Kerrington's Posts, UYM

{Worth} Darkest Hour.

Written By: Kerrington Sweeney


Young Girl about 14…Damp tear filled eyes.  Messed up mascara.  Sad expression imprinted upon her face.  I could tell she was depressed. “She had it rough.” I thought to myself.

One week in our small groups at youth, I began asking the girls, about their favorite hobbies or something that really interested them.  Some it was, horse-back riding, others shopping, and then, it came time for this particularly quiet- sad looking girl, to answer this quite simple question.

The room was silenced.  We all waited in great anticipation, for a few seconds to hear her response.  She replied with…”Nothing.”

In that moment, my heart sank.  This girl, even at her young age, was already believing a lie from the enemy, that she had no purpose.  That she was nothing.  She had no reason to even be here on this earth.

Even then, while still in our small group, I said a quick prayer to myself, for that beautifully broken young girl.  When I got home that night, I sat down and wrote her a letter of love and encouragement… I didn’t even know her name but, the Lord laid it so thick on my heart to just simply sit and write to her.  To take time, just for her, nobody else.  Focused attention on this precious young soul.  This is the letter, I still have the hand-written copy actually sitting in my room ready to give her, if I ever see her again.  I look forward to the day of being able to bless her and pray with her.

Dear Young Girl,

Wherever you are reading this…I want you to know that I am thinking of you and praying for you.  I want you to know that you are worth it, you have a purpose.  No matter how worthless and depressed you may be feeling, God has plans for you.  He has a unique purpose just for YOU!  The enemy  is always looking to steal, kill, and, destroy you.  The enemy, knows and sees your divine potential.  He doesn’t like it.  Now you may be thinking, God could never love me…I am so dirty.  I am so sinful.  I am so dark.  I have done and been around so much ‘stuff.’  Well my friend, it says in the Bible in Romans 5:8…”I loved you, at your darkest hour.”  He loves you, just as much as He loved His only son Jesus.  God sent His Son down to earth to live a life.  Jesus was crucified a horrific death for you and I.  He died on a cross just so that you could be alive and breathing, today.  An act of sacrificial love was taken place on your behave 2,000 years ago.  When He hung there on that cross, in complete agony…He thought of you.  He took every mistake, every sickness, every pain, every, trouble.  HE took it all, so that you could walk in freedom and FULL of Light!  He loves you, even at your darkest-lowest points in life.  Never forget that.  I pray that this letter one day finds you…because you are worth every word.  God has so much for you sweet girl!!

 Love, Kerrington 

Until Next Time,
~Kerrington

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 26!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: Marnie Pouget

Over the years in our time working with teenagers at a summer camp, we have instituted a tradition called “The Encouragement Box”. Every day everyone that lives in the Farmhouse has opportunity to write a note of real encouragement to another person in “the house”. We get to spend time with some amazing teens. 

One particular week this summer, I wrote a note to sweet Kaylee. Kaylee is a blond haired, blue eyed beauty with a smile that is infectious and a love for Jesus that overflows. She loves to talk and loves to sing. She bubbles over with joy. The following night she read this letter in response to the encouragement she had received:

“She will laugh at the days to come.”

That was the first time someone quoted Proverbs 31 to ME. For ME. Directed AT ME. 

I was confused. It had always been, “You’re almost there, YOU just need ________.” or “Maybe you can work on __________.”
But this time it was different. I was enough. I was classified as a Proverbs 31 woman. That was something I had never been before. And maybe I wasn’t EVERYTHING she was but I was something. And something was more than I had ever been. Maybe that was good and maybe that was bad. Because if I went 16 years without being told that any part of myself was even relatively equivalent to an ideal Godly woman, then how long were those around me waiting? 
As a society we are so quick to judge those around us and criticize them instead of affirm them. Nobody is a perfect Godly person, and female Christians are constantly compared to this perfect woman. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing; we should all strive for something. But the thing about a Proverbs 31 woman is you gain a new understanding of it piece by piece, not all at once.

So now, it’s time to affirm each piece we see and this time to not let it be paired with criticism. There is a time for both but more often than not they should be apart. Make today the age of affirmation not of antagonization.

You are worth more than rubies.

Joanna – you are kind and gentle: Proverbs 31:26

Kelly – you are wise and respected: Proverbs 31:26

Taylor – you have a gentle spirit and make light of tough situations when needed : 31:25-26

Maddie – you are a diligent worker: 31:27, 31:13-24

Gretchen – you are willing to serve at any time: 31:13

Kim – you watch out for other’s best interests: 31:11-12

Kate – you are compassionate: 31:20

McKenna – you laugh at the day to come and have a gentle spirit: 31:25-26”

Dear friends, we all need to be encouraged and reminded that we are worth more than rubies. Let’s take Kaylee’s challenge and encourage our sisters of their worth.

“Make today the age of affirmation not of antagonization.”

Until Next Time,

Marnie

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 25!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: Marnie Pouget
Over the years in our time working with teenagers at a summer camp, we have instituted a tradition called “The Encouragement Box”. Every day everyone that lives in the Farmhouse has opportunity to write a note of real encouragement to another person in “the house”. We get to spend time with some amazing teens. 

One particular week this summer, I wrote a note to sweet Kaylee. Kaylee is a blond haired, blue eyed beauty with a smile that is infectious and a love for Jesus that overflows. She loves to talk and loves to sing. She bubbles over with joy. The following night she read this letter in response to the encouragement she had received:

“She will laugh at the days to come.”

That was the first time someone quoted Proverbs 31 to ME. For ME. Directed AT ME. 

I was confused. It had always been, “You’re almost there, YOU just need ________.” or “Maybe you can work on __________.”

But this time it was different. I was enough. I was classified as a Proverbs 31 woman. That was something I had never been before. And maybe I wasn’t EVERYTHING she was but I was something. And something was more than I had ever been. Maybe that was good and maybe that was bad. Because if I went 16 years without being told that any part of myself was even relatively equivalent to an ideal Godly woman, then how long were those around me waiting? 

As a society we are so quick to judge those around us and criticize them instead of affirm them. Nobody is a perfect Godly person, and female Christians are constantly compared to this perfect woman. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing; we should all strive for something. But the thing about a Proverbs 31 woman is you gain a new understanding of it piece by piece, not all at once.

So now, it’s time to affirm each piece we see and this time to not let it be paired with criticism. There is a time for both but more often than not they should be apart. Make today the age of affirmation not of antagonization.

You are worth more than rubies.

Joanna – you are kind and gentle: Proverbs 31:26

Kelly – you are wise and respected: Proverbs 31:26

Taylor – you have a gentle spirit and make light of tough situations when needed : 31:25-26

Maddie – you are a diligent worker: 31:27, 31:13-24

Gretchen – you are willing to serve at any time: 31:13

Kim – you watch out for other’s best interests: 31:11-12

Kate – you are compassionate: 31:20

McKenna – you laugh at the day to come and have a gentle spirit: 31:25-26”

Dear friends, we all need to be encouraged and reminded that we are worth more than rubies. Let’s take Kaylee’s challenge and encourage our sisters of their worth.

“Make today the age of affirmation not of antagonization.”
Until Next Time,

Marnie

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 24!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: Marisa Dech

Not many people know about my struggle with anxiety. However, when I was asked to write a piece to empower women, I knew I had to be real and tackle this topic that I know so many people battle. 
“The struggle [was] real.”  

Literally. In high school I would struggle. Not for a day, a week, or even a year, but for all four never ending years. I struggled with immense feelings of loneliness and worthlessness. I was very insecure in who I was and high school just made it all feel like I was on a big stage and everyone was staring at me. I did not like attention, in fact I never have being the quiet, introverted person I am.

On top of that, I struggled with chronic pain and sickness to which no doctor could really give me an answer and caused me to miss A LOT of school.

 I began to have problems with teachers. Although most seemed to somehow understand my situation, there were the odd few that just seemed to have no sympathy or understanding for what I was going through. This led to some of my grades being…not so excellent.

This would be the least of my worries, except that my parents have really high standards (they always have). They tried to understand but eventually seemed to give up on me. This hurt more than anything in the world. I turned to my friends who thankfully took me in. This emotional pain became very real and I was now completely overwhelmed at school and struggled on a regular basis not to break down crying in class. 

What I didn’t fully understand at the time was that my parents had a lot of problems of their own; which was evident in all the arguments and awkward silence. 

I struggled daily, but I can honestly say that God was there more than ever during those hard times. He was there with me when I soaked my pillow with tears, He was holding my hand through all the physical and emotional pain. He hugged me as I considered taking the precious life He had given me. He was also there with me as I worshipped my heart out, despite it all.

 I found God in the very beginning of my high school years and I can without a doubt say, I wouldn’t have made it through without Him. He was my friend when I felt I had none, He was a parent when mine grew weary, He was a healer when no doctor could fix me! 

God calls us to trust Him completely, to “find rest in Him alone, for He is our refuge, our rock, He will not be shaken!” (Psalm 62)  

He says that He is here to help, He will not let us down!

“We have this amazing hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:19)  

He invites us to “cast all [our] anxiety on Him because he cares for [us].” (1 Peter 5:7)

He reassures us that the struggle will “certainly come to an end and will not delay!” (Habakkuk 2:3)

 I am overjoyed to say that I have greatly overcome my anxiety and panic attacks. While I do still fight this battle I know that I am not alone in it. I am able to find rest in the King of Kings who steadies my heart.

About Marisa:

Marisa is 21 years old. She is the first born of two children; who grew up in the house her family built in Essex, Ontario. Although Marisa has always felt a strong connection to God, her relationship with Him truly began when she was 14. She enjoys children of all ages and personalities but she has a particular interest in individuals with autism. She currently works as an early childhood educator assistant, a respite worker, and a direct care worker in a group home. Currently she is taking courses online to achieve her E.C.E. diploma. Some of her passions include teaching, learning to cook, figure skating, baking, event planning, reading, and languages. She looks forward to the future with her significant other, Jonathan, who loves her unconditionally in the way God made her.

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 21!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: Cierra Fulps

Worth is often a word to express the price or monetary value of an object. Have you ever gone to a garage sale and picked up an object, only to ask yourself, “I wonder how much this is really worth”?

Have you ever asked yourself how much you really are worth?

Proverbs 31:10 states WE are far more worth than rubies.

We could never put a price tag on our worth. All through life, in job interviews, college, and maybe even a future spouse, the question “Is she really worth the effort?” will come to the surface. At job interviews, they’ll ask you what you bring to the table. They think, “Is she worth the training time.” In today’s society people measure our worth by the qualities and strengths we have.

BUT in Jesus’ eyes, we are really worth it. We were worth DYING for. God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to our rescue. Jesus took on our sin and our punishment. Why did Jesus take on our punishment? He thought we were really worth it.

We mustn’t put our worth in this world. Young ladies, your worth isn’t determined by your getting asked to prom or not. Your worth isn’t determined by your getting accepted into the number one school or not. Your worth isn’t determined by you having the hottest clothes or not. Your worth isn’t in your degree. Your worth has already been determined! Our Heavenly Father has determined your worth! You are worth more than diamonds! Who says, you might ask? Jesus says!

You have a purpose in this life, whether your purpose is writing blogs, singing at church, going into the mission field, being a nurse, or a teacher. Don’t feel like you have to go into ministry in order to work for God’s kingdom! If you are alive, you have purpose and worth. My calling may be different than yours, but that doesn’t make your calling any less important. God gave us a passion, and God gave us a fire in our soul! Use it. If you don’t know your calling in life, that’s okay!

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” Declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

The Lord has a plan for your life. Don’t think because you’re not sure what that plan is that you don’t have worth in this life.

You have worth, a worth that surpasses the worth of diamonds.

About Cierra: 

Cierra Fulps is an 18-year-old college freshman from the Great Lake State of Michigan. She is pursuing a career in nursing. She one day hopes to take her degree to Haiti for medical missions. Her passions include photography, writing, and being a light for Jesus. Her relationship with Christ really began in her teenage years. Every day she is in awe of Jesus and is continually learning how to strengthen her relationship with God and to share that with people around her.

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 20!

The Diamond Movement

Written By: K Keeler

Proverbs 31: 10 (Message Bible)

         A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.

Ladies, the Lord our God and Creator of the heavens and earth has made us, “… worth far more than diamonds.” How blessed are we to be created in His divine image?

It is so exciting to sit here and think about the fact that I am beautiful in the eyes of our Lord. Who cares what society thinks is ” beautiful” when I have God telling me that I was created in His image and that I am perfect the way that I am right now. I hope that you ladies feel the same way.

When I was five years old, I broke out with a flaky rash known as psoriasis. I went to several doctors to see what it was and if there was any way for me to get rid of it. I soon learned that it was hereditary, from my fathers side of the family, and that I will likely have it for the rest of my life. They gave me lotions and things to keep it under control but I will never fully rid my body of this skin disease.

I’m going to be honest with you, ladies. This rash is ugly. My body is covered in little pink, flaky spots like polka dots. But girls, this rash doesn’t make ME ugly. Growing up with this skin disease has taught me so much! One thing it taught me is that I am beautiful because God made me so. I was created in His image, and a silly rash will never take that away from me.

So take this verse into your heart and let God speak to you through it. Allow His words to give you confidence. Life your life to the fullest knowing that you are, “… worth far more than diamonds.”

I pray that you all find your worth in Jesus Christ. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Guest-Writers, UYM

{The Diamond Movement} Day 19!

The Diamond Movement
Written By: Debi Chapman

Recipe for Greatness
“A good woman is hard to find and worth far more than diamonds.”
Proverbs 31:10 Message Bible
Comparing diamonds to a woman’s worth raises a high standard. How many of us consider ourselves worthy of such comparison?  
Deep in our soul we wrestle with the idea that we’re not enough. I know I’m not alone in this lifelong search for value. We measure ourselves against others and feel somehow our Maker put more effort into others. Let’s look to Scripture for direction here. Although different versions site various stones of great worth, in Proverbs 31, I like the concept of a diamond. After all, a diamond is a girl’s best friend, right?  
Taking a closer look, the similarities can’t be denied.

1. Historically seen as symbols of supreme strength

2. Ancients thought diamonds were full of life (due to the ability to lift spirits)

3. The strongest mineral known to mankind

4. Constructed over time with pressure and heat

5. Formed in the dark (deep in the Earth’s mantle)

6. Known for brilliance

7. The closer diamond gets to colourless the more valuable

8. Unbreakable

9. Discovered at great cost

10. Highly sought after

11. A diamond’s hardness depends on its purity

12. Often stolen away from its owner
Mystery surrounds this gem. Diamonds are made out of highly organized carbon. Geologists are still guessing how diamonds are formed in the Earth, but they think the recipe follows something like this:

1. Bury carbon dioxide 100 miles into Earth

2. Heat to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit

3. Squeeze under pressure of 725,000 pounds per square inch

4. Quickly rush towards Earth’s surface to cool
Women, by nature are mysterious and complex – much like a diamond.

Women:

1. Throughout history, seen as symbols of great strength

2. Full of life with the ability to lift the spirits of those around her

3. “Strength and beauty are her clothing” Proverbs 31:25

4. A woman’s strength is formed over the years through life’s pressures and often difficult circumstances

5. Our best choices are made in the dark, quiet places – alone before God

6. Known for wisdom

7. Value comes with vulnerability and transparency

8. Determined to protect her young at any cost

9. Hidden beauty – discovered at great cost

10. Thought to be elusive

11. Strength comes from purity

12. Guard your heart from being stolen away
The next time you find yourself wrestling with your worth, stop and consider this analogy from our Maker. Creation was formed with a diamond in mind. You were formed by the same God of the Universe with your unique design.
A woman’s recipe for greatness is strength formed under pressure and the result – priceless.