What She Taught Me About Friendship


We are crazy together. Unapologetically crazy (which is saying a lot because I have never been the crazy girl). We call ourselves wonder twins. She has taught me so much about embracing every aspect of the personality God  has given me. She has taught me that I do not need to hid my quirks. We are both dreamers. We love to scheme together, weather it be about writing a devotional or playing a prank. We might both bring tissues to a conversation (because it has just been that kind of day) but without fail we will end up laughing. She is the kind of friend you can do a tough workout with where you sweat like crazy or call for fashion advice before meeting up to attend a wedding together. She is the kind of friend you can call anytime with what is on your heart and she will want to be there for you. She is the kind of friend who makes you understand what having a friend is. We need more of that.

We are lonely generation carving out connection in a cyber world. We have seven hundred friends showing up on our Facebook feed hoping one of them will create community with us. We swipe right one too many times trying to uncover love. We hope and hope only to spiral into depression and jump off of the bridge of friendship because we are sure it holds nothing for us.  We are lonely but it does not have to stay that way.

She did not ask me to be her friend she just acted like a friend. She told me about her life and let me tell her about mine. Is she a perfect friend? No, but neither am I. The thing is we are not waiting for each other to be perfect we are just grateful that the other person is there.

So be there. Be there for the million insignificant things. Be there, because in the end being there is the biggest thing.

"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 calls and has no one to help them up."
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-10


Overcoming Change



It would have been a horrible moment if it had been a moment but it was not. It was a slow fade. You never can quite tell when it started or how it will end, you only see that it is changing and you do not quite like it.

We talked all the time and then we did not. We saw each other all the time and then we did not.
While everything was slowly changing, I was trying to anchor a moment in which I could decide. Decide if we were done. Decide if this was a new season. Decide if I loved it or hated it. I needed a start or a stop on this journey. While trying to figure out if our friendship was over, I failed to recognize that something was already over. What we had once had was over. Our friendship (if we still had that) had most definitely changed.

Change, it is a word I have never been fond of.  As a child, when we uprooted from our tiny suburban house to a 7 acre ranch, I cried because it was not home. That being said, the most uncomfortable changes I have experienced in life have undoubtedly brought some of the biggest blessings. However, they were still awfully uncomfortable in the making. In America, our drive thru society has taught us to pick our favorite menu item and drive thru for a quick delivery. It has not taught us how to adjust to disappointment. It does not allow us time to grieve, especially when it comes to the daily heartbreaks.

Sometimes relationships change. Sometimes friends fade away. Sometimes a relationship does not happen that you thought was going to happen. A lot of the time, it hurts. No, it does not leave you crying for months on end and it certainly does not warrant a gravestone memorial in your memory bank, but it does deserve your attention. It does deserve you acknowledging that something changed and maybe you do not quite like it. It deserves you having grace with yourself.

Sometimes life happens and it is painful but dear gal, that is okay.

Beautiful and Bright


It’s not every night that’s as beautiful as this one.

It’s been a long day. I’m exhausted in all senses of the term, having worked all day while wrestling with issues concerning me, my future, my plans.

And it’s starting to feel like too much.

I crawl into bed and slip under my covers, pulling my fleece sheets to my chin and letting my soft white comforter envelop me. My head hits the pillow, Beethoven’s piano sonatas playing in my ears, and I finally have a chance to breathe.

Inhale.

Exhale.

My eyes lazily drift to the window next to my bed, and at once I see the stars glisten in the midnight sky, so clear, so breathtaking.

They’re beautiful and bright, and something hits me hard in this moment – something I can barely begin to put into the right words.

These stars were placed in the sky by the hand of God, creating an art so powerful I can’t fathom it – the very same God who placed me on this earth.

And today, as I stumbled through my day, studying, working, and struggling with the feelings of uncertainty, I just wanted to know that everything would be okay. I know how desperately I want assurance, hope, and peace in my turmoil of not knowing what the future holds.

And as I gaze at these stars, this art too vast and beautiful for words, I realize that I want God to write in me what He gifted to these stars –

I want my life to be beautiful and bright.

I’m not completely sure what that looks like for me, as I know my perception is so immeasurably different than God’s. When I look at my phone’s screen in the dark, I call it bright and powerful. When I see skyscrapers, I call them beautiful, breathtaking.

And slowly, slowly, I’m learning to trust that God’s vision of beautiful and bright for my life probably isn’t what I would imagine. When I think I know what I want, I must remember that my view is limited and finite.

He’s the One who made the bright stars, the sun, the moon, the universe. Galaxies upon galaxies did He breathe into place, commanding them into existence, and from eternity past He saw it all.

He existed for infinitely longer than I can fathom, and yet – He planned me.

He imagined me along with the stars, and decided to bring me into the universe with a purpose – a purpose much greater than myself, to know Him and make Him known. And when I say I want a future that’s bright, I don’t totally know what that means.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t have a five-year plan.

I don’t have a list of jobs I want to have, or characteristics I want in a location to live, nor do I have all my priorities as straightened out as they could be.

But I have complete faith that God will lead me. As much as I want a safe, secure, and successful future, bad things do happen to good people, and none of us can prevent that.

I don’t believe God causes us pain or confuses us. But in this sinful and broken world, these things are unavoidable – and the one thing we can do is turn to the stability and hope of God Himself.

He doesn’t promise a life free of hurt, but He does promise His presence every step of the way (Psalm 139:7-10).

He doesn’t promise the easy life, but He does promise His peace (Philippians 4:6-7).

We don’t know what’s coming. But as God promised to Israel thousands of years ago and promises us today – He has a good plan for our lives, even when we can’t always see it.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Even if my views of beautiful and bright differ greatly from His – I think I’m alright with that.

I look at the sky tonight, and all the words that remain are these:

If the vastness of the universe is in the palm of God’s hand, I can trust Him with my future.

And if He can hold these stars, He can hold my heart.

I am learning to truly trust.

And that’s beautiful.


Amanda Beguerie is a college student, a pastor’s kid, and a writer from Massachusetts. She’s a coffee connoisseur, a city enthusiast, and she loves to cook delicious meals, read fantastic books, and learn for the sake of learning. She loves people, loves to laugh, and thrives on the connections she makes in various aspects of her life, including the ones she forms on her blog. Read her writings and connect with Amanda at scatteredjournalpages.com.


Imperfect Yet Beautiful


She wrapped her arms around me and said it was going to be okay. She had no idea why I was crying but she was determined to be with me in my moment of pain.

He told me to take care of myself and not work so hard. He told me to have fun. He would joke with me and make me laugh.

She sat across the table from me, our cups of coffee growing colder as we talked. She was honest with me and it helped me see the situation I was facing more clearly.

He told me I could do this thing called life. He always had the biggest smile for me and a kind word.

Facebook moments can look strong and determined. Blog posts can sound inspired and YouTube videos can appear to be filled with perfection but we are all human beings with cracks in our sidewalks. Sometimes our cracks get filled with pieces of broken glass from shattered bottles, crushed leaves from last fall, and bits of grass from the neighbor's freshly mowed yard. Other times our cracks are the recipients of tiny seeds that sprout beautiful flowers. I'm so grateful that my broken sidewalks have been beautified by friends who have taken the time to plant seeds.

You see, in the end, none of us get where we are on our own.

What Is Your Label?



I do not know who posted the first hashtag but it revolutionized the world. In one moment a labeling system was discovered that I am sure will go down in the history books for our generation. Funny thing is, we lived with the reality of the hashtag long before it came around. That person was (#) funny, that restaurant was (#) amazing, and her life was (#) boring. While the labels we carelessly slap onto the lives and actions of others can be life changing, perhaps the most defining labels are the ones we place on ourselves.

I was THAT kid, the one with her nose in a book, the one who was sitting with the adults at the family get-together instead of playing with the kids. There was nothing sporty or outgoing about who I was. Fast forward and I landed a job at my college's sports center/local YMCA. I would learn to spend my days talking to people, my evenings working out, and my weekends coaching volleyball. I was excited to prove my labels wrong. I would learn that in the end, that is all they ever were - labels. The only power a label has is the power you give it.

What are the labels that you have placed yourself under the power of? Broken? Unworthy? Unloved? Unwanted? Helpless? Hopeless? No matter the severity of the label you can change it. Change starts with taking one step towards your goal. Find your goal and do not let go of it. Be the author of your hashtags not the product of them.

When He Leaves and You Need to Know Why


We are so hopeful, excited to find someone that we can love without reservation like a waterfall pounding on rock. Two weeks in, or maybe it is a year or three or four, the beauty ends when that boy you wanted to drown in all your love walks away.

Your heart is broken so you eat too much chocolate and turn up every song on the radio, making your tears fall so fast your heart starts to hurt a little less. Your girl friends are there like good friends are and you start trying to answer all the questions. In all your answers, you start to see how horrible he was, what a villain he could be, how selfish and immature he acted. You  hate yourself for being blind and blame yourself for loving. Dear girl, what if you are wrong? What if he was not an awful jerk? What if he was just an insecure past beating out a poor rhythm on your banged up soul and his pounding mixed with your own tough story broke the good you had? What if he is a nice guy and he kinda just blew it this once? What if he does not know how to make good relationship decisions and this was like a kindergartner trying out high school? What if he does not know why he did what he did anymore than you do?

What if you were so strong in Jesus that who he is and what he did does not even matter? I know it is breaking you up and shattering all your ideas of love but do not let it. Do not tie him to your heart with a cord of insecurity and bitterness. Let him go like a balloon drawn to the clouds so you can both be free to live, learn, and love. Be brave darling, braver than who he may or may not be.

"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you."
Matthew 6:14

The Souls That Captivate Me



I love people. Everywhere I go, I know people. I hug people. I laugh with people. I talk, smile and listen. I love most people but some people I fall in love with. It is as if all of the sudden my invisible radar picks up a spark of magic in their soul and I am in love. My heart aches with theirs, breaks with theirs, takes their life and makes it mine.

I remember this one soul I fell in love with. It was a soul aching and trembling under the pressure of a difficult past needing to prove a positive future while fighting a war against submitting to God. I knew I was there to share Jesus with that soul. I knew I was there to love fiercely with a selfless love. It was beautiful but then it ended, with one last PM it was over. I did not know why but I knew it was. Months later, I was driving home from work and with a sad aching pain, I told God that I missed them "SO much". Immediately, I was comforted with the reality that God knew and then it hit me from out of no where - I must miss them this much if I were to have loved them that much. Jesus must be shared with love and when the task of sharing is over and the person gone, sometimes the love still remains.

Dear Girl, maybe you know that feeling of having loved without the return you prayed for. Remember, the love you had was a gift from God to be used for his glory. Let's never let the loss of love plant seeds of bitterness that become a weapon we use against God. Let's not let it fill us with bitterness when it does not bring us what we wanted. Dear Girl, mostly do not lose that fierceness, because a fierce love is a beautiful love.

My First DUI


We like our products neatly packaged and beautifully wrapped in America. We buy our chocolate wrapped in gold foil and our advertisements in the mail come with scratch off scents to help us know if we want to buy the product. Neat packaging took on a whole new meaning for me, however, when I encountered my first DUI.

PTSD, OCD, DUI, sometimes these letters just become a way of wrapping up the unknown pain of another and fitting it into our everyday vocabulary. I remember the first time I knew someone with PTSD. It meant any-time-of-the-day panic attacks. It meant tears and fear. It was not just a textbook diagnosis but an everyday heartbreak. I remember when I first met the three letters DUI. I had only known those three letters as representing someone who broke the law and risked the safety of others. For the first time in my life that faceless crime had a name and it was "hopeless", "afraid", "lost".  I saw that people who got DUI's did not do it for fun but that those three ugly letters were the neat title we had stamped on their pain and insecurity. I saw a successful friend embraced by a new identity.

I am not condoning drunk driving. I am confessing my own ignorance to the every day battle of those in our society who struggle with mental illness or addiction. Meeting these capitalized and sterilized letters in the faces of people has been more than educational, it has been humbling. It has taught me about grace. It has challenged the way I view others.

I am reminded about the importance of living life with eyes wide open. It is so easy for me to see my own pain. It is so easy for me to understand the complexities of my own struggle and its everyday hindrances. It is so easy for me to focus on myself but the problem is that I can only focus intently on one thing at a time. Let's try to focus on Jesus, that way your pain and my pain will become catalysis to love Him better and thus love one another better.

To My 18 Year Old Self



Eighteen was the hardest year of my life. I lost someone I was very close to and grieved for the first time while hiding my pain from the world around me. Through all the pain and grief I was disappointed in myself. I just knew that I could be doing this whole thing better. This is the letter I would have written to the girl back then. P.S. Yes, that is a picture of me at 18.

Dear Moriah,

You will not look a day older at 20 but your world will be drastically different than it is now. It will scare you at first but in the end, you will find yourself soaring on wings you did not know existed. I see you know and realize that you do not know any other way of living than to open your heart to the whole world and let it in. That is beautiful, though you will also find out it is painful.

I know this has been a hard year. Maybe the hardest one you have lived through but it is going to be okay. You are okay. I am really proud of you for being such a fighter. I am proud of you for who you want to be. I know life is not easy and you are disappointed in yourself. You cannot figure out the why, when, and how. You are so young you have not yet realized how weak you are . . .  but you will. When you do, you will smile at yourself. You will even start giving yourself the grace that you so badly need right now. That is the word I want to give you - grace.

It is okay that you do not have all the answers. It is okay that you are sobbing your heart out. It is okay that this hurts so bad. It is okay that you are confused. It is okay that you cannot do this. Take a breath because it is okay. You were not meant to be perfect you were meant to be perfected. That is what this is - the work of being perfected. Yes, it is messy. Yes, it is ugly. Yes, you are imperfect but that is kind of the point.

You are surprised, though. We all are. We realize we are imperfect but we did not know we were this imperfect. Jesus is not surprised one bit, however, and He loves you more than you can imagine. I know you cannot feel it right now but one day I promise you that you will look back and see a love you did not know existed, a love much greater than the one you are grieving right now.
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