Tag Archives: Love

Don’t Numb The Pain – You Have A Choice!

Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

Photo by frankie cordoba on Unsplash

One of the greatest things I’ve done in life was sit through the pain. I didn’t run away, didn’t rationalize, didn’t find unhealthy ways to cope. I dropped everything and sat in my anger, shame and pain.

I sat there and embraced it, completely.

It was in my pain that I saw a loving God and the strength he has given me. In that lonely and painful time, it was then, that I realized that I am in full control over my decisions and actions. I decided, that the greatest power I have, is wielding my faith and holding on to my integrity. All the pain:  self-inflicted or caused by others, was not going to make me into a horrible  person.

I knew I ready won. No one can take God or my integrity away from me.

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

I can do good and be good.

I can rise above the pain of life.

I can hold on to what I truly believe in.

I can explore life with faith.

I also accepted that I knew nothing about the promises of God. It’s not enough to do good deeds, we need to know why we do them.

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

We do good to off balance evil.

We do good to help others.

We do good to glorify God

We do good for our own future – storing up treasures in heaven that never rot or decay.

Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

Photo by Daniel Apodaca on Unsplash

The sight of heaven and being with God as a reward, made it easier for me to press on. Our mistakes and failures are meaningless under grace. We have a choice, every new day, to chase after God and his ways. We must be willing to throw out human opinion and fear of man to rise up. We will be misunderstood, hated and suffer all kinds of things when we decide to follow God. But, don’t focus on that. Focus on God and what he tells you to do. No one can make you do anything or be anything. No one has that power unless you give it to them.

Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

It’s a choice that affects every other choice you make.

Always aim to choose wisely.

How God Used Web Development To Prune Me

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

It’s about time I talk about my journey in Web Development. If you follow me on twitter, you will see tweets about events I’ve attended, splashed here and there.

My journey started in late 2017. I learned HTML, CSS and JavaScript fundamentals in a class setting. It was an amazing experience. I fell in love with code: mainly design (JavaScript kicks my butt, but I haven’t given up) and I’m now learning WordPress and PHP.

I learned so much over the span of this experience. It was difficult. At first, it was like a dream. I was excited and dedicated. Then life hit me, and I had to make decisions that challenged my faith.

I mentioned in a previous post about attending a Boot Camp. Well, that was an eye opening experience in itself. I want to start of by saying that the aim of this post is to serve as a source of  encouragement and also a teaching lesson. I almost lost everything – including my life – BUT it was all God’s plan and it was only at this moment that I could fully accept this as truth.

You might remember my angry posts. My posts about not being happy and losing joy. I was in a very dark place. I was worried I lost everything – all that God had given me – over something so stupid.

I won’t get into details over what that thing was but the root of it was – I wasn’t solid in my understanding of who God is. This was a teaching moment for me and God was going to let me fall on my face so I could understand.

We must be rooted in God’s love for us. My greatest fear happened to me and I was thrown off course. I was upset – I questioned God. How could He allow the very thing I was trying to avoid. I was content with where I was and where I was going. I was content with the future I had planned out for myself. It was as if God led me right into my fears and then left me alone to see how I would respond. Prayers were not answered: I ran to and fro to anyone that could give me counsel. I was embarrassed and ashamed.

by: Tim Mossholder

by: Tim Mossholder

I began to doubt God’s love for me and my heart grew dark. I was angry with God. I wanted to shut down my blog – I felt as if I was living a lie. How could I write about joy when my joy is gone? I knew I had to be honest. I knew I couldn’t lie about how I was feeling.

The boot-camp was not the thing that made me angry with God, but because I was angry, I couldn’t hear God’s voice. God’s voice leads us in our choices in life. Well, my spiritual ears were blocked so I couldn’t hear or recognize that God was telling me not to go.

I worked so hard for this opportunity. Every door slammed in my face during admissions. I finally made it to the end and awaited judgement. Verdict: access denied. I was so upset. I worked so hard just to push down every door that closed in my face. I received a call back, saying a spot was opened that I can fill. I accepted but I wasn’t able to celebrate with sincerity. Honestly, at this point, I was so upset with God that I threw everything out the window. I stopped praying, etc and I was beginning to revert to a part of me I didn’t like. I tried to tell myself this was a miracle – but deep down I wasn’t so sure this was God opening a door for me. It felt more like He gave me what I wanted because I threw a horrible tantrum.

Everything was fine in the beginning. I had this major distraction in my life. It was a person. I realized that every time I’m about to do something important in life – a distraction comes my way in the form of a person. This person undermined everything I sought out to accomplish. At first, person was nice and sweet but over time, person began to chip away at my core beliefs. Person tore me down. I made excuses for person. I thought person was my friend and had my back. I want to warn you: be cautious of who you allow in your inner circle. Be cautious of who you share your inner thoughts and feelings. Some people may appear to be kind and loving but their agenda is to destroy you. They might not even know that they are doing it. Remember, we are fighting a spiritual battle. Sampson , a mighty Judge , was cut down and his destiny cut short because he allowed Delilah to wear him down and expose his weakness. Our enemy is Satan. He sends people – like the Philistines sent Delilah – to uncover your weaknesses. They pose as a friend or a lover – someone you should trust.

Everything became chaotic in my life. It has always been chaotic but because I had lost sight of Christ, the chaos began to affect me. Let’s just say I was a mess. At this point, I wanted to give up on life. I had reached my limit and I was tired. It felt as if all of heaven and earth was against me and I was fighting to survive. Desperate – but cautious – I visited a local church because people were nagging me to fellowship with other Christians. This too was another distraction. You might say : but isn’t fellowship with other Christians a good thing? Not always. Again, not all people that say they are Christians, really are. Christians are also human beings that struggle with sin tenancies, some that are not too pleasant to be around. Then there are others that believe in false doctrine.

Honestly, I believe what happened to me was for a reason. I had to see first hand a lie that is floating around in the Body of Christ and allow God to show me the truth in his word. Some churches are so focused on hyper spirituality that they forget to serve the people. Assembly line prayers – I reached out for prayer and all I got was judgement. Prayer full of judgement and when I sought out a listening ear I was told that I needed to sit down because I was already prayed for. I was appalled. I left the building with a sense of emptiness. It was then that I grit my teeth and said to myself : WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!!!

I got really quiet in my spirit and started cutting people out of my life – again. One by one, I closed the door without a word. I did not care who was confused or upset. I was not concerned with pleasing others – I was focused on getting better. While I was cutting people out, I dropped out of the boot-camp. At the time, I was very sad but I knew I had to. It was the best decision I made that year. I spent 2 months recovering – I stopped coding, tended to my weary body and started praying again. It was a painful process – I was very run down.

God began to speak again, or rather, I was able to hear his voice. He comforted me in ways no one else could. When I opened my heart to see the filth inside of it, God cleaned it up and then told me what He was doing. You see, it was his plan the whole time. I had a lot of inner issues I needed to deal with. I realized I had a lot of beliefs that were not really my own. I just accepted them because I accepted the label of Christianity. I learned about the bondage of guilt and shame and that Christ died to get rid of that. He doesn’t want us walking around with guilt and shame. He doesn’t want us to repay for our sins – he already paid for it. But I was walking around with so much baggage – trying to live holy, not because It truly came from my heart, but because I thought it would compensate for my short comings. I also allowed people to heap on burdens on me. I allowed people to wear me down. God held up a mirror and showed me my true identity, outside of the garbage people kept dumping on me. It was then that I knew what He wanted me to do. The vision of my life became clear and my joy returned.

Photo by Sushobhan Badhai on Unsplash

Photo by Sushobhan Badhai on Unsplash

Now my joy is rooted and grounded even more in God’s love. God was pruning me. It is an unpleasant experience but don’t give up. God showed me my growth: instead of completely running away from him, I told him that I would wait for him in my anger. I had to go through the pain and turmoil of my negative emotions. I didn’t run away.

I can now share this experience with the hope of encouraging you to keep the faith. Embrace the pain, the frustration, the anger and the confusion. Like David said ” wait on the Lord.” Sometimes you do everything a good christian is suppose to do and it’s not enough. We cannot manipulate the situation – all we can do is wait on God to teach us and renew us in time.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

God is refining us. I am no longer bound by the garbage people try to throw at me. I am no longer bound by my preconceived notions about how my life should be – I’m free to accept every good blessing from God. I am free to be myself without shame. I was willing to lose everything I worked hard for to have God and he turned around and gave me so much more.

Love, peace and joy are worth so much more than money and prestige. It’s worth more than any earthly relationship and it’s a true blessing from God. Seek after it with all you have and you will have all that you need.

Please let me know in the comments of how God has pruned you? What did you learn?

Until next time,

Ya Bettah Know Who You Be!

OH MY GOODNESS!

Let me tell you something guys!

Let me warn you! If you don’t know who you are and what you want in this world, people will dictate it for you!

I know what I want is typically unusual and I sometimes act really quirky and odd, but I embrace who I am!

If you have a title or a position in church, please, I beg of you to be careful of what you pray over people. I leave every time feeling misunderstood and alone. No one gets me. They assume everything about me but no one ever sat down to talk with me and get to know me and why I’m there. It was then, that I realize that some churches are not what they are suppose to be.

I left feeling horrible, not uplifted. No one came to ask me how I felt or if I wanted to talk. They just left me there.

My walk with God is lonely.  No one cares to hear my story. No one cares to listen. So, I bottle it all up inside. It wasn’t until a few moments ago that I realized something powerful. Every time someone tries to put me down or tell me who I am, that is when I know I’m on the right track. Every time that happens, something good comes out of their negative words.

We are to uplift not tear down.

I held on to every single dream I had in my heart. I told some people and they tried to discourage me or tell me why I can’t do it.  I’ve been misjudged by those I cared about. They choose not to love and encourage me but to kick me when I was down. This came from various people, whether in church or not.

The greatest thing I have is my faith and integrity. Without these two things, I am nothing.

Faith doesn’t equate perfection. I will tell you I had my moments of doubt. I had my moments where I wanted to die and give up. Life was just too unbearable. Suffering is inevitable.

But this time around, despite my nonsense, despite the pain, I held on to God. I was angry with Him, but I didn’t run away from Him. I stood still in my anger and raged through it. I experienced every single feeling: from anger to hopelessness to despair.

I can honestly say that today, I feel a lot better. It happened through a small prayer in bed before I fell asleep. I admitted that I was wrong and I simply said I will no longer fear anything.

It was that simple. I mean seriously, it was just that simple. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, in terms of my mood, but I will take it a day at a time.

The Christian walk is marked by ups and downs. I decided not to hold on to the guilt of missing the mark but to embrace the grace that Christ had died for. I admitted I was wrong and that I needed Christ Daily.

I also found an article that reminded me just how important spiritual discipline is. I became overwhelmed with trying to better my life, but everything flows from my spiritual health. Not physical, mental or emotional health but my SPIRITUAL HEALTH. Everything flows from God.

He gives us wisdom and understanding. He directs where we go and influences the decisions we make. He sets things in order, behind the scenes. He ordains our future and destiny.

Without Him, our efforts are empty. Personally, without Him I can’t even survive. Literally, God has become the very essence of my well-being. I don’t feel healthy without Him. I begin to wither and die like a plant.

The source of my joy is right relationship with Him. My heart became dirty with disappointment and fear. I was too busy to read the bible, pray or even worship through song. God was literally squeezed out of my life because I had too much going on.

I also blamed Him for certain things in my life, instead of trusting that all things will work together for my good.

Despite all of my failures, God has kept me and given me peace this day. It took a bad situation for me to see the truth. I must always remind myself of  who God is and what I know about myself.

I will never be loud or arrogant to prove anything to anyone. I will quietly leave my mark on this earth. I want to be known as the Woman that loved God and walked with Him. For in my weaknesses, He is gloried and in my victories, He is declared King.

Those that love you, will seek to understand you. As Christians, we are called to love one another. That means to truly get to know those we are serving and in fellowship with. Not judging them, putting them in a box and then tossing them aside to move on. Truly connect with people and help them where they are.

 

That is all for now,

 

The Price of Kindness

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Unnecessary Disclaimer: I’m being honest and open.

A series of events led to my eye open experience.

There is a price to pay for being kind. In a cruel world, people see meekness and kindness as weakness.

I witnessed this even in a church! The very place where meekness, kindness and gentleness should be respected and even honored, the meek and the kind are shunned, insulted and made to feel inadequate. Brashness, cruelty and harsh words were celebrated as strength, used to control, manipulate and crush it’s recipients.

It was covered up in the guise of tough love, honesty, boldness, playful banter etc. We have lots of fluffy words for cruelty these days.

It’s tempting to want revenge, or to prove yourself to these people but this is my conclusion.

I want to remain kind. I want to be myself and who God made me to be. It takes a lot of strength NOT to fit in. It takes a lot of strength to keep going after being rejected, mistreated and misunderstood.

I had someone tell me that kindness is fake. Poor soul. Poor soul believes kindness is fake and rudeness is strength.

In wisdom, you’ll know that sort of person is troubled and being unkind back will just exasperate the issue.

I think these experiences, while they hurt me deeply , has made me stronger.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I have fallen in love with myself even more. I pick and choose my battles wisely. If I make a mistake, I apologize , fix it as best as I can and move forward. I also know that my actions aren’t always kind but I want to be kinder.

Kindness for me is peace. It’s about being at peace with oneself and others. I don’t have time to be cruel. Cruelty is boring! There is so much to do in life than plotting against your next victim.

After every heartache I make two declarations: I will serve God no matter what and I want to do the right thing.

Love is patient and kind. Listen, I don’t always get it right, no one will but being consistently cruel to people, even those that have hurt you isn’t right! There is no justification for it!

Forgiveness is a choice! A process yes, but it’s a choice you have to make.

Forgiveness gives you internal peace in a chaotic world!

I was mad at God over things in my life, including my own choices. Now thinking about it, as painful as it was, I don’t regret it.

In a fallen world, pain builds character. All of my struggles and heartaches, sins (yup) and mistakes , not one piece or part must be forgotten for they all are the building blocks to my character.

The Bible clearly shows us the faults, mistakes and triumphs of it’s characters. There is constant character development.

The most important elements to life are our character and godliness. The quest for material things ends with death but our character and our godliness will be tested in the next life.

I learned through it all that God loves me too.

What Do You Want?

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

This is an on whim post.

I am not only sharing this but it’s documentation for future reference. I will save this in the bin of things to read after a year or two.

This weekend was stressful. I haven’t had to deal with this issue in a long time and it was quite a shock for me to deal with it once again. You know when you get tired of dealing with an issue for years but feel trapped? You’ve tried everything possible but nothing works.

I’m going to be real and raw : when you pray to God and ask for help and he gives you 1 million encouraging words like : peace and hold on and go forth and be strong, only for you to stare that same problem in the face.

You’ve tried everything, nothing works. You reach out for help but people don’t care, don’t understand. They leave you there to figure it out on your own but wonder why you don’t want anything to do with them.

We live in a world where people are cruel. People don’t care about you until you’re dead. Then they will say, I wish I knew or I wish I had done something to prevent this from happening. But all the while, you had asked them for help but they didn’t care to help.

So one day, I was fed up and took a leap of faith. Where I am today was because of my own hard work, vision and faith in God.

I have made peace with the fact that people don’t care and are cruel. These people will try to kill your dreams. They will open their mouths and use their words to kill you. If you are in a broken place, they will succeed. The only way to protect yourself in a broken place is to have selective hearing.

YOU MUST SHUN AT ALL COST anything negative being spoken to you. It’s not anything  mystical, it’s a simple fact that your ears are a gateway to your heart. Your eyes and ears are gateways to your heart. Your mouth is the exit of your heart. So those people are speaking from what is in their hearts. But if you listen and observe what they are saying, they can begin to shape and mold you.

You must NOT allow anyone to plant that seed in your heart. Everything you become starts from your heart. This is why the Bible warns us about guarding our hearts.

The greatest way to silence your enemies is to continue living your life as if their words have no weight. Your mere presence is a threat to them and that’s their battle to fight.

So I ask, ” what do you want? What makes you happy?” Do what YOU want without apology. If it’s wrong, God will make it right. If it’s too far left, God will push it a little more to the left. Let GOD mold you, not people. Don’t you ever do anything simply because people say so, but because you know in your heart it’s the right thing to do. Everyone is living their lives, including those trying to dictate yours.

The greatest thing you could ever do is accept yourself as you are.

The way you are is perfect and God can use you as you are right now. Perfectionism is a sham. It’s just there to keep you crippled in an infinite loop of madness,  unlike the line of progression of authenticity.

Being authentic comes with a price: you will have people that love you and those that hate you. At first it might seem as if everyone hates you but there will be those that will identify you and admire you. The beauty of it is that when you were trying to please people and remain unnoticed by fitting in, people still hated you. But now  you know who loves you as the real you.

Everyone goes through this. The journey between childhood and adulthood is a turbulent one. It is an uncertain phase and you must learn to shift out what you have been taught with what is truth. Not everything taught is truth.

Who do you want to be? I stopped asking God what I should do with my life. You will either know from youth or walk into it as you live. Most of us walk into it. God doesn’t reveal things at once. If so, then we wouldn’t need him and life would be predicable. What would we learn? For those that already know, only know so much.

Life is like jumping in the dark. You can’t see beyond eye view and sometimes you can’t see at all. You must take jumps: some small and some big. Where you land, the floor tiles light up, enabling you to see. As you keep jumping,3 you are able to see what was behind you and from eye view, what’s around you. If you refuse to jump, you won’t be able to see or make progress.

We also jump in our own ways. Some of us only have one leg. Some of us have a crutch. Others have both legs. Some of us are taller and some shorter. Others of us are heavier and some lighter. The way we jump and how we land are influenced by these factors. People might say one way is better than the other but that’s not true. God made you as you are and even if it was from life’s circumstances, this is who you are. The way you jump and land is YOUR STORY and it’s a unique one. It’s YOURS. Striving for the unknown, best jump is not only ignorant but a waste of time. We shouldn’t strive to have the same story but to find ways to share our own unique stories. We will find our people. We will find common ground with those that jump differently but we are all here to motivate and encourage one another to jump.

When we bicker and fight we stop jumping. Then our world becomes dark and we can only see what’s behind us.

This year I’ve thrown down the veil of perfectionism and take up the mantle of faith.

I will walk as I am, talk as I am and live as I am. I will keep jumping and leaping and landing. I will let my leaps paint a picture of light around me.

With faith, no one can crush you. With faith, no one can take away your dreams or your joy. With faith, hope follows and with hope there is peace.

The bible says do not fear EVIL people with their wicked schemes.

Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7 NLT

Just keep leaping and landing and one day you’ll find yourself where you need to be. The Lord is faithful to guide our imperfect steps. He is God and we are not. Accept who you are and cling tightly to the one who has the power to save you.

 

 

Established in Faith: What Do You Truly Know About God?

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Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

It’s way too easy to lose your way…

A subtlety in your heart…

It’s funny because you won’t even know it’s there, or if you do know, you will try to rationalize it away.

Then one day you wake up and find yourself in a big mess and wonder how you got there.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race. It’s easy to get caught up in things that will someday fade away.

God told me yesterday : remember when I healed you? How you walked with me day by day, moment by moment? How you asked ME for help and strength to get through the day. But now you say ” How am I going to do this?”

It was obvious now, I had slowly pushed God out of the way and relied on my own strength. In turn, I have grown very tired in every area of my life.

It was a slow thing. I became busy and spent less time in prayer and bible study. I said, I’ll do it tomorrow but when tomorrow came, I was again, too busy.

Then a stumbling block presented itself: my own heart. I was defenseless but God kept telling me what to do. I prayed so hard but my own heart was hardening. My view of God was inaccurate. I felt He was playing a cruel joke on me. “Why is this happening to me”, I asked.

I prayed and sought help but more and more the rage and bitterness in my heart grew. I was warned that this was not the way to go. I was mad at God. I prayed, I sought him, I asked him to protect me but he didn’t. I felt let down and It was then that I no longer wanted to trust that he cared and loved me.

I found myself in a mess. When my heart grew dark and cold, my joy and peace were the first to leave. I tried so many remedies but not even prayer worked.

Then to make matters worse, something I was working very hard for, failed. I was devastated. It was the final straw. God truly let me down. I shut down. I was numb, full of anger. Fear crept in and clouded my mind and judgement.

At the end, I decided that I wanted to talk to God. I missed him. I didn’t feel like myself – this is not who I am. So I prayed. It was then that I remembered the word established.

nathan-dumlao-553957

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I looked up established in faith:

There are two ways to stay established or committed to God: Prayer and Bible study.

The very things that I stopped doing from the beginning. I was too busy to put God first.

It was then, when I decided to let go of that thing I held on to, that I experienced peace. I remembered that when I told God that I accept being sick and will serve Him with my life – that’s when He healed me. I was prepared: washed my face, fixed my hair. I was determined to serve God for the rest of my life sick , but He healed me instead.

Honestly, I do not take that for granted. It bothered me, in my anger towards God, why I couldn’t let that miracle remind me of the goodness of God. I wanted this thing so badly, not realizing that God is sovereign and in complete control. He is my provider – He will sustain me. He gives me favor even if I am unqualified, for his glory and purpose. I relied on this thing and my effort and not him. He is showing me, through miracles, that He is God with all power, wisdom and knowledge.

In the midst of my sin, He comforted me. He said he isn’t judging me. He said he loves me. He asked me to come back to him and bare my heart to him. I must guard my heart from anger and bitter emotions, but I must also guard my mind from false opinion of God. He is full of grace, gentle and kind. In this, I realized that I was judging myself, worrying what other people would think of me, instead of knowing and trusting how God sees me.

I learned that I could’ve died in my sin – chasing after things that , in the long – term, means nothing. Don’t allow people, status, a career, or an opportunity, rob you of  your salvation and eternal life. Don’t allow these things to trip up your walk with God.

Put God first in all you do. Stay connected to God and bare your heart to him. Faith produces patience to wait on God, even if it seems like he is taking forever. Remember what he as done for you in the past and search the scriptures for examples of how God acts on the behalf of his people.

I can say now, with confidence that I am restored. My blessing will follow as such: a double portion of joy, peace, hope and faith. These are the things my heart now longs for but most of all I am just happy that I have my Christ back.

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Daily Ramblings – The Perfect Person

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Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

I admit defeat.

I admit that I have hit a brick wall and don’t know how to climb it. That brick wall is a thought or even a belief. Something I’ve observed in my life from birth to current time.

Is there a perfect person to be found?

Someone that has all the qualities we admire and desire in a person?

People are on the quest for love and friendships. Dating and marriage advice plagues the internet, marriage coaches can be found on every IP address, relationship guru’s at every turn. Even sermons about friends, “frenemies”, toxic people etc.

Is there ever a perfect person? Can we ever find the perfect match? Someone with all we want and more?

I can’t offer answers, just questions. People say they’ve found the one. A man or woman that fits the list of all they wanted in a person, but what if that person fails? What if they don’t love you? Do you still chase after them simply because they fit your list,  or because they are accepted by everyone as being perfect for you?

Then we hear advice from 90 year – olds or people in decades long marriages and they say it takes hard work and commitment. That the person is completely different and yet they work hard at coming together with understanding. The highs and the lows of their relationship is met with the determination to never give up. These set of people focused less on the check list of a perfect person, but more so on the hard work and dedication it takes to love someone.

Another powerful testimony of love demonstrated by a father – who prayed 7 years for his son. He didn’t throw a tantrum at God asking why his son was bad and faulty – he simply prayed. He prayed, he said, even when things were getting worse as he prayed. Eventually his son turned around for the better.

Love without expectations, limits, unconditional love. In this world, what does that even mean? We can’t find this kind of love being encouraged anywhere,  but I think of the love God has shown me.

Let me share a personal story. There was a time when I turned away from God because of the weight of guilt and seeking perfection – doing works to gain God’s love.

When I returned to him, I would throw tantrums and hide whenever I was disappointed, mad or confused. I remember one day, while being very ill, laying in bed and feeling as if God was right there with me. I said to myself :  wow, I cannot hide from God. He is everywhere. I close my eyes and I hear him. I close my ears and I see him. I shut down my senses and He visits me. I cannot shut God out! He pursues me constantly. 

I was messed up, broken and hurt. I was ill. To the world I was worthless in every way. People could say : well she has nothing to offer society so why should anyone love her. Find a more suitable woman or friend. However, God didn’t say that about me. Time and time again I’d hear him say ” I know your heart”. He’d remind me that my worth did not come from how perfect I was – a job, education, social status (how many friends I had), how often I didn’t sin, how I looked etc,  but simply based on the fact that I am a being created by God. He said he saw my heart and with a heart like mine, he could work with it. He could break it down till it got soft, and then with his bare hands mold it and shape it.

Then he said something to me recently that was even better than before : that he is NOT judging me and that he will give me a new heart. Trust me guys, I read my bible and I knew I read that somewhere, so I did a quick google search and found it.

Here’s what that passage says:

Ezekiel 36 : 25- 27 (NLT)

 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.  And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations…”

I admit defeat. I cannot predict what God will do. I cannot predict what God will show or teach me. All I can do is have my questions and wait on His answers.  As I go through life, learning about Him and having experiences, I know I will know what I need to know. Ultimately, God is in absolute control. I just want a soft and responsive heart to hear his voice when he talks to me.

Till next time,

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Goody Goody Two-Shoes

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Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Okay.

So, the last few weeks went by slowly AND quickly. A lot was done, tears shed, confusion, and pain. There was also happiness, forgiveness and newness.

Something stood out to me though, as I gazed into the mirror of introspection: that the quest for complete perfection and high expectations is not worth the pain.

It is a crippling mindset that robs you from joy and experiencing life on a day by day basis. It can even rob you of your blessing – that might not always come as you want it to look like. You want your blessing to be perfect, a blessing that makes complete sense to you and acceptable to everyone around you. A blessing that makes you feel comfortable and safe.

But what if your blessing was dressed up as something completely different. Something you never expected? What if it was to show you just how much you are loved and cherished despite feeling as if it is unattainable? What if that blessing was something you never thought you could accomplish but, despite it being beyond your capabilities, God breathed life into it and made it reality? What if you can finally enjoy life without worrying about everything, all the time?

What if you can worship God without fear? To run to God and cling to him even when you fall short? Holding onto Him for dear life and trusting that He will keep you, guide you, fix you and heal you?

Because if you turn away, what else will you live for? Love requires bravery. It forces you to open up and take a risk to give and receive something that has the potential to:

  1. Hurt you
  2. Confuse you

God doesn’t always answer my prayers the way I want him to and that left me feeling really upset and confused. I threw a fit asking God why me and why now and why this? I wanted to hide from God because I thought He failed me.

I wonder if this is how the Jews of Jesus’ time felt, waiting for the messiah to come and save them from earthly oppression. However, they had their own interpretation of scripture and God had his own divine will. We can try as much as we want to control the events of our lives and personally interpret God’s plan for our lives but God’s Will prevails.

If Esther was a modern day Christian, other believers and even her well meaning Pastor would tell her : “Sweet Esther, don’t marry the King, because gurl, he ain’t saved.” Not knowing that sweet Esther was called to be queen so that she could prevent a Jewish genocide. She needed to marry the King to access his status and to demonstrate the power of God in a very meek and humble way.

Nothing in life is cookie cutter, one-size fits all and I’m sick of trying to be the “Good Little Christian Girl”. It’s something all Christians face at one point in their journey.

Jesus died so we can be free. This freedom has become cliche. Free from what? Yes, free from sin. But what God truly wants is not a religious set of puppets that crosses every “I” and dots every “T”, knows all the church lingo and scripture, can debate, lay hands on the sick, cast out demons and speak in tongues.

God wants those with a heart for Him. A heart turned to Him. Hearts that will cry out to Him in every circumstance: good and bad. A heart that acknowledges Him, like David. David cried out to God in good times and bad. David was by no means perfect but he remained true to Himself.

Jesus saved us from the system of religion, the bondage of perfectionism, the opinions of humans, and gave us freedom to worship, love, and to be at peace with one another.

I am tired, aren’t you? I’m tired of all the pressure, internally and externally, to be more than what I am today. I can only do what I can do today but my hope is that as I continue on this journey with God, that I will grow closer to him.

My goal is no longer to simply be a Christian, but to be a daughter of God: to sit at his feet like Mary and listen.

Why the title?

Well, I was stumped. I didn’t know what to call this post so I whispered a little prayer and instantly felt to name it goody two-shoes.

Laughs

Bold right? Imagine that. Well guess what? GOOD! Honesty is the beginning of deliverance. Never be ashamed of what God can deliver you from.

I had to google search the term because it’s been years since I last heard it. A goody two- shoes in simple terms is a people-pleaser and God cannot use or connect with one.

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Sanctification Is A Slow Process

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Photo by Marcelo Silva on Unsplash

Sanctification is a slow process. You don’t just wake up one day and all your bad habits are gone. That’s why there is this concept called the “renewing of your mind”. We are also encouraged to guard our hearts. The parable of the sower – the good soil – waits patiently, diligently working on the seed that was planted, until it grew big and strong and produced good fruit.

What made that good soil different from the others was perseverance. Nothing stopped them. Healthy trees need pruning. Healthy trees still get bugs on them. Healthy trees still need maintenance, and a sick tree can be made healthy again, when tended to.

On this journey towards sanctification : DO NOT GIVE UP. Heart break, disappointment, confusion or even sin, cling to Jesus! Sanctification is a life long process of pruning. The goal is to make us more Christ-like – producing the FRUIT of the HOLY SPIRIT- bearing good fruit. The goal of this fruit is to be loving and kind to those around us, just like He is to us.

Quick Glossary:

Pruning– trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.

Vinedresser– a person who prunes, trains, and cultivates vines.

John 15(NKJV) 1-17

The True Vine

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.  If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Love and Joy Perfected

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  These things I command you, that you love one another.

Let me break this down for you: First we must know that we serve a Loving God. All my problems flow from a belief of an unloving, unfair God. Here, Jesus tells us to abide in God’s love. Once we take our eyes off of our loving savior, like Peter, we begin to sink.

Second, abiding in the Greek – G3306- menō means –

  1. to remain, abide

    1. in reference to place

      1. to sojourn, tarry

      2. not to depart

        1. to continue to be present

        2. to be held, kept, continually

    2. in reference to time

      1. to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure

        1. of persons, to survive, live

    3. in reference to state or condition

      1. to remain as one, not to become another or different

  2. to wait for, await one

Therefore, never give up on God or your salvation! Sanctification is a long process of pruning with the goal of love. Your requirements are to stand under the grace of God and to obey Christ’s command of loving one another. When you abide or stay close to Christ, renewing your mind with his word and letting His Spirit work in you; you become loving, kind, patient etc. Evil things that once gave you pleasure and satisfaction, no longer do.

Don’t give up. God loves you with all your faults, sins and preconceived notions. He will hold up a mirror to your face and show you what’s in your heart. At first it will be painful, you will be kicking and screaming. You will question God, get angry with people, sin and be tempted to leave the faith, but don’t. Hold on tight to Christ, even when you do not feel joy in your heart. God is faithful to comfort you, expose you and heal you where you are. The reward is renewed strength, peace and ultimately joy- that is your strength. Pain and hardships humbles us, softens us and makes us compassionate towards others.

God Bless,

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Being Honest with God

Photo by: Jon Flobrant on Unsplash.

After the Lord healed me from a chronic illness this year, I watched him order my steps even when I was confused or missed the mark. I had come to understand his love and concern for me.

I took a leap of faith and took tiny steps towards where I am today. I actually never imagined I would end up here. I was going in one direction and God lead me to another.

I had great setbacks and distractions. From health scares, to emotional and mental fatigue, I had to learn how to pray. I had to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit. I had to trust daily in supernatural provision and health.

I found that it was easy to trust God in those times. My faith was soaring.

I was excited to see what else God could do.

However, there are parts of us that we hide from God. God knows our hearts, he knows everything, but there are parts of us that we do not want God to see. We don’t want God to touch us there because it hurts.

I knew I was in the process of deliverance. I knew it deeply and with a certainty. As much I tried my best to avoid it, it still happened. Everything in my heart came flooding out.

When God wants to heal you, you must first confess everything. You must be honest and open with HIM.

I was forced to look in a mirror. A mirror that I had broken. However, God fixed it and placed it right in front of me.

He told me I could have it. That very thing I didn’t want to face. He said that I didn’t need anyone’s permission but his. He said that he understands me and that he is a loving father that gives us good things when we ask HIM.

My faith wavered. In my anger I wondered why this even had to happen. I had a preconceived idea of how my life should look. I keep falling into this trap of thinking I know what is best for me. For hiding away my concerns and dreams from God.

I didn’t know I wanted this but it was seeping into my life in many unhealthy ways.

I truly believe that once we are open and honest and don’t feel ashamed of what we need, God will begin to prepare us for what we asked HIM for.

I am writing this on whim, and I am pouring out my heart to you in sincere honesty.

My hope is that you too can trust God with your heart. That you will open up to him and share with him ALL of what is inside of you, knowing that he is a good father that gives his children good gifts. Honoring his sovereignty, knowing he is all-knowing and in control.

He orders our steps, truly. I may not completely understand where He is taking me but I know he won’t lead me to destruction.

 

With love,