Life is a song, sing it. (aka Taylor Swift showcase w/ links)

This post is part of a series called Life Is. If you would like to start at the beginning, see here.

Life is a song, sing it.

When I first read this line, my initial thought was that I didn’t want to try to write about something so cliché (which, let’s be honest, has been my thought for most of the posts in this series).

When I hear the phrase “life is a song, sing it,” I get visions of Amy Adams in a frilly dress, running around New York while singing in a much-too-joyful tone.


Enchanted is a nice movie, and the point of it is actually to make fun of the idea that everything always happens the cliché way that movies make it seem. But that saccharine, pre-revelation Giselle is the image I get when I read “life is a song, sing it.”

However, I started thinking about different songs and quickly realized that just because life is a song doesn’t mean it’s one that a bubble-gum-and-lollipops fairy tale princess might sing.

Continue reading


Life is sorrow, overcome it.

This post is part of a series called Life Is. If you would like to start at the beginning, see here.

I’ve had sorrow in my life.

My dad committed suicide when I was seven; we moved away from our hometown to a new place; I’ve had friends come and go out of my life; I’ve failed a lot and caused myself to feel pain; I’ve moved away from my family and friends.

There are a lot of things that I have a “right” to be sorrowful about, to wallow in, to be bitter about. But I’m not sorrowful about them. At least, not any more.

If you read this blog way back when, you’ll know that 2012 kind of sucked for me because I kind of sucked. The Lord got a hold of me, but because of my suckage I had a lot of anxiety and guilt and, honestly, depression.

I was looking over my old posts a few minutes ago and didn’t realize just how much all of that came out in my blog posts. I mean, I made a super long post about how The Catcher in the Rye was comforting to me during that time in my life. How Holden’s anxiety and depression made me feel better. That is so backwards. Dwelling on depression is not a cure for depression; it only fuels it. I didn’t start feeling better after reading Catcher; I normalized the depressed ways I was feeling. Depression is not normal. It’s not something to be comfortable with.

That’s a bit of a digression, so I digress.

Alongside that numbness, I would also have panic attacks and feel incredibly guilty for how I hadn’t been walking with the Lord. I would dwell and dwell and dwell and dwell and dwell. I would make myself sick and, at times, tell myself that it would be better if I just died. (At this point, my mom is worrying. Hi mom. I’m fine now. You know that.)

But but but. Despite all of that sorrow and confusion and sickness, as my youth pastor always said, God has a great but.

Ephesians 2:3-5

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

In times past I fulfilled the desires of my flesh and of my mind. Although I had accepted Christ as my saviour, I pulled an Israel and returned to the things that held me in bondage. I was a child of the living God, but I was acting like a child of wrath.

But God.

He who is rich in mercy and has such a great love toward me, even when I was dead in sins, made me alive in Christ.

Dwelling on that is how I overcame the sorrow that I was so intensely feeling.

The Bible talks about that over and over again, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but when I realized that the key to overcoming my sorrow wasn’t in reading classic books or young adult fiction or blogging, it was like the biggest light bulb ever invented switched on.

2 Corinthians 7:10-11 says that godly sorrow leads to repentance and a clearing of sin and a desire, a zeal for God, whereas worldly sorrow leads to death. Godly sorrow is when we recognize our sin, come humbly and contritely to God, and then receive forgiveness and a restored relationship with our Father. Worldly sorrow dwells and receives no change, unless that change is yet more sorrow.

Psalm 77 is one of my favorite passages because it totally changed the way I view sorrow. Asaph, the man writing the Psalm, is overwhelmed by his emotions. The passage doesn’t even mention sin; Asaph is just troubled and unable to be comforted. He even begins to wonder whether the Lord is really good, whether is mercy truly is enduring forever or if his promises have failed.

Psalm 77:10  And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.

Asaph realized that his sorrow was his infirmity, but that the way to cure that sorrow was by remembering the works of the Lord. For the rest of the Psalm, Asaph is just telling of the mighty hand of the most High and praising him for his marvelous works.

The way to overcoming sorrow isn’t by taking feeble comfort in more sorrow. It’s by taking the focus off of yourself and remembering the hand of the most High.

Life is sorrow, because we are naturally sinful, sorrowful people. But God is comfort and he has already overcome our sorrow. In John 16:33 Jesus tells us to be of good cheer because he has overcome the world. There’s no need for the sorrow of this world if we are in Christ. When we’re living in him, there’s only room for good cheer.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.



Life is a promise, fulfill it.

It’s been a while, Internet.

It’s been even longer since I’ve written a post in the Life Is. series. 1 year, 8 months, and 22 days, to be exact. The last post I wrote for this series was on February 18th, 2014. That’s bananas.

However, today as I sit in my university’s Student Success Center, the desire to write for my own enjoyment and not because of school comes over me. What will you write about, Melissa? Oh, I don’t know, Melissa; maybe I’ll start up that old series I never finished? Oh yes, that would be good, especially since you haven’t posted anything about it in a few months. You’re right! How long has it been, let’s check….. Oh.

Anyway. Let’s get right to it.

Sometimes these posts are kind of troublesome to write because coming up with an idea can be difficult. That wasn’t a problem with this one. My issue with this one was that it doesn’t actually apply to us humans specifically. You’ll see what I mean. Because of this, the alternate title for this post is:

Life is a promise, it’s just not yours.

And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (1 John 2:25)

We have no life outside of Christ. Romans 6:23 says that the payment for sin is death, and Romans 3:23 says that every person has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God; God is so holy and glorious that sin cannot be in his presence. John 3:3, 3:17-18, and Matthew 25:41 say that those who are not saved from their sin will be condemned and cast into Hell as a consequence of their sin.

Romans 6:23 didn’t only say that the payment for sin is death, however:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Because of our sinful nature, we are separated spiritually and physically from God, and cannot have eternal life with him. We are lost and doomed to an eternity in a real, mournful Hell. But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

This is the Gospel. Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the scriptures. Here in 1 Corinthians, Paul writes that this is what allows us to be saved. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that Christ became sin for us, so that we could be righteous and have fellowship with God. In Romans 10:9 he tells us exactly how salvation can happen:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

All we have to do is confess that Jesus Christ is our Lord, and believe wholeheartedly that God raised him from the dead to be saved from our sins, our depravity. To spend eternity with God.

To go back to 1 John 2:25, God has promised us eternal life through Jesus Christ. All we have to do is accept it. If we reject God’s gift, he isn’t going to force us to believe, but we will have to suffer the consequential punishment of that unbelief for eternity.

This promise also can’t be fulfilled by anyone else. John 14:6 is where Jesus said that he is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one can come to God except through him. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that we cannot receive salvation by any works that we do; it is only by accepting God’s grace through faith in Christ. We can’t have life on our own.

Life is a promise that needs fulfilling, but not by you. Let God fulfill it because he desires to, and because he’s the only one who can.

—Melissa Beth


Should Christians Date with the Intention of Marriage?

Long time, no see.

I apologize for the click-baity title.

I also really hope that you don’t take this post as sounding judgmental or harsh. It really is filled with love and awe at the beauty of God’s will for us. It’s just really fact-y I guess.

As a young woman who grew up both in church and homeschooled, I’ve heard countless discussions about “courting” and “intentional dating” and even some saying that Christians should essentially “date around” like the world does. I’ve heard lots of arguments for all sides, the most conservative of which usually say something like, “5 Moral and Practical Reasons Why Christians Should Court, Including 3 Bonus Tips on How to Stay Pure.”

(This is not one of those blog posts. You’ll find no “How to Go on a Biblical Date” tips here.)

Now, it is good to know the moral and practical reasons of why you do something. But I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen something talk about what I would argue are the biggest proponents for my conclusion: Christians (those who passionately follow Christ as their Lord and Saviour, desiring to declare the Gospel to the world in every way they can) ought to pursue romantic relationships with those of the opposite sex with the intention of marriage.

I apologize for how long-winded that was.

Now there are definitely practical reasons here. In general, there will be less heartbreak, fewer “pieces of your heart given away”, less awkwardness (“I dated this guy for a little bit but now my good friend is marrying him, and it’s mostly fine but still a little weird”), more blamelessness, and lots of other things. These are what I always hear talked about.

Today though, I’m ignoring all those things and going straight for what I believe the Bible clearly shows us.

1. From the information we are given, godly romantic relationships in the Bible are always with the intention of marriage.

When it comes to the godly relationships in the Bible for which we are given backstory, we see that they all began with the intention of marriage. There wasn’t any maybe-maybe-not or let’s-just-try-this-out. It was always going towards one goal.

  • Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:18-25)
  • Isaac and Rebekah (Genesis 24)
  • Jacob and Rachel (Genesis 29:1-21)
  • Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 1-4)
  • Joseph and Mary (We know that they were betrothed in the same ways as the above from Matthew 1)

This article talks in more detail about the betrothal process in Ancient Israel, even all the way back before they were a nation with Isaac and Rebekah.

Marriage in Ancient Israel consisted of three stages:

  • Contract: The groom would offer a dowry/down-payment/earnest to prove that he truly intended to marry the girl. It would be something(s) of great value. Between this point and the next stage, the groom would go and prepare a homestead for he and his bride. (Gen 29:15-19 if you want an example from scripture)
  • Consummation: After the groom’s preparation, the couple would come together as man and wife to consummate their marriage. (Genesis 29:21-26)
  • Celebration: Usually 7 days, but could be more, of celebration between the bride and groom alongside their family and friends. (Genesis 29:22,27-28)

(I would like to note that these weren’t commandments, but were guidelines and traditions that the Israelites followed which, in the documented cases from Scripture, turned out well for the most part. We do know that both Isaac and Rebekah’s and Jacob and Leah/Rachel’s marriages were more-than-strenuous, but this was generally due to sin later on in the marriages.)

These three parts of the Israelite marriage process should sound familiar, and they lead me into my next point.

2. Christ’s relationship with the Church has always been pictured by and with the intention of marriage.

As we know, the Church is also known as the bride of Christ (Revelation 19:7, Ephesians 5:22-33). As his bride, we have a dowry— a promise of a future wedding by something highly valuable (Ephesians 1:13-14 “the earnest of our inheritance”).

We also know that Christ has gone to prepare a place for us in Heaven and will come back for us when it is finished (John 14:2-3).

We also know that there will be a celebration once Christ and the Church are united (Revelation 19:7-9).

Each of these truths about Christ and the Church is clearly mirrored by the wedding traditions in the Ancient Jewish culture. Additionally, according to Ephesians 5, the marriage relationship itself pictures Christ and the Church.

Most importantly through all of this we see that Christ’s intention has always been to be united with the Church as one. He never said “I’m going to see if I like being with this people over here, but we’re not thinking about marriage or anything right now. We’re just seeing how it goes.” As a people who are being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), if that’s not an example of how our romantic relationships should go I don’t know what is.

Now I’m not saying that we need to have dowries and several-year-long engagements and week-long feasts, because that’s not commanded in Scripture and we do live in a different time and culture. However, we are called to share the Gospel in everything we do, and if we enter into a romantic relationship, it should picture Christ and the Church from the very beginning. If it doesn’t, then we just need to get that relationship right with God and start glorifying him even more, just like we do with anything else that we find isn’t right in our walk with the Lord.

My heart’s desire is to share the truth of the Gospel in everything I do, and this is what I see from scripture on how to do that if a romantic relationship comes my way. I really hope that you can see this too.

—Melissa Beth