Free To Be Me

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Lately, I’ve been trying to get God to speak to me. To tell me what He wants me to do. I wanted Him to answer me clearly. I wanted Him to make his will really obvious to me. I prayed to Him so hard about college, about staying home or studying abroad. I wanted Him to tell me what I was supposed to do with my life. I wanted Him to tell me how He wanted me to serve Him. I wanted his answer to be crystal clear. I prayed, and prayed, and prayed.

And He was silent.

I talked to my friend Jennie about this. She’s smart. And talented with words. And she told me this:

“Freedom can be scary but it’s also beautiful. And if we always knew the answers and what steps to take, we’d have no need for faith and trust. So remember this: Seek Him first. Don’t get frustrated when He isn’t making it black and white because He’s given you beautiful colors in your rainbow of choices. Seek Him, acknowledge Him. Talk to wise counsel. Trust the Holy Spirit to lead you. Remember too, this is your choice, this is your life.”

And then, lightbulb moment! I guess the reason God was silent is because He has given me freedom. He wants me to glorify Him freely. I am free to worship him in the way my heart desires. I am free to live out my art.

Writing poetry. Making gabydoodles. Singing. Going to college here in Santo Domingo. Going to college in the United States.

God doesn’t really care about what I choose to do as long as it gives Him glory. As long as it points back to Him, I am free to be me.

And that is awesome. And scary. But mainly awesome.

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Alabaster

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Do you have a favorite perfume? One that is so valuable that you’re very careful with it and you try to use as little as possible to make it last long? You wouldn’t dream of wasting it for no reason. You wouldn’t wear it to any party. You save it for the most special occasions, or when you’re looking to impress someone.

There was a woman who did that once. She saved her most precious perfume for the most important occasion. For the most important person.

Jesus.

“Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper. While he was eating dinner, a woman came up carrying a bottle of very expensive perfume. Opening the bottle, she poured it on his head. Some of the guests became furious among themselves. ‘That’s criminal! A sheer waste! This perfume could have been sold for well over a year’s wages and handed out to the poor.’ They swelled up in anger, nearly bursting with indignation over her. But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone. Why are you giving her a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives. Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them. Not so with me. She did what she could when she could—she pre-anointed my body for burial. And you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly.’ ”

(Mark 14:3-9 MSG)

That woman wasted the most precious thing she had for Jesus. That alabaster jar costed over a year’s wages. She wasted the most precious thing she had on Jesus.

Have you given your most valuable possessions to Jesus?

Your hopes.
Your dreams.
Your desires.
Your pain.
Your grief.
Your gifts and talents.
You.

Have you given your life to Him? Have you let him take your life and transform you? Have you done all you could?

Hand over your life to him. Give him your best worship. Give him all of you. Give him what you treasure. Give him your dreams. Your deepest desires. Give him your fragrant offering.

Give him your alabaster jar.

Bloom

God did not make you for the sake of existing. God made you with a purpose. He made you with the purpose of glorifying His name. God made you to shine the light he gave you. God made you to bloom. God made you to be amazing. He has plans for you you can’t even fathom. He has made you for so much more than this. Continue reading

2014: Letting Go

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I’m scared. So scared that it’s really hard to write this right now. So many things are happening, so many decisions need to be made. College applications, for instance. I’m terrified of them. I know that I’ll get into college, but the whole process of applying and waiting is a little overwhelming. Not to mention the fact that I haven’t applied yet and I have 15 days to do it.

2014 is going to require so much of me. And a lot of faith. And stepping out of my comfort zone and doing things I want to do but I’m too shy and my shyness is apparently bigger than my faith right now I don’t feel comfortable doing. Like leading worship. I’ve always had a heart for singing but along with that heart for singing I have this inexplicable fear of speaking in front of people. I hate public speaking. It terrifies me. Last year I had to present a book project on the Hunger Games and I forgot the word district. If you’ve read the books, you know how important that word is. Also, my throat was dry and I was so hot and I got back pains because of how nervous I was. Not to mention that after I finished presenting my legs started to shake uncontrollably. I think it’s pretty clear how much I hate being in the spotlight.

A few days ago my friend Kayla sent me a devotional she wrote as well as a letter. In the letter she said that she had prayed to God and asked him what she should tell me. He’d told her that I had some musical talent and that I needed to lead worship. My exact thoughts when I read that part? “Ohmygosh. Seriously, God?” I put the letter aside for a minute and tried to breathe before I kept reading. I mean, seriously? Could that get any more hello-this-is-God-calling-you-to-do-something?

Today my brother, out of the blue, asked me: “Hey Gaby, if you were able to sing at camp, and when you came home you said that you weren’t so afraid of singing in public anymore, why don’t you do it at church?” Dude, you’re eleven. Where is this wisdom coming from? My stupid answer was: “It was easier to sing there because I’m probably never going to see those people again.” He replied, “Yeah, but isn’t singing to God more important?”
I literally told him to shut up because I didn’t want to face what God’s been telling me to do.

And I know now this is the year in which I’ll step out of my comfort zone and I’ll walk on the water. But I’m scared. Maybe I should’ve chosen Joshua 1:9 to be my #Verse2014 instead of Psalm 119:11.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)

Oh, I’m gonna read that Scripture so much this year. He knows I’m gonna need it.

I’m letting go. I’m letting go of my dreams and my fears. I will listen to God’s calling even though I’m terrified. I know He’s gonna keep doing what He’s doing, sending me people to tell me what He wants me to hear. I won’t be like Moses and give excuses because we know how that one ended [Exodus 4]. He kept giving God excuses and God gave a solution to those excuses. Moses had no other choice but to accept the calling God gave him. I’m letting go. I’m terrified of letting go. But I’m letting go. I don’t know how I’m letting go. But I’m letting go. I’m handing my fears over to God. I will pray to Him, I will find strength in Him, and hopefully soon I’ll do what He wants me to do. Pray for me, I’ll need those prayers.

I’m also praying for you. I pray that if there’s anything you need to let go of, that God can help you let go. Maybe you need to let go of your insecurities. Maybe you need to let go of control. Maybe you’re like me and you need to let go of your fears and accept your calling. Maybe you need to let go of pain. Of regret. Of grudges.

Whatever you need to let go, let go of it. Hand it over to God. He knows what’s best. When you give Him the power over your life it becomes His responsibility to guide you along the right path. It’s a giant leap of faith. But it’s worth it.

I’m still scared. But I’m letting go.

“This is a giant leap of faith
Trusting and trying to embrace
The fear of the unknown
Beyond my comfort zone

I’m letting go
Of the life I planned for me
And my dreams
Losing control
Of my destiny
Feels like I’m falling and that’s what it’s like to believe
So I’m letting go”

-Francesca Battistelli, I’m Letting Go

This post is also in Spanish. Click here!

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A Year of Doodling

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I walked into 2013 without knowing what I was getting into. A few days before the year began, I was inspired to draw, after a year of not drawing. I was listening to a Moriah Peters song, Bloom, and this doodle happened.

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I drew another doodle, inspired by another song by Moriah, Sing in the Rain.

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I took a picture of it and uploaded it to Instagram. I got feedback on it and it encouraged me to doodle more.

This happened:

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Britt Nicole shared one of my doodles. She didn’t credit me, but no hard feelings 🙂

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As with the Sing in the Rain doodle, I got encouraging feedback. In the month of May, I turned 17. On my birthday I decided to dedicate myself and my art to The Lord, and I prayed that my life became the proof of God’s love, along with my art. I prayed that at the end of my life I could hear God say “well done”. In my heart, that day was the beginning of Gabydoodles as a ministry. After that, doodling became a fixture in my life [and my Instagram].

Through doodling I’ve “met” so many people that have blessed my lives and through them God has shown me his love. One of them is Raquel, who featured Gabydoodles in her blog and helped me create the Gabydoodles blog.

Through doodling I’ve also seen God’s creative nature. He makes me creative because He is the Creator. He is creativity. He invented the colors I use to draw, He created the nature that inspires me, He created the musicians and songwriters that inspire me. He created me. He inspires me. He is the reason why I doodle, the reason why I want to tell the world about His love.

Gabydoodles, undoubtedly, has been the highlight of 2013. And yet, it wasn’t in my plans. I wasn’t looking for it. As this ministry grows, my relationship with God has grown too. I understand Him in a different way. I love Him even more. I am so excited to see what God has in store for me and Gabydoodles in 2014 [an Etsy shop, maybe?].

Thank you for reading this blog. Thank you for following Gabydoodles on Instagram [and Facebook & Twitter!]. You’ve helped this ministry grow and you’ve been so encouraging to me.

Much love,
Gaby 💕

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Believing this for 2014.

What are you willing to die for?

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Today during AP Literature class we were asked the following question: What, if anything, are you willing to die for?

This was my answer:

Am I willing to die for something I believe in? Am I willing to die for my belief in Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ died for me 2,000 years ago on a cross out of LOVE. I wasn’t even born yet. Nor were my parents, nor my grandparents, nor my great grandparents, nor my great-great-great-great grandparents, for that matter. And yet He died for them, too, simply out of love. He has shown grace and mercy towards me and that is something I cannot repay. And even though as a Christian I am facing and will face trials and tribulations due to my choice to believe in Jesus and all that He stands for, I still choose to live for Christ. And if it came to the point that I would have to die for believing in Him, I would gladly accept it. I am not afraid of dying. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Dying for Christ means meeting Him face to face and listening to Him say “well done”.

Am I willing to die for Jesus?
Heck yes.

I choose Jesus.

Look Like Love

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” If I believe there’s a Savior, is the proof in me?
Is He alive and breathing?
Is He what they remember? Is He what they see when they look at me?
Do I look like love?”

Look Like Love, Britt Nicole

What does it mean to look like love?
To look like love is to be compassionate. To be caring. To show Jesus. Looking like love is not hard. You don’t have to go on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic to look like love. You don’t have to go to a poor neighborhood and give out food and clothing. Your mission field is where you are. Your home. Your school. Your friends. When you help your little sister with her homework, you look like love. When you help your mom with dinner, you look like love. When you help pick up the books your friend dropped at school, you look like love. When you stand up to the boys that were bullying the new kid, you look like love.

I dare you to look like love today. Right now.

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