Have you ever noticed how when you’re closer to God, you literally see the world thru a different lens? It’s one of those things you forget both when haven’t been close to God in a while and when you’ve been faithful for a while. You’re only aware of the lenses in that twilight space.

I am in that twilight space and it’s kind of astounding me.

One of my favorite tv shows is called Community. It’s this quirky tv show that’s occasionally self aware and is constantly talking about other movies and tv shows. It also takes place at a community college that somehow gives out four year degrees… Don’t question it! It’s perfect for someone like me who enjoys consuming media. However, it’s not the cleanest show. In fact, it can be offensive and irreverent, though, always in a clever way.

I started rewatching it this week because it felt like a good ending to college.

In the first scene of the show, main character Jeff is having a conversation with Abed. It ends like this:
Jeff: “Now I see your value, Abed.”
Abed (as Jeff walks out of hearing distance):That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.

And it hit me. At our core, that’s what we’re all looking for. We look for it in every interaction and every relationship. We’re secretly, subconsciously waiting for someone, anyone, everyone to say: I see your value. You have value and I have noticed it.

But the thing is others aren’t here to give us value. If they were, we’d be in a sad state. Think about it. You’re more concerned with others affirming you than you are about affirming others. With a few exceptions, everyone else is doing the same thing. We get so wrapped up in our heads that we quit worrying about others.

As a christian, you should seek to find your value affirmed in Jesus, the one who said I value you, you so much I am going to subject myself to torment so that you can avoid it.

Your value is in Christ and nothing else. You are valuable because he loves you and saved you and gives you value.

Your value doesn’t rely on your talents or how smart or how pretty or how strong you are. Your value doesn’t lie in your ability to make friends or your relationship status. Those things are good but they do not give you value. And when we choose to find value in these things, we cheapen Christ’s sacrifice and give away some of our real value.

You have value. It is given to you by Christ. Acknowledge it. Revel in it.

And while I don’t think we should find value from others, maybe we should start acknowledging the value we see in others.

Tell her she is clever. Tell him he is passionate. Point out the good things you see in people. People are often blind to their own strengths and weaknesses, be their mirror. See value in people. See value in everyone.


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Delight yourself in The Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Recently, my grandfather texted me saying that prayed that God would give me the desires of my heart. First, I’d like to point out that getting a message saying you’re precious and that someone is praying that God gives you the desires of your heart is one of the best ways to start your day.

Initially it put a smile on my face. And I am I very thankful to have someone who prays that prayer for me. But then the message changed from an encouragement to a mirror. What are my desires anyway? Are they the ones God wants me to have? Hmmm, I don’t desire inherently bad things like ultimate power or taking over the world. But let’s be honest, I wouldn’t mind some shallow things. Like a wardrobe containing everything I’ve lusted over on Modcloth. Or to be graduating college debt free. Or to be in shape without working out. Although id settle for being in shape because I love working out and being outdoorsy.

Of course, not all my desires are shallow. I want to use words to show love and change the world or at a few people. I want to be healthy. I want to get a fabulous job where I can help make the world a better place. I want to marry a man who will romance me like my dad does my mom and Jesus does the church and who helps me show the gospel to a lost and hurting world. I want to have children who love history and knowledge and reading. I want to live in a place with arts.

But ultimately, I want my desires to be God’s desires for me. Because that’s what Psalm 37:4 is about. When you are delighting in The Lord, your desires will be his desires. So for now, my ultimate desire is to delight in The Lord more. I know I’m not where I need to be.

C. S. Lewis once said, “I pray because I need God. The need flows out of me, waking and sleeping. Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes me.”

I’ve been praying a lot this past week about the future and my vision of what I want it to be. I committed to praying about this issue everyday for a week. At first my prayer was, “God I really want this.” Then my prayers changed to: “I really want this but I understand if it’s not your will. But I really want this.” Then the prayed changed to: “God, right now I want this. But I don’t want you to give it to me because I keep asking. I want your best for me. I want this to be the best but I understand it might not be. And that’s ok because I want your will in this.”

My prayers don’t need to change God. They needed to change me. My heart needed to be calibrated back to God’s best. Maybe after a few more dad of praying, I’ll be ok with saying completely “Thy will be done Lord.” When I delight in The Lord, my desires change to his and during the process while I still have my selfish desires, I begin to become aware that they aren’t God’s best for me. Psalm 37:4 is so much more than God giving you want you want. It’s about reading on to Psalm 37:5: “commit your way to The Lord and do good; trust in him and he will do this.”

I am so thankful for a God who will give me what I want when I begin to want the best for me. Just like your parents wouldn’t let you play with matches as a kid, God won’t give you things you want that will burn you (uselessly). I am so thankful for grandparents who are prayer warriors committed to my future and inspiring me to examine my inner self… Never a fun thing.

I hope you read this and begin to let the self examination slowly begin. Stand in front of the mirror and honestly examine yourself. Be brave enough to admit the truth if you aren’t delighting in The Lord and his best for you. Then go out and do something about it.

Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect


This is why examining struggles are important

This is why examining struggles are important

Reading through my old blog posts, my heart began to hurt. My pride was hurt. My self identity was embarrassed.

“Here is Jackie Giles!” shouted my blog. ” She struggles with being content in Christ’s love, living in the present and dealing with loneliness.”

At first, I wanted to start over- get a clean break. Blog about my successes. Like when I got an “A” in a class I struggled in or when something good happened and I was genuinely thrilled which is something I don’t get often and show even less often or that one time I had a spark of creativity and put pictures in the shape of a heart on my wall and it looked GOOD.

But then I remembered why I blog. I remembered what I am called to do.

I do not generally write for the masses. I do not write to present myself in the best possible light. I am egotistical and conceited enough in my current state (and isn’t that what Instagram is for anyway?).

I am called to write about my weakness for in that, Christ’s perfect strength is made known.

So yes, I have struggles. And yes, many are the same struggles that I think I have overcome. But if I could get over something that easy, it wouldn’t be a struggle. It wouldn’t be called “dying to self.”

So yes, I have struggles. And I am unashamed.

My name is Jackie Giles. I do not have a 4.0 GPA. I am a little overweight. Sometimes, my inner voice cusses. I am judgmental. I am discontent with my wonderful life. I sin. I neglect my savior. I have asthma, chronic hives, mastocytic colitis, migraines, and probably a connective tissue disorder.

But that’s not all I am.

I am intelligent. I am witty and funny. I am strong. When a problem comes my way, I deal with it. I am, at times, wise. I have a great memory for people’s names and random facts. I have wonderful friends and family. I am truthful about my faults and I am dealing with my issues openly. And in our modern society that encourages perfectly posed snap shots of life, choosing to reveal your weakness is incredibly brave.

Maybe I will start talking about successes more, but one thing is for sure. The minute I start hiding my faults on here is the minute I quit being true to myself and my purpose.

I challenge you to live openly.IMG_3979.JPG

Anna: Faithful for 84 years|Women of Faith

Women of Faith: Anna the Faithful

The story of Anna is found in Luke 2:25-40.

Anna was widowed after only 7 years. It’s bad enough to lose your husband after such a short period of time. It’s worse when you live in a culture where your worth and livelihood all depend on your husband and you earn respect through having children.

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.
You will forget the shame of your youth
and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.
For your Maker is your husband—
the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth.

Isaiah 54:4-5

Anna should be an inspiration to single women, both those who are widowed and those who are unmarried. The Bible says that Anna never left the temple because she was fasting day and night. After she was widowed she completely and wholeheartedly gave herself over to the Lord. Her maker was her husband like listed in Isaiah 54. That blows my mind.

I worry about what would happen if I never get married or don’t get married within the next 5 or so years because I have placed my future into the hands of a guy I either haven’t met yet or just haven’t connected with yet. I have made the future and my future husband an idol.
There are so many problems with this.

  1. Think about what this says to my Creator, the one I have supposedly put my faith and future and my whole life in. It says, “I want one of your creations more than I want you.”

  2. No where in the Bible does it say “And for every girl who loves Jesus there shall be a husband who is at least six inches taller than you with a smoking hot bod who loves Jesus, is athletic and musical, and will be loved by your friends and family alike.” No, this is not promised in the Bible. In fact, in many places, we are essentially promised the opposite. In both the old testament and the new testament, Jesus and God command followers to leave everything they have to follow him. We like to look at the rich young ruler as an example of this but there are good examples of people with follow through too. The 12 disciples. Abraham. Paul. Ruth. This may be material goods or it may be family and it some cases, both. Either way, the message is clear. Following Jesus is about your love and devotion for him. It’s not about a get out of jail free card that also comes with a magic genie.

  3. It takes away from the sovereignty of God. I am inadvertently saying I place my future on the wishes of someone other than God. I probably covered this in points 1 and 2 but seriously this is ludicrous and an insult to God.

  4. Can we talk about the fact that it’s the 21st century? Girls no longer seriously go to college to find a nice doctor or lawyer and get that diamond diploma and mrs degree (Pronounced M R S Degree. Definition: a girl who is in college only to get married). Also, the median age of girls getting married is now 27 and its 29 for guys. So the average of when most girls get married is two years later than the end of the spectrum for when I think I deserve to be, should be married. My perceptions are so skewed. First, I shouldn’t expect to get married at a certain age especially since I am currently unattached. Second, I think I am so entitled when in reality I don’t deserve anything. God doesn’t owe me anything and he certaintly didn’t promise if you become a Christian at age 7 you’ll live happily ever after with the Christian version of prince charming. Oh wait, he kind of did. That’s Jesus Christ and the Church is his princess bride. But do you (meaning me) specifically get your own Prince Charming? No! He. Owes. Me. NOTHING.

Back to Anna, she is a model of what single women should be doing. Looking for a new husband? No. Lamenting and grieving over their misfortune? No. Serving the Lord day and night? Yes! So today as you walk through your day, consider Anna and worship the Lord not his creation. My resolution is to fall in love with Jesus and let the rest fall away.

Read about Leah’s struggles to be loved in another Women of Faith article.

Relying on Christ’s Strength

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful God’s best may be for us” C.S. Lewis

“Jesus asks nothing of us without giving us the strength to perform it.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I can’t believe I am already in my third week at Rock Ministries. Part of me feels like I got here yesterday while the other part can’t believe the unconquerable ten weeks is already whittled down to seven. 

Things are finally starting to get busy! And for that I am very thankful. Yesterday, the creative arts team had our first performances of singing, dancing, and puppets. We performed at Macdonald’s and on the lawn of a hotel off of I-Drive. For those of you who have never dealt with puppets, its hard word, y’all!

As much as I was not looking forward to all of that, at the end of the day I am a performer at heart and I love to be in front of an audience glorifying God while making people laugh, smile, ooh and ahh. The performances went very well and will continue to get better as the summer progresses! I am not sure why God wanted me here at this time and place so much, but he always wants and achieves the best for me and his glory. Even when I think, it’s too painful and hard. The process of getting me here at this specific time and place started at the very least three years. That is why it is so important for me simply to be faithful and follow him without question. Everyday, I have to pray to Jesus to give me the strength to perform the duties he has called me to do because I CANNOT DO IT ALONE. 

Kids Club this week have been great. Thursday, my partner, Carley, and I gave a Bible to a girl from Liverpool, England who had never heard of the Bible or God. Y’all, that broke my heart but she is heading back with a little seed of God’s love that could grow into anything at all! In addition to that, I also met a Chinese lady from Boston with an adorable three year old who was thrilled to learn that we were summer missionaries there to share God’s love and I met a little girl from Venezuela who could not speak any English but enjoyed doing the craft with us. On the back of the craft I wrote “Jesus Loves You.”  When her mom read it, she indicated that she loves Jesus as well. It is so encouraging to meet people who love Jesus and are excited we are there! 

Prayer requests: the health of the team again, specifically myself, and the wisdom to follow Christ wholeheartedly even when his best is painful