process.
I am not going to act like this change was easy for me. As soon as I returned to college from January-term, I began to accept life without the Lord again. I was okay chasing boys instead of them chasing me. I was okay with not praying. I was okay with living with anxious thoughts. But when I was losing sight of Him, a new door had opened. I was removed from college. I was removed from every distraction taking me away from Him.
And when I gave the time to Him, suddenly it seemed like things became a lot less heavy on my soul . I felt my anxiety lifted and a lot more at peace with the person I am. I began to set goals for myself and manifest them into existence through prayer and ultimate trust in what God had planned for me. I saw growth in my self confidence, my mental health was more at ease, I found myself only accepting of proper male behavior towards me and my side hustle was taking off.
When I began to start getting rid of what God would not approve of, I found something (someone) that fit into my new mentality. It seemed so strange that it took a pandemic for me to manifest the “My Side of the Fence” type of love that I new I wanted to give to someone else, and also have in return. Over quarantine, my current boyfriend (I’ll introduce him to y’all super soon we just need to have a photoshoot together) treated me like no one else ever had.
He face-timed me on the daily, kept his promises on contacting me, didn’t constantly ask “what’s up” but instead found deeper conversation, he made his intentions with me clear, and most importantly, he treated me like a man of God would. And yet, for a while, I still found it hard to leave the person who wasn’t treating me like that, behind.
During that time, I opened up a book I had bought many months before and hadn’t gotten around to reading, “A Love Letter Life.” One quote stuck out to me, almost like I was meant to read it.
“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing.”Jeremy Roloff, A Love Letter Life
It had got to the point where staying in the confusing relationship I was in was causing me greater pain than it would be to move on. So I did what the quote told me to and made a change. I’m so incredibly grateful I did because I found that “My Side of the Fence” kind of love because I was no longer accepting less than that…
Back in November I wrote a blog post on what I’d say when I found my person: “I’m a whole. You will never complete me. You will simply be an addition. You’re not going to be afraid to chase me. You won’t be afraid of my confidence, intelligence and self love. You will be deserving of me. And I will be deserving of you. And when I meet you, I’ll know.”
I have some updates to that statement…
Yes, I am a whole on my own, but life is a lot more fun with you in it. I was wrong, you’re not simply “an” addition. You’re THE addition that I never want to lose. You weren’t, and still aren’t, afraid to chase me. Both my and your confidence, intelligence and self love blend so well together. You are deserving of me. And I am deserving of you (y’all for me to say this is crazy I never think I deserve something this incredibly good). And I may not have known at first when I met you that you were my person, but I wholeheartedly do now. And…
You’re the rain on the roof in the summer
You’re the leaves in the fall changing color
You’re the whisper I hear in the thunder
On my side of the fence
You’re the reason my heart’s beating faster
You’re the tears falling down from the laughter
You’re the only one I’m after
I pray you also find this kind of love.
With Love, Marin