We Need Each Other

girlsbylakeI want to tell you a story about a girl.

A girl with fire in her hair, and big dreams in her heart.

Yes that girl is me.

So we can call her Carly! Carly had a difficult life in which every time she trusted someone, they would hurt and let her down. She began to retreat further and further inside of herself until she could would not let any other person into her life. Carly thought that being alone protected her, and since she wouldn’t allow anyone close enough to break down her walls of protection, that she would be safe and sound. Carly loved people, but she loved them at an arm’s length. She knew people go deep when they get close and that felt vulnerable.  Many others have the same darkness inside of them as she did, and if she let them get too close, she might feel their pain, or they may feel hers.

Do you know that everything about the way I was living was unhealthy? I expected others to be perfect, but the truth is that we are all beautifully broken and need each other. By not allowing others to know me, I hurt myself. I was the person that I feared because I hurt myself every day by believing the lie that I was safe in solitude, in this lonely fog.

I love this quote “Love was first, and so was relationship.” by Pastor Krysta Cooks. It says it all; we were created to be in relationship with one another!

Genesis 2:7 says, “Then the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” Pastor Theo Koulianos (of the Answer Church in Lake Mary Florida) asked this question to me and my classmates at Victory School of Ministry, “How close would God have to be to breathe into one’s nostrils?” I’ve thought about this over and over since then and I don’t think I’ll ever forget this image. How small are your nostrils? Someone would have to literally be in your face and extremely close to breathe into your nostrils. That is the intimacy that we first encountered with God.

We have a relational God who created us for love, and for relationship.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I was missing out on the greatest commandment for a very long time. Loving God, and loving people. If I do nothing else in this life but love Jesus, and love people, I will have done so much.

girlsandbirds

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down,     one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.

My Bishop always says “You cannot give what you do not have.” I encourage you to have friends and be a friend. Jesus was called a friend of sinners, and He is called your friend.

I didn’t think I needed people, but I have realized there is no greater joy than being a friend and knowing and loving know people. I was completely alone until I completely surrendered this area of my life to the Lord. God gave me courage to befriend an incredible pastor friend which led to several new friendships. I am now surrounded by incredibly loving people who lift me up and encourage me.

The truth is that none of us are perfect, and we will hurt each other sometimes, but that’s why we need each other – to be there for one another. No matter what happens to you, and how people hurt you, God’s grace is sufficient for you, and He is the one true friend that will never leave or hurt you.

I encourage those of you who are hurting like I was. Take a chance and be vulnerable again.  Make room in your heart for friendships again.  Let God befriend you as well.  He desires a real relationship with you!

Images were found on Pinterest.

carly_sThis blog was written by Pure Design Teen Magazine’s blogger Carly Sage. Carly is 19 and lives in Youngstown, Ohio where she attends Victory School of Ministry. She hopes to be in full-time ministry as a pastor one day and loves to express herself through writing!

Loving Valentine’s Day When You’re Single

Happy-Valentines-DayIt’s almost Valentine’s Day, or Single Awareness Day if you’re one of the 124 million single people in America.

For single people Valentine’s Day is like the party that you weren’t invited to. Couples are going out on romantic dates, your local grocery store is piled high with heart-shaped memorabilia, and your parents even have plans. So where does this leave you?

I love holidays. I celebrate one almost daily. I decided a long time ago, relationship or no relationship, I deserved to enjoy Valentine’s Day, too. In fact, it’s one of my favorite holidays of the year, and I love celebrating it single.

Let me tell you why.

  1. A Girl’s Best Friend is… A Girl’s Best Friend!

I do have a lot of special someone’s in my life, and they’re all of my friends. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time for me to focus on the friendships in my life, and this means I don’t have to give up the hope of flowers and chocolate boxes just yet, either. Being a chocoholic, that’s very important to me. Every year I celebrate with my friends by going on what I call “Friend Dates.” We get dressed up, see a movie, exchange chocolates, gifts, or flowers, and enjoy a girl’s night out.

Let’s be honest, Valentine’s is a holiday for girl’s anyway. So of course, only we know how to do it right.

  1. The Real Purpose of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day isn’t about having a boyfriend, it’s about appreciating the relationships in your life. It’s easy to get so caught up in the hype of Valentine’s Day–What’s he going to buy me? What will I wear? –and we miss out on what really makes Valentine’s Day a beautiful holiday. We are blessed with so many different kinds of relationships in our lives, and Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate them all!

  1. What True Love Is

People strive to have that Hallmark kind of love, but I don’t think that’s what love is. Love is about choosing to love somebody even in the moments when you don’t like them. It’s not love until things get a little rough, and the rubber hits the road, and you still choose to work it out. Love is friends by your side who are there for you, a family that believes in you, and when it’s right, a man that won’t give up on you.

It’s so important to have honest, close friendships we can turn to. Friends are in it for the long haul. Show your appreciation to your friends this Valentine’s season, and treat yourself to a box of chocolates while you’re at it!

IMG1

Kirsten Keesee is 19 years old and lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where she works as a content writer for the Drenda Show. She enjoys traveling, collecting books, and checking items off of her bucket list.

A Re(new)ed You!

waterfallEver feel like you just need the chance to start over? I have good news for you!

You can begin again, today.

If you’re not proud of who you’ve been, or you know you can be better, it’s not too late! Change is hard, but possible.

Some people may judge you based on who you were, and you might have to prove yourself to gain their trust again. It often takes some work to rebuild good relationships. You have to fight the image of who they created of you in their minds and be committed to your new choices and direction!

Some people will understand your desire for change. They will support you, especially if they’re going through a similar process. You don’t have to do it alone.

A year ago, two major things happened in my life: I met my boyfriend Michael, and I became a lot closer with the Lord. Before this, I had not been living right. I was in a bad relationship, I wasn’t focused on the Lord and I was selfish and angry. I could feel the Lord pulling on my heart, asking me to give up my selfish ways and be close to Him. Michael also wanted to get to know me, and I knew that he was living his life right and in a good place with the Lord.

I answered the Lord’s invitation and gave up everything I had selfishly centered my life around that wasn’t a part of God’s plan. From the very beginning I was honest with Michael and told him I had made a lot of mistakes, but that I wanted to live differently now. The Lord and Michael both helped me in this time of new beginnings. Michael didn’t care what kind of person I had been, he forgave me and believed in my desire to be close to the Lord and live my life for Him. God also forgave me. He didn’t make me go through a time of punishment or withhold blessings from me; immediately He started to do amazing works in my life.

Here I am, one full year later, a completely different person – writing for a Christian magazine and giving advice to others! The Lord does amazing things!

I made a choice. I wanted to begin again and I gained the support I needed. Don’t get me wrong, it was still really hard. I had to break off relationships with people I had been close friends with. I had to change my schedule and ended up changing jobs and moving to a different city. The Lord made all of this possible because I trusted Him and desired to be close to Him!

There is more happiness in my life now than ever before! I have many new friendships that I desired and tried to find for a very long time. I am able to spend time on things I love, and best of all I can call Jesus by best friend. I can feel His love as I watch Him do works in my life.

If you need to be closer to the Lord, know that He is not mad at you. He’s not even disappointed in you! He is waiting with open arms, excited to welcome you into a life filled with the most amazing love and wonderful things He wants to give you and do for you.

If you need to end some friendships, get involved in other groups or activities. Change the way you speak to others or change your mindset about school or life in general. Know it will be hard, but it WILL be worth it. You don’t have to do it alone! Be open and vulnerable with your closest friends, and tell them what you need to make happen in your life. The Lord will provide you with the support you need! You can also write to us here at Pure Design – we are here to help you make hard choices and support your new beginning.

We believe in you!

IsabelIsabel Siegel is 18 and lives in Westerville, Ohio. She has a passion for all aspects of wellness – organic veggies, nature adventures, and the pursuit and understanding of truth. Non-fiction books, house plants, trips to Whole Foods, and running at Hoover Reservoir are some of the things she loves to do. She is a true conversationalist, and an ideas girl with a massive love for connecting with people. Right now, the Lord is teaching her to trust Him and to dream big.

Thank You & Happy New Year

happy-new-year-fireworksAs we end 2015, and look forward to a brand New Year tomorrow, all of us at Pure Design Magazine want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who follows, supports, contributes and prays for this ministry and publication!  We are VERY excited as we head into the New Year, as there are several new and exciting things brewing already…  such as printed issues of the magazine, a new website, a brand new look and many more exciting things that will be revealed in 2016!!

We CAN’T WAIT to tell you!!

Stay tuned to our website, social media sites and blogs each week for new and exciting updates!

As we reflect on 2015, we are grateful for an amazing year! Brand new team members joined us, a business plan, goals and marketing strategies were written and a lot of amazing things are being discussed for 2016!  It is going to be a fun year and we hope to include YOU!!  Please spread the news and share our sites with teen girls all over the globe!

We hope and pray you have a blessed and safe New Year’s.  May 2016 be filled with God’s favor, His peace and love!  May each of you know you are loved and special!  God has amazing things in store for you!!

We so appreciate your support and look forward to another amazing year together!

From the entire Pure Design Magazine Team – Happy New Year!

Candy Cane Popcorn!

Looking for a fun, delicious snack for the holidays?  How about some candy cane popcorn?

Here’s what you need!

Ingredients:

ingredients-2

  • 12 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • At least 10 candy canes
  • Makes 4-5 servings

 

 

 

 

Supplies:

  • Stovetop
  • Double broiler, or a bowl that will sit on the top of a pan
  • Extra large mixing bowl
  • Ziplock bag, for crushing candy canes

Instructions:

If you have popcorn kernels, pop them first.

Set up the double broiler, or pan and bowl. Boil water in the pan, and empty the bag of white chocolate chips into the bowl.

doubleboiler

Stir constantly until melted and creamy with no lumps.

meltedchocolate

Unwrap the candy canes, break into small pieces and put in a ziplock bag.

Wrap a dish towel around the ziplock bag to minimized holes forming in the bag.

Use a mallet if you have one (I used the bottom of a mason jar) to crush the candy cane pieces.

Mix the crushed candy cane into the white chocolate.

addcandycanes

In a large mixing bowl, put half of your popped popcorn. Little by little, mix in half the candy cane and white chocolate mixture.

Empty the first batch into storage containers or a decorative bowl, and repeat the process with the rest of the popcorn and white chocolate mixture!

finishedpopcorn

Serve & Enjoy!

IsabelIsabel Siegal, or “bel” for short is 18 years old just moved to Westerville, Ohio. She has a passion for all aspects of wellness – organic veggies, nature adventures, and the pursuit and understanding of truth. Non-fiction books, house plants, trips to Whole Foods, and running at Hoover Reservoir are some of the things she loves to do.  She is a true conversationalist, and an ideas girl with a massive love for connecting with people. Right now, the Lord is teaching her to trust Him, and to dream big!

What’s your New Year’s Plan?

girlwritingDecember is here and the end of 2015 is closing in on us! This is a great time to look ahead and set goals for the New Year.  Goals are different than a “New Year’s Resolution”. It’s creating a list of things you hope to accomplish, but then also a plan of action on how to get them done.  A lot of times, we make resolutions – things we hope to accomplish but don’t take time to think through what it would take to get these things done.  In order to lose 10 pounds in January, I must cut out sweets in January, work out a few times a week and find an accountability partner to hold me to it.  This is a goal with tangible things to do in order to achieve it. (NOT that weight loss is the most important thing… any goal, a vacation, a new job, or whatever else you want to do…)

When we look ahead we should make plans and goals for different areas in our lives:  personal, relational and academically.  Here are a few ideas as you think about 2016 and some things to consider in order to achieve your goals:

  1. Set attainable goals. When you set goals for yourself, be realistic. If you do not work out at all right now, don’t say that in the New Year you will work out an hour every single day of the week. Give yourself some grace and be realistic. Work out ½ hour 3 x a week. This gives you days off in between, but gets you exercising.
  2. Put a plan together. Write out ways you will attain your goals. If you want to start a blog – figure out how you will do that. What topics will readers be interested in? When will you write, when’s the best time to post? How can you stay connected with your bloggers? Make a plan so your goal can be achieved.
  3. Make time for your goals. Just like everything else in life, make time to work on your goals. Put it on your calendar, and try to work on one goal every day if you can. If not, mark off a couple times a week to get things done. Schedule time for writing or working out, or travel or whatever else you hope to do this year!
  4. Be accountable. Find people you can share your goals and dreams with and ask them to hold you accountable. Choose someone who will be “tough” on you when you don’t get it done. (Don’t ask your BFF who will give you grace every time you give an excuse.)
  5. Check in on yourself. Every three months, see how you are doing. Go over your goals and see where you are at. Change goals or deadlines as needed, but hold yourself accountable for the things you had hoped to get done and find ways to work on those goals you haven’t started on yet.

Even if you don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, I’d encourage you to be a person who sets goals.  If you don’t set goals and make plans for your life, where will you be a year from now?  You won’t know, because you don’t even know what you are aiming for!  Take some time this month to plan ahead and set goals for the next 12 months.  December 31st, 2016 will be here before you know it!

pamphotoshootPam Lozano is the Founder and Executive Director of Pure Design Ministries & Magazine.  A magazine to inspire teen girls in self-image, self-worth and pure beauty.  She loves mentoring teen girls, leading worship, writing and taking long walks.  She also loves fashion and decorating and thrifting with her kids.

The Perfect Provider

cross and hands“Trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” (1 Peter 4:19)

Recently, I was reading through Psalms. In chapter 28, it reads “I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of Thanksgiving.” My first thought was, “Oh neat, it’s almost Thanksgiving!” but as a looked at the words more and read them aloud again, I really felt that they capture what my life has looked like this past month. I want to share with you what happens when you aren’t afraid to trust the Lord completely.

About a month ago this week, on my way to the movies with my little sister, I rear ended a brand new car, and my Jeep was totaled. Two days ago, I was finally able to get a new car! During the time in between, I had to learn to trust God even when it was easier to be scared.

From anyone’s perspective, I had a lot to be scared about. I was not in a financial situation to buy a car, my car insurance was going to be more expensive because I caused the accident, and I had no idea how to look for, check out, or actually purchase a car! I had to rely on my boyfriend and others for rides to work every day, and I had to ask people to take me to the grocery store when I needed to buy food. I needed a lot of advice about car shopping, and I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone because of a mistake that was my fault.

I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t see how things were going to work out. I’ve learned within the last year that things don’t usually work out when I try to depend on myself and my own strength.  Things tend to work out when I pray and ask God to help me. So that is what I did!

Now, because I’m at the end of this little journey, I’m able to look back and tell you how everything came together perfectly. If you’re still in the middle, or at the beginning of a time of hardship, do not treat this as a story of someone else receiving breakthrough! Believe that this is exactly how YOUR story can end too, if you choose to trust God!

I scoured the internet looking for cars, made huge spreadsheets with tons of details, and learned that all the guys in my boyfriend’s design firm know 150% more about cars than I do. They took time to let me know which cars were good, and which were bad! Then, a wonderful, selfless person who shall remain nameless actually bought a car for me!  This allows me to keep some cash in savings and pay them back without taking out a loan! On top of this, my insurance actually got cheaper! The way God provided the perfect vehicle was just outright amazing…  I’m still overjoyed!

“Give all your worries and cares to the Lord, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

We narrowed our search to two or three models of cars that we found to be safe, reliable, and affordable, but there didn’t seem to be any for sale in Ohio. Issues kept hindering our search, so Michael and I prayed about the cars we were looking into and asked God to clearly show us whether or not they were the car I should get. And he did! All kinds of things happened that were discouraging in the moment, like mapping wrong directions to a test drive, and cars not meeting inspections, but we knew it was God’s protection and guidance, so we continued to thank and trust Him!

Then on Sunday afternoon, I ended up talking with a lady who had the PERFECT, better-than-I-could-have-asked-for car. The only trouble was there were two people scheduled to test drive it before us. For a second I started to panic, because I just knew this was the car! But then as I prayed, God reminded me that he is a Perfect Provider. Instead of worrying that I wouldn’t get the car, I thanked God for providing the perfect car for me, I believed that this car was mine, and I trusted HIM to make it happen. In the end, and after a crazy, miracle-filled night, I drove home with that car!

I haven’t always trusted the Lord this much. It is still a day by day process.  But this car reminds me how incredibly faithful He is, and how it is up to me to allow God to provide for me each and every time I have a need! It IS worth it!

 “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” (Psalm 16:11)

IsabelIsabel Siegel is 18 years old and lives in Westerville, Ohio. She has a passion for all aspects of wellness – organic veggies, nature adventures, and the pursuit and understanding of truth. Non-fiction books, house plants, trips to Whole Foods, and running at Hoover Reservoir are some of the things she loves to do. She is a true conversationalist, and an ideas girl with a massive love for connecting with people. Right now, the Lord is teaching her to trust Him, and to dream big.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Are You in Danger?

20141117180945-right-business-wrong-social-media-cultureIt can be hard to live in a world that’s so social media saturated. We’re constantly seeing images that we should live up to: being fit, being the perfect mom, eating the perfect “Pinterest” dinner, and measuring up to the selfies posted by our friends.

Have you ever been to a concert and noticed everyone watching the concert through the camera on their phone?

Instead of living in the moment, we're living our lives behind a screen.

 

And suddenly, just because we can’t snap the perfect profile picture or get our Instagram theme on fleek, we feel unworthy.

It’s not that using social media to stay connected with friends is wrong, but it’s what we choose to do when we see those pictures. We can choose to be happy for them, or we can use those pictures to harbor feelings of jealousy, comparison, and worthlessness.

As women I feel like throughout the generations we’ve been targeted with tabloids, soup operas, and social media is basically a new form of this at our finger tips. That’s why we have to prioritize our time, and learn when to say yes and no. I know how it is when you hear your phone buzz with a notification, and out of habit you find yourself knee-deep in social media half an hour later.

I know people who have had to turn their social media notifications off entirely to protect their time, because once the notification popped up they couldn’t resist the temptation. I use the word temptation specifically, because I think that for many people social media has become an addiction. If you can’t go a day without checking your social accounts, that is a social media addiction.

Social media is a great way to connect with people you don’t see on a daily basis, but don’t neglect your real life for a virtual one. And keep in mind, people are putting their best foot forward on social media.

While we’ve gained instant access to everyone’s personal lives, we’ve lost the art of real communication along the way. It might be easier to post a status or send a text, but it’s important to have relationships face-to-face. We have to take the time to step away from our social media accounts and invest in our relationships, because some things can never be achieved through likes, comments, and shares.

Like accountability. 

 

We can be anyone we want to be with little accountability when we’re hiding behind a computer screen, and that’s a dangerous place to be. Mentorship happens in relationships. Growth happens in relationships. God created us with the need for relationships, and when we neglect that natural human desire we experience depression and loneliness.

A new study concluded that the more a person is engaged with media and on their smart phone, 
the less compassion and concern they show towards others.

 

I can speak from experience that there have been times I have felt irritated after spending a day working on the computer, and I couldn’t figure out why.

My point is that social media has a lot of good uses, but just like with everything else, we have to monitor how much time we put into it. When we’re experiencing emotions like depression, anxiety, or loneliness, we have to take a hard look at how much time we’re spending on technology versus on the relationships in our life.

How do you monitor your social media use? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kirsten Keesee is 19 years old and lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where she works as a content writer for the Drenda Show. She enjoys traveling, collecting books, and checking items off of her bucket list.

 

The Past Is In The Past

teengirlrearviewmirrorHas someone ever hurt you? Have you ever hurt someone?

In this world of humans we are in a never ending cycle of hurting each other. Since no one is perfect, it’s inevitable to get hurt once in a while.

Do you feel like the hurt in your life has traumatized you and you can’t forget it? Do you carry it heavy on your shoulders and in your heart?

Some of us go through extreme pain in our lives. We lose loved ones, deal with divorce or separation with our parents, or even sometimes have a parent abandon us. Some of us face diseases or illness.  There is bullying and prejudice. Life can be overwhelming.  Our hearts get really hurt sometimes, so I want to encourage you to take heart and begin to focus on the Lord.  Because the Lord our God has overcome the world, we can always have hope!

Our bones get bruised, and our hearts get broken, and it takes such a toll on us. Sometimes these hurts cause bitterness and resentment. Sometimes we carry a lasting ache that cannot be shaken.

Sometimes I smell something that provokes a memory or hear a song that sends me reeling reminding me of pain I experienced. The pain stricken memory sends me into a gloomy place that affects my mood. Does any of this sound familiar? Have you noticed your heart becoming slow and cold because there’s so much building up?

Dear one, there is so much more to the pain than just the hurt. There is healing that can come and light that wants to combat the dark. Depression and hurt have no power over you, you just need to be revived. You don’t have to hold onto those painful things. Those things that cause you hurt do not and never will define you. They are meant to be let go, like the release of a balloon to watch it go up and up until it is completely out of sight. You are not the mistakes you’ve made, and know this – You are not the bad things people have said you are.

You are so much more.

Danny Gokey sings these words in his song “Tell Your Heart To Beat Again”:

      “Yesterday’s a closing door, you don’t live there anymore. Say goodbye to where you’ve been, and tell your heart to beat again.”

I encourage you to leave the past in the past and make choices to allow your heart to beat again. You can be a whole person by leaving the past and not living there anymore. We can’t drive a car looking in the rear view mirror so why would you live life that way? Your future is not defined by your past, not at all.

God is always calling you farther away from your past, and into his perfect plan for your life.

    “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13

      “”Forget the former thing; do not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18

Wake up each day and give your hurt and pain to God until you can move forward without those things holding you back. Wake up every day and chose to be happy because God’s got you! Choose to let the healing begin and press on towards the prize of living life happily, fully and with hope! Your past is not your future dear heart, your future is fresh with no mistakes in it, keep moving forward, and no more looking back, tell your heart to begin to beat again.

Image found on Google Images.

carly_sThis blog was written by Pure Design Teen Magazine’s blogger Carly Sage. Carly is 19 years old and lives in Youngstown, Ohio where she attends Victory School of Ministry through Victory Christian Church. She hopes to be in full-time ministry as a pastor one day and loves to express herself through writing!

 

SHAMELESS: Winning the Battle Against Secret Sins

n18cyb_307143kIt’s easy to subdue the enemy on the outside, 
                 ...but what about the one within?

 

It’s easy to hide a life of “what if’s,” secret sins, regrets, and brokenness behind a forced smile and perfect church attendance. It’s easy to hide the side of ourselves we don’t want anyone to see—but does it ever really go away? Will we always have to run from our secrets? Feel ashamed? Guilt? Self-hatred?

Secret sins feel safe. Hidden. Secret. Locked away. We greet them in places like our bedrooms, our bathrooms, and on our computers, and we leave them there when we don’t want to carry them into our daily routines. In a sense, they seem to be detached from the rest of our lives. If schools taught a class on Sin Ed, secret sins might be labeled as the “safe” sins. In other words, many people think there won’t be any consequences.

But is there anything SAFE about a secret sin?

As I think about secret sins, a recent news story comes to mind. It’s a story about a Christian boy who fell for the “safe sin” lie. He struggled with secret sins as he grew up, constantly keeping secrets, running from his past, and lying to the people closest to him. During this time the boy’s family became a public icon. He began to take new career opportunities in government and started a family of his own—all the while proclaiming God with his lips, and sinning against God in private. Josh Duggar’s secret sins were not a secret for much longer. Soon the whole world knew about his “secret sins,” and besides already costing him his career, they nearly cost him everything else. What was supposed to be safe and secret ended up being very public and very costly.

So how can we live a life that's shame-free? How can we win the battle against secret sins once and for all?

 

1. Nothing is Secret

 

We live in a generation that believes unless people know about it and are talking about it, it didn’t happen. It doesn’t count. We feel that as long as people don’t know what we’re struggling with behind the scenes, those struggles don’t hold as much gravity in God’s eyes.

That’s a lie. 

Whether people know about our struggle with a certain sin or not, God knows exactly where we’re at and what we’re going through. No sin is hidden from God. It breaks His heart to see His children moving down a path towards destruction; and the simple fact is that’s where all secret sins lead.

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14)

So if we really want to overcome secret sins, we need to have a healthy perspective on why it’s wrong. Secret sins aren’t dangerous because our friends might judge us or people might find out–they’re dangerous because sinning is a direct attack on God and His plan for our lives.

 

2. Setting Up For Success

 

Have you ever been on a diet?

Well, when I’m on a diet the last place I want to eat at is our local Chinese Buffet. Why? Because I love Chinese food, and if I eat there I know I’ll break my diet! My plate won’t look healthy and green, it’s going to be loaded up with rice and noodles and sweet n’ sour chicken. When I’m on a diet I try to set myself up for success. I like to think through what I’ll order before I get there, that way when I see the chicken fingers and Ranch dressing on the menu I already know I’m ordering a salad.

So why don’t we set ourselves up for success in overcoming sin?

Accountability is a great way of accomplishing this, but we can even take it a step further. If we know that checking our social media before bed makes us feel insecure, or binge eating makes us guilt ourselves, or too much time on the internet puts us in a place of temptation, why don’t we change those habits? The Bible says that we are supposed to be like watchmen, and watchmen sound an alert before the enemy is at their door!

If you were on a diet and you went to the Krispy Kreme shop every day… 
                              how long would it take for you to eat a donut?

 

It probably wouldn’t take you very long, unless you are somehow immune to the deliciousness of a warm Krispy Kreme. So is your problem that you need more self-discipline? Should you just try harder tomorrow when you go to the Krispy Kreme shop? Maybe if you get really mad at yourself for eating the donut, then you’ll stick to your diet? Probably not, because the problem is the position you are putting yourself in. Are you putting yourself in a position to overcome sin?

 

3. By Grace

 

The best news is that God’s grace is sufficient for us to overcome any sin or temptation. We don’t have to do the same things we’ve always done; we are a new creation in Christ, free to choose a new path for our life. Sometimes we have to take some advice from Disney’s Frozen and just LET IT GO! There is NO condemnation in Christ, and nothing we’ve done in our past can define our future.

“Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

Whenever we are struggling with addictions, temptations, self-hatred, depression, fear, or loneliness, God’s grace is enough to set us free. We have the ability to overcome secret sins and live a life that’s guilt-free. God knows where you’re at and what you’re going through, and He wants to help you out of your situation! You only have to let Him!

 

What do YOU think the best way to deal with secret sins is?

 

 

For more advice on dealing with secret addictions check out the Fall Edition of Pure Design Magazine for FREE

 

 

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Kirsten Keesee is 19 years old and lives in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where she works as a content writer for the Drenda Show. She enjoys traveling, collecting books, and checking items off of her bucket list.