easy 

there is nothing harder than letting the world know you believe in God. shouldn’t life be easier as a Christian? don’t you get what you want? aren’t you perfect? those are just a few things that I think people believe are true. 

life for me has been far from easy! I gave my life to Christ when I was in Jr High, of course then, life was easy. I thought “hard” was my math homework and the worst sin was talking back to my mom (which I still think is scary). growing up as a Christian I was taught so many things. God was instilled in my life, I was given a “peace” of something I knew I would always have. as I started to get older and the world became more known to me, things started to get “harder”. even though I thought I knew everything, i definitely didn’t. I could go on about the mistakes I made and how my life drifted far from God but you would be reading this for hours if I did that. I’m writing this today to tell about where my life is now and the impact God has made and how life isn’t easy, even though i am a Christian. 

one thing I know is you have to strive to get better! if you are sitting in the same spot you were last month, you’re not getting better. as a Christian, things are HARDER. you are trying to live your life the best you can in a world full of complete sin. every person in this world sins. my sin is absolutely no different than your sin. it doesn’t matter if you killed someone and I said The Lords name in vain…a sin is a sin. the thing that gets me the most is my fellow Christians who are judging. judging the chocies I make, the friends I have, the fact that gay marriage is legal, that a man can use the women’s restroom and a woman can use the men’s, etc.  life isn’t easy, it isn’t easy to sit in silence as a Christian. when Christians show love, it should be humble, not degrading or make it seem like it’s being shoved in someones face. I have so many Christian couples that I look up to and think “wow, their life seems perfect”–SEEMS because let’s be honest, before that picture was posted…someone didn’t want to take it or there was the biggest blow up ever, but now we smile! I look up to them because of that post, it makes life look easy and gives me hope of what my life can and will be! even if before the picture was a mess. 

after you have been done wrong by someone it’s hard to think that something right can exist. for example, relationships…you’ve been in a bad one and you are now free from that but you look at other relationships and think…wow does he really love her like he says in that post? or does she really make him breakfast every morning? people often tell me I was put in my situation because God knew I could handle it. no, God put me in that situation to teach me; to teach me life won’t always be easy but He will always be by your side if you let him. this past year has been one of the hardest years of my life, huge relationship change, money, job changes, friends..the list could go on. one thing that never changed was my faith. things got hard, I hit the bottom, stayed there for awhile and now started to climb my way up! God always stayed by my side. 

I have finally realized that life isn’t going to be easy!!! I believe when life has become easy, you aren’t making any progress! I read my Bible, I pray, I go to church BUT I mess up, I sin. God still loves me and he still loves you! I could never sit and tell someone what they are doing is wrong if they don’t believe the same things I do! all I can do is show love and be nice to everyone because…life isn’t easy. 

knowing where I stand with my faith is the greatest & until that faith is known, the devil is going to be beating your door hard!! God always has my side and I always have his. 

Jaclyn Johnston 

Psalm 139:14 

Face the good, bad & ugly 

There isn’t anything much worse than when you are trying to do good for yourself and someone steps on that good and brings you right down. So many times in my life have I been faced with this and it’s taken me a long time to learn, remain calm! I really wanna say “well, €*$&#* good for you!” & walk away. Instead, I praise their success as well! It’s so hard, everything I have learned is bc I have made that mistake, I have been that exact person & you don’t realize what it sounds like until you hear someone do it to you! 

I’m not sure why the phrase goes, “good, bad & ugly”. It should read, “ugly, ugly again, bad, probably more bad & then it will get good–Usually in my case. Right now I’m in that “probably more bad stage”. I’m praying that I’m on the peak of the mountain where it’s my last bump! One thing I am good at is keeping a very positive out look on life. I use to worry about everything, worry was my middle name. Right now, I wing it. I wing everything, God is a good guy bc he totally let’s me soar! If you are an anxious person like me, I suggest you open your Bible and find some verses to get you through your days! 

These past few months have been trying for me, I stated to work out again, got a new “career” to say the least, thought long and hard about moving, decided not to move, need to look for a place to live, I could go on and on- Bills piling up on each other, working so much that I can’t even clean my house! 😂 The crazy thing is, I’m not even stressed…I feel like I should be and I have friends who ask me how I’m not. I really feel at peace with my life right now, maybe I’m the calm in the storm! Everything else around me is in the “probably more bad” stage and I’m just chillin here in the middle like, “hey, what’s up, hello?” 

The thing that really gets me going though is when someone brings you down in the middle of you climbing that mountain. I’m the type that I want others to celebrate with me and also, love me through my worst! There’s a quote, “don’t expect to be there at my best if you weren’t with me at my worst!” & there’s nothing wrong with cutting people out of your life! Staying positive is the hardest thing anyone can do! I’m here to tell you, if you have someone in your life who isn’t bringing you up, take them out of your life! The only person who can truly make yourself happy is YOU! It starts with you…how you react to what others say and think is a pure reflection of YOU! 

Jaclyn Johnston 

Psalm 139:14 

change 

I haven’t wrote in awhile, I’ve kinda had writers block or I’ve just been in this state where I didn’t really care what was going on…to be honest. 

I haven’t been interested in doing anything that I like to do. I’ve just been at a low. I still have been journaling because that’s my go away place, my time with God, my time alone. 

This week I had the opportunity to go to a Creative Church Conference (C3), it’s always an eye opening experience, one that I never forget! This year blew me out of the water. It helped me realize some personal things about myself. This is a conference to better leaders in a church. Do I feel better, yes and no. I’ll explain, yes because I feel like I have the tools I need to help the problems I’m having & I can’t lead if I’m not in the right state. No, because I have to go back to those problems. (Story of everyone’s life, right?!) I want to share with you some eye opening experiences I had this week. 

Bil Cornelius….knocked me out of my seat. Every word he spoke hit me in the heart then raced it’s way to my head. My brain was going 1000 thoughts a second. I couldn’t even keep up with my notes! If you know me, you know I like to be in charge, hence why I was at a leaderships conference, this is something that I need to give up. Not give up to other people but give up to God! When I look at my life there are so many things that I’m trying to do on my own-I can’t do it on my own. There are obviously things in your life that God isn’t going to tell you what to do…eat the cheeseburger, don’t eat the cheeseburger. God isn’t going to tell you that, do what you want-eat the burger because we know that’s the answer. Bigger decisions. Decisions he’s placed in front of you but you aren’t acting upon. I am building God’s kingdom, not mine. I need to become more wise with my decisions. So much light was dropped in my lap during all of this! God is testing me right now, and I think I’m failing, I’m not making the right choices. Pastor Bil continually talked about the test and how he was a bad test taker in school-I can relate. You can go to the teacher and ask, ask again and again for some help on the test but the teacher can only do so much, you have to put the time in and the study. If you aren’t studying it enough, you aren’t going to pass. And as for the teacher-always quite during the test! BOOM, MIND BLOWN! No matter how hard I pray on this test in my life, God isn’t going to show me anything because I’m not passing, I’m not studying. I wish I could show you the how he demonstrated this, but use your imagination and pretend your eyes are closed-because you can’t read this with them closed. Lol. God has everything predestined, he placed the answer before the problem was deployed. Here I’m sitting (mouth opened) and he says, God allows the Devil to place problems in our life but you better believe the Devil is gonna pay for them! Not one trial goes unpunished. (Remember, God already placed the answer to the problem before it happened.) Okay, here’s the close your eyes part. God has placed this test at our feet and he’s up in Heaven looking down on us waiting and waiting (bc he’s quite during the test) and waiting, he is waiting for us to make that move!! Pick up that problem so he can get us out of that mess! We pick up that problem and he looks down at us and smiles, and drops the answer! Close your eyes and imagine that! It makes me smile!! It makes me happy picturing him over my head dropping that answer! Reassuring that there is ALWAYS an answer, ALWAYS. When I wanted to give up because I was praying and nothing was being said to me. It’s because I’m in a test! I picked that problem up almost instantly and started to run solutions through my head to change that mess! Crying…tears of joy, scared, not sure of what’s to come or when the answer(s) will be placed in front of me. What I do know is that I picked it up and God smiled at me and dropped my answer! He said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” God uses tasks to get people done. Not people to get the tasks done. 

How do we pass these tests? Ahhh…we study, we dive in to God’s word. The best part, God’s test is OPEN BOOK! He has given us everything we could need to pass every test!  

 Even when you’re alone, you’re not. God is looking down on you, waiting for YOU to make that move. 

Jaclyn Johnston 

Psalm 139:14 

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faster 

i’ll be the first to tell you, i love food. when the thought of fasting was put on my heart, i can’t lie and say i was excited. when people think of fasting they think someone is trying to cleanse their body or trying loose weight, the majority of people who now know I’m fasting have asked me those two questions. when i tell them the real reason, they have an interested look on their face, so not only does this give me a chance to explain but i get to share my faith as well! let me go into the biblical meaning of a fast. (King David wrote that he “humbled [him]self with fasting” (Psalms 35:13). fasting is a means of getting our minds back on the reality that we are not self-sufficient. fasting helps us realize just how fragile we are and how much we depend on things beyond ourselves.) this is just one of many examples in The Bible. it helps us draw near to God so he can draw near to us. it’s a time of prayer and sacrifice. i have a dear friend who helped me learn how and what fasting is. first you need to determine the reason why you are fasting. (i suggest all of this done with a lot of praying–it’s no joke). second, sowing a seed, what is that is going to stretch you? what’s going to make that seed grow. how is this related to your fast? third, a time frame. what’s the number and how is it significant? fourth, a place in the bible to study. 

now that we have the basics of fasting, let me share my 17 hour journey so far–with no food. (how Jesus did this for 40 days is beyond me, that’s why he’s Jesus.) anyways…i’m not going to go into large detail as of to why i am fasting, only a few close people know the reason why and are sticking by my side supporting, praying and even fasting with me! when i figured out what seed i was going to sow i took a deep gulp and swallowed because it sure was stretching me outside of my comfort zone! i have never in my life done something like that but i knew it was what i was being called to do! when i gave that person what it was, the response was unreal, more than i could have imagined! it was all God, the answer to a lot of prayers! now, that my seed had been sewed i needed to focus on my reading. when i started to pray about my study Job popped in my head, i’ve never read the whole book of Job i just knew bits a pieces-definitely was anxious! once i start to read i started to chuckle, oh how comical our God is! God basically allows the Devil to attack Job and take everything away from him. The Devil is hoping that Job looses his faithfulness to God. its purpose is to illustrate God’s sovereignty and faithfulness during a time of great suffering. Job’s wife told him to curse God, even his dearest friends! one said that God wanted to humble him. at the end of the chapter God restores Job knowing he had incorrect guidance. Job definitely gets humbled by God when he admits to believing the wrong words spoken to him! ahhhhhh…how this relates to me! 

in a none humble moment, i believe i’m humble. i know God lead me to this chapter for another reason. he can take things away from you at any minute! growing up i usually got what i wanted but was always appreciative of it! in turn i believe it made things harder for me as i got older! things that should be easy for me are difficult. that’s why i was lead to this chapter, taking what I have for granted even when i think i’m not! I’m sure i didn’t always say please and thank you for everything I received, even now to this day! I need to be more cautious of what i am doing or things might begin to change for me! it’s only been 17 hours and the amount of things that have happened can only be God given! 

fasting is a lot of sacrifice (although i am allowing myself liquids)! today as i was complaining about being hungry i once again was reminded by a friend of Jesus doing this for 40 days! God is one amazing Father and i can’t wait to see what has changed in my life after 72 hours! i’m ready for the weight to be lifted off my shoulders! 

*hopefully someone is waiting with a juicy steak at the other end!* 😋 

psalm 139:14 

jaclyn johnston 

here’s to a new year 🎉🎊

it’s NYE and some like to reflect on what happened over the past year, make collages and brag about everything that happened! in no way am i going to do this!! i’m not gonna say my year was bad but i had things happen that i’m not gonna make a collage about! instead i’m gonna celebrate my night by looking at what happened over this year and thanking God i made it through with only a few set backs!

every year i’ve always had someone to kiss, this year i’m riding solo & i’m super excited! God truly has made my mind completely different than it was 7 months ago.  i’m at such a place of peace in my life that i feel nothing but joy for everyone else celebrating! this is such a mile stone in my life considering most would be moping around!

sometimes i feel like i have a good grip on my depression and other days i feel like it’s taking over my life! i can say the past two months i have felt GREAT and i’m praying it stays that way!! 

i hope everyone has a great New Years Eve! set your resolutions high and stick to them!! 🎉🎊 

psalm 139:14 

jaclyn johnston 

santa baby 

*i have no idea how to start this blog out so i’m gonna go with my first thought. (usually works pretty well) 

this will be my FIRST holiday season single in–i kid you not probably 9 years!!! it really kinda hit me the other day when a good friend of mine and i were talking and she brought that up. (not in a bad way either bc we are girls and talk about everything.) i kinda laughed and just blew it off! guessing by now if you’re reading this you’re feeling bad for me and i could say i’m sad or upset about it but surprisingly i’m not, i’m actually excited! 

over the past nine years i have jumped from one serious relationship to the next & added an engagement in their as well! the holidays are always made out to be about love and being with a significant other BUT for the first time in NINE years, i don’t have to worry about whose family thanksgiving and Christmas we are going to first, which friends i’m gonna hang out with on NYE or what gift i forgot to buy that he asked for! now, there’s nothing to say by Christmas i won’t be in a relationship but i doubt by next week i’ll be eating turkey with someone else sitting by my side! (other than my grandma) 

i actually get to go to my families house and enjoy my time with them, not rushing around shoving my face with food at each house, acting like i’m not in pain as i eat one more piece of dry turkey (since they actually ate 4 hours ago). plus i’m going to be saving so much money by not having to buy Christmas gifts for a boyfriend-who we spend the most money on! heck, if i wanted to sit on my couch, watch football and eat a frozen dinner for thanksgiving, i CAN! so now i’m sure most of you are wishing you were me because i’ve convinced you being single for the holidays won’t be that bad! 

  
(^ this guy could care less where we go, he won’t even sit still for a family picture. he just wants to be where the turkey is.)

so this year, as i celebrate the holidays (& being single while doing it), i’m going to celebrate ME; celebrate how far i’ve come and the choices i’ve made to better myself! God has paved a path for me and i can’t keep messing that up! the trials of being single are hard enough because let’s face it, DATING SUCKS and it’s awkward and weird.  

if you’re like me this holiday season, maybe take the time to do the same thing i am, celebrate YOU! don’t ask Santa to bring you the boy you’ve always dreamed of, bc last time i checked he doesn’t do that. God has someone so special waiting for us. enjoy your stress free turkey dinner with your family and pass out on the couch watching football with your family, cuddled up with the pup! (plus you’ll get all the warm turkey) the other added bonus…you can kiss whoever you want under the mistletoe and on NYE. don’t worry about running to find your bf at the party, just kiss the single guy next to you. ;) 

psalm 139:14 

jaclyn johnston 

“he” orders your stops 

“if he orders my steps, he orders my stops” -dr tara jenkins 

so one thing i wanted this blog to be about was my journey with depression and how i can help other people. the more i write and think about it, the more it’s evolving! which is so cool and as i’ve talked/brain stormed with people about it i’ve learne..if it isn’t growing, then it isn’t going! 

i can’t sit here and say i’m perfect because i’m for sure not! but…one thing i do know, are my steps and how they are ordered!! if God is sending me on these steps, then i know exactly when to stop too!! that leads me to boundaries…if you aren’t setting boundaries for yourself then you will do anything “and you’re shaking you head yes because you know it’s true!” just because he has teeth and two legs doesn’t mean you need to give him an AMEN!! don’t go for anything less than what you deserve!! take charge in your life! take dominion!!! call it out, don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in! 

real power doesn’t yell, it whispers. how many times in The Biible do you hear God’s spoken word as a whisper? a lot…that’s because he has dominion! he doesn’t need to yell! everyone knows LeBron is the best basketball player, he doesn’t have to go around telling anyone, he has dominion!! (you know, because LeBron and God are so much a like 😂) he takes his given steps with PRIDE! you can retire from your job but not your purpose!  

one of my favorite things i heard one Tuesday in my life class was “stop falling over your same sin, at least get a new one but leave that old one behind” 😂 it’s not funny but it is because it’s so true! idk how may times i go back to the same old when i know i shouldn’t. set that person in your phone as “do not answer, it’s the enemy!” 

take dominion over your life, TAKE CHARGE! idk how many more times i will have to say it, but don’t let the enemy take you down!! stand up for yourself and DO NOT SETTLE!! you are too precious to let anyone else steal your flame! 

*men, your words are like seeds, plant them in a women and watch her flourish! 

*I have to credit a message watched by Jonh Gray for a lot of these points* 

psalm 139:14 

jaclyn johnston 

  

page six

sometimes life isn’t going to be the way you think it should be–actually it never will be. 

today was one of those days where i woke up and i could just “feel” it was going to be one of those days. when one of those days rolls around, it doesn’t take much to make it get worse but you try EVERYTHING in your power to fight it. it’s Sunday, my FAVORITE day because i get to spend it at church, worshiping an amazing Lord and Savior. church is always an emotional & deep place for me, but today was over the top! sometimes you tend to block everyone out when you have depression and today was definitely one of those days.

it’s so hard for some people to understand how emotions can just “switch” and go from happy to sad in a matter of minutes. if i knew the answer to that, i wouldn’t have this blog! the one thing i do know that doesn’t switch, is God and for that i am forever grateful! forever grateful that i have an amazing church family, forever grateful that I have an amazing family and friends as well! Jesus is always steady even when i’m not. when you are struggling hit your knees and pray, pray hard because today was one of those days for me. 

psalm 139:14 

jaclyn Johnston 

settling 

never settle. ladies, you are a kingdom women and God wants nothing more for you than a Man who is going to treat you just as Jesus treated everyone who walked this Earth. 

right now i’m having the best cup of coffee laying in my bed. i can’t help but think of that funny meme that floats around saying, ‘”all men should make coffee for their women, it says in the Bible “HEBREW”‘ haha. ladies, point is, find a man who LOVES to be with you, LOVES to do things for you, LOVES to make you feel special, LOVES to pray with you, not a man you are having to remind this stuff to! don’t settle….

reasons for settling: you’ve been with him for too long, you’re really close with his family, HIS mom loves you (let’s be real, your mom probably doesn’t), you have all the same friends, you’re comfortable, dating sucks…i could go on and on. i know all of this because i have made all of these excuses before. i also have had people tell me, you’re settling for him, you can do so much better than him! listen to those people, re-evaluate the situation you’re in. if you are having any doubt at all about the relationship you are in, then you probably should step out of it. it always seems so much easier when someone else is saying it, but i know that if i can step away from an engagement after the majority of the wedding was planned and I survived, all you ladies can as well. 

a few things i have learned over the year as well, when men speak of a relationship with God you can tell what the relationship is like just by listening to their words. think of all the Christian guys you know, how do they speak of God, do they say God? Jesus? The Lord? or Savior? these are all KEY things to listen for. a man who truly has a relationship will speak of God as his Lord and Savior. this doesn’t mean that a man who says God doesn’t have a relationship, but his might not be as mature and depending on where you are in your walk, that might not be what you’re wanting! i had an aha moment when that statement was said to me bc i looked back at all of my relationships and not one spoke of “The Lord”, always God and Jesus. it clicked with me to start to listen more. 

The Bible tells men to LOVE their wife as Christ loved the church. the reason for that, it isn’t instilled in men to “love”. that nurture gene was given to women. men have to be shown things by example, as most women know. if you aren’t communicating with your husband or boyfriend or even just a guy that’s a friend, 9 times out of 10 what you want done isn’t going to happen. cut the guys a little slack, if you want something done then you have to be willing to communicate. so how do we get “love” from a guy. guys love (the word) to be told how well they are doing, they love to be in the lead. so when we walk beside them in life, supporting them showing them we care and love them, they learn how to love like we do. if we are constantly correcting them for not putting that dish in the right spot or for taking their shoes off at the front door they are going to turn them away. showing a guy what you want and need is going to get you further than constantly telling them what needs to change. 

Ladies, if a man isn’t willing to hit his knees and pray, then he isn’t the right one to get on one knee.  

guys: if a girl isn’t willing to listen to your lead as you take her on the walk with The Lord, then you also should step away. The Bible tells us as women to submit to our husbands and follow him. that is a HUGE role for you as men, we are trusting that you make all the right decisions, you are our COVER. every decision you make is on your shoulder, so if we follow and it’s the wrong decision, you are the one who has to answer, not us!! so find a women who is going to stand by your side and support your Godly choices in life! 

jaclyn johnston 

Psalm 139:14 

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page five 

if you know someone who has depression this might not pertain to you. but then, this might pertain to everyone. sometimes people get offended very easily and other times people can hold their body so strong it will bounce right off–the things is, what you just said will always be in that persons mind. words go a long way! for someone with depression words go further, I believe (maybe just my case). we over-think, we under-think, we don’t think, we go happy to sad and for a reason we can’t explain. i tend to turn off when i’m feeling down. people who know me can sense that very quickly, i become introverted. i have such a great support system that is always telling me “it’s going to be okay and i love you” but no matter how many times those things are said, it doesn’t help. what helps me is being alone, writing & reading. when i’m ready to talk, i talk. these past few days have been a hard few days. i don’t even know why because not one thing hasn’t even gone wrong. i can pin point a few things that have been said, or that i have said, over the past few days that have upset me. (and believe me, if i’m the one who said it, i will beat myself up more about it than if someone else did) but bc of who i am, i listen intensity, can catch tones of people and monitor what comes out of people’s mouths. every conversation i am given i pick details out to remember. not everyone is like this and most people forget simple things, i remember almost everything! one way i remember events or appointments is i write them down, i write EVERYTHING down (or i will forget). i try very hard to keep my words pure and kind, even then sometimes i slip up. but if i’m having a one-on-one conversation with you, in the moment, i’m going to remember it. if i’m investing my time daily to you or however often, i’m paying attention. 

if you’re like me, i do 1,000 things at once. like right now, i was reading my bible, then i decided to journal, then i picked up a book i just bought and started to read it–which lead me to this post. i have such a hard time with feeling satisfied with what i’m doing even though i know what i’m doing is good. sometimes if i do more than one thing at once it will make the day go faster and then I can get on to the next–hoping I feel better. 

the amount of joy i get from helping other people is outstanding, but just because people look up to me & think i have my life all together, doesn’t mean that i do. i still struggle…everyday. 

the hope i have is Jesus, he is my hope. he is truly the only thing i have that is certain. i can sit here look around my house at all of the stuff i have, i can look at my friends and family and think, wow i’m blessed but all of that can be taken in the blink of an eye. Jesus can’t, he is my certain, my hope, my joy. no matter how i feel on earth today is in no comparison to how i will feel everyday in heaven. 

if you are struggling with anything today, hit your knees, look up to God and pray! “practice the pause.” when in doubt, pause. when angry, pause. when tired, pause. when stressed, pause. when sad, pause. when you feel worthless, pause. and when you pause, pray. 

psalm 139:14 

jaclyn johnston