It's hard to look around at your life and feel completely satisfied. Recently, I have been struggling with knowing what's really going on, and being unsure of things takes away our satisfaction, for sure. Let me explain.
Two days after my birthday, a little over a month ago, I woke up early in the morning, not feeling well. I got up and the end result was my passing out on the bathroom floor. The ambulance came, my heart rate was really low, and my blood pressure was low. Later we came to the realization that when I passed out, I hit my head on the tile floor, resulting in a concussion. Terrible, right?
So, after all of that was over, we tried to figure out why I had passed out to begin with and why I felt crappy for weeks after. My heart rate was very fast 40% of the time during a 24-hour heart monitor that I had to wear. It was over 100 BPM! Kind of terrible. Anyway, I am now pretty much diagnosed as having thyroid problems, and was told that I will have to take medication every day for the rest of my life.
Sitting in the doctor's office this last time, discussing the end results, I actually started to cry.
I have been overwhelmed with the uncertainty- what is wrong with my heart? What if I pass out again? To be honest, I have been scared to go into a bathroom very often after I passed out. If I start to feel hot or just a little dizzy, I'm scared that I'll pass out again. I haven't really been thinking about the "why" in all of this. I have asked out loud why this would be happening to me, but it's just a thought at the back of my mind, I suppose. But because of my extensive medical journey that I've been on throughout my life, I do understand that this is just part of what God has planned for me. It is for a reason, indeed. I know I don't have to really worry about it, because He's got me. I need to pursue Him more for sure, but I'm not worried.
I was feeling creative and this picture and these words came to my mind. So here I share this to encourage you. I love that God doesn't want us to worry. He wants us to know that He will take care of us, and He already takes care of us every day! Also, we can't forget that He has the power to heal. Pray, pray, pray!
What is your current battle and how are you dealing with it? Leave a comment below!
It's strange. Last night right before I went to bed I was thinking about writing a post about death. No one in my life directly has died recently but it seems like a different friend is losing someone every week now.
This morning I woke up my sister telling my mom that a singer has died- one that is a Christian! I got out my iPod and looked at what's trending. You all know what's up: Christina Grimmie was shot and killed last night after her show in Florida. It really is a tragedy... I hate when people say this, like it makes it better or worse that someone has died of any age, but she was so young! She actually went to college with one of my sister's friends. Insane.
Christina did a music video with Disney a little while back and I was excited to see what was next for her with all of that. She accomplished so much in such a small amount of time!
My first thought after I found out about this was 'She died doing what she loves'.
It made my happy. But also, it made me sad. I am definitely not living the life I want to be living. You all know what I've said about never feeling/being truly awake. I feel like, if anything good is to come of this terrible event, it will be that people (including myself) are inspired to do what they love, and to the glory of God.
Tears last for a night, but JOY comes in the morning. So cry, cry away, but know that God has a reason for this terrible thing to happen, but during it all He has been faithful to Christina and has loved and cherished her throughout her life, no matter the length.
I want us to remember Christina by her life, and what she stands for, instead of remembering that she was killed every time we hear her name. She deserves to be remembered and treasured! Already on YouTube, most of what you see when you search her is news reports about her death. Let's support her music and life rather than her death. SPEAK LIFE! Rest in peace Christina, knowing that you served your God and lived the dream that He placed in your heart. We miss you and will always love you.
I have been struggling with something a lot lately. Sometimes I can just let it go and forget about it for a while, especially because I'm a lot busier these days, but honestly this keeps me up a lot of nights.
I don't know what I want out of life.
I have so many big dreams and aspirations... but they are all so big.
Here is my list:
1) I want to be a singer
2) I want to open my own bakery
3) I want to start a catering business
4) I want to have a band
5) I want to be a backup singer
6) I want to be a YouTuber
7) I want to travel a lot and see the sights in our country
8) I want to be a photographer of some sort
Do you see my problem here? All of these things are completely independent or require a ton of information from other people to start up. I have no idea how to make any of these things happen. None.
Right now I am working for a local, privately-owned cafe. I work about 25 hours or so a week, and it's honestly taking a lot out of me. I am so stressed out, so even when I am home for the day I am worrying about work for the next week or setting my alarm at 4:00 PM just to make sure I don't forget to set it later for the next morning. It's killing me.
I think the majority of this problem, though, is that i'm starting to not be content. I know that God wants me to be content in every situation He puts me in, but I can only handle so much in my strength. I know that God is my strength and with Him I can do anything, but maybe this is His way of telling me that He has something different planned for me? I don't really know.
What I do know, however, is that whatever God has planned for me is perfect. It will satisfy my heart because in doing it, I will be obeying God and working along side of him. How amazing is that? He is with me now but this part of my life is just a chapter in the book that He is writing in very great detail. He wants to use me in big ways but He knows that I need to learn to be patient, and to trust Him.
I like to think that I trust God. But honestly, I think that sometimes I fail to let myself realize that I'm scared, and I really don't think about the fact that He's got the given situation under control. It's hard.
God is good.
I don't know why He has me where I am right now, but later I believe that I will find out. He is just preparing me for something totally amazing; something that I may not even know exists or is possible for me. I've been realizing lately that I doubt myself a lot.
And thus my theme verse comes to mind....
""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
I haven't told the world about this yet. There are many people in my life that I would've liked to tell about this before I do tell the whole world, but honestly we are not in the kind of relationship at the moment to where I can tell them. This can wait, but I don't exactly want it to. I've tried many times to decide whether or not I should tell people about this. Like, why embarrass myself? Once I tell everyone, I can't un-tell my story. Will I regret this later?
I recently read a post written by Jamie Grace about her physical battle that she lives with EVERY. DAY. It caused me to SOB. There is something that many people don't know about me. I have been able to hide it better in the past few years, because the symptoms get better over time, with age, and with a lot of different factors in my life.
When I was 6 years old, I was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome.
It seems at this point in time, that is not going to be a big shock to people. More and more stars are coming forward with their 'story', all about having Tourette's. There are movies that portray (inaccurately) people with Tourette's. But cool or not, talked about or not, it's what I have.
Now, I don't even really know my whole story... where the symptoms began, when it became a concern, or where I started doing any certain tic. I honestly don't even know all of the different tics I have had. I was so young, and a lot of them were so long ago! However, I do remember some from when I was young. Some memories stick with you forever. So many days of being scared of my own body, not knowing what was going on, and praying to GOD that He would put me out of my misery, and wipe the minds of everyone who saw me move in a strange way. I wanted to be normal.
As you grow up, you start to realize that normal is boring, Actually, normal isn't even a real thing. But at most times in our lives, we don't want to stick out. We don't want to be different, and be judged for it. But I was different. We all are different!
I have Tourette's syndrome. Honestly, it has defined me in the past. In my middle school mind, it was the reason that boys never liked me. It was the reason I wasn't doing well in school (this is actually true, I had to be home schooled half way through 8th grade because I was struggling with my tics so much). It proved to me that God didn't love me.
God is bigger than our "flaws". Honestly, flaws are beautiful. But I no longer really consider this a flaw. I understand now that God made me this way! I am set apart from most of the world, for a huge reason. I have learned that, over the years. I am special. God has huge plans for me, and He has been orchestrating every little detail of that plan since before I was born. He knew that Tourette's would bring me closer to Him. It has showed me how much I need Him. Tourette's has showed me that everyone goes through battles, but it is the ones who overcome those battles that SHOW JESUS. Just look at Jamie-Grace! Her song "Hold Me" was written during days of hiding in her room, afraid of showing the world who she was. In those difficult moments she realized that God had His arms around Her, and would never let her out of His grasp. "By my side, You'll always be. You take each and every day, make it special in some way".
I am not Tourette's syndrome. My tics no longer define who I am! As I said, my tics aren't nearly as bad as they have been in the past. But even as I type this, my hands are not completely cooperating with me. I have to move my hand over to my thigh and touch my pinky finger to it in a certain way. If it isn't done perfectly, I have to do it again or my mind will drive me crazy. Sometimes I just can't believe that this is a problem with my brain. How can my brain affect what my hands or eyes have to do? My neck, arms, and stomach have to tighten in certain ways all day. It's hard for other people to understand just what this syndrome is like...
For me, it's this:
yeah, as I write this list, I realize.. it's mostly tightening muscles in different parts of my body, then kind of flicking my hand or head or whatever a few times. So annoying!
Some of you who haven't known me since I was younger are probably wondering, "Wow, I've never even noticed things like this in Emily... why is she telling the world all of this now??"
Here is my answer:
We all have struggles and battles that we have to deal with, every day of our lives. Tourette's is my battle. It is my old crutch. I want to do so much with my life; inspire change, help people, and create music. I feel like I can't honestly follow my dreams without confronting my past. People need to understand what it took for me to get to where I am today. I am Emily! I am not "Emily... that girl who has Tourette's". I am a musician. I am friend! I am a daughter of Christ. I am a dreamer, I'm a fighter, and I am an overcomer.
To wrap this up:
Your battle, physical, mental, spiritual, or otherwise does not define you. You define your battle! Never let it defeat you. The only thing that can truly define a person is their relationship with Christ. Do you have one? Our identity is not found in anything on this earth- it is found purely and simply is Jesus Christ. He loves us, and His opinion is THE ONLY ONE THAT MATTERS.
Never, ever, EVER give up. You may think, in certain moments, that you just want to be put out of your misery. You'd rather give up instead of trying that 1001th time. DON'T GIVE UP. God has got you! Go to Him; run to Him. He sometimes allows bad things to happen to you to bring you closer to Him. When you make the decision to go to Him, you will understand why.
Hardships are blessings. They teach you so much more than normalcy ever will. Strive to be like Christ. Don't strive for being normal; normal doesn't even exist!
I encourage you to share your story! You never know the effect you may have on people just by telling them how you got to where you are today. Share your heart and share your journey.
Use hashtag: #CGshareyourstory to join me!
Oh my child, don't you know how precious you are? Every year you grow and grow, your body grows, your mind grows, and your heart grows. You're incredible.
Let me put things in a few simple words here:
Your worth is not found in how you look. To be honest, God doesn't care one bit about how you look. Well actually, He does, because He created you uniquely and in a very certain way. Think about it this way: an artist creates many, many different works of art. Not everyone that sees each work will like every single one. Some with appear more attractive to certain people. However, that does not mean that all the rest of the works are ugly. No- there are other people who prefer those ones, even! What I'm saying is, God doesn't consider your worth by how He made you look. He didn't create you thinking "oh, this one is going to be a failure and no one will really care about her" and make you super ugly or something. Everyone is beautiful to Him. You are one of His AMAZING works!
Your worth is not found in what you do, or what you have done.
To be totally honest, everyone has junk in their past that they regret, that they think about all the time, or that they wish they could change or forget about. If God was to measure your worth against what you have done, every single person would be worthless. Maybe you are still falling into a particular sin or stuck in an addiction. You are never too far gone to come back. NEVER. Isn't that just CRAZY AMAZING!??
Your worth is found in Jesus Christ. He loves you- every single part, every brushstroke, every piece. He created you as a PRICELESS work of art, unlike any other work He created. He won't ever run out of things to create! Seriously, what artist does? He is the most famous and most genius artist of all time. Without fail, He creates each of us unique, every single one of us DIFFERENTLY! Let's just take a moment to stand AWESTRUCK at this!
Your worth is found in Christ, who loves you, who sacrificed the life of His own Son to give you life, and who cares for you every single day. Share this with everyone you know; this message is so important.
"The starting point of all achievement is desire" -Napoleon Hill
Throughout my entire life, there have been many people asking me what I want to do when I grow up.
When I was little, I wanted to be a missionary. After that, I wanted to be a singer. At one point, I had a whole list of things I wanted to do and who I wanted to be, but none of them were a bigger dream than the next. Except this: I still want to be a singer.
Since as early as I can remember, my extended family has doubted me. Somehow they don't see potential in me or appreciate the success I have had so far. I am still young, I have a lot of room to grow! My aunt herself has told me over and over that my dreams are just "pipe dreams" and that I either won't make them happen to begin with, or I will crash and burn when I try. I am an entrepreneur. I can't express enough how much judgement is put on the people who want to create their own business, or be their own boss. It is hard to push those disappointing looks and harsh words aside, especially when the person being harsh towards you believes that they are 100% right.
Consider your dreams. What have you wanted to do with your life the longest? What are some things that people have told you over and over that you are good at, but you have doubted them or blushed and looked away? Consider these things. These are your gifts!
I don't believe in pipe dreams.
"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other."
If you are led to do something in life, and if you have the determination to do it, you will succeed. You may not succeed in the way you originally intended, but knowing that you worked hard for something you wanted is success in itself.
I know that if I work hard at what I want to do, I will succeed! Refuse to listen to lies from people who think they're smarter than you. You can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you!
You have what it takes.
Go for your dreams with determination and hope.
Tonight, a memory came to my mind that I just wish I could forget. I don't think that I've ever really gotten over this and I don't really know how to. I was just so young, and it was such a big deal at the time. It's like burned into my mind.
In 5th grade, I had some drama with my 1st grade teacher and her son. Her son was a classmate of mine, and had a crush on one of my friends, This caused him to call her on the phone one day. I have absolutely no clue how this was such a big deal at the time, but his mom found out somehow and knew that I knew... I honestly don't remember all of the details, all I remember is that I was with him when called her once. She didn't even answer the phone... anyway, on the night of some school event or something, she took me aside into a room with her son and had a talk with us. She commanded me to sit down and listen to her. She yelled at me for saying that her son had called a girl when he hadn't. But he had! Somehow she trusted her son so much that she had no doubt that he was telling the truth. So, somehow, she thought that I was lying about it. She was so rude and snide. I think I lost a lot of respect for adults that day. I can still remember... the room, the attitude, the feelings in the room.... I was sobbing sitting next to her son, and he did not say a word. He never, ever confessed that he did call her, and that I wasn't lying.
To be honest, I don't know why this came to my mind tonight. It does come up once in a while in my thoughts. Sometimes I guess you just feel so down or angry that all the negative things that have happened to you come back. I still don't understand why she yelled at me, or how she could think that she could confront a minor like that, alone, with no parents or anyone present. It was so wrong. I remember walking out of that room right into the bathroom, where I talked to my friend who he had called, and she tried to make me feel better. I remember telling her the story, with my voice and whole body shaking and feeling sick. She couldn't believe that all of that had happened. I was in shock too! He never confessed to this. It was so silly- a stupid phone call?? How could someone be so upset about a 5th grade boy just calling a girl on the phone?? A few days or weeks later I was talking to a friend about it in the line to go home. I was waiting for my mom to pick me up, and all of the grades were divided into lines in the school gym. Apparently I spoke with my hands back then, because my 1st grade teacher came over and confronted me, saying that she knew exactly what I was talking about. She was always so mean and cruel to me. I was a sweet kid.. I remember people telling me that I was. It never made any sense.
"I think I lost a lot of respect
for adults that day."
This all happened 8 years ago. I still remember it- in detail. I don't remember everything, just the worst parts. I never felt so much hatred in my life as in that moment. How could someone be so cruel? I was only 10 or so when this happened, and I still remember the story and how the situation made me feel.
I'm sick of people taking advantage of my kindness. I'm sick of people blaming me for things that weren't my fault, or that I don't even know anything about. Sometimes people joke around and blame me for things, but I remember those moments later and if I'm having a hard time those things come back to me.
I am not a terrible person- I honestly try to be nice, respectful, and helpful to everyone. Sometimes people just don't understand what I was trying to do.
I guess I am writing this to say, the things that you tell people, even though they may not seem like a big deal, matter. Words hurt. More than words, attitudes hurt. Have a gracious and loving attitude, please. There is enough hatred and cruelty in the world. Every choice you make, whether you're conscious of it or not, matters.
Sometimes it can define or change EVERYTHING.
Recently I published a post titled "Life Is So Mundane". The post that you are reading right now is kind of a continuation of that idea. I wanted to wait till the end of the year to share all of this with you.
This brings me to an idea I have been formulating over the past few months. I am hoping it wakes me up to the reality of life, and pushes me towards truly living.
Here's the Gist:
I want to learn. I do not want to college. I don't want to go to college! Humans were created with a longing for knowledge, but you can learn a lot from the world without going to school. Anyone can go to college and learn structured lessons and facts, but the truly intelligent people are the ones who learn from experience.
Life is rich when you live it.
I have formulated a list of 12 things that I want to learn in 2016. I am so glad to have a plan for the new year!
My goal for 2016 is to focus on learning one new thing/skill each month. I took some time to think through all the things I want to learn about, know how to do, or just get better at. I am not sure what order I will do any of these in, or how often I will do or study each thing, but it is good to have a goal.
Here is my list:
Learn Body Language
Learn Sign Language
I am so excited to start doing different things and just having fun experimenting with my interests and talents! These ideas sound fun, right? This is my "resolution" for 2016. My goal.
I encourage you to write your own list of goals for the new year. Pick some things that you have always wanted to do, and just go for it. Make it happen.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
2015 has been completely amazing. So much has happened this year, and I never would have imagined that most of it would happen! I am so excited to see what is in store for my life in the years to come! Here are a few things I put together describing why I love this past year.
1) I started attending a new church.
In the beginning of this year, I started attending Higher Hope Church! It's a small church plant that is expanding very quickly right now. The meetings are in a former elementary school. We are working on building a church not too far away! Progress is happening!
I am very grateful to have found this church. The best term to use when speaking of Higher Hope is humble. I have a very humble church.
Besides attending, I play bass guitar in the worship team! I love having a place to play again. We may not be the best team around, but it's fun and I'm glad to be a part of it.
2) I got a new job.
In March of this year, I found a job that I am absolutely obsessed with. I work at a locally-owned cafe in my neighboring city. I love it so much! All of my coworkers are fantastic and for the most part our customers are great. We have lots of regulars that come in that I am always excited to see!
It is a great place to work; all of my coworkers are some of my closest and best friends. I have no idea where I would be right now if I hadn't been hired there! I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of such an awesome place. We are a family, and a team. My boss (who is also the owner) is working very hard to revive the city that we work in- through the cafe, and otherwise! I am so grateful, beyond words, for this incredible place and all of the things it has taught me and given me.
3) I took some vocal classes.
This year I began vocal lessons again. In the spring semester I took a vocal class with less than 10 other students at the local community college. I have to admit that these students were not the most advanced singers, so I didn't really make a lot of progress. I did, however, learn a lot from the textbook we used!
The fall semester was all about applying these things I learned. I was one in four students who was chosen to take private vocal lessons from the vocal professor in the fall! My coach taught me so, so much. She is definitely the best vocal teacher/instructor that I have ever had the privilege of working with. She is amazing! I am so grateful for the opportunity to train my voice and work towards my biggest dream- to be a singer. I am so excited to see where this goes! Anyway, I know that my technique and range has gotten so much better since taking these lessons. So, Lou, if you are reading this, thank you. Thank you so much!
4) In July, I went to Camp Electric.
Camp Electric is an awesome place. I went to Nashville for four days of music and insane fun. I got to learn from the experts- actual famous recording artists in the Christian music world taught our workshops and hung out with us at lunch and in between scheduled events. It was amazing! I had never been to Tennessee before, or flown by myself! It was an amazing time and I was so excited for the opportunity. I saved money for a long time to make this happen!
To read more about my time at Camp Electric, click here!
5) I started a website!
Soon after going to Camp Electric, I decided to create a website about music and all the adventures I go on throughout my life. Thus, the website you're on right now, Conscious Girl, was born!
6) I got a Canon T3i.
One of my good friends, Sarah, started a photography business when she got out of high school. She sold one of her old cameras to me a few months ago! I am so excited to start experimenting with film and photography. Hopefully a lot of things will come your way in the new year!
Click here to check out Sarah's photography!
7) I got my GED!
After so much time wasted on high school, or rather not doing high school, I finally got my GED! I am so glad to be done with school and have the freedom in my brain to think about more important things!
8) I traveled to Arizona!
Back in July, when I was at Camp Electric, I met a girl from Wisconsin, who goes to school in Arizona! So, in November I flew across America to see her, and go to the Winter Jam Tour!!! It was an awesome trip, seeing friends and my uncle! Arizona is a beautiful state.
I hope your year has been amazing- full of memories and amazing new friends. I am so excited to keep on going... Happy New Year!
Tweet some of your favorite moments from 2015 or your New Year's Resolutions with #CGnewyear
and follow me on Instagram and Twitter @lifeasemilyhope to see what I'm up to!
Life is hard. I think that we all can honestly agree on this!
Some days, life is good. Other days are really bad. But the most common of days are the "normal" ones. Typical, common, regular. Nothing changes from day to day to day. If you have a career, typically you go to work and come home at the same time every day. It's routine. It's normal. You know what? You probably had to go through a strict routine/ schedule at college to get to where you are today.
Why do we have to listen to the same song on a loop for the rest of our lives? Do you never get sick of the same thing? If your favorite song was played over and over, and you could not turn if off or leave it, wouldn't you go crazy?
I am going crazy.
I am so sick of this mundane life. I need to change some things! I spend more time at work and on my iPod than I do playing music, writing, and creating. I am a very creative person! But in this day and age it's hard to truly be who you were created to be. There are SO many distractions that have been created for our entertainment. We were not created to be entertained!
You need to resolve it in your heart to be open to change. To look for change. To pursue change! We were made to learn and grow. We were made to enjoy moments while they last, but keep creating beautiful moments. Allow God to write your story, by acting in it. You are a character in His book. Who would read a book about someone who does the same thing day after day? I know that I definitely wouldn't. A good story has action- conflict- adventure.
"Let God bring your story to life by being the actor."
Don't live a mundane life. Get out and shake things up! You weren't created for an endless circle of any one thing.