By Sammie Gallo, Creator of Abundant Life: You Were Made for More
This is what I’m sure of: nothing can stop what God has ordained.
2020 has been full of tension, uncertainty, and grief. We are quick to take sides, judge others who have different opinions, call them out publicly and make our voice heard, and call others to action. Our world is divided in a lot of ways, but the one thing we can all agree on is this. We’re hurting. I don’t have answers to all the injustices and problems that exist today, but I have the answer to the biggest question a lot of us are asking: where is our hope?
When chatting with a friend earlier this, I was reminded that our hope has to be in Jesus – that’s it. There’s so much that 2020 has taught me, and the biggest thing is that there is absolutely nothing I actually control and have power over. Nothing. My hope has to be in the One who has the power because without Him, I have nothing. The things I do are useless. The things I put my hope in are useless. Without Jesus, I really am just dust.
Although this season has been tough, Jesus has reminded me very sweetly that He has watched over my journey through the wilderness, time and time again. And in all of it, He has and will be glorified – and because I am his child, eventually, so will I. That’s a promise I’ve been clinging to in this season.
When I think of how God answers prayers, the big three often comes to mind: yes, no, and wait. However, I am learning this view of God’s answers to prayer can be narrow, as it only focuses on God’s answers to our prayer requests of Him. What if our approach to prayer was in alignment with our relationship with Him, the Giver of the fits, and not the gifts themselves? As we enter into deeper and broader communion with Him, we would love to see God’s answers to our prayers in a more expansive, less limited way? I believe that that’s where real change has the potential to happen – heart change. When we surrender all of our prayers to God and let the Holy Spirit intercede in them, change is inevitable.
The thing so many of us are calling for and demanding – change – is only possible through the Holy Spirit and prayer. I’ve heard so many criticisms of the Church, saying that “we can’t just pray,” “we have to do more,” and yes, while I agree, we do have to do more…. there is no “just” that should be put in front of the word pray. Prayer is where all of our power is found. So if you’re the praying type and maybe if that’s all you can muster in whatever season you’re walking in, keep praying – keep interceding – keep asking for change in His name and it will happen. Prayer is powerful. Don’t let society tell you differently.
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It’s been a while since I’ve just posted an update on the blog about life, You Were Made for More content, and all that the Lord has been speaking to me, so I decided last week that there was no better way to wrap up Season 2 of the You Were Made for More Podcast than to do just that. If you haven’t listened yet, I highly recommend it, but for those of you who aren’t podcast listeners and are more into reading, I decided to share some of what’s been going on in the blog as well.
So much has happened since March. I can’t believe 2020 is almost half-way over, and the majority of it has been spent in quarantine! The last time I updated you on life was at the beginning of March, when the COVID-19 pandemic was just starting. So much has happened since then not only in the lives of friends, families, and communities, but also in the life of our nation and culture. It really has been a dynamic and unprecedented time that so many are having to figure out how to navigate.
Every day, when I read the news and open up the headlines, I’m reminded of why Abundant Life: You Were Made for More is so important.
Even without looking at the headlines, I know what I struggle with in my own faith, as a woman pursuing God’s best for her life, and I know it’s not unique to just me. I see it in my mentors, in my friends, in my youth group students. I see it in the parents trying to make decisions about how to school their children this fall. I see it in the youth leader trying to discern what real connection with their students in this season looks like. I see it in the new mom who is struggling to keep her head above water and care for her kiddos. I see it in the single mom sending her oldest daughter to college for the first time, wondering if she has loved and done enough in the past 18 years of parenting. This struggle is not unique to just me. This struggle with identity and how who we are fits into relationships is not unique. It’s actually rather common.
And what’s even worse… I still believe it’s one of Satan’s key strategies to make us feel useless and worthless. The biggest, yet cheapest attack the enemy will always try to pursue is to attack our identity. If we don’t know who we are, we will be pulled in every direction. We will forget who we are, that we were bought with at the highest price, and that we are precious. Anything that you are believing right now that is contrary to that is a lie. That’s why I’m so passionate about the You Were Made for More message.
This season has been full of goodness, but also challenges. Since March, my husband and I have celebrated our first wedding anniversary, we’ve travelled and gotten to meet our first baby niece who is such a precious gift from God, and we’ve prepared and prayed as we are getting closer and closer to being parents ourselves. There has been so much sweetness. But there also has been hardship and agony.
I’ve been reminded of the importance of community – about inviting people to walk alongside you even when it is hard to admit you need help and feel like you’re failing. I’ve been reminded of the frailty of the human heart – I’ve witnessed friendships, marriages, and relationships I thought were rock solid come to an abrupt end, creating a paralyzing fear in me that we aren’t promised protection from any sort of hurt on this side of Heaven. I’ve had loved ones struggle with health issues. I’ve gone the majority of my pregnancy attending doctors appointments by myself, without my husband by my side like so many women have experienced before me. As I’ve prepared to give birth, I’ve had to adjust and readjust and figure out alternatives to my original birth plan because of hospital restrictions. I’ve had friends struggling to make ends meet due to the financial crisis that COVID-19 has brought to America.
Something to think about as we head into the start of a new school year this fall, amidst more uncertainty and uncharted territory is actually from a recent blog that we shared and it got me thinking…
So often, I think I am trusting God, relying on His promises, and leaning into the Truth. But when I really take a step back and evaluate what my emotions and responses are telling me, I realize differently. If you ask yourself that same question – what is your answer? If you honestly look at your humanity and identity, what are you trusting?
So many times, we give fear more power than it deserves. Really, God is the only One who should be getting any of the power and glory in our lives. Friends, God is bigger than all your fears. Remember that. Trust in it. Build your life upon it. That’s my challenge and encouragement to you.
Now, off of that encouragement, let me give you some updates on You Were Made for More, my season of life, and how all of those things go together. Like I said, my husband and I are about to have a baby girl, which is a huge life transition! That being said, things will look a little bit different around here for a few weeks – we’re going to take a bit of a hiatus and break until I can get my mom life and schedule figured out! I’ll be taking some of my vacation time to soak up being with my little girl and then spending a few weeks prepping for season 3 of the podcast and planning/creating new and relevant content for you guys. Don’t worry, we’ll be back… and we can’t wait to see you soon!
Until then, our prayer is that you would remember what we always say: You were created for far more than this world gives you credit for, and anything that tells you or makes you feel differently is a lie.
Something I love doing is writing out prayers that have spoken to me in this season, and I thought I would share one that’s applicable for all of us:
“Dear God, I need to see the lies I’m currently believing about myself and how they’re holding me back from all you have for me. Strip out their fake and concentrated colors and amplify the lies in black-and-white so I can do the work of uprooting them. Where are the weeds in my life? Show me. I’m ready to see myself as you see me and to live faithfully from the place of acceptance. I’m aching to be fully alive and wide-eyed awake to all the good things you’re doing around me. Don’t let me miss it by being stuck in my own head.”
We pray that you would lean into what God has for you and remember the words of Psalm 63:1…
Oh God, You are my God, I earnestly seek you; I thirst for you; my whole being longs for you in this dry land without water.
If you’re feeling like you are in a dry land without any water, like your soul needs refreshing, remember that you must thirst for God and His word above all else. He will come wherever you are, meet you there, and find you. It’s through His Spirit that real life change happens. It’s through His Spirit where your soul will be watered and you’ll be reminded that you were made for more. Trust in that. Hope in that. Build your life upon that.
Sammie graduated from Robert Morris University in 2017 with a background in biology and psychology and started working with Anglicans for Life (AFL) shortly after. In addition to her work with AFL, she spends time going into public schools with the Women’s Choice Network, speaking to high schoolers about healthy relationships and sex education.
Sammie married her best friend, Juan Gallo, in May 2019. During her free time, you can find her leading youth ministry with her husband at their church, where he serves as the youth pastor.
Sammie spends her day-to-day making sure that every person hears and believes the words: “you were made for more.” You can follow Sammie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! She’d love to get to know you!